[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 724

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Fri Apr 8 20:18:46 EDT 2016

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 724                                                      2016 Apr 8   Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 47 continues with  commander Tim Kopra and flight engineers
Yuriy Malenchenko and Tim Peake. On Mar 18 Soyuz TMA-20M was launched
carrying Alexey Ovchinin, Oleg Skripochka and Jeff Williams. This is the
last of the 11F732A47 Soyuz TMA-M series, which will be replaced by the
improved Soyuz-MS variant.

On Mar 23 Cygnus cargo ship OA-6, "SS Rick Husband", was launched aboard
Atlas V flight AV-064 from Cape Canaveral. A mixture ratio problem on
the Atlas caused an 5-seconds-early first stage cutoff, which required a
full extra minute's burn on the Centaur upper stage to make the correct
orbit. After deploying Cygnus, the Centaur's second burn was intended to
deorbit the stage south of Australia, but because of insufficient
remaining propellant the engine cutoff early, and reentry occurred
downrange south of New Zealand.

SS Rick Husband arrived at the ISS on schedule, and was grappled by
the Canadarm-2 at 1051 UTC Mar 26.

Progress M-29M undocked from the Zvezda module on Mar 30 at 1415 UTC and
is performing attitude control experiments in a 373 x 401 km orbit.

Progress MS-02 was launched from Baykonur on Mar 31 and docked with
Zvezda on Apr 2 at 1758 UTC.

Dragon CRS-8 was launched on Falcon 9 F9-023 from Cape Canaveral on
Apr 8. It carries the Bigelow BEAM inflatable module experiment in its
trunk. CRS-8 is scheduled to arrive at ISS on Apr 10.

The F9-023 first stage performed boostback and reentry burns to
successfully land on the ship "Of Course I Still Love You" at 78.50W
30.50N in the Atlantic. This was the second succesful reentry and
landing of a Falcon 9 first stage, following the Dec 2015 landing of
F9-021 at Cape Canaveral.

   SpaceX first stage reentries with landing experiments - summary

Date           Vehicle       LaunchSite  Target                 Notes
2013 Sep 29    F9-006 (1.1)   V SLC4E    Ocean                  No legs;Roll anomaly
2014 Apr 18    F9-009 (1.1)   CC LC40    Ocean                  Controlled splash
2014 Jul 14    F9-010 (1.1)   CC LC40    Ocean                  Controlled splash
2014 Sep 21    F9-012 (1.1)   CC LC40    Ocean                  No legs, splash
2015 Jan 10    F9-014 (1.1)   CC LC40    JRTI    78.11W 30.83N  Crash on JRTI (hydraulic fluid)
2015 Feb 11    F9-015 (1.1)   CC LC40    Ocean                  Controlled splash
2015 Apr 14    F9-017 (1.1)   CC LC40    JRTI    78.11W 30.83N  Touchdown but toppled  
2015 Jun 28    F9-020 (1.1)   CC LC40    OCISLY  78.11W 30.83N  Destroyed during ascent
2015 Dec 21    F9-021 (FT)    CC LC40    CC LZ1                 Success
2016 Jan 17    F9-019 (1.1)   V SLC4E    JRTI   120.78W 32.13N  Touchdown but toppled
2016 Mar  3    F9-022 (FT)    CC LC40    OCISLY  73.82W 28.27N  Too fast, crash
2016 Apr  8    F9-023 (FT)    CC LC40    OCISLY  78.50W 30.50N  Success

JRTI = Just Read The Instructions
OCISLY = Of Course I Still Love You
LZ1 = Landing Zone 1, Cape Canaveral


Russia launched a Bars-M cartography satellite on Mar 26, giving it the
codename Kosmos-2515. Bars-M No. 2 joins the No. 1 satellite (Kosmos-2503)
launched in 2015.


Asteroid surveys have spotted an unknown Earth satellite, provisionally
designated S509356, in a 30000 x 152000 km x 48 deg orbit. Looking
at my historical lists, it might be an object associated with the Vela
launches, although it's surprising it's only being spotted now.
The region beyond GEO is poorly tracked by satellite surveillance
systems but in recent years coverage by asteroid searchers has been
fairly good.

Tiangong 1

On Mar 21 China announced the end of "data service" with the Tiangong 1 space
laboratory. The 8500 kg lab is in a 377 x 394 km x 42.8 deg orbit; it
had made reboost manuevers about twice a year, the most recent on 2015
Dec 16. Scott Tilley reported on the SeeSat list that regular radio
transmissions from the spacecraft were not received during passes
on Mar 31.

If the spacecraft is now inactive, it will reenter the atmosphere
sometime in the next few years. 


Optical observations of the ExoMars launch have revealed several debris
objects in the vicinity of the Briz-M final stage shortly after payload
separation. Roskosmos confirms that telemetry shows the separation burns
were performed on schedule, and the stage's trajectory as measured by
astronomers puts it on course to safely miss Mars by almost one million
km. Meanwhile, ESA reports that the ExoMars TGO spacecraft itself is in
good health and on course to Mars.


JAXA's Hitomi satellite (the ASTRO-H X-ray observatory, not to be
confused with Tokyo University's homonymic Hitomi satellite) suffered a
major anomaly on Mar 25 while observing the quasar Markarian 205.  At
1910 UTC the satellite started tumbling and then at 0140 UTC Mar 26 the
spacecraft partly disintegrated. US tracking found eleven debris objects
in orbit. During the next scheduled pass at 0740 UTC, JAXA received only
a short burst from the radio beacon and nothing more; three more such
beacon detections were obtained up to Mar 28, when the spacecraft fell
silent (A further radio signal on Mar 29 is now thought to be spurious).
 Ground-based optical observations showed that at least two of the
debris objects, 2016-012A and 012L, were bright and tumbling several
times a minute. 2016-012A is probably the main spacecraft bus. It's
possible that 2016-012L is the extensible optical bench with the HXI
cameras, or part of the solar panels.

JAXA hopes that as the tumbling eventually slows, the spacecraft
will regain power and communications would again be possible. If
the spacecraft attitude can be fixed, it's likely that at least the
SXI CCD imagers would be able to operate. I wish my colleagues at
JAXA the best of luck in this very difficult situation.


China's SJ-10 microgravity experiment satellite was launched on Apr 5
into low orbit. SJ-10 is based on the old FSW recoverable film-based spy
satellites. The main experiment section will separate and return to
Earth at the end of the mission.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg

Feb  1 0729   Beidou DW21         Chang Zheng 3C/YZ1 Xichang           Navigation     06A   S41315  21512 x 21981 x  55.0
Feb  3 1322   Fleshka             -                  ISS, LEO        Commemorative 98-067HR?S41326?   395 x   406 x  51.6
Feb  5 1338   GPS SVN 70          Atlas V 401        Canaveral SLC41   Navigation     07A   S41328  20438 x 20442 x  55.0 
Feb  7 0021   Glonass-M No. 51    Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat  Plesetsk LC43/4   Navigation     08A   S41330  19132 x 19158 x  64.8
Feb  7 0030   Kwangmyongsong-4    Kwangmyongsong     Sohae             Imaging        09A   S41332    465 x   501 x  97.5 0840LT SSO
Feb 10 1140   TOPAZ 4?            Delta 4M+(5,2)     Vandenberg SLC6   Radar          10A   S41334   1078 x  1085 x 123.0   
Feb 16 1757   Sentinel-3A         Rokot              Plesetsk LC133    Imaging/Alt    11A   S41335    802 x   806 x  98.6 1000LT SSO
Feb 17 0845   Hitomi     )        H2A 202            Tanegashima       X-ray Astron   12A   S41337    565 x   580 x  31.0
              Kinshachi-2)                                             Space Sci      12B   S41338    559 x   579 x  31.0
              Kinshachi-3)                                             Imaging        12C   S41339    558 x   578 x  31.0
              Horyu-4    )                                             Tech           12D   S41340    557 x   578 x  31.0
Mar  4 2335   SES-9               Falcon 9 FT        Canaveral SLC40   Comms          13A   S41380  28569 x 41649 x   0.5
Mar  9 0520   Eutelsat 65 West A  Ariane 5 ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms          14A   S41832  35729 x 35759 x   0.0 GEO 44W drift
Mar 10 1031   IRNSS-1F            PSLV-XL            Satish Dhawan SLP Navigation     15A   S41384  33349 x 35750 x   5.3
Mar 13 1856   Resurs-P No. 3      Soyuz-2-1B         Baykonur LC31     Imaging        16A   S41386    279 x   452 x  97.3 1150LT SSO
Mar 14 0931   ExoMars TGO   )     Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC200/39 Mars orbiter   17A   S41388    750 x-71368 x  51.5
              Schiaparelli  )                                          Mars lander    17    A08532    750 x-71368 x  51.5
Mar 18 2126   Soyuz TMA-20M       Soyuz-FG           Baykonur LC1      Spaceship      18A   S41391    193 x   230 x  51.6
Mar 23 0305   SS Rick Husband     Atlas V 401        Canaveral SLC41   Cargo          19A   S41393    240 x   250 x  51.6
Mar 24 0942   Bars-M No. 2        Soyuz-2-1A         Plesetsk          Mapping        20A   S41394    332 x   540 x  97.6 1325LT SSO
Mar 29 2011   Beidou DW 22        Chang Zheng 3A     Xichang LC2       Navigation     21A   S41434    195 x 35796 x  55.0
Mar 31 1623   Progress MS-02      Soyuz-2-1A         Baykonur LC31     Cargo          22A   S41436    261 x   267 x  51.6
Apr  5 1738   Shi Jian 10         Chang Zheng 2D     Jiuquan           Microgravity   23A   S41448    233 x   267 x  42.9
Apr  8 2043   Dragon CRS-8        Falcon 9 FT        Canaveral SLC40   Cargo          24A   S41452    209 x   353 x  51.7

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Mar  1 1450   MUSIC            Terrier Imp.Mal.    Wallops Island        Tech          185       Atlantic Ocean
Mar  7 1205   NASA 41.114NP    Terrier Imp.Orion   Wallops Island        Tech          160?      Atlantic Ocean
Mar  8        Shahab RV        Shahab-1            Qom Desert, Iran      Test          100?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  8        Shahab RV        Shahab-2            Qom Desert, Iran      Test          120?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  8        Qiam RV          Qiam                Qom Desert, Iran      Test          125?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  9        Ghadr RV         Ghadr-F             Semnan?, Iran         Test          150?      Makran, S Iran
Mar  9        Ghadr RV         Ghadr-H             Semnan?, Iran         Test          150?      Makran, S Iran
Mar  9 2020   Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Chiha?, N Korea       Test          150?      Sea of Japan
Mar  9 2020   Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Chiha?, N Korea       Test          150?      Sea of Japan
Mar 14        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 15        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 16        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 17 2055   Nodong RV        Nodong              Sukcheon, N Korea     Test          150?      Sea of Japan

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
|                                                                         |
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