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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. 730                                                        2016 Sep 15    Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 49 began at 2151 UTC Sep 6.

On Aug 17 at about 2315 UTC the SPDM Dextre, on the end of the Canadarm-2,
grappled the IDA-2 docking unit stored in the Dragon cargo ship's trunk.
At about 0120UTC Aug 18 SPDM unberthed the IDA-2 and by 0645 had it
positioned around 1m from the old Shuttle docking port, PMA-2.

IDA-2 fits over the end of PMA-2 to convert it from a Shuttle port to
one that can acommodate Crew Dragon and Starliner. The first docking
with IDA-2 will be an uncrewed Dragon test mission, Demo Mission 1,
which is expected in mid 2017.

On Aug 19 at 1016 UTC SPDM moved IDA-2 inward until it was just touching
PMA-2. Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins, in spacesuits EMU 3003 and 3008, 
entered the Quest airlock for US EVA-36. Quest was depressurized by 1158
UTC and its hatch was open at 1203 UTC. Williams and Rubins attached
tethers to IDA-2 and connected it loosely to PMA-2; at 1316 UTC the SPDM
released IDA-2, which was firmly mated to PMA-2 by 1440 UTC. After
removing a soft cover and carrying out some cabling work, the astronauts
were ready for other tasks when at 1731 UTC further work was cancelled
due to a communications problem in Williams' suit. The astronauts
returned to Quest, closed the hatch at 1757 UTC and repressurized the
airlock at 1802 UTC. 

On Aug 25 at about 2100 UTC the SSRMS (Canadarm-2) unberthed Dragon
CRS-9 from the Harmony module. At 1011 UTC the Dragon was released into
orbit; at 1456 UTC Dragon fired its Draco thrusters in a deorbit burn
which sent it plunging into the atmosphere at about 1520 UTC. The empty
trunk was jettisoned at 1513 UTC. Dragon splashed down off the coast of
Baja at 1547 UTC. Spacesuit EMU 3005 was returned to Earth aboard CRS-9.

On Sep 1 Williams and Rubins made a second spacewalk, US EVA-37.
The trailing thermal control radiator (TTCR) on the P6 truss segment,
held in reserve as a spare, was retracted to protect it from space debris.
A new high definition camera was installed at camera position CP9
on the P1 truss. The Quest airlock was depressurized at 1146 UTC
and repressurized at 1841 UTC.

On Sep 6 at 2151 UTC Soyuz TMA-20M undocked from the Poisk module with
Ovchinin, Skripochka and Williams. The spacecraft laded in Kazakhstan at
0113 UTC on Sep 7. Astronauts Ivanishin (CDR), Onishi (FE-5) and Rubins
(FE-6) continue aboard ISS as Expedition 49.

On Sep 14 the Nanoracks NRCSD-9 deployer was pulled from the Kibo
airlock by the Japanese RMS arm, and at 1525 UTC two Flock 2E Prime
satellites were ejected into space, with six more to come from
the same deployer. These satellites have been aboard ISS since their
delivery aboard Cygnus OA-6 back in March.

Falcon 9

On Sep 1 at 1307 UTC a Falcon 9 launch vehicle exploded during
preparations for static test at Cape Canaveral's Space Launch Complex
40. The rocket was intended to launch the Israeli communications satellite
Amos-6, which was also destroyed in the accident. The explosion originated
in the vicinity of the second stage oxygen tank, but it is not yet 
clear whether the stage or ground support equipment was at fault.


The OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission was launched from Cape
Canaveral on Sep 8 by a ULA Atlas V. The model 411 vehicle, serial
AV-067, injected O-REx on a hyperbolic trajectory; the probe entered
a 0.77 x 1.17 AU heliocentric orbit on Sep 12. OSIRIS-REx has a mass of
834 kg, and carries 1230 kg of propellant and a 46 kg sample return
capsule identical to the one used by the Stardust mission.

OSIRIS-REx will make an Earth flyby in Sep 2017 which will change its
orbit to 0.90 x 1.35 AU x 6.4 deg, allowing it to rendezvous with
asteroid (101955) Bennu in Aug 2018. The spacecraft will sample the
asteroid and return to Earth in 2023.

GaoFen 10

China's GaoFen 10 high resolution imaging satellite was lost in a
launch failure on Aug 31. A rumour on suggests
a third stage restart failure, which would have left the vehicle
just short of a marginal orbit.


The Lixing-1 upper atmosphere study satellite lowered its orbit on Aug 16
from 488 x 504 km to only 124 x 140 km, the lowest ever orbit
for an active spacecraft. It reentered on Aug 19.


The USAF GSSAP 3 and 4 satellites were launched on Aug 19. The
satellites will drift in the geostationary ring making observations of
the orbits of other satellites. The US government is not releasing
the orbital data for these satellites.


Arianespace launched two communications satellites for Intelsat on Aug
24. IS-33e is the second Epic high throughput broadband satellite, while
IS-36 is a smaller Ku/C-band satellite for video distribution. Both
satellites will be stationed over the Indian Ocean. By Sep 15, IS-36
was over 64E and drifting, while IS-33e was slowly raising its orbit
and was in a 15756 x 35804 km transfer orbit.


India successfully launched the fourth GSLV Mk II rocket from Satish Dhawan Space
Centre on Sep 8, carrying the Insat-3DR weather satellite. The cryogenic upper
stage, serial CUS-07, performed nominally. The satellite made its first
orbit raising burn on Sep 9. As well as weather sensors and data relay
payloads, Insat-3DR carries a transponder to support search and rescue (SARSAT).


Israel launched the Ofeq-11 spy satellite on a Shavit rocket on Sep 14.
No orbital data are available yet but the initial orbit is probably
similar to previous missions, at about 250 x 650 km x 141 deg. The high
orbital inclination - launched almost due west - is in contrast to the
launch strategies of other countries which launch east to take advantage
of the Earth's rotation (since for Israel to launch large rockets
in the direction of their eastern neighbours might cause unfortunate
misunderstandings). It has been reported that Israeli mission controllers
are working to correct unspecified technical problems with the payload.

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    51C    S41733    124 x   140 x  97.4 0000LT SSO
              3Cat-2        )                                          Altimeter     51B    S41732    485 x   503 x  97.4 0000LT SSO
Aug 19 0452   GSSAP 3    )          Delta 4M+(4,2)   Canaveral SLC37B  Space Surv    52A    S41744  35749 x 35819 x   0.0 GEO 111W
              GSSAP 4    )                                             Space Surv    52B    S41745  35814 x 35856 x   0.0 GEO 118W drift
Aug 24 2216   Intelsat IS-33e )     Ariane 5ECA      Kourou ELA3       Comms         53B    S41748  15756 x 35804 x   0.6
              Intelsat IS-36  )                                        Comms         53A    S41747  35721 x 35759 x   0.1
Aug 31 1855   GaoFen 10             Chang Zheng 4C   Taiyuan           Imaging       F01    -         -
Sep  8 1120   Insat-3DR             GSLV Mk II       Satish Dawan SLP  Weather       54A    S41752  35320 x 35854 x   0.1
Sep  8 2305   OSIRIS-REx            Atlas V 411      Canaveral SLC41   Space probe   55A    S41757    203 x-40174 x  29.5 Escape
Sep 13 1348?  'Ofeq-11              Shavit           Palmachim         Imaging       56A    S41759    250? x  600? x141?
Sep 14 1525   Flock 2e'-13  )                         ISS, LEO         Imaging      9867KH  S41761?   401? x  409? x 51.6
              Flock 2e'-14  )                         ISS, LEO         Imaging      9867KJ  S41762?   401? x  409? x 51.6
Sep 14 2315   Flock 2e'-15? )                         ISS, LEO         Imaging      9867KK  S41763?   401? x  409? x 51.6
              Flock 2e'-16? )                         ISS, LEO         Imaging      9867KL  S41764?   401? x  409? x 51.6

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

Erratum: Last issue had the wrong date for ROTEX-T.

On Aug 23 N Korea launched its first successful submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM),
on a lofted trajectory with an apogee around 500 km. 

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  8 1301   MaxiDusty 1b     Imp. Malemute       Andoya U3             Atmosphere    117       Andoya Range
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 19 0405   ROTEX-T          Terrier Imp.Orion   Kiruna                Hypersonic    182       ESRANGE
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
Aug 17 1133   RockSat-X        Terrier Imp.Malemute Wallops I.           Education     153       Atlantic Ocean
Aug 23 2030   RV               Bukguekseong      Sub, Sinpo, N Korea     Test          500       Sea of Japan
Sep  5 0314   RV               Hwasong-ER?         Hwangju, N Korea      Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep  5 0314   RV               Hwasong-ER?         Hwangju, N Korea      Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep  5 0314   RV               Hwasong-ER?         Hwangju, N Korea      Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep  5 0910   GT219GM          Minuteman 3         Vandenberg AFB LF04   Op. test.    1300?      Kwajalein

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