A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 591                                                                                                                               01 Feb. 2003

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 January 2003 and 31 January 2003.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2003-005B    (27664)  XSS 10               29 January 2003
   2003-005A    (27663)  Navstar 51 (USA 166) 29 January 2003
   2003-004A    (27651)  SORCE                25 January 2003
   2003-003A    (27647)  STS 107              16 January 2003
   2003-002B    (27643)  CHIPS                13 January 2003
   2003-002A    (27642)  ICESAT               13 January 2003
   2003-001A    (27640)  Coriolis             06 January 2003

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2003-005B XSS 10 is an American (AFRL/DoD) technology demonstration microsatellite (28 kg) that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 18:06 UT on 29 January 2003. It will also monitor the second stage of Delta 2. Its battery-powered operational life was 24 hours. The initial orbital parameters were period 98 min, apogee 805 km, perigee 518 km, and inclination 39.75°.
2003-005A Navstar 51 (also known as USA 166, and as GPS 2R-8) is the latest to join the American (DoD) fleet of Global Positioning Satellites. It was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 18:06 UT on 29 January 2003. The fleet is operating in full capacity with 24 spacecraft (in six planes, with four satellites in each). GPS 2R-8 will replace the aging GPS 2A-18, which will be shifted away in its Plane-B and then retired. More details of the GPS spacecraft can be seen in Section C-2 below. The initial orbital parameters were period 356 min, apogee 20,351 km, perigee 173 km, and inclination 39.1°.
2003-004A SORCE (SOlar Radiation and Climate Experiment) is an American (NASA) Sun-Earth Connection satellite that was launched at 20:13 UT by a Pegasus XL rocket released from a L-1011 cargo aircraft flying out of Cape Canaveral. It is to measure solar irradiance in a number of wavelength-bands through three spectrometers and a photometer.

TIM (Total Irradiation Monitor) is a 7.9 kg, 14 W instrument that covers all visual and infrared wavelengths at an irradiance accuracy of one part in 10,000. It uses differential, heat sensitive resisters as detectors.

SIM (Spectral Irradiance Monitor) is a 22 kg, 25 W rotating Fery prism spectrometer with a bolometer output that covers the 200-2,000 nm band at a resolution of a few nanometers, and at an irradiance accuracy of three parts in 10,000.

SOLSTICE (SOLar STellar Irradiance Comparison Experiment) A and B are 36 kg, 33 W, UV grating spectrometers with photomultiplier detectors that cover the 115-320 nm band at a resolution of 0.1 nm, and at an irradiance accuracy of about 4%. It uses an ensemble of bright stars (selected for their stable luminosities) as calibrators for the instrument variability.

XPS (Xuv Photometer System) is a 3.6 kg, 9 W photometer which invokes filters to monitor the x-ray and UV band at 1-34 nm, at a resolution of about seven nm, and at an irradiance accuracy of about 15%.

The URL, provides much detailed descriptions of the experiments and data availability. The PI is Gary J. Rottman of LASP, University of Colorado, Boulder, along with many co-investigators. The Program Manager is Tom Sparn of LASP. The initial orbital parameters were period 93.4 min, apogee 652.5 km, perigee 612.8 km, and inclination 40.0°.
2003-003A STS 107 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 15:39 UT on 16 January 2003. It was the first flight in recent years that was not related to the International Space Station (ISS) activities. It carried seven astronauts who helped oversee 80 microgravity experiments on board. These ranged from K-12 interest to significant commercial and scientific potential. After a 16-day mission, the shuttle began its reentry on 1 February 2003, but communications failed at 14:00 UT when the shuttle was at an altitude of 60 km with a speed of 20,100 km/hr. It soon disintegrated over western Texas on its path towards Cape Canaveral. It was the 28th mission for the shuttle, Columbia. There were no survivors. The initial orbital parameters of STS 107 was period 90.1 min, apogee 285 km, perigee 270 km, and inclination 39°.
2003-002B CHIPS (Cosmic Hot Interstellar Spectrometer) is an American (NASA) astrophysics spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 00:45 UT on 13 January 2003. The 60 kg, triaxially-stabilized spacecraft has a spectrograph covering the 9-26 nm wavelength band at a resolution of 0.1 nm, scanning the entire sky in chunks of 5° x 27° segments during each orbit. The targets are the hot and diffuse nebulae at about a million degrees temperature. The band covers several strong emission lines. The URL, http://chips.ssl.berkeley/mission.html provides additional information. The initial orbital parameters were period 96.4 min, apogee 594 km, perigee 578 km, and inclination 94°.
2003-002A ICESAT is an American (NASA) Earth Observing System spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 00:45 UT on 13 January 2003. It carries a single instrument, GLAS (Geoscience Laser Altimeter System) which enables accurate surface level measurements of ice sheets. GLAS transmits four-nanosecond-wide pulses, one at 1,064 nm and another at 532 nm wavelengths, at a rate of 40 pulses/s. The infrared pulses are reflected from the ice surfaces, and the green line pulses from the atmosphere. The reflected pulses are collected by an 80 cm diameter telescope. The precise altitude of the spacecraft is determined with the help of the GPS constellation of satellites. Ice surface variations in Greenland and Antarctica are important predictors of global warming. The URL provides further information.

The raw and analyzed data will be archived at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, affiliated with the University of Colorado and the NOAA, Boulder, CO.

The initial orbital parameters were period 96.4 min, apogee 595 km, and perigee 579 km, and inclination 94°.
2003-001A Coriolis is an American (DoD) spacecraft that was launched by a Titan 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 14:19 UT on 6 January 2003. The 395 kg, 1,174 W, 3.0 m diameter, 6.9 m high, triaxially-stabilized spacecraft carried 82 kg of fuel and 340 kg of instruments. The two instruments are WindSat to monitor ocean surface winds, and SMEI to image Solar Mass Ejections (SME). Data will be stored onboard and downlinked to dedicated ground stations in x-band.

WindSat is a US Navy (NRL) multifrequency, 305 kg polarimetric radiometer that will monitor the surface winds over the oceans. The radiometer operates on a number of frequencies in the range 6.8-37.0 GHz. Its antenna will spin about the yaw axis at 30 rpm.

SMEI is a major payload and carries three optical cameras to photograph the Thompson-scattered light from ejected coronal masses (CMEs). The total coverage during each orbit is the hemispherical sky around the Sun. Each camera has a well-baffled field of view of 3° x 60°, with the baffle cutting out the stray light by 10 orders of magnitude. The CCD imager provides a resolution of 0.2°. The major but stable and smooth component of the image is the Zodiacal light which is about a thousand times stronger than the superposed, structured and variable light from the CMEs. Differential photometry is invoked to extract the CME component. More details of this photometry is available in The solar mass ejection imager, Advances in Space Research, Vol. 11, pp 377-381, 1991. SMEI can provide warnings of the Earth-directed CMEs three days in advance. The data may be archived at the NSSDC, eventually. The program manager is Janet Johnson at AFRL. Email: mil. For more details see the URL, The initial orbital parameters were period 101.6 min, apogee 842 km, perigee 822 km, and inclination 98.7°.

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.

    The latest additions to the GLONASS fleet are Cosmos 2394, Cosmos 2395, and Cosmos 2396.

  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 (2003)
    2002-052B (27562)  MEPSI                               31 January
    1987-073E (18332)  R/B(Aux.Mot) that launched EKRAN 16 26 January
    1994-038F (23174)  R/B Aux.Mot) Proton-K               24 January
    2001-043A (26929)  STARSHINE 3                         21 January
    1988-044B (19190)  R/B(2) that launched MOLNIYA 3-32   19 January
    2001-015B (26746)  R/B GSLV                            18 January
    1996-033B (23878)  R/B(1) Delta 2                      17 January
    1985-103D (16223)  R/B(2) that launched MOLNIYA 1-66   13 January
    2002-061B (27631)  R/B Long March                      09 January
    2002-061A (27630)  SHENZHOU 4                          05 January
  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.)

    Donald M. Sawyer is the (Acting) Director of WDC-SI, and Head of NSSDC and WWAS, since 03 January 2003.

    Trailblazer Corporation (Charles F. Radley) has emailed WWAS that the correct mass of the Trailblazer (2002-058E) reported in SPX.590 is 420 kg.

  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
V1.0, 03 February 2003
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II