National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 616
01 Mar. 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 February 2005 and 28 February 2005.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-007A    28624     Progress-M52          28 February 2005
   2005-006A    28623     MTSAT-1R              26 February 2005
   2005-005D    28545     MAQSAT                12 February 2005
   2005-005C    28544     Sloshsat              12 February 2005
   2005-005A    28542     XTAR-EUR              12 February 2005
   2005-004A    28537     USA 181               03 February 2005
   2005-003A    28526     AMC 12                03 February 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Progress-M52 is a Russian automatic cargo craft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 19:09 UT on 28 February 2005. It carried 2.5 tonnes of food, fuel, water and equipment to the International Space Station (ISS). Also on-board were 50 snails to test the effect of microgravity. It is to dock with the Zarya module of the ISS at 20:15 UT on 2 March 2005. In anticipation of the docking, the earlier Progress-M51 was vacated from its port on 27 February at 16:06 UT to deorbit eventually after 10 days in free orbit. The initial orbital parameters the craft were period 88.6 min, apogee 245 km, perigee 193 km, and inclination 51.7°.
MTSAT-1R is a Japanese geostationary weather satellite that was launched by a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima prefecture at 09:25 UT. The 1.78&tonne, satellite will make continuous observations of Earth's surface and cloud cover. Another package on-board will relay transmissions from mobile telephones. It is expected to replace Himawari 5 after parking over 140° E longitude.
MAQSAT is a European (ESA) monitor that remained attached to the Ariane 5-ECA rocket that was launched from Kourou at 21:03 UT on 12 February 2005. It will monitor the dynamic behavior of the rocket from launch through the release of the two satellites, XTAR-EUR and Sloshsat. Initial orbital parameters were period 639 min, apogee 36,129 km, and perigee 242 km, and inclination 7°.
Sloshsat is a Dutch experimental mini-satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 21:03 UT on 12 February 2005. The 127 kg satellite will test for 10 days in the transfer orbit the dynamics of fluid (33.5 liters of deionized water) in orbit with the help of many embedded sensors and a few thrusters and accelerometers. It is also known as Sloshsat-FLEVO (Facility for Liquid Experimentation and Verification in Orbit. Flevo is also the name for the latest province in Netherlands that was reclaimed from the sea.) Initial orbital parameters were period 632 min, apogee 35,774 km, and perigee 248 km, and inclination 7°.
XTAR-EUR is a Spanish geostationary military satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 21:03 UT on 12 February 2005. The 3.6 tonne satellite will provide military communications for Spain and United States through its 12 wideband, X-band transponders after parking over an as-yet-undetermined spot over the Atlantic or Indian Ocean.
USA 181 is an American military satellite that was launched by an Atlas 3B/Centaur rocket at 07:41 UT from Vandenberg AFB on 3 February 2005. It is reported to be an NRO satellite intended for ocean surveillance.
AMC 12 is an American geostationary satellite that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 03:27 UT on 3 February 2005. The five tonne satellite carries 72 C-band transponders to provide voice and video services to the North and South Americas, and Africa through separate beams to each region, after parking over the Atlantic Ocean.

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 (2005)

2004-015F (28242)   R/B (Aux.Mot.) Proton-K          21 February
1994-014B (23020)   R/B Tsyklon 3                    13 February

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

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

The following GLONASS Spacecraft have now matched Cosmos numbers.

    NAME        INT. ID       USSPACECOM CAT.#        LAUNCH DATE
Cosmos 2413    2004-053A       28508                 27 December 2004
Cosmos 2411    2004-053B       28509                       "
Cosmos 2412    2004-053C       28510                       "

SPX.614 had reported all the three satellites as Cosmos NNNN.

Note: The pathways indicated in the above sections 4 and 6 will fail as of 1 April 2005. NASA's GSFC will no longer provide the interface between USSPACECOM and the civilian user community through its OIG1 machine. But the same services will be available through another site,, after registering as an approved user. The site will be maintained by Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).

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:

[] NASA -