SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 509

A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites as the WWAS for IUWDS/COSPAR
25 March 1996

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 February 1996 and 24 March 1996.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1996-018A (23831) STS 76                22 Mar
1996-017A (23827) IRS-P3                21 Mar
1996-016A (23818) Cosmos 2331           14 Mar
1996-015A (23816) INTELSAT 7-F7         14 Mar
1996-014A (23814) REX 2                 09 Mar
1996-013A (23802) Polar                 24 Feb

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

STS 76 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral for docking with the Russian Mir station. In addition to six astronauts, it carried also 2,400 kg of water and 400 kg of scientific/engineering instruments for delivery to Mir. One of the astronauts is expected to stay in Mir for 143 days among the Russian cosmonauts. It docked with Mir on 24 March and undocked on the 29th. The goals were endurance experience and training experiences for building the hoped-for international Alpha space station. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.5 min, apogee 411 km, perigee 389 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

IRS-P3 is an Indian Remote Sensing spacecraft that was launched by a 4-stage PSLV-D3 developmental rocket at 04:53 UT from Sriharikota launch station at the southeast coast of India. The 930 kg spacecraft carried two remote sensing equipments and an astronomical X-ray detector: WIFS (WIde Field Sensor) is a scanner with visible light and infrared photometers to study crop conditions, geology, and snow cover. The German Space Agencies (DLR's) modular opto-electronic scanner will monitor oceanic chlorophyll, sediment transport, and ocean dynamics. Data will be downlinked at three Indian stations, and stations in Russia, Germany, and Mauritius. Initial orbital parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 101.4 min, apogee 848 km, perigee 802 km, and inclination 98.7 km.

Cosmos 2331 is a Russian military spacecraft that was launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 23:40 UT by a Soyuz-U rocket. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.8 min, apogee 350 km, perigee 184 km, and inclination 67.1 km.

INTELSAT 7-F7 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of the INTELSAT consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44LP rocket at 07:11 UT from Kourou in French Guiana. The 4,175 kg spacecraft carries 26 C-band, and 14 K-band transponders to provide Europe and the Americas three television channels and 22,500 telephone circuits after parking over the eastern coast of Brazil.

REX 2 (Radiation EXperiment 2) is an American military mini-spacecraft that was launched from Vandenberg AFB vicinity by a Pegasus XL rocket at 01:33 UT; the rocket was carried aloft in the belly of a L-1011 aircraft to 12 km altitude before release and ignition. Initial orbital parameters of the 110 kg spacecraft were period 101.2 min, apogee 832 km, perigee 801 km, and inclination 89.9 deg.

Polar is an American space physics spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 11:24 UT. The 1,300 kg pole-to-pole orbiter carries 11 instruments to measure magnetospheric hot plasma, electric/magnetic fields, plasma waves, X-rays and energetic particles as well as visible light and UV cameras to map auroral displays. The mission is a member of the international ISTP/GGS fleet of spacecraft. Initial orbital parameters were period 938.1 min, apogee 50,551 km (over the Arctic), perigee 185 km, and inclination 85.9 deg. A few days later the perigee was raised to 5,100 km through several gas burns.

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 orbits in six distinct planes that are about 60 deg apart. Each plane has four "slots." Following are the 2-NN members in the planes/slots. The RAAN decreases by about 1.0 deg each month; below are their approximate RAAN longitudes in November 95.

    PLANE    RAAN OF PLANE     SLOT-1     SLOT-2      SLOT-3      SLOT-4
      A           235           2-21       2-12        2-15        2-04
      B           296           2-18       2-07        2-02        2-22
      C           357           2-24       2-13        2-19        2-20
      D            62           2-11       2-09        2-05        2-23
      E           119           2-01       2-08        2-03        2-10
      F           177           2-16       2-14        2-06        2-17
  3. Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation. To see a list select here.

    The GLONASS NNN series orbit in three distinct planes that are 120 deg apart. Each plane has eight "slots". Following are the members of the planes/slots.

       Plane 1              Plane 2              Plane 3
    slot-1   771         slot-9    776/778    slot-17   760
    slot-2   757         slot-10   781        slot-18   758
    slot-3   763         slot-11   785        slot-19   777
    slot-4   762         slot-12   767        slot-20   765
    slot-5   249         slot-13   782        slot-21   756
    slot-6   764         slot-14   770        slot-22   766
    slot-7   759         slot-15   780        slot-23   761
    slot-8   769         slot-16   775        slot-24   774
    Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC) Russian Space Forces
    E-mail: sfcsic@iki3.bitnet;;
    Home page WWW.IKI:

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations       Common Name                     1996
    Designations       Common Name                    1996
    1996-016B (23818)  R/B SL-4                      20 Mar
    1996-012B (23805)  TSS-1R                        20 Mar
    1995-004C (23471)  ODERACS 2A                    13 Mar
    1996-012A (23801)  STS 75          Landed on     09 Mar
    1995-047A (23665)  SOYUZ TM-22                   29 Feb
    1996-011B (23799)  R/B SL-4                      24 Feb
    1996-010B (23795)  R/B SL-12                     23 Feb
  5. 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 the NSSDC Request Coordination Office, Code 633, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information (REQUEST@NSSDCA.GSFC.NASA.GOV). Precomputed trajectory files and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload spacecraft may be FTP'ed from NSSDC's ANON_DIR:[000000.ACTIVE] and its several subdirectories. (See About the SPACEWARN Bulletin for access method; a file in the ACTIVE directory named AAREADME.DOC, outlines the contents.) It can also be accessed via the WWW at:

    This URL also enables executing several codes related to the orbits of many geocentric science payload spacecraft. The codes related to the heliospheric spacecraft trjectories can be executed through:

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Questions/comments about the content of these pages should be directed to:
The World Warning Agency for Satellites,
National Space Science Data Center, Mail Code 633
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

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,
V1.0: 29 March 1996
Last Updated: 08 April 1996, EVB II