SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 522

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 April 1997

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 March 1997 and 24 April 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-018A (24779) MINISAT 01  21 Apr     1997-015A (24761) Cosmos 2340   09 Apr
1997-017A (24772) Cosmos 2341 17 Apr     1997-014A (24757) Progress M-34 06 Apr
1997-016B (24769) B-SAT 1A    16 Apr     1997-013A (24755) STS 83        04 Apr
1997-016A (24768) THAICOM 3   16 Apr     1997-012A (24753) DMSP F14      04 Apr

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

MINISAT 01 is a Spanish spacecraft that was launched at 11:59 UT by a Pegasus XL rocket carried on a Lockheed Tristar plane flying out westward from the Canary Islands. The 200 kg spacecraft is a hexagonal prism of height 1.5 m and width 1.0 m and carries a UV photometer and fluids for microgravity research. Initial orbital parameters were period 96.1 min, apogee 581 km, perigee 562 km, and inclination 150.9 deg.

Cosmos 2341 is a Russian military spacecraft that was launched from Plesetsk cosmodrome by a Cosmos-3M rocket at 13:03 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 105.1 min, apogee 1,027 km, perigee 995 km, and inclination 82.9 deg.

B-SAT 1A is a Japanese geosynchronous communication spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 23:08 UT. (It is the first one in the BS-4 series.)

THAICOM 3 is Thailand's geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 23:08 UT. It carried 14 transponders in the Ku-band.

Cosmos 2340 is a Russian military communications spacecraft that was launched by a Molniya-M booster from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 08:59 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 11.8 hr, apogee 39,376 km, perigee 537 km, and inclination 62.9 deg.

Progress M-34 is a Russian automatic cargo ship that was launched from Baykonur by a Soyuz-V rocket at 16:04 UT. It carried 2,430 kg of cargo including 400 kg of food, 200 kg of linen and personal wares, 250 kg of scientific instruments, and many kilograms of urgently needed oxygen cartridges and three fire extinguishers; all were delivered to Mir station after automatically docking with it at 17:30 UT on 8 April. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.2 min, apogee 391 km, perigee 377 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

STS 83 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral. It carried the Spacelab module containing resources for many microgravity experiments and a combustion facility where the rise, spread, and extinction of flames under microgravity conditions was to be investigated. However, some of the hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells were soon found to be degrading to sub-normal ouputs, enhancing the risk of explosions. The mission was aborted on 8 April and the shuttle landed back at Cape Canaveral. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.5 min, apogee 303 km, perigee 298 km, and inclination 28.4 deg.

DMSP F14, also named USA 131, is an American military spacecraft that was launched from Vandenberg AFB by a Titan 2 rocket. It carries imaging photometers and instruments for detecting energetic particles that create Auroral phenomena. Initial orbital parameters were period 101.8 min, apogee 854 km, perigee 843 km, and inclination 98.9 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.

    The last full list appeared as a part of SPX 520. The list will reappear only after major updates to the list are available.

  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]

    The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPX-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.

  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
    1964-006B (00748)  ELECTRON 2                        18 Apr
    1997-014B (24758)  R/B SUYUZ-V                       09 Apr
    1997-013A (24755)  STS 83           Landed on        08 Apr
    1996-067B (24666)  R/B ATLAS 2                       07 Apr

  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: 28 April 1997
Last Updated: 29 April 1997, EVB II