A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 601                                                                                                                               01 Dec. 2003

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 November 2003 and 30 November 2003.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)

   2003-052A    (28082)  Zhongxing 20            14 November 2003
   2003-051C    (28078)  FSW-3 1                 03 November 2003

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2003-052A Zhongxing 20 is a Chinese (PRC) military communications spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 3A rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center (XSLC) on 14 November 2003. Initial orbital parameters were period 756 min, apogee 42,041 km, perigee 202 km, and inclination 63°.
2003-051C FSW-3 1 is a Chinese (PRC) recoverable satellite that was launched at 07:20 UT on 3 November 2003, by a Long March 2-D rocket. During the few weeks of orbiting, it was to collect "scientific and other" data through its imaging instruments. It reentered on 25 November 2003, probably as a soft-landing. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.7 min, apogee 330 km, perigee 191 km, and inclination 63°.

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.

    The latest addition to the fleet is Navstar 51 (GPS 2R-8), 2003-005A.

  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 (2003)
    1970-113A (04813)  COSMOS 389                              24 Nov
    2003-015D (27778)  R/B (Aux.) Proton-K                     22 Nov
    1999-022B (25722)  MEGSAT                                  04 Nov
    2002-027B (27439)  R/B Ariane 44L                          01 Nov        
  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.)

  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, 02 December 2003
Last updated: 05 January 2004, EVB II