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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 802                                                    2022 Jan 18       Somerville, MA


Welcome to the 33rd anniversary issue of JSR!

International Space Station

Expedition 66 continues.

On Jan 7 the Dextre arm moved the STP-H8 experiment payload from the Dragon CRS-24 trunk to the
EFU2 location on the Kibo Exposed Facility. The previous occupant of EFU2 was the defunct ISS-CREAM
experiment, which was moved to EFU7 on Dec 6.

On Jan 10 the European ASIM (Atmosphere Space Interactions Monitor) external payload was
moved by Canadarm-2 from the SDX to the SDN attach point on the Columbus module, to make room for STP-H7.
On Jan 11 STP-H7 was removed from the CRS-24 trunk and installed on SDX.

On Jan 12 at 1824 UTC the Progress MS-18 cargo ship fired its engines for 395 seconds for a 0.7m/s delta-V
to raise the ISS orbit by 1.5 km to 414 x 423 km x 51.6 deg.

Chinese Space Station - redockings of Tianzhou-2

On Jan 3, the Tianhe module's robot arm was walked to a base point near the Tianhe forward
docking hub.

On Jan 5 the Tianzhou-2 cargo ship undocked from the Tianhe forward port at 2212 UTC and remained
stationkeeping close to the port. The robot arm then grappled the ship and maneuvered it around,
then returned it to the original capture position and released it. Tianzhou-2 then redocked with
the forward port at 2259 UTC.

On Jan 7 the crew of the CSS carried out a manually teleoperated undocking and redocking
of the Tianzhou-2 cargo ship. Tianzhou-2 undocked from the Tianhe forward port around 2200 UTC,
backed off about 200 m, and redocked with the same port on Tianhe at 2355 UTC.

Chinese Space Station - Starlink encounters

China has complained to the UN (in UN document A/AC.105/1262) that
Starlink sats are buzzing the Chinese Space Station (CSS). Two incidents
are mentioned, and analysis of the TLEs confirms that the close passes
in question did indeed occur as described.

On Jul 1 at 0950 UTC the CMSEO (zhongguo zairen hangtian gongcheng
bangonghsi, China Human Spaceflight Engineering Office) commanded the
CSS to make an orbit adjustment to dodge Starlink 1095, which was in the
process of lowering its orbit towards disposal; a close (km or less)
pass would otherwise have happened at about 1315 UTC. It appears that
the Starlink also made a small avoidance burn around the same time, but
it sounds like there was no advance communication between SpaceX and the
CMSEO about the pass. 

On Oct 21 the then-recently-launched Starlink-2305 satellite was orbit
raising through the altitude of the CSS and was predicted to pass within
1 km of the  Chinese station at about 2200 UTC. The CSS made an orbit
adjustment at about 0316 UTC to avoid the encounter. In this case
Starlink-2305 does not appear to have made any avoidance burns.

Note that when a satellite is in a well tracked and stable (constant)
orbit, prediction of upcoming close passes is relatively straighforward.
But when the orbital elements of the satellites are constantly changing,
potentially unpredictably, as in the case of Starlink satellites
changing their orbit with electric propulsion, prediction of such
`conjunctions' is not reliably possible. SpaceX appears to take the view that
other space users should trust them to make avoidance burns and not hit them.
That may be sufficient for most satellites, but for spacecraft with astronauts
on board, a wider berth and more active cooperation might seem reasonable.

China says it 'has the honour to refer to article V of the [Outer Space
Treaty] which provide that [States] should immediately inform the other
[member states] of any phenomena they discover in outer space ... which
could consititute a danger to the life or health of astronauts'. In
other words, implying that SpaceX is such a phenomenon!

China also 'brings to the attention [of] all States parties to the Outer
Space Treaty ... article VI ... States ... bear interational
responsibility for national activities .. whether by governmental
agencies or by non-governmetnal entities...'. In other words, what
SpaceX is doing is the responsibility of the US government.

One should note that the ISS has had to do dodge Chinese space debris
several times over the years, so no-one is pure here. However, I am
encouraged that China is raising the profile of this issue at the UN -
there's been a lot of informal discussion and sniping in the press, but
it's very unusual to have a formal document presented to the UN by one
country complaining about another country's space activities. Taking it
seriously would provide an opportunity not only to have action on this
issue, but also to bring China itself into  better compliance with
international norms (on upper stage disposal, for example).


China's SAST launched a CZ-2D on Dec 29 with the Tianhui-4 mapping satellite.
The launch report mentions a test of a dual satellite adapter, but it wasn't made clear
if there were actually two Tianhui-4s aboard. Two objects were cataloged; object
A manuevered to synchronize its orbit 200 km from object B on Jan 5, suggesting
that both are payloads. A gravity mapping application like the GRACE mission
is one possible interpretation.

Unlike earlier Tianhui sats which were sun-sync, the Dec 29 launch went
to an inclination of 89 degrees.

The Tianhui series naming is rather confusing:

   Transliteration               Explanation                    Launch date
   Tianhui 1 hao 01 xing         Tianhui type 1 sat 1           2010 Aug 24
   Tianhui 1 hao 02 xing         Tianhui type 1 sat 2           2012 May  6
   Tianhui 1 hao 03 xing         Tianhui type 1 sat 3           2015 Oct 26
   Tianhui 1 hao 04 xing         Tianhui type 1 sat 4           2021 Jul 29
   Tianhui 2 hao 01 zu 01 xing   Tianhui type 2 group 1 sat 1   2019 Apr 29
   Tianhui 2 hao 01 zu 02 xing   Tianhui type 2 group 1 sat 2   2019 Apr 29
   Tianhui 2 hao 02 zu 01 xing   Tianhui type 2 group 2 sat 1   2021 Aug 18
   Tianhui 2 hao 02 zu 02 xing   Tianhui type 2 group 2 sat 2   2021 Aug 18
   Tianhui-4                     Tianhui 4                      2021 Dec 29


China's CALT launched a CZ-3B on Dec 29 with the Tongxing Jishu Shiyan 9 experimental
communications satellite. It was reported to be for multi-band, high speed
communications experiments, but may be a Qianshao-3 signals intelligence satellite.
The satellite had reached a GEO position of 137.2E by Jan 7.


Iran launched a Simorgh rocket from Khomeini Space Center at 0330 UTC Dec 30.
Iranian news agencies reported that the rocket released multiple
payloads at an altitude of 470 km and a velocity of 7.350 km/s. They did not claim that
orbit was reached, but did not specify if the cited velocity was inertial or Earth-relative.
It seems unlikely that a deliberate suborbital test would get so close to orbital
velocity - for the cited conditions, assumed inertial, that's only about 200 m/s short
of successfully reaching orbit. I am therefore logging this as an orbital launch
failure and assigning it designation 2021-F11.

However, I have decided that the evidence for the alleged Jun 23 Simorgh failure, which
I assigned designation 2021-F04, is too skimpy, and I have removed it from the General Catalog. 

My reconstruction of the Dec 30 launch suggests that the payloads and upper stage may have reentered
south of Australia about 28 minutes after launch.


49 Starlink satellites, Group 4-5, were launched on Jan 6. The Falcon 9 flew on a new trajectory southeast
from Kennedy Space Center. 


On Jan 13 SpaceX launched the Transporter-3 mission from Cape Canaveral. Attached to the Falcon 9 second
stage was a dispenser column consisting of three ESPA rings, carrying over 100 payloads.
After the payloads were deployed into a 1000 LTDN sun-sync orbit, the second stage was deorbited.
The payloads included a number of PocketQubes, the next step down in size from Cubesats; a 1P cubesat
is a 0.05m cube with a mass of about 0.2 kg.

Transporter-3's payloads include:
  ION SCV-4, D-Orbit (Italy) 150 kg space tug carrying further sats to be deployed later:
   Two  3U imaging sats: STORK-1/2 for SatRevolution (Poland)    
   3U Labsat tech/hosted payload sat for SatRevolution (Poland)
   3U VZLUSAT-2 with tech and astronomy instrumentation tests for VZLU (Czechia) 
   3U cubesat with technology payloads: Dodona-La Jument for U.Southern Calif/Lockheed Martin

  The Sich-2-1 170 kg remote sensing microsat for NKAU, the Ukrainian space agency
  Capella 7 and 8, 110 kg radar satellites for Capella Space
  Umbra-02, a 65 kg radar sat for Umbra Space
  ICEYE X-14/X-16, two radar sats for ICEYE (Finland)

  Alba Orbital's AlbaPod deployers with:
   Four 3P Unicorn-2 PocketQubes for Alba Orbital (Scotland) for low light level (night) imaging
   Unicorn-2TA1, PocketQube for Alba Orbital
   One 2P Unicorn-1 PocketQube for Alba Orbital (Scotland) with an ADS-B comms payload
   Delfi-PQ (3P) amateur radio comm protocol test for Delft U (Netherlands)
   EASAT-2 and Hades, 1.5P amateur radio sats for AMSAT-EA (Spain)
   Grizu-263A, 1P for ZBEU (Turkey), test sat
   Pion-BR1,  1P for PionLabs (Brazil), with amateur radio payload
   SATTLA-2A/B, 2P PocketQubes for Ariel U (Israel) with video transmission crosslink tests
   MDQube-SAT1, 2P for InnoSpace, IoT comms

  FossaPods from FossaSat with:
   Two 2P PocketQubes from FossaSat (Spain)  (FossSat-2E5, 2E6) for IoT comms
   LAIKA, 2P PocketQube from FossaSat (Spain)  for propulsion test using vacuum arc thrusters 
    from the annoyingly-spelled Stockholm startup `porkchop'.
   Two 2P PocketQubes for WiseKey (Switzerland) with crypto comms payloads (WiseSat-1,2)
   Pilot-1, 2P for CShark (Italy), IoT comms
   Challenger (3P) test satellite for Intuidex (US)
   SanoSat-1, 1P for Orion Space (Nepal), with UHF amateur payload

  Exolaunch EXOPODs with:
   6U imaging cubesats: ETV-A1 for Sen (UK), HYPSO-1 for NTNU (Norway)
   6U radio spectrum monitoring sat: BRO-5 for Unseen Labs (France)
   3U IoT satellites: DEWASAT-1 for DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) and NuX-1 for NuSpace (Singapore)
   1U Gossamer Piccolomini test satellite for Lunasonde (US).

  ISILaunch Quadpacks with:
   44 3U Flock-4x imaging cubesats for Planet
   6U imaging sat OroraTech 1 for OroraTech (Munich)
   Two 3U AIS/GNSS-RO Lemur sats for Spire
   6U IoT data relay sats: Kepler 16,17,18,19 for Kepler Comms (Toronto); 
    and Lemur-2 Djirang and Lemur-2 Miriwari probably for Myriota (Australia)
   Tevel-1 to Tevel-8, eight 1U amateur radio satellites for Herzliya Science Center (Israel)
   Three 2U AIS maritime domain awareness satellites (MDASat-1a to 1c) for CPU (South Africa)
   2U IRIS-A IoT demo satellite for National Cheng Kung U. (Taiwan)


On Jan 13 Virgin Orbit's 747 Cosmic Girl took off from Mojave at 2139 UTC and flew out over the Pacific.
At 2252 UTC over  120.78W 32.34N it dropped LauncherOne R5, whose first stage ignited about 4 seconds later.
The rocket flew southeast to enter a parking orbit at the first cutoff of the second
stage, at 2301 UTC, of 194 x 524 km x 45 deg. A second upper stage burn at 2346 UTC circularized
the orbit at apogee and the seven payloads were deployed:
   STORK-3, a 3U imaging satellite for the Polish company SatRevolution
   SteamSat-2, a 3U satellite built by SatRevolution for SteamJet (UK) which will test a water thruster.
   ADLER-1, for the Osterreichisches Weltraum Forum, a 3U satellite built by Spire which will study microscopic
     space debris.
   GEARRS-3, for Near Space Launch (Indiana) and the AF Research Lab, a 3U satellite to test a system to 
     relay spacecraft health data via Globalstar satellites.
   TechEdSat-13, a (probably 3U?) satellite from NASA-Ames to test an exobrake reentry system
   PAN A and B, two 3U Cornell-developed satellites to test out cubesat rendezvous and docking.

Shiyan 13

The first Chinese launch of the year put Shiyan 13 in a 1300 km apogee elliptical orbit.

DSCOVR upper stage

The inert Falcon 9 upper stage from the 2015 DSCOVR launch made a 9300 km (untargeted, obviously)
flyby of the Moon on Jan 5, which left it in a lower perigee orbit of 28583 x 554291 km x 26.9 deg;
further lunisolar perturbations mean that it may reenter soon. Thanks to Bill Gray for analysis.


As reported in the last JSR, the third Angara A5 test flight on Dec 27
placed Energiya's 14S48 Persei (modified Blok DM-03) upper stage in
orbit.  The Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum reported that the Persei upper
stage failed to restart after its first burn, and so was stranded in low
parking orbit. Space Force tracking showed an orbit of 179 x 201 km. The
vehicle probably had an initial mass in orbit of around 20 tonnes, but
with likely venting of the liquid propellant would have been  more like
4 tonnes at the time of reentry at 2108 UTC Jan 5 over the Pacifc at
121W 14S. Three additional debris objects of unknown nature were also
cataloged and have also reentered.


As of Jan 9, Webb's sunshade and secondary mirror were successfully deployed and the two side primary mirror 
wings had unfolded. Webb continues its coast to Sun-Earth L2 as adjustment of the mirror element positions

 Dragon CRS-24 docked to the IDA-3 docking port, not IDA-2.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name			     Launch Vehicle	 Site		 Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl	 Notes
Dec  2 2312   Starlink 3113      )            Falcon 9              Canaveral SLC40   Comms    115A-        424 x 440 x 53.2
              Starlink 3143      )    
              Starlink 3148      )    
              Starlink 3155      )    
              Starlink 3190-3204 )    
              Starlink 3206-3210 )    
              Starlink 3218-3219 )    
              Starlink 3225-3229 )    
              Starlink 3231      )    
              Starlink 3233      )    
              Starlink 3236-3242 )    
              Starlink 3244      )    
              Starlink 3246-3252 )    
              Black Sky Global 12)                                                    Imaging      115BA? S49772? 425 x 442 x 53.2
              Black Sky Global 13)                                                    Imaging      115BB? S49773? 425 x 442 x 53.2
Dec  5 0019   GalileoSat-27 )                  Soyuz-ST-B            CSG ELS          Nav          116A S49809  23517 x 23574 x 57.1
              GalileoSat-28 )                                                         Nav          116B S49810  23498 x 23570 x 57.1
Dec  7 0412   Tianjin Daxue 1 )                Gushenxing 1          Jiuquan          Imaging      117  S49812  483 x 501 x 97.4
              Lize 1          )                                                       Tech?        117
              Baoyun          )                                                       Tech?        117
              Jin Zijing 5    )                                                       Imaging      117
              Jin Zijing 1-03 )                                                       Imaging      117
Dec  7 1019   STPSAT-6  )                      Atlas V 551           Canaveral SLC41  Tech         118A S49817 36096 x 36112 x 0.1
              LDPE-1    )                                                             Tech         118B S49818 36087 x 36125 x 0.1
Dec  8 0738   Soyuz MS-20                      Soyuz-2-1A            Baykonur LC31    Spaceship    119A S49922 193 x 220 x 51.6
Dec  9 0002   BlackSky Global 16               Electron              Mahia LC1A       Imaging      120A S49949 429 x 440 x 42.0
              BlackSky Global 17                                                      Imaging      120B S49950 426 x 440 x 42.0
Dec  9 0600   IXPE                             Falcon 9              Kennedy LC39A    X-ray Astron 121A S49954 588 x 603 x  0.2
Dec 10 0011   Shi Jian 6-05A )                 Chang Zheng 4B        Jiuquan          Sigint       122B S49962 456 x 470 x 97.4
              Shi Jian 6-05B )                                                        Sigint       122A S49961 454 x 469 x 97.4
Dec 13 1207   Ekspress AMU3)                   Proton-M/Briz-M       Baykonur LC200   Comms        123A S50001 16325 x 52810 x 1.7
              Ekspress AMU7)                                                          Comms        123B S50002 16335 x 52810 x 1.7
Dec 13 1609   Tian Lian 2-02                   Chang Zheng 3B        Xichang LC3      Comms        124A S50005   181 x 35825 x 27.0
Dec 15 0200   GeeSat-1A )                      Kuaizhou-1A           Jiuquan          Nav          F10  F01615 -6200? x 400? x 51.5?
              GeeSat-1B )                                                             Nav          F10  F01616 -6200? x 400? x 51.5?
Dec 18 1241   Starlink 3235     )              Falcon 9              Vandenberg SLC4E Comms        125
              Starlink 3245     )
              Starlink 3254-3277)
              Starlink 3279-3289)
              Starlink 3291-3293)
              Starlink 3296-3298)
              Starlink 3301     )
              Starlink 3303-3307)
              Starlink 3309     )
              Starlink 3313     )
              Starlink 3317     )
Dec 19 0358   Turksat 5B                       Falcon 9              Canaveral LC40   Comms        126A S50212   208 x 68873 x 27.1
Dec 19?       USA ?                                              LDPE-1, high orbit   Tech?        118D S50214 35990 x 36117 x 0.1
Dec 21 1007   Dragon CRS-24                    Falcon 9              Kennedy LC39A    Cargo        127A S50318   212 x   362 x 51.6
Dec 22 1532   Inmarsat 6F1                     H-IIA 204             Tanegashima      Comms        128A S50319  179 x 64689 x 30.0
Dec 23 1016   Shiyan 12-01)                    Chang Zheng 7A        Wenchang LC201   Tech         129A S50321  191 x 35780 x 19.5
              Shiyan 12-02)                                                           Tech         129B S50322  178 x 35779 x 19.5
Dec 25 1220   James Webb Space Telescope       Ariane 5ECA+          Kourou ELA3      Astron       130A S50463  315 x 1050000 x 4
Dec 26 0311   Zi Yuan 1 02E)                   Chang Zheng 4C        Taiyuan LC9      Imaging      131A S50465?
              Xi Wang 3    )                                                          Comms        131B S50466?
Dec 27 1310   OneWeb SL0389-0407)              Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat     Baykonur LC31    Comms        132
              OneWeb SL0409     )
              OneWeb SL0412-0414)
              OneWeb SL0417-0421)
              OneWeb SL0424     )
              OneWeb SL0426-0427)
              OneWeb SL0429-0430)
              OneWeb SL0432     )
              OneWeb SL0440     )
              OneWeb SL0450     )    
Dec 27 1900   IPN-1                            Angara A5/Persei      Plesetsk LC35    Test         133A S50505 179 x 201 x 63.4
Dec 29 1113   Tianhui-4 01 )                   Chang Zheng 2D        Jiuquan          Imaging      134A S50572 483 x 490 x 89.0
              Tianhui-4 02?)                                                          Imaging?     134B? S50573
Dec 29 1643   TJS 9                            Chang Zheng 3B        Xichang LC2      Sigint?      135A S50574 170 x 35824 x 27.1
Dec 30 0330   Test payloads                    Simorgh               Khomeini SC      Test         F11  F01618 -450? x 470 x 55.0?
Jan  6 2149   Starlink 3230                    Falcon 9              Kennedy LC39A    Comms        01A          209 x 337 x 53.2
              Starlink 3232
              Starlink 3234
              Starlink 3278
              Starlink 3290
              Starlink 3294-3295
              Starlink 3299-3300
              Starlink 3302
              Starlink 3308
              Starlink 3310-3312
              Starlink 3314-3316
              Starlink 3318-3343
              Starlink 3346-3349
              Starlink 3353
              Starlink 3355
Jan 13 1525   Transporter 3 (105 payloads)    Falcon 9              Canaveral LC40    Various      02        520 x 535 x 97.5
Jan 13 2252   GEARRS-3                        LauncherOne          Cosmic Girl, Mojave  Comms      03 S51094 502 x 508 x 45.0
              STORK-3                                                                   Imaging    03
              SteamSat-2                                                                Tech       03
              PAN A/B                                                                   Tech       03
              Adler-1                                                                   Sci        03
              TES-13                                                                    Tech       03
Jan 17 0235   Shiyan 13                       Chang Zheng 2D         Taiyuan            ?          04A S51102 357 x 1298 x 98.7

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

Date UT       Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle      Site                  Mission    Apogee/km    Target

Dec  1 0825   C-REX 2           Oriole IV          Andoya                Atmosphere    631       Norw. Sea
Dec  6 0807   MAPHEUS 10        IM/IM              Kiruna                Micrograv     250       ESRANGE
Dec 11 1050   RSS First Step    New Shepard        West Texas            Tourist       107       West Texas
Dec 17 0630   Huozhong-1        Huayi-1            Jiuquan?              Micrograv/bio 250       
Dec 18 0536   Agni RV           Agni P             Kalam Island          Test          800?      Indian Ocean
Jan  9 0500   DXL 4             Black Brant 9      Wallops I             X-ray Astron  267       Atlantic

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
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