National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 611
01 Oct. 2004

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 September 2004 and 30 September 2004.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2004-039A   (28424)    FSW 3                 27 September 2004
   2004-038A   (28396)    Cosmos 2410           24 September 2004
   2004-037B   (28420)    Cosmos 2409           23 September 2004
   2004-037A   (28419)    Cosmos 2408           23 September 2004
   2004-036A   (28417)    Edusat                20 September 2004
   2004-035B   (28414)    SJ 6B                 08 September 2004
   2004-035A   (28413)    SJ 6A                 08 September 2004
   2004-034A   (28384)    USA 179               31 August    2004
   2004-033A   (28402)    FSW-3 2               29 August    2004

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

FSW 3 is a Chinese (PRC) recoverable, photo-imaging spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 2D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province in northwest China at 08:00 UT on 27 September 2004. FSW stands for Fanhui Shei Weixing. The URL, reports that the satellite will be "used in scientific research, geological surveying, and mapping". This is the 20th launch of such recoverable satellites. A well-investigated report on the FSW program in China since the 1960's is available at The initial orbital parameters were period 89.8 min, apogee 315 km, perigee 201 km, and inclination 63°.
Cosmos 2410 is a Russian military satellite that was launched by a Cosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 17:46 UT on 24 September 2004. The initial orbital parameters were period 89 min, apogee 332 km, perigee 162 km, and inclination 67°.
Cosmos 2408 and Cosmos 2409 are two Russian military satellites that were launched by a Cosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 15:07 UT on 23 September 2004. Initial orbital parameters of both were close: period 116 min, apogee 1490 km, perigee 1468 km, and inclination 82.5°.
Edusat is an Indian (ISRO) geostationary satellite that was launched by a GSLV (F04) rocket from Sriharikota (on the east coast) at 10:31 UT on 20 September 2004. It is the fourth launch of the GSLV rocket which carries a Russian made motor on its cryogenic third stage. The third and final apogee burn on 24 September moved the satellite from the transfer orbit to a geostationary orbit. The 2.0 tonne, 2.0 kW satellite will provide interactive educational programs to thousands of schools in different linguistic regions via five spot-beams from its five Ku-band transponders, and via wider beams from six extended C-band transponders. It is now slowly drifting to its parking longitude of 74° E.
SJ 6A and SJ 6B are two Chinese space radiation monitoring satellites that were launched by a Long March 4-B rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province in northern China at 23:14 UT on 8 September 2004. The parameters of the circular orbits of both were similar: period 96.6 min, radial distance 602 km, and inclination 97.7°.
USA 179 is an American military (NRO) satellite that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral at 23:17 UT on 31 August 2004. It is the last flight of the Atlas 2 models which have had 63 flawless launches since 1991. (The successor models will be Atlas 5.) The satellite is reported to provide relay services to the several low-altitude, high-latitude photo-reconnaissance satellites, from its high apogee in the northern hemisphere.
FSW-3 2 is a Chinese (PRC) recoverable imaging satellite that was launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province in north-western China at 07:50 UT on 29 August 2004. It is the 19th launch of such recoverable satellites. It will provide mapping and land surveying data. The initial orbital parameters were period 91 min, apogee 553 km, perigee 168 km, and inclination 63°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

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.

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 54, 2004-009A.

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.

Visually bright objects.

See Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2004)

2004-009B (28191)  R/B(1) Delta 2                 22 September 2004
2004-016B (28239)  R/B Zenit 3SL                  20 September 2004
2003-053F (28092)  R/B(Aux.Mot) Proton-K          20 September 2004
2003-058B (28130)  R/B Delta 2                    16 September 2004
2004-010D (28186)  R/B(Aux.Mot.) Proton-K         11 September 2004
2004-033B (28403)  R/B Long March 2C              10 September 2004
2004-023B (28362)  R/B(1) Delta 2                 01 September 2004

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

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

The launch on 6 September 2004 of the Israeli military photo-reconnaissance satellite, OFEQ 6 failed when the third stage of the Shavit rocket malfunctioned, plunging the satellite into the Mediterranean sea.

The retrieval of the payload capsule from the American (NASA) satellite, Genesis carrying implanted solar wind ions, failed on 8 September 2004 because of the non-deployment of the parachute on 8 September 2004. Extended analysis of the damaged capsule's residual contents may be needed to reveal whether any credible data could be salvaged on the "original composition of the solar system".

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:

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