SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 520

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

25 February 1997

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 January 1997 and 24 February 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-008A (24737) USA 130       24 Feb  1997-006A (24725) GONETS D-1 4  14 Feb
1997-007A (24732) JCSAT 4       17 Feb  1997-005A (24720) HALCA         12 Feb
1997-006F (24730) Cosmos 2339   14 Feb  1997-004A (24719) STS 82        11 Feb
1997-006E (24729) Cosmos 2338   14 Feb  1997-003A (24717) Soyuz TM-25   10 Feb
1997-006D (24728) Cosmos 2337   14 Feb  1997-002B (24714) NAHUEL 1A     30 Jan
1997-006C (24727) GONETS D-1 6  14 Feb  1997-002A (24713) GE 2          30 Jan
1997-006B (24726) GONETS D-1 5  14 Feb

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

USA 130 is an American military spacecraft that was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station.

JCSAT is a Japanese communications spacecraft that was launched by a Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral to provide voice and video communications. Initial orbital parameters were period 42 hr,14 min, apogee 94,203 km, perigee 14,250 km, and inclination 6.3 deg.

1997-006D, 1997-006E, 1997-006F
Cosmos 2339, Cosmos 2338, and Cosmos 2337 are Russian military spacecraft that were launched by a Cyclone 3 rocket from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 03:47 UT. Initial orbital parameters of all three were period 114 min, apogee 1,409 km, perigee 1,409 km, and inclination 82.6 deg.

1997-006A, 1997-006B, 1997-006C
GONETS D-1 6, GONETS D-1 5, and GONETS D-1 4 are Russian spacecraft that were launched by a Cyclone 3 rocket from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 03:47 UT. Like the earlier GONETS launched last year, these are to provide urgent alerts on natural and man-made disasters or emergencies. Initial orbital parameters of all three were period 114 min, apogee 1,409 km, perigee 1,409 km, and inclination 82.6 deg.

HALCA (meaning "far away") is the post-launch name of the Japanese, MUSES-B radio astronomy satellite that was launched by a M-5 rocket from Uchinoura (in Kagoshima prefecture). The 830 kg, 2.5 W spacecraft carries a wire mesh dish antenna of eight-meter diameter as one arm of a radio astronomy interferometer, with the other arm being any one of the ground based telescopes. It will enable the highest yet angular resolution in VLBI. Initial orbital parameters were period 6hr,20 min, apogee 21,400 km, perigee 560 km, and inclination 31.3 deg.

STS 82 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 08:55 UT. Its main mission was to install 2,250 kg of instruments in the Hubble Space Telescope (HST): Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS, replacing the older Faint Objects Spectrograph), and Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS). Other activities were directed to replace an older data recorder with a 12 Giga Bytes recorder, replace one of the momentum wheels, and patch up the wearing insulation on the HST. Initial orbital parameters were period 95.2 min, apogee 574 km, perigee 475 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.

Soyuz TM-25 is a Russian passenger module that was launched to carry astronauts and supplies to Mir station. It was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baykonur cosmodrome at 14:09 UT to ferry three cosmonauts for a 162-day stay at the station; it docked with the station at 15:51 UT on 12 February 97. Within meters of automatic approach to the station, a slight misalignment was noted, and the commander of the module had to dock it by manual steering. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.1 min, apogee 330 km, perigee 258 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

NAHUEL 1A is an Argentine geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 23:04 UT. It carries 18 transponders in Ku-band to provide direct-to-home voice and video comunications to central and south Americas, after parking at 71.8 W deg.

GE 2 is an American geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched from Kourou by an Ariane 44L rocket to provide voice and video communications to north and south Americas.

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. ("NNN" denotes no national name. SPACEWARN would appreciate suggestions to update this list. An asterisk [*] denotes changes in this issue.)

    High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 80 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International Association of Geodesy (IGS)

         FTP:  [directory /igscb]

    An excellent source of trajectory- and science-related GPS information is at It provides many links to GPS related databases.

  3. Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation. (SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list. Entries marked "*" are updates or additions to the list.)

    All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general COSMOS series. The COSMOS numbers (nnnn) 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 appeared in SPX-515. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC),Russian Space Forces.

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations       Common Name                         1997
    1997-004A (24719)  STS 82              Landed on     21 Feb             
    1997-003B (24718)  R/B SOYUZ-U                       13 Feb
    1996-073B (24702)  R/B BION 2                        28 Jan

  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 ( 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 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:

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

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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: 04 March 1997
Last Updated: 11 March 1997, EVB II