SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 540

01 November 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 October 1998 and 31 October 1998.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1998-064B (25520) PANSAT           30 Oct
            1998-064A (25519) STS 95           29 Oct
            1998-063B (25516) GE 5             28 Oct
            1998-063A (25515) AFRISTAR         28 Oct
            1998-062A (25512) Progress M-40    25 Oct
            1998-061B (25509) SEDSAT 1         24 Oct
            1998-061A (25508) Deep Space 1     24 Oct
            1998-060A (25504) SCD 2            23 Oct
            1998-059A (25503) MAQSAT 3         21 Oct
            1998-058A (25501) UHF F/O F9       20 Oct
            1998-057A (25495) Hot Bird 5       09 Oct
            1998-056B (25492) SIRIUS 3         05 Oct
            1998-056A (25491) EUTELSAT W2      05 Oct
            1998-055A (25489) USA 140          03 Oct 

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1998-064B PANSAT is an American communications spacecraft that was released from STS 95 at 17:20 UT. It will serve to train students at the Naval Postgraduate School. Initial orbital parameters were close to those of STS 95.
1998-064A STS 95 is an American Shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 07:19 UT. It carried resources for 80 microgravity experiments, a mini-communications spacecraft named PANSAT that was released on 30 October 1998 at 17:20 UT, the SPARTAN 201 solar observatory for deployment/recapture (on 1 November/3 November), and seven astronauts. One astronaut is a 77-year-old U.S. Senator (and the first American to orbit, 36 years ago) who will enable the first set of data on microgravity's effect on the aging process; he wrote "Hopefully, the data will help NASA's medical experts and others to develop insights and set new directions in search to alleviate medical problems that plague astronauts in space as well as the elderly on Earth. Once scientists have had a chance to analyze the data, I'm confident we'll find new avenues of promising research for combating some of the frailties of old age." (Parade magazine, 25 October 1998). Initial orbital parameters were period 95.8 min, apogee 561 km, perigee 551 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.
1998-063B GE 5 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched to provide voice and video communications to North America. It was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 22:16 UT.
1998-063A AFRISTAR is a digital radio communications geosynchronous spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 22:16 UT. It will enable radio communications to North African countries.
1998-062A Progress M-40 is a Russian automatic cargo ship that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baykonur at 04:15 UT to carry cargo to the Mir station. It carried 7,285 kg of cargo including 400 kg of fuel, 2,500 kg of food, water, and scientific/engineering equipment required for the experiment (Znamia 2.5) to reflect Sun light toward Earth. It docked with Mir on 27 October. It may be the last flight of the Progress series since MIR may be deorbited into the Pacific in mid-1999. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.7 min, apogee 281 km, perigee 235 km, and inclination 51.7 deg.
1998-061B SEDSAT 1 (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) is an American mini-spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral. It will obtain images of the Earth and distribute them through the Web from the University of Alabama. It will also serve as a relay for amateur radio communications. Initial orbital parameters were period 101 min, apogee 1,079 km, perigee 547 km, inclination 31.4 deg.
1998-061A Deep Space 1 is an experimental American spacecraft that was sent into deep space by an ion-propulsion engine after being launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The drum-shaped 486 kg probe , which carries 80 kg of ionizable Xenon gas, is aimed to rendezvous with the asteroid 1992-KD in September 1999, and then move on to one or more cometary encounters. Ion propulsion engines require a smaller fuel mass though providing smaller acceleration compared to chemical fuels.
1998-060A SCD 2 is a Brazilian (ground) environmental data relaying mini- spacecraft that was launched by a Pegasus rocket from Cape Canaveral at 00:30 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 99.9 min, apogee 769 km, perigee 743 km, and inclination 25.0 deg.
1998-059A MAQSAT 3 is a dummy payload to test the performance of the latest model of the Ariane series, Ariane 5. The rocket released an atmospheric re-entry demonstrator (ARD) also. Initial orbital parameters of MAQSAT 3 were period 666 min, apogee 36,612 km, perigee 1,152 km, and inclination 7.0 deg.
1998-058A UHF F/O F9 is an American geosynchronous military communications spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station.
1998-057A Hot Bird 5 is a Eutelsat consortium's geosynchronous direct- broadcast communications spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape Canaveral. It will provide voice and video communications to Europe through 22 Ku-band transponders after parking over 13 deg-E longitude.
1998-056B SIRIUS 3 is a Swedish geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 22:51 UT. The 1,500 kg spacecraft will provide voice and video communications to Northern Europe and Scandinavia through 15 Ku-band 44 watt transponders after parking at about 5 deg-E longitude.
1998-056A EUTELSAT W2 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of that consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 22:51 UT. The 2,900 kg spacecraft will provide direct-to-home voice and video communications to North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe through its 24 (Ku-band?) transponders after parking over 16 deg-E longitude.
1998-055A USA 140 is an American military spacecraft that was launched from Vandenberg AFB by a Taurus rocket.

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
    1998-031A   (25340)  PROGRESS M-39                     20 Oct
    1998-052B   (22474)  R/B Ariane 44LP                   26 Oct
    1998-038A   (25373)  COSMOS 2358                       22 Oct
    1989-052F   (20116)  R/B Launch vehicle of GORIZONT 18 18 Oct
    1998-054B   (25486)  R/B Molniya-M                     14 Oct
    1993-046B   (22720)  R/B Atlas 2                       03 Jan

  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 SOHO spacecraft has now been resuscitated. Nine out of its 12 instruments have also been activated with five of them attaining nominal operation status.

    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, 03 November 1998
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II