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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 684
01 November 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 October 2010 and 31 October 2010.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2010-057A 37210 Beidou-G4 31 October 2010
2010-056B 37206 BSAT 3b 28 October 2010
2010-056A 37207 Eutelsat W3B 28 October 2010
2010-055A 37196 Progress-M 08M 27 October 2010
2010-054F 37193 Globalstar M073 19 October 2010
2010-054E 37192 Globalstar M075 19 October 2010
2010-054D 37191 Globalstar M077 19 October 2010
2010-054C 37190 Globalstar M076 19 October 2010
2010-054B 37189 Globalstar M074 19 October 2010
2010-054A 37188 Globalstar M079 19 October 2010
2010-053A 37185 XM 5 14 October 2010
2010-052A 37183 Soyuz-TMA 1M 07 October 2010
2010-051B 37180 Shijian 6H 06 October 2010
2010-051A 37179 Shijian 6G 06 October 2010
2010-050A 37174 Chang'e 2 01 October 2010

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Beidou-G4, a Chinese navigation satellite, was launched from Xichang on 31 October 2010 at 16:26 UT by a Long March 3C rocket. Beidou-G4 is part of China's Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS) which will eventually consist of 35 vehicles providing continuous, real-time passive 3D geo-spatial positioning and speed measurement. CNSS will have two levels of service, ranging from a civilian service which will allow for an accuracy of 10 m in the user position, 0.2 m/s on the user velocity and 50 ns in time accuracy; and the military and authorized users service, providing higher accuracies. The system will provide services for users in China and its neighboring regions, covering an area of about 120° longitude in the Northern Hemisphere. Beidou-G4 is expected to have a lifespan of eight years.
BSAT 3b is a communications satellite launched from Kourou on 28 October 2010 at 21:51 UT by an Ariane 5 rocket. The craft weighed 2060 kg and will be located at 110° E longitude. BSAT 3b carries 12 130 W Ku-band channels, eight operating simultaneously, enabling it to play a vital role in providing satellite broadcasting services. It has an expected design life of 15 years.
Eutelsat W3B is a communications satellite launched from Kourou on 28 October 2010 at 21:51 UT by an Ariane 5 rocket. The craft weighed 5370 kg and carries 56 transponders. Eutelsat W3B's transponders will be connected to four distinct footprints: a high-power footprint of Central Europe for direct-to-home broadcasting; a wide-beam spanning Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for professional video links and data networks; a high-power beam over Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands for direct-to-home broadcasting; and a beam sweeping across Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean islands for regional telecoms and internet services. It will be located at an orbital position of 16° E longitude and is expected to be moved to 7° E longitude after W3C, which will launch later, is in orbit. With an expected 15-year design life, the satellite will replace Eutelsat's Eurobird 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites, all of which will subsequently be redeployed to alternative positions.
Progress-M 08M, a Russian satellite, was launched from Baikonur on 27 October 2010 at 15:11 UT by a Soyuz U rocket. The Russian resupply ship docked with the International Space Station Pirs module at 16:36 UT on 30 October 2010. Progress M-08M will deliver 2.5 tonnes of cargo to the ISS, including 870 kg of propellant, 499 kg of oxygen, 226 kg of water, and 1272 kg of food, spare parts and supplies. Progress M-08M will also deliver hardware for the Molniya-Gamma and Coulomb Crystal experiments, and high-speed data transmission equipment which will be installed outside the station during Russian EVA-27 in January 2011. It will remain attached to the station through mid-January.
Globalstar M079, Globalstar M074, Globalstar M076, Globalstar M077, Globalstar M075, and Globalstar M073 were launched from Baikonur on 19 October 2010 at 17:10 UT by a Soyuz 2-1A rocket. Each of the six communications satellites has a trapezoidal-shaped main body, and weighs approximately 700 kg. The spacecraft are equipped with 16 transponders from C- to S-band and 16 receivers from L- band to C-band. They were mounted on a specially-built satellite dispenser which released them in a choreographed sequence to avoid collision. Two of the satellites separated first and will enter service approximately one month from separation. The other four deployed 96 s later and will take up to four months to drift into their prescribed orbital locations. The Globalstar constellation will eventually consist of 24 second-generation spacecraft that are expected to ensure continuity for its mobile satellite voice and data services provided to businesses, governments and consumers. As the new Globalstar satellites enter service they will replace the existing 40 satellite constellation, which have a 7.5 year life design. The new satellites are intended to operate for fifteen years, extending the Globalstar constellation life through at least 2025.
XM-5, a telecommunication satellite, was launched from Baikonur on 14 October 2010 at 18:53 UT by a Proton rocket. XM 5 will fire an on-board kick engine several times over the next few weeks to reach an orbit 22,300 miles above the equator. Controllers will park the satellite at 80° W longitude for a month of in-orbit testing, then the craft will drift to its long term home at 85.2° W longitude. The satellite will be an orbital spare for the XM 3 and XM 4 satellites currently transmitting operational radio signals. XM 5 has two 29.5-foot-diameter unfurlable mesh antennas that will broadcast the Sirius XM Radio's 135 audio channels. The antennas will be connected to an S-band downlink and X-band uplink communications payload. The satellite is designed to last for at least 15 years in space, and will produce nearly 20 kW of power at the end of its mission.
Soyuz-TMA 1M, a Russian manned satellite, was launched from Baikonur at 23:10 UT on 07 October 2010 by a Soyuz FG rocket. The manned craft carried one NASA astronaut and two Russian Cosmonauts to the International Space Station where they will join their colleagues boosting the lab's crew size to six. Flying on automated approach, the satellite docked to the Poisk compartment on the ISS Zvezda module at 00:01 UT on 10 October 2010. Soyuz-TMA 1M introduced new improvements to the veteran vehicle, featuring new guidance, navigation, control and data processing systems, along with an improved cooling device for the vehicle's electronics. The spacecraft features a variety of avionics and computer upgrades that allows the vehicle to be less operator intensive.
Shijian 6G and Shijian 6H, also known as SJ 6G and SJ 6H, respectively, are Chinese satellites launched from Taiyuan on 06 October 2010 at 00:49 UT by a Long March 4B rocket. The satellites were the fourth pair of Shijian 6 satellites to be launched. The two research satellites will probe the space environment. Shijian means practice in Chinese.
Chang'e 2 is a Chinese lunar satellite mission launched from Xichang at 10:59 UT on 01 October 2010 on a Long March 3C rocket. The craft was originally built as a ground spare for Chang'e 1 but includes improved science instruments and cameras, with a peak imaging resolution of 10 m. The probe is designed to observe the Moon for at least six months, but carries enough fuel to operate much longer. Its closest approach to the Moon will be at an altitude of 15 km. Chang'e 2 will map candidate landing sites for the next mission in China's lunar program. After completing its baseline mission, the craft could enter an extended phase consisting of possible scenarios which includes sending the spacecraft away from the Moon and into deep space, giving engineers practice in operations further from Earth, returning to Earth orbit, or continue to circle the Moon relaying more science data before attempting a landing or impact on the surface.

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)

2010-055B(37197)     SL-4 R/B                        29 October
2010-054G(37194)     SL-26 R/B                       19 October
2010-052B(37184)     SL-4 R/B                        11 October

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.

In SPX 683 three satellites in the 2010-043 group of satellites had not been identified at the time it went to press. These have since been identified as: Cosmos 2467 (2010-043A, 37152), Gonets-M (2010-043B, 37153), and Cosmos 2468 (2010-043C, 37154).

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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