SPACEWARN Bulletin 589

Status Report From: Spacewarn Bulletin
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2002

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

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 November 2002 and 30 November 2002.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2002-054B    (27560)  Mozhayets        28 November 2002
   2002-054A    (27559)  Alsat 1          28 November 2002
   2002-053A    (27557)  ASTRA 1K         25 November 2002
   2002-052A    (27556)  STS 113          24 November 2002
   2002-051A    (27554)  W5               20 November 2002

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2002-054B Mozhayets is a Russian experimental, 90 kg minisatellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:07 UT on 28 November 2002. It was designed and built by the cadets and teachers of a military space academy to learn about spacecraft operations. The initial orbital parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 98.5 min, altitude 700 km, and inclination 98°.
2002-054A Alsat 1 is an Algerian imaging minisatellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 06:07 UT on 28 November 2002. The 90 kg satellite is part of an international Disaster Monitoring System (DMS) for alerting natural/man-made disasters. The initial orbital parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 98.5 min, altitude 700 km, and inclination 98°.
2002-053A ASTRA 1K was to be a European (Luxembourge-based) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 23:04 UT on 25 November 2002. However, the DM-3 booster attached to the 5.0 tonne, 13 kW spacecraft (reported to be the most massive of civilian communications spacecraft, with its 52 Ku-band and two Ka-band transponders to cover 1,100 channels) was prematurely commanded to separate, resulting in the spacecraft orbiting at a very low orbit. In an effort to prevent imminent re-entry, the spacecraft was raised to a circular orbit at an altitude of 290 km. Three options are now under consideration: (a) to force its re-entry over the Pacific ocean; (b) to retrieve it by a US shuttle; or, (c) to use up all the fuel on board the satellite to move it to a geostationary orbit at 19.2° E longitude. The relative security provided by the current orbit provides adequate time for selecting the best option.
2002-052A STS 113 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 00:50 UT on 23 November 2002. It carried a crew of seven astronauts (six American and one Russian) and the main hardware, a 13.7 m truss of 12.5 tonne to the International Space Station (ISS). During several hours of EVA, the crew installed and secured the truss assembly which now has a total length of 40.8 m. The truss will provide structural support to the station's thermal control radiators, besides enabling a manually operated cart to move along it during EVAs. The total mass of the ISS is now about 200 tonnes. Prior to leaving the ISS, the shuttle will release a pair of tethered (15 m long) picosatellites. It is to leave the ISS on 2 December 2002 and return to Earth on 4 December 2002, leaving behind three of its astronauts for a long stay at the ISS and bringing back the rest of the crew and the three astronauts who have stayed in ISS for about six months. The initial orbital parameters of STS 113 were period 92.3 min, apogee 397 km, perigee 379 km, and inclination 51.6°.
2002-051A W5 is a European (EUTELSAT Consortium) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:39 UT on 20 November 2002. It was the maiden flight of the Delta 4 model. It will provide voice, video and internet services to all countries in western Europe, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent through its 24 Ku-band transponders after parking over 70.5° 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)
    1966-111B (02611)  OV1 10                              30 November
    2002-053B (27558)  R/B DM 3                            28 November
    1978-117B (11156)  R/B that launched COSMOS 1063       20 November
    1993-076B (22922)  R/B(1) Delta 2                      18 November
    2002-031C (27452)  R/B Breeze-KM                       16 November
    2001-020C (26772)  R/B(2) Delta 2                      14 November
    2000-042A (26414)  MIGHTYSAT 2                         12 November
    2002-020A (27416)  SOYUZ TM-34                         10 November
    1980-008A (11682)  COSMOS 1154                         05 November
    2002-050B (27553)  R/B Soyuz-U                         01 November
    2000-050B (26482)  R/B Long March 4B                   01 November
  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. Go to
    2. Select "OIG Main Page".
    3. Select "Send Message to System administrator", who will provide a login account.
    4. After getting an ID and a Password, click on "Registered User Login". (Step (2) is not needed after obtaining an account.)
    5. Select "Continue".
    6. Select "General information".
    7. Select "Reports".
    8. 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.