SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 539

01 October 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 September 1998 and 30 September 1998.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1998-054A (25485) Molniya 1-91     28 Sep
            1998-053H (25482) ORBCOMM-FM 28    23 Sep
            1998-053G (25481) ORBCOMM-FM 27    23 Sep
            1998-053F (25480) ORBCOMM-FM 26    23 Sep
            1998-053E (25479) ORBCOMM-FM 25    23 Sep
            1998-053D (25478) ORBCOMM-FM 24    23 Sep
            1998-053C (25477) ORBCOMM-FM 23    23 Sep
            1998-053B (25476) ORBCOMM-FM 22    23 Sep
            1998-053A (25475) ORBCOMM-FM 21    23 Sep
            1998-052A (25473) PAS 7            16 Sep
            1998-051E (25471) Iridium 77       08 Sep
            1998-051D (25470) Iridium 79       08 Sep
            1998-051C (25469) Iridium 80       08 Sep
            1998-051B (25468) Iridium 81       08 Sep
            1998-051A (24467) Iridium 82       08 Sep

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1998-054A Molniya 1-91 is a Russian military communications spacecraft that was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 23:41 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 12hr:17min, apogee 40,860 km (in the Northern Hemisphere), perigee 457 km, and inclination 62.8 deg.
ORBCOMM-FM 21, -FM 22, -FM 23, -FM 24, -FM 25, -FM 26, -FM 27, and -FM 28 are the latest to join the ORBCOMM fleet. These American spacecraft were launched at 05:06 UT by a Pegasus rocket released from a L-1011 aircraft flying out of Wallops Island in Virginia (USA). The fleet enables voice and data communications from/to remote stations. Initial orbital parameters of all were similar: period 101 min, apogee 830 km, perigee 820 km, and inclination 45 deg.
1998-052A PAS 7 (PanAmSat 7) is an American geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44LP rocket from Kourou at 06:31 UT. The 3,838 kg satellite carries 40 Ku-band and 18 C-band transponders to provide voice and video communications to Europe and West Asia, after parking at 68.5-E longitude.
Iridium 82, 81, 80, 79, and 77 are the latest batch to join the American Iridium fleet. They were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB to replace the dysfunctional members of the fleet. The fleet provides telephone links between sites far away from cellular networks. Initial orbital parameters of all five were similar: period 95 min, apogee 540 km, perigee 520 km, and inclination 86 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
    1997-028D   (24830)  R/B Proton-K                      29 Sep
    1997-065B   (25020)  R/B Atlas 2A                      27 Sep
    1990-102E   (20957)  R/B of GORIZONT 2                 27 Sep 
    1998-048C   (25433)  R/B Long March 3                  21 Sep
    1983-038E   (14041)  R/B of COSMOS 1457                08 Sep
    1993-010G   (22524)  R/B Proton-1                      05 Sep
    1988-012C   (18879)  R/B H-1                           05 Sep
    1978-039C   (10794)  R/B Delta 1                       04 Sep             

  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 MOC camera on Mars Global Surveyer was turned off on 13 September 1998; it will be turned on after the spacecraft achieves a lower orbit in March 1999.

    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:

SPACEWARN Bulletin Index
About the SPACEWARN Bulletin
About Spacecraft Categories
NSSDC logo
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, 05 October 1998
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II