National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 625
01 December 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 November 2005 and 30 November 2005.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-046B    28903    Telcom 2              16 November 2005
   2005-046A    28902    Spaceway 2            16 November 2005
   2005-045A    28901    Venus Express         09 November 2005
   2005-044A    28899    INMARSAT 4-F2         08 November 2005
   2005-043G    28898    Moz 5/Safir/Rubin 5   27 October 2005
   2005-043F    28895    CubeSat 11-5          27 October 2005
   2005-043E    28894    SSETI-Express         27 October 2005
   2005-043D    28893    Sihah 1               27 October 2005
   2005-043C    28892    UWE 1                 27 October 2005
   2005-043B    28891    TopSat                27 October 2005
   2005-043A    28890    Tsinghua              27 October 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Telcom 2 is an Indonesian triaxially-stabilized geostationary telecommunications satellite that was launched by an Ariane-5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 23:46 UT on 16 November 2005. The 1.9 tonne, satellite carries 24 C-band transponders and spot-beams to provide high-speed communications for Internet, data, voice, and video services to Indonesia, after parking over 118°E longitude.
Spaceway 2 is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane-5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 23:46 UT on 16 November 2005. The six tonne, 12.3 kW satellite carries 48 Ka-band transponders to provide high-speed, high-definition video and internet services to DirecTV customers in North America after parking over 99;deg;W longitude.
Venus Express is an ESA planetary mission that was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 03:33 UT on 09 November 2005. The craft will reach Venus in April 2006, and gradually descend to a stable orbit with a high-point at 66,000 km, and low-point at 250 km, to monitor the atmosphere for at least two Venusian days (of total duration 486 Earth days). The 1.3 tonne (including 570 kg of fuel), 1.1 kW, 1.5 x 1.8 x 1.4 m craft carries seven instruments to monitor the atmospheric circulation and weather pattern. The data will be stored in a 12-gigabit solid state memory until they are downloaded to Earth at the appropriate orbital phases. The Project Scientist is Hakan Svedhem of ESTEC. Details of the mission may be seen in
ASPERA (Analyser of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms) will monitor the solar wind ions impacting Venus and the outflowing ions and molecules from it. The Principal Investigator is Stanislav Barabash of the Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna, Sweden.
MAG (Magnetometer) will measure the magnetic field impacting on the planetary atmosphere when the (magnetized) solar wind flows through/around the planet's atmosphere (Venus has no intrinsic magnetic field.) The Principal Investigator is Tielong Zhang of the IWF, Graz, Austria.
PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer) will remote-sense the temperature of the atmosphere between 55 and 110 km altitude at high resolution, presumably by looking in the direction of the horizons. Vittorio Formisano of the IFSI-CNR is the Principal Investigator.
SPICAV/SOIR will monitor the atmospheric spectra in Infrared and Ultraviolet wavelengths looking for sulphur compounds and water vapor. Jean-Loup Bertaux of the Service d'Aeronomie du CNRS, Verriesres, France is the Principal Investigator.
VeRa (Venus Radio science experiment) will analyze the downlink communication channels to infer the density and temperature in the lower atmosphere and in the ionosphere, when the transmission paths traverse these regions. Bernd Hausler (University of Bunderswehr, Munich, Germany is the Principal Investigator.
VIRTIS (Ultraviolet/Visible/Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer) will monitor the molecular composition of the lower atmosphere at 35-40 km, as well as the clouds to map the atmospheric dynamics. The joint Principal Investigators are Pierre Drossart (Observatoire de Paris) and Giuseppe Piccioni (CNR, ISAF, Rome, Italy).
VMC (Venus Monitoring Camera) is a wide-angle, four-channel camera operating in the UV, Visible, and IR bands to make global images and study atmospheric dynamics. Wojciech Markiewicz (MPI-Ae, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany) is the Principal Investigator.
INMARSAT 4-F2 is a geostationary communications satellite of the London/UK-headquartered INMARSAT network that is closely linked with the international GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System). It was launched by an Ukrainian-Russian Zenit 3SL rocket from the floating platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, Odyssey located at 154°W longitude, at 14:07 UT on 08 November 2005. The six tonne, 13 kW satellite will provide video, data, video-conferencing and Internet services to North and South America as well as to Pacific and Atlantic ocean based receivers, through 200 spot-beams after parking over 53°W longitude.
2005-043 is a root ID for the nine micro- and pico-satellites below that were launched by a Russian Cosmos 3M rocket. The names below are as provided by USSTRATCOM in its Website, It lists nine satellites, including SAFIR. But none of the several other Websites carry that name. Instead, they list a Norwegian picosatellite, NCUBE 2, and an Iranian MESBAH 1. The confusion may be resolved in due course. The orbital parameters of all of them were closely similar: period 98.7 min, apogee 707 km, perigee 683 km, and inclination 98.18°.
Moz 5/Safir/Rubin 5 are three of the microsatellites that did not separate from the Cosmos 3M rocket that was launched from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. The full name for the Russian Moz 5 is Mozhayets 5, developed by the cadets in Mozhaisky Military Space Academy. But Rubin 5 was in fact intended to remain attached to the rocket, to monitor its dynamical performance.
CubeSat 11-5 is a Japanese picosatellite that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. (It was actually released from the microsatellite, SSETI).
SSETI-Express (Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative-Express) is a European microsatellite of mass 62 kg that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. It will take pictures of the Earth and facilitate Amateur Radio links. It carried and released three picosatellites, each of mass 1 kg.
Sihah 1 is an Iranian microsatellite (170 kg) that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. Iranian press reports that it is intended for "telecommunications and research". There are also a few reports where its name is spelled as Sina 1.
UWE 1 is a German picosatellite that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. (It was actually released by/from SSETI-Express)
TopSat is a British microsatellite that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. It will provide low-cost 2.5 m resolution, black and white Earth images, and 5 m resolution color images.
Tsinghua, with a prelaunch name Beijing 1, is a Chinese (PRC) photo-imaging microsatellite (166 kg) that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:52 UT on 27 October 2005. It will help in planning projects for the 2008 Olympics, and monitor natural and man-made disasters.

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 57, 2005-038A.

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)

2005-037B (28872)   R/B Minotaur                     29 November
1993-002A (22309)   MOLNIYA 1-85                     15 November
1988-076A (19445)   COSMOS 1966                      10 November
1985-045A (15808)   COSMOS 1658                      12 November

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 Japanese mission, Hayabusa (2003-019A) to an asteroid, Itokawa, appears to have been successful. Some dirt samples may have been collected by the probe, but confirmation is possible only when it returns back to Earth in June 2007.

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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