SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 567

01 February 2001
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 January 2001 and 31 January 2001.

Special Note: Please refer to special section D below.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2001)
   2001-004A   (26690)   Navstar 50 (USA 156)      30 Jan
   2001-003A   (26688)   Progress M1-5             24 Jan
   2001-002A   (26666)   Turksat 2A                10 Jan
   2001-001C   (26687)   Shenzhou 2 Module         09 Jan
   2001-001A   (26664)   Shenzhou 2                09 Jan

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2001-004A Navstar 50 (USA 156) is an American GPS navigational spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 07:55 UT. The two-tonne satellite is the 28th member of the "second generation" fleet, four of which (including the latest) being replacements for the older models. A case history of all GPS spacecraft is available at In GPS parlance, the spacecraft is GPS 2-28. Initial orbital parameters were period 357 min, apogee 20,390, perigee 158 km, and inclination 39.04 deg. Clearly, a major maneuver is likely to modify the parameters.
2001-003A Progress M1-5 is a Russian automatic cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 04:28 UT. Nick-named "Hearse", it is to deliver the 130 tonne Mir station to its cremation over the southern Pacific. It carried two tonnes of fuel part of which was to be transferred to Mir for continuous attitude/orbit maneuver so as to to enable it to reach down to an altitude of 240 km. Around 6 March 2001 the Progress itself will give the final push. It docked automatically with Mir at 05:30 UT on 27 Jan after a previously docked Progress M-43 was evicted from its port and commanded from the ground to crash at about the same site in southern Pacific where Mir itself will come down. (Six cosmonauts were on "Hot-Standby" to reach Mir in the event the automatic docking failed.) It is speculated that some, several-hundred kilogram fragments may land in the ocean, probably 3,000 km east of southern New Zealand. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.4, apogee 299 km, perigee 278 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2001-002A Turksat 2A (also named Eurasiasat 1) is a Turkish geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 21:39 UT. The dual name is probably due to the dual ownership of the spacecraft: 75% by Turk Telecom and 25% by the manufacturer Alcatel Space Company. The 3.4 tonne, 9 kW spacecraft will provide direct-to-home voice, video, and data transmissions to countries between central Europe and the Indian subcontinent, through its 32 "BSS- and FSS-bands" transponders, after parking over 42 deg-E longitude (replacing the aging Turksat 1C).
2001-001A, 2001-001C Shenzhou 2 (translated as "Divine Ship", or "Magic Vessel", or "God Vessel") is an unmanned Chinese (PRC) spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 2F rocket from Jiuquan launch center (in the north-western province of Gansu) at "01:00 a.m.". The descent module (also carrying the name, Shenzhou 2 but with ID 2001-001C) landed smoothly in Inner Mongolia on 16 January at 11:22 UT after separating from 2001-001A which continued to orbit, doing some zero-gravity experiments. The descent module is a prototype of an eventual manned spacecraft to carry Taikongyuans (Taikonauts). A major concern during this and the next few launches would be to assess the integrity of the heat shield during re-entry. So far, there has not been any report on the heat shield. The initial orbital parameters of 2001-001A were period 91.3, apogee 346 km, perigee 330 km, and inclination 42.6 deg.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

  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.

    The latest addition to the GPS fleet is Navstar 50 (2001-004A).

  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. Visually bright objects.

    A comprehensive list of visually bright objects with their two-line orbital elements is available from USSPACECOM, via a NASA URL, The list, however, does not include visual magnitudes, but are expected to be brighter than magnitude 5.

  5. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name              Decay Date (2001)
    2000-064A (26570) PROGRESS M1-4                          29 Jan
    2001-003B (26689) R/B Soyuz-U                            25 Jan
    1983-114D (14520) R/B that launched MOLNIYA 1-59         24 Jan
    2000-031E (26499) R/B (aux. motor) Proton-K              21 Jan
    2000-001B (26665) R/B Long March 2F                      20 Jan 
    2001-001C (26687) SHENZHOU (Descent Module)              16 Jan
    1985-090A (16110) COSMOS 1689                            14 Jan
    1993-032C (22659) R/B Delta 2                            13 Jan 
    1997-010B (24745) R/B Start 1                            12 Jan
    2001-002B (26667) R/B Ariane 44P                         11 Jan
    1985-105D (16243) R/B that launched Cosmos 1701          11 Jan
    1993-072E (22925) R/B (aux.motor) Proton                 06 Jan
    1970-085B (04584) R/B that launched METEOR 6             01 Jan

  6. Miscellaneous Items. (This section contains information/data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.)

    SPX 566 reported on LDREX (2000-081C) that "the reflector was to stay expanded to a diameter of six meters for about 20 min......" A later message from Japan's NASDA is that the reflector failed to expand.

  7. 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 through 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:

D. Question

It would be simpler if this Bulletin referred to all persons in space by a single term, rather than letting the person's nationality determine the term. Would you also find it simpler in the reading? What term would you find most acceptable. Our inclination, given both the source and language of this Report, is astronaut. If you have an opinion, please send to

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Questions/comments about the content of these pages should be directed to:
The World Warning Agency for Satellites,
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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, 01 February 2001
Last updated: 14 May 2001, EVB II