[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 681

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Mon Jul 1 20:16:27 EDT 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 681                                                  2013 Jul 1, Somerville, MA

Apologies for those of you who haven't been getting the email version of JSR.
Let's see if I've managed to fix the mailer issues this time.


My Washington, DC readers may wish to know (if only to avoid the area) that I'll be at
the National Museum of Natural History at 1pm on Friday Jul 5, 
where I'll be giving an informal presentation at the `Evolving Universe' exhibit.
The exhibit, which features pretty images from Chandra, Spitzer and ground-based
SAO telescopes, will be closing Jul 7 after a 21-month run.


International Space Station

Expedition 36 is continuing. The crew are commander Pavel Vinogradov, 
Flight Engineers FE-2 Alexandr Misurkin, FE-3 Chris Cassidy, FE-4
Yurchikin, FE-5 Parmitano and FE-6 Nyberg. Ferry ship Soyuz TMA-08M is
at Poisk and TMA-09M at Rassvet. Cargo ship Progress M-18M is at the
Pirs module and ATV-4 is at the Zvezda module.

The European cargo ship ATV 'Albert Einstein' docked with ISS on Jun 15
at 1407 UTC and its thrusters were used to raise the ISS orbit on Jun
19. Progress M-19M was deorbited over the Pacific Ocean at about 1252
UTC on Jun 19, with debris impacting the ocean at around 1339 UTC.

On Jun 24 astronauts Yurchikin and Misurkin carried out spacewalk VKD-33
in spacesuits Orlan-MK No. 5 and 6.
The Pirs airlock was depressurized at around 1314 UTC and the hatch was
opened at 1332 UTC. The astronauts replaced the SP RRZh No. 2 flow control
panel on the Zarya module's thermal control system, installed the
Indikator-MKS atmosphere sensor on the Poisk module, and retrieved the
Vinoslivost panel 2 exposure experiment and the Foton-Gamma instrument,
bringing them inside Pirs toegether with the old SP RRZh. The airlock
hatch was closed at 2006 UTC and the airlock was repressurized at 2009 UTC.

The SP RRZh No. 2 has a mass of 51 kg  and Indikator-MKS is about 15 kg;
both were delivered by Progress M-19M in April.

Shenzhou 10

China's Shenzhou 10 spaceship was launched on Jun 11, carrying three
astronauts. It docked with the Tiangong-1 spacelab on Jun 13 at 0511 UTC.
The crew of Shenzhou 10 were Maj-Gen Nie Haisheng, commander; LtCol Zhang Xiaoguan,
operator; Maj. Wang Yaping, experiment officer.

On Jun 23 the SZ-10 crew carried out a redocking exercise. They
undocked Shenzhou 10 from Tiangong at 0026 UTC and redocked with it at 0200 UTC,
On Jun 24 SZ-10 undocked again for the final time, made a flyaround of the TG-1 lab
and then prepared to return to Earth. The deorbit burn was at about 2323 UTC Jun 25.
The spaceship landed in China at 0007 UTC Jun 26, at 111.36E 42.33N according
to commenters on the nasaspaceflight.com forum.


Russia's Resurs-P No. 1 civilian imaging satellite was launched on Jun
25 aboard a Soyuz-2-1B from Baykonur into a 250 x 451 km x 97.3 deg
orbit. On Jun 29 the satellite raised its orbit to 458 x 472 km. Built
by TsSKB-Progress of Samara, and based on the Yantar' spy satellites,
the satellite carries a Geoton-L1 telescope with a 1-meter resolution 
multispectral imager and a 25m resolution hyperspectral imager.


The first four O3b satellites were launched just two hours later by
another Soyuz-2-1B, this time with a Fregat-MT upper stage, from the
Centre Spatiale Guyanais. This VS05 launch was carried out by Arianespace
which imports the Soyuz rocket from TsSKB-Progress.

The O3b satellites carry Ka-band communications payloads with steerable
antennas and will provide broadband internet capacity to the developing
world. The O3b company, named after `the other 3 billion' (of people in
the world without connectivity) has its headquarters in Jersey (in the
Channel Islands) and so I assume the satellites will be registered by
the UK. The four satellites, built by Thales Alenia/Roma using a similar
design to Globalstar, were deployed into  equatorial medium Earth orbit.

The Soyuz reached an -1167 x 192 km x 5.3 deg orbit; three Fregat burns
reached  153  x 227 km x 5 deg,  242 x 7875 km x 3.2 deg, and  a 7820 x
7840 km x 0.05 deg orbit. The first two satellites, SC2 and SC4, were
deployed at 2128 UTC; a small Fregat spacing burn at 2144 UTC was
followed by deployment of SC1 and SC3. The Fregat-MT (serial no. 1041)
then made a final set of burns to lower its orbit away from the new
constellation, ending up in a 7658 x 7688 km x 0.1 deg orbit (the
Arianespace press kit shows a higher orbit, but this is a mistake).

According to Stefan Barensky of 'Air et Cosmos', the four spacecraft
have the production designations PFM, FM2, FM4 and FM5.
(FM is Flight Model, PFM is Proto Flight Model).


NASA's IRIS satellite, part of the Explorer mission program, was
launched on Jun 28. IRIS, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph,
will obtain high resolution (0.3 arcseconds) high cadence (1 second
intervals) imaging and spectra of the Sun with its 20-cm telescope. The
focal plane has three CCDs covering two far-UV bands (1332-1358A,
1380-1406A) and one near-UV band (2785-2835A). A fourth CCD provides
images in similar UV bands. The project is led by Alan Title of
Lockheed/Palo Alto and science lead Bart De Pontieu, with mission
control at NASA-Ames; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) is a
partner in the project and built the telescope. (SAO also built the
telescopes for the TRACE and SDO/AIA solar observatories).

Orbital's L-1011 aircraft took off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 0131 UTC
on Jun 28 and flew out to the standard drop location at 123.0W 36.0N over the
Pacific. The Pegasus XL vehicle was dropped at 0227:46 UTC 
according to NASA commentator G. Diller; the first stage ignited 5 seconds later.
The third stage ignited 8min 58s after drop to place IRIS in orbit; the
spacecraft separated 4 min later in a 616 x 663 km x 97.9 deg orbit.
First light is scheduled for July 17.

Note: The ESRO IIB satellite of 1968 was also given the name IRIS
(International Radiation Investigation Satellite); IRIS was also the
name of an Italian upper stage (Italian Research Interim Stage) for the
Shuttle used once in 1992. There was also an Iris sounding rocket used
in the 1960s. So, please be careful when mentioning IRIS to specify
which one you are talking about!


The Russian Ministry of Defense's first Kondor satellite was launched on
Jun 27 into a 496 x 501 km x 74.7 deg orbit. The Kondor system, built by
NPO Mashinostroenie, is planned to use optical and radar satellites with
masses of around 1000 kg, and reports indicate that this payload carries
an S-band radar. According to Rui Barbosa the satellite is Kondor No.
202. The launch vehicle was the Strela, a refurbished UR-100NU missile
on its second orbital launch; the APB manuevering stage also reached
orbit while the missile second stage reentered on a marginal suborbital
trajectory. The satellite was given the code name Kosmos-2487.


India launched its first full-scale navigation satellite on Jul 1,
beginning the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System. The IRNSS-1A
satellite, based on the Insat I1K bus and carryign L-band and S-band
navigation signals, was launched into a 282 x 20548
km x 17.9 deg subsynchronous transfer orbit from Satish Dhawan Space
Centre on Sriharikota Island and will use its liquid apogee motor to
reach geostationary orbit. 

The launch of IRNSS follows precusor missions in 2011 and 2012,
when the Indian Space Research Organization launched GSAT-8
and GSAT-10, which carried GAGAN navigation signals as part of a `GPS
augmentation' system in addition to their communications payload.


NASA's Galex ultraviolet space telescope, launched in 2003, was switched
off on June 28, following a extra tenth year of observing funded by
Caltech. The spacecraft remained NASA property but was loaned to the
university in 2012 May so that science operations could continue after
NASA funding expired - a victory for science which required, as you
might imagine, much internal legal and bureaucrating wrangling before it
was approved. Meanwhile, Canadian astronomers celebrated continued
operations  of MOST, Canada's tiny "humble space telescope", on its own
tenth anniversary.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission    INTL.  

May  1 1606   Zhongxing-11       Chang Zheng 3B/E Xichang           Comms       20A
May  7 0206   Proba-V     )                                         Imaging     21A
              VNREDSAT-1  )      Vega             Kourou ZLV        Imaging     21B
              ESTCube-1   )                                         Tech        21C
May 13 1258   Kunpeng-7        Unknown (DF-31?)    Xichang        Magnetosphere U01
May 14 1601   Eutelsat 3D        Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms       22A
May 15 2138   GPS SVN 66         Atlas V 401      Canaveral SLC41   Nav         23A
May 25 0027   WGS 5              Delta 4M+(5,4)   Canaveral SLC37B  Comms       24A
May 28 2031   Soyuz TMA-09M      Soyuz-FG         Baykonur          Spaceship   25A
Jun  3 0918   SES-6              Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms       26A
Jun  5 2152   ATV-4              Ariane 5ES       Kourou ELA3       Cargo       27A
Jun  7 1837   Kosmos-2486        Soyuz-2-1B       Plesetsk LC43/4   Imaging     28A
Jun 11 0938   Shenzhou 10        Chang Zheng 2F   Jiuquan           Spaceship   29A
Jun 25 1728   Resurs-P           Soyuz-2-1B       Baykonur LC31/6   Imaging     30A
Jun 25 1927   O3b SC1/PFM)       Soyuz ST-B       Kourou ELS        Comms       31A
              O3b SC2/FM2)                                          Comms       31B
              O3b SC3/FM4)                                          Comms       31C
              O3b SC4/FM5)                                          Comms       31D
Jun 27 1653   Kosmos-2487        Strela           Baykonur LC175    Radar       32A
Jun 28 0227   IRIS               Pegasus XL       L1011, Vandenberg Solar       33A
Jul  1 1811   IRNSS-1A           PSLV-XL          Sriharikota LP1   Navigation  34A

Suborbital launches

The RockOn 2013 student nission was launched from Wallops on Jun 20, while
a set of technology experiments in NASA's Flight Opportunities Program was
flown by UP Aerospace on Jun 21 from the New Mexico spaceport.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

May  1 0738   NASA 41.100DR    Terrier Imp. Orion  Roi-Namur         Ionosphere   189
May  7 0400   REXUS 14         Imp. Orion          Kiruna            Micrograv     81
May  7 0739   NASA 45.005UE    Terrier Oriole      Roi-Namur         Atmosphere   350?
May  7 0740   NASA 46.001UE    Terrier Imp.Mal.    Roi-Namur         Atmosphere   350?
May  9 0400   REXUS 13         Imp. Orion          Kiruna            Micrograv     83
May  9 0723   NASA 41.102DR    Terrier Imp. Orion  Roi-Namur         Ionosphere   188 
May 11 0500   FORTIS           Black Brant IX      White Sands       UV Astron    280?
May 13 1258   Kunpeng-7        Unknown (DF-31?)    Xichang        Magnetosphere 30000?
May 17 0325   FTM-19 Target    Talos-Castor?       Kauai             Target       300?
May 17 0330?  Aegis KV         SM-3-1B             USS Lake Erie     Interceptor  150?
May 22 1327   GT207GM          Minuteman 3         Vandenberg LF04   Op. Test    1300?
Jun  6 0305   CIBER            Black Brant XII     Wallops I.        IR Astron    577
Jun  6 1745   RV               Rubezh              Kapustin Yar      R&D launch  1000?
Jun 20 0930   NASA 40.106UO    Terrier Imp. Orion  Wallops I.        Education    118
Jun 21 1357   SL-7/FOP-1       SpaceLoft XL        Spaceport America Tech         119

|  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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