National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 622
01 September 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 August 2005 and 31 August 2005.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-033A    28824     FSW 22                29 August 2005
   2005-032A    28822     Monitor-E             26 August 2005
   2005-031B    28810     Reimei                23 August 2005
   2005-031A    28809     OICETS                23 August 2005
   2005-030A    28790     Galaxy 14             13 August 2005
   2005-029A    28788     MRO                   12 August 2005
   2005-028A    28786     Thaicom 4             11 August 2005
   2005-027A    28776     FSW 21                02 August 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

FSW 22, also known as FSW-3 5, is a Chinese (PRC) recoverable satellite that was launched by a Long March 2-4 from Jiuquan Launch Center in northwestern China on 29 August 2005. "It will carry out scientific research, land surveying, mapping and space-technological tests." The initial orbital parameters were period 89.3 min, apogee 264 km, perigee 178 km, and inclination 64.8°.
Monitor-E is a Russian remote-sensing satellite that was launched by a Rockot booster from Plesetsk at 18:34 UT on 26 August 2005. The 825 kg satellite has instruments to image Earth's surface at a resolution of eight meters in color as well as in black-and-white, providing input for agricultural estimates, pollution levels, and disaster management. The initial orbital parameters were period 95.3 min, apogee 544 km, perigee 524 km, and inclination 97.6°.
Reimei, with a prelaunch name of Index, is a Japanese (ISAS) microsatellite that was launched by a Dnepr booster (which is a converted RS-20 ICBM) from Baikonur at 21:10 UT on 23 August 2005. The 70 kg experimental satellite carries components and technologies such as fiber optic gyroscope to improve attitude control, more efficient solar panels, and a manganese lithium ion battery that will be exposed to the radiation environment in space to test ruggedness. It also carries energetic ions/electrons detectors to derive the energy spectra of the particles that cause auroras. (Also launched by that Dneper into orbit was a container with a book of spiritual guidance written by the Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, to confirm that his country has "entered the Space Age".) The initial orbital parameters were period 97.2 min, apogee 649 km, perigee 603 km, and inclination 97.8°.
OICETS (Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite) is a Japanese (JAXA) technology demonstration satellite that was launched by a Dnepr booster from Baikonur at 21:10 UT on 23 August 2005. The 600 kg satellite carries an optical communications instrument called LUCE (Laser-Utilizing Communications Equipment) which has a 10-inch telescope that acts as a transmitter and receiver to communicate with the European (ESA) satellite, Artemis. OICETS will study the effect of the irreducible vibrations in a satellite in maintaining a pointing accuracy of one millidegree that is required to communicate with another satellite 32,000 km away. The initial orbital parameters of OICETS were period 96.8 min, apogee 612 km, perigee 597 km, and inclination 97.8°.
Galaxy 14 is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur at 23:28 UT on 13 August 2005. The 2,100 kg satellite carries 22 C-band transponders to provide entertainment and information services to cable channels and direct-to-home receivers in North and South America, after parking over 125° W longitude
MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) is an American (NASA) planetary research satellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS at 11:43 UT on 12 August 2005. The 2,000 kg orbiter will map the atmospheric, surface and sub-surface features of Mars by remote-sensing them. It will join the existing fleet of Mars orbiters: NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Odyssey and ESA's Mars Express. MRO carries several monitoring instruments. Its cruise phase to reach Mars will end by March 2006, followed by seven months of aerobraking to enable a low altitude (450 km) circular orbit by November 2006. The Project Scientist of the mission is Richard Zurek of JPL. More details of the mission may be seen at
ONC (Optical Navigation Camera) will photograph Mars and its moons, Phobos and Deimos, continually for 30 days to enable more accurate navigation towards the planet.
MCS (Mars Climate Sounders) will collect data to obtain to vertical profile of molecular and dust composition, and temperature, by looking at the horizon in successive strata of 5 km thickness, in one visible and eight infrared wavelength bands. The Principal Investigator is Daniel McCleese of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/CalTech.
HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science and Experiment) will image the Martian surface in visible and near-infrared bands to provide features at a resolution of about 50 cm. The Principal Investigator is Alfred McEwen of the LPL, University of Arizona.
CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometers for Mars) carries visible light and infrared spectrometers to obtain color pictures at a resolution of 18 meters to map minerals that could have formed in the presence of liquid water (considered as a crucial signature in NASA's quest for past/present life on Mars). The Principal Investigator is Scott Murchie in APL/JHU.
CTX (Context Imager) is a coarser imager to provide a broad-brush synthesis of the images from HiRISE and CRISM. The Principal Investigator is Mike Malin of Malin Space Science Systems.
MARCI (MARs Color Imager) will map the daily and seasonal changes on the planet. It also carries an imager in two ultraviolet wavelengths to detect variations in ozone, dust, and carbon dioxide. The Principal Investigator is Mike Malin of the Malin Space Science Systems.
SHARAD (Shallow Subsurface Radar) will operate in the 15-25 MHz band to obtain the conductivity variations due to water content in the top kilometer stratum of Mars. The Principal Investigator is Roberto Seu of the Italian Space Agency.
Thaicom 4, also known as IPSTAR 1, is a Thai geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5G rocket from Kourou at 08:20 UT on 11 August 2005. The seven tonne satellite, the most massive geostationary so far, carries a solar sail power of 17.6 kW and will provide voice, video, and broadband internet services to 14 countries including India, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia, through its 84 Ku-band and 18 Ka-band spot beams after parking over 120° E longitude.
FSW 21, also known as FSW-3 4, is a Chinese (PRC) recoverable satellite that was launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Jiuquan Launch Center in northwest China at 07:30 UT on 02 August 2005. It will conduct "scientific research, land surveying and mapping". The initial orbital parameters were period 91.7 min, apogee 547 km, perigee 169 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 (2005)

2005-033B (28825)   R/B Long March 2-4               30 August
1990-101A (20949)   MOLNIYA 1-79                     30 August
2005-027B (28777)   R/B Long March 2C                16 August
2005-026A (28775)   STS 114 Landed on                09 August
1998-077J (25601)   R/B (Aux.Mot) Proton-K           09 August
2004-015E (28241)   R/B (Aux.Mot) Proton-K           07 August

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.

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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