[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 703

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Fri Oct 17 02:45:00 EDT 2014

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 703                                                 2014 Oct 17  Somerville, MA


The orbital/suborbital launch vehicle database http://planet4589.org/space/lvdb/ has been updated.

International Space Station

Expedition 41 is underway with commander Max Suraev and flight engineers FE-5 Reid Wiseman and
FE-6 Alex Gerst. On Sep 25 at 2025 UTC the Soyuz TMA-14M ferry ship was launched
from Baykonur with the remaining Ex-41 crewmembers FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyaev, FE-2 Elena Serova
and FE-3 Barry 'Butch' Wilmore. The port solar array failed to deploy after Soyuz separated
from the launch vehicle third stage, but this did not impact the rendezvous. Soyuz TMA-14M
docked with the Poisk module at 0211 UC Sep 26. Serova is the fourth Russian woman in space
and the first since 1997.

Dragon CRS-4 has arrived at ISS. The SSRMS Canadarm-2 grappled it at 1052 UTC Sep 23
and berthed it to the Harmony node at 1321 UTC.

The NanoRacks cubesat deployer package was returned to the Kibo airlock on Sep 16
following trouble with the deployments. The problems have been traced to incorrectly
tightened screws, and replacement deployers are expected to be sent to ISS.

Astronauts Wiseman and Gerst made US spacewalk EVA-27 on Oct 7. The airlock was depressurized
at about 1225 UTC and repressurized at 1843 UTC. The failed Pump Module, serial number 04, which was stowed
on the Mobile Base System's POA mount during an EVA on 2013 Dec 21, was relocated to External
Stowage Platform 2. A new unit called the Mobile Transporter Relay Assembly (MTRA) was
attached to the transporter to provide backup power. I'm not sure what flight the MTRA was launched on.
Wiseman used EMU 3010 and Gerst used EMU 3003.

On Oct 15 Wiseman and Wilmore made spacewalk EVA-28. They replaced the SSU (Sequential Shunt Unit)
on solar wing 3A, attached to the S4 truss, and worked on external cameras and electronics.
The replacement SSU has been on the ISS for some time; again, I'm not sure which launch it
went up on; I'm also not certain which EMUs were used for this EVA.

Kosmos reentry over Colorado

Ted Molczan remarked on the discussion in the last JSR that his analysis shows
that a relatively small piece of debris (50-100 kg class compared to the multi tonne
Kosmos satellite) matches the visual observations from the Colorado area,
and that the timing is more consistent with an object ejected just prior to the
Sep 2 deorbit burn with drag properties similar to other Kobal't-M ejected
debris. I find his analysis convincing; it is still unclear exactly what the ejected debris
from Kobal't-M satellites is, but my best guess remains the solar panels.


The third X-37B mission, launched in 2012 Dec, is expected to land
shortly after almost two years in space. On May 5 it was observed to
still be in a 382 x 405 km x 43.5 deg orbit, similar to the parameters
achieved a few months after launch. However between then and early
October it made several orbit lowering burns; it was last observed on
Oct 6 in a 259 x 285 km orbit. As of Oct 17 its orbital lifetime was 674

The record durations in space for vehicles that have been recovered on Earth are:

     Hayabusa               7.1 years
     Stardust               6.9 years
     Genesis                3.1 years (crashed) 
    (X-37B FLT-3            674 days so far)
     X-37B FLT-2            469 days
     HEXAGON 1218-4         270 d
     USERS                  261 d
     HEXAGON 1216-4         260 d
     Salyut 5 KSI           249 d
     X-37B FLT-1            224 d
     Soyuz TMA-9            215 d
     Kosmos-2290 SpK-22   ca. 210 d?
     Soyuz TM-27            207 d


The Khrunichev Proton launch vehicle returned to flight Sep 27, launching the Luch
satellite for the Russian Defense Ministry. The satellite is built by ISS Reshetnev.
Earlier-generation Luch satellites were used for data relay, analogously to the NASA
TDRS and NRO SDS systems.  On Oct 16 Luch was in a 35796 x 35896 km x 0.0 deg orbit
drifting west over 54 deg E.

       Luch series satellites
       Cover name        Russian secret name    Active               Status

       Kosmos-1700       Al'tair 11             1985 Oct-1986 Aug    Drifting in GEO
       Kosmos-1897       Al'tair 12             1987 Nov-1992 Oct?   Drifting in GEO
       Kosmos-2054       Al'tair 14             1989 Dec-1997 Mar    Drifting in GEO
       Luch              Al'tair 13             1994 Dec-1998 Aug    Drifting in GEO
       Luch-1            Gelios 11              1995 Oct-1999 Jun?   Drift near 74E
       Luch-5A           -                      2011 Dec             GEO 167.1E
       Luch-5B           -                      2012 Nov             GEO  16.0W
       Luch-5V           -                      2014 Apr             GEO  95.2E
       Luch              Olimp-K?               2014 Sep             GEO drift


China launched the 7th satellite in the Shi Jian 11 constellation on Sep
28 into a 686 x 705 km x 98.1 deg orbit. 'Shi Jian Shiyihao 07 xing' was
placed in an 1130 local time sun-synchronous orbit. This is one of the
larger Chinese military satellite constellations and remains mysterious;
the speculation that it carries infrared missile warning sensors remains

   SJ-11 (Shi Jian Shiyihao) series satellites
   Satellite Launch        Current orbit           Local time of desc.node
   01 xing   2009 Nov 12   683 x 701 km x 98.0 deg  0837
   02 xing   2011 Jul 29   684 x 700    x 98.2      1356
   03 xing   2011 Jul  6   687 x 699    x 98.1      1045
   04 xing   2011 Aug 18   Failed to orbit
   05 xing   2013 Jul 15   687 x 701    x 98.2      1534
   06 xing   2014 Mar 31   686 x 704    x 98.2      0908
   07 xing   2014 Sep 28   685 x 699    x 98.1      1130


A Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-IIA rocket placed the Japan Meteorological Agency's
Himawari-8 weather satellite in geostationary transfer orbit Oct 7. On Oct 15
the satellite was in a 35756 x 35813 km x 0.1 deg orbit over 140.8E.


India's PSLV-XL rocket launched the country's third dedicated navigation
satellite  on Oct 16. The 1425 kg  IRNSS-1C was launched to a
subsynchronous transfer orbit of 271 x 20600 km x 17.9 deg.

Ariane 5

Ariane mission VA220, vehicle 574, launched two communications satellites to GTO on Oct 16.
Payloads were the Intelsat/DirectTV joint venture, IS-30/ISDLA-1; and Argentina's first domestic GEO
comsat, ARSAT-1. IS-30's Ku-band payload is leased to DirectTV as DLA-1 for broadcast to
Latin America.

Chinese UN registration

China recently submitted satellite registration information to the UN
for satellites launched between Jan 2012 and Mar 2014. They registered
33 satellites, but  failed to register 11: the two spaceflights Shenzhou
9 and 10, the secret military satellite Kuaizhou-1, the Hong Kong based
ABS-2, and several secondary payloads: Tiantuo-1, Fengniao-1, XY-1,
Yaogan 16 subsats 1 and 2, and Yaogan 17 subsats 1 and 2. This low level
of compliance is disappointing, since earlier Chinese registrations
were much more complete.

Galileo/Soyuz and Proton failures

Russian officials report that the failure of the Fregat stage during
the Aug 22 Galileo launch was caused when a cryogenic helium line
installed too close to a hydrazine propellant supply
line caused the hydrazine to freeze. The root cause, according to Arianespace,
was a design error that failed to require thermal separation of the lines
(and so, specifically, not a quality control error as previously suggested).
The failure of a Proton third stage in May is reported to have occurred when a turbopump
attachment bracket suffered structural failure - the statement is less clear
this time whether or not the this was due to poor workmanship.

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

Sep  4 0015   Chuangxin 1-04 )                     Jiuquan           Comms        51B
              Ling Qiao      )                                       Comms        51A
Sep  5 0929   Flock 1b-17 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67FF
              Flock 1b-18 )                                          Imaging     98-67FE
Sep  7 0500   Asiasat 6          Falcon 9 v1.1     Canaveral SLC40   Comms        52A
Sep  8 0322   Yaogan 21  )       Chang Zheng 4B    Taiyuan           Imaging      53A
              Tiantuo 2  )                                           Imaging      53B
Sep 11 2205   Measat 3b )        Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms        54A
              Optus 10  )                                            Comms        54B
Sep 17 0010   CLIO               Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Sigint?      55A
Sep 21 0552   Dragon CRS-4       Falcon 9 v1.1     Canaveral SLC40   Cargo        56A
Sep 25 2025   Soyuz TMA-14M      Soyuz-FG          Baykonur LC1      Spaceship    57A
Sep 27 2028   Luch               Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Data relay   58A
Sep 28 0513   SJ-11 07           Chang Zheng 2C    Jiuquan         Surveillance?  59A
Oct  7 0516   Himawari-8         H-IIA             Tanegashima       Weather      60A
Oct 15 2002   IRNSS-1C           PSLV-XL           Sriharikota FLP   Navigation   61A
Oct 16 2144   Intelsat IS-30 )   Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms        62
              ARSAT-1        )                                       Comms        62

Suborbital missions

Flight NASA 36.288DS was launched from White Sands Sep 30 with the Naval
Research Lab's VAULT 2.0 solar telescope.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Sep  2 0202   EPL-ME           VS-30/EPL           Alcantara        Test          130?
Sep  9        Sparrow Target   Blue Sparrow?       F-15D, Med.Sea   Target        100?
Sep 10        RV               Bulava              K-551,White Sea  Test         1000?
Sep 11 0541   Agni RV          Agni I              Chandipur        Op. Test      500?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?
Sep 23 1445   Mk 12/21 RV?     Minuteman III       Vandenberg LF09  Op. Test     1300?
Sep 30        VAULT 2.0        Black Brant IX      White Sands      Solar UV      290?
Oct 12 0427   MDA Target?      Terrier Lynx        Wallops I        Target?       150?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
|                                                                         |
| JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html                                 |
| Back issues:  http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back                  |
| Subscribe/unsub: http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr         |

More information about the JSR mailing list