[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 738 [Corrected]

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.com
Sat Jun 3 10:49:00 EDT 2017

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 738 [Corrected]                                             2017 Jun 3    Somerville, MA
Because the original version of this issue had some Unicode characters in it,
it got processed by mail as an attachment which got stripped off by some receiving mailers.
That'll teach me to be too clever. I am therefore resending without the offending accents and 
taking the opportunity to fix one error in the launch table. For those of you who already got this twice,
my profound apologies and please discard earlier versions. - Jonathan

International Space Station

During May, Expedition 51 continued with Soyuz MS-03 (vehicle No. 733)
and MS-04 (vehicle No. 735)  docked at the Station. On Jun 2 with the
undocking of Soyuz MS-03 carrying Novitskiy and Pesquet, Expedition 52
began under the command of Fyodor Yurchikin, with Peggy Whitson and Jack
Fischer as flight engineers.

The SS John Glenn (Cygnus OA-7) arrived at ISS on Apr 22, with grapple
by Canadarm-2 at 1005 UTC and berthing on the Unity module at 1239 UTC.

On May 4 to 6 the SSRMS and SPDM robot arms were used to exchange the
MBSU  (Main Bus Switching Unit) No. 2 on the S0 truss with a spare
stored on ESP-2. The old MBSU was launched with S0 in 2002; the spare
was launched with ESP-2 in 2005.

On May 12 astronauts Whitson and Fischer performed spacewalk US EVA-42.
One of the two SCU (Service and Cooling Umbilicals) in the Quest airlock
developed a leak. The SCUs provide power and oxygen during spacewalk preps;
the astronauts took turns using the one working one, but that meant
less battery power was available during the actual EVA. Whitson
went onto battery power at 1222 UTC; airlock depressurizatin
began about 1230 UTC and reached 50 mbar at 1303 UTC. At 1306 UTC
the hatch was opened, and at 1308 UTC Fischer went on to battery power.
This latter event seems to be what NASA is recording as the start time of
the spacewalk. 

The astronauts went to Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC-4) on the S3
truss. ELC-4 was launched in Feb 2011; its ExPCA (Express Pallet
Controller Assembly, basically the pallet's computer) has failed. The
astronauts replaced it with a new ExPCA launched on OA-7 and brought the
old one back to the airlock. Also launched on OA-7 was the PMA-3 forward
shield, which they installed at the base of PMA-3. The astronauts
entered Quest and closed the hatch at 1714 UTC; Quest was repressurized
starting at 1721 UTC.

On May 23 Whitson and Fischer headed out again on EVA-43, two days after
the new MDM EXT-1 computer on the S0 truss, installed Mar 30, unexpectedly failed. The
astronauts brought out a spare computer and swapped it with the failed one.
They also installed new wireless antennas on the Destiny module.

Between May 16 and May 18, 17 cubesats were deployed from the Nanoracks
NRCSD-11 dispenser attached to the JEM RMS robot arm on Kibo. On May 24
the dispensers were swapped out in the Kibo airlock and bet ween May 25
and May 26 a further 17 cubesats were deployed from NRCSD-12.
Twenty-eight of these cubesats were part of the QB50 mission led by
Belgium's Von Karman Institute (VKI), and carry sensors (mass
spectrometer, flux probe, Langmuir probe) to study the upper atmosphere.
The cubesats deployed were:
  May 16 0825   SOMP-2          2U QB50-DE02, TU Dresden
                Havelsat        2U QB50-TR02, from the Turkish company HAVELSAN A.S. and Istanbul Tech U.
                Columbia Sat    2U QB50-US04, part of the QBUS quartet, from Univ. Turabo, Puerto Rico
  May 16 1155   KySat-3/SGSAT   1U cubesat with a stellar gyroscope experiment from KentuckySpace.
                CXBN 2          2U cubesat with X-ray astronomy experiment from Morehead State U, Kentucky
                IceCube         3U cubesat from NASA-Goddard to test an 874GHz submm receiver for 
                                mapping atmospheric ice (not to be confused with the Cornell cubesats 
                                IceCube-1 and 2, lost in a 2006 launch failure)
  May 17 0145   Phoenix         2U QB50-TW01, from National Chen Kung Univ in Tainan City, Taiwan
                X-Cubesat       2U QB50-FR01, from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris
                qbee50-LTU-OC   2U QB50-SE01, from Lulea Technical University in Lulea, Sweden and OpenCosmos 
                                               in Didcot, Oxfordshire.
  May 17 0813   Altair          An unusual cubesat 6U long (0.1 x 0.1 x 0.6m) to test the Altair spacecraft bus
                                for Millenium Space Systems of California.
  May 17 1240   SHARC           SHARC is a radar calibration satellite for the US Air Force Research Lab;
                                different sources give it as 1x5U or 1x6U. 
  May 18 0100   ZA-Aerosat      2U QB50-AZ01, from Cubespace in Stellenbosch, S. Africa, a spinoff
                                company from Stellenbosch University which built 2 previous South African sats. 
                LINK            2U QB50-KR01, from the KAIST space research institute in South Korea.
  May 18 0415   CSUNSat 1       A 2U cubesat from California State Univ. Northridge, with a JPL low temperature
                                energy storage experiment.
  May 18 0825   UPSat           2U QB50-GR02, from the University of Patras in Greece.
                SpaceCube       2U QB50-FR05, from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines in Paris.
                Hoopoe          2U QB50-IL01, from Herzliya Science Center in Israel
  May 25 0525   Challenger Sat  2U QB50-US01, a QBUS satellite from the University of Colorado.
                NJUST-1         2U QB50-CN03, from Nanjing University of Science and Technology and VKI.
                USNW-EC0        2U QB50-AU02, from the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
  May 25 0835   DUTHSat         2U QB50-GR01, from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece.
                Zidingxiang-1   2U QB50-CN02, also called LilacSat-1, from Harbin Inst. of Technology, Manchuria.
                nSIGHT 1        2U QB50-AZ02, from SCS-Space of Cape Town, South Africa.
  May 25 1155   QBITO           2U QB50-ES01, from Universita Politecnica de Madrid.
                Aalto-2         2U QB50-FI01, from Aalto Univ. in Finland
                SUSat           2U QB50-AU01, from the Univ. of Adelaide
  May 25 2340   SNUSAT 1b       2U QB50-KR03, from Seoul National University
  May 26 0400   i-INSPIRE 2     2U QB50-AU03, from the Univ. of Sydney
                PolyITAN-2-SAU  2U QB50-UA01, from Kiev Polytechnical Institute
                SNUSAT 1        2U QB50-KR02, from Seoul National University
  May 26 0855   Ex-Alta 1       2U QB50-CA03, from the Univ. of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta
  May 26 1215   Aoxiang 1       2U QB50-CN04, from Shaanxi Engineering Laboratory for Microsatellites in Xi'an
                BeEagleSat      2U QB50-TR01, from Istanbul Tech U. and the Turkish AF Academy
                Atlantis Sat    2U QB50-US02, a QBUS collaboration satellite from the U. of Michigan.

 In addition, the US DoD/Australian DoD technology cubesat Biarri Point is reported to have been carried to the ISS
 on OA-7; it is not clear whether or not the satellite is still on ISS or was deployed clandestinely.

On Jun 2 astronauts Novitskiy and Pesquet transferred to Soyuz MS-03 and
undocked from the Rassvet module at 1047 UTC. After a deorbit burn at
1317 UTC they landed in Kazakhstan at 1410 UTC.

Launch of the Dragon CRS-11 cargo ship is currently scheduled for Jun 3.


SpaceX carried out its first launch of an NRO payload on May 1. The
launch was codenamed NROL-76. Falcon 9 core stage B1032 took off from
Kennedy Space center's LC39A and landed at nearby Cape Canaveral's
Landing Zone 1. The second stage entered a low Earth orbit with a 51
degree inclination and deployed the USA 276 payload. The stage then
carried out a long duration coast as a technology test before being
deorbited. USA 276, which was reportedly built by Ball Aerospace, is
apparently an experimental NRO technology demonstration satellite,
possibly a followon to USA 193 whch failed a decade ago.

Hobbyist observers soon located USA 276 in a 389 x 409 km x 50.0 deg
orbit; Marco Langbroeck notes that it will pass relatively close to the ISS
in early June.

Ariane 5

After delays due to social unrest in French Guiana, Arianespace on May 4
resumed launches with flight VA236 on launcher L589, placing the
Brazilian military communications satellite 'Satelite Geoestacionario
de Defesa e Comunicacoes Estrategicas 1 (SGDC) 1 (SGDC) and the Korea Telecom
satellite Koreasat-7 in geotransfer orbit. On Jun 2 SGDC was on station
at 74.4W and Koreasat 7 was on station at 114.5E.

On Jun 1 Ariane 5 vehicle 590 (flight VA237) placed Viasat-2 and
Eutelsat 172B in geotransfer orbit. Eutelsat 172B is the first
Airbus/Toulouse Eurostar 3000e satellite, using electric propulsion for
orbit raising. It carries 600 kg of xenon, saving 2500 kg of mass
compared to the earlier bipropellant chemical-propulsion model.

South Asia Satellite

India launched a GSLV Mk II rocket on May 5 placing the GSAT-9
Ku-band communications satellite and the CUS-08 cryogenic upper stage in
geotransfer orbit. GSAT-9 has been named South Asia Satellite; India has
donated the use of one transponder each to neighbouring countries in
SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation): Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The remaining SAARC
country, Pakistan, refused to participate.
By May 22 GSAT-9 was on station at 97.3E.


RocketLabs, a California-based company with a New Zealand subsidiary,
made its first orbital launch attempt on May 25. The Electron rocket
took off from Rocket Labs Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula on North
Island, New Zealand carrying a non-separable launch vehicle
instrumentation payload. The first stage, with 9 Rutherford LOX/kero
engines, completed its burn and separated from the second stage which
ignited its single Rutherford vac engine and propelled the rocket above
the atmosphere; however, orbit was not achieved. Further details are not
yet available.


SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 on May 15, placing Inmarsat's broadband
communications satellite 5F4 in a supersynchronous geotransfer orbit of
385 x 70134 km x 24.5 deg. No attempt was made to recover the first
stage. By Jun 1 Inmarsat 5F4 was in a  28061 x 43518 km x 0.2 deg
elliptical synchronous orbit while the Falcon 9 second stage remained
in a 388 x 69831 km x 24.6 deg orbit.


The SES-15 communications satellite was launched from French Guiana on
May 18 aboard an Arianespace Soyuz-ST-A with a Fregat-M upper stage into
geotransfer orbit. SES-15 is the fifth Boeing 702SP electric-propulsion
satellite and has a launch mass of 2302 kg. The satellite began orbit
raising on May 24 and as of Jun 2 was in a 3017 x 32594 km x 5.3 deg


The second EKS missile early warning satellite was launched by Russia on May 25.
It was given the cover name Kosmos-2518. The satellite is in an elliptical
Molniya orbit with a period of 12 hours; reports that the system uses
the 24-hour Tundra orbit are incorrect and apparently reflect an early
design option for the system that was not adopted.


Japan's second Quasi Zenith Satellite System navigation satellite, Michibiki-2,
was launched on Jun 1. As well as a navigation signal, the payload
has a space weather monitor.

Tianzhou 1

The Tianzhou cargo ship docked with the Tiangong-2 lab at 0416 UTC Apr 22.
It carried out a refuelling test on Apr 27; another is expected in late June.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg
Apr 12 1104   Shi Jian 13           Chang Zheng 3B    Xichang LC2      Comms         18A    S42662   237 x 41743 x  21.0
Apr 18 1511   SS John Glenn         Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41  Cargo         19A    S42681   398 x   412 x  51.6
Apr 20 0713   Soyuz MS-04           Soyuz-FG          Baykonur LC1     Spaceship     20A    S42682   399 x   409 x  51.6
Apr 20 1141   Tianzhou-1            Chang Zheng 7     Wenchang LC201   Cargo         21A    S42684   311 x   369 x  42.8
May  1 1115   USA 276               Falcon 9 FT       Kennedy LC39A     Unknown      22A    S42689   387 x   410 x  50.0
May  4 2150   SDGC       )          Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms        23B    S42692   259 x 35765 x   4.0
              Koreasat-7 )                                              Comms        23A    S42691   260 x 35741 x   4.0
May  5 1127   South Asia Satellite  GSLV Mk II        Satish Dhawan SLP Comms        24A    S42695   156 x 35936 x  20.7
May 15 2321   Inmarsat 5F4          Falcon 9 FT       Kennedy LC39A     Comms        25A    S42698   381 x 69843 x  24.5
May 16 0825   SOMP-2          )                      ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067LH S42700   398 x   406 x  51.6
              Havelsat        )                                         Space sci   98067LJ S42701   398 x   406 x  51.6
              Columbia Sat    )                                         Space sci   98067LK S42702   398 x   406 x  51.6
May 16 1155   KySat-3/SGSAT )                        ISS, LEO           Tech        98067LL S42703   401 x   402 x  51.6
              CXBN 2        )                                           Astronomy   98067LM S42704   401 x   402 x  51.6
              IceCube       )                                           Tech/sci    98067LN S42705   401 x   402 x  51.6
May 17 0145   Phoenix         )                      ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067LP S42706   401 x   402 x  51.6
              X-Cubesat       )                                         Space sci   98067LQ S42707   401 x   402 x  51.6
              qbee50-LTU-OC   )                                         Space sci   98067LR S42708   401 x   403 x  51.6
May 17 0813   Altair                                 ISS, LEO           Tech        98067LS S42711   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 17 1240   SHARC                                  ISS, LEO           Tech        98067LT S42712   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 18 0100   ZA-Aerosat   )                         ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067LU S42713   400 x   404 x  51.6
              LINK         )                                            Space sci   98067LV S42714   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 18 0415   CSUNSat 1                              ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067LW S42715   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 18 0825   UPSat    )                             ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067LX S42716   400 x   404 x  51.6
              SpaceCube)                                                Space sci   98067LY S42717   400 x   404 x  51.6
              Hoopoe   )                                                Space sci   98067LZ S42718   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 18 1154   SES-15                Soyuz-ST-A        CSG ELS           Comms        26A    S42709   300 x 31336 x  6.1
May 25 0420?  It's A Test           Electron          RLLC 1            Test         F02                     100?
May 25 0525   Challenger Sat )                       ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067MA S42721   400 x   404 x  51.6
              NJUST-1        )                                          Space sci   98067MB S42722   400 x   404 x  51.6
              USNW-EC0       )                                          Space sci   98067MC S42723   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 25 0634   EKS No. 2             Soyuz-2-1B        Plesetsk LC43/4   Early Warn   27A    S42719  1651 x 38512 x  63.8
May 25 0835   DUTHSat       )                        ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067MD S42724   400 x   404 x  51.6
              Zidingxiang-1 )                                           Space sci   98067ME S42725   400 x   404 x  51.6
              nSIGHT 1      )                                           Space sci   98067MF S42726   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 25 1155   QBITO      )                           ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067MG S42728   400 x   404 x  51.6
              Aalto-2    )                                              Space sci   98067MH S42729   400 x   404 x  51.6
              SUSat      )                                              Space sci   98067MJ S42730   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 25 2340   SNUSAT 1b                              ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067MK S42727   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 26 0400   i-INSPIRE 2    )                       ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067ML S42731   400 x   404 x  51.6
              PolyITAN-2-SAU )                                          Space sci   98067MM S42732   400 x   404 x  51.6
              SNUSAT 1       )                                          Space sci   98067MN S42733   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 26 0855   Ex-Alta 1                              ISS, LEO           Tech        98067NP S42734   400 x   404 x  51.6
May 26 1215   Aoxiang 1    )                         ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067MN S42735   400 x   404 x  51.6
              BeEagleSat   )                                            Space sci   98067MN S42736   400 x   404 x  51.6
              Atlantis Sat )                                            Space sci   98067MN S42737   400 x   404 x  51.6
Jun  1 0017   Michibiki 2           H-2A              Tanegashima       Navigation    28A   S42738  7090 x 35991 x  38.8
Jun  1 2345   ViaSat 2      )       Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms         29A   S42740   266 x 35686 x   6.0
              EUTELSAT 172B )                                           Comms         29B   S42741   262 x 35689 x   5.9

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

North Korea launched the Hwasong-12, a one (or possibly two)-stage IRBM
(intermediate range ballistic missile), on May 13 on a high apogee
trajectory. The US claimed that the reentry vehicle fell into the sea
only 100 km from Vladivostok after a 30 minute flight, but Russia
reported it fell 500 km from Russian territory in the central part of
the Sea of Japan, after a 23 minute flight. A picture of Kim Jong Un
looking at the trajectory shows that the target was actually about 260
km from Vladivostok and 150 km from the Russian coastline.
The missile is thought to be the smaller derivative of the KN-08 (US
designation) seen in this year's North Korean military parade.

On May 30 the US Missile Defense Agency launched an ICBM-T2 target
missile from Kwajalein. The Orbital ATK missile has a new 2-meter
diameter first stage, possibly a recycled Trident C-4 first stage; the
upper stages are thought to be the Orion 50SXLT and the Orion 50. A
GBI-OBV missile with a CE-II `kill vehicle' was launched from Vandenberg
to intercept it. The MDA claims that the intercept was successful.

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

Apr  4 2142   RV                Hwasong ER?        Sinpo                 Test          189       Sea of Japan
Apr  7 0930   MAXUS 9           Maxus              Kiruna                Micrograv     678       ESRANGE B zone
Apr 26 0703   GT220GM RV        Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF09       Test         1300?      Kwajalein
May  3 0702   GT222GM RV        Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF04       Test         1300?      Kwajalein
May  5 1824   RAISE 3           Black Brant IX     White Sands           Solar EUV     296       White Sands
May 13 0920   MAPHEUS 6         VSB-30             Kiruna                Micrograv     254       ESRANGE B zone
May 13 2028   RV                Hwasong-12         Kusong                Test         2111       Sea of Japan
May 16 0945   SubTec-7          Black Brant IX     Wallops I             Tech          248       Atlantic
May 21 0759   RV                Bukguekseong-2     Pukchang              Test          560       Sea of Japan
May 28 2039   RV                Hwasong ER?        Wonsan                Test          150?      Sea of Japan
May 30 1910?  FTG-15 Target     ICBM-T2            Kwajalein Meck        Target       1000?      Pacific
May 30 1928   FTG-15            GBI                Vandenberg LF23       Interceptor   500?      FTG-15 intercept

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