National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 672
01 November 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-058B 36033 Thor 6 29 October 2009
2009-058A 36032 NSS 12 29 October 2009
2009-057A 35951 DMSP 5D-3 F18 (USA 210) 18 October 2009
2009-056A 35948 Progress-M 03M 15 October 2009
2009-055A 35946 Worldview 2 08 October 2009
2009-054B 35943 COMSATBW 1 01 October 2009
2009-054A 35942 Amazonas 2 01 October 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Thor 6 is a commercial communications satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 20:00 UT on 29 October 2009. The 3,050 kg satellite will be placed in geostationary orbit at 1° W longitude. Thor 6 carries 36 Ku-band transponders. The satellite will provide direct-to-home broadcasts to customers in Central and Eastern Europe and provide increased capacity to the Nordic region.
NSS 12 is a commercial communications satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 20:00 UT on 29 October 2009. The satellite is intended to serve commercial and government customers in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia. The 5,624 kg satellite has a 15-year design life-span and carries 48 Ku-band and 40 C-band transponders. NSS 12 will provide telecommunications and direct-to-home broadcasting from a geostationary orbital position of 57° E longitude.
DMSP-F18, also known as DMSP 5D-3 F18 or USA 210, is a US Department of Defense weather satellite launched on an Atlas 5 rocket on 18 October 2009 at 16:12 UT from Vandenberg. The 1,200 kg satellite, one of several in the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, will provide terrestrial and space weather data from a near-polar, Sun-synchronous, 830 km altitude orbit. The DMSP satellites monitor the meteorological, oceanographic and solar-terrestrial physics environments. The primary weather sensor on DMSP is the Operational Linescan System, which provides continuous visual and infrared imagery of cloud cover. Additional satellite sensors measure atmospheric vertical profiles of moisture and temperature. DMSP satellites also measure space environmental parameters such as local charged particles and electromagnetic fields.
Progress-M 03M, a Russian unmanned resupply vessel for the International Space Station, was launched on a Soyuz U rocket from Baikonur on 15 October 2009 at 01:14 UT. The spacecraft was carrying approximately 2,000 kg of supplies for the ISS. These supplies include spare parts, life support gear and equipment as well as propellant and water. The vessel docked to the Earth-facing port on the Pirs module on 18 October 2009 at 01:40 UT.
Worldview 2, a commercial imaging satellite, was launched on a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg on 08 October 2009 at 18:51 UT. The satellite will be capable of providing Earth imagery in eight color bands. The data will be at 0.5 m resolution for panchromatic images and 1.8 m for multi-spectral images. The 2,800 kg satellite will be placed in a near-polar, Sun-synchronous 770 km altitude orbit.
COMSATBW 1, a Germany military communications satellite, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 01 October 2009 at 21:59 UT from Kourou. The satellite is intended for a geostationary orbital position of 63° E longitude and will provide voice and data relay, video and multimedia broadcasting.
Amazonas 2, a commercial communications satellite from Spain, was launched on an Ariane 5 rocket on 01 October 2009 at 21:59 UT from Kourou. The 5,400 kg satellite carries 54 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders providing service to customers in North, Central and South America from a geostationary orbital position of 61° W 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-21(M) (2009-043A).

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)

2008-047G(33392)     BX-1                            29 October
1998-037B(25372)     ATLAS 2AS CENTAUR R/B           29 October
2006-005C(28941)     CUTE 1.7                        25 October
2006-041B(29480)     M-5 R/B                         20 October
2009-056B(35949)     SL-04 R/B                       17 October
2009-015A(34669)     SOYUZ-TMA 14                    11 October
2009-053B(35941)     SL-4 R/B                        04 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.

NASA conducted its first test launch of the Aries  I-X rocket from launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center at 15:30 UT on 28 October 2009. It reached an altitude of 150,000 feet and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 miles downrange. The only reported glitch so far was the failure of one of the three parachutes to deploy and another to only partially deploy.

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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