SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 525

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 July 1997

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 June 1997 and 24 July 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-035A (24876) NAVSTAR 43 23 Jul      1997-034E (24873) IRIDIUM 21    09 Jul
1997-034A (24869) IRIDIUM 15 09 Jul      1997-033A (24851) Progress M-35 05 Jul
1997-034B (24870) IRIDIUM 17 09 Jul      1997-032A (24849) STS 94        01 Jul
1997-034C (24871) IRIDIUM 18 09 Jul      1997-031A (24846) INTELSAT 802  25 Jun
1997-034D (24872) IRIDIUM 20 09 Jul

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

NAVSTAR 43, also known as USA 132, is an American GPS spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 03:43 UT. It initiates the new Block 2-R series and joins the current GPS fleet of 24 spacecraft (plus three spares). Initial orbital parameters were period 713 min, apogee 20,224 km, perigee 19,903 km, and inclination 54.9 deg. For Web-available details of the GPS series, see section C-2 below.

1997-034A, 1997-034B, 1997-034C, 1997-034D, 1997-034E
IRIDIUM 15, IRIDIUM 17, IRIDIUM 18, IRIDIUM 20, and IRIDIUM 21 are the latest members of the American IRIDIUM series and were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFS. The series enables communications between mobile telephones. Initial orbital parameter sets for all five spacecraft were similar: period 97.3 min, apogee 645 km, perigee 635 km, and inclination 86.4 deg.

Progress M-35 is a Russian automatic cargo ship that was launched from Baykonur cosmodrome by a Soyuz-U rocket at 04:12 UT. It carried 2,500 kg of provisions and parts to repair Mir, which suffered major damages during a collision with Progress M-34 that was testing an automatic redocking effort on June 25. Progress M-35 docked automatically with Mir on 7 July at 05:59 UT and delivered the cargo. Initial orbital parameters were period 88.6 min, apogee 248 km, perigee 188 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

STS 94 is an American Shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral. A major goal of the 16-day mission was to investigate the growth, controlability, and extinction of flames on board. It also carried materials for 33 microgravity experiments (protein crystal growth, fluid physics, etc.) on its Spacelab module. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.57 min, apogee 299 km, perigee 294 km, and inclination 28.47 deg.

INTELSAT 802 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of that international consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44-P rocket from Kourou in French Guiana. It carries 38 C-band transponders to provide voice and video communications after parking over 175 deg-E longitude.

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.

    The latest member of the GPS fleet is NAVSTAR 43 (1997-035A), launched on 23 July 1997.

  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
    1978-080D (11075) R/B MOLNIYA 1-42                   22 Aug
    1997-032A (24849) STS 94                   Landed on 17 Jul
    1995-028A (23596) COSMOS 2313                        11 Jul
    1997-033B (24852) R/B SOYUZ-U                        08 Jul
    1997-014A (24759) PROGRESS M-34                      02 Jul
    1987-012B (17481) R/B M-3S2                          28 Jun
    1997-008B (24738) R/B of USA 130                     26 Jun

  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.)

    The Japanese remote sensing spacecraft ADEOS suffered major damage as a result of an impact (probably) by space debris on 30 June 1997.

    The American interplanetary spacecraft NEAR reached asteroid Mathilde on 27 June 1997 and took many multispectral images during the flyby.

    The American Mars lander Pathfinder reached the Martian surface on 4 July 1997; Pathfinder and its rover, Sojourner, took many multispectral pictures of the Martian landscape and obtained data on the atomic composition of rocks with the help of an He+/H+ x-ray spectrometer.

    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: 08 August 1997