[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 643

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Wed Jul 6 06:54:11 EDT 2011

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 643                                       2011 Jul 5  Somerville, MA, USA

Shuttle and Station

Endeavour undocked from the Station at 0355 UTC on May 30. The Shuttle
then performed a re-rendezvous with the Station, coming to a distance of
290m at 0822 UTC. The rendezvous demonstrated a coelliptic approach,
familiar from Apollo days but not normally used with Shuttle, and tested
the STORRM laser sensor developed for the new Orion spaceship.

On Jun 1 at 0529 UTC Endeavour fired its two OMS (Orbital Maneuvering System)
engines for 2 min 38s to reduce its velocity by 90 m/s, lowering perigee
into the Earth's atmosphere. Atmosphere entry interface at 120 km occurred
at 0603 UTC, and Endeavour landed on Runway 15 at KSC at 0634:51 UTC.

On Jun 7 the Soyuz TMA-02M spaceship was launched from Baykonur,
carrying Sergey Volkov, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa. It docked
with the Rassvet module at 2118 UTC on Jun 9.

On Jun 11 the orbit of the Station was 344 x 346 km x 51.6 deg. Between
Jun 12 and Jun 17, in  four burns using the engines of the European
ATV-2 cargo ship, Johannes Kepler, the orbit was raised to 374 x 389 km
- the highest it's been since October 2003. Further boosts from the
Progress M-11 engines in late June put the station at 381 x 395 km by
Jul 4, a height last seen in Jun 2003.  The highest ever orbit for the
Station was 396 x 403 km in Dec 1998, early in its history.

On Jun 20 the Johannes Kepler undocked from the Zvezda aft port at 1446
UTC; a burn at 1706 UTC on Jun 21 lowered its orbit to 220 x 380 km, and
another burn at 2004 UTC was used to send it into a -2 x 379 km orbit
towards destructive reentry in the Pacific.

On Jun 21 the Russian Progress M-11M cargo ship was launched. Among
other cargo it carries the 40 kg Chibis-M research satellite  which will
later be released into orbit. Progress M-11M docked with Zvezda on Jun
23 at 1637 UTC.

Orbiter OV-104 Atlantis is on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, and is
scheduled to launch on Jul 8 for the final Space Shuttle flight.

Artemis and Chang'e-2

China's Chang'e-2 probe left lunar orbit on Jun 9, on a trajectory to
the Earth-Sun L2 point. Meanwhile, the NASA/Berkeley Artemis P1 probe
entered a retrograde equatorial lunar orbit on Jun 27 after several
months at Earth-Moon L1. Initial orbital parameters are 3543 x 27000 km
(note that the data on JPL Horizons for this mission appear to be
out of date).


NASA's Dawn probe is approaching Vesta. On Jun 27 it entered
the planetoid's gravitational sphere of influence (Hill sphere)
whose radius is 127000 km; by Jul 5 it was only 60000 km from


The SAC-D/Aquarius satellite was launched from Vandenberg on Jun 10
by a Delta II rocket. It reached a 157 x 669 km transfer orbit
11 minutes after launch; a second burn circularized the orbit
40 minutes later at 653 x 655 km x 98.0 deg.

Argentina's 'Satelite de Aplicaciones Cientificas-D' satellite  carries a
suite of Earth observing instruments including NASA's Aquarius L-band
radiometer/scatterometer which will make global maps of sea salinity.
The Aquarius instrument is managed by JPL, although later operations
will be done by NASA Goddard; the rest of the spacecraft is operated by
CONAE, the Comision Nacional de Actividades Espaciales, at the Centro
Espacial Tabanera in Falda del Carmen, Cordoba province. Among its other
instruments SAC-D carries a Ka-band microwave radiometer, a New Infrared
Scanner Technology experiment to measure sea surface temperatures, the
High Sensitivity Camera to study light sources at night, and the Italian
ROSA instrument which measures deflection of GPS satellite signals by
the atmosphere to measure temperature and humidity.


On Jun 15 Iran launched the Rasad satellite into a 236 x 299 km x 55.7
deg orbit from the Semnan launch site using its Safir launch vehicle.
The 15 kg satellite carries an Earth imaging payload. Launch time was 0915
UTC according to released launch video, agreeing with calculations
by Phil Clark from the orbital data which put launch at 0914 UTC.


China's Zhongxing-10 (ChinaSat-10) communications satellite was launched
on June 20. ZX-10 is also known as Xinnuo-5 (Sinosat-5), following the merger
of the Sinosat and ChinaSat organizations. Zhongxing-10 was in
a 35775 x 35797 km x 0.2 deg orbit over 103.5E as of Jul 3.


Russia launched Kosmos-2472 on Jun 27 into a 185 x 249 km x 81.4 deg
orbit; it is believed to be a new Kobal't-M imaging reconnaissance satellite. 
This is the first Russian spy satellite launch to 81-82 degree orbit since
1994 and the first to the once-popular 81.4 deg value since 1979;
all recent launches have been to the 64-67 degree inclination slots.
By Jun 29 the satellite was in a 217 x 338 km orbit.


ORS-1 is a prototype operational imaging satellite operated by the USAF
Operationally Responsive Space program at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. 
Derived from the experimental Tacsat 3 vehicle, it carries an
optical/infrared imaging sensor. The USAF hopes that satellites like
this can be launched quickly on need; this satellite will support US
Central Command. ORS-1 was launched at 0309 UTC on Jun 30 from Launch
Area 0B at Wallops Island and separated from its Minotaur launch vehicle
at 0321 UTC. The payload (or possibly its final stage) was observed by
hobbyists in a 396 x 409 km x 40.0 deg orbit on Jul 2.

Suborbital launches

The SUBTEC IV rocket, NASA 41.096GT, was launched from Wallops Island on Jun 10.
It carried a new high data rate X-band telemetry system and the 0.4-meter
SMART microsatellite bus. On Jun 22 the US Air Force launched a Minuteman 3 ICBM
on the GT204 test mission sending a single reentry vehicle
from Vandenberg to Kwajalein.

On June 28 Iran launched three large missiles as part of military
exercises. The Iranians for the first time publicly identified Semnan
and Damghan as missile bases. The Semnan site has been discussed by
Western sources and is also their satellite launch facility; Damghan may
be the same as the base described in Western sources as Shahroud (a city
just east of Damghan). The same day, Russia test fired a Bulava missile,
which can carry 6 to 10 reentry vehicles, from the White Sea to the Kura
test range in Kamchatka. This was the first launch from the new 955-class
submarine K-535 Yuri Dolgorukiy.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
May  4 1741   Meridian No. 14L  Soyuz-2-1A         Plesetsk LC43/4  Comms      18A
May  7 1810   SBIRS GEO-1       Atlas V 401        Canaveral SLC41  Early Warn 19A
May 16 1256   STS-134 Endeavour Space Shuttle      Kennedy LC39A    Spaceship  20A
May 20 1915   Telstar 14R       Proton-M           Baykonur LC200/39 Comms     21A
May 20 2038   ST-2     )        Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3       Comms     22B
              GSAT-8   )                                             Comms     22A
Jun  7 2012   Soyuz TMA-02M     Soyuz-FG           Baykonur LC1      Spaceship 23A
Jun 10 1420   SAC-D/Aquarius    Delta 7320         Vandenberg SLC2W  Climate   24A
Jun 15 0915   Rasad             Safir              Semnan?           Imaging   25A
Jun 20 1613   Zhongxing-10      Chang Zheng 3BE    Xichang           Comms     26A
Jun 21 1438   Progress M-11M )  Soyuz-U            Baykonur          Cargo     27A
              Chibis-M       )
Jun 27 1600   Kosmos-2472       Soyuz-U            Plesetsk LC16/2   Imaging   28A
Jun 30 0309   ORS-1             Minotaur 1         Wallops I. LA0B   Imaging   29A

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

May  6 2302   Kunpeng-1        Tianying-3C        Hainan              Ionosphere   197
May 20        4 x RV           Sineva             K-84, Barents Sea   Op. Test    1000?
May 20 1321   SL-5             SpaceLoft XL       SWRS                Edu/Burial   118
Jun 10 1116   NASA 41.096GT    Terrier Orion      Wallops I           Tech         118
Jun 22 1335   GT204 RV         Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF10     Test        1300?
Jun 23 1017   NASA 41.095UO    Terrier Orion      Wallops I           Education    119
Jun 28        Shahab RV        Shahab 1           Semnan?             Exercise     150?
Jun 28        Shahab RV        Shahab 2           Semnan?             Exercise     150?
Jun 28        Shahab RV        Ghadr              Semnan?             Exercise     150?
Jun 28 1155   RV x 6?          Bulava             K-535, White Sea    Test        1000?

|  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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