A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
All information in this publication was received between 1 December 2002 and 31 December 2002.
COSPAR/WWAS USSPACECOM SPACECRAFT LAUNCH INT.ID CAT. # NAME DATE (UT) --------------------------------------------------------- 2002-062A (27632) Nimiq 2 29 December 2002 2002-061A (27630) Shenzhou 4 29 December 2002 2002-060C (27619) Cosmos 2396 25 December 2002 2002-060B (27618) Cosmos 2395 25 December 2002 2002-060A (27617) Cosmos 2394 25 December 2002 2002-059A (27613) Cosmos 2393 24 December 2002 2002-058F (27610) Rubin 2 20 December 2002 2002-058E (27609) Payload-E 20 December 2002 2002-058D (27608) Payload-D 20 December 2002 2002-058C (27607) Payload-C 20 December 2002 2002-058B (27606) Payload-B 20 December 2002 2002-058A (27605) Payload-A 20 December 2002 2002-057A (27603) NSS 6 17 December 2002 2002-056D (27600) Micro-Labsat 14 December 2002 2002-056C (27599) WEOS 14 December 2002 2002-056B (27598) Fedsat 14 December 2002 2002-056A (27597) Adeos 2 14 December 2002 2002-055A (27566) TDRS 10 05 December 2002
|2002-062A||Nimiq 2 is a Canadian geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-M rocket (topped by a BRIZ-M booster) from Baikonur at 23:17 UT on 29 December 2002. The 3.6 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft will provide radio, digital and "interactive" television, and internet services to subscribers in all of North America through its 32, 120 W, Ku-band transponders after parking over 91° W longitude.|
|2002-061A||Shenzhou 4 (meaning Divine Vessel) is a Chinese (PRC) unmanned test satellite that was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China by a Long March 2F rocket at 16:40 UT on 29 December 2002. It carries a retrievable crew module with all furnishings, test equipment, and dummy astronauts to assess its viability for a manned launch. (Very similar to the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, the Shenzhous carry two other modules, a service module for storing fuel and equipment, and an orbiter to continue on after the release of the crew module.) The crew module will make a parachuted soft-landing on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia after a seven day mission. The initial orbital parameters were period 89.8 min, apogee 329 km, perigee 196 km, and inclination 42.4°.|
|Cosmos 2394, Cosmos 2395, and Cosmos 2396 are three Glonass fleet spacecraft that were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 07:38 UT on 25 December 2002. They extend the current, depleted fleet of nine spacecraft to 12, which will grow further to a fleet of 18 spacecraft by 2004, and to 24 by 2005. (The original fleet had 24 spacecraft in the 1980s.) The initial orbital parameters of all three were close: period 676 min, apogee 19,137 km, perigee 19,127 km and inclination 64.8°.|
|2002-059A||Cosmos 2393 is a Russian military communications spacecraft that was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:20 UT on 24 December 2002. The initial orbital parameters were period 704.6 min, apogee 39,187 km, perigee 517 km, and inclination 62.8°.|
|Payload A, B, C, D, E, and Rubin 2
are six pico-/micro-satellites
that were launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on
20 December 2002. (Dnepr is a converted SS 18 ICBM.) Except for
2002-058F which has been identified as Rubin 2, but had failed
to separate from the rocket, all other five remain unmatched
with the IDs and their NORAD Catalog numbers. We know the names of
all of them however, and provide below brief outlines of the
payloads. The initial orbital parameters of five of them were
close enough: period 98 min, apogee 670±25 km, perigee
635±4 km, and inclination 64.6°. For 2002-058F, Rubin 2
(+ rocket), they were period 101 min, apogee 1,005 km, perigee 600 km, and inclination 64.6°.
Rubin 2 is a German microsatellite that was launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. It is a test satellite that can operate without a dedicated ground station. It can be operated via an internet link from a PC, using the Orbcomm mobile messaging satellite network. It did not separate from the launch vehicle.
Unisat 2 is a 12 kg, Italian picosat that was launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. It carries a camera, and debris/aerosol detection sensors.
Latinsat-A and Latinsat-B are two Argentine picosatellites that were launched by a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. These 12 kg satellites will monitor both fixed and mobile goods for the transportation industry.
Saudisat 1C is a Saudi Arabian picosatellite that was launched by a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. No further information is available.
Trailblazer is a 100 kg mockup of an American, commercial lunar orbiter that was launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on 20 Dcember 2002, for testing the viability of the craft for orbiting the Moon. If successful, these Lunar orbiters (and landers) will be launched in late 2003 through 2005. The company that sponsored the satellite "believes that there is a commercial demand for sending personal items, and burial ashes to the Moon".
|2002-057A||NSS 6 is a Netherlands geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 23:04 UT on 20 December 2002. The 4.5 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft carriers 50 Ku-band and 10 Ka-band transponders to provide voice, video and data communications to India, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia after parking over 95° E longitude.|
|2002-056D||Micro-Labsat is a Japanese technology experiment microsatellite that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Flight Center at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. Initial orbital parameters were period 100.8 min, apogee 805 km, perigee 789 km, and inclination 98.7°.|
|2002-056C||WEOS (Whale Ecology Observation Satellite) is a Japanese microsatellite that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima SFC at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. It will monitor whale migrations. Initial orbital parameters were period 100.8 min, apogee 805 km, perigee 791 km, and inclination 98.7°.|
|2002-056B||Fedsat is an Australian (50 kg) microsatellite that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Flight Center at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. It carries communications, navigation and computing systems, and a sensitive magnetometer (named NewMag). It is also reported to carry a compact disk carrying voice recordings of 300 Australians as a time capsule enduring its estimated 100-year orbital life-span. It experienced some tumbling that requires corrective efforts. Initial orbital parameters were period 100.9 min, apogee 806 km, perigee 793 km, and inclination 98.7°.|
also known as Midori 2 is a Japanese (NASDA) remote sensing
spacecraft that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space
Flight Center at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. The 3.7 tonne (with
fuel), 5 kW spacecraft has the dimensions of 4 m x 4 m x 5 m, and
has a single solar panel of 0.3 m x 24 m. It carries five
instruments to monitor the global climate trends. Initial orbital
parameters were period 101 min, apogee 807 km, perigee 806 km, and
AMSR (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer) monitors water vapor, precipitation, sea surface temperature, wind, and ice by means of microwave radiation emanating from Earth's surface and atmosphere. It is a radiometer that operates in eight frequency bands covering 6.9 GHz to 89 GHz, and monitors the horizontal and vertical polarizations separately. With a dish of two meter aperture, the spatial resolution is 5 km in the 89 GHz band, degrading to 60 km at 6.9 GHz.
GLI (GLobal Imager) is an optical sensor to observe solar radiation reflected from Earth's surface and map vegetation, clouds etc. The data is acquired in 23 visible/near-infrared, and in 13 far-infrared channels. The scanning is done by a rotating mirror covering 12 km along track and 1,600 km cross-track, and at a resolution of 1.0 km.
SeaWinds is a scatterometer that provides wind speed and direction by observing the microwave reflection from ocean surfaces. With its 1.0 m dish, it scans the surface along conical surfaces at 18 rpm. It provides speed at an accuracy of 2 m/s, wind direction at an accuracy of 20°, both with a spatial resolution of 5 km.
ILAS-2 (Improved Limb Atmospheric Spectrometer 2) maps the vertical distribution of O3, NO2, HNO3, H2O, CFC-11, CFC-12, CH4, N2O, and ClONO2, as well as the distribution of temperature and pressure, all in the stratosphere. It observes the absorption spectrum in Earth's atmospheric limb in the 3-13 micron wavelength band, and in the 753-784 nm band of the occulting Sun. The altitude resolution is 100 m.
POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of Earth's Reflectances) measures the polarization, and spectral characteristics of the solar light reflected by aerosols, clouds, oceans and land surfaces. Eight narrow band wavelengths (443,490, 564, 670, 763, 765, 865, and 910 nm) are covered by the instrument which enables identification of the physical and optical properties of the aerosols and their role in radiation budget.
|2002-055A||TDRS 10 is an American (NASA), geostationary Tracking and Data Relay Satellite that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape Canaveral at 14:42 UT on 5 December 2002, and soon reached its testing location at 150° W longitude. It joins the currently operational fleet of six TDRSs which are used to relay data from many science-payload NASA satellites. The 3.2 tonne (with fuel), 1.7 kW, hexagonal, triaxially-stabilized TDRS 10 spacecraft's enhanced capability includes simultaneous coverage of five spacecraft at multiple frequencies and at a data rate of 800 megabits/s from its Ka-band transponders, 300 Mbps from its Ku-band, and 6 Mbps from its S-band transponders.|
Note: The full list appeared in SPX 545. The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised again.
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: igscb.jpl.nasa.gov [directory /igscb] WWW: http://igscb.jpl.nasa.gov/ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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: http://www.rssi.ru/SFCSIC/english.html maintained by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC),Russian Space Forces.
The latest additions to the GLONASS fleet are Cosmos 2394, Cosmos 2395, and Cosmos 2396.
A comprehensive list of visually bright objects with their two-line orbital elements is available through a NASA site as follows:
The list does not provide visual magnitude, but are expected to be brighter than magnitude 5. Note: The login requirement is enforced due to the events on 11 September 2001.
Designations Common Name Decay Date (2002) 1984-085A (15182) MOLNIYA 1-61 31 December 1967-104B (03019) R/B 27 December 2002-029F (27448) R/B(Aux. Mot.) 23 December 1984-085D (15188) R/B(2) 20 December 2002-042C (27517) R/B(1) H-2A 11 December 2002-053A (27557) ASTRA 1K 10 December 2002-048B (27541) R/B(1) 08 December 1993-032B (22658) R/B(1) Delta 2 08 December 2002-052A (27556) STS 113 Landed on 07 December 2002-041B (27514) R/B Ariane 44L 04 December
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:
Note: The login requirement is enforced due to the events on 11 September 2001.
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: