A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 576                                                                                                                             01 Nov. 2002

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 October 2001 and 31 October 2001.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2001)
   2001-050A    (26970)  Molniya 3            25 October
   2001-049C    (26959)  BIRD 2               22 October
   2001-049B    (26958)  PROBA 1              22 October
   2001-049A    (26957)  TES                  22 October
   2001-048A    (26955)  Soyuz TM-33          21 October
   2001-047A    (26953)  Quickbird 2          18 October
   2001-046A    (26948)  USA 162              11 October
   2001-045A    (26936)  Raduga 1-6           06 October
   2001-044A    (26934)  USA 161              05 October

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2001-050A Molniya 3 is a Russian military communication satellite that was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 11:34 UT on 25 October 2001. The initial orbital parameters were period 736 min, apogee 40,658 km, perigee 646 km and inclination 62.9°.
2001-049C BIRD 2 (Bispectral InfraRed Detector 2) is a German, 94 kg minisatellite that was launched by a PSLV-C3 rocket from Sriharikota in southeast Indian coast at 04:53 UT on 22 October 2001. It is a technology demonstrator to help design a major remote sensing array of infrared detectors. Initial orbital parameters were period 96 min, apogee 580 km, perigee 551 km, and inclination 97.8°.
2001-049B PROBA 1 (PRoject for On-Board Autonomy, 1) is a Belgian, 94 kg minisatellite that was launched by a PSLV-C3 rocket from Sriharikota in southeast Indian coast at 04:53 UT on 22 October 2001. It carries a radiation detector, a debris impact monitoring instrument, and a remote sensing camera for performance assessment. Initial parameters were period 97 min, apogee 677 km, perigee 553 km, and inclination 97.9°.
2001-049A TES (Technology Experiment Satellite) is an Indian remote sensing and photo-reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a PSLV-C3 rocket from the Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) at Sriharikota in the southeast Indian coast at 04:53 UT on 22 October 2001. This is the fifth consecutive successful launch of the 294 tonne PSLV rocket, and the second launch with multiple satellites. The 1,108 kg satellite carries a one-meter resolution panchromatic camera. Initial parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 96 min, apogee 579 km, perigee 551 km, and inclination 97.8°.
2001-048A Soyuz TM-33 is a Russian astronaut-transporting spacecraft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 08:59 UT on 21 October 2001. It carried two Russian and one French astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the ISS at 10:00 UT on 23 October. This new crew spent eight days on the ISS, and returned on the older Soyuz TM-32 at 03:59 UT on 31 October. The new Soyuz will remain docked as a lifeboat craft for the current crew of three (two Russian and one American) astronauts. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.4 min, apogee 399 km, perigee 388 km, and inclination 51.6°.
2001-047A Quickbird 2 is an American, privately-owned Earth-imaging satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 18:51 UT on 18 October 2001. It will be operational after a few months of calibration and "ground-truth" checkouts to market high resolution images. The 1.0 tonne satellite is reported to be capable of images with a resolution as small as 0.6 meter, though the standard products will be coarser. Unlike the comparable quality images from IKONOS images, some of which are currently marketed exclusively to the US military, all Quickbird 2 images may be available in the open market. The initial orbital parameters were period 93.8 min, apogee 464 km, perigee 460 km, and inclination 97.2°.
2001-046A USA 162 is an American military satellite that was launched by an Atlas 2AS-Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral at 14:32 UT on 11 October 2001. It belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Based only on the launching site, some reports carry the inference that the mission may be to relay data from imaging satellites, probably after reaching a geosynchronous orbit. The NRO is now on the web,
2001-045A Raduga 1-6 is a Russian geosynchronous military communications satellite that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 16:45 UT on 6 October 2001.
2001-044A USA 161 is an American military visual/radar imaging satellite that was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 21:21 UT on 5 October 2001. The 13 tonne (with fuel) satellite belongs to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) within its fleet of Earth Imaging System (EIS) satellites. A BBC website reported a resolution of 10 cm in the images. (The commonly used name for the EIS satellites is Advanced Keyhole.) The first member of the EIS fleet was USA 144 (1999-028A), launched in May 1999.

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.

    High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 400 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International GNSS Service (IGS). The IGS is a service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).

         FTP:  [directory /igscb]

    The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 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.)

    All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general Cosmos series. The Cosmos numbers 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 last appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

  4. Visually bright objects.

    See Users must register. Conditions apply.

  5. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2001)
    2001-017A (26749) SOYUZ TM-32                Landed on      31 Oct
    1994-082E (23430) R/B (Aux) Proton                          27 Oct
    2001-047B (26954) R/B Delta 2                               25 Oct
    2001-048B (26956) R/B Soyuz-U                               22 Oct
    2001-020B (26771) R/B Delta 2                               21 Oct
    1983-030B (13985) R/B Delta                                 18 Oct
    2001-033B (26881) R/B Titan 4                               13 Oct
    1995-068H (23743) R/B (Aux) Proton-K                        13 Oct
    1971-059B (05328) R/B that launched METEOR 9                13 Oct
    2001-022A (26775) COSMOS 2377                               10 Oct
    2001-045B (26937) R/B Proton-K                              09 Oct
    2001-024B (26825) R/B Ariane 44L                            09 Oct
    2001-043E (26933) R/B Athena 1                              06 Oct
    1992-082F (22250) R/B (Aux) Proton                          02 Oct
    1990-103B (20960) R/B Delta 2                               01 Oct
    1996-019C (23835) R/B that launched NAVSTAR 37 (USA 117)    29 Sep
    1994-030F (23117) R/B Proton-K/DM-2                         29 Sep
  6. 60-day Decay Predictions.

    See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

  7. 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 Odyssey (2001-014A) attained a Martian orbit on 24 October 2001, after a Delta-V maneuver. Its highly elliptical orbit will undergo aerobraking during the next few months to enable a mapping mission with a circular orbit at 400 km altitude for a duration of 917 Earth-days. After that mission, it will act as a communications relay for future missions.

  8. 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 690.1, 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 of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via 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 About Spacecraft Categories NSSDC home page

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

Dr. Edwin Bell, II
NASA Official: Dr. David R. Williams
V2.0, 29 November 2001
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II