SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 548

01 July 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 June 1999 and 30 June 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1999-035A (25791) FUSE                      24 June 99
            1999-034A (25789) QuikScat                  20 June 99
            1999-033A (25785) ASTRA 1H                  18 June 99
            1999-032B (25778) Iridium SV-21A            11 June 99
            1999-032A (25777) Iridium SV-14A            11 June 99
            1999-031D (25773) Globalstar 47             10 June 99
            1999-031C (25772) Globalstar 25             10 June 99
            1999-031B (25771) Globalstar 49             10 June 99
            1999-031A (25770) Globalstar 52             10 June 99
            1999-030B (25769) Starshine                 05 June 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-035A FUSE (Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer) is an American astronomical spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket at 15:44 UT from Cape Canaveral. The 1,400 kg spacecraft carries a 2.4 m focal length telescope with a primary mirror made of four separated segments; two them are coated with silicon carbide (to reflect 90 - 110 nm wavelnghts ) and the other two with aluminum and lithium flouride (to reflect 100 - 119 nm). The focussed beams then fall on four separate (correspondingly coated) Rowland gratings that disperse the spectrum into four separate photon counting microchannel flat-plate detectors. A separate star tracking Fine Error Sensor (FES) enables location of the source and a pointing stability within 0.5 arcseconds so as to enable large integration times. While there have been other FUV satellites such as Copernicus, HST, etc., the investigative thrust on the FUSE data will be intergalactic clouds and interstellar clouds which, presumably, carry the pristine (Big Bang) deuteriums undepleted by voracious consumption in steller cores. The D/H ratios so obtained may proxy the status of the universe minutes after the Bang. For more details, see Initial orbital parameters were period 100 min, apogee 770 km, perigee 754 km, and inclination 25 deg.
1999-034A QuikScat (QUIcKSCATterometer) is an American oceanographic satellite that was launched by a Titan 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 02:15 UT. It will measure ocean winds and directions by monitoring wind-induced ripples by means of a microwave scatterometer. The scanning width is 1,800 km. The instrument is a followup to the scatterometer that was onboard the Japanese ADEOS spacecraft (1996-046A) that operated until 30 June 1997. It will also be onboard ADEOS 2, to be launched in 2000. Initial orbital parameters of the Sun-synchronous spacecraft were period 95.6 min, apogee 815 km, perigee 281 km, and inclination 98.7 deg.
1999-033A ASTRA 1H is the latest member of the ASTRA fleet of geosynchronous spacecraft owned and operated by SES consortium in Luxembourg. It was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 01:49 UT. The 2,300 kg spacecraft carries 30 Ku-band, 100 W transponders to provide direct-to-home voice and video programs after parking over 19.2 deg-E.
1999-032A, 1999-032B Iridium 14A and Iridium 21A are the latest to join the American Iridium fleet of minisatellites to provide voice and data transmissions from/to mobile telephones located in areas beyond cellular networks. They were launched from Taiyuan in Shanxi province of PRC by a Long March 2C rocket. Initial orbital parameters were period 99 min, apogee 712 km, perigee 709 km, and inclination 86.5 deg.
1999-031A, 1999-031B,
1999-031C, 1999-031D
Globalstar 52, 49, 25, and 47 are the latest to join the fleet of communications spacecraft owned by that international consortium. They were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 13:48 UT. The fleet enables voice and data links from/to phones far away from cellular networks. Initial orbital parameters of all four were similar: period 114 min, apogee 1,414 km, perigee 1,406 km, and inclination 52 deg.
1999-030B Starshine is a passive reflector that was released from STS 96 on 05 June 1999. (STS had been launched on 27 May 1999.) Starshine is a hollow sphere of 48 cm diameter and studded with 878 tiny mirrors which had been polished by school children in Zimbabwe, Pakistan and 16 other countries. Some 25,000 high school students around the world are expected to track the reflector during twilight hours. Initial orbital parameters of Starshine were period 92 min, apogee 395 km, perigee 376 km, and inclination 51.6 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: The full list appeared in SPX 545. The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised again.

  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                       1999
    1986-031D   (16686)  R/B that launched Molniya 3-28   28 Jun
    1999-033B   (25786)  R/B Proton-K                     19 Jun
    1969-084B   (04120)  R/B that launched Meteor 2       15 Jun
    1994-043B   (23186)  R/B Long March                   08 Jun
    1999-024B   (25728)  R/B Delta 2                      05 Jun
    1994-079B   (23414)  R/B Atlas 2A                     31 May

  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 names of 1999-029A, 1999-029B, and 1999-029C that were launched by an Indian PSLV rocket were reported in SPX 547 as IRS-P4/OCEANSAT, KITSAT 3, and TUBSAT. However, USSPACECOM continues to list the names as KITSAT 3, TUBSAT, and OCEANSAT. We have contacted USSPACECOM and are awaiting their confirmation or correction.

  6. Related NSSDC resources.

    NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many space physics datasets are on-line for electronic access through:

    For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, 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 accessed via anonymous FTP from NSSDC. (See About the SPACEWARN Bulletin for access method; a file in the active directory named AAREADME.TXT, outlines the contents.)

    Other files interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated thru the URL,

    Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL,

    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, 07 July 1999
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II