[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 667

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Mon Sep 17 02:16:15 EDT 2012

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 667                                            2012 Sep 17  Somerville, MA USA

International Space Station

On Sep 12 the Japanese HTV-3 cargo ship was unberthed by the SSRMS arm
at about 1202 UTC and released into space at 1550 UTC. After one of
HTV-3's onboard computers failed, a planned small separation burn was
replaced by a much larger abort burn which safely and rapidly separated
HTV-3 from the vicinity of the ISS. HTV-3 was successfully deorbited
over the Pacific on Sep 14.

On Sep 16 at 2309 UTC Soyuz TMA-04M undocked from Poisk carrying
Expedition 32 crew Gennadiy Padalka, Sergey Revin and Joe Acaba, marking
the beginning of ISS Expedition 33 under the command of NASA's Capt. Sunita Lyn
Williams, USN, with crewmembers Flight Engineer-4 Yuriy Malenchenko
(Roskosmos) and Flight Engineer-6 Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA). 

According to Wikipedia (I haven't managed to confirm this from other
sources) the full original name of Ohio-born Capt. Williams was Sunita
Pandya Krishna; her father's surname is Pandya so the Krishna should be
considered a suffix. Williams' first flight was on STS-116/Expedition
14-15; she is the second woman to command a space station, following
Peggy Whitson.

Soyuz TMA-04M flew for 2h 47 min in a 403 x 426 km orbit, and then
at 0156 UTC on Sep 17 fired its deorbit engine to enter a 13 x 425 km
entry orbit. The three Soyuz modules separated at 0225 UTC. At around
0230 UTC the BO and PAO (orbital and service modules) burnt up in
the atmosphere as the SA (descent module) performed a controlled entry.
The spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan at 0235 UTC.


On Sep 9 India launched PSLV-C21 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on
Sriharikota Island into a 640 x 647 km x 98.2 deg, 10:00LT
sun-synchronous polar orbit. The main payload was the 712 kg SPOT 6
Earth observing satellite built by Astrium/Toulouse for Astrium
subsidiary Spot Image (Toulouse). Earlier SPOT satellites were owned by
CNES with Spot Image marketing the data.

A secondary payload, the 15 kg PROITERES, was also deployed.
PROITERES (Project of Osaka Inst. of Technology Electric Rocket Engine aboard
small Spaceship) carries a pulsed plasma thruster experiment.


On Sep 13 United Launch Alliance flew a Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401, serial
AV-033, from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The main payload is thought to be a
pair of Navy signals intelligence satellites deployed in a 1010 x 1200
km x 63.4 deg orbit after the second Centaur burn. (The primary satellite is
USA 238; the secondary satellite has not yet been cataloged and may not
have separated yet). This series of satellites is thought to be the modern
successor to NRL's GRAB/POPPY/PARCAE satellites, first launched in 1960.

The Centaur then made two further burns to 470 x 780 km x 64.7 deg. The
Centaur second stage carries the OUTSat secondary payload which ejected
11 small 'cubesats,' for a mixture of US military and university customers.
Of particular interest is CXBN, a Morehead State U. experiment to produce
an all-sky 30-50 keV hard X-ray cosmic diffuse emission map. The two US
Army sats in the SMDC-ONE (Operational Nanosatellite Effect) program
are variously numbered 1.1/1.2 and 2.1/2.2 in different sources.

The OUTSat structure is the NPSCUl launcher developed by the US Naval
Postgraduate School. It contains 8 P-POD cubesat deployers which ejected
the individual cubesats, a mixture of 1U (0.1m cube),
2U (0.1 x 0.1 x 0.2m box) and 3U (0.1 x 0.1 x 0.3m box) payloads, as follows:

  Pod 1 3U SMDC-ONE 1.2     (US Army Space and Missile Defence Command, Huntsville, Alabama)
  Pod 3 3U Aeneas           (U. Southern California, Los Angeles and Dept. of Homeland Security)
                             Cargo container tracking
  Pod 4 3U CSSWE            (U. Colorado, Boulder)  Colorado Student Space Weather Expt.
                             Radiation belt electrons and protons
  Pod 5 1U CP5              (Cal Poly. State U., San Luis Obispo)
                             Solar sail deorbit technology
        2U CXBN             (Morehead State U., Morehead, Kentucky)
                             Cosmic Hard X-ray background
  Pod 6 3U CINEMA 1         (U Cal. Berkeley)
                             Magentospheric studies
  Pod 7 3U Re               (Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab, California)
                             Space debris tracking
  Pod 8 3U SMDC-ONE 1.1     (US Army Space and Missile Defence Command, Huntsville, Alabama)
  Pod 2 1U Aerocube 4       (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)
        1U Aerocube 4A      (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)
        1U Aerocube 4B      (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)

The payloads were ejected in the order Pod 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,2. I believe
the OUTSat remained attached to the Centaur; whether you count it as an
attached secondary payload or a  non-payload piece of hardware is a
matter of taste, but I'll count it as a payload.

Since their first flight in 2003, 102 Cubesats have been launched: 2
suborbital, 19 launch failures (4 exoatmospheric),  and 81 orbital. Of
these, 60 are still in orbit. This includes two attached pairs,
M-Cubed/E1PU2 and STARS-1, and five cubesats currently aboard the Kibo module
which should be deployed later this month.


Thanks to the editor of the German translation of JSR  for spotting
the typo in Sunita Williams' surname in the last few issues. Amazing how
many times one can look at an error and not spot it. A reminder to my
loyal readers that they are encouraged to point out to me typos and
mistakes of all kinds.

Armstrong and Aldrin landed just 20 seconds before they would have been told
to abort due to low fuel readings. However, Henry Spencer points out that it
later turned out they had 63.5 seconds of hover time remaining.

And of course, Jim Lovell was Capt USN (Ret.), not USAF - apologies for that
cut-and-paste error.

Suborbital flights

A US Army/Orbital Juno target missile was launched from Fort Wingate to White
Sands on Sep 13; the Juno is similar to the old Hera and like it has
an SR19 motor topped with an M57A1 motor, both old Minuteman stages.
NASA launched a Terrier Lynx from Wallops on Sep 11 on a military mission
but neither the flight number nor the DoD customer has been identified. Previous 
Terrier Lynx flights have been for the Naval Air Warfare Center and the Missile
Defense Agency.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Aug  1 1935   Progress M-16M     Soyuz-U           Baykonur LC1      Cargo     42A
Aug  2 2054   Intelsat IS-20 )   Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms     43A
              Hylas 2        )                                       Comms     43B
Aug  6 1931   Telkom-3    )      Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Comms     44A
              Ekspress MD2)                                          Comms     44B
Aug 19 0655   Intelsat IS-21     Zenit-3SL         SL Odyssey, Pacific Comms   45A
Aug 20 1829   Sfera-53           -                 ISS, LEO          Sci       98-067CM
Aug 30 0805   RBSP A )           Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Sci       46A
              RBSP B )                                               Sci       46B
Sep  9 0423   SPOT 6    )        PSLV-CA           Sriharikota LP1   Imaging   47A
              PROITERES )                                            Tech      47B
Sep 13 2139   USA 238?      )    Atlas V 401       Vandenberg SLC3E  Sigint    48A
              OUTSat        )                                        Tech      48N
              SMDC-ONE 1.2  )                                        Comms     48B
              Aeneas        )                                        Comms     48C
              CSSWE         )                                        Sci       48D
              CXBN          )                                        XR Astron 48E
              CP5           )                                        Tech      48F
              CINEMA 1      )                                        Sci       48G
              Re/STARE      )                                        Tracking  48H
              SMDC-ONE 1.1  )                                        Comms     48J
              Aerocube-4    )                                        Tech?     48M
              Aerocube-4.5A )                                        Tech?     48K
              Aerocube-4.5B )                                        Tech?     48L
              USA 238 P/L 2?)                                        Sigint    48

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Aug  7 0730   S-310-41         S-310              Uchinoura           Reentry test 150
Aug  9 0316   Agni RV          Agni II            Chandipur           Test         220?
Sep 12        Radar target?    Terrier Lynx       Wallops Island      Target?      300?
Sep 13 1230   Patriot Target   Juno               Fort Wingate        Target       100?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |          jcm at cfa.harvard.edu       |
|                                                                         |
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