SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 549

01 August 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 July 1999 and 31 July 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1999-041D (25875) Globalstar M048           25 JULY 99
            1999-041C (25874) Globalstar M043           25 JULY 99
            1999-041B (25873) Globalstar M028           25 JULY 99
            1999-041A (25872) Globalstar M026           25 JULY 99
            1999-040B (25867) Chandra                   23 JULY 99
            1999-040A (25866) STS 93                    23 JULY 99
            1999-039A (25860) Okean-O                   17 JULY 99
            1999-038A (25858) Progress M-42             16 JULY 99
            1999-037D (25854) Globalstar M051           10 JULY 99
            1999-037C (25853) Globalstar M035           10 JULY 99              
            1999-037B (25852) Globalstar M030           10 JULY 99
            1999-037A (25851) Globalstar M032           10 JULY 99
            1999-036A (25847) Molniya 3-50              08 JULY 99 

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-041A, 1999-041B,
1999-041C, 1999-041D
Globalstar M026, M028, M043, and M048 are the latest to join the American fleet of communications satellites. They were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 07:46 UT. The fleet now totals 32 satellites and enables voice and data transmissions to/from stations located far away from cellular networks. Initial orbital parameters were period 113 min, apogee 1382 km, perigee 1362 km, and inclination 52 deg.
1999-040B Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) is an American astrophysical spacecraft (prelaunch name: AXAF) that was released from STS 93 and propelled away by an attached booster at 11:47 UT. The 4,800 kg X-ray telescope has a focal length of about 10 meters and is shaped as a conical cylinder with a major diameter of 1.3 meters. The grazing-angle reflecting surface consists of four (paraboloic/hyperbolic) pairs of iridium coated "Zirodur" segments. At the focal plane a selection can be made to insert either a High Resolution Camera (HRC) or an Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS). HRC enables a resolution of 0.5 arc-seconds as follows. It has two 10 cm x 10 cm Micro-Channel Plates (MCP) each consisting of cluster of 69 million 10-micron diameter lead oxide glass tubes, each of 1.2 mm length. The multiplied and accelerated electrons from each tube impinge on the nearest location on a fine grained metallic mesh. The X-Y coordinates of the impinging point provides the location within the image, while the current at the impinging point provides the intensity of the image at that point. The other option, ACIS is an array of CCDs and enables energy determination also of the imaged X-rays. It is also possible to insert a high-energy or a low-energy transmission grating in the path of the focussing X-rays to obtain emission line spectra. Chandra is named after the Nobel Laureate astrophysicist, the late Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. The URL, and links from it provide ongoing status of the mission. Its orbital parameters, after final maneuver, were period 64 hr, apogee 140,000 km, perigee 9,942 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.
1999-040A STS 93 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 04:31 UT. After a few orbits, the primary payload Chandra (X-ray observatory) was released at 11:47 UT. The shuttle also carried resources for several other science/engineering experiments: Midcourse Space Experiment which will use thruster firings from the shuttle to calibrate the sensors on board the MSX (military) satellite; a SIMPLEX payload to generate pulsed thruster firings to understand shuttle-associated VHF echoes; a SWUIS payload to provide UV images of selected astronomical objects; and some microgravity experiments. It landed back at Cape Canaveral at 03:20 UT on 28 July. Initial orbital parameters were period 90 min, apogee 280 km, perigee 260 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.
1999-039A Okean-O is a Russian-Ukrainian remote sensing satellite that was launched by a Zenit 2 booster from Baikonur at 06:38 UT. The six tonne spacecraft will enable monitoring of ocean salinity, waves, and ice conditions. It will also relay data from fixed land- or ocean-based platforms. The launch had been delayed until resolution of a dispute with Kazakhstan arising out of a crash of a Proton-K rocket on 5 July 1999. Initial orbital parameters were period 98 min, apogee 664 km, perigee 662 km, and inclination 98.1 deg.
1999-038A Progress M-42 is a Russian automatic cargo ship that carried supplies and equipment to the Mir station. It was launched from Baikonur by a Soyuz-U rocket at 16:37 UT. It was launched after resolution of a dispute with Kazakhstan arising out of the crash of a Proton-K rocket on 5 July 1999. It docked with Mir on 18 July at 21:56 UT. Among the delivered supplies were equipment to operate the station unmanned, and to prepare for a controlled re-entry, probably by March 2000, unless financial and political resources would enable its continued operation. Initial orbital parameters were period 91.5 min, apogee 353 km, perigee 344 km, and inclination 51.7 deg.
1999-037A, 1999-037B,
1999-037C, 1999-037D
Globalstar M032, M030, M035, and M051 joined the Globalstar fleet of communications satellites after being launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 08:46 UT. The fleet enables voice and data links to/from stations located far away from cellular networks. The eventual total of the fleet will be 48 satellites. Initial orbital parameters were period 114 min, apogee 1,414 km, perigee 1413 km, and inclination 52 deg.
1999-036A Molniya 3-50 is a Russian communications satellite that was launched from Plesetsk by a Molniya-M booster at 08:46 UT. It will provide military and civilian communications. Initial orbital parameters were period 12 hr, 16 min, apogee 40,813 km, perigee 472 km, and inclination 62.5 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: 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
    1998-001A   (25131)  LUNAR PROSPECTOR, crashed on Moon 31 Jul
    1999-015C   (25685)  SPUTNIK Jr. 3                     29 Jul
    1989-096C   (20354)  R/B that launched GRANAT          25 Jul
    1999-036B   (25848)  R/B Molniya 3M                    24 Jul
    1986-079D   (17041)  R/B Molniya (3M?)                 22 Jul
    1999-038B   (25859)  R/B Soyuz-U                       17 Jul
    1999-015A   (25664)  PROGRESS M-41                     17 Jul
    1999-032C   (25779)  R/B Long March                    13 Jul
    1998-039A   (25376)  COSMOS 2359                       12 Jul
    1981-002A   (12133)  MOLNIYA 3-14                      03 Jul
    1989-096A   (20352)  GRANAT                            25 May
    1976-105D   (09506)  R/B that launched COSMOS 862      16 Nov (1993)

  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. No response as of 31 July 1999.

    Lunar Prospector (1998-001A) crashed onto the southern pole at 09:52 UT on 31 July 1999. There has been no report yet of water vapor from a presumed ice lake there.

  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, 03 August 1999
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II