SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 554

01 January 2000
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 1 December 1999 and 31 December 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
     1999-073A (26042) Cosmos 2368             27 December 99
     1999-072A (26040) Cosmos 2367             26 December 99
     1999-071A (26038) Galaxy 11               22 December 99
     1999-070B (26033) ACRIMSAT                21 December 99
     1999-070A (26032) KOMPSAT                 21 December 99
     1999-069A (25996) STS 103                 20 December 99
     1999-068A (25994) Terra                   18 December 99
     1999-067A (25991) DMSP F15 (USA 147)      12 December 99
     1999-066A (25989) XMM                     10 December 99
     1999-065G (25986) ORBCOMM-G               04 December 99
     1999-065F (25985) ORBCOMM-F               04 December 99
     1999-065E (25984) ORBCOMM-E               04 December 99
     1999-065D (25983) ORBCOMM-D               04 December 99
     1999-065C (25982) ORBCOMM-C               04 December 99
     1999-065B (25981) ORBCOMM-B               04 December 99
     1999-065A (25980) ORBCOMM-A               04 December 99
     1999-064B (25978) Clementine              03 December 99
     1999-064A (25977) Helios 1B               03 December 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-073A Cosmos 2368 is a Russian military reconnoissance spacecraft that was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 19:12 UT. It is said to belong to the "Oko class", designed to provide early warning of missile launches. Initial orbital parameters were period 716 min, apogee 39,717 km, perigee 557 km, and inclination 63 deg.
1999-072A Cosmos 2367 is a Russian military reconnaissance satellite that was launched from Baikonur at 08:00 UT by a Tsiklon 2 rocket, a converted ICBM. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.8 min, apogee 418 km, perigee 404 km, and inclination 65 deg.
1999-071A Galaxy 11 is an American geostationary communication spacecraft that was launched from Kourou by an Ariane 4 rocket. The 2,775 kg, 10.4 kW spacecraft carries 24 C-band (20 W), and 40 Ku-band (24 at 75 W, and 16 at 140 W) transponders to provide voice and video communications to North America and Brazil, after parking eventually over 91 deg-W longitude.
1999-070B ACRIMSAT is an American satellite to ascertain the extent of solar radiation variability, and was launched by a Taurus rocket from Vandenberg AFB. It carries an ACRIM-3 (Active Cavity Radiometer Irradiance Monitor) instrument to monitor solar irradiance at high accuracy (<0.1%) as a long term followup to the ACRIM-2 (carried on UARS spacecraft since 1991) and ACRIM-1 (carried on the SMM spacecraft in 1980). Further information is available by contacting Initial orbital parameters were period 99 min, apogee 727 km, perigee 683 km, and inclination 98.3 deg.
1999-070A KOMPSAT is an experimental S. Korean spacecraft that was launched from Vandenberg AFB by a Taurus rocket. The satellite carries remote sensing instruments for providing digital cartography of Korea, and status of marine biology. (The same rocket also released three dozen capsules, each holding 200 gm of cremated remains, at a price of $4,800/per capsule.) Initial orbital parameters were 98.8 min, apogee 710 km, perigee 688 km, and inclination 98.3 deg.
1999-069A STS 103 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 00:50 UT, after nine cancellations of earlier attempts during the month. The main mission was to repair the inoperational Hubble spacecraft: replace all six gyroscopes, including the four recently failed ones (that engendered total shut down since 13 November 1999), replace its computer system, replace the voltage and temperature controls on its battery packs, and install an additional onboard data recorder of 12 gigabyte capacity. Replacement of the degraded exterior insulation on Hubble entailed a few hours of EVAs by the crew. This was the third repair mission to Hubble; the earlier ones were during December 1993 (STS 61), and February 1997 (STS 82). (The shuttle also carried a disk containing posters that were autographed by hundreds of thousands of elementary school children.) It landed back at Cape Canaveral on 28 December at 00:01 UT, after successfully completing the eight day mission. Hubble is expected to be operational in late January 2000. The initial orbital parameters of STS 103 were period 96.4 min, apogee 609 km, perigee 563 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.
1999-068A Terra is an American (jointly with Japan, and Canada) weather spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 19:00 UT. The 4,864 kg spacecraft carries an array of instruments to monitor clouds, aerosals, and solar radaition balance. The CERES (Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy System) will monitor radiation balance by means of scanning radiometers and bolometers; the MISR (Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer) will measure reflectance of cloud tops and aerosols, and vegetation in four spectral bands in each of the nine cameras aimed at different angles; the MODIS (MODerate resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer) will monitor physical and biological processes by means of a scanning spectrometer in 36 spectral bands in visible and infrared wavelengths; the ASTER (Advanced Spacebourne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) will monitor land, oceans, ice and clouds in 14 visible and infrared bands; and MOPITT (Measurement Of Pollution In The Troposphere) will monitor carbon dioxide and methane. TERRA and other EOS missions form the core of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise. More information is available in High and low resolution images from TERRA will be available for downloading from (lmms stands for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space.) Initial parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 98.1 min, apogee 685 km, perigee 654 km, and inclination 98.2 deg.
1999-067A DMSP F15 (USA 147) is an American quasi-military spacecraft that was launched by a Titan rocket from Vandenberg AFB. The 840 km satellite carries visible, infra-red and microwave imagers to monitor weather status. Like the earlier versions in the DMSP series, this also carriers instruments to monitor auroral zone precipitation of energetic particles. The operational and data archival responsibilities will be transferred to the civilian agency, NOAA. A source of further information on data archival is Initial orbital parameters were period 101.8 min, apogee 851 km, perigee 837 km, and inclination 98.9 deg.
1999-066A XMM (X-ray Multimirror Mission) is an astronomy spacecraft of the European Space Agency and was launched by a 746 tonne Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 14:32 UT. It is the first launch of a functional spacecraft by this latest model. The 3.7 tonne spacecraft carries three 13 meter long, 4.5 meter diameter (tapering down to a smaller diameter near the focal plane) X-ray telescopes. Each of these cone shaped telescopes carry 58 concentric reflectors of progressively smaller diameters, with each annular space of 2-4 mm thickness sandwiched between adjacent reflecting surfaces. At the focal plane are situated three X-ray cameras, one for each telescope. These cameras, named EPIC (European Photon Imaging Camera) have CCD detectors. Each of two of the detectors carry seven silicon chip wafers, each of which is made up of a matrix of 600 x 600 thin (40 micron) MOS pixels; they respond to the soft X-rays. The third detector has a single wafer of a thick (300 micron) "PN-CCD" with 400 x 400 pixels, responding to the harder X-rays. The area of the PN-CCD array is 36 sq-cm. The pointing accuracy of the telescope array is 0.25 seconds of arc, sustainable during a 10-second period. Two of these three imaging telescopes have a complementary role also: to provide X-ray spectra through Reflecting Grating Spectrometers (RGS), each containing 600 grooves/mm. About half of the X-rays entering each telescope is piped out into these RGS. Finally, these X-ray observations are complemented by an Optical Monitor (OM) telescope, equiped with CCD detectors and covering visible and UV wavelengths. The 30 cm aperture camera has a field of view of 17 x 17 arc min (about the same as the X-ray cameras). For more details of the instruments and status, see , and The initial orbital parameters were period 48 hr, apogee 114,000 km, perigee 7,365 km and inclination 38.7 deg.
1999-065A, 1999-065B,
 1999-065C, 1999-065D,
 1999-065E, 1999-065F,
ORBCOMM-A, -B, -C, -D, -E, -F and -G are American low earth orbit communications spacecraft that were launched by a Pegasus XL rocket carried aloft on a L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia State, USA, at 18:54 UT. The fleet enables communications of data and messages from/to remote land and ocean sites. Initial orbital parameters of all were similar: period 101.5 min, apogee 834 km, perigee 830 km, and inclination 45 deg.
1999-064B Clementine is a French research spacecraft that was launched along with Helios 1B (see below). The 50 kg spacecraft will monitor Earth's "radio-electric environment". Initial orbital parameters were period 97.8 min, apogee 664 km, perigee 650 km, and inclination 98.1 deg.
1999-064A Helios 1B is a French military photo-reconnoissance spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane rocket at 16:22 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 98.4 min, apogee 682 km, perigee 660 km, and inclination 98.1 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. (NNSS denotes U.S. Navy Navigational Satellite System. Updates or corrections to the list are possible only with information from the user community.)

    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.

  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-545. 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. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name                       1999
    1999-069A    (25996) STS 103           Landed on     28 Dec
    1999-072B    (26041) R/B Tsiklon 2                   27 Dec
    1999-034B    (25790) R/B Titan 2                     20 Dec
    1988-069A    (19377) MOLNIYA 1-73                    16 Dec
    1999-044A    (25889) COSMOS 2365                     15 Dec
    1997-079A    (25088) COSMOS 2347                     12 Dec
    1999-052B    (25923) R/B Ariane 44LP                 11 Dec
    1993-074C    (22924) R/B Atlas 2-Centaur             05 Dec   

  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.)

    Mars Polar Lander (1999-001A) and the two associated surface-penetrating microprobes were presumed lost after reaching Mars on 3 December 1999. Communication was not re-established with any of the craft following presumed atmospheric entries. They were to look for subsurface ice and layering and collect meteorological data.

  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:

SPACEWARN Bulletin Index
About the SPACEWARN Bulletin
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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 January 2000
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II