[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 645

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Mon Aug 15 23:34:20 EDT 2011

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 645                                        2011 Aug 16 Somerville, MA, USA

Spacecraft Names

I have updated my categorized list of spacecraft names at
http://planet4589.org/space/misc/names.html -  some of you may find it
amusing. The launch logs at
 http://planet4589.org/space/logs/launchlog.txt   (inclusive list)
 http://planet4589.org/space/logs/launchlogy.txt  (conventional list)
have also been updated.

International Space Station

Soyuz TMA-21 and Soyuz TMA-02M remain docked at the Station.

Erratum: Of course, Atlantis docked with ISS on Jul 10, not Jun 10
as I wrote in JSR 644.

On Aug 3 astronauts Volkov and Samokutyaev conducted spacewalk Russian VKD-29
from the Pirs module. The airlock was depressurized at 1435 UTC and the
hatch was opened at 1450 UTC. The astronauts deployed the RadioSkaf-V
amateur radio satellite and installed the BTLS-N lasercom terminal on
the Zvezda module. They also jettisoned a thermal cover from the BTLS-N
and installed the Biorisk-MSN exposure package outside the Pirs module.
Hatch was closed at 2113 UTC and the airlock was presumably repressurized
soon afterwards. According to Andrey Krasil'nikov, Volkov used suit Orlan-MK 
No. 4 and Samokutyaev used No. 6.

Spektr-R and space radio astronomy

After an initial partially successful attempt on Jul 22, the RadioAstron
antenna was successfully unfurled and locked in place on Jul 23
(according to reports on russianspaceweb.com). According to data
provided by Vladimir Agapov, Spektr-R's orbit on Jul 25 was  1248 x
334727 km x 51.83 deg, stretching nearly to lunar distance.

Space-based radio astronomy using very long baseline interferometry
(VLBI) in the GHz band began with the Soviet KRT-10 experiment in 1979.
Launched on the Progress-7 cargo ship, the 10 m dish was deployed in low
orbit on the Salyut-7 space station and used for observations at 0.4 and
2.5 GHz. A 4.9m dish on NASA's TDRS 1 communications satellite was used
for demonstration experiments at 2.3 and 16 GHz in 1986-1988 in
geostationary orbit at 35800 km. The VSOP experiment on the Japanese
HALCA satellite, an 8-m dish observing at 1.6 to 22 GHz, operated from
1997 to 2003 with an apogee of 21000 km. Space VLBI involves combining the
space-based antenna with a ground-based one to simulate a single antenna
with a diameter equal to the distance between the components; the higher
the apogee of the space-based antenna, the higher the spatial resolution
achievable by the observations. The RadioAstron experiment, led by 
Kardashev at the Lebedev Institute, has an orbit an order of
magnitude higher than previous experiments and thus should deliver
record resolution.

Higher frequency studies in the 100-1000 GHz range (sometimes called
radio astronomy but more frequently `submillimeter astronomy') have
mostly focussed on the cosmic microwave backround radiation with
suborbital experiments (by Gush in Canada, 1971-1990 on Black Brant
rockets; Houck at Cornell on Aerobee 4.177 and 4.178 in 1968; Blair from
Los Alamos on a Sandia rocket in 1972, Matsumoto and Lange on
K-9M-78 and K-9M-80 in 1985-87, and Mastumoto's S-520-17 experiment
in 1995) followed by orbital experiments (Prognoz-9/Relikt, 1983;
COBE, 1989; WMAP, 2001; Planck, 2009). In addition, the SWAS and Odin
satellites (1998, 2001) have studied galactic submillimeter emission
and ESA's Herschel also overlaps the range.

Space-based low frequency radio astronomy in the 0.5-15 MHz frequency
range has a long history beginning with the Blue Scout D-3 suborbital
flight in Jan 1961 as part of the Harvard Space Radio Project, which
continued with orbital flights on CORONA missions 26, 29, 31, 42, 43, 44
and 46 and MIDAS missions 6 and 7, as well as the AD-622 suborbital
probe. The Gorkiy radiophysical institute flew instruments on Elektron 2
and 4, Kosmos-119, 142 and 259. F. Graham Smith (MRAO/Jodrell) flew
experiments on the UK's Ariel 2 and 3; Canada's DRTE lab  deployed
73-meter antennas on the Alouette and Isis satellites. The Meudon group
flew 36-m dipoles on Rubis rockets in 1965 and 1967.

The University of Michigan experiments on OGO 1 to 4 studied solar radio
bursts; these were preceded by test flights on suborbital Journeyman
11.02UR and 11.03UR flights in 1962-1965. Experiments were also flown by
ISAS (Shinsei, 1971), Iowa (IMP 8, 1973), the Warsaw Aviation Inst.
(IK-Kopernikus-500, 1973), and the French amateur organization ESIE
(SARA, 1991). The most ambitious experiments in this frequency range,
however, were done by Joe Alexander, RG Stone et al. at NASA-Goddard,
beginning with Javelin and Astrobee 1500 sounding rocket flights
(8.33GR, 8.44GR, 16.03GR, 16.06GR) and continuing in orbit with the
91-meter dipole on ATS 2 (1967) and IMP 6 (1971) and the 229-meter
V-dipoles on RAE 1 (1968) and RAE 2 (in lunar orbit, 1973).
These low frequency experiments mostly detected diffuse galactic
emission and ionospheric and solar activity.

(Apologies if I have omitted your experiment - additions and corrections
solicited. I have not included solar and planetary radio burst studies
at even lower frequencies in the kHz range, which can perhaps be considered
as in-situ electric/magnetic field and plasma wave measurements rather than
astronomical observations).


A new Chinese navigation satellite was launched on Jul 26. The CALT
launch agency refers to it as Beidou-2 IGSO-4 (Beidou er hao IGSO-4
weixing). The Xinhua news agency mostly refers to it as 9th Beidou
Navigation Satellite (di jiu ke Beidou daohang weixing) although it does
also describe it as  'Beidou daohang xitong (Compass Navigation System)
zu wang (networking) de di si ke (4th) qingxidei (inclined)  qiu (geo)
tongbu (synchronous) guidao (orbit) weixing (satellite)'. I will use the
'Beidou daohang weixing 9' or 'Beidou DW9' for short, as a reasonable
English-alphabet rendering of the name used by Xinhua.

On Aug 14 Beidou DW9 was in a 35698 x 35871 km x 55.2 deg orbit with
longitudes ranging from 78 to 110E.


Shi Jian shiyihao 02 xing (Practice-11 Sat 2) was launched  on Jul 29,
joining SJ-11-03 which went up on Jul 6. Its orbit is 689 x 704 km x
98.1 deg.

Paksat 1R

China launched a 5120 kg DFH-4 class communications satellite on Aug 11
on behalf of the Pakistani space agency SUPARCO, into a 200 x 41800 km x
25.0 deg transfer orbit. The satellite, Paksat 1R, will replace Paksat
1, the former Palapa C1.

Haiyang 2

The Haiyang erhao (Ocean 2) oceanographic satellite was launched on
Aug 15. It carries a microwave radiometer, a radar altimeter and a radar
scatterometer to monitor ocean conditions. According to discussion on
nasaspaceflight.com it was launched from complex 2 at the Taiyuan space
center. This launch makes seven Chinese orbital flights in two months.


NASA's second New Frontiers mission, Juno, was launched on Aug 5 by
Atlas V serial AV-029. It entered a 194 x 226 km x 28.8 deg parking
orbit at 1635 UTC and a hyperbolic escape orbit at 1715 UTC. AV-029
separated from Juno at 1718 UTC. On Aug 8 the probe left the Earth's
gravitational sphere of influence and entered a 1.0 x 2.26AU x 0.1 deg
solar orbit. It will return to Earth on 2013 Oct 9 for a 500 km
flyby to set it on course for Jupiter. Juno will enter Jupiter polar
orbit in 2016 Jul and will complete its mission in 2017 Oct
with disposal in the Jovian atmosphere.

Juno carries magnetometers, plasma and particle instruments, UV auroral
imagers and spectrometers, and the JunoCam imager. The probe has a mass
of 1593 kg and carries a further 2032 kg of propellant. Its three large
solar arrays span around 22 meters; it is the first spacecraft to fly to
the outer solar system without radioisotope power sources.

Ariane 5

Arianespace launched the Astra 1N and BSAT 3c satellites on Aug 6. Astra
1N is an Astrium/Toulouse Eurostar 3000 satellite to be located at 19.2E
for European television broadcasting. BSat-3c is a Lockheed Martin
A2100A for Japan's Broadcast Satellite Systems Corp (B-SAT);  it is
jointly owned by Sky Perfect JSAT Corp., who have a telecoms payload on
board that will be operated as JCSAT-110R.

The launch vehicle was an Ariane 5ECA model, serial number L560. The EPC
core stage flew a -1029 x 188 km x 6.8 deg trajectory, and the ESC-A
stage then flew to a geostationary transfer orbit of 266 x 35725 km x
2.0 deg. On Aug 12 Astra 1N was in a 35550 x 35790 km x 0.1 deg orbit
drifting east over 5 deg W, and BSat-3c was in a 33917 x 35734 km x 0.0
deg orbit.

Suborbital launches

A Minuteman 3 missile launched from Vandenberg was destroyed over the Pacific
five minutes into flight on Jul 27. On the same day, a Russian Navy Sineva was
flown from the Barents Sea to the Kura test range.

On Aug 11 the HTV-2b hypersonic glider was launched from Vandenberg
across the Pacific. The mission ended prematurely with loss of signal
three minutes into the glider's free flight. The three-stage Minotaur IV Lite
flew a low altitude trajectory; the apogee is uncertain.


After some volatility, US cataloging of the objects from the 2011-035
launch seems to have settled down. Object 37762, with three element sets
in an orbit reflecting the SES-3 payload adapter, has been decataloged,
with the catalog number now assigned to an object in a quite different
orbit, the tumble weight from the IUE satellite's third stage, recently
discovered after 33 years in orbit. What has actually happened to the
SES-3 adapter, and whether the earlier 37762 elsets reflected
a real object, is still unclear.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Jul  6 0428   SJ-11-3           Chang Zheng 2C     Jiuquan           Unknown   30A
Jul  8 1529   Atlantis STS-135  Space Shuttle      Kennedy LC39A     Spaceship 31A
Jul 11 1541   TianLian 1-02     Chang Zheng 3C     Xichang           Data rel. 32A
Jul 13 0227   Globalstar M083 ) Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat  Baykonur LC31     Comms     33A  
              Globalstar M088 )                                      Comms     33B
              Globalstar M091 )                                      Comms     33C
              Globalstar M085 )                                      Comms     33D
              Globalstar M081 )                                      Comms     33E
              Globalstar M089 )                                      Comms     33F
Jul 15 1118   GSAT-12           PSLV-XL            Sriharikota       Comms     34A
Jul 15 2316   SES-3   )         Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC200/39 Comms     35A
              Kazsat-2)                                              Comms     35B
Jul 16 0641   GPS SVN 63        Delta 4M+(4,2)     Canaveral LC37B   Nav       36A
Jul 18 0231   Spektr-R          Zenit-3F/Fregat    Baykonur LC45/1   Astronomy 37A
Jul 20 0749   PSSC-2                               Atlantis,LEO      Tech      31B
Jul 26 2144   Beidou DW9        Chang Zheng 3A     Xichang           Nav       38A
Jul 29 0742   SJ11-02           Chang Zheng 2C     Jiuquan           Unknown   39A
Aug  3 1843   Radioskaf-V       -                  EVA, ISS          Comms   98-67CK
Aug  5 1625   Juno              Atlas 551          Canaveral SLC41   Probe     40A
Aug  6 2252   Astra 1N )        Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3       Comms     41A
              BSAT 3c  )                                             Comms     41C
Aug 10 1615   Paksat 1R         Chang Zheng 3B     Xichang           Comms     42A
Aug 15 2257   Haiyang 2         Chang Zheng 4B     Taiyuan LC2       Rem.Sens. 43A

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Jul  8 1404   SRALT            SR-19              C-17, Point Mugu    Target       200?
Jul 10 1400   NASA 21.140GE    Black Brant V      Wallops I LA2       Ionosphere   158?
Jul 10 1400   NASA 41.090GE    Terrier Orion      Wallops I LA2       Ionosphere   158?
Jul 11 1535?  Gradicom         Gradicom 2         Chamical            Test         100
Jul 21 1158   NASA 41.092GO    Terrier Orion      Wallops I           Edu          160?
Jul 27 1001   GT205 RV         Minuteman III      Vandenberg LF04     Test        1300?
Jul 27        RV x ?           Sineva             K-84, Barents Sea   Test        1000?
Aug 11 1445   HTV-2b           Minotaur 4 Lite    Vandenberg SLC8     Test         100?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |          jcm at cfa.harvard.edu       |
|                                                                         |
| JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html                                 |
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