NASA Spacewarn Bulletin No. 631 01 June 2006

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2006


A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information

No. 631 01 June 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2006 and 31 May 2006.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2006-020B    29163    Thaicom 5              27 May 2006
   2006-020A    29162    SatMex 6               27 May 2006
   2006-019A    29157    COMPASS 2              26 May 2006
   2006-018A    29155    GOES 13                24 May 2006
   2006-017A    29111    Cosmos 2420            03 May 2006

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Thaicom 5 is a Thai geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 21:09 UT on 27 May 2006. The 2.8 tonne (with fuel) triaxially-stabilized craft will provide television and internet services to the Asia-Pacific region through its 25 C-band and 14 Ku-band transponders after parking over 78.5° E longitude. It will replace the aging Thaicom 1 and Thaicom 2 satellites that were launched in 1993 and 1994.
SatMex 6 is a Mexican geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Kourou at 21:09 UT on 27 May 2006. The 5.7 tonne (with fuel) craft will provide voice, data, and video services to Mexico, South America and the continental United States, through its 36 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders after parking over 109.2° W longitude.
COMPASS 2 (Complex Orbital Magneto-Plasma Autonomous Small Satellite 2) is a Russian (IZMIRAN) ionospheric microsatellite that was launched by a Shtil 1 rocket (a modified submarine-based ICBM) from a nuclear submarine in Barents Sea at 18:50 UT on 26 May 2006. It is also known as KOMPAS 2. The 80 kg satellite carries detectors for electromagnetic signatures created by/before earthquakes and volcanoes. The initial orbital parameters were period 93.9 min, apogee 525 km, perigee 402 km, and inclination 78.9°.
GOES 13 is an American (NOAA) geostationary weather satellite that was launched by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:11 UT on 24 May 2006. The 3.2 tonne (with fuel), 2.3 kW craft carries the usual set of GOES monitors: imager, sounder, SEM package, X-ray imager, energetic particle detector, and ground-data relaying equipment. The parking longitude is yet to be finalized. More details are available at
Imager: This is a multi-channel instrument covering 0.52-13.7 micron band in five discrete channels. It carries a two-axis scanning mirror to scan east-west and north-south, covering the entire hemisphere below it. Clouds are imaged in four channels, water vapor in one channel, and surface temperature in one (or three) channels, fires and smoke in two (or four) channels.
Sounder: The so-called Sounder carries a 19-channel, discrete-filter, passive radiometer covering the wavelength range of 0.7-14.71 microns. It looks toward the horizon to monitor the radiation. The data can then be processed to provide vertical profiles of temperature, water vapor, and clouds.
SEM: The Space Environment Monitor is a standard package in all GOES missions. It carries an energetic particle sensor (EPS) to obtain the local fluxes of electrons, protons and alpha-particles. Its XRS monitors X-ray flux from the Sun in two wavelength bands: 0.05-0.3 nm and 0.1-0.8 nm. A magnetometer monitors the field vector of the disturbed by geomagnetic activity. A five-channel EUV telescope monitors the solar ultraviolet radiation in the 10-126 nm.
X-Ray Imager: The imager maps the X-ray emitting regions on the Sun in the bands 0.6-3.0 and 0.6-6.0 nm, once a minute. The resolution is about 3 arc-min, covering the field of view of 42 arc-min.
Cosmos 2420 is a Russia military satellite that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Plesetsk at 17:38 UT on 03 May 2006. The initial orbital parameters were period 89.8 min, apogee 337 km, perigee 189 km, and inclination 67.2°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Spacecraft with essentially continuous radio beacons on frequencies less than 150 MHz, or higher frequencies if especially suited for ionospheric or geodetic studies.

NNSS denotes U.S. Navy Navigational Satellite System. Updates or corrections to the list are possible only with information from the user community.

Note: The full list appeared in SPX 545. The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised again.

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 80 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International Association of Geodesy (IGS)

     FTP:  [directory /igscb]

The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPX-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 Navstar 57, 2005-038A.

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 SPX-545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC), Russian Space Forces.

According to CSIC the latest addition to the fleet are GLONASS 712, GLONASS 796, and GLONASS 797. Their International IDs are 2005-050A, 2005-050B, and 2005-050C.

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 (2006)

2003-060F (28199)    R/B (Aux.Mot) Proton-K            13 May

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 633, 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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Global MilSatCom, November 5-7, 2019, London, UK


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