National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 651
01 February 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 January 2008 and 31 January 2008.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-003A 32478 Express AM-33 28 January 2008
2008-002A 32476 TecSAR 21 January 2008
2008-001A 32404 Thuraya 3 15 January 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Express AM-33 is a Russian geostationary communications craft that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur on 28 January 2008. It will provide TV and internet services throughout Russia. The parking longitude is not listed in any of the Russian or other web sites.
TecSAR, also known as Polaris, is an Israeli military reconnaissance spacecraft that was launched from Sriharikota in south-eastern India by a PSLV-C10 rocket at 03:45 UT on 21 January 2008. The 300 kg craft is reported to carry a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) that enables one-meter resolution images. The initial orbital parameters were period 94.5 min, apogee 580 km, perigee 405 km, and inclination 41.03°.
Thuraya 3 is a United Arab Emirates (UAE) geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from Odyssey, a floating platform on the equatorial Pacific at 154° W longitude, at 11:49 UT on 15 January 2008. It will enable communications from mobile phones in many countries in eastern Asia, Middle East, and Australia, after parking over 98.5° E longitude.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

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 GPS 2R-18 (2007-062A).

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.

According to CSIC the latest additions to the fleet are 2007-065A, 2007-065B, and 2007-065C.

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 (2008)

2007-051B (32274)    R/B Long March 3A               28 January
2007-033A (32001)    PROGRESS-M 61                   22 January
1990-099A (20941)    COSMOS 2105                     16 January
1995-029B (23599)    R/B Ariane 42-P                 13 January

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 NASA spacecraft, MESSENGER made a closest approach to Mercury on 14 January 2008 at 19:04 UT at an altitude of 200 km, taking 1300 images of the surface. It is due to enter an orbit around Mercury in March 2011 after making several more fly-bys.

A nine-tonne American military reconnaissance satellite is on an uncontrolled downward spiral. It is expected to enter the atmosphere and partly burn out in February or March 2008.

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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