SPACEWARN Bulletin 583 (DRAFT)

Status Report From: Spacewarn Bulletin
Posted: Monday, June 3, 2002

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 May 2002 and 31 May 2002.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2002-026A    (27436)  Cosmos 2389         28 May 2002
   2002-025A    (27434)  OFEQ 5              28 May 2002
   2002-024B    (27431)  Payload B           15 May 2002
   2002-024A    (27430)  Payload A           15 May 2002
   2002-023A    (27426)  DirecTV 5           07 May 2002
   2002-022A    (27424)  Aqua                04 May 2002
   2002-021A    (27421)  SPOT 5              04 May 2002

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2002-026A Cosmos 2389 is a Russian military communications spacecraft that was launched by a Cosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 18:15 UT on 28 May 2002. Initial orbital parameters were period 105 min, apogee 1,017 km, perigee 950 km, and inclination 83 deg.
2002-025A OFEQ 5 is an Israeli military photo-reconnaissance satellite that was launched westward (i.e., retrograde) from Palmahim Beach AFB on the Mediterranean coast by a Shavit rocket at 14:55 UT on 28 May 2002. The initial orbital parameters were period 96 min, apogee 770 km, perigee 369 km, and inclination 143.5 deg.
2002-024A, 2002-024B Payload A and Payload B are the tentative names for the two Chinese (PRC) satellites that were launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan Launch Center on 5 May 2002 at 01:50 UT. (There are three operational launch centers in China: Jiuquan in Gansu province in the northwest, Taiyuan in Shanxi province in the north, and Xichang in Sichuan province in the southwest.) One of them is the weather satellite Fengyun 1D (meaning Wind and Cloud 1D), and the other is Haiyang 1 (Marine 1).

The 428 kg Fengyun 1D carries an Earth Imager that will digitally photograph clouds, rivers and, lakes and forewarn river floods and sand storms.

The 360 kg Haiyang 1 carries an Ocean Imager in sevral visible and infrared bands to study ocean temperature, chlorophyll concentration, sedimentation, and ecology. The analysis will involve auxilliary data from buoys, marine planes and coastal observation stations.

The initial orbital parameters of both were very close: period 102.2 min, apogee 872 km, perigee 851 km, and inclination 98.8 deg.
2002-023A DirecTV 5 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 17:00 UT on 7 May 2002. The 4.3 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft will provide digital television to North American subscribers after parking over 119 deg-W longitude through its 32 Ku-band transponders.
2002-022A Aqua (previously named EOS PM-1) is a major American (NASA) hydrology satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 09:55 UT on 4 May 2002. With dimensions 4.8 m x 8.4 m x 16.7 m (including solar sails), mass of 1.75 tonnes, and power of 4.86 kW, it carries six instrument packages of additional mass of 1.08 tonne to study the global water cycle in the oceans, ice caps, land masses and the atmosphere. The Project Scientist is Claire Parkinson and the Project Manager is Phil Sabelhaus, both at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Data will be distributed through the various DAACs (Distributed Active Archive Center). The URL for the Aqua mission is

AMSR/E (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer/EOS) is a 324 kg, 350 W, Japanese (NASDA) instrument that remote-senses all segments of the globe in six discrete frequencies in the 6.9-89.0 GHz range. With dual polarization capability through the multiple horns on a 1.6 meter diameter dish, it carries 12 channels of data, with a spatial resolution of 5.4 km. The scan is conical with a cone angle of 55 deg and at a rate of 40 rpm. The Team Leader is Akira Shibata. The data will be distributed through the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA. The URL, provides further details.

MODIS (MODerate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) is a 229 kg, 163 W NASA/GSFC instrument that views the land and oceans in 36 spectral bands covering the range 0.4-14 microns, at a spatial resolution of a few hundred meters. The Team Leader is Vince Salomonson of NASA/GSFC. The data will be distributed by the EROS Data Center, USGS, Sioux Falls, SD, USA. The URL, provides additional information.

AMSU (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit) is a NASA/GSFC sponsored 100 kg, 125 W instrument that monitors atmospheric temperature and humidity in 15 bands covering the 50-89 GHz range, at a horizontal spatial resolution of 40 km. The Team Leader is Moustafa Chahine, JPL. The data will be distributed through the GSFC-DAAC, NASA, Greenbelt, MD., USA. The URL, provides additional information.

AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Scanner) is a 156 kg, 256 W NASA/JPL instrument that measures globe-wide temperatures, cloud properties and radiated flux in 2,300 spectral bands covering wavelengths in the 0.4-1.7, and 3.4-15.4 micron ranges. Altitude resolution is 1 km and the temperature accuracy is at 1.0 K. The Team Leader is Moustafa Chahine, JPL. The data will be ditributed through the GSFC-DAAC, NASA, Greenbelt, MD. USA. The URL, provides additional information.

HSB (Humidity Sounder from Brazil) is an INPE/Brazil, 66 kg, 85 W instrument that measures atmospheric humidity, in four frequency channels, at a horizontal spatial resolution of 13.5 km. One channel is at 150 GHz and three are near 183 GHz. The Team Leader is Moustafa Chahine, JPL. The data will be distributed through the GSFC-DAAC, NASA, Greenbelt, MD., USA. For more details see,

CERES (Clouds and Earth Radiant Energy System) is a NASA/LaRC, 100 kg, 104 W instrument that monitors radiated energy flux in the 0.3-5.0, 8-12, and 03-50 micron range, at a spatial resolution of 20 km. The Team Leadrer is Bruce Wielicki, LaRC. The data will be distributed through the Langley-DAAC, LaRC, NASA, Hampton, VA, USA. The URL, provides additinal data.

The initial orbital parameters of AQUA were period 98.4 min, apogee 686 km, perigee 673 km, and inclination 98.2 deg.
2002-021A SPOT 5 is a French (CNES), Earth-imaging, three tonne satellite that was launched by an Ariane 42P rocket from Kourou at 00:31 UT on 4 May 2002. Its planar and stereoscopic relief images at about three meter resolution will be marketted for civilian and military uses, for cartographic and vegetation analyses. Panchromatic (at 2.5 m resolution) as well as multispectral images (at 10 m resolution) could be obtained. The position of the satellite, and hence the location of the imges could be determined at 15 m accuracy by means of the DORIS position determination instrument. Extensive information on the instruments and data products is available via The initial orbital parameters were period 101.4 min, apogee 826 km, perigee 825 km, and inclination 98.8 deg.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 (nnnn) 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.

    4e 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 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.

    The latest addition to the GLONASS fleet are Cosmos 2380, Cosmos 2381, and Cosmos 2382.

  4. Visually bright objects.

    A comprehensive list of visually bright objects with their two-line orbital elements is available from USSPACECOM, via a NASA site, The list, however, does not include visual magnitudes, but are expected to be brighter than magnitude 5.

  5. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2002)
    1997-018B (24780)  R/B Pegasus                            20 May
    1971-052A (05281)  COSMOS 426                             11 May
    1966-026B (02129)  R/B Thor Altair                        10 May
    2002-023B (27427)  R/B(1) Proton-K                        09 May
    1995-045F (23661)  R/B(Aux) Proton-K                      08 May
    2001-048A (26955)  SOYUZ-TM 33                            05 May
  6. 60-day Decay Predictions.

    The USSPACECOM forecasts and maintains a list of decays of orbiting objects expected in the next 60 days , with fair accuracy. The list may be accessed through a NASA site, as follows:

    1. Select "OIG Main Page".
    2. Select "Send Message to System administrator", who will provide a login account.
    3. After getting an ID and a Password, click on "Registered User Login". (Step (2) is not needed after obtaining an account.)
    4. Select "Continue".
    5. Select "General information".
    6. Select "Reports".
    7. Select "Sixty Day Decay...".

    Note: The login requirement is enforced due to the events on 11 September 2001.

  7. Miscellaneous Items. (This section contains information/data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.)
  8. 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 interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated through 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:

// end //

More status reports and news releases or top stories.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.