SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 552

01 November 1999
A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information as the WWAS for ISES/COSPAR

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 October 1999 and 31 October 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
     1999-059A (25949) ORION 2                 19 October 99
     1999-058D (25946) Globalstar D            18 October 99
     1999-058C (25945) Globalstar C            18 October 99
     1999-058B (25944) Globalstar B            18 October 99
     1999-058A (25943) Globalstar A            18 October 99
     1999-057B (25941) SACI 1                  14 October 99
     1999-057A (25940) CBERS 1                 14 October 99
     1999-056A (25937) DirecTV 1-R            10 October 99
     1999-055A (25933) NAVSTAR 46 (USA 145)    07 October 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-059A ORION 2 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44LP rocket from Kourou at 06:22 UT. The 3,800 kg (including 2,200 kg of fuel) and 10.6 kW spacecraft carries 48 Ku-band transponders to provide voice and video communications to the Americas, Europe, and Africa after parking eventually over 12 deg-W longitude.
1999-058A, 1999-058B,
 1999-058C, 1999-058D
Globalstars A, B, C and D are the latest to join the fleet of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites that enables communications among stationary or mobile phones located far away from cellular networks. They were launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 13:32 UT. This brings the total to 44 of the planned fleet of 48 satellites. One more Soyuz launch in November 1999 will complete the fleet, and a subsequent Delta 2 launch will provide four on-orbit spares. Initial orbital parameters of Globalstar A were period 112.5 min, apogee 1,349 km, and perigee 1333 km, and inclination 51.9 deg. The initial orbital parameters of the other three were, approximately, period 104 min, apogee 1000 km, perigee 860 km, and inclination 52 deg.
1999-057A, 1999-057B CBERS 1 and SACI 1 are Brazillion satellites that were launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan Launch Center in central China (PRC) at 11:16 a.m., Beijing time (08:16 UT ?). The 1,540 kg CBERS 1 (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite) carries three high-resolution cameras to monitor environmental and vegetation conditions in China, Brazil and other countries. (Sometimes CBERS 1 is named as ZY 1 in Chinese reports. It was jointly financed by both governments.)

SACI 1 is a microsatellite of 60 kg that will monitor cosmic rays, magnetic field and plasma. At least one more SACI will be launched soon, probably by a Brazilian rocket, from Brazil. However, soon after launch communication to/from SACI 1 failed, and remains so. Initial orbital parameters of both were, approximately, period 99.6 min, apogee 745 km, and perigee 733 km, and inclination 98.6 deg.

1999-056A DirecTV 1-R is an American communications spacecraft that was launched at 03:28 UT from the sea launch platform, Odyssey, that floated on the equatorial Pacific ocean at 0.0 latitude and 154 deg-W longitude by an Ukrainian Zenit rocket. This is the first commercial launch by the Sea Launch consortium jointly owned by American, Russian and Ukrainian companies. The 3,800 kg spacecraft will provide video channels directly to home-based dishes in an anticipated 50 million homes in North America through its 16 high-power Ku-band transponders, after parking over 101 deg-W longitude.
1999-055A NAVSTAR 46 (also known as USA 145, and GPS 2R-3) is an American navigational spacecraft of the GPS fleet that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 13:51 UT. This is the third of the 21 redesigned 2R series that may eventually replace the existing GPS fleet. With this launch, the GPS fleet has now 28 operational spacecraft. Initial orbital parameters are period 736.2 min, apogee 21,164 km, perigee 20,097 km, and inclination 53.1 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 46 (also known as USA 145 and GPS 2R-3). See 1999-055A above for details.

  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
    1998-069B   (25550)  SAC A                            25 Oct
    1997-010A   (24744)  ZEYA                             25 Oct
    1998-025F   (25500)  R/B Proton-K, upper stage        23 Oct
    1981-002B   (12134)  R/B that launched MOLNIYA 3-14   23 Oct
    1999-054A   (25929)  RESURS F-1 M                     22 Oct
    1999-058F   (25948)  R/B Soyuz-U                      19 Oct
    1986-079A   (17038)  MOLNIYA 3-30                     15 Oct
    1999-019E   (25680)  R/B Soyuz-U                      14 Oct
    1999-055B   (25934)  R/B Delta 2                      07 Oct
    1999-010F   (25762)  R/B Proton-K, upper stage        06 Oct
    1984-063E   (15076)  R/B that launched RADUGA 15  03 Oct
    1976-017C   (08702)  R/B Delta 1 (belated recognition)27 Nov 1982

  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 (1995-065A) succeeded in orienting itelf toward Sun after new software was tranmitted as a substitute for the failed gyroscope. For details, see

    Lunar Prospector (1998-001A) which was made to crash on Moon's south polar region did not yield any signature of the hypothesised water table below the surface.

    The following prelaunch announcement of MTSAT was received by the SPACEWARN Bulletin. The Bulletin welcomes such email announcements from other agencies also.

    Subject: SPACEWARN 33858 -MTSAT/second Prelaunch announcement
    From: Sakasai Makoto 
    Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 10:42:23 +0900
    SPACEWARN 33858
    Prelaunch announcement
    Spacecraft name         Multi-functional Transport Satellite
    Planned Launch Date             November 15 1999
    Country                 Japan
    Orbit Type                      Geostationary Satellite Orbit
    Perigee         approx. 250km(at transfer orbit)
    Apogee          approx. 35786km(at transfer orbit)
    Weight          approx. 2900kg(at launch)
                    approx. 1540kg(beginning of life)
    Orbit Period    approx. 23h 56m
    Geographic Longitude            140.0degrees East
    Transmitting Frequencies        2280.721MHz
    and Output power                20.5W
    Probability of Survival         More than 0.8
     in 10 Years
    Launch Organization             National Space Development Agency of Japan
    Spacecraft Missions
    The spacecraft (MTSAT) serves two missions; Aeronautical Mission and 
    Meteorological Mission.
    (1) Aeronautical Mission
    Aeronautical Mission provides with Aeronautical Mobile Satellite Service 
    (AMSS) and satellite based augmentation service for Global Navigation 
    Satellite System (GNSS) for the Air Traffic Services.
    (2) Meteorological Mission
    The purpose of Meteorological Mission is to make continuous observation of the
    earth's atmosphere and surface, to disseminate cloud imagery to users such as 
    national meteorological services via MTSAT and to collect and transmit 
    meteorological observation data.
                              ORBITAL INFORMATION  
      *NAME         MTSAT             
                      99   11   15   07   29   00  
                      99   11   15   07   57   49  
      *OSCULATING ORBITAL ELEMENTS         ( True Of Date )
            SEMI-MAJOR AXIS(KM)             :  24481.41
            ECCENTRICITY            :  0.7292580
            INCLINATON(deg)         :  28.500
            ASCENDING NODE(deg) (RAAN)      :  201.883
            ARGUMENT OF PERIGEE(deg)        :  179.000
            MEAN ANOMALY(deg)               :  1.550
      *NAME         H-II Launch Vehicle 2nd Stage
                          99   11   15   07   29   00  
                          99   11   15   09   56   00  
      *OSCULATING ORBITAL ELEMENTS         ( True Of Date )
            SEMI-MAJOR AXIS(KM)             :  24782.35
            ECCENTRICITY            :  0.7283840
            INCLINATON(deg)         :  24.635
            ASCENDING NODE(deg)  (RAAN)     :  210.336
            ARGUMENT OF PERIGEE(deg)        :  172.204
            MEAN ANOMALY(deg)               :  67.271

  6. Related NSSDC resources.

    NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information 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, 04 November 1999
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II