National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 670
01 September 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 August 2009 and 31 August 2009.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-046A 35812 Palapa D 31 August 2009
2009-045A 35811 STS 128 29 August 2009
2009-044B 35756 Optus D3 21 August 2009
2009-044A 35755 JCSAT 12 21 August 2009
2009-043A 35752 Navstar 64 17 August 2009
2009-042A 35696 AsiaSat 5 11 August 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Palapa D, an Indonesian communications satellite, was launched by a Chinese Long March 3B rocket from Xichang on 31 August 2009 at 09:28 UT. A problem with the third stage booster caused the satellite to be placed in a lower than expected orbit. The third stage was to have put the satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit but instead left Palapa D in an orbit of roughly 220 x 21,150 km with a 22.3° inclination.
STS 128 is an American shuttle craft carrying seven astronauts launched from Cape Canaveral on 29 August 2009 at 03:59 UT. The craft docked with the International Space Station at 00:54 UT on 31 August 2009. The shuttle carried the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module which, when temporarily attached to the station, enabled transfer of 6,894 kg of supplies and scientific equipment. During three spacewalks, astronauts will replace an ammonia coolant storage tank, retrieve experiments mounted on the exterior of the European Columbus module, and prepare the station for the next module expected to arrive with STS 130 in early 2010. The shuttle also delivered a new crew member to the ISS and will return another to Earth. The STS 128 mission will conclude with a landing expected on 10 September 2009.
Optus D3, a communications satellite serving Australia, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou on 21 August 2009 at 22:09 UT. The satellite will provide communications and direct-to-home television transmissions from a longitude of 156° E in geosynchronous orbit. The 2,500 kg satellite carries 24 Ku-band transponders and has an expected life span of 15 years.
JCSAT 12, a communications satellite for Japan, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou on 21 August 2009 at 22:09 UT. The 4,000 kg satellite carries 30 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders serving Japan, the Asia-Pacific region, and Hawaii. The satellite will serve as a backup and will be renamed JCSAT R-A once it is operational. It has an expected life span of 15 years.
Navstar 64, also known as USA 206 and as GPS 2R-21(M), is an American (DOD) navigational craft in the GPS fleet, that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 10:35 UT on 17 August 2009.
AsiaSat 5 was launched on a Proton M rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur on 11 August 2009 at 19:47 UT. From a geosynchronous orbit at 100.5° E longitude, AsiaSat 5 will provide communications services to customers in East and South Asia. The satellite carries 14 Ku-band and 26 C-band transponders and has an expected life span of 15 years.

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-20(M) (2009-014A).

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 IAC the latest additions to the fleet are 2008-067A, 2008-067B, and 2008-067C.

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 (2009)

2007-018B(31396)     CZ-3B R/B                        16 August
2009-010F(34269)     SL-12 R/B(AUX MOTOR)             11 August
2002-060F(27622)     SL-12 R/B(AUX MOTOR)             11 August

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.

Radio contact with the lunar-orbiting Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft (2008-052A) was lost at 20:002008-052AUT on 28 August 2009.

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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