SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 538

01 September 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 August 1998 and 31 August 1998.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1998-050A (25462) ASTRA 2A          30 Aug
            1998-049A (25460) ST 1              25 Aug
            1998-048B (25432) Iridium 76        19 Aug
            1998-048A (25431) Iridium 03        19 Aug
            1998-047A (25429) Soyuz-TM 28       13 Aug
            1998-046H (25420) ORBCOMM-FM 17     02 Aug
            1998-046G (25419) ORBCOMM-FM 18     02 Aug
            1998-046F (25418) ORBCOMM-FM 19     02 Aug
            1998-046E (25417) ORBCOMM-FM 20     02 Aug
            1998-046D (25416) ORBCOMM-FM 16     02 Aug
            1998-046C (25415) ORBCOMM-FM 15     02 Aug
            1998-046B (25414) ORBCOMM-FM 14     02 Aug
            1998-046A (25413) ORBCOMM-FM 13     02 Aug

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1998-050A Astra 2A is a European (Luxembourg-registered) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 00:31 UT. It will provide voice and video communications to Europe through its 32 Ku-band transponders after parking over 28.2-E longitude.
1998-049A ST 1 is a Singapore/Taiwan (ROC) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44P rocket from Kourou at 11:07 UT. The 3,200 kg satellite carries 16 Ku-band and 14 C-band transponders to provide voice and video communications to the Pacific rim and East-Asian countries, after parking at 88-E longitude.
Iridium 03 and Iridium 76 are the latest launches to enable fulfillment of the Iridium series; they replace the failed satellites in the series. They were launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Taiyuan launch center in the Northern province of Shanxi at 21:01 UT. The Iridium series is intended to provide links from/to telephones located far away from cellular areas. The initial orbital parameters of both were period 98 min, apogee 635 km, perigee 612 km and inclination 86.4 deg.
1998-047A Soyuz-TM 28 is a Russian cosmonaut-transporting vehicle that was launched to carry three cosmonauts to the MIR station; two of them will stay in Mir for 201 days. It was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baykonur at 09:43 UT. It was docked manually with Mir at 10:56 UT on 15 August 1998, after automatically moving within 10 meters from the station. Initial orbital parameters were period 92 min, apogee 364 km, perigee 362 km, and inclination 51.7 deg.
ORBCOMM-FM 13, 14, 15, 16, 20, 19, 18, 17 are the latest additions to the ORBCOMM fleet of relaying satellites. The fleet will provide links between mobile or fixed telephones and their remote counterparts. Initial orbital parameters of all were period 101 min, apogee 826 km, perigee 816 km, and inclination 45 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
    1998-026D   (25322)  R/B Long March                    27 Aug
    1998-010F   (25174)  R/B Delta 2                       27 Aug
    1998-004A   (25146)  SOYUZ TM-27                       25 Aug
    1992-019C   (21932)  R/B of NAVSTAR 25                 16 Aug
    1998-047B   (25430)  SOYUZ-U                           15 Aug
    1997-071C   (25051)  R/B Ariane 44L                    06 Aug

  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.)

    In SPX-537 Cosmos 2360 was reported to belong to the Tselnia series. The correct spelling is Tselina.

    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 trajectories 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, 02 September 1998
Last updated: 05 October 1998, EVB II