[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 642

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Sun May 29 23:15:24 EDT 2011

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 643                                       2011 May 29  Somerville, MA, USA

Shuttle and Station

Shuttle mission STS-134 continues with the delivery of massive cargo
items to the Station, as the Expedition 27 crew hands over to Expedition
28 with the safe landing of Soyuz TMA-20.

Endeavour docked with the Station at 1014 UTC on May 18. The ELC-3 cargo
pallet was unberthed at 1327 UTC and installed on the Station's truss at
1609 UTC. The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer experiment was installed on
the Station on May 19, being unberthed at 0659 UTC and bolted to the S3
truss by 0946 UTC. On May 20 Greg Chamitoff and Drew Feustel
depressurized the Quest airlock at about 0704 UTC and began the first
STS-134 spacewalk. Two packages, MISSE 7A and 7B, were retrieved from
the ELC2 pallet. MISSE packages are used to study how various materials
and electronic components are affected by exposure to space. A new
package, MISSE 8, was installed on ELC2. The astronauts also
made preparations for servicing the Station's ammonia cooling system,
connecting jumper lines on the P3/P4 truss. The spacewalk was ended when
Chamitoff's suit developed a faulty CO2 sensor and the airlock was
repressurized at 1329 UTC.

A second spacewalk, by astronauts Fincke and Feustel, was carried out
on May 22, with Quest depressurization at 0559 UTC. The astronauts
serviced the ammonia cooling loop on the P6 truss, supplying it with ammonia from
the tank on P1, and lubricated the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint on P3/P4 that
allows the solar arrays to rotate. The spacewalk lasted over eight hours.

On May 23, Expedition 27 Commander Dmitri Kondryatev,  Ex-27 Flight
Engineer-5 Paolo Nespoli and Ex-27 Flight Engineer-6 Coleman  boarded
Soyuz TMA-20, as commander, FE-1 and FE-2 of the TMA-20 ship. At 2135
UTC on May 23 they undocked from the Rassvet module. Between 2142 and
2217 UTC they stationkept 200m from the Station, with Nespoli taking
photography of the complex while the entire ISS was rotated to give the
Soyuz a good view. At 0136 UTC on May 24, TMA-20 fired its engines to
lower perigee into the atmosphere. The orbital module and propulsion
section separated from the descent module at 0201 UTC, with atmospheric
entry interface two minutes later and landing in Kazakhstan at 0227 UTC.

Expedition 27 Flight Engineer-2 Andrey Borisenko became Expedition 28
Commander at 2135 UTC on May 23 (on Soyuz undocking), with Flight Engineer-1
Aleksandr Samokutyaev and Flight Engineer-3 Ron Garan. Samkokutyaev
is also Commander of the Soyuz TMA-21 ferry ship, with Borisenko and
Garan as his flight engineers.

On May 25 at 0538 UTC the Quest airlock was depressurized for EVA-3.
Feustel and Fincke installed a Power Data Grapple Fixture on Zarya.
The PDGF can be used as a base for the SSRMS robot arm, allowing it
to be used for work on the Russian part of the Station.

On May 27 Fincke and Chamitoff began what is scheduled to be the final
spacewalk of the mission to install the Enhanced Inspection Boom Assembly
(EIBA), formerly the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS), on the S1
truss. The OBSS began the day on the end of the Shuttle's RMS arm.
The SSRMS (Station robot arm) grappled the OBSS at 0419 UTC; the RMS
released it at 0450 UTC; the SSRMS moved the OBSS close to S1; the
astronauts took hold of the OBSS at 0527 and the SSRMS released it at 0539,
with the astronauts then fixing it to the truss and completing the
installation by 0542 UTC. The Shuttle grapple fixture was then
removed and replaced with a Station-style PDGF Power and Data Grapple
Fixture, which allows OBSS to switch from being the end of the SSRMS
to being its base. This work was complete at 0918 UTC and the OBSS
officially became the EIBA.  The OBSS systems were added after the Columbia
accident to allow the Shuttle extra reach to inspect heat shield tiles.
Three were built; one of them remains installed on Atlantis
for its final flight this summer and the third remains with
Discovery. (If anyone has a flight history of
the different OBSS serial numbers, please let me know).

 STS-134 spacewalk timings (UTC = GMT)
 EVA  Depress  Hatch open  Batt.Power  Hatch close Repress   RP-BP  RP-DP
 1    0704     0710        0710        1324        1329 UTC   6:14  6:20
 2    0559     0603        0605        1406        1412       8:07  8:13
 3    0538     0542        0543        1233        1237       6:54  6:59
 4    0408     0415        0415        1132        1139       7:24  7:31

Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the Station early on May 30.
Atlantis is in the Vehicle Assembly Building attached to solid motors
RSRM-114 and external tank ET-138, ready to roll out to pad 39A for the
final Shuttle launch.


The NASA/JPL Dawn spacecraft is slowly approaching minor planet (4)
Vesta as it continues to operate its ion propulsion system. As of May 24
it was 640000 km away from Vesta, and is due to enter orbit around the
body on July 16.  (4) Vesta is on the boundary between dwarf planets
whose mass is enough to make them quasi-spherical and small asteroids
whose gravity is insufficient to overcome the structural strength of the
rock they are composed of; it is an irregular ellipsoid 458 x 560 x 578
km in size. Vesta orbits the Sun in a 2.15 x 2.57 AU x 7.1 deg path in
the main asteroid belt.


The Telstar 14R satellite, also known as Estrela do Sul 2, was launched
on May 20. Telstar 14R is a Loral 1300 satellite
with a dry mass of 2150 kg and a launch mass of 4970 kg. It is a Ku-band
television broadcast satellite which will provide service to Brazil;
`Estrela do Sul' is Portuguese for `Southern Star'.

Telstar 14R is owned by Telesat of Ottawa, but probably managed and
operated by its Bedminster, New Jersey office which used to be Loral
Skynet, and before that AT&T. However, I am assuming the satellite
will now be considered as of Canadian registry rather than US.

International Launch Services delivered the spacecraft to geostationary
transfer orbit aboard a Khrunichev Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage.
The Briz-M separated at 0428 UTC on May 21.

However, the Telstar 14R failed to fully deploy one of its solar arrays,
a similar failure to that suffered by the Telstar 14 spacecraft it is
replacing. On May 28 the satellite was still in its initial 8751 x 35819
km x 13.7 deg transfer orbit, being tracked as object 2011-021B. 
The discarded Briz-M additional propellant tank is in a lower perigee orbit
and is currently 2011-021A, but StratCom will probably switch the designations at
some point when they figure it out.

Meanwhile, in another blow to communications satellite operators,
Intelsat New Dawn, launched by an Ariane in April, couldn't unfold its
C-band antenna dish, although its Ku-band system is working well. New
Dawn is in a 35778 x 35795 km x 0.0 deg geostationary orbit over 52.5E.


The Singapore-Taiwan 2 communications satellite was launched by an
Ariane 5ECA on May 20, together with the smaller Indian GSAT-8
satellite. ST-2 is owned by ST-2 Satellite Ventures of Singapore, which
is in turn jointly owned by Singapore Telecom Ltd. of Singapore and
Chunghwa Telecom Co. of Taipei. ST-2 will replace ST-1, launched in
1998, and has both C and Ku band communications payloads. It is a
DS-2000 type satellite built by Mitsubishi Electric of Kamakura.

GSAT-8 is an ISRO I3K satellite with a communications payload and also
the GAGAN navigation transponder. The satellite is 3090 kg launch, 1425
kg dry. On May 28 GSAT-8 was drifting over the Indian Ocean in a 35539 x
35764 km x 0.1 deg orbit.

The Indian Space Research Organization's GSAT program has now superseded
the old INSAT system; GSAT-8 was formerly known as INSAT 4G.  GSAT-1, 2
and 3 were launched in 2001 to 2004 on test flights of ISRO's GSLV
rocket; GSAT-4 and GSAT-5P were lost in failures of the GSLV in 2010.
GSAT-6 and GSAT-7 have not yet been launched.

The Ariane 5 serial number L559 vehicle was launched on flight VA202 from Kourou,
injecting the core stage into a -997 x 188 km x 6.8 deg transfer orbit
(falling into the Atlantic) and the ESC-A upper stage into a 232 x 35650
km x 2.2 deg geostationary transfer orbit. ST-2 and GSAT-8 separated 27 and 31
minutes after launch respectively.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
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
May 20 1915   Telstar 14R       Proton-M           Baykonur LC200/39 Comms     21A
May 20 2038   ST-2     )        Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3       Comms     22A
              GSAT-8   )                                             Comms     22B

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

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
May 20        4 x RV           Sineva             K-84, Barents Sea   Op. Test    1000?
May 20 1321   SL-5             SpaceLoft XL       SWRS                Edu/Burial   118

|  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                                 |
| Back issues:  http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back                  |
| Subscribe/unsub: http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr         |

More information about the JSR mailing list