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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 691
01 June 2011

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2011 and 31 May 2011.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2011-022B 37606 ST 2 20 May 2011
2011-022A 37605 GSAT 8 20 May 2011
2011-021A 37602 Telstar 14R 20 May 2011
2011-020A 37577 STS 134 16 May 2011
2011-019A 37481 SBIRS GEO 1 07 May 2011
2011-018A 37398 Meridian 4 04 May 2011

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

ST 2, a Singaporean/Taiwanese communications satellite, was launched from Kourou on 20 May 2011 at 20:38 UT by an Ariane 5 rocket. The satellite weighed 5.09 tonnes and will replace and expand communications services provided by ST 1, which is now at the end of its design life. The craft's final position in geosynchronous orbit will be at 88° E longitude. ST 2's communications payload includes six antennas, 41 Ku-band transponders and 10 C-band transponders. The satellite will provide internet-based fixed and mobile communications services for customers in Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. The satellite is expected to go into operational service in July and has a design life of 15 years.
GSAT 8, an Indian communications satellite, was launched from Kourou on 20 May 2011 at 20:38 UT by an Ariane 5 rocket. The satellite weighed approximately 3.1 tonnes and will augment India's INSAT communications satellite fleet. GSAT 8 will be used for direct-to-home broadcasting, data collection, news-gathering and other domestic needs. The satellite also carries a radio navigation instrument called GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) to augment GPS navigation signals. It is the first of multiple satellites with the GAGAN payload, which is designed to improve air navigation in India. After a series of rocket burns to guide GSAT 8 it will eventually park along the equator at 55° E longitude. It has a design life of 12 years.
Telstar 14R, a Canadian communications satellite, was launched from Baikonur on 20 May 2011 at 19:15 UT by a Proton rocket. The satellite weighed 5.0 tonnes. Telstar 14R will circularize its orbit at an altitude of 22,300 miles in the next few days, and eventually park in its operational position 63° W longitude. The satellite has five communications antennas and 46 Ku-band transponders. The communications payload is divided between five beams focusing capacity on Brazil, the Atlantic Ocean, the continental United States, the southern cone of South America and the Andean region, including Central America. Ground controllers will have the ability to switch 19 transponders to address changing market demand. The other 27 Ku-band transponders are fixed. Telstar 14R will replace Telstar 14, which failed to fully deploy one of its solar panels after its launch, limiting its operations to only a fraction of its communications payload. Telstar 14R has double the capacity of Telstar 14. However, Telstar 14R's north solar array did not fully extend after launch, potentially limiting the craft's planned mission to link North and South America. If controllers are unable to resolve the problem, the satellite is expected to only support those same services provided by Telstar 14. Telstar 14R, also called Estrela do Sul 2, meaning "southern star" in Portuguese, has a design life of 15 years.
STS 134 was launched from Cape Canaveral on 16 May 2011 at 12:56 UT. Shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station's (ISS) Harmony module on 18 May 2011 at 10:14 UT. The craft carried a crew of six for a 16-day mission. STS 134 was the 134th shuttle flight, the 25th and final flight for Endeavour and the 36th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and maintenance. The shuttle delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a particle physics detector designed to operate from the station and search for various types of unusual matter. Also on-board for delivery were station spare parts on the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC3), including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, an ammonia tank assembly, circuit breaker boxes, a Canadarm2 computer and a spare arm for the Dextre robot. The ELC3 also houses a suite of Department of Defense (DoD) experiments that will test systems and materials concepts for long duration spaceflight in low-earth orbit. STS 134 mission included four spacewalks that focused on station maintenance, experiment replacement, and transference of Endeavour's orbiter boom sensor system (OBSS) to the station. The crew left the boom as a permanent fixture to aid future station spacewalk work, if needed. The mission also featured Endeavour's approach back toward the station after undocking to test new sensor technologies that could make it easier for future space vehicles to dock to the ISS. STS 134 completed its mission with a landing at Cape Canaveral on 01 June 2011 at 06:35 UT. STS 134 was the second-to-last flight for the Space Shuttle Program.
SBIRS GEO 1 (Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous 1), also known as USA 230, was launched from Cape Canaveral on 07 May 2011 at 18:10 UT by an Atlas 5 rocket. SBIRS GEO 1 is the first dedicated spacecraft to be launched as part of the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS. SBIRS is a system of spacecraft that monitor the Earth using infrared sensors in order to detect and track missile launches. Over a period of nine days six critical maneuvers will be conducted to boost the SBIRS GEO 1 satellite into a circular geosynchronous orbit. SBIRS GEO 1 is equipped with both scanning and staring instruments to increase the amount of reconnaissance that can be collected. The scanning instrument on SBIRS satellites will provide global observations, and the staring sensor enables the military to examine a very specific region for emerging threats and fast-moving targets. The satellite features a pair of power-generating solar arrays, two communications antenna wings that unfold and a deployable light shade to shield its sensitive infrared instruments. The SBIRS system will augment and gradually replace the heritage Defense Support Program satellites over the next several years. SBIRS GEO 1 has a design mission life of 12 years.
Meridian 4, a Russian military satellite, was launched from Plesetsk on 04 May 2011 at 17:41 UT by a Soyuz rocket. The satellite is the fourth in the Meridian series of military communications satellites that are intended to replace the aging Molniya system. The Meridian communications satellite will link terrestrial military forces, ground stations, aircraft and ships with command and control centers.

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 addition to the fleet is Cosmos 2471 (2011-009A.)

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 (2011)

2010-067A(37254)     SOYUZ-TMA 20                      24 May
1998-040D(25382)     SL-6 R/B(2)                       19 May
1986-091A(17134)     COSMOS 1793                       15 May
1999-011A(25646)     WIRE                              10 May

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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