National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 629
01 April 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 March 2006 and 31 March 2006.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2006-009A    28996    Soyuz-TMA 8           30 March 2006
   2006-008C    28982    ST5-C                 22 March 2006
   2006-008B    28981    ST5-B                 22 March 2006
   2006-008A    28980    ST5-A                 22 March 2006
   2006-007B    28946    Hot Bird 7A           11 March 2006
   2006-007A    28945    SpainSat              11 March 2006

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Soyuz-TMA 8 is a Russian automatic passenger craft that was launched by a Soyuz FG rocket from Baikonur at 02:30 UT on 30 March 2006. It carried three astronauts (a Russian, an American, and a Brazilian) to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked automatically with the Zarya module of the ISS at 07:19 UT on 01 April 2006, and delivered the astronauts to the station. The Brazilian will stay on the ISS only for eight days, the two others for several months. (The previously docked Soyuz-TMA 7 will depart the station on 08 April, along with the Brazilian and two long-resident astronauts. The initial orbital parameters were period 90.3 min, apogee 290.8 km, perigee 244.5 km, and inclination 51.6°.
2006-008A, 2006-008B, 2006-008C
ST5-A, ST5-B, and ST5-C are the first three microsatellites in the Space Technology 5 mission of the American (NASA) New Millennium Program. They were launched at 14:04 UT on 22 March 2006 by a Pegasus XL rocket that was released from the belly of a Lockheed L-1011 plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. Each, with a mass of 25 kg and power 20 W, is octagon-shaped (53 cm x 48 cm). Each is called a "full service" satellite, capable of orbit/attitude maneuver and radio links. In all, about 10 innovative, miniaturized technology advances will be tested during the 90-day operational span. Among them are variable emittance coatings (to heat when cold and cool when hot), metal oxide logic circuits that can operate at 0.5 volts, miniature magnetometers, and miniature, spinning Sun-sensors. They will orbit in a "string of pearls" formation. After success with this mission, the hope is to launch many such microsatellites to better understand the space weather impacts. The Project Scientist is James A. Slavin at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The initial orbital parameters of all three were very similar: period 137 min, apogee 4,550 km, perigee 303 km, and inclination 105.6°.
Hot Bird 7A is a European geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:32 UT on 11 March 2006. The 4.1 tonne (with fuel) satellite will provide video and internet services to Europe through its 38 Ku-band transponders after parking over 13°E longitude.
SpainSat is a Spanish military geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:32 UT on 11 March 2006. The 3.7 tonne (with fuel) satellite carries 13 X-band and one Ka-band transponders. It will be parked over 30°W longitude.

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 (2006)

2006-006A (28943)    ARABSAT-006A                    14 March
2005-035A (28866)    PROGRESS-M 54                   03 March

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 Russian telecommunications satellite Express AM-11 (2004-015A) was impacted by space debris at 02:55 UT on 29 March 2006, hard enough to make it totally inoperable. It will soon be removed from the 96.5°E parking longitude to a "space disposal orbit".

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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