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Unregistered Earth Satellites Launched into Space

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A List of Satellites Not Registered with the U.N.

by Jonathan McDowell

Adherence to the 1976 Convention on Registration of Objects 
Launched into Outer Space 


by Jonathan McDowell


Somerville, MA., 1994 Dec 23

Second edition: Revised 1995 Sep 24

Third edition: Revised 1997 Apr 21



 Unregistered Satellites  Table 1: Registered and Unregistered 
Satellites  Table 2: Unregistered Earth Satellites and Space Probes 
1962- 1996 Mar 
 (a) Argentina  (b) Australia  © Brazil  (d) Canada  (e) China, 
People's Republic  () Czech Republic  (f) European Space Agency 
 (g) France  (h) Germany, Federal Republic  (i) Indonesia  (j) Israel 
 (k) Italy  (l) Japan  (n) Luxembourg  () Malaysia  (o) Mexico  (p) 
Netherlands  (q) Pakistan  ® Portugal  (s) Saudi Arabia  (u) 
Thailand  (v) Turkey  (w) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 
Russian Federation  (x) United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Northern Ireland  (y) United States of America 


-----------------
Unregistered Satellites 

In 1962, UN Resolution 1721B (XVI) required member States of 
the UN to register objects launched into space. This was a move to 
reduce tensions and alleviate the fear that the US or the USSR 
would place weapons in orbit. The resolution was complemented in 
1976 when the UN drew up the Convention on Registration of 
Objects Launched into Outer Space. 

Registration documents submitted to the United Nations under the 
provisions of UN Resolution 1721B (XVI) and article IV of the 
1976 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer 
Space are published as two series of United Nations documents 
(UNO 1962, UNO 1977), which are not widely available and in 
which the information is scattered and hard to find. I have recently 
(McDowell 1994, 1995, 1997) compiled an edited version of the 
information in the Registration documents which corrects the above 
mentioned errors and arranges the information in a systematic way. 

Since 1962, most space payloads have been duly registered with the 
UN. (The USSR retrospectively registered its pre-1962 payloads, 
while the US did not.) However, a number have not been registered, 
in violation of Resolution 1721B. Here (Table 1) I summarize the 
situation for launches for the period from the beginning of 1980 to 
1996 using the data from my edited version of the Registry, which 
covers documents published up to mid 1997 (ST/SG/SER.E/317 
and A/AC.105/INF.399). 

Things are confusing for payloads launched by one state on behalf 
of another; the United States occasionally registers payloads which 
it launched but which belong to another country, but this is not 
done in any systematic way. In these cases I have considered the 
payload to be a United States payload unless it was subsequently 
re-registered by another state. 10 of the French payloads belonged 
to ESRO, and 3 to EUTELSAT. Three of the UK non-registered 
payloads are those of INMARSAT, an international organization 
with headquarters in the UK. Until 1981 the USA registered all 
INTELSAT payloads, since INTELSAT has its headquarters in the 
USA. Since 1981, it has omitted all these payloads. It can be seen 
that almost 10 percent of US payloads since 1980 are unregistered. 
China also has a bad record, since it only began registering 
launches a few years ago. Japan used to have a very good score but 
it recently missed a few launches. Since the first edition, Canada 
has registered its outstanding satellites and France has registered 
some of its missing launches. 

Note added in third edition: Spain and Korea registered their 
outstanding satellites in 1996. 

In Table 2 I list all the satellites launched since 1962 which have 
not been registered with the UN, together with the name of the UN 
member state which should have registered them. In most cases the 
failure to register was due to adminstrative oversight, and it is to be 
hoped that the states in question will retrospectively register the 
satellites in Table 2. 
-----------------------------------------
Table 1: Registered and unregistered satellite launches. 


Launching State		Number of payloads
1980-1996 Mar 31	   1957-1979		1957-96 Mar 31
registered  not registered registered  not reg. total
------------------------------------------------------

Soviet Union			1317	0		1415	18	2750
United States of America	 410   45		 934	33	1424

Russian Federation		 241 	7		   0	 0	 248
Japan				  44    7		  18	 0        69
France				  18    3		  20	 6	  47
The People's Republic of China	   4   22	  	   0     8	  34
United Kingdom			  14    6		   6     1	  27
European Space Agency		  21    2		   1	 0	  24
India				  19    0		   2     0	  21
Federal Republic of Germany	   7    7		   3     1	  18
Canada				   9    0		   3     0	  12
Italy				   2    3		   4     0	   9
Australia			   4    2		   1     0	   7
Brazil				   1    5		   0     0	   6
Indonesia			   0    5		   0     0         5
Luxembourg			   0    5		   0     0	   5
Sweden				   4    0		   0     0	   4
The United Mexican States	   2    2		   0     0         4
Spain				   3    0                  1     0         4
Korea				   4    0		   0     0         4
Czechoslovakia			   2    0		   1     0	   3
Saudi Arabia			   0    3		   0	 0	   3
Israel			   	   2    1		   0     0	   3
Thailand                           0    2                  0     0         2
The Netherlands			   0    0		   0     1	   1
Argentina			   0    1		   0     0	   1
Portugal			   0    1		   0     0	   1
Pakistan			   0	1		   0     0	   1
Turkey                             0    1                  0     0         1
Ukraine                            1    0                  0     0         1
Czech Republic                     0    1                  0     0         1
Malaysia                           0    1                  0     0         1
---------------------------------------------



---------------------------------------------------
Table 2: Unregistered Earth Satellites and Space Probes 1962-1993
(a) Argentina 

-----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Argentina    1990-05G          LUSAT                  1990 Jan 22



(b) Australia 

------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Australia    1992-90A          Optus B2               1992 Dec 21
[Note added 1995 Jan 27: this satellite was destroyed on launch, but
some debris reached orbit, including the US-built Star 63F perigee
kick motor. Possibly this object should have been registered by the US.]
Australia    1994-55A          Optus B3               1994 Aug 27



© Brazil 

--------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Brazil       1985-15B          Brasilsat S1           1985 Feb  8
Brazil       1986-26B          Brasilsat S2           1986 Mar 28
Brazil       1990-05E          DOVE                   1990 Jan 22
Brazil       1994-49A          Brasilsat B1           1994 Aug 10
Brazil       1995-16A          Brasilsat B2           1995 Mar 28


(d) Canada 

---------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation



(e) China, People's Republic 

----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

PRC          1970-34A          Dong Fang Hong         1970 Apr 24
PRC          1971-18A          Shi Jian               1971 Mar  3
PRC          1975-70A          JSSW                   1975 Jul 26
PRC          1975-111A         FSW                    1975 Nov 26
PRC          1975-119A         JSSW                   1975 Dec 16
PRC          1976-87A          JSSW                   1976 Aug 30
PRC          1976-117A         FSW                    1976 Dec  7
PRC          1978-11A          FSW                    1978 Jan 26
PRC          1981-93A          Shi Jian 2             1981 Sep 19
PRC          1981-93B          Shi Jian 2A            1981 Sep 19
PRC          1981-93C          Shi Jian 2B            1981 Sep 19
PRC          1982-90A          FSW                    1982 Sep  9
PRC          1983-86A          FSW                    1983 Aug 19
PRC          1984-08A          Shiyan Wexing          1984 Jan 29
PRC          1984-35A          STTW                   1984 Apr  8
PRC          1984-98A          FSW                    1984 Sep 12
PRC          1985-96A          FSW                    1985 Oct 21
PRC          1986-10A          STTW                   1986 Feb  1
PRC          1986-76A          FSW                    1986 Oct  6
PRC          1987-67A          FSW                    1987 Aug  5
PRC          1987-75A          FSW                    1987 Sep  9
PRC          1988-14A          Zhongxing 1            1988 Mar  9
PRC          1988-67A          FSW                    1988 Aug  5
PRC          1988-80A          Feng Yun 1             1988 Sep  7
PRC          1988-111A         Zhongxing 2            1988 Dec 22
PRC          1990-81A          Feng Yun 1             1990 Sep  3
PRC          1990-81B          Atmosphere 1           1990 Sep  3
PRC          1990-81C          Atmosphere 2           1990 Sep  3
PRC          1990-89A          FSW                    1990 Oct  5
PRC          1993-63A          Jian Bing              1993 Oct  8
PRC          1994-10A          Shi Jian 4             1994 Feb  8
PRC          1994-37A          FSW                    1994 Jul  3
PRC          1994-80A          DFH-3                  1994 Nov 29



(f) Czech Republic 

Czech        1995-39E          Magion 4               1995 Aug  3



(f) European Space Agency 

--------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

ESA          1987-78B          Eutelsat I F4          1987 Sep 16
ESA          1993-73B          Meteosat 6             1993 Nov 20



(g) France 


---------------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

France       1970-17B          MIKA                   1970 Mar 10  
France       1970-109A         Peole                  1970 Dec 12
France       1971-30A          Tournesol              1971 Apr 15
France       1972-25B          SRET 1                 1972 Apr  4
France       1977-49A          Signe 3                1977 Jun 17
France (ESA) 1977-102B         ISEE 2                 1977 Oct 22
France       1995-33A          Helios 1               1995 Jul  7
France       1995-33B          Cerise                 1995 Jul  7
France       1995-67A          Telecom 2C             1995 Dec  6



(h) Germany, Federal Republic of 

---------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Germany      1970-17A          WIKA                   1970 Mar 10  
Germany      1988-51B          Amsat-Oscar-13         1988 Jun 15
Germany      1990-49A          ROSAT                  1990 Jun  1
Germany      1991-50D          TUBSAT                 1991 Jul 17
Germany      1993-58C          Orfeus-SPAS            1993 Sep 12
Germany      1994-03C          TUBSAT B               1994 Jan 25
Germany      1994-06H          Bremsat                1994 Feb  3
Germany      1994-73B          Crista-SPAS            1994 Nov  3 



(i) Indonesia 

-----------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Indonesia    1983-59C          Palapa B1              1983 Jun 18
Indonesia    1984-11D          Palapa B2              1984 Feb  3
Indonesia    1987-29A          Palapa B2P             1987 Mar 20
Indonesia    1992-27A          Palapa B4              1992 May 14
Indonesia    1996-06A          Palapa C1              1996 Feb  1


(j) Israel 

-----------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Israel       1990-27A          Offeq-2                1990 Apr  3



(k) Italy 

--------------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Italy        1988-26A          San Marco 5            1988 Mar 25
Italy        1992-70B          Lageos 2               1992 Oct 22
Italy        1993-61F          Itamsat                1993 Sep 26



(l) Japan 

----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Japan        1980-15A          Tansei-4               1980 Feb 17
Japan        1980-18A          Ayame-2                1980 Feb 22
Japan        1989-41A          Superbird 1            1989 Jun  6
Japan        1990-07C          Hagoromo               1990 Jun 24
Japan        1991-60A          Yuri 3B                1991 Aug 25
Japan        1991-62A          Yohkoh                 1991 Aug 30
Japan        -                 EXPRESS                1995 Jan 15

Note: EXPRESS was not given an international designation, but
made several orbits of the Earth before landing in Ghana.



(n) Luxembourg 

--------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Luxembourg   1988-109B         Astra 1A               1988 Dec 11
Luxembourg   1991-15A          Astra 1B               1991 Mar  2
Luxembourg   1993-31A          Astra 1C               1993 May 12
Luxembourg   1994-70A          Astra 1D               1994 Nov  1
Luxembourg   1995-55A          Astra 1E               1995 Oct 19


(n) Malaysia 

-------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Malaysia     1996-02B          Measat 1               1996 Jan 12


(o) Mexico 

-----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Mexico       1993-73A          Solidaridad 1          1993 Nov 20
Mexico       1994-65A          Solidaridad 2          1994 Oct  8



(p) Netherlands 

-----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Netherlands  1974-70A          ANS                    1974 Aug 30



(q) Pakistan 

-------------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Pakistan     1990-59A          BADR-A                 1990 Jul 16



® Portugal 

----------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Portugal     1993-61D          POSAT                  1993 Sep 26



(s) Saudi Arabia 

---------------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Saudi Arabia 1985-15A          Arabsat F1             1985 Feb  8
Saudi Arabia 1985-48C          Arabsat F2             1985 Jun 18



(u) Thailand 

-----------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Thailand     1993-78B          Thaicom 1              1993 Dec 18
Thailand     1994-65B          Thaicom 2              1994 Oct  8


(v) Turkey 

-------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

Turkey       1994-49B          Turksat 1B             1994 Aug 10



(w) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Russian Federation 

----------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

USSR         1962 Alpha Tau    Venera 2MV-1 No. 2     1962 Sep  1
USSR         1962 Alpha Phi    Venera 2MV-2 No. 1     1962 Sep 12
USSR         1962 Beta Iota    Mars 2MV-4 No. 1       1962 Oct 24
USSR         1962 Beta Xi      Mars 2MV-3 No. 1       1962 Nov  4
USSR         1963-01B          Luna E-6 No. 1         1963 Jan  4
USSR         1966-88A          -                      1966 Sep 17
USSR         1966-101A         -                      1966 Nov  2

USSR 439?    1970-53A          Cosmos-353             1970 Jul  9
USSR 440?    1970-56A          Cosmos-354             1970 Jul 29
USSR 441?    1970-57A          Intercosmos-3          1970 Aug  7
USSR 442?    1970-58A          Cosmos-355             1970 Aug  7
USSR 443?    1970-59A          Cosmos-356             1970 Aug 10
USSR 444?    1970-60A          Venera-7               1970 Aug 17
USSR 445?    1970-63A          Cosmos-357             1970 Aug 19
USSR 446?    1970-64A          Cosmos-358             1970 Aug 20
USSR 447?    1970-65A          Cosmos-359             1970 Aug 22
USSR 448?    1970-68A          Cosmos-360             1970 Aug 29
USSR 449?    1970-71A          Cosmos-361             1970 Sep  8
USSR         (1985-53)         (Zenit debris)         1985 Jun 21
RF   2961?   1995-47A          Soyuz TM-22            1995 Sep  3
RF   2962?   1995-50A          Resurs F               1995 Sep 26
RF   2963?   1995-51A          Cosmos-2320            1995 Sep 29
RF   2964?   1995-52A          Cosmos-2321            1995 Oct  6
RF   2965?   1995-53A          Progress M-29          1995 Oct  8
RF   2966?   1995-54A          Luch-1                 1995 Oct 11
RF   2967?   1995-58A          Cosmos-2322            1995 Oct 31

[Note: It is most probable that the USSR launches in Jul-Sep 1970
were in fact registered with the UN, but that a clerical error
by the UN resulted in the registration document not being published.
The next USSR submission had sequential registration numbers which
began with 450; the previous one had registration numbers ending
with 438. The same story applies to the 1995 launches.

The 1985-53 launch consisted of rocket debris only, no payload
reached orbit. In contrast, the 1962 to 1966 unregistered launches
were deliberately not announced by the USSR.]



(x) United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 

--------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

UK           1974-02A          Skynet 2B              1974 Jan 19
UK           1990-93A          Inmarsat II F1         1990 Oct 30
UK           1991-18A          Inmarsat II F2         1991 Mar  9
UK           1991-84B          Inmarsat II F3         1991 Dec 16
UK           1992-21B          Inmarsat II F4         1992 Apr 15
UK           1994-34B          STRV 1A                1994 Jun 17
UK           1994-34C          STRV 1B                1994 Jun 17



(y) United States of America 

-------------------------------------------
Launching    International     Name                  Launch Date
State        Designation

US           1978-106A         NATO 3C                1978 Nov 19
US           1981-119A         Intelsat 5 F3          1981 Dec 15
US           1982-97A          Intelsat 5 F5          1982 Sep 28
US           1983-105A         Intelsat 5 F7          1983 Oct 19
US           1984-23A          Intelsat 5 F8          1984 Mar  5
US           1984-115A         NATO 3D                1984 Nov 14
US           1985-25A          Intelsat 5A F10        1985 Mar 22
US           1985-55A          Intelsat 5A F11        1985 Jun 30
US           1985-63B          PDP                    1985 Jul 29
US           1985-87A          Intelsat 5A F12        1985 Sep 28
US           1988-40A          Intelsat 5A F13        1988 May 18
US           1988-52A          Nova 2                 1988 Jun 16
US           1989-06A          Intelsat 5A F15        1989 Jan 27
US           1989-72A          USA 45                 1989 Sep  6
US           1989-87A          Intelsat 6 F2          1989 Oct 27
US           1990-02A          STS 32R                1990 Jan  9
US           1990-21A          Intelsat 6 F3          1990 Mar 14
US           1990-31A          USA 56                 1990 Apr 11
US           1990-31B          USA 57                 1990 Apr 11
US           1990-31C          USA 58                 1990 Apr 11
US           1990-50E          USA 62                 1990 Jun  8
US           1990-56A          Intelsat 6 F4          1990 Jun 23
US           1991-40A          STS 40                 1991 Jun  5
US           1991-55A          Intelsat 6 F5          1991 Aug 14
US           1991-75A          Intelsat 6 F1          1991 Oct 29
US           1991-76D          USA 76                 1991 Nov  8
US           1991-76E          USA 77                 1991 Nov  8
US           1991-80A          STS 44                 1991 Nov 25
US           1992-26A          STS 49                 1992 May  7
US           1993-17B          SEDS 1                 1993 Mar 30
US           1993-58B          ACTS                   1993 Sep 12
US           1993-66A          Intelsat 701           1993 Oct 22
US           1994-34A          Intelsat 702           1994 Jun 17
US           1994-40A          PAS 2                  1994 Jul  8
US           1994-64A          Intelsat 703           1994 Oct  6
US           1994-73A          STS 66                 1994 Nov  3
US           1995-01A          Intelsat 704           1995 Jan 10
US           1995-04H          ODERACS 2F             1995 Feb  3
US           1995-13A          Intelsat 705           1995 Mar 22
US           1995-23A          Intelsat 706           1995 May 17
US           1995-57A          UHF F6                 1995 Oct 22
US           1995-69A          Galaxy 3R              1995 Dec 15
US           1995-72B          Skipper                1995 Dec 28
US           1995-73A          Echostar 1             1995 Dec 28
US           1996-15A          Intelsat 707           1996 Mar 14

[Note: Prior to 1981 all Intelsat launches were registered by the US.
Since then no state has registered Intelsat launches. Of the 32 
unregistered US satellites, 15 are Intelsat satellites, 4 are
Space Shuttle missions, 3 are civilian satellites, 3 are unclassified
military satellites, and 7 are classified military satellites.]