[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 683

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Tue Jul 30 23:37:02 EDT 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 683                                                     2013 Jul 30, Somerville, MA

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 ATV-4 is at the Zvezda module
and Progress M-20M is at the Pirs module.

Progress M-18M undocked from the Pirs module at 2053 UTC on Jul 25 and
was deorbited over the South Pacific 3 hours later, with debris ocean
impact around 0042 UTC Jul 26. Progress M-20M was launched from Baykonur
on Jul 27 at 2045 UTC into a 189 x 218 km x 51.6 deg orbit and carried
out a series of maneuvers to reach the ISS orbit of 413 x 419 km and
dock with the Pirs module 5hr 41min after launch. Unusually, the US did
not release any orbital data for Progress M-20M during its flight to the


India's navigation satellite is now in inclined geostationary orbit at
35702 x 35870 km x 27.0 deg, orbiting over the 52 to 58 deg E range.


NASA's IRIS ultraviolet solar observatory opened its telescope door on
Jul 17, and has taken its first images of the solar transition region.


The second Mobile User Objective System satellite was launched on Jul 19
into geostationary transfer orbit (possibly around 3800 x 35786 km x
19.1 deg according to estimates by Ted Molczan). MUOS 2 provides UHF
communications links for the US Navy. The satellite is built by Lockheed
Martin and has a mass of around 6700 kg full 3800 kg dry. It probably
reached geostationary orbit in late July.

Chinese triple launch

A CZ-4C rocket launched on Jul 19 placed three experimental satellites 
in a 666 x 673 km x 98.1 deg sun-synchronous orbit with an 06:42 local
time descending node. The SJ-15 satellite is thought to be carrying out
observations of space debris, while SY-7 is testing a robotic arm.
debris. The CX-3 small satellite is thought to have been built by the
Chinese Academy of Sciences and may be carrying technology experiments
and/or serve as a target for the robotic arm tests.

Ariane launch

Ariane vehicle 569, on flight VA214, placed the Alphasat and Insat 3D
satellites in a 224 x 35827 km x 3.5 deg geostationary transfer orbit on
Jul 25. Alphasat is a major joint project between the European Space
Agency and the maritime satellite operator Inmarsat. The new Alphabus
class spacecraft is intended to demonstrate advanced technologies for
ESA, including a laser communications system and radio communications
links in Q and V band, while carrying a useful `extended L-band' payload
to add to Inmarsat's satellite broadband capacity. The Alphabus propulsion system
features what I believe is the first flight of the new Astrium/Lampoldshausen
500N EAM (European Apogee Motor), a MON/MMH system with an Isp of about 325s.
Alphasat has a launch mass of 6650 kg; dry mass is probably around 3500 kg.
By Jul 30 Alphasat was in a 25608 x 35809 km x 0.3 deg orbit.

Insat 3D carries a meteorological payload for the Indian Space Research
Organization. In addition to a 6-channel imager and a 19-channel
sounder, the satellite has a data relay system for Earth-based meteo
stations and a Satellite Aided Search and Rescue transponder. Insat 3D
is 2090 kg full, 935 kg dry. On Jul 27 Insat 3D raised its orbit to
15780 x 35800 km x 0.7 deg, and on Jul 28 it reached 31800 x 35795 km x
0.02 deg,  although US tracking seems to have missed these orbit

Delta 114 reentry

Delta 114 reentered over Africa on Jul 14, with debris landing near the
Zimplats platinum mine (about 18.7S 30.4E) in the Mhondoro district of
Zimbabwe south of Harare.

Delta 114 was a Model 2914 Delta launch vehicle launched
from Cape Canaveral on 1975 Aug 27, and placed the French-German
Symphonie 2 satellite in orbit. The second stage made two burns
to a 410 x 2020 km x 25.3 deg orbit; the third stage then 
fired to get to geostationary transfer orbit. By April this year,
the Delta 114 second stage orbit had decayed to a nearly-circular
300 x 410 km and rapid decay set in, with the last orbit data on
Jul 13 showing 174 x 185 km x 25.3 deg. SpaceTrack's TIP decay notice
gives a reentry time of Jul 14 0600 UTC +/- 2 min, over the Gulf of Guinea.
Extrapolating the final ground track shows that reentering debris
would have passed over central Zimbabwe at around 0612 UTC.
Reports from Zimbabwe indicate multiple high altitude sonic booms heard
on Jul 14, with photographs of what appears to be a dented second stage
propellant tank found on the ground.

Erratum - the leaky spacesuit

EMU 3011, which leaked water into Luca Parmitano's helmet during the
recent spacewalk, had three previous station tours, not two. Here is its flight history:
  Flight 1  STS-79     1996 Sep 16-1996 Sep 25  (Apt, not used)
  Flight 2  STS-83     1997 Apr  4-1997 Apr  8  (Spacelab, Gernhardt, not used)
  Flight 3  STS-94     1997 Jul  1-1997 Jul 17  (Spacelab, Gernhardt, not used)
  Flight 4  STS-91     1998 Jun  2-1998 Jun 12  (Chang, not used)
  Flight 5  STS-95     1998 Oct 29-1998 Nov  7  (Robinson, not used)
  Flight 6  STS-96     1999 May 27-1999 Jun  6  (Barry, 1 EVA)
  Flight 7  STS-101    2000 May 19-2000 May 29  (Horowitz, not used)
  Flight 8  STS-106    2000 Sep  8-2000 Sep 20  (Backup, not used)
  Flight 9  STS-97     2000 Dec  1-2000 Dec 11  (Tanner, 3 EVA)
  Flight 10 STS-100    2001 Apr 19-2001 Jul 25 (ISS tour, Hadfield (2), down on 104)
  Flight 11 STS-109    2002 Mar  1-2002 Mar 12   (HST, Massimino(2))
  Flight 12 STS-111    2002 Jun  5-2005 Aug  9 (ISS tour, Sellers (3),Pettit(2), down on 114)
  Flight 13 STS-126    2008 Nov 15-2009 Nov 27 (ISS tour, down on 129, not used)
  Flight 14 STS-132    2010 May 14-present     (ISS tour; Williams (1), Hoshide (2), Parmitano(2))

EMU 3011 incorporates the PLSS 1011 backpack - this contains most of the systems
and you can think of it as the core of the suit considered as its own spaceship, 
with the other components as a relatively inert bubble containing the human occupant.
Before the EMU 3000 series nomenclature was adopted, PLSS 1011 flew multiple times:

  Flight  1 STS 61-B   1985 Nov 27-1985 Dec  3  EMU 1070/PLSS 1011 (Spring, 1 EVA)
  Flight  2 STS-26R    1988 Sep 29-1988 Oct  3  EMU 1090/PLSS 1011 (Lounge, not used)
  Flight  3 STS-27R    1988 Dec  2-1988 Dec  6  EMU 1090/PLSS 1011 (Ross, not used)
  Flight  4 STS-29R    1989 Mar 13-1989 Mar 18  EMU 1090/PLSS 1011 (Springer, not used)
  Flight  5 STS-28R    1989 Aug  8-1989 Aug 13  EMU 1098/PLSS 1011 (Brown, not used)
  Flight  6 STS-36     1990 Feb 28-1990 Mar  4  EMU 2008/PLSS 1011 (Thout, not used)
  Flight  7 STS-41     1990 Oct  6-1990 Oct 10  EMU 2008/PLSS 1011 (Akers, not used)
  Flight  8 STS-39     1991 Apr 28-1991 May  6  EMU 2008/PLSS 1011 (Harbaugh, not used)
  Flight  9 STS-48     1991 Sep 12-1991 Sep 18  EMU 2008/PLSS 1011 (Buchli, not used)
  Flight 10 STS-46     1992 Jul 31-1992 Aug  8  EMU 2021/PLSS 1011 (Chang, not used)
  Flight 11 STS-73     1995 Oct 20-1995 Nov  5  EMU 2034/PLSS 1011 (Coleman, not used)

So, this PLSS has flown a total of 25 times in space over 28 years -
although of course there's a bit of a "grandfather's axe" paradox
involved as it's not clear how many of the original components remain.

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

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       31D
              O3b SC2/FM2)                                          Comms       31C
              O3b SC3/FM4)                                          Comms       31B
              O3b SC4/FM5)                                          Comms       31A
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
Jul  2 0238   Glonass-M No. 48 ) Proton-M/DM-03   Baykonur LC81/24  Navigation  F02
              Glonass-M No. 49 )                                    Navigation  F02
              Glonass-M No. 50 )                                    Navigation  F02
Jul 15 0927   SJ-11-05           Chang Zheng 2C   Jiuquan           Early Warn  35A
Jul 19 1300   MUOS 2             Atlas V 551      Canaveral SLC41   Comms       36A
Jul 19 2337   Shi Jian 15 )      Chang Zheng 4C   Taiyuan           Tech        37
              Shiyan 7    )                                         Surveill.   37
              Chuangxin 3 )                                         Tech        37
Jul 25 1954   Alphasat )         Ariane 5ECA      Kourou ELA3       Comms       38A
              Insat 3D )         Ariane 5ECA      Kourou ELA3       Weather     38B
Jul 27 2045   Progress M-20M     Soyuz-U          Baykonur LC31     Cargo       39A

Suborbital launches

JAXA launched two sounding rockets on Jul 20 to study medium-scale travelling
ionospheric disturbances. S-310-42 released a TMA package (trimethyl-aluminium)
to study E-region neutral winds, while S-520-27 carried out measurements
of density and electric field, and released lithium to study 
F-region neutral winds.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

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 41.106UO    Terrier Imp. Orion  Wallops I.        Education    118
Jun 21 1357   SL-7/FOP-1       SpaceLoft XL        Spaceport America Tech         119
Jul  4 1431   NASA 21.140GE    Black Brant V       Wallops I.        Ionosphere   135?
Jul  4 1431   NASA 41.090GE    Terrier Imp. Orion  Wallops I.        Ionosphere   160?
Jul  5 1829?  FTG-07 Target?   LV-2?               Kwajalein         Target      1000?
Jul  5 1835   FTG-07 CE-I EKV  GBI                 Vandenberg        Intercept   1000?
Jul 15 0553   MAPHEUS 4        VS-30               ESRANGE,Kiruna    Micrograv    151
Jul 20 0200   S-310-42         S-310               Uchinoura         Atmos sci    139
Jul 20 0257   S-520-27         S-520               Uchinoura         Atmos sci    316

|  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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