Jonathan's Space Report
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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. 729                                                     2016 Aug 16 Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 48 continues.

SpaceX's Dragon CRS-9 cargo ship was launched on Jul 18, carrying the
IDA-2 docking adapter and spacesuit EMU 3006. The Falcon 9 first stage
returned to Cape Canaveral for a landing at Landing Complex 1. The
second stage was deorbited south of Australia.  CRS-9 arrived at the ISS
on Jul 20; it was grappled by the SSRMS at 1056 UTC and berthed at
Harmony nadir at 1403 UTC. The IDA-2 docking adapter will be installed
on the end of the old PMA-2 Shuttle docking port to convert it for use
with the planned upgraded, astronaut-carrying Dragon.

The Progress MS-03 cargo ship was launched Jul 16 and docked with the
Pirs module at 0020 UTC Jul 19. It carried 2405 kg of cargo (including
705 kg of ISS propellant) as well as 880 kg of its own onboard propellant.

On Aug 5 the NanoRacks External Payload Platform (NREP) was extracted
from the Kibo airlock by the JEM RMS arm and installed on position EFU4
on the Kibo Exposed Facility. NREP was launched in Aug 2015 and had been
stored inside ISS for a year; it supports small external payloads.

USA 269

The NROL-61 mission was launched on Atlas AV-065 from Canaveral on Jul
28 and placed the USA 269 satellite in geostationary transfer orbit. 
The satellite is thought to be an NRO (National Reconnaissance Office)
data relay communications satellite in the QUASAR series, although there
is a chance that it instead has a signals intelligence payload. The
payload made orbital maneuvers to raise its perigee, and hobbyists have
now tracked the satellite in geostationary orbit at 92 deg E over the
Indian Ocean.


China launched the first Tiantong-1 satellite on Aug 5. The satellite
was built by CAST and is operated by China Satcom; it supports a mobile
communications network operated by China Telecom. The satellite
has reached geostationary orbit and is drifting east over the Indian Ocean.

Gaofen 3

China's Gaofen 3 satellite is a 1-meter-resolution C-band radar imaging
satellite placed in 750 km sun-synchronous orbit. Its primary user is
the National Satellite Oceanic Applications Center in Mudanjiang. 


SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 on Aug 14 carrying the JCSAT-16 satellite for
Sky Perfect JSAT, a Japanese satellite broadcasting company. The second
stage put JCSAT-16 in geostationary transfer orbit, while the first
stage completed a ballistic trajectory and landed on the droneship 'Of
Course I Still Love You' in the Atlantic. After its first orbit
raising burn, JCSAT-16 is in a 5581 x 35905 km x 10.8 deg orbit.
The Falcon 9 second stage is in an 82 x 34111 km geotransfer orbit; the
low perigee will cause it to reenter rapidly, with the apogee
decreasing by several hundred km per day.


The QUESS (Quantum Experiment Scientific Satellite, liangzi kexue shiyan
weixing) was launched on Aug 15 and named 'Mozi hao' after the Chinese
philosopher Mo Zi (470-390BC), who is credited with the first mention of
a camera obscura. The Mozi satellite will perform communications
experiments using quantum entanglement.

Two small satellites were launched on the same vehicle: Lixing-1 (Drag
Star 1, also referred to as Qibo Daqi Kexue Shiyan Weixing or Upper
atmosphere scientific experimental satellite), which will study
atmospheric density after lowering its orbit to 100 to 150 km; and the
3Cat-2, a 6U cubesat from the Universita Politecnica de Catalunya in
Spain. 3Cat-2 carries the PYCARO altimeter which uses GPS signal
reflection off the Earth to measure altitude.

Mozi and Lixing were both developed by the Shanghai Engineering Center
for Microsatellites.


On the Moon, the Chang'e-3 lander is reported to be still operating
after over 2.5 years. The Yutu rover entered its 33rd lunar night on Jul
28; there were reports that it had failed at that time, but research by
Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society has shown that this is not
correct, and Yutu is assumed to be still viable (although not mobile).


Cassini performed the T-121 flyby of Titan at 1000 UTC Jul 25, with a
closest approach of 976 km, and the T-122 flyby at 0832 UTC Aug 10, with
a closest approach of 1599 km. The next flyby will occur on Sep 27.


The second stage from the first Chang Zheng 7 launch reentered at 0440 UTC
on Jul 28. The entry was widely observed in the Western USA on a track
from southern California to Utah.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg

Jun 25 1200   DFFC                ) Chang Zheng 7    Wenchang LC201    Reentry test  42     A08387    288 x   382 x  40.8
              Aoxiang zhixing     )                                    Tech          42B    S41625    289 x   376 x  40.8
              Aolong 1            )                                    Tech          42F    S41629    198 x   367 x  40.8
              Tiange feixingqi 1  )                                    Tech          42L    S41636    277 x   289 x  40.8
              Tiange feixingqi 2  )                                    Tech          42M    S41637    277 x   287 x  40.8
              ZGZ shiyan zhuangzhi)                                    Tech          42A    S41624    287 x   381 x  40.8
Jun 29 0321   Shi Jian 16-02        Chang Zheng 4B   Jiuquan           Sigint?       43A    S41634    596 x   616 x  75.0
Jul  7 0136   Soyuz MS-01           Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1      Spaceship     44A    S41639    181 x   239 x  51.7 Docked ISS
Jul 16 2141   Progress MS-03        Soyuz-U          Baykonur LC31     Cargo         45A    S41670    182 x   225 x  51.6 Docked ISS
Jul 18 0445   Dragon CRS-9          Falcon 9         Canaveral SLC40   Cargo         46A    S41672    204 x   355 x  51.6
Jul 28 1237   USA 269               Atlas V 541      Canaveral SLC41   Comms         47A    S41724  35576 x 35996 x   5.0
Aug  6 1622   Tiantong-1 01 xing    Chang Zheng 3B   Xichang LC3       Comms         48A    S41725  35751 x 35903 x   5.0
Aug  9 2255   Gaofen 3              Chang Zheng 4C   Taiyuan           Radar imager  49A    S41727    750 x   751 x  98.4 0600LT SSO
Aug 14 0526   JCSAT-16              Falcon 9         Canaveral SLC40   Comms         50A    S41729    151 x 36183 x  20.9
Aug 15 1740   Mozi          )       Chang Zheng 2D   Jiuquan           Science       51A    S41731    488 x   584 x  97.4 0000LT SSO
              Lixing-1      )                                          Atmosphere    51B?   S41732?   483 x   503 x  97.4 0000LT SSO
              3Cat-2        )                                          Altimeter     51C?   S41733?   485 x   503 x  97.4 0000LT SSO

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Jul  1 0718   RV x 6?          M51               S616, Baie d'Audierne   Test         1000?      North Atlantic
Jul 16 0405   ROTEX-T          Terrier Imp.Orion   Kiruna                Hypersonic    182       ESRANGE
Jul 18 2045   RV               Hwasong-6?          Eunyul, N Korea       Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Jul 18 2050?  RV               Hwasong-6?          Eunyul, N Korea       Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Jul 18 2140   RV               Hwasong-7?          Eunyul, N Korea       Test          200?      Sea of Japan
Jul 27 1826   Hi-C             Black Brant 9       White Sands           Solar physics 250?      White Sands
Aug  2 2253   RV               Hwasong-7?          Eunyul, N Korea       Test          200?      Sea of Japan

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