SPACEWARN Bulletin 585 - 3 Sep 2002

Status Report From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2002

SPACEWARN Activities

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

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC). USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2002-040B    (27509)  MSG 1               28 August 2002
   2002-040A    (27508)  Atlantic Bird       28 August 2002
   2002-039A    (27501)  Echostar 8          22 August 2002
   2002-038A    (27499)  Hot Bird 6          21 August 2002
B. Text of Launch Announcements.
2002-040B MSG 1 (Meteosat Second Generation 1) is a European (Eumetsat consortium) geostationary weather satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 22:45 UT on 28 August 2002. The cylindrical, 2-tonne satellite will enable quicker and more accurate weather forecast in Europe than in the past, after first parking over 10 deg-E longitude for six months and later moving the zero degree longitude. It carries two major instruments. SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-Red Imager) is a 12- channel imager that will provide a set of surface and cloud-cover images every 15 minutes at a spatial resolution of 1 km. Four of the channels are in cloud- and soil-reflected visible wavelengths, four infrared channels will measure temperature of clouds and sea- surafce, and the remaining four infrared channels will provide water vapor, ozone and carbon dioxide contents.

GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget) measures the radiation coming from the Sun and the reflected/emitted radiation rom the Earth to obtain the radiation balance.

Raw data from both instruments will be directly downlinked to Darmstadt, Germany; the processed data will be uplinked to the satellite to be rebroadcast to Europe and other regions.

Besides those two instruments, it carries receivers for weather-data from remote/mobile sites, and a 406 MHz transponder for search-and- rescue SOS operations conducted by the global COSPAS-Surat organization. More details of the payload are available through
2002-040A Atlantic Bird is a European (Eutelsat) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 22:45 UT on 28 August 2002. The 2.7 tonne (dry mass), 5 kW satellite will provide voice, video, and Internet services to Europe and the eastern part of America through its 24 transponders after parking over 12.5 deg-W
2002-039A Echostar 8 is an American geostationary communication spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 05:15 UT on 22 August 2002. The 4.7 tonne satellite will provide digital TV broadcast to North America through its 16 "spot beams" and 41 transponders in the Ku-band after parking over 110 deg-W longitude.
2002-038A Hot Bird 6 is a European (Eutelsat) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 5/Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:05 UT on 21 August 2002. It was a maiden flight for the Atlas 5 which has two stages (one a liquid oxygen and hydrogen, the other a liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen burner) and uses Russian motors. The 4.9 tonne Hot Bird 6 will provide digital radio and television coverage to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East through its 28 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders after parking over 13 deg-E longitude.
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.

    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 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)
    2002-037B (27471)  R/B(1) Proton-K                        26 July
    1999-072A (26040)  COSMOS 2367                            20 July
    2000-042C (26904)  PICOSAT 7&8 (Tethered)                 11 July
    2002-034B (27458)  R/B(1) Delta 2                         06 July
    2002-022B (27425)  R/B Delta 2                            02 July
    2002-007B (27381)  R/B Ariane 44L                         01 July
    2001-034B (26885)  R/B(1) Delta 2                         01 July
  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.)

    CONTOUR spacecraft (2002-034A) is reported to have lost contact with the ground control. A thruster was ignited on 15 August 2002 to boost it into a heliocentric orbit so as to obtain images of two comets over the next few years. But soon after the ignition there was no contact. Ground based telescopes seem to have photographed the spacecraft as two separate pieces. NASA has appointed panel to investigate the cause.

    The CRL, Kokubunji, Japan has notified us that NASDA expects to launch a geostationary DRTS (Data Relay Test Satellite) on 10 September 2002 by a H-IIA rocket.

    It appears that there is no national or international organization that defines the various alphabetically designated Communication and Broadcasting frequency bands. One of the extant lists has the following coverages. The Spacewarn Bulletin would appreciate input from the reader community to update the coverage status. (

                 L-Band   1.35-1.70 GHz
                 S-Band   1.70-2.30 GHz;   2.30-2.70 GHz
                 C-Band   3.40-4.20 GHz;   4.40-5.00 GHz; 5.725-8.40 GHz
                Ku-Band  10.00-13.25 GHz; 14.00-15.40 GHz
                 K-Bnad  17.30-24.05 GHz
                Ka-Band  25.25-31.80 GHz
  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:

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