National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 637
01 December 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 November 2006 and 30 November 2006.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2006-052A    29601     Navstar 59            17 November 2006
   2006-051A    29526     ArabSat 4B            08 November 2006
   2006-050A    29522     DMSP F17              04 November 2006

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Navstar 59, also known as USA 192, as GPS 2RM F-3, and as GPS 2R-16, is an American navigational satellite in the GPS fleet that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 19:12 UT on 17 November 2006. (Details of the fleet are available in Section C-2 below.) The two tonne (with fuel) satellite will be nudged into Plane B, Slot 4 position to replace the aging GPS 2A-22 of 1993 vintage. The fleet now consists of 29 satellites, including the spares. Navstar 59 has a new civilian signal that helps remove the directional inaccuracy engendered by the ionosphere. Initial orbital parameters were period 722 min, apogee 20,367 km, perigee 20,206 km, and inclination 55.1°.
ArabSat 4B, also known as BADR 4, is a Saudi Arabian geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 20:01 UT on 08 November 2006. The 3.3 tonne (with fuel) satellite carries 28 Ku-band transponders to provide voice and video communications to the West Asia region, after parking near 30° E longitude.
DMSP F17, also known as DMSP 5D-3 F17 is an American (DoD/NOAA) military weather satellite that was launched by a Delta 4 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 13:53 UT on 04 November 2006. It is presumed to carry a payload similar to those on DMSP F16 and F15, to provide infrared and visible light images, and some data of ionospheric and magnetospheric import. Initial orbital parameters were period 102 min, apogee 855 km, perigee 841 km, and inclination 98.8°.

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 59, 2006-052A.

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)

2006-039A (29402)   COSMOS 2423                      23 November
2006-038B (29399)   R/B Long March 3A                08 November
2006-035A (29385)   SHIJIAN 8                        01 November
2006-045B (29504)   R/B Soyuz                        27 October

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.

According to the Press Trust of India, China's SinoSat 2 (2006-048A) that was launched in October 2006 became inoperable due to a failure of the solar arrays. SinoSat 3 will be launched in Spring 2007 as replacement.

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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