SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 572

01 July 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 June 2001 and 30 June 2001.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2001)
   2001-027A    (26859)  MAP                     30 June
   2001-026A    (26857)  ICO F2                  19 June
   2001-025A    (26853)  Astra 2C                16 June
   2001-024A    (26824)  Intelsat 901            09 June
   2001-023A    (26818)  Cosmos 2378             08 June

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2001-027A MAP (Microwave Anisotropy Probe) is an American astrophysics satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 19:46 UT on 30 June 2001. The 830 kg, 400 W probe will scan the sky in five wavelength bands at 13.6, 10.0, 7.5, 5.0, and 3.3 mm at an angular resolution of about 0.58 (+/- 0.035) deg, and at a sensitivity of 35 micro-Kelvin after "parking" itself over the second Lagrangian point (L-2) at 1.5 million km in the nightside. These parameters were invoked on the basis of the anisotropy in the 2.7 deg Kelvin cosmic radiation revealed by the earlier mission, COBE. It carries two Gregorian telescopes each with a primary reflector of about 1.5 m and a secondary of 1.0 m diameter. The two telescopes will point to the sky a few degrees apart so that the difference in the temperature can be directly outputted. (One of the branches of cosmology invokes an early "inflationary" epoch of spurious super-expansion of the "Big Bang" fireball giving rise to a small anisotropy that eventually gave birth to the galactic structures in the otherwise mathematically homogenous and isotropic universe.) The spacecraft has an intrinsic spin of 0.464 rpm superposed on a precession (22.5 deg about the Sun-MAP line) of 1.0 rph. A full-sky map can be obtained every six months. MAP will reach L-2 after three or more lunar encounters/phasings, and enter into a controlled Lissajous orbit around that point with a maximum deviation of the Sun-MAP line from the Sun-Earth line of 10 deg. About four thrust maneuvers/year are required to sustain the orbit configuration. For more details, see and its links.
2001-026A ICO F2 is a British relay satellite that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral at 04:41 UT on 19 June 2001. The ICO fleet, anticipated to consist of 10 satellites, will enable relay in S- and C-bands of voice and internet communications from/to land and ocean based mobile telephones. With a total power of 5 kW, ICO F2 will enable a simultaneous capacity in 4,500 channels. Initial orbital parameters were period 351 min, apogee 10,126 km, perigee 10,104 km, and inclination 45 deg.
2001-025A Astra 2C is a European (Luxembourg-registered) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 01:49 UT on 16 June 2001. The 3.7 tonne (including 1.2 tonne of fuel), 8 kW spacecraft is the fifth in the Astra series. It carries 32 Ku-band transponders to provide voice, video, and data links to Western Europe through a pair of 3 m diameter dishes, after parking over 28.2 deg-E longitude.
2001-024A Intelsat 901 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of that international consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44 L rocket from Kourou at 06:45 UT on 9 June 2001. (The expanded name of the consortium is International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO). Beginning with its first satellite, Early Bird (1965-028A), it has so far successfully launched 54 satellites, 19 of which are currently operational.) The 4.7 tonne (with fuel) will provide voice and video services to Europe and the Americas through 44 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders after parking over the equatorial Atlantic ocean.
2001-023A Cosmos 2378 is a Russian military spacecraft that was launched by a Cosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 16:12 UT on 8 June 2001. It is likely to belong in the Tsyklon-B constellation of navigational/communications system comprising of Parus ("Sail") spacecraft for accurate location of missile carrying submarines and ships. Initial orbital parameters were period 105 min, apogee 1,010 km, perigee 964 km, and inclination 82.9 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.

  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)
    2001-025B (26854)  R/B Proton-K                            18 June
    1995-009H (23518)  R/B Kosmos-3M                           08 June
    2001-022B (26776)  R/B Soyuz-U                             02 June

  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.)

  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 obtained from:

    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:

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Questions/comments about the content of these pages should be directed to:
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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, 02 July 2001
Last updated: 05 July 2001, EVB II