SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 545

01 April 1999
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 March 1999 and 31 March 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1999-014A (25661) Sealaunch Demo            28 MAR 99
            1999-013A (25657) AsiaSat 3S                21 MAR 99
            1999-012D (25652) Globalstar M037           15 MAR 99
            1999-012C (25651) Globalstar M046           15 MAR 99
            1999-012B (25650) Globalstar M041           15 MAR 99
            1999-012A (25649) Globalstar M022           15 MAR 99              
            1999-011A (25646) WIRE                      05 MAR 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-014A Sealaunch Demo is a multinational, geosynchronous dummy "spacecraft" that was launched at 01:30 UT from a 4,000 tonne floating platform, Odyssey (which was an oil drilling platform in the North Sea) on true-equatorial Pacific Ocean at 01:30 UT. The spacecraft is just a 4.5 tonne assembly of pipes and plates simulating a HS 702 spacecraft. Odyssey and a 30,000 tonne command/control ship were parked at 154 deg-W longitude, almost due south of Hawaii, when the kerosene/liquid oxygen fueled three-stage rocket (two Ukrainian Zenits, and a Russian DM-SL booster) launched the dummy. The Sea Launch Company is jointly owned by private companies (Russian Energia 25%, American Boeing 40%, Norwegian Kvarner 20%, and Ukrainian Yuzhnoe/Yuzhmash 15%) with an investment of about US$800 million and expects about seven commercial launches/year, each billed $70 million. (The European Arianespace-owned site at Kourou, French Guiana, is the only other current equatorial site, but is located at 5 deg-N latitude.)
1999-013A AsiaSat 3S is a Chinease (Hong Kong) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton K rocket from Baykonur at 00:09 UT. This replaces the flawed AsiaSat 3 which could not attain satisfactory geosynchronus status after launch a year ago. (That flawed-orbit craft is still of some use for communications.) The 2.5 tonne AsiaSat 3S will provide voice and video communications through its 28 C-band (each 55 W), and 16 Ku-band (each 150 W) transponders to East Asia and Australasia after parking at 105.5 deg-E longitude. Gallium-Arsenide solar cells generate a total power of 10 kW.
Globalstars M022, M041, M046, and M037 are American low orbit communications spacecraft that were launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baykonur at 03:06 UT. These join the previously launched 12 member fleet to provide voice and data links to/from remote telephones. After further launches, the fleet will consist of 48 spacecraft. Initial orbital parameters of the four were similar: period 103.5 min, apogee 952 km, perigee 910 km, and inclination 52 deg.
1999-011A WIRE (Wide-field InfraRed Explorer) is an American astronomical research spacecraft that was launched by a Pegasus-XL rocket released from a L-1011 cargo plane off the coast of Vandenberg AFB at 03:00 UT. However, soon after the launch the telescope's cover opened prematurely and exposed the telescope to direct sunlight; the solid hydrogen surrounding the infrared detectors boiled away and the payload became inoperable. Initial orbital parameters were period 96 min, apogee 593 km, perigee 539 km, and inclination 97.5 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.

    Note: There is now a new list. The lists in SPX 520 and SPX 542 have now been updated. The full list will reappear only after further major updates.

  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.

    Dr. Richard Langley of the University of New Brunswick, Canada has provided the following GLONASS status on 6 March 1999:

                              GLONASS Constellation Status
    GLONASS    Kosmos     Internat.  NORAD Plane Channel Almanac  Launch   Status
    Numbers    Numbers       ID     Catalog              Number    Date    (Date
                                     Number              (Slot)   (UTC)  withdrawn)
     49 249  2111         1990-110C   21008                      8-Dec-90 15-Aug-96
     50 750  2139         1991-025A   21216                      4-Apr-91 14-Nov-94
     51 753  2140         1991-025B   21217                      4-Apr-91  4-Jun-93
     52 754  2141         1991-025C   21218                      4-Apr-91 16-Jun-92
     53 768  2177         1992-005A   21853                     29-Jan-92 29-Jun-92
     54 769  2178         1992-005B   21854                     29-Jan-92 25-Jun-97
     55 771  2179         1992-005C   21855                     29-Jan-92 21-Dec-96
     56 774  2206 (2204)  1992-047A   22056                     30-Jul-92 26-Aug-96
     57 756  2204 (2205)  1992-047B   22057                     30-Jul-92  4-Aug-97
     58 772  2205 (2206)  1992-047C   22058                     30-Jul-92 27-Aug-94
     59 773  2234         1993-010A   22512                     17-Feb-93 17-Aug-94
     60 757  2236 (2235)  1993-010B   22513                     17-Feb-93 23-Aug-97
     61 759  2235 (2236)  1993-010C   22514                     17-Feb-93  4-Aug-97
     62 760  2276 (2275)  1994-021A   23043  3     24      17   11-Apr-94    OK
     63 761  2277 (2276)  1994-021B   23044                     11-Apr-94 29-Aug-97
     64 758  2275 (2277)  1994-021C   23045  3     10      18   11-Apr-94    OK
     65 767  2287         1994-050A   23203  2     22      12   11-Aug-94  3-Feb-99
     66 775  2289 (2288)  1994-050B   23204  2     22      16   11-Aug-94    OK
     67 770  2288 (2289)  1994-050C   23205  2      9      14   11-Aug-94    UNH
     68 763  2295 (2294)  1994-076A   23396  1     21       3   20-Nov-94    OK
     69 764  2296 (2295)  1994-076B   23397  1     13       6   20-Nov-94    OK
     70 762  2294 (2296)  1994-076C   23398  1     12       4   20-Nov-94    OK
     71 765  2307         1995-009A   23511  3      1      20    7-Mar-95    OK
     72 766  2308         1995-009B   23512  3     10      22    7-Mar-95    OK
     73 777  2309         1995-009C   23513                      7-Mar-95 26-Dec-97
     74 780  2316         1995-037A   23620  2      4      15   24-Jul-95    UNH
     75 781  2317         1995-037B   23621  2      9      10   24-Jul-95    OK
     76 785  2318         1995-037C   23622  2      4      11   24-Jul-95    OK
     77 776  2323         1995-068C   23736  2      6       9   14-Dec-95    OK
     78 778  2324         1995-068B   23735  2     11       9   14-Dec-95    Res
     79 782  2325         1995-068A   23734  2      6      13   14-Dec-95    OK
     80 786  2362         1998-077A   25594  1      7       7   30-Dec-98    OK
     81 784  2363         1998-077B   25595  1      8       8   30-Dec-98    OK
     82 779  2364         1998-077C   25593  1      2       1   30-Dec-98    OK
    1.  NORAD Catalog Number is also known as U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM)
        object number.
    2.  The numbers listed first in the "Kosmos Numbers" column are the designators
        assigned by the Russian Federation.  Where these differ from the
        designators assigned by the United States, the latter are given in
    3.  Channel number, k, indicates L1 and L2 carrier frequencies:
           L1   =  1602. + 0.5625 k  (MHz)
           L2   =  1246. + 0.4375 k  (MHz)
    4.  Status codes:
        Res = satellite not in service but held in reserve
        OK  = satellite fully operational.
        UNH = satellite currently flagged unhealthy.
        CHK = satellite undergoing checkout and commissioning.
        The date listed is the date the satellite was removed from service (Moscow
        Time) as reported by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center,
    5.  All GLONASS satellites employ cesium atomic clocks.
    6.  The first GLONASS satellite was launched on 12-Oct-82.  GLONASS 1 through
        61 are no longer in service.
    7.  GLONASS 40 and 41 were launched with the Etalon 1 laser ranging satellite.
        GLONASS 42 and 43 were launched with Etalon 2.
    8.  The GLONASS numbering scheme used in this table includes the 8 "dummy"
        satellites orbited as ballast along with "real" satellites on the first 7
        GLONASS launches.  The second number in the "GLONASS Numbers" column is
        that assigned by the Russian Space Forces.
    9.  New GLONASS channel allocations were introduced in September 1993 aimed at
        reducing interference to radio astronomy.  Note the use of the same channel
        on pairs of antipodal satellites.
    10. The most recent triple GLONASS launch took place on 30-Dec-98 at
        18:35:46.23 UTC.  The satellites have been placed in different slots than 
        previously announced.  Furthermore, the previously-reported pairings of 
        GLONASS/Kosmos and NORAD catalog numbers for the satellites from this 
        launch were not correct.  USSPACECOM has mixed up the identifications of 
        the satellites as represented in their 2-line orbital element (TLE) sets.  
        Catalog number 25593 and the associated TLE refers to GLONASS 779/Kosmos 
        2364/1998-077C; 25594 to GLONASS 786/Kosmos 2362/1998-077A; and 25595 to 
        GLONASS 784/Kosmos 2363/1998-077B.  USSPACECOM has been informed of the 
    11. GLONASS 758 (in slot 18) returned to service on 5-February-99 (ref. NAGUs 
        083-981215, 010-990205).
        GLONASS 767 (in slot 12) was set unhealthy in the almanac on 5-Nov-98 (ref.
        NAGU 076-981106). The GLONASS Control Centre lost communications with this 
        satellite at 4:54 UTC on 5-Nov-98.  It was withdrawn from service on 
        3-Feb-99 (ref. NAGU 009-990204).  
        GLONASS 770 (in slot 14) was set unhealthy on 20-Nov-97 (ref. NAGU
        GLONASS 780 (in slot 15) was set unhealthy on 3-Dec-98 (ref. NAGU 
        GLONASS 779 (in slot 1) was put into operation on 18-Feb-99 (ref. NAGU
        GLONASS 784 (in slot 8) was put into operation on 29-Jan-99 (ref. NAGU
        GLONASS 786 (in slot 7) was put into operation on 29-Jan-99 (ref. NAGU
    12. Number of GLONASS satellites currently in service: 17 (plus 1 spare).
    13. Number of GLONASS satellites currently usable: 15.
    14. Status of satellites obtained from Michael G. Lebedev, Coordinational
        Scientific Information Center, Russian Space Forces 
        (; from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
        Lincoln Laboratory GLONASS Group; and Peter Daly, CAA Institute of
        Satellite Navigation, Dept. of Electronic and Electrical Engineering,
        University of Leeds (  Compiled by Richard B.
        Langley, Dept. of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering, University of New
     Richard B. Langley                            E-mail:  
     Geodetic Research Laboratory                  Web:
     Dept. of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering    Phone:    +1 506 453-5142      
     University of New Brunswick                   Fax:      +1 506 453-4943      
     Fredericton, N.B., Canada  E3B 5A3        
         Fredericton?  Where's that?  See:

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations         Common Name                       1999
    1999-001C   (25607)  R/B Delta 2                      23 Mar
    1999-013B   (25658)  R/B Proton K                     22 Mar
    1999-012F   (25654)  R/B Soyuz-U                      16 Mar
    1998-008E   (25166)  R/B Delta 2                      16 Mar
    1998-051F   (25472)  R/B Delta 2                      15 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.)

    There is occasionally an error in matching the name of a satellite with its International ID during multiple spacecraft launches. The USSPACECOM has now corrected the names of the Globalstars as follows:

       Spacecraft Name          International ID    USSPACECOM Catalog Number
       ---------------          ----------------    ------------------------
      Globalstar M40              1999-004B                 25622
      Globalstar M23              1999-004C                 25623
      Globalstar M38              1999-004D                 25624

    It also appears that there may also be such a discrepancy in the launch of some recent Cosmos spacecraft. Dr. Joseph H. King, Director WDC-A-R&S/WWAS has alerted the USSPACECOM for clarification:

    From:	NCF::KING         12-MAR-1999 12:50:30.96
    To:	SMTP%""
    CC:	KING
    Subj:	Apparent errors in spacecraft designations
    Dear Sir, I assume you will be interested in this note on the apparent 
    misdesignations of recently launched GLONASS spacecraft.  I will be 
    interested to hear what response you will make.
    Joseph H. King
    Director, World Data Center-A for Rockets & Satellites (at NASA/GSFC)
    From:	SMTP%"" 12-MAR-1999 09:11:09.54
    To:	KING
    Subj:	Incorrect Designations for Recently-launched GLONASS Satellites
    Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 10:10:38 -0400 (AST)
    From: Richard Langley 
    cc: Peter Daly ,
            "Geoff Perry (Kettering Group)" 
    Subject: Incorrect Designations for Recently-launched GLONASS Satellites
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII
         Dear Dr. King:
         As sometimes occurs with multiple-payload launches, it seems that
         USSPACECOM has mixed up the identifications of the recently launched
         GLONASS satellites as represented in their published 2-line orbital
         element sets.  From signal tracking carried out by Prof. Peter Daly
         at the University of Leeds and orbit analysis carried out by Geoff
         Perry of the Kettering Group, we have concluded that the satellite
         with catalogue number 25593 is actually Cosmos 2364, GLONASS 779,
         1998-077C; catalogue number 25594 is Cosmos 2362, GLONASS 786, 1998-
         077A; and catalogue number 25595 is Cosmos 2363, GLONASS 784, 1998-
              Current USSPACECOM / NASA GSFC Incorrect Designations
                    25593          1998-077A      Cosmos 2362
                    25594          1998-077B      Cosmos 2363
                    25595          1998-077C      Cosmos 2364
                              Correct Designations
          25593          1998-077C      Cosmos 2364         GLONASS 779
          25594          1998-077A      Cosmos 2362         GLONASS 786
          25595          1998-077B      Cosmos 2363         GLONASS 784
         To prevent confusion in the use of 2-line element sets to predict
         the orbits of these satellites, it would be most helpful if you
         could relay this information to USSPACECOM with a request to correct
         the designators in future element sets.  The international geodetic/
         geophysical community is particularly concerned about the mis-
         identification of the satellites and it has affected laser and
         radiometric tracking of these satellites.
         Thank you for your help.
         Yours sincerely
         Richard B. Langley
         Geodetic Research Laboratory
     Richard B. Langley                            E-mail:  
     Geodetic Research Laboratory                  Web:
     Dept. of Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering    Phone:    +1 506 453-5142      
     University of New Brunswick                   Fax:      +1 506 453-4943      
     Fredericton, N.B., Canada  E3B 5A3        
         Fredericton?  Where's that?  See:

    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, 01 April 1999
Last updated: 29 April 1999, EVB II