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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. 704                                                     2014 Oct 30  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 41 is underway with commander Max Suraev and flight engineers 
FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyaev, FE-2 Elena Serova,
FE-3 Barry 'Butch' Wilmore. FE-5 Reid Wiseman and FE-6 Alex Gerst.

The Dragon CRS-4 cargo ship was unberthed at about 1202 UTC Oct 25 and released by
the SSRMS at 1357 UTC. It made its deorbit burn at 1843 UTC and splashed down
in the Pacific at 1938 UTC off Baja California (near 34N 123.5W according to 
Bob Christy's, 30.7N 121.3W according to estimates by user Avron
on based on maritime traffic; SpaceX have not revealed
an accurate splashdown location).

Progress M-24M undocked from Pirs at 0538 UTC Oct 27. Progress M-25M was
launched at 0709 UTC on Oct 29 and docked with Pirs at 1308 UTC the same

The Orbital Cygnus Orb-3 cargo ship was destroyed during launch from the
Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) Pad 0A at Wallops Island,
Virginia on Oct 28. The lower end of the Antares 130 vehicle exploded 14
seconds after launch at an altitude of about 100 metres, and the vehicle
and payloads fell back to the pad, resulting in a large explosion. As
well as ISS cargo, the Orb-3 mission was carrying 26 PlanetLabs Flock-1d
3U cubesats, the JPL/U-Texas RACE 3U cubesat, the Arkyd-3 3U cubesat
from Planetary Resources, and also the GOMX-2 ship tracking
2U cubesat from GOMX of Aalborg, Denmark. All of the payloads were
destroyed. The first stage of Antares 130 is built by Yuzhnoe (Ukraine)
and derived from the Zenit tankage; the engines are Aerojet AJ-26
models, which are refurbished/modernized Kuznetsov NK-33s left over from
the Soviet N-1 human lunar landing program. It is not yet clear what the
cause of the failure was, although I note the rocket appeared to be
flying normally until a large flash was seen near the base of the
rocket, suggesting some kind of problem in the first stage propulsion
system as a likely suspect (although a first stage tank structural or plumbing
failure is also a possibility).

Since there seems to be some confusion on this point, I recall to
readers  that although commercial space station cargo ships (the thing
on top of the rocket) are something new, commercial space launch
vehicles (the rocket itself) are not, and indeed have been the norm in
the US civilian space program since the early 1990s when NASA
transferred Atlas and Delta launches to the private sector and retired
the Scout in favor of buying small satellite launches from Orbital's
Pegasus. There have been no orbital NASA launches since then with the
exception of the Shuttle.

US and W European rocket reliability

Satellite launch vehicles from US manufacturers and from Arianespace, 
currently in service, stats for orbital attempts since Jan 2000 until the Antares 
failure: (see JSR 669 for details of the scoring system)

  Vehicle                      Attempts Score    1st launch  Score for 1st 10 launches
                               -- since 2000 --
  ESA/Arianespace Ariane 5     72        97.9       1996     78
  ESA/Arianespace Vega          3       100.0       2012      -

  ULA/Boeing      Delta 2      65       100.0       1989    100
  ULA/Boeing      Delta 4      27        97.6       2002     96
  ULA/Lockheed M. Atlas 5      49        99.5       2002     93

  SpaceX          Falcon 9     13        98.8       2010     98

  Orbital         Pegasus      14       100.0       1990     74
  Orbital  Minotaur C/Taurus    5        40.0       1994      -
  Orbital         Minotaur 1   11       100.0       2000    100
  Orbital         Minotaur 4    4       100.0       2010      -
  Orbital         Antares       5        80.0       2013      -

  All vehicles                268        97.6                91

Ekspress AM-6

The Russian Satellite Communication Company (Kosmicheskiya Svyaz)'s
Ekspress AM-6 satellite was launched from Baykonur on Oct 21. US
tracking confirms earlier  rumours on the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum
that the final Briz-M burn was incomplete, leaving the satellite in an
orbit with a 1373 min period - significantly below the planned orbit,
but probably close enough for Ekspress AM-6 to reach its GEO destination
using extra xenon propellant from its own electric propulsion system at
the cost of operational lifetime.

Ekspress AM-6 orbit is 1373.2 min, 31307 x 37784 km x 0.7 deg; the
Briz-M's auxiliary SOZ thrusters disposed of the stage into a 1512.4
min, 34984 x 39549 km x 1.0 deg orbit.

Chinese lunar mission

On Oct 23 a Chang Zheng 3C/G2 launch vehicle took off from Xichang and placed
a spacecraft in a 209 x 413000 km lunar transfer orbit. The spacecraft
is called 'Chang'e wu hao feixing shiyan qi', or CE-5 Flight Test Device.
The vehicle is a precursor to the planned Chang'e-5 mission and consists
of a satellite bus similar to the Chang'e-2 lunar orbiter, topped with
a reentry vehicle which appears to be a miniature Shenzhou landing module.
The craft will make an 8-day flight to loop around the Moon and return to Earth.
Calculations by user 'satwatcher' on the forum indicate
that lunar closest approach was Oct 27 1903 UTC at a height of 11300 km.
The vehicle is expected to land in China around 2230 UTC Oct 31.

LuxSpace's 4M (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission) amateur radio payload
is attached to the third stage of the CZ-3C. Following lunar flyby
on Oct 27, the stage is in a 141090 x 416326 km x 54.2 deg orbit.


The 8th and final satellite in the somewhat mysterious Shi Jian 11 series
was launched by Chang Zheng 2C on Oct 27 as China's October launch surge continues.
The satellite entered a 688 x 703 km SSO with 1315 local time descending node.
It is believed to be a military surveillance satellite of some kind.


The Meridian No. 17L communications satellite (7th in the series) for the Russian
Ministry of Defense was launched on a Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat from Plesetsk on Oct 30
into a 968 x 39750 km x 62.8 deg 'Molniya'-type orbit.


GPS satellite vehicle SVN 69, flight IIF-8, nicknamed Spica, was launched
on Atlas V serial AV-050 from Cape Canaveral on Oct 29. It reached a 167 x 20281 km
transfer orbit 17 minutes after launch; the Centaur restarted at 2040 UTC to
place the GPS IIF-8 mission in a 20456 x 20464 km x 55.0 deg orbit.


X-37B flight vehicle 1 completed its second flight on Oct 17, landing at
Vandenberg AFB at 1624 UTC after 674.9 days in space.

 Satellite Retrievals

In the last JSR I gave a list of spacecraft which landed back on Earth
after spending long times in space. Here I give a table of spacecraft or
parts of spacecraft which were brought back to Earth aboard other
spacecraft - so, not needing reentry systems of their own. All the
entries in this list were Shuttle retrievals, except for a few low-mass
recovered experiments on Soyuz missions (only the longest-duration two
are noted) and the leading entries are all parts of the Hubble Space

(As usual, I solicit corrections and additions to this list).

   Spacecraft                               Mass/kg  Duration   In space

   HST SICDH and battery units BMU1, BMU2   498      19.08 yr   1990-2009
   HST WFPC-2 and COSTAR                    571      15.48 yr   1993-2009
   HST FOC, PCU, DBA1/2                     380      11.88 yr   1990-2002
   HST FGS-2, RSU-1, DF-2224                281       9.68 yr   1990-1999
   ISS P6 Battery ORU 7-12                 1020       9.48 yr   2000-2010
   HST FGS-2R, RSU-1R/2R/3R                 253       9.43 yr   1999-2009
   ISS Pump Module S/N 02                   354       8.78 yr   2002-2011
   ISS P6 Battery ORU 1-6                  1020       8.66 yr   2000-2009
   HST SA-II array                          308       8.27 yr   1993-2002
   ISS RGA S0-1                              20       8.03 yr   2002-2010
   ISS S1 ATA                               500?      7.53 yr   2002-2010
   ISS S0 RGA S0-2/RPCM S0-1A-D              25?      7.43 yr   2002-2009
   ISS Z1 CMG-3                             281       7.36 yr   2000-2008
   HST FOS,GHRS,RWA-1                       671       6.83 yr   1990-1997
   ISS ROKVISS                                7       6.22 yr   2004-2011 (Soyuz TMA-1M)
   HST RSU-2R,3R, CoProc                     84       6.07 yr   1993-1999
  LDEF Satellite                           9705       5.79 yr   1984-1990
   ISS P1 NTA                               484       5.24 yr   2002-2008
   ISS Z1 SASA-3                            103       5.08 yr   2002-2007
   HST RWA-1R                                45       5.08 yr   1997-2002
   ISS Z1 CMG-1                             281       4.83 yr   2000-2005
   ISS TUS-RA ORU                           153       4.27 yr   2002-2006
   Solar Max MACS box                       194       4.16 yr   1980-1984
   ISS JAXA MPAC/SEED C3                      9?      4.14 yr   2001-2005 (Soyuz TMA-6)
   EMU 3013 spacesuit                       130       4.11 yr   2002-2006
   ISS MISSE 1/2                            100?      4.00 yr   2001-2005
   Orlan DMA-18 spacesuit                    77       3.91 yr   1992-1996
   HST HSP,WFPC,SA I/-V2,RSU 2/3            785       3.64 yr   1990-1993
   EMU 3011 spacesuit                       130       3.18 yr   2002-2005
   EMU 3015 spacesuit                       130       2.86 yr   2011-2014
   EMU 3005 spacesuit                       130       2.71 yr   2002-2005
   Surveyor 3 SMSS scoop                      5?      2.61 yr   1967-1969 (Apollo 12)
   EMU 3018 spacesuit                       130      722 days   2006-2008
   EMU 3009 spacesuit                       130      691 days   2009-2011
   EMU 3006 spacesuit                       130      631 days   2006-2008
   EMU 3008 spacesuit                       130      631 days   2006-2008
   ISS EuTeF                                297      582 days   2008-2009
   ISS SSRMS WRJ                            167      426 days   2001-2002
   EMU 3004 spacesuit                       130      382 days   2008-2009
   EMU 3011 spacesuit                       130      377 days   2008-2009
   EMU 3009 spacesuit                       130      367 days   2001-2002
   EMU 3009 spacesuit                       130      356 days   2005-2006
   EMU 3010 spacesuit                       130      356 days   2005-2006
  EURECA 1 Satellite                       3741      335 days   1992-1993
   EMU 3005 spacesuit                       130      301 days   2008-2009
  SFU Satellite                            2736      308 days   1995-1996
  Westar 6 Satellite                       1202      287 days   1984
  Palapa B2 Satellite                      1202      287 days   1984

For convenience, the list of spacecraft that landed by themselves after long periods
in space (from JSR 703) is repeated here with updated data:

     Hayabusa               7.1 years
     Stardust               6.9 years
     Genesis                3.1 years (crashed) 
     X-37B FLT-3            675 d
     X-37B FLT-2            469 d
     HEXAGON 1218-4         270 d
     USERS                  261 d
     HEXAGON 1216-4         260 d
     Salyut 5 KSI           249 d
     X-37B FLT-1            224 d
     Soyuz TMA-9            215 d
     Kosmos-2290 SpK-22   ca. 210 d?
     Soyuz TM-27            207 d

UN Registration

Congratulations to Norway which has registered its remaining satellites with the
UN (except for the recently launched AISSat-2).  Norway's registered satellites are the
Thor 2,3, 5 and 6 communications satellites and the NCUBE-2 and AISSat-1 satellites in
polar orbit. I plan to update the on-line table of registrations once the UN Office
of Outer Space Affairs have made public recent outstanding filings by Russia and the USA.

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

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
Sep 25 2025   Soyuz TMA-14M      Soyuz-FG          Baykonur LC1      Spaceship    57A
Sep 27 2028   Luch               Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Data relay   58A
Sep 28 0513   SJ-11 07           Chang Zheng 2C    Jiuquan         Surveillance?  59A
Oct  7 0516   Himawari-8         H-IIA             Tanegashima       Weather      60A
Oct 15 2002   IRNSS-1C           PSLV-XL           Sriharikota FLP   Navigation   61A
Oct 16 2144   Intelsat IS-30 )   Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms        62A
              ARSAT-1        )                                       Comms        62B
Oct 20 0631   Yaogan 21          Chang Zheng 4C    Taiyuan           Imaging?     63A
Oct 21 1509   Ekspress AM-6      Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Comms        64A
Oct 23 1800   CE-5 FTD )         Chang Zheng 3C/G2 Xichang           Lunar probe  65A
              4M       )                                            Amateur radio 65B
Oct 27 0659   SJ-11 08           Chang Zheng 2C    Jiuquan         Surveillance?  66A
Oct 28 2220   Cygnus ORB-3     ) Antares 130       Wallops MARS 0A   Cargo        F02
              RACE             )                                     Science      F02
              Arkyd-3          )                                     Tech         F02
              GOMX-2           )                                     Comms AIS    F02
              Flock-1d 1 to 26 )                                     Imaging      F02
Oct 29 0709   Progress M-25M     Soyuz-2-1a        Baykonur LC31     Cargo        67A
Oct 29 1721   GPS SVN 69         Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Navigation   68A
Oct 30 0143   Meridian No. 17L   Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat Plesetsk LC43/3   Comms        69A

Suborbital missions

A solid propellant target missile was launched from Kauai on Oct 17 for the Missile Defense Agency.
Based on an available launch image, Gunter Krebs suggests it is the MRBM-T3, with SR19 and SR73 solid motors.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

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?
Sep 23 1445   Mk 12/21 RV?     Minuteman III       Vandenberg LF09  Op. Test     1300?
Sep 30        VAULT 2.0        Black Brant IX      White Sands      Solar UV      290?
Oct  7 1310   SR-10            Sounding Rocket     Jiupeng          Ionosphere    286
Oct 12 0427   MDA Target?      Terrier Lynx        Wallops I        Target?       150?
Oct 17 0708   FTX-20           MRBM-T3?            Kauai            Target        300?
Oct 23 1333   SL-9             SpaceLoft XL        Spaceport America Micrograv    124

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