National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 659
01 Oct. 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 September 2008 and 30 September 2008.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-048A 33393 Demosat/Falcon 1 28 September 2008
2008-047A 33386 Shenzhou 7 25 September 2008
2008-046C 33380 Glonass 726 25 September 2008
2008-046B 33379 Glonass 725 25 September 2008
2008-046A 33378 Glonass 724 25 September 2008
2008-045A 33376 Galaxy 19 24 September 2008
2008-044A 33373 Nimiq 4 19 September 2008
2008-043A 33340 Progress-M 65 10 September 2008
2008-042A 33331 GeoEye 1 06 September 2008
2008-041B 33321 Huan Jing 1B 06 September 2008
2008-041A 33320 Huan Jing 1A 06 September 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Demosat is an American (private) satellite that was launched by a Falcon 1 rocket from the Omelek island in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean at 23:15 UT on 28 September 2008. It was the first successful launch of the rocket after several earlier failures. Demosat is a 165 kg aluminum dummy, also named Ratsat. (It failed to separate from the second stage; hence USSTRATCOM's name Demosat/Falcon 1.) The development of Falcon rockets as a carrier of cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) has been funded by NASA. It is expected to be the primary American vehicle for transportation to the ISS, between 2010 when the shuttles will be retired and the Orion spacecraft program will succeed by 2015. The initial orbital parameters of Demosat were period 97.4 min, apogee 643 km, perigee 622 km, and inclination 9.35°.
Shenzhou 7 is a Chinese (PRC) manned satellite that was launched by a Long March 2F rocket from Jiquan (in Gansu Province) at 13:10 UT on 25 September 2008. The 2.8 m diameter, and 9.5 m high craft carried three astronauts for a three day mission in a return capsule. One of the astronauts made a brief spacewalk mainly to test the space suit. (That space suit was named Feitian, after the goddess who could fly.) The mission and the spacewalk are reported as an imminent precursor to building a space station in 2010. The capsule (2008-047H) returned, with all three astronauts, safely on the central part of Inner Mongolia on 29 September. The initial orbital parameters were period 91.2 min, apogee 336 km, perigee 329 km, and inclination 42.4°.
Glonass 724, Glonass 725, and Glonass 726 are the latest additions to the fleet, that were launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 08:49 UT on 25 September 2008. Including these three, the fleet consists of 19 craft, to be augmented to 30 by 2011. (Eighteen craft are minimum needed to cover Russia, and 24 to cover the world.) The initial orbital parameters of all of the 1.3 tonne craft were similar: period 676 min, apogee 19,144 km, perigee 19,100 km, and inclination 64.8°.
Galaxy 19 is an American (Intelsat Corp.) geostationary communications craft that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from the platform Odyssey floating on the equatorial Pacific at 154° W longitude at 09:28 UT on 24 September 2008. The 4.7 tonne (with fuel) craft carries 24 C-band, and 28 Ku-band transponders to provide video and internet services to North and Central America, after parking over 97° W longitude.
Nimiq 4 is a Canadian geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 21:48 UT on 19 September 2008. The 4.8 tonne (with fuel), 12 kW craft will provide digital HDTV to Canada and America through its 32 Ku-band and 8 Ka-band transponders, after parking over 82° W longitude.
Progress-M 65 is a Russian automatic cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur at 19:50 UT on 10 September 2008. It carried 2.8 tonnes of fuel, water, oxygen, and food to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the Zvezda module of the ISS at 21:01 UT on 13 September. In preparation, the previously docked Progress-M 64 was evacuated from its port, as was the European ATV. The initial orbital parameter were period 91.6 min, apogee 357 km, perigee 348 km, and inclination 51.6°.
GeoEye 1 is an American (privately owned) remote sensing craft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB in California at 18:51 UT on 06 September 2008. The 2.1 tonne craft will provide 0.4 m resolution panchromatic and 1.6 m multicolor images to be marketed to the US Department of Defense and state and city planners. The initial orbital parameters were period 98.3 min, apogee 687 km, perigee 671 km, and inclination 98.1°.
Huan Jing 1A and Huan Jing 1B are two Chinese (PRC) environmental satellites that were launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Taiyuan launch site in northern China at 03:25 UT on 06 September 2008. They carry optical and infrared cameras to monitor natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. The initial orbital parameters of both were similar: period 97.6 min, apogee 670 km, perigee 627 km, and inclination 98.01°.

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)

2008-047A (33386)   R/B Long March 2F               28 September
2008-046E (33382)   R/B Proton-M                    26 September
2003-021B (27814)   R/B Long March 3A               25 September
1989-011A (19796)   COSMOS 2001                     22 September
2008-043B (33341)   R/B Soyuz                       14 September 

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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