SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 553

01 December 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 November 1999 and 30 November 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
     1999-063A (25967) UFO 10                  23 November 99
     1999-062D (25964) Globalstar M061         22 November 99
     1999-062C (25963) Globalstar M039         22 November 99
     1999-062B (25962) Globalstar M034         22 November 99
     1999-062A (25961) Globalstar M029         22 November 99
     1999-061A (25956) Shenzhou                19 November 99
     1999-060A (25954) GE 4                    13 November 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-063A UFO 10 (also known as UHF Follow On 10) is an American military geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape Canaveral at 04:06 UT. The 1,545 kg, 3,800 kW spacecraft carries transponders to provide 39 UHF channels, 11 EHF channels, and a few Ka-band channels. The parking longitude is not available.
1999-062A, 1999-062B,
 1999-062C, 1999-062D
Globalstars M029, M034, M039 and M061 were launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 16:20 UT. These bring the fleet to the planned total of 48 satellites that provide links between mobile or fixed telephones in isolated areas; four more are to be launched as reserves. The initial orbital parameters of all four were similiar: period 96 min, apogee 920 km, perigee 240 km, and inclination 52 deg. They were to be maneuvered later into circular orbits of altitude 1,400 km.
1999-061A Shenzhou is a Chinese (PRC) unmanned capsule that was launched by a Long March 2F rocket from Jiquan launch center in Gansu province at 6 a.m. It carried a mannequin for test purposes. It is reported to be an 8.4 tonne capsule, capable of accommodating a crew of four. The capsule is not a reusable vehicle. It parachuted down in Inner Mongolia after orbiting for 21 hours. After one or two unmanned flights, the same model is expected to carry one or more "taikonauts" in 2000. (A reported variant of Taikonaut is Taikongaut, "Tai Kong" meaning Cosmos.) Initial orbital parameters of the capsule were period 89.6 min, apogee 315 km, perigee 195 km, and inclination 42.6 deg.
1999-060A GE 4 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44LP rocket from Kourou at 21:55 UT. The 3,903 kg craft will provide TV broadcast coverage to cable networks serving most countries in North and South America, after parking over 101 deg-W longitude.

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 SPX 552 for details.

    An e-mail communication from Richard B. Langley is available which provides a status of the Navstar GPS Constellation as of 11 November 1999.

  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.

    An e-mail communication from Richard B. Langley is available which provides a status of the GLONASS Constellation as of 11 November 1999.

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations         Common Name                       1999
    1999-050B   (25914)  R/B Atlas-Centaur                30 Nov
    1999-061B   (25957)  R/B Long March 2F                27 Nov
    1999-062F   (25966)  R/B Soyuz-U                      24 Nov
    1999-055B   (25934)  R/B Delta 2                      23 Nov
    1992-039C   (22016)  R/B that had launched NAVSTAR 26 23 Nov
    1985-099E   (16197)  R/B                              22 Nov
    1999-061A   (25956)  SHENZHOU            landed on    21 Nov
    1998-069C   (25551)  MIGHTYSAT 1                      21 Nov
    1996-050A   (24291)  MICROSAT                         12 Nov
    1997-057B   (24972)  R/B PSLV 1C                      04 Nov
    1997-028E   (24832)  R/B Proton-K                     01 Nov

  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.)

    In SPX 550, we had reported that the asteroid, Braille might crash into Earth's atmosphere a few thousand years into the future. Our report was condensed from a CNN report (, dated 3 August 1999) which, in turn, attributed its conclusion to some Deep Space 1 (1998-061A) investigators in America. However, Dr. Gerhard Hahn of the German Science team that was also involved in the DS 1 project and its encounter with Braille has now reported to us that the conclusion is not warranted; the German team's investigation of Braille's future trajectory is available in About all that can be inferred is that in some thousands of years Braille may become an Apollo class (i.e., perihelion <1.0 AU) asteroid.

  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, 03 December 1999
Last updated: 18 February 2004, EVB II