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Jonathan's Space Report - Next Issue

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Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 703 draft                                          2014 Sep 22  Somerville, MA
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International Space Station
---------------------------

Expedition 41 is underway with commander Max Suraev and flight engineers FE-5 Reid Wiseman and
FE-6 Alex Gerst. On Sep 25 at 2025 UTC the Soyuz TMA-14M ferry ship was launched
from Baykonur with the remaining Ex-41 crewmembers Aleksandr Samokutyaev, Elena Serova
and Barry 'Butch' Wilmore. The port solar array failed to deploy after Soyuz separated
from the launch vehicle third stage, but this did not impact the rendezvous. Soyuz TMA-14M
docked with the Poisk module at 0211 UC Sep 26.

Dragon CRS-4 has arrived at ISS. The SSRMS Canadarm-2 grappled it at 1052 UTC Sep 23
and berthed it to the Harmony node at 1321 UTC.

The NanoRacks cubesat deployer package was returned to the Kibo airlock on Sep 16
following trouble with the deployments.

Kosmos reentry over Colorado
-----------------------------

Ted Molczan remarked on the discussion in the last JSR that his analysis shows
that a relatively small piece of debris (50-100 kg class compared to the multi tonne
Kosmos satellite) matches the visual observations from the Colorado area,
and that the timing is more consistent with an object ejected just prior to the
Sep 2 deorbit burn with drag properties similar to other Kobal't-M ejected
debris. I find his analysis convincing; it is still unclear exactly what the ejected debris
from Kobal't-M satellites is, but my best guess remains the solar panels.

Luch
----

The Khrunichev Proton launch vehicle returned to flight Sep 27, launching the Luch
satellite for the Russian Defense Ministry. The satellite is built by ISS Reshetnev.
Earlier-generation Luch satellites were used for data relay, analogously to the NASA
TDRS and NRO SDS systems. 

       Luch series satellites
 
       Cover name        Russian secret name    Active               Status

       Kosmos-1700       Al'tair 11             1985 Oct-1986 Aug    Drifting in GEO
       Kosmos-1897       Al'tair 12             1987 Nov-1992 Oct?   Drifting in GEO
       Kosmos-2054       Al'tair 14             1989 Dec-1997 Mar    Drifting in GEO
       Luch              Al'tair 13             1994 Dec-1998 Aug    Drifting in GEO
       Luch-1            Gelios 11              1995 Oct-1999 Jun?   Drift near 74E
       Luch-5A           -                      2011 Dec             GEO 167.1E
       Luch-5B           -                      2012 Nov             GEO  16.0W
       Luch-5V           -                      2014 Apr             GEO  95.2E
       Luch              Olimp-K?               2014 Sep             Awaiting tracking data

SJ-11
-----

China launched the 7th satellite in the Shi Jian 11 constellation on Sep
28 into a 686 x 705 km x 98.1 deg orbit. 'Shi Jian Shiyihao 07 xing' was
placed in an 1130 local time sun-synchronous orbit. This is one of the
larger Chinese military satellite constellations and remains mysterious;
the speculation that it carries infrared missile warning sensors remains
unconfirmed.

   SJ-11 (Shi Jian Shiyihao) series satellites
   Satellite Launch        Current orbit           Local time of desc.node
   01 xing   2009 Nov 12   683 x 701 km x 98.0 deg  0837
   02 xing   2011 Jul 29   684 x 700    x 98.2      1356
   03 xing   2011 Jul  6   687 x 699    x 98.1      1045
   04 xing   2011 Aug 18   Failed to orbit
   05 xing   2013 Jul 15   687 x 701    x 98.2      1534
   06 xing   2014 Mar 31   686 x 704    x 98.2      0908
   07 xing   2014 Sep 28   685 x 699    x 98.1      1130


Chinese UN registration
-----------------------

China recently submitted satellite registration information to the UN
for satellites launched between Jan 2012 and Mar 2014. They registered
33 satellites, but  failed to register 11: the two spaceflights Shenzhou
9 and 10, the secret military satellite Kuaizhou-1, the Hong Kong based
ABS-2, and several secondary payloads: Tiantuo-1, Fengniao-1, XY-1,
Yaogan 16 subsats 1 and 2, and Yaogan 17 subsats 1 and 2. This low level
of compliance is disappointing, since earlier Chinese registrations
were much more complete.

Galileo/Soyuz and Proton failures
---------------------------------

Russian officials report that the failure of the Fregat stage during
the Aug 22 Galileo launch was caused when a cryogenic helium line
incorrectly installed too close to a hydrazine propellant supply
line caused the hydrazine to freeze. The failure of a Proton
third stage in May is reported to have occurred when a turbopump
attachment bracket suffered structural failure - the statement is less clear
this time whether or not the this was due to poor workmanship.


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

Suborbital missions
-------------------

Flight NASA 36.288DS was launched from White Sands Sep 30 with the Naval
Research Lab's VAULT 2.0 solar telescope.


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?

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