[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 734

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Mon Jan 16 23:41:53 EST 2017

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 734                                                          2017 Jan 16 Somerville, MA

Annual Summary

Happy New Year!
My annual study of space activity is now available at http://planet4589.org/space/papers/space16.pdf

International Space Station

Expedition 50 continues under the command of NASA's Shane Kimbrough,
with flight engineers Sergey Ryzhikov, Andrey Borisenko and
Oleg Novitskiy (Roskosmos), Peggy Whitson (NASA) and Thomas Pesquet (ESA). 

Work to replace old NiH2 batteries on truss segment S4 with new Li-ion ones is now
almost complete. The activity used the SSRMS Canadarm-2 and SPDM Dextre robot
arms as well as spacewalking astronauts. Below I give the details of the
replacement operations in excruciating detail for the historical record. Three
more battery replacement trips using the Japanese HTV-7, 8 and 9 cargo ships
are scheduled for the future.

The EP (External Pallet) from HTV-6 (Kounotori-6) is attached to the Mobile Base System on
the Truss carrying batteries for the IEAs (integrated electronics assemblies) for the 3A and
1A power channels on the S4 truss segment.

On Dec 31, the SSRMS/SPDM arm moved NiH2 batteries 0043 and 0044 from the 3A IEA slots 5 and 6 to EP slots Z and Y.
On Jan 1, NiH2 battery 0040 was moved from 3A IEA slot 1 to EP slot X.
On Jan 1, Li-ion battery 0010 was moved from EP slot B to 3A IEA slot 5.
On Jan 2, Li-ion battery 0008 was moved from EP slot A to 3A IEA slot 1.
On Jan 2, NiH2 battery 0038 was moved from 3A IEA slot 3 to a temporary location (EOTP arm 3) on Dextre.
On Jan 3, Li-ion battery 0006 was moved from EP slot C to 3A IEA slot 3.
On Jan 6, astronauts Kimbrough and Whitson, in suits EMU 3008 and 3006, depressurized the
 Quest airlock at about 1220 UTC for US EVA-38. They moved:
    Adapter plate S/N 0005 from EP slot A to 3A IEA slot 6.
    NiH2 battery 0039 from 3A IEA slot 4 to on top of the adapter plate on slot 6.
    Adapter plate S/N 0006 from EP slot B to 3A IEA slot 4.
    NiH2 battery 0042 from 3A IEA slot 2 to on top of the adapter plate on slot 4.
    Adapter plate S/N 0007 from EP slot C to 3A IEA slot 2.
  Also, bundle 1 of the Node 3 axial shields were stored outside Quest.
Robotics work with the SPDM Dextre arm continued between the two spacewalks, with the 1A
power channel on S4:
On Jan  9, Li-ion battery 0013 was moved from EP slot E to 1A IEA slot 5.
           NiH battery 0077 was moved from 1A IEA slot 1 to EP slot C.
           Li-ion battery 0011 was moved from EP slot D to 1A IEA slot 1.
On Jan 10, NiH2 battery 0079 was moved froom 1A IEA slot 3 to SPDM Arm 1.
On Jan 11, Li-ion battery 0012 was moved from EP slot F to 1A IEA slot 3.
On Jan 12, NiH2 battery 0078 was moved from 1A IEA slot 2 to SPDM Arm 2.
On Jan 13, astronauts Kimbrough and Pesquet, in suits 3008 and 3006, performed spacewalk US EVA-39
with depressurization about 1120 UTC and repressurization at 1720 UTC. They moved:
    Adapter plate 0003 from EP slot F to 1A IEA slot 6;
    NiH2 battery 0080 from 1A IEA slot 4 onto that adapter plate;
    Adapter plate 0004 from EP slot E to 1A IEA slot 4;
    Adapter plate 0008 from EP slot D to 1A IEA slot 2.
They also moved bundle 2 of the Node 3 Axial shields (covers for a
soon-to-be-empty docking port) from the airlock area to Node 3, replaced
a camera light tilt assembly and adjusted a worksite interface. At the
end of this spacewalk, the SPDM was holding three old NiH3 batteries:
0078 and 0079 on arms 1 and 2, and 0038 on the EOTP (ORU temporary
platform). These were to be placed robotically in slots D, E and F on
the EP. The EP will be returned to Kounoutori-6, which will eventually
be destroyed on reentry over the South Pacific.

On Jan 16 the J-SSOD6 (Japanese Small Satellite Orbital Deployer 6) was removed
from the airlock by the JAXA robot arm and its cubesats (described in the last JSR)
were deployed.


China's first launch of the year was Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing 2
(Communications Technology Experiment Satellite 2). TJSW 2 was developed
by the Shanghai team - in contrast to 2015's TJSW 1 which was  reported to
be from CAST/Beijing. The lack of public information about the TJSW
satellites has led to the suspicion that they may really be for defense
purposes, possibly for non-communications purposes such as signals
intelligence or missile early warning. Nevertheless for the time being I
am keeping them on the books as probable military communications

TJSW 2 appears to have made the burn to circularize its orbit on Jan 6
at 0730 UTC over 114E, but there's been no TLE data for it since then.


China's second launch in January was the Kuaizhou-1A quick-response
rocket. The earlier KZ-1 rocket was used for two low orbit imaging
satellites which remained integrated with the upper stage; in the
commercialized KZ-1A version the 4th stage separates from the payloads,
and launch services are provided by EXPACE, the commercial arm of KZ-1A
builder CASIC (which also builds the DF-21 missile that KZ-1/1A is based
on).  The main payload is Chang Guang Satellite Technology
Ltd's "Jilin-1 linqiao shipin xing 03 xing", also called Jilin Linye 1
Weixing (Jilin Forestry 1 satellite). The 165 kg sat has a 1m resolution
Earth imager. Two 2U cubesats were also carried: XY-S1 for the CASIC 9th
Academy, and Caton-1 (or Kaidun-1) for Caton Technology Co. Ltd.

Iridium Next

On Jan 14 the first cluster of second generation communications
satellites for Iridium Communications was launched, aboard the first
SpaceX Falcon 9 to fly since the Amos-6 pad accident last year. The
Falcon 9 placed all ten satellites in the correct orbit, and the first
stage landed on the barge 'Just Read The Instructions'.

The Falcon 9 second stage was expected to be deorbited over Antarctica.
However, JSpOC is tracking 11 objects in orbit rather than the expected
10. It's possible the 11th is just a minor piece of debris, or there
may have been an issue with stage 2 deorbit.

The Iridium satellites carry communications payloads for global mobile
communications coverage as well as Aireon ADS-B airplane data relay payloads
and, on four of the 10 satellites, AIS ship tracking payloads for
the Canadian company ExactEarth.


On Jan 14 Japan attempted to launch a single cubesat into orbit with a
launch vehicle massing less than 3 tonnes. The SS-520 sounding rocket
was furnished with a 78 kg third stage which was intended to orbit a 3U,
3 kg cubesat, TRICOM-1. The mission was flight SS-520-4 (SS-520-1 and 2
were normal sounding rocket flights; 3 has not yet flown.) However,
telemetry was lost 20 seconds into flight, during first stage burn.
Following range safety rules, the command to ignite stage 2 was not sent
and the vehicle flew a suborbital path to about 200 km altitude and then
splashed down in the ocean. The record smallest successful
orbital launch vehicle remains the 9.4-tonne Lambda 4S, also Japanese,
which was retired in 1979.
(For comparison, the Pegasus XL is 23 tonnes, not even counting the
mass of the airliner that launches it!).

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg
Dec  1 1451   Progress MS-04        Soyuz-U           Baykonur LC1     Cargo         F02    F01484  -4000?x   190  x 51.6
Dec  5 1351   Gokturk-1             Vega              CSG ZLV          Imaging       73A    S41875    679 x   691  x 98.1 2230LT SSO
Dec  7 0454   Resourcesat-2A        PSLV-XL          Satish Dhawan FLP Imaging       74A    S41877    814 x   831  x 98.7 1030LT SSO
Dec  7 2352   WGS SV-8              Delta 4M+(5,4)    Canaveral SLC37B Comms         75A    S41879    430 x 44207  x 27.0
Dec  9 1326   Kounotori 6           H-IIB             Tanegashima      Cargo         76A    S41881    276 x   302  x 51.6    
Dec 10 1611   Fengyun-4 01          Chang Zheng 3B/G2 Xichang LC3      Weather       77A    S41882    184 x 35803  x 28.4
Dec 15 1337   CYGNSS A  )           Pegasus XL        Canaveral RW13   Weather       78D    S41887    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS B  )                                              Weather       78C    S41886    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS C  )                                              Weather       78H    S41891    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS D  )                                              Weather       78B    S41885    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS E  )                                              Weather       78A    S41884    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS F  )                                              Weather       78F    S41889    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS G  )                                              Weather       78G    S41890    515 x   537  x 35.0
              CYGNSS H  )                                              Weather       78E    S41888    515 x   537  x 35.0
Dec 18 1913   Echostar 19           Atlas V 431       Canaveral SLC41  Comms         79A    S41893    164 x 65110  x 25.6
Dec 19 0855   Hagoromo Parent  )                      ISS, LEO         Tech        98-67KR  S41895    400 x   406  x 51.6
              Hagoromo Child   )
Dec 20 1100   Arase                 Epsilon           Uchinoura        Space Sci     80A    S41896    228 x 32259  x 31.4
Dec 21 1922   Tan Weixing  )        Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan          Atmos Sci     81A    S41898    690 x   719 x  98.2 0138LT SSO
              Spark-01     )                                           Imaging       81B    S41899    690 x   720 x  98.1
              Spark-02     )                                           Imaging       81C    S41900    690 x   726 x  98.1
              CFDG         )                                           Imaging       81D    S41901    690 x   728 x  98.1
Dec 21 2030   JCSAT 15    )         Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3      Comms         82A    S41903  35721 x 35774 x   0.1 GEO 135Edr
              Star One D1 )                                            Comms         82B    S41904  35741 x 35777 x   0.1 GEO  86Wdr
Dec 28 0323   Gaojing 1  )          Chang Zheng 2D    Taiyuan          Imaging       83A    S41907    212 x   523 x  97.6 1030LT SSO
              Gaojing 2  )                                             Imaging       83B    S41908    212 x   523 x  97.6 1030LT SSO
              BJ70-1     )                                             Comms         83C    S41909    212 x   523 x  97.6
Jan  5 1518   Tongxin Jishu SW 2    Chang Zheng 3B    Xichang LC2      Sigint?       01A    S41911    201 x 35801 x  27.5
Jan  9 0411   Linye 1 (Jilin-1S3)   Kuaizhou-1A       Jiuquan          Imaging       02B    S41914    513 x   545 x  97.5 1030LT SSO
              Caton-1           )                                      Comms         02A?   S41913    530 x   546 x  97.5 1030LT SSO
              Xingyun Shiyan 1  )                                      Tech          02C?   S41915    529 x   541 x  97.5 1030LT SSO
Jan 14 1754   Iridium Next SV01  )  Falcon 9 v1.2     Vandenberg SLC4E Comms         03A    S41917    617 x   626 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV02  )                                     Comms         03B    S41918    610 x   622 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV03  )                                     Comms         03C    S41919    608 x   621 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV04  )                                     Comms         03D    S41920    608 x   621 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV05  )                                     Comms         03E    S41921    605 x   619 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV06  )                                     Comms         03F    S41922    610 x   621 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV07  )                                     Comms         03G    S41923    610 x   617 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV08  )                                     Comms         03H    S41924    607 x   622 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV09  )                                     Comms         03J    S41925    604 x   621 x  86.7
              Iridium Next SV10  )                                     Comms         03K    S41926    609 x   622 x  86.7
Jan 14 2333   TRICOM-1              SS-520            Uchinoura K      Tech          F01    F01486  -6340? x  200? x 30
Jan 16 0910   ITF-2          )                                         Tech      98-067
              FREEDOM        )                        ISS, LEO         Tech      98-067
              WASEDA-SAT3    )                                         Tech      98-067
Jan 16 0920   EGG                                     ISS, LEO         Tech      98-067
Jan 16 1040   AOBA-Velox-III                          ISS, LEO         Tech      98-067
Jan 16 1050   TuPOD                                   ISS, LEO         Tech      98-067

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Dec 15        FTM-27 Target     ?                  Kauai?                Target        200?      Pacific Ocean
Dec 16        A-235 test        Nudol              Plesetsk              Test          100?      -
Dec 16 1615   NASA 12.080DR     Zombie             White Sands           Test           80?      White Sands
Dec 26 0535   Agni RV           Agni V             Kalam Island          Test          500?      Indian Ocean

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