National Aeronautics and Space Administration
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 682
01 September 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 August 2010 and 31 August 2010.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2010-040A 36985 Tianhui 1 24 August 2010
2010-039A 36868 AEHF 1 (USA 214) 14 August 2010
2010-038A 36834 Yaogan 10 09 August 2010
2010-037B 36831 Rascom QAF 1R 04 August 2010
2010-037A 36830 Nilesat 201 04 August 2010

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Tianhui 1 is a Chinese mapping satellite launched on 24 August 2010 from Jiuquan at 07:10 UT. The craft was launched by a Long March 2D rocket. Tianhui 1 will be used for scientific research, mapping and land resource surveys to help promote economic development. The Tianhui 1 is equipped with a 3-D survey camera, a CCD camera capable of a ground resolution of 5 m at a camera angle of 25° and a multi-spectrum camera with a ground resolution of 10 m. The cameras can cover imagery that is 60 km wide from a 500-km high orbit.
AEHF 1 (Advanced Extremely High Frequency) is a U.S. Air Force communications satellite launched on 14 August 2010 from Cape Canaveral at 11:07 UT. The satellite was launched by an Atlas rocket and weighed 6169 kg. AEHF 1 is the first of four Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites that will replace the earlier Milstar system. The AEHF spacecraft will provide highly-secure communication and has more capacity and faster data rates that will benefit tactical military communications, enabling higher quality maps, targeting data and live video to be transmitted ensuring a survivable line of contact in times of nuclear warfare. The craft has a 14-year design life and is expected to enter service early next year from an orbital location dictated by the needs at that time.
Yaogan 10, a Chinese remote sensing satellite, was launched on 09 August 2010 from Taiyun at 22:49 UT on a Long March 4C rocket.
Rascom QAF 1R, an African communications satellite, was launched on 04 August 2010 from Kourou at 20:59 UT. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket and weighed 3,050 kg. It carries 12 C-band and eight Ku-band transponders providing television, telephone, and internet services across Africa. Rascom-QAF 1R will enter service at 2.85° E longitude and replace the nearly identical satellite, Rascom QAF 1, that experienced a helium leak after it was launched in 2007.
Nilesat, an African communications satellite, was launched on 04 August 2010 from Kourou at 20:59 UT. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket and weighed 3,200 kg. It carries 24 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders. Nilesat will enter service at 7° W longitude and will join two other Nilesat spacecraft and a European-owned satellite to provide direct-to-home television, radio, and broadband internet services to Africa and the Middle East.

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 2F-1 (2010-022A).

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 2010-007A, 2010-007B and 2010-007C.

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 (2010)

2003-002A(27642)     ICESAT                           30 August
2007-062B(32385)     DELTA 2 R/B(2)                   24 August
2006-026A(29247)     COSMOS 2421                      19 August  
2009-038F(35694)     ANDE CASTOR SPHERE               18 August
2006-058C(29655)     GENESAT                          04 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.

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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