[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 695

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Thu Mar 27 23:05:36 EDT 2014

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 695                                                     2014 Mar 28    Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Soyuz TMA-10M undocked from Poisk at 0002 UTC Mar 11, landing in
Kazakhstan at 0324 UTC with astronauts Kotov, Hopkins and Ryazanskiy.
The undocking marked the end of Expedition 38 and the beginning of
Expedition 39, with Koichi Wakata becoming the first Japanese ISS
commander. Russian Mikhail Tyurin and American Rich Mastracchio  round
out the crew.

On Mar 25 Soyuz TMA-12M was launched into a 193 x 244 km orbit carrying
Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Skvortsov, Oleg Germanovich Artem'ev and Dr.
Steve R. Swanson. The third planned rendezvous burn at 2348 UTC was
cancelled, apparently due to a software problem, postponing the ship's
rendezvous with ISS until Mar 27. The craft was in a 297 x 333 km x 51.7
deg orbit after the problem, and maneuvered to a 414 x 425 km orbit on
Mar 26. Docking with Poisk came according to the revised plan, at 2353
UTC Mar 27. Mass of the ISS after docking was about 409 tonnes.

Note: There have been two members of the Star City cosmonaut team called
"Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Skvortsov" - the one currently in orbit, born
1966 and active since 1997, and his father, born 1942, who was a trainee
cosmonaut from 1965 to 1967 and left without making any spaceflights.
Russian names, of course, do not use the American 'Junior' convention
which would disambiguate father and son.


The search for the lost Malaysian airliner, flight MH370, has involved
several satellites. It has been reported that US infrared assets (i.e.
DSP and its relatives) did not see any infrared event that could be
associated with an inflight explosion. Australian
Geospatial-Intelligence Organization analysis of Worldview-2 commercial satellite
imagery led to candidate debris in the Indian Ocean on Mar 20; successive
candidate debris fields have been seen in images from China's Gao Fen 1,
France's Spot-6 and Thailand's Thaichote/THEOS satellite. As of Mar 27
none of these leads have panned out.

One constraint on the plane's location was obtained by measuring the
light-travel-time of two-way data communication between the Inmarsat 3F1
satellite in GEO at 64.5E and  equipment aboard the plane - this gives a
distance but not a direction, leading to a wide arc-shaped search locus.
Additional analysis using the Doppler shift of the frequency gave the
component of relative speed of satellite and plane along the line
joining them; combining the information allowed analysts to narrow the
search zone to an ocean region 2300 km southwest of Australia. 


The Cassini probe, approaching periapsis 202 in orbit around Saturn,
completed the T-99 Titan flyby on Mar 6, flying 1500 km from the surface
at 1628 UTC. The flyby changed the orbit to 0.80 x 2.96 million km x
45.5 deg.


Russia's Krunichev company launched a Proton rocket on Mar 15 carrying
two satellites built by ISS Reshetnev of Krasnoyarsk for Kosmicheskaya
Svyaz (Russan Satellite Communications Co.) The Ekspress-AT1 satellite
has a mass of 1672 kg. AT2 is smaller at 1326 kg.
The satellites carry Ku-band comm payloads and will be located at 56E and 140E.
On Mar 27 AT1 was in a 35701 x 35903 km x 0.1 deg orbit drifting over 70E;
AT2 was in a 35564 x 35859 km x 0.1 deg orbit over 78E.


The objects from the Soyuz-2-1V launch of Dec 2013 (2013-078) have been reassigned:
  Object originally cataloged as 39490 (78A) is now 39493 (78D). It is the second stage rocket.
  Object originally cataloged as 39491 (78B) is unchanged. It is thought to be the SKRL-756-2 calsphere.
  Object originally cataloged as 39492 (78C) is unchanged. It is thought to be Aist-1.
  Object originally cataloged as 39493 (78D) no longer exists (last TLEs Jan 14). 
      Its orbit of 601 x 625 km was similar to 78B and may have been a tracking error of some kind.
      The extra object was a mystery at the time, so its deletion makes things match what was expected.
  Object originally cataloged as 39494 (78E) is now 39490 (78A). Thought to be SKRL-756-1 calsphere.
  New object 39494 is the Briz-M stage from the Inmarsat 5 launch, previously untracked, and now
   discovered in a 2805 x 63785 km x 27.1 deg orbit.

Ariane L571

Arianespace put two communications satellites in a 260 x 35690 km x 3.0
deg GTO on Mar 22. Both satellites are carrying out orbit raising burns
on their way to geostationary orbit. Astra 5B is a 5724 kg Airbus
Defense and Space Eurostar 3000L for SES and was in a 15373 x 35665 km x
0.8 deg orbit on Mar 27. Amazonas 4A is a 2938 kg Orbital GeoStar-2.4
for Hispasat of Spain, and was in a 27450 x 35715 km x 0.3 deg orbit on
Mar 27.


Russia's Glonass-M No. 54 (Uragan-M No.  754) navigation satellite was launched from
Plesetsk on Mar 24. It has been given the codename Kosmos-2491. The satellite was placed in
a 19128 x 19153 km x 64.8 deg orbit by the Fregat upper stage. According to information
on the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum, the Fregat stages are using a new scheme of serial
numbers; this one is No. 112-01 according to some reports. The '112' indicates that
it is a Soyuz launch from Plesetsk for the civilian Roskosmos agency.

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

Jan  5 1048   GSAT-14            GSLV             Sriharikota SLP   Comms        01A
Jan  6 2206   Thaicom 6          Falcon 9 v1.1    Canaveral SLC40   Comms        02A
Jan  9 1807   Cygnus Orb-1       Antares 120      Wallops MARS 0A   Cargo        03A
Jan 24 0233   TDRS 12            Atlas V 401      Canaveral SLC41   Comms        04A
Feb  5 1623   Progress M-22M     Soyuz-U          Baykonur LC1/5    Cargo        05A
Feb  6 2130   ABS 2        )     Ariane 5ECA      Kourou ELA3       Comms        06A
              Athena-Fidus )                                                     06B
Feb 11 0831   Flock1-1       )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DG      
              Flock1-2       )                                      Imaging    98-067DH
Feb 11 1241   Flock1-3       )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DJ
              Flock1-4       )                                      Imaging    98-067DK
Feb 12 0830   Flock1-5       )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DL
              Flock1-6       )                                      Imaging    98-067DM
Feb 13 0820   Flock1-11      )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DN
              Flock1-12      )                                      Imaging    98-067DP
Feb 14 0415   Flock1-13      )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DQ
              Flock1-14      )                                      Imaging    98-067DR
Feb 14 1145   Flock1-15      )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DS
              Flock1-16      )                                      Imaging    98-067DT
Feb 14 2109   Turksat-4A         Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC81/24  Comms        07A
Feb 15 0700   Flock1-7       )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DU
              Flock1-8       )                                      Imaging    98-067DV
Feb 15 1055   Flock1-9       )   -                ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DW
              Flock1-10      )                                      Imaging    98-067DX
Feb 21 0159   GPS SVN 64         Delta 4M+(4,2)   Canaveral SLC37B  Navigation   08A
Feb 25 1700   Flock1-17      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067DY
              Flock1-18      )                                      Imaging    98-067DZ
Feb 26 0420   Flock1-21      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EA
              Flock1-22      )                                      Imaging    98-067EB
Feb 26 0735   Flock1-19      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EC
              Flock1-20      )                                      Imaging    98-067ED
Feb 27 0150   Flock1-23      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EE
              Flock1-24      )                                      Imaging    98-067EF
Feb 27 0740   Flock1-25      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EG
              Flock1-26      )                                      Imaging    98-067EH
Feb 27 1837   GPM-C        )     H-2A             Tanegashima LP1   Climate      09C
              Ginrei       )                                        Tech         09A
              STARS-2      )                                        Tech         09G
              Teikyosat-3  )                                        Bio          09E
              Yui          )                                        Tech         09F
              OPUSat       )                                        Tech         09D
              Invader      )                                        Edu          09H
              Hayato-2     )                                        Tech         09B
Feb 28 0420?  Flock1-27      )                    ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EJ
              Flock1-28      )                                      Imaging    98-067EK
Feb 28 0730   SkyCube 1        )                  ISS, LEO          Imaging    98-067EN
              Litsat 1         )                                    Tech       98-067EP
              LituanicaSat-1   )                                    Tech       98-067EQ
              Ardusat-2        )                                    Tech       98-067EL
              UAP-SAT          )                                    Tech       98-067EM
Mar 15 2308   Ekspress-AT1 )     Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC81/24  Comms        10A
              Ekspress-AT2 )                                        Comms        10B
Mar 22 2204   Astra 5B   )       Ariane 5ECA      Kourou ELA3       Comms        11A
              Amazonas 4A)                                          Comms        11B
Mar 23 2254   Glonass-M No. 54   Soyuz-2-1B       Plesetsk LC43/4   Navigation   12A
Mar 25 2117   Soyuz TMA-12M      Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1      Spaceship    13A

Suborbital missions

NASA Flight 36.287, the Ground-to-Rocket Electrodynamics-Electrons Correlative Experiment
led by M. Samara of SWRI, was launched from the Poker Flat range in Alaska on Mar 3.

North Korea carried out short range missile tests between Feb 21 and at least Mar 16.
Most of the launches were within the atmosphere, but Scud class launches on Feb 27 and Mar 2
were probably exoatmospheric. The missiles are assumed to have carried dummy reentry vehicles.
Two larger Nodong (Rodong) missiles were launched on Mar 25.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Dec 14        Kavoshgar Pazhuhesh  Shahab-1        Semnan           Bio           120
Dec 17 1236   GT210GM          Minuteman III       Vandenberg LF04  Op. test     1300?
Dec 23 1128   Agni RV          Agni 3              Chandipur        Test          350
Dec 24 0700   Yars RV-1 )      Yars                Plesetsk         Test         1000?
              Yars RV-2 )
              Yars RV-3 )
              Yars RV-4 )
Dec 27 1730   Topol' RV        Topol'              Kapustin Yar     Test         1000?
Jan  3        Arrow KV         Arrow 3             Palmachim        Test          100?
Jan 15 0909   FTX-18 target    Terrier Orion       Wallops          Target        130?
Jan 15 0909   FTX-18 target    Terrier Orion       Wallops          Target        130?
Jan 15 0909   FTX-18 target    Terrier Orion       Wallops          Target        130?
Jan 20 0522   Agni 4 RV        Agni 4              Chandipur IC4    Test          900?
Feb 27 0842?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 5?          Kittaeryong      Training       80?
Feb 27 0842?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 5?          Kittaeryong      Training       80?
Feb 27 0842?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 5?          Kittaeryong      Training       80?
Feb 27 0842?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 5?          Kittaeryong      Training       80?
Mar  2 2119?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Kittaeryong      Training      150?
Mar  2 2119?  Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Kittaeryong      Training      150?
Mar  3 1109   GREECE           Black Brant IX      Poker Flat Pad3  Aurora        335
Mar  4 1810   Topol' RV        Topol'              Kapustin Yar     Test         1000?
Mar 25 1735   Nodong RV        Nodong 1?           Sukchon          Test          150?
Mar 25 1742   Nodong RV        Nodong 1?           Sukchon          Test          150?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
|                                                                         |
| JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html                                 |
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