SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 529

01 December 1997
A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites as the WWAS for ISES/COSPAR

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 November 1997 and 30 November 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-074B (25064) KIKU-7         27 Nov 1997-069C (25041) IRIDIUM 40 09 Nov
1997-074A (25063) TRMM           27 Nov 1997-069B (25040) IRIDIUM 41 09 Nov
1997-073B (25062) Spartan 201-4  21 Nov 1997-069A (25039) IRIDIUM 43 09 Nov
1997-073A (25061) STS 87         19 Nov 1997-068A (25034) USA 136    07 Nov
1997-072A (25059) RESURS F-1M    18 Nov 1997-067A (25030) NAVSTAR 38 06 Nov
1997-071B (25051) CAKRAWARTA 1   12 Nov 1997-058C (24958) Sputnik Jr 03 Nov
1997-071A (25050) SIRIUS 2       12 Nov 1997-066C (25025) YES        30 Oct
1997-070A (25045) KUPON          12 Nov 1997-066B (25024) MAQSAT-B   30 Oct
1997-069E (25043) IRIDIUM 38     09 Nov 1997-066A (25023) MAQSAT-H   30 Oct
1997-069D (25042) IRIDIUM 39     09 Nov 1997-065A (25019) DSCS 3     25 Oct

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

KIKU-7 is a Japanese spacecraft pair of 2,480 kg mass and was launched from Tanegashima by an H-2 rocket at 21:27 UT. It was to separate as KIKU-7 Chaser and KIKU-7 Target, but failed to do so. The prelaunch name of KIKU-7 was ETS-7. Initial orbital parameters were period 93 min, apogee 551 km, perigee 377 km, and inclination 34.9 deg.

TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) is an American-Japanese weather spacecraft that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima at 21:27 UT. It carries a microwave imager, a visible-infrared sensor, a lightning imager, and a precipitation radar. Initial orbital parameters were period 92 min, apogee 381 km, perigee 366 km, and inclination 35 deg.

Spartan 201-4 is a resuable American solar observatory module that was released from STS 87. A computer glitch made it unable to obtain attitude control; an effort to recapture it robotically introduced a hazardous spin motion, also. Ultimately, it had to be recaptured by a space walk by two astronauts. During the three days of free-flying, its orbital parameters remained close to that of STS 87.

STS 87 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 19:46 UT. The main goals of the mission were to carry out extra-vehicular activities germane to the likely assembly of the International Space Station, Alpha; to release and retrieve a solar observatory Spartan 201-4; and to carry out a list of about eight microgravity experiments. Spartan was released but soon malfunctioned; it was, however, recaptured by a space walk by two astronauts after failed attempts to recapture it robotically. A second release was considered but canceled. The Shuttle is expected to land back on 05 December 1997. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.2 min, apogee 286 km, perigee 280 km, and inclination 28.4 deg.

RESURS F-1M is a Russian Earth resources spacecraft that was launched by a Soyuz (-U ?) rocket from Plesetsk at 11:15 UT. The 6,300 kg spacecraft was expected to orbit only for 25 days and to release the photo module for safe landing before the spacecraft burns up. Initial orbital parameters were period 88.6 km, apogee 252 km, perigee 196 km, and inclination 82.3 km.

CAKRAWARTA 1 is an Indonesian geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 21:48 UT to provide direct video communications to Indonesia after parking at about 105-E longitude. Its prelaunch name was INDOSTAR 1.

SIRIUS 2 is a Swedish geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 21:48 UT. It carries 32 Ku band transponders to provide direct video communications to Sweden and neighboring countries after parking at about 5 deg-E longitude.

KUPON is a Russian geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur at 17:00 UT. It is intended to facilitate banking transactions in Russia and elsewhere, as part of a fleet of the "Bankir" system. The 2,500 kg spacecraft carries enough transponders to handle 10,000 transactions simultaneously.

1997-069A, 1997-069B, 1997-069C, 1997-069D, 1997-069E
IRIDIUM 43, IRIDIUM 41, IRIDIUM 40, IRIDIUM 39, IRIDIUM 38 are the latest additions to the American fleet of IRIDIUM spacecraft and were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB. They enable relay of voice communications among mobile telephones located far away from cellular stations. Initial orbital parameters of all were similar: period 97.4 min, apogee 650 km, perigee 635 km, and inclination 86.6 deg.

USA 136 is an American military spacecraft that was launched by a Titan-4A rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 02:05 UT. Also named TRUMPET, it is believed to carry an antenna of the size of "two football fields".

NAVSTAR 38 (USA 135) is the latest addition to the American GPS fleet of navigational satellites; see section 2-B for more information on the fleet. It was launched by a Delta-2 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 00:30 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 722 min, apogee 20,644 km, perigee 19,923 km, and inclination 54.9 deg.

Sputnik Jr is a scaled-down but operational replica of the first Russian Sputnik; it was released from the Progress M36 cargo craft at 01:30 UT on the anniversary of the first Sputnik launch. (Progress M36 had been launched on 05 October 1997.) Initial orbital parameters were period 92.3 min, apogee 392 km, perigee 383 km, and inclination 51.7 deg

1997-066A, 1997-066B, 1997-066C
MAQSAT-H, MAQSAT-B, and YES are the mockup payloads that were launched by the newly developed Ariane 5 test rocket from Kourou at 14:43 UT. The fuel got shut off a few seconds before the planned time, causing the orbits to be lower than planned. Ariane 5 has been developed with the capability to launch as many as 15 satellites. Initial orbital parameters of all three were similar: period 468 min, apogee 26,700 km, perigee 540 km, and inclination 7 deg.

DSCS 3 (Defense Satellite Communications System 3) is an American geosynchronous military spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 00:46 UT. It is the tenth member of the DSCS constellation.

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
    1997-072B (25060) R/B SOYUZ-U                         23 Nov
    1997-011B (24749) R/B ATLAS 2A                        19 Nov
    1997-070C (25047) R/B PROTON-K                        15 Nov
    1995-071A (23748) COSMOS 2326                         08 Nov
    1997-060B (25007) R/B SOYUZ-U                         31 Oct
    1997-060A (25006) FOTON                               23 Oct
    1997-043F (24908) R/B DELTA 2                         15 Oct

  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,
V1.1: 22 January 1998
Last Updated: 18 July 2011, EVB II