[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 674

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Sun Feb 10 19:48:12 EST 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 674                                            2013 Feb 1     Somerville, MA USA

International Space Station

Expedition 34 is underway with commander Kevin Ford and flight engineers
FE-1 Oleg Novitskiy, FE-2 Yevgeniy Tarelkin, FE-4 Roman Romanenko, FE-5
Chris Hadfield, and FE-6 Tom Marshburn. Ferry ship Soyuz TMA-06M is
docked at the Poisk module; Soyuz TMA-07M is at Rassvet; cargo ship
Progress M-17M is at the Zvezda aft port.

Progress M-16M undocked from the Pirs module at 1316 UTC on Feb 9 and
was deorbited over the Pacific Ocean at 1619 UTC with impact of its
debris at 1705 UTC. Progress M-18M is being prepared for launch.


Success for South Korea as the S Korean/Russian KSLV-1 (Naro-1) rocket takes off
from Naro Space Center. After two previous launch failures the rocket is
reported to have placed its payload, STSAT-2C, in orbit. Planned orbit
was 300 x 1500 km x 80 deg; US tracking shows the payload in a 292 x 1511 km x 80.3
deg orbit, essentially perfect given possible different definitions of the
reference sphere. The payload carries a laser reflector array
for geodesy, an ionosphere instrument, and technology experiments.

Naro-1 consists of an Angara-URM first stage built by the Russian
Khrunichev company, and a solid second stage built by South Korea.
KAIST, the Korea Advanced Institute for Space Technology (based in
Daejon) developed the satellite and KARI, the Korea Aerospace Research
Institute (Han-guk Hanggong Uju Yeon-guwon) led development the launch vehicle
and carried out the launch. 

The fact that a very significant part of the rocket is Russian rather
than S Korean has led to arguments over whether S Korea is now the 13th 
(or even just 11th) country to have its own capability to launch into
orbit, or just another tourist paying for the ride.

For the record, my take is that S Korea is nation no. 11-and-a-half,
counting the European Space Agency as a quasi-nation. 

       Date        Entity      Satellite     Rocket 

 1.    1957 Oct 4  USSR        PS-1          R-7 No. M1-PS 
 2.    1958 Feb  1 USA         Explorer 1    Jupiter-C No. RS-29
 3.    1965 Nov 26 France      A-1           Diamant A No. 1
 4.    1970 Feb 11 Japan       Ohsumi        Lambda-4S-5
 5.    1970 Apr 24 China       DFH-1         Chang Zheng 1 No. 601904
 6.    1971 Oct 28 UK          Prospero      Black Arrow R-3
 7.    1979 Dec 24 ESA         CAT-1         Ariane VO1
 8.    1980 Jul 18 India       Rohini RS-1   SLV-3-E1
 9.    1988 Sep 19 Israel      'Ofeq-1       Shaviyt 
 9 1/2 1995 Aug 31 Ukraine     Sich          Tsiklon-3 No. 801
10.    2009 Feb  2 Iran        Omid          Safir OES.0002
11.    2012 Dec 12 N Korea     KMS 3-2       Unha-3
11 1/2 2013 Jan 30 S Korea     STSAT-2C      Naro-1 No. 3

The Wikipedia page credits Ukraine with a 1991 launch of Soviet/Russian
satellites by a Ukrainian-built rocket integrated in the USSR and
launched by the Soviet UNKS space troops; I don't think this should
count. The Sich launch was a Ukrainian built and owned satellite
launched by a Ukrainian built rocket which was launched by space troops
of the Russian Federation - I am inclined to count this one to Ukraine
but it's still arguable.

I consider the Russian Federation as the successor state of the USSR and
don't count it separately. Sea Launch, of course, is another tricky case
- I would count it as mostly Russian.

France's first launch was from Algerian territory; its first orbital launch from
French territory was on 1970 Mar 10. The UK launch was from Australian territory.


NASA's new-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS K, was
launched on Jan 31 by a Lockheed Martin/ULA Atlas V 401 from Cape
Canaveral. The new TDRS is based on the Boeing/El Segundo HS-601
spacecraft bus. Atlas flight AV-036 entered a 183 x 24854 km x 26.5 deg
parking orbit 18 min after launch, according to data provided by Justin
Ray (spaceflightnow.com). The second burn at 0328 UTC reached a 4336 x
35791 km x 25.7 deg orbit and the Centaur separated at 0334 UTC. TDRS K
will use its R-4D propulsion system to reach geostationary orbit and
become the operational TDRS 11. By Feb 10, TDRS K was in a 35422 x 35787
km x 7.1 deg orbit over 150 deg West, drifting east at 2 deg/day.

Sea Launch

A major blow to Sea Launch as their Zenit-3SL launch vehicle failed on
Feb 1. The rocket took off from the Odyssey floating launch platform at
154W, 0N on the equator, but did not follow the correct trajectory
because of a hydraulic pump failure 4 seconds after launch. The
propulsion was shut down about 24 seconds after launch, with the vehicle
falling in the Pacific at 56 seconds after launch, according to
information on the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum. Intelsat's IS-27
communications satellite was aboard. IS-27 carried Ku and C band comms
payloads as well as a UHF payload which was to be used by the Italian


Six Globalstar low orbit mobile-phone satellites were placed in a 918 x
926 km x 52.0 deg orbit by an Arianespace/Starsem Soyuz-2-1A rocket with
a Fregat upper stage on Feb 6. The Soyuz third stage was suborbital,
and the Fregat stage was deorbited shortly after deploying the satellites.

The Globalstar satellite serial numbers are based on preliminary
information given on the website nasaspaceflight.com and are subject to 

Ariane mission VA212

Arianespace flew Ariane 5ECA launcher L568 on mission VA212 from Kourou on Feb 7,
placing two communications satellite in geostationary transfer orbit. The EPC 568
core stage flew a -995 x 157 x 6.0 deg path into the Atlantic; the ESC-A
upper stage put the two satellites and the Sylda adapter into a 262 x 35830 km x 6 deg

Amazonas 3 is a Loral 1300 satellite with a launch mass of 6265 kg,
providing C and Ku band Hispamar service. Hispamar Satelites SA is a
joint venture of the Spanish Hispasat company's Brazilian subsidiary
and Brazilian carrier Oi/Telemar; the satellite is owned by the Hispasat
Group based in Madrid and is considered a Spanish satellite.

Azerspace is operated by Azercosmos for the Azerbaijan Ministry of
Communications and Information Technologies; some capacity will also be
used by Measat of Malaysia to provide services to Africa, and Measat
calls the satellite Africasat-1A.

2012 DA14

Minor planet 2012 DA14, a 45-meter rock in a 0.9 x 1.1 AU x 10.3 deg solar orbit,
will pass about 27700 km from Earth at 1926 UTC on 2013 Feb 15 in a hyperbolic
27673 x -61552 km x 86.2 deg orbit (the negative apogee is a formal value derived
from continuation of the standard definition). It will pass lunar orbit inbound
at about 0240 UTC Feb 15, and outbound at 1200 UTC Feb 16. 

I have compared the rock's trajectory with that of all tracked artificial Earth
satellites for which current orbital elements are available; no satellites are at
risk, with the closest approaches at 2000 km or more for inert space junk:

  2013 Feb 15 1926UTC   1950 km  from (27046  1989-006AB rocket debris) at 27500 km over 94E 7S 
  2013 Feb 15 1930UTC   3560 km  from (12546  1981-057C  Ariane CAT03) at alt 24200 km over 96E 3S
  2013 Feb 15 1932UTC   3970 km  from (27405  1990-065W  CRRES canister) at alt 25300 km over 95E 1S
  2013 Feb 15 1955UTC   2590 km  from (13666  1982-110E  PAM-D rocket stage) at alt 31500 km over 88E 15N
  2013 Feb 15 2003UTC   3910 km  from (26763  1965-108AS rocket debris) at 27800 km over 93E 23N
  2013 Feb 15 2006UTC   4140 km  from (27794  1965-108BJ rocket debris) at 28700 km over 84E 25N
  2013 Feb 15 2013UTC   4400 km  from (25330  1998-027D  Blok-2BL rocket stage) at 33468 km over 95E 28N

and for active satellites within 8500 km or less:
  2013 Feb 15 1930UTC   8030 km  from (25030 1997-067A  USAF GPS SVN38) at 19850 km over 93E 2S
  2013 Feb 15 1934UTC   8150 km  from (28082 2003-052A  Chinese ZX-20)  at 35808 km over 98E 0N
  2013 Feb 15 1935UTC   8460 km  from (25460 1998-049A  Singapore-Taiwan-1) at 35740 km over 100E 1N
  2013 Feb 15 1935UTC   7960 km  from (27603 2002-057A  New Skies NSS 6) at 35795 km over 95E 0N
  2013 Feb 15 1935UTC   8040 km  from (27714 2003-013A  Indian Insat 3A) at 35800 km over 93E 0N
  2013 Feb 15 1939UTC   8250 km  from (27516 2002-042B  JAXA Kodama ) at 35800 km over 91E 2N
* 2013 Feb 15 1940UTC   7710 km  from (24880 1997-036A  Japanese Superbird C) at 35780 km over 93E 3N
  2013 Feb 15 1942UTC   7960 km  from (26635 2000-080A  NRO USA 155) at 35790 km over 90E 7N
  2013 Feb 15 1943UTC   8200 km  from (26388 2000-034A  NASA TDRS 8) at 35790 km over 89E 4N
  2013 Feb 15 1945UTC   7880 km  from (25050 1997-071B  Indonesian Cakrawarta 1) at 35820 km over 90E 6N
  2013 Feb 15 1951UTC   8190 km  from (23613 1995-035B  NASA TDRS 7) at 35900 km over 86E 9N
  2013 Feb 15 1952UTC   7830 km  from (20355 1989-090B  NRO USA 48) at 36900 km over 91E 11N

These calculations are approximate and I would welcome hearing from anyone who does more
accurate computations which could correct or improve these predictions.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Dec  2 0202   Pleiades 1B        Soyuz ST-A/Fregat Kourou ELS        Imaging    68A
Dec  3 2044   Eutelsat 70B       Zenit-3SL         SL Odyssey        Comms      69A
Dec  8 1313   Yamal 402          Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC39/200 Comms      70A
Dec 11 1803   X-37B OTV-3        Atlas V 501       Canaveral SLC41   Spaceplane 71A
Dec 12 0049   Kwangmyongsong-3 F2 Unha-3            Sohae             Test      72A
Dec 18 1612   Gokturk 2          Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan           Imaging    73A
Dec 19 1212   Soyuz TMA-07M      Soyuz-FG          Baykonur LC1      Spaceship  74A
Dec 19 2149   Skynet 5D          ) Ariane 5ECA     Kourou ELA3       Comms      75A
              Mexsat-Bicentenario)                                   Comms      75B
Jan 15 1625   Kosmos-2482  )     Rokot             Plesetsk LC133/3  Comms      01A
              Kosmos-2483  )                                         Comms      01B
              Kosmos-2484  )                                         Comms      01C
Jan 27 0440   JSE Reda-4   )     H-2A 202          Tanegashima       Radar      02A
              Jissho eisei )                                         Imaging    02B
Jan 30 0700   STSAT-2C           Naro              Naro Space Ctr    Geod/Tech  03A
Jan 31 0148   TDRS 11            Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Comms      04A
Feb  1 0656   Intelsat IS-27     Zenit-3SL        SL Odyssey, Pacific Comms     F01
Feb  6 1604   Globalstar M078 )  Soyuz-2-1A        Baykonur LC31/6   Comms      05A
              Globalstar M087 )                                      Comms      05B
              Globalstar M093 )                                      Comms      05C
              Globalstar M094 )                                      Comms      05D
              Globalstar M095 )                                      Comms      05E
              Globalstar M096 )                                      Comms      05F
Feb  7 2136   Amazonas 3       ) Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms      06A
              Azerspace        )                                     Comms      06B

Suborbital launches

NASA launched a Terrier / Improved Orion from Wallops on Jan 29 to test new lithium
release experiments. The lithium clouds glow after release and allow scientists
to track upper atmosphere winds.

The VISIONS payload, the first launch of a Talos-Terrier-Oriole-Nihka rocket, 
was launched into an aurora on Feb 7 from the Poker Flat Research Range near
Fairbanks, Alaska. The rocket replaces the Black Brant XII (Talos-Terrier-Black Brant V-Nihka)
as the highest-apogee suborbital research vehicle in NASA's sounding rocket stable.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Dec  8 2100   AEB VS30/O V10   VS-30/Orion      Alcantara             Ionosphere   428
Dec 13 0520   NASA 36.283UH    Black Brant IX   White Sands           XR Astron    257?
Dec 17 0700   S-520-28         S-520            Uchinoura             Micrograv    312
Dec 20 0351   Prithvi RV       Prithvi II       Chandipur IC3         Op Test      100?
Jan 26 2200   EKV CTV-01       GBI              Vandenberg LF23       Test flight 1000?
Jan 27 0810   RV               BO-5/K-15        Visakhapatnam?        Test flight  300?
Jan 27 1210?  Target RV        DF-21?           Jiuquan?              Target       200?
Jan 27 1210?  Interceptor      DF-21?           Urumqi?               ABM Test     100?
Jan 28?       Pishgam          Pishgam?         Semnan?               Life Sci     120
Jan 29 2250   NASA 41.107GT    Terrier Imp.Ori. Wallops Island        Atmos. Sci   130?
Feb  7 0821   NASA 49.001UE    T-T Oriole N.    Poker Flat            Auroral      754

|  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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