The Space Report ("JSR") is issued about twice a month. It describes all space launches, including both piloted missions and automated satellites. Back issues are available online. To receive the JSR each week by direct email, subscribe at http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr Feel free to reproduce the JSR as long as you're not doing it for profit. If you are doing so regularly, please inform Jonathan by email. Comments, suggestions, and corrections are encouraged. See here for translations to other languages.
You can mail Jonathan McDowell at planet4589 at gmail dot com.
JSR STOP PRESS - the draft of NEXT week's JSR, updated throughout the week.
GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE LOG with a catalog of all known satellites ever in the geosynchronous ring and their reasonably current positions.
LAUNCH LOG - My best attempt at a complete listing of all satellite launch attempts.
Jonathan's Space Home Page - with links to lots of other space data not available elsewhere.
SATELLITE CATALOG - My version of the Space Command satellite catalog, providing a cross reference between catalog number and international designation. Corrections are welcome.
Jonathan's Space Report No. 702 2014 Sep 22 Somerville, MA --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- International Space Station --------------------------- The NanoRacks cubesat deployer package remains attached to the JEM RMS robot arm while troubleshooting continues on electrical problems with the deployer. Four more 3U cubesats remain in the deployers while another package of 8 deployers with 16 x 3U equivialent of cubesats sits inside Kibo (more PlanetLabs Flock-1b satellites plus the LambdaSat, GEARRS and MicroMAS payloads). On Sep 10 at 2301 UTC Skvortsov, Artemev and Swanson undocked from the Poisk module in Soyuz TMA-12M. The deorbit burn at 0130 UTC Sep 11 lowered the orbit to about -22 x 418 km followed by module separation at 0158 UTC, atmosphere entry at 0201UTC and landing in Kazakhstan at 0223 UTC. Expedition 41 began with undocking of Soyuz TMA-12M; the remaining ISS crew are commander Max Suraev and flight engineers FE-5 Reid Wiseman and FE-6 Alex Gerst. Ferry craft Soyuz TMA-13M is docked to the station. On Sep 21 SpaceX launched the sixth Dragon cargo ship on mission CRS-4 to the ISS. This was the 13th Falcon 9 launch and the 8th such launch within a 1 year period. The Dragon Trunk carries two packages, the ISS RapidScat radar scatterometer science instrument and the RapidScat Nadir Adapter, which will be installed on the SDX nadir attach point of the Columbus module's external payload facility. The Dragon cabin carries SpinSat, an 0.56m spherical NRL satellite to be deployed by the Kibo JEM-RMS, and the NASA-Ames Rodent Research 1 life sciences payload with 20 mice (mus musculus). Neither SpaceX nor NASA has revealed the mass of Dragon CRS-4 but it is probably in the 9500-10500 kg range. According to US tracking data, Dragon was inserted into a 203 x 358 km x 51.6 deg orbit; by 1400 UTC on Sep 22 it had decayed to 204 x 349 km due to atmospheric drag, but had not begun significant orbit raising burns to rendezvous with the ISS. However I'm not completely sure the object being tracked (catalog 40212 until Sep 22 1300 UTC, then retagged as 40210) is actually Dragon. The Falcon 9 second stage was deorbited on the first Earth revolution and reentered S of New Zealand at about 0655 UTC Sep 21. Maven and MOS at Mars --------------------- The NASA/JPL Maven space probe has arrived at Mars. MAVEN was in 0.96 x 1.45 AU x 2.0 deg solar orbit until entering Mars sphere of influence at 0100 UTC Sep 20, then in 537 x -15778 km x 74 deg hyperbola. At 0138 UTC on Sep 22 the probe began a 33 minute burn to brake into a bound 380 x 44600 km x 75 deg Mars orbit (parameters not yet confirmed). Meanwhile, the Indian Space Research Organization's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft entered the Mars sphere of influence from its 0.98 x 1.44 AU x 2.5 deg solar orbit on Sep 22. Kobal't ------- It now appears that something went wrong with the recovery of a Russian Defense Ministry Kobal't spy satellite on Sep 2. (The satellite is usually called Kosmos-2495 in the press, although the confusion about Kosmos numbering means it may actually be Kosmos-2493). Based on the knowledge that the satellite was no longer in orbit of Sep 2, I calculated (using algorithms pioneered by Phil Clark) that if it landed in the usual area, the deorbit would have been northbound over the Horn of Africa around 1805 UTC Sep 2 with entry around 1818 UTC and landing around 1828 UTC near Orenburg in Russia. The descent module (SA) would separate from the service module (AO) after the deorbit burn, with the AO burning up since it does not have a heat shield. The AO carries the solar panels, which are likely to break off early in the descent. Reentering debris overhead was observed by people in Kazakhstan at around 1814 UTC Sep 2, exactly the expected time for the service module entry. (but also close to a pass of the Chinese Yaogan 5 satellite wich completed its reentry two orbits later. However, Ted Molczan reports that he has ruled out Yaogan 5 as a possibility.) In addition, large amounts of reentering debris were observed northbound over Colorado and Wyoming at about 0430 UTC on Sep 3, which is consistent with the projected path and timing of the satellite if no deorbit burn was made. I conclude that the SA landed successfully on the Sep 2 pass; possibly after separation the AO bounced off the atmosphere and remained in a very low orbit for 7 further revolutions before finally succumbing over US territory. This is hard to match with the data since the timing suggests whatever reentered over Colorado was in the original payload orbit - there are uncertainties but other analysts like Ted Molczan believe that the small objects (payload covers? solar panels?) ejected before the deorbit burn were responsible for the Colorado reentry. I'm surprised that low mass objects could generate such a bright display. Space-Track has not cataloged any additional objects associated with the mission. Meanwhile, Bob Christy reports that NOTAMS (announcements of airspace closures) suggest recovery dates for the two small SpK capsules. Based on these I infer SpK landing times of Jun 20 0808 UTC and Jul 3 0402 UTC. Asiasat 6 --------- On Sep 7 SpaceX launched the Asiasat 6 satellite. It reached a 175 x 202 km x 27.7 deg parking orbit and then was delivered to a 154 x 35752 km x 25.4 deg geostationary transfer orbit. Asiasat is a Hong Kong based telecom company. The satellite has C and Ku band communications payloads and an additional C-band payload for the Thai operator Thaicom; this payload is marketed as Thaicom 7. The Loral-1300 satellite has a mass of 3700 kg according to the press kit, although Space News quoted 4428 kg. On Sep 20, Asiasat 6 had reached a 35773 x 35800 km x 0.1 deg GEO over 119.8 deg E. Yaogan 21 --------- China's Yaogan 21 imaging satellite was launched to a 475 km, 1030LTDN SSO on Sep 8. The mission continues a series begun with the Zi Yuan 2 satellites. A small 67 kg subsatellite, Tiantuo-2 was also deployed. The Tiantuo satellites are built by the National University for Defense Technology; this one carries video imaging experiments. Ariane 5 -------- Ariane 5 flight VA218, vehicle 573, placed two communications satellites in geostationary transfer orbit on Sep 11. Measat 3b is a 5897 kg Airbus/Toulouse Eurostar 3000 satellite for Malaysia's Measat; part of the capacity is leased to NewSat (Melbourne) to be marketed as the Jabiru-2 payload. Optus 10 is owned by Singtel Optus, the Australian subsidiary of Singapore Telecome. It is a 3970 kg Loral LS-1300 satellite with a Ku-band payload. CLIO ---- United Launch Alliance launched a Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401, flight AV-049, on Sep 17. The rocket placed the Lockheed Martin A2100 class CLIO satellite (USA 257) in an unusual high-perigee geostationary transfer orbit, possibly around 11800 x 36000 km, after coasting in an initial 174? x 28860 km x 28 deg orbit. CLIO's owner is an unidentified US government agency - possibly the National Reconnaissance Office although nowadays its satellites are normally acknowledged. It may have a communications or signals intelligence payload. Cassini ------- At 0525 UTC Sep 22, Cassini flew 1400 km from Titan on its T-105 flyby. Cassini is now in a 626000 x 3133000 km x 40.3 deg Saturn orbit Dawn ---- The Dawn probe, en route from Vesta to Ceres, safemoded due to a radiation event on Sep 11. Ion engine thrusting resumed by Sep 16; the probe is currently in a 2.45 x 3.03 AU x 9.6 deg solar orbit, reducing aphelion and increasing inclination on its way to Ceres arrival in 2015. Messenger --------- The Messenger probe, in orbit around Mercury, reached a record low orbit of 23 x 10610 km x 83.5 deg on Sep 12. An engine burn then raised periapsis, making the orbit 92 x 10610 km. Table of Recent (orbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. Aug 2 0323 GPS 68 Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Navigation 45A Aug 5 0800 Asiasat 8 Falcon 9 v1.1 Canaveral SLC40 Comms 46A Aug 9 0545 Yaogan 20 Sat 1 ) Chang Zheng 4C Jiuquan Sigint 47A Yaogan 20 Sat 2 ) Sigint 47B Yaogan 20 Sat 3 ) Sigint 47C Aug 13 1830 WorldView-3 ) Atlas V 401 Vandenberg SLC3E Imaging 48A Centaur AV-047 ) Rocket stage 48B Aug 18 1423 Chasqui-1 ISS, LEO Tech 98-67ET Aug 19 0315 GaoFen 2 ) Chang Zheng 4B Taiyuan Imaging 49A Heweliusz ) Astronomy 49B Aug 19 1825 Flock 1b-24 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67EU Flock 1b-23 ) Imaging 98-67EV Aug 20 0226 Flock 1b-26 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67EW Flock 1b-25 ) Imaging 98-67EX Aug 20 0950 Flock 1b-15 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67EY Flock 1b-16 ) Imaging 98-67EZ Aug 21 1337 Flock 1b-1 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67FA Flock 1b-2 ) Imaging 98-67FB Aug 22 1227 Galileo FOC FM01 ) Soyuz ST-B CSG ELS Navigation 50A Galileo FOC FM02 ) Navigation 50B Aug 23 1944 Flock 1b-7 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67FC Flock 1b-8 ) Imaging 98-67FD Sep 4 0015 Chuangxin 1-04 ) Jiuquan Comms 51B Ling Qiao ) Comms 51A Sep 5 0929 Flock 1b-17 ) ISS, LEO Imaging 98-67FF Flock 1b-18 ) Imaging 98-67FE Sep 7 0500 Asiasat 6 Falcon 9 v1.1 Canaveral SLC40 Comms 52A Sep 8 0322 Yaogan 21 ) Chang Zheng 4B Taiyuan Imaging 53A Tiantuo 2 ) Imaging 53B Sep 11 2205 Measat 3b ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3 Comms 54A Optus 10 ) Comms 54B Sep 17 0010 CLIO Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Sigint? 55A Sep 21 0552 Dragon CRS-4 Falcon 9 v1.1 Canaveral SLC40 Cargo 56A Suborbital missions ------------------- Russia launched a submarine missile on Sep 10; India carried out a training launch of its Agni I missile on Sep 11. Three Trident missiles were launched from off the coast of Southern California Sep 12 towards the mid-Pacific, from an unidentified Trident submarine; at least one of the launches was widely observed along the US west coast. Israel carried out a missile defense test Sep 9; according to the Times of Israel the target was a Blue Sparrow missile which is thought to fly a slightly exoatmospheric trajectory, although the Arrow 2 interceptor itself would not have left the atmosphere. Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km Aug 4 1400 S-310-43 S-310 Uchinoura Technology 117 Aug 17 1010 S-520-29 S-520 Uchinoura Ionosphere 243 Aug 23 1313 Shark? Terrier Lynx Wallops Target 150? Aug 25 0825? AHW FT2 STARS IV Kodiak Hypersonic 1? Aug 28 0900 NASA 36.308GT Black Brant IX Wallops I. Test/Aeron. 350? Sep 2 0202 EPL-ME VS-30/EPL Alcantara Test 130? Sep 9 Sparrow Target Blue Sparrow? F-15D, Med.Sea Target 100? Sep 10 RV Bulava K-551,White Sea Test 1000? Sep 11 0541 Agni RV Agni I Chandipur Op. Test 500? Sep 12 1300 USN RV Trident D-5 Sub, Pacific O. Test 1000? Sep 12 1300 USN RV Trident D-5 Sub, Pacific O. Test 1000? Sep 12 1300 USN RV Trident D-5 Sub, Pacific O. Test 1000? .-------------------------------------------------------------------------. | Jonathan McDowell | | | Somerville MA 02143 | inter : planet4589 at gmail | | USA | twitter: @planet4589 | | | | JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html | | Back issues: http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back | | Subscribe/unsub: http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr | '-------------------------------------------------------------------------'
Jonathan's Home Page