[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 641

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Tue May 17 22:52:21 EDT 2011

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 641                                       2011 May 17  Somerville, MA, USA

Shuttle and Station

The Progress M-10M cargo supply ship  docked with the Station's Pirs
module at 1428 UTC on Apr 29. 

Space Shuttle OV-105 Endeavour was launched on mission STS-134 on May
16. It flew to orbit using solid rocket motors RSRM-113 and External
Tank ET-122. The RSRMs fell back to the Atlantic and were recovered,
after arcing into the mesosphere. ET-122, which had been repaired after
suffering significant damage in its New Orleans factory during Hurricane
Katrina, reached a 57 x 227 km marginal orbit; after apogee around 1336
UTC, it reentered at first perigee over the South Pacific at around 1405
UTC. Endeavour fired its OMS engines at apogee, entering a 231 x 324 km
x 51.6 deg orbit at 1336 UTC. After a series of rendezvous burns,
it is approaching the International Space Station for a docking
planned on May 18.

Endeavour will deliver a set of spare equipment to the Station on the
ELC-3 carrier, and install the massive AMS-02 particle detector which will
search for antimatter. The STORRM lidar is a test of rendezvous and
docking technology  to be used on the future Orion spaceship; MISSE
experiments are temporarily attached to the Station to study the effects
of exposing various materials to space. STP-H3 is a set of US Defense
Dept. experiments in the Space Test Program series, including
experimental thermal control systems and space environment sensors.

 STS-134 Cargo Bay Manifest
 External Airlock/ODS            1800? kg
 EMU spacesuits 3004, 3018        260?
 RMS arm 201                      410?
 Orbiter Boom Sensor System       382?
 Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer     6917
 STORRM                            17?
 PPSU-2 electronics box            17?
 SPDU                              17?
 ROEU 755 umbilical for ELC-3      90
 ROEU 751 umbilical for AMS-02     78
 MISSE carriers (3)               171
 MISSE 8 experiment                45
 Express Logistics Carrier:
  ELC-3 plus support hardware    3207?
  Cargo Transport Container       476
  SASA-2R S-band antenna          116    
  SASA-3R S-band antenna          116    
  SPDM Arm 3/OCTM                 342
  SPDM support hardware           269
  HPGA oxygen tank                552
  ATA-2 ammonia tank              772
  STP-H3 experiment package       500?
 Total                          16554 kg

Crew of STS-134 are NASA's Mark Kelly, Greg H. Johnson, Mike Fincke,
Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel, and the European Space Agency's Roberto
Vittori. Crew of the Space Station are Russian Space Agency astronauts
Dmitri Kondratev (commander), Andrey Borisenko, Aleksandr Samokutyaev,
NASA astronauts Cady Coleman and Ron Garan, and ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli.
Nespoli and Vittori are both Italian, and Vittori is the first Italian astronaut
to make three flights. The first Italian astronaut was Franco Malerba, in
1992 (although 1960s American astronaut Michael Collins was born in Rome).


During late March to late April, the US Air Force's AEHF 1
communications satellite raised its orbital period from 23 hours to 25
hours, passing briefly through the geosynchronous range. AEHF 1 was
launched in 2010 Aug to a supersynchronous transfer orbit of 249 x 50019
km x 22 deg; after failure of its main  propulsion system, electric
thrusters have been used to slowly raise the orbit to its current 22923
x 51539 km x 7.1 deg. Once the perigee has been raised to the 35780 km
or so needed for geostationary orbit, the apogee will be lowered to
match and the satellite will return to geosynchronicity.


The fourth Meridian communications satellite was launched on May 4
into a 978 x 39734 km x 62.8 deg orbit. The Meridian system provides
communications for the Russian Defense Ministry, and replaces
the older Molniya satellites.

Space-Based Infrared System

The US Air Force's SBIRS GEO-1 missile early warning satellite was
launched on May 7. This is the first dedicated satellite in the
Space-Based Infrared System, which will be the successor to the Defense
Support Program satellites in operation since 1970. In addition to
GEO-1, two National Reconnaissance Office satellites in highly
elliptical orbit, USA 184 and USA 200, carry the SBIRS HEO-1 and SBIRS
HEO-2 payloads in addition to their main NRO signals intelligence

GEO-1 carries an infrared telescope with a large focal plane infrared
array to monitor large areas of the Earth at once. An internal movable
mirror is used to scan the field of view across the visible disk of the
Earth  looking for possible missile launches. This is in contrast to the
older spinning DSP satellites, whose telescopes were canted at an angle
to the spin axis so that the motion of the entire satellite swept the
field of view around. 23 DSP satellites were launched between 1970 and

GEO-1 was inserted into geostationary transfer orbit and will use its
own on board propulsion to circularize its orbit. The spacecraft is
based on the Lockheed Martin A2100 bus and uses a Leros-1 apogee
thruster from the UK company AMPAC (Thanks to Ted Molczan for pointing
out the Aviation Week story confirming the identity of the thruster.)

    SBIRS program
    Payload         Launched     Vehicle        Orbit on May 8
                                                (from hobbyist observations)
    SBIRS HEO-1     2006 Jun 28  Delta 4M+(4,2) 2343 x 38072 x 63.3
    SBIRS HEO-2     2008 Mar 13  Atlas V        1629 x 38725 x 63.4
    SBIRS GEO-1     2011 May  7  Atlas V         185 x 35817 x 21.6

Suborbital launches

The Chinese Space Science and Applications Research Center launched
its first Tianying-3C sounding rocket from Hainan Island on May 6.
The rocket carried experiments to study electron density
and electric fields in the ionosphere. Tianying-3C appears to be
a single-stage solid rocket roughly comparable to the Japanese S-310.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Mar  4 1009   Glory  )          Taurus XL 3110     Vandenberg 576E  Climate    F01
              E1P    )                                              Sci        F01
              Hermes )                                              Tech       F01
              KySat-1)                                              Tech       F01
Mar  5 2246   OTV-2 F1          Atlas V 501        Canaveral SLC41  Spaceplane 10A
Mar 11 2338   USA 227           Delta 4M+(4,2)     Canaveral SLC37  Comms?     11A
Mar 22 1135   Fastrac 2                            Fastrac 1, LEO   Tech       62M
Apr  4 2218   Soyuz TMA-21      Soyuz-FG           Baykonur LC1     Spaceship  12A
Apr  9 2047   Beidou DW8        Chang Zheng 3A     Xichang          Nav        13A
Apr 15 0424   USA 229 P/L 1 )   Atlas V 411        Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint     14A
              USA 229 P/L 2 )                                       Sigint     14B
Apr 20 0442   Resourcesat 2 )   PSLV               Sriharikota FLP  Imaging    15A
              Youthsat      )                                       Science    15B
              X-Sat         )                                       Imaging    15C
Apr 22 2137   Yahsat 1         ) Ariane 5 ECA      Kourou ELA3      Comms      16A
              Intelsat New Dawn)                                    Comms      16B
Apr 27 1305   Progress M-10M    Soyuz-U            Baykonur LC1     Cargo      17A
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
Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Mar  1 2100   8 x Mk 5 RV      Trident D-5        USS Nevada, Pacific Test        1000?
Mar  2 1340   Patriot Target   Juno               Fort Wingate        Target       100?
Mar 15        Kavoshgar-4      Kavoshgar          Iran                R&D          120
Mar 16        ARAV-B Target    Terrier Oriole     Kauai               Target       150?
Mar 23 1850   NASA 36.275UE    Black Brant IX     White Sands         Solar EUV    250?
Mar 29 0501   TEXUS 49         VSB-30             Kiruna              Micrograv    268
Apr 15 0652   FTM-15 Target    LV-2               Meck Island         Target      1000?
Apr 15 0703   FTM-15 KV        SM-3               USS O'Kane, Kauai?  Interceptor  150?
Apr 27        4 x RV           Sineva             K-84, Barents Sea   Op. Test    1000?
Apr 27 0800?  NASA 36.278GT    Black Brant IX     Poker Flat          Test         339?
May  6 2302   Kunpeng-1        Tianying-3C        Hainan              Ionosphere   197

|  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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