SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 491

A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites on behalf of IUWDS/COSPAR
25 September 1994

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between August 25, 1994, and September 24, 1994.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

1994-060A (23267) Cosmos 2291   Sep 21
    -059B (23253) Spartan 1     Sep 13
    -059A (23251) STS 64        Sep 09
    -058A (23249) TELSTAR 402   Sep 09
    -057A (23233) USA 106       Aug 29
    -056A (23230) ETS 6         Aug 28
    -055A (23227) OPTUS B3      Aug 27
    -054A (23223) USA 105       Aug 27
    -053A (23218) Cosmos 2290   Aug 26
    -052A (23215) Progress M-24 Aug 25

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Cosmos 2291, a Russian military geostationary spacecraft, was launched from Baykonur cosmodrome by a Proton rocket at 17:53 UT.

Spartan 1 (also known as Spartan 201), a U.S.A. spacecraft, was released from STS 64 on 13 September and was captured back after a few days. It carried optical instruments to measure the speed and acceleration of the solar wind in the corona. Orbital parameters were nearly the same as those of STS 64.

STS 64, a U.S.A. shuttle spacecraft, was launched from Cape Canaveral. A major payload on board was the SPARTAN sub-satellite that was released from the shuttle on 13 September. Also on board were 12 Get Away Special (GAS) experiments designed and built by high school and university students, an Orbit Stability Experiment (OSE), and a Robot Operated Materials Processing System (ROMPS). Initial orbital parameters were period 89.5 min, apogee 269 km, perigee 259 km, and inclination 56.9 deg.

TELSTAR 402, a U.S.A. geostationary communications spacecraft, was launched by an Ariane rocket from Kourou in French Guiana. However, the spacecraft could not be contacted soon after launch. Its backup, now named TELSTAR 402-R, is being readied for a launch in early 1995.

USA 106, better known as DMSP F-12, is a U.S.A. science (and military) spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas-E rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 14:38 UT. It carried instruments to measure energetic particles in the magnetosphere and photometers to scan auroral displays; the instrument packages are believed to be similar to the ones in the earlier DMSP missions. Initial orbital parameters were period 101.9 min, apogee 856 km, perigee 839 km, and inclination 98.9 deg.

ETS 6, a Japanese engineering test spacecraft, was launched by an H-2 rocket into an elliptical transfer orbit. However, the thrusters on board could not move it to the planned geostationary orbit. Initial orbital parameters were period 639 min, apogee 36,150 km, perigee 366 km, and inclinations 28.6 deg. A limited number of engineering tests could still be carried from the elliptical orbit of the spacecraft whose post-launch name is KIKU 6.

OPTUS B3, an Australian geostationary communications spacecraft, was launched by a Long March 2E rocket from Xichang in southwest P.R.C. at 21:10 UT. The spacecraft is expected to provide telephone, TV, and mobile communications, and air traffic control services across Australia and New Zealand.

USA 105, a U.S.A. military spacecraft, was launched by a Titan 4/ Centaur booster from Cape Canaveral AFB.

Cosmos 2290, a Russian military spacecraft, was launched from Baykonur cosmodrome by a Zenith rocket at 12:00 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.6 min, apogee 315 km, perigee 220 km, and inclination 64.8 deg.

Progress M-24, a Russian automatic cargo ship, was launched from Baykonur cosmodrome. It carried supplies to the Mir station. After repeated failures to dock automatically, it was manually hauled to dock by a MIR cosmonaut. Initial launch parameters were period 88.5 min, apogee 238 km, perigee 192 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Category I
  1. Spacecraft with essentially continuous radio beacons on frequencies less than 150 MHz, or higher frequencies if especially suited for ionospheric or geodetic studies. To see a list select here.

  2. Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational purposes and geodetic studies. To see a list select here.

    The GPS 2-NN series orbit in six distinct planes that are 60 deg apart. Each plane has four "slots." Following are the members of the planes/slots:

    PLANE    RAAN OF PLANE     SLOT-1     SLOT-2      SLOT-3      SLOT-4
      A           256           2-21       2-12        2-15        2-04
      B           316           2-18       2-07        2-02        2-22
      C            16           2-24       2-13        2-19        2-20
      D            76           2-11       2-09        2-05        2-23
      E           136           2-01       2-08        2-03        2-10
      F           196           2-16       2-14        2-06        2-17
  3. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.

      Designations          Common Name                 1994
    1994-060B (23268)    R/B COSMOS 2291               25 Sep
    1984-029D (14830)    R/B MOLNIYA 1-60              22 Sep
    1994-059A (23251)    STS 64          Returned on   20 Sep
    1994-059B (23253)    SPARTAN 1       Returned on   20 Sep
    1990-008C (20450)    R/B USA 50                    19 Sep
    1994-053B (23219)    R/B COSMOS 2290               14 Sep
    1994-037A (23145)    FSW 2                         13 Sep
    1994-044A (23187)    COSMOS 2284                   11 Sep
    1994-052B (23216)    R/B PROGRESS M24              27 Aug
    1992-072B (22206)    R/B GALAXY 7                  26 Aug
  4. Miscellaneous Items. (This section contains information/data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.)

    NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Some data are on line for electronic access. Please contact Request Office, NSSDC, Code 633, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland, 20771, U.S.A., for specific information.

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Page Curator:
Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II,, +1-301-286-1187
NSSDC, Mail Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: J. H. King,
Last updated: 23 May 1995, EVB II