SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 534

01 May 1998
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 April 1998 and 30 April 1998.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
  1998-025A (25315) Cosmos 2350   29 Apr      1998-021G (25291) IRIDIUM 68    07 Apr
  1998-024B (25312) BSAT 1-B      28 Apr      1998-021F (25290) IRIDIUM 67    07 Apr
  1998-024A (25311) NILESAT 101   28 Apr      1998-021E (25289) IRIDIUM 66    07 Apr
  1998-023D (25309) GLOBALSTAR 8  24 Apr      1998-021D (25288) IRIDIUM 65    07 Apr
  1998-023C (25308) GLOBALSTAR 7  24 Apr      1998-021C (25287) IRIDIUM 64    07 Apr
  1998-023B (25307) GLOBALSTAR 6  24 Apr      1998-021B (25286) IRIDIUM 63    07 Apr
  1998-023A (25306) GLOBALSTAR 5  24 Apr      1998-021A (25285) IRIDIUM 62    07 Apr
  1998-022A (25297) STS 90        17 Apr      1998-020A (25280) TRACE         02 Apr

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Cosmos 2350 is a Russian geosynchronous military spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur at 04:37 UT. Initial orbital parameters of the transfer orbit were period 635 min, apogee 35,981, perigee 215 km, and inclination 49 deg.

BSAT 1-B is a Japanese geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 22:53 UT. The 1,200 kg spacecraft will enable direct-to-home voice and video communications to Japan and its vicinity.

NILESAT 101 is an Egyptian geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 22:53 UT. The 1,800 kg spacecraft will provide Ku-band direct-to-home television at 84 channels and radio and data broadcasting at 400 channels throughout the Middle East, Mediterranean region, and North Africa after parking over about E-47 deg longitude.

1998-023A, 1998-023B, 1998-023C, 1998-023D
GLOBALSTAR 5 through 8 are low altitude communications satellites of that international consortium that were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:38 UT. The eventual fleet of 48 satellites (plus eight spares) will enable telephone and FAX communictions from/to areas far away from ground-based cellular networks. Future launches will use Ukrainian and Russian rockets. Initial orbital parameters of the four satellites were approximately period 111 min, apogee 1,253 km, perigee 1,236 km, and inclination 52.0 deg.

STS 90 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 18:19 UT. The primary mission is to conduct a comprehensive list of neurobiological experiments and observations on a number of species: seven humans, 18 pregnant mice, 152 rats (including 12 females with prenatal litters of eight each, and two with litters of seven each), 229 swordtail fish, 60 snails, 75 snail pawn packs, 824 crickets, and 680 cricket eggs. According to a Principal Investigator (of rat research), "the findings from the microgravity experiments may help gain some more insight into the best way to treat neurologic patients with Parkinson's disease, and balance disorders." According to the project scientist of the mission, "it is important to note that the sensory and motor development events and processes under study in the various species on Neurolab are essentially the same as those that occur in humans, although with a different time frame." Initial orbital parameters were period 89.9 min, apogee 286 km, perigee 257 km, and inclination 39 deg.

1998-021G, 1998-021F, 1998-021E, 1998-021D, 1998-021C, 1998-021B, 1998-021A
IRIDIUM 68, IRIDIUM 67, IRIDIUM 66, IRIDIUM 65, IRIDIUM 64, IRIDIUM 63, and IRIDIUM 62 are the latest to join the American fleet of IRIDIUMs. They were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur at 02:13 UT. The fleet will enable global relay of communications between telephones located far away from local cellular areas; the next launch will complete the goal of 66 active and six spare spacecraft. Initial orbital parameters of all seven spacecraft were approximately period 95 min, apogee 537 km, perigee 507 km, and inclination 86.7 deg.

TRACE (Transition Region and Coronal Explorer) is an American solar physics spacecraft that was launched at 02:42 UT by a Pegasus-XL rocket that was released from an L-1011 plane off the coast of Vandenberg AFB. The 250 kg, 200 W spacecraft carries a triaxial magnetometer for housekeeping and an EUV telescope of 8.66 m focal length with cryogenic detectors covering many wavelengths in the 17-160 nanometer band to study the solar chromosphere and lower corona at 1-sec arc resolution. That resolution is sufficient to monitor the plasma entrapped by the thin bundles of twisted magnetic ropes that are presumed to dominate the transition region and contribute to coronal heating. Real-time science data may be viewed through the project home page, Initial orbital parameters were period 97.1 min, apogee 644 km, perigee 597 km, and inclination 97.8 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.

    The latest member of the GPS fleet is NAVSTAR 38 (1997-067A), launched on 6 November 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                       1998
    1994-047B   (23193)  ATLAS 2A                          22 Apr
    1997-019B   (24787)  ATLAS 2A                          21 Apr
    1997-056F   (24970)  R/B DELTA 2                       17 Apr
    1997-080A   (25095)  COSMOS 2348                       14 Apr
    1992-009C   (21892)  R/B NAVSTAR 24                    12 Apr
    1998-013B   (25238)  R/B ARIANE 42P                    08 Apr
    1998-009A   (25167)  COSMOS 2349                       02 Apr
    1997-034F   (24874)  R/B DELTA 2                       30 Mar

  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.)

    ASIASAT 3, launched in 1997 into a useless orbit (SPX 530), has now been purchased by the manufacturer from the insurance company for a nominal price and renamed HGS 1. It will be maneuvered into a Lunar swingby so as to provide eventually a moderately useful geocentric orbit.

    The correct two-line elements of the SNOE spacecraft (SPX 532) is now available under its proper NORAD catalog number 25233, after WWAS/WDC-A-R&S contacted USSPACECOM. Until May 1998, the elements had appeared under 25236.

    From:   SMTP%"" 23-APR-1998 06:03:29.80
    Subj:   PLANET-B/ prelaunch announcement
    23/ 1000 UT APR '98
       CODE 633, GREENBELT, MARYLAND, 20771, USA
    Prelaunch Announcement
    Spacecraft Name              PLANET-B
    Planned Launch Date          JULY.4,1998
    Country                      Japan
    Orbit Type (prior to the trans-Mars orbit insersion)
                                 Elliptic Orbit
    Perigee                      200km
    Apogee                       300,000km - 400,000km
    Inclination                  31.3 degree
    Coverage Cycle Duration      Not Applicable
    Time of Descending Node Equator Crossing
                                 Not Applicable
    Weight                       - 540kg
    Orbit Period                 7 - 11days
    Position of Stationary Orbit Not Applicable
    Allowed Longitude Error      Not Applicable
    Transmitting Frequencies & Output Power
                                 2293.89   Hz   (S-band)   35   dBm  (2.5W)
                                 8410.93  MHz   (X-band)   37.6 dBm
    Mission Life                 3 - 5years
    Launch Organization: ISAS
    Mission: Interaction between solar wind and Martian upper atmosphere.

    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, 01 May 1998
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II