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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 683
01 October 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 September 2010 and 30 September 2010.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2010-049A 37170 Cosmos 2469 30 September 2010
2010-048A 37168 SBSS (USA 216) 26 September 2010
2010-047C 37167 Zheda Pixing 1C 22 September 2010
2010-047B 37166 Zheda Pixing 1B 22 September 2010
2010-047A 37165 Yaogan 11 22 September 2010
2010-046A 37162 USA 215 21 September 2010
2010-045A 37158 QZS 1 (Michibiki) 11 September 2010
2010-044A 37156 Progress-M 07M 10 September 2010
2010-043C 37154 Object C 08 September 2010
2010-043B 37153 Object B 08 September 2010
2010-043A 37152 Object A 08 September 2010
2010-042A 37150 Chinasat 6A 04 September 2010
2010-041C 37139 Cosmos 2464 02 September 2010
2010-041B 37138 Cosmos 2465 02 September 2010
2010-041A 37137 Cosmos 2466 02 September 2010

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Cosmos 2469 is a Russian military satellite that was launched on 30 September 2010 from Plesetsk at 17:01 UT by a Molniya-M rocket. The satellite is an early warning satellite that will work as part of the first-generation US-KS early-warning system (also known as Oko). The satellite will join two working satellites of the US-KS/Oko constellation: Cosmos 2430, launched in October 2007, and Cosmos 2446, launched in December 2008. The satellite is deployed in an orbital plane that is located between the orbital planes of these two satellites, which means that it will complement the constellation rather than replace one of the currently operational satellites.
SBSS (Space Based Space Surveillance), a U.S. Air Force satellite, was launched on 26 September 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 04:41 UT by a Minotaur 4 rocket. SBSS 1 is designed to track and detect other spacecraft in orbit, and will form part of the United States Strategic Command's Space Surveillance Network. Equipped with an 11.8-inch telescope and 2.4-megapixel focal plane, the craft will use its optical eyes to image the sky and provide analysts the data they need to keep better tabs on space debris and guard against accidental collisions. The satellites tracking abilities will watch for potential risks posed to the military's communications, navigation, weather and spy satellites by enemy interference. The SBSS has a seven-year design life.
Zheda Pixing 1B and Zheda Pixing 1C were launched on 22 September 2010 from Jiuquan at 02:42 UT on a Long March 2D rocket. They are Chinese picosat experiments developed by Zhejiang University for microelectronics studies to provide a testbed in near-Earth space for MEMS devices, such as an accelerometer, micro-gyros and infrared sensors.
Yaogan 11, a Chinese remote sensing satellite, was launched on 22 September 2010 from Jiuquan at 02:42 UT on a Long March 2D rocket.
USA 215, a U.S. military satellite, was launched on 21 September 2010 from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 04:03 UT by an Atlas 5 rocket. The rocket carried a classified satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
QZS 1, a Japanese navigation satellite also known as Michibiki, was launched on 11 September 2010 from Tanegashima at 11:17 UT. The craft weighed 4100 kg and was launched by an H-2A rocket. QZS 1 is a JAXA satellite and is part of the QZSS (Quazi-Zenith Satellite System) that is aimed at overcoming ground interference by launching more navigation satellites strategically positioned high in the sky above Asia. The QZSS consists of a constellation of three spacecraft. QZS 1 Michibiki is phase 1 of the QZSS project. Michibiki is demonstrating the system's navigation instruments and proving the satellite works before Japan commits to launching the other two spacecraft. Michibiki will circle the Earth at a 45° inclination to the equator and will eventually park more than 20,000 miles above Earth. The satellite has a design life of 10 years.
Progress-M 07, a Russian satellite, was launched on 10 September 2010 from Baikonur at 10:22 UT. The craft was launched by a Soyuz rocket and docked to the Zvezda service module on 12 September at 11:58 UT. The robotic Russian resupply ship will service the International Space Station and carries a total mass of 2.5 tons. The mass consisted of 1,1998 kg in the form of spare parts, life support gear and equipment hardware, 870 kg of propellant, 170 kg of water, and 50 kg of oxygen and air. Progress-M 07 will remain attached to the station until 20 December.
Three Russian communication satellites, two Cosmos military satellites and a Gonets civilian communication satellite, were launched on 08 September 2010 from Plesetsk at 03:30 UT by a Rokot launcher. The Gonets satellite is designed to store and relay personal messages.
Chinasat 6A, a Chinese communications satellite, was launched on 04 September 2010 from XiChang at 16:14 UT by a Long March 3B rocket. Chinasat 6A will use its own propulsion system to circularize its orbit at an altitude of 22,300 miles above the equator near Indonesia. Its mission is to deliver television and radio programming to customers across China. It is equipped with 1 S-band, 24 C-band, and 8 Ku-band transponders. The satellite is designed to last 15 years and will back up Chinasat 5C, another communications satellite that launched in 2007.
Cosmos 2464 (Glonass 736), Cosmos 2465 (Glonass 737), and Cosmos 2466 (Glonass 738) are the latest to join the Russian fleet of Glonass navigational satellites. They were launched from Baikonur on 02 September 2010 at 00:53 UT by a Proton rocket. Each satellite weighed about 1360 kg at launch, including maneuvering fuel to maintain the craft's orientation in space. They will broadcast navigation signals to military and civilian users, reaching ground receivers across a swath of Earth stretching nearly from pole to pole. These spacecraft joined the Glonass constellation that consists of 21 operational satellites with two more satellites which are considered spares. In 2010 there are expected to be 27 Glonass satellites of which 24 will be operational.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational purposes and geodetic studies.

High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 400 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International GNSS Service (IGS). The IGS is a service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).

     FTP:  [directory /igscb]

The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 518. It will not be repeated since an excellent source of trajectory- and science-related GPS information is at:

It provides many links to GPS related databases.

The latest addition to the fleet is GPS 2F-1 (2010-022A).

Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation.

SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.

All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general Cosmos series. The Cosmos numbers invoked by USSPACECOM have often differed from the numbers (NNNN) associated in Russia; when different, the USSPACECOM Cosmos numbers are shown in parentheses. The corresponding GLONASS numbers are Russian numbers, followed by the numbers in parentheses that are sometimes attributed to them outside Russia.

The operating frequencies in MHz are computed from the channel number K. Frequencies (MHz) = 1602.0 + 0.5625K and L2 = 1246.0 + 0.4375K.

The standard format of the GLONASS situation last appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

According to IAC the latest additions to the fleet are 2010-041C, 2010-041B,and 2010-041A.

Visually bright objects.

See Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2010)

2006-043C(29496)     LDREX 2                         30 September
2010-011A(36505)     SOYUZ-TMA 18                    25 September
2000-039B(26405)     CHAMP                           19 September
2010-044B(37157)     SL-4 R/B                        12 September
2010-033A(36748)     PROGRESS-M 06M                  06 September
2010-041F(37142)     SL-12 R/B(1)                    02 September
2010-041E(37141)     SL-12 PLAT                      02 September

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

This section contains information or data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.

Related NSSDC resources.

NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many space physics datasets are on-line for electronic access through:

For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 690.1, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information ( Information on the current status of the instruments on board from the investigators will be most welcomed. Precomputed trajectory files and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload spacecraft may be obtained from:

Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via the URL,

Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL:

Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:

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