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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 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.

See also:

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. 701                                                  2014 Sep  6    Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 40 is continuing with ISS in a 410 x 419 km x 51.7 deg orbit.
ISS Commander is Steve Swanson (NASA); flight engineers are FE-1 Aleksandr
Skvortsov (Roskosmos), FE-2 Oleg Artemev (Roskosmos), FE-4 Max Suraev (Roskosmos),
FE-5 Reid Wiseman (NASA), FE-6 Alexander Gerst (ESA).

The SS Janice Voss cargo freighter was unberthed from the Harmony nadir port
at 0914 UTC Aug 15 and released by Canadarm-2 at 1040 UTC. It was deorbited
around 1233 UTC Aug 17 and reentered at 1315 UTC over the S Pacific.

On Aug 18 astronauts Skvortsov and Artemev made spacewalk VKD-39 from the Pirs
module. The airlock was depressurized at 1340 UTC and the hatch opened at 1402 UTC.
At 1423 UTC Artemev hand-launched the 1U cubesat Chasqui-1, a joint Peruvian-Russian
project. Chasqui-1 was built by the Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria in Lima and
the Yugo-Zapadniy gosudarstvenniy universitet (Southwest State University) in Kursk.

The crew also worked with materials exposure experiments;
they installed the EXPOSE-R2 experient on Zvezda's URM-D-II boom, and on Poisk they
retrieved Panel 2 of the Vinoslivost experiment and swapped out the SKK-1-M2 cassette
for the new SKK-2-M2; they also installed the new BKDO experiment to study the
effects of rocket thruster plumes impinging on the station. Finally a Biorisk exposure
canister was retrieved from Pirs, and the astronauts went back inside to close the
Pirs hatch at 1913 UTC and repressurize the airlock at about 1916 UTC.

On Aug 19 the JEM RMS arm picked up the Nanoracks cubesat packages from the Kibo airlock
and began deploying the PlanetLabs Flock-1b cubesats. (Thanks to Henry Hallam for 
providing deploy times). Electrical problems with the deployer meant that deploys
were suspended after Aug 21. Two pairs of cubesats were accidentally deployed
on Aug 23 and Sep 5 without being commanded; PlanetLabs was able to contact and command
them without problems. 


DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 high resolution imaging satellite was
launched Aug 13 into a 612 x 614 km x 98.0 deg, 1015LTDN sun-synchronous
orbit by an Atlas V 401 rocket, serial AV-047. The Centaur stage
restarted to use up its extra propellant by accelerating to an escape
trajectory to solar orbit. WV-3 has an imager with 0.3m ground
resolution in addition to multispectral and 3.7-micron IR cameras.
Digital Globe was formerly EarthWatch Inc, and merged with the former
Space Imaging Inc. (GeoEye) in 2012, which itself absorbed EOSAT in 1996
and OrbImage in 2006, completing the consolidation of the first
generation of US commercial imaging companies.

         Digital Globe satellites

                            Operated                             Resolution
  EOSAT Landsat 5           1984 Mar - 2001 Jul (to USGS)          30m
  EOSAT Landsat 4           1985 Sep - 2001 Jun (from NOAA)        30m
  EOSAT Landsat 6           1993 Oct            (launch failure)   15m

  OrbImage OrbView-1        1995 Apr - 2000 Apr                     10 km (lightning sensor)
  OrbImage OrbView-2        1997 Aug - 2010 Dec                     1 km SeaWIFS
  OrbImage OrbView-3        2003 Jun - 2011 Mar                     1m
  OrbImage OrbView-4        2001 Sep            (launch failure)    1m
  GeoEye   GeoEye-1         2008 Sep - present                      0.4m

  EarthWatch EarlyBird      1997 Dec            (failed on orbit)   3 m 
  EarthWatch QuickBird 1    2000 Nov            (launch failure)    1 m 
  EarthWatch QuickBird 2    2001 Oct - present                      0.6m

  SpaceImaging Ikonos 1     1999 Apr            (launch failure)    1 m
  SpaceImaging Ikonos 2     1999 Sep - present                      1 m

  DigitalGlobe WorldView-1  2007 Sep - present                      0.5m
  DigitalGlobe WorldView-2  2009 Oct - present                      0.5m
  DigitalGlobe WorldView-3  2014 Aug - present                      0.3m


China's Gaofen-2 high resolution imaging satellite was launched on Aug 19 into
a 608 x 631 km x 98.0 deg, 1020 LTDN sun-synchronous orbit aboard
a CZ-4B rocket from Taiyuan. (Gaofen-1 was launched using a CZ-2D from Jiuquan).
Poland's BRITE-P2 'Heweliusz' (Hewelius) astronomy nanosatellite was carried as a secondary
payload. It is named after astronomer Jan Heweliusz (aka Jan Howelcke) (1611-1687).
This sixth and final member of the initially planned BRITE constellation carries
an R-band photometer.

GF-2 and WV-3 are in very similar orbits; GF-2 is currently following about an hour behind,
although as the periods are slightly different they will eventually lap each other.
GF-2 has 0.80m resolution with 48 km swath.


The first two Galileo FOC (Full Operational Capability) satellites, FM01
and FM02, were launched from the Centre Spatial Guyanais on Aug 22. 
Soyuz put the payload stack on a suborbital trajectory. The Fregat stage
made a first burn to put the stack in elliptical transfer orbit, and
then began the coast to apogee. At apogee at 1605 UTC the Fregat made a
second burn intended to circularize the orbit at 23500 x 23500 km x 55.0
deg. The satellites separated from the Fregat-MT No. 1039 upper stage at
1615 UTC. Unfortunately the orbit actually reached was 13700 x 25900 km
x 49.7 deg, more elliptical than planned  and with the wrong orbital
inclination, presumably due to a problem with the second Fregat burn.
The burn appears to have had the correct 1400 m/s magnitude but with an
attitude error of 145 degrees (with an uncertainty of at least 10 deg
since my guess at the pre-burn orbit parameters is speculative). Reports
on the Novosti Kosmonavitiki forum and on indicate
that attitude control thrusters may have failed during the coast,
leaving Fregat pointing the wrong way at second main engine ignition.
For some reason its onboard computers did not sense the incorrect attitude.

The FOC satellites have a mass of 733 kg full 660 kg dry and are built
by OHB (Bremen) with navigation payloads by SSTL (Guildford) and a
propulsion system from Moog ISP (Niagara Falls) with eight 1N MONARC-1
hydrazine thrusters. (Moog ISP is the former Bell Aerospace, which built
the Agena engine). The earlier IOV test satellites were partly owned by
ESA, but the FOC satellites are owned by the European Union's GSA
(Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency), based in Prague. The FOC
satellites carry two rubidium and two hydrogen maser atomic clocks and
broadcast on L-band; they also carry the MEOSAR search and rescue
transponder payload.

Satellite FM01 is also called GalileoSat-5, GSAT-0201, and Doresa; it was to be in plane C2.
Satellite FM02 is also called GalileoSat-6, GSAT-0202, and Milena; it was to be in plane C7.

I estimate that the satellites have around 240 m/s delta-V capacity each, compared
to perhaps 600 to 1000 m/s needed to fully correct the orbits. By the rules laid out in previous JSRs,
I am scoring this Soyuz launch with a success weight of 40 percent for statistical
purposes (reached orbit but not the right one).


The OCO-2 satellite raised its orbit from 690 km to its operational height of 700 km by Aug 3.


Foton-M No. 4 landed in the Orenburg district on Sep 1 at 0918 UTC.
The geckos carried as part of the payload, however, were found to have died.


Russia's Kobal't-M No. 564 spy satellite, possibly codenamed Kosmos-2493
or Kosmos-2495 depending on which Russian statements you believe, landed
at around 1828 UTC on Sep 2 after 119 days in space.


A Chinese launch on Sep 4 put two small communications satellites in a
778 x 809 km x 98.5 deg, 0630 LTDN sun-synchronous orbit. The satellites
are Chuangxin-1 satellite 04 from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, for
message data relay, and Ling Qiao Tongxin Shiyan Weixing (Smart
Communications Test Satellite), a joint venture of Tsinghua University
and Xinwei Telecom for tests of multimedia data transmission. The CX-1
satellite is around 90 kg and the Ling Qiao is 135 kg. The CZ-2D second
stage lowered its orbit to 254 x 835 km after deploying the satellites.


The launch vehicle database at has been updated.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission    INTL.  

Jul  2 0956   OCO-2              Delta 7320       Vandenberg SLC2W   Science      35A
Jul  3 1243   Gonets-M No. 18 )  Rokot            Plesetsk LC133/4   Comms        36A            
              Gonets-M No. 19 )                                      Comms        36B
              Gonets-M No. 20 )                                      Comms        36C
Jul  8 1558   Meteor-M No. 2 )   Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat Baykonur LC31     Weather      37A
              Relek          )                                       Space sci    37B
              TDS-1          )                                       Tech         37H
              SkySat-2       )                                       Imaging      37D
              DX-1           )                                       Tech         37C
              AISSAT-2       )                                       Comms AIS    37G
              UKube-1        )                                       Tech         37F
Jul 10 1855   O3b No. 3    )     Soyuz ST-B/Fregat CSG ELS           Comms        38D
              O3b No. 6    )                                         Comms        38C
              O3b No. 7    )                                         Comms        38B
              O3b No. 8    )                                         Comms        38A
Jul 13 1652   SS Janice Voss     Antares 120       Wallops MARS LA0  Cargo        39A
Jul 14 1515   Orbcomm OG2-3   )  Falcon 9 v1.1     Canaveral SLC40   Comms        40F
              Orbcomm OG2-4   )                                      Comms        40E
              Orbcomm OG2-6   )                                      Comms        40C
              Orbcomm OG2-7   )                                      Comms        40B
              Orbcomm OG2-9   )                                      Comms        40A
              Orbcomm OG2-11  )                                      Comms        40D
Jul 18 2050   Foton-M No. 4      Soyuz-2-1A        Baykonur LC31     Micrograv    41A
Jul 23 2144   Progress M-24M     Soyuz-U           Baykonur LC1      Cargo        42A
Jul 28 2328   GSSAP-1  )         Delta 4M+(4,2)    Canaveral SLC37B  Tracking     43A
              GSSAP-2  )                                             Tracking     43B
              ANGELS   )                                             Tracking     43C
Jul 29 2347   Georges Lemaitre   Ariane 5ES        Kourou ELA3       Cargo        44A
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        51A?
              Ling Qiao      )                                       Comms        51B?
Sep  5 0929   Flock 1b-17 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67FF
              Flock 1b-18 )                                          Imaging     98-67FE

Suborbital missions

Japan's JAXA agency launched an S-520 rocket on Aug 17 to study the sporadic E layer in the ionosphere.
Jeffrey Lewis draws my attention to a launch from Taiyuan, China on Aug 7 claimed to
be of a hypersonic glide reentry vehicle. Based on images from the impact
site of one of the stages, the launch appears to have used a large
liquid fuelled booster, possibly a modified CZ-2C. The launch may have been endoatmospheric
(by the definition I use, apogee less than 80 km), so it is not included in my table for now.

Another military hypersonic glide test failed on Aug 25, this time a US Army mission
on a converted Polaris missile launched from Kodiak, Alaska. The missile went off
course and was destroyed shortly after launch.

On Sep 1 Brazil tested its first liquid propulsion system, the 5 kN LOX/ethanol EPL L5,
as a second stage on a VS-30 sounding rocket.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Jul  9 1200   Dummy satellite  Angara-1.2PP        Plesetsk LC35/1  Test          188
Jul 12 1620   Hwasong 6 RV?    Hwasong 6?          Chiha?           Test          100?
Jul 12 1620   Hwasong 6 RV?    Hwasong 6?          Chiha?           Test          100?
Jul 22 1910   NASA 36.289US    Black Brant IX      White Sands      Solar EUV     320
Jul 23        Target           Unknown             Jiuquan?         Test?         100?
Jul 23        Interceptor      Unknown             Korla?           Test?         100?
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  1        EPL-ME           VS-30/EPL           Alcantara        Test          130?

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