[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 742

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.com
Sat Nov 25 00:24:15 EST 2017

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 742                                                  2017 Nov 25 Somerville, MA
Apologies for the increasing delay between issues (due to pressure of work).

International Space Station

Expedition 53 continues.

On Oct 10 Bresnik and Vande Hei made spacewalk EVA-45. They lubricated
the new Canadarm-2 LEE-A installed on the previous outing, and
replaced a camera group on the CP9 position on the P1 truss.
The airlock was depressurized at 1149 UTC and repressurized at 1822 UTC.

Progress MS-07 was launched on Oct 14 and docked with the Pirs module on
Oct 16 at 1104 UTC. It carried 1382 kg of dry cargo and 1167 kg of
propellant and other 'wet' cargo; this is a slight increase on earlier
missions. The cargo includes an antenna for an experiment called ICARUS
which is to be installed on a spacewalk.

On Oct 20 Bresnik and Acaba made spacewalk EVA-46. They carried out
various maintenance tasks including replacement/upgrade of external
camera equipment and removal of insulation on spare equipment (to allow
its future robotic installation). Acaba's SAFER backpack malfunctioned
at 1707 UTC; he returned to the airlock while Bresnik wrapped up
remaining tasks. The airlock was depressurized at about 1144 UTC and
repressurized at 1836 UTC.

On Oct 24 the NanoRacks KABER deployer was used for the first time.
KABER is used for 50 kg class satellites; it was extracted from the Kibo
airlock by the Canadarm-2/Dextre robot arm combo (in contrast to the
cubesat deployers which use the smaller JAXA JEM-RMS arm). The US Army's
Kestrel Eye II-M imaging satellite was ejected into orbit. KABER was
returned to the airlock and the SIMPL satellite, from the
infelicitously-named NovaWurks Inc., was attached to it. SIMPL was then
deployed on Oct 27. It is a test of the 'satlet' concept and was
assembled on board ISS on Oct 25 from a set of six smaller HiSat-PAC
units and two solar arrays, delivered to the station on Cygnus OA-4 in
2015. SIMPL also carries the QIKcom-1 US Naval Academy amateur radio payload.

On Nov 12 OrbitalATK launched the Cygnus OA-8 cargo mission, SS Gene Cernan,
on an Antares 230 from the Wallops MARS (Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport).
The Cernan arrived at ISS on Nov 14. It carried the EcAMSat and TechEdSat-6
cubesats which were then loaded into the NRCSD-13 package launched previously.
NRCSD-13 was taken outside the Kibo airlock by the JEM RMS on Nov 20
and EcAMSat, ASTERIA and Dellingr were deployed, with TechEdSat-6 and
OSIRIS-3U following the next day. TechEdSat-6 will demonstrate semi-controlled
reentry with an exobrake. 

ASTERIA is a JPL/MIT 6U cubesat with a 6-cm optical telescope
(actually a Zeiss camera lens and a CMOS detector); it will study exoplanets.
Congratulations to MIT's Sara Seager for getting ASTERIA to space!
The ASTERIA project replaced an earlier study for a 3U version called Exoplanetsat.

On Nov 4 the MBSU (main bus switching unit) that had been repaired
inside ISS was taken outside again via the Kibo airlock with the SPDM 
Dextre robot arm and stored on the ESP-2 platform. Dextre was also used
to exchange the location of two spare units on the ISS on Nov 17. A
spare UTA was oved from ESP-2 to ELC-1, while the remaining spare robot
arm LEE was moved from ELC-1 to ESP-2; it will be swapped with the
active Canadarm-2 LEE-B in a spacewalk next year.


The second Venezuelan Remote Sensing Satellite, VRSS-2, also named
Antonio Jose de Sucre (or just Sucre for short) was launched on Oct 9
into a sun-synchronous orbit in the 1030 local time plane by China for
ABAE, the Bolivaran Agency for Space Activities and MPPEUCT (Ministry of
People's Power for University Education, Science and Technology). The
satellite was built in China and uses the CAST-2000 bus; it has a mass
of 942 kg. It is named after the revolutionary general and president of
Bolivia ad Peru, Antonio Jose de Sucre (1795-8130). In Chinese it is
known as 'Venezeula Yaogan Weixing er hao'.


The third batch of Iridium-Next low orbit communications satellites
were placed in orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Oct 9. The first stage, B1041,
landed on the barge Just Read The Instructions off the coast of California.
Meanwhile Iridium has begun to deorbit the first generation Iridium satellites;
Iridium 8 reentered on Nov 24.


The D-SAT cubesat from D-Orbit of Italy was launched in June to
demonstrate a solid motor deorbit system. The satellite was in a 496 x
508 km x 97.4 deg  orbit. The motor was fired at 2018 UTC on Oct 2;
however a misalignment of the motor with the satellite centre of gravity
apparently caused the vehicle to tumble during the burn, and instead of
achieving an estimated 180 m/s retrograde to put it in a -117 x 507 km
deorbit path, the burn contributed 51 m/s posigrade and 40 m/s out of
plane, raising perigee 190 km and leaving D-SAT in a 506 x 686 km x 97.6
deg orbit, increasing its expected orbital lifetime. 


The SES-11 satellite was launched to geotransfer orbit by Falcon 9 on
Oct 11. The launch reused first stage B1031, which landed on the barge
Of Course I Still Love You off the coast of Florida.
SES-11 is owned by Luxembourg-based SES (possibly, technically, by
its UK subsidiary SES Satellite Leasing). Part of the payload is being
leased to Echostar which will market it as Echostar 105.


The fourth Quasi Zenith Satellite System payload, Michibiki 4, was
launched on Oct 9 into inclined synchronous orbit to provide navigation
services for Japan.

Sentinel-5 Precursor

The ESA Sentinel series for Earth environmental monitoring has another
member. Sentinel-5P is a dedicated satellite operating as a precursor
to the Sentinel-5 payloads slated to fly attached to future weather satellites.
The main instrument is the Tropomi spectrometer to study atmospheric
chemistry at high spatial and temporal resolution.


What is probably the 20th QUASAR data relay and communications satellite for the
US National Reconnaissance Office was launched to geostationary transfer
orbit on Oct 15. The satellite was named USA 279 and the launch was code-named NROL-52.


Russia reported that the satellite-inspector completed a series of
proximity operations experiments and returned to the Kosmos-2519 host
satellite on Oct 26, in a 650 x 667 km orbit. Shortly afterwards a new
object (2017-037E, 42986) was cataloged in a 554 x 664 km orbit; its
nature is unknown.


Koreasat-5A (Mugunghwa 5A ho) was launched by Falcon 9 on Oct 30. It is
a Thales Alenia Space/Cannes Spacebus 4000B2 with a launch mass of
around 3700 kg and a Ku-band communications/broadcasting payload for KT
Sat (formerly Korea Telecom).

Planet Express

On Oct 31 ten satellites for Planet were sent into sun-synchronous
orbit. Four were Dove cubesats forming the Flock-3m sub-constellation.
Six were 100-kg-class Skysat satellites; the Skybox/Terra Bella company
that developed the Skysat constellation was acquired by Planet in April.

The satellites were launched by Orbital's Minotaur-C rocket. This is
basically a rebranded Taurus XL rocket - the name change is apparently
at least partly because of embarrassment at the rocket's previous high
failure rate. Orbital reports that there are improvements to the Taurus
incorporated from the rest of the Minotaur fleet, including design
improvements to the fairing. The '-taur' in the Minotaur name comes from
the fact that the original Minotaur I was MINuteman+TAURrus, a Minuteman
first stage with Taurus/Pegasus upper stages, so the Minotaur and Taurus
lineages are closely coupled in any case.

Mohammed VI-A

Morocco's first spy satellite was launched on Nov 8. It is based on the
Pleiades/AstroSat-1000 bus used for France's comparable system.


The first satellite in the Joint Polar Satellite System weather satellite program was
launched on Nov 18 by a Delta 2. JPSS-1, which has a similar design to
Suomi-NPP, will be called NOAA-20 when it enters operation. The Delta
second stage also deployed five cubesats.


Following five experimental Beidou-3 satellites, the first two operational
vehicles on the Beidou-3 constellation were launched into medium
(12-hour) orbit on Nov 5.


China launched the Fengyun-3D polar orbit weather satellite on Nov 14.
The launch also orbited a small commercial imaging satellite for HEAD Aerospace of Beijing.


The second ChangZheng-6 was launched on Nov 21 to place three Jilin-1 Video satellites
into orbit for the Harbin based Chang Guang Satellite Technology Ltd. The CZ-6 is the
smallest of the CZ-5/6/7 new-generation CALT launch vehicle family.


The 2nd triplet YG-30 group was launched on Nov 24. The three satellites are believed
to perform signals intelligence for the Chinese military.

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

Sep  7 1400   X-37B OTV-5             Falcon 9         Kennedy LC39A    Spaceplane    52A   S42932   350?x   350?x 43?
Sep 11 1923   Amazonas 5              Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms        53A   S42934 35785 x 35790 x  0.0 GEO  58.3W
Sep 12 2117   Soyuz MS-06             Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1      Spaceship    54A   S42937   192 x   240 x 51.6
Sep 22 0002   Kosmos-2522             Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat Plesetsk LC43-4  Nav          55A   S42939 19130 x 19160 x 64.8
Sep 24 0549   USA 278                 Atlas V 541      Vandenberg SLC3E  Sigint       56A   S42941  2100?x 37800?x 62.8
Sep 28 1852   Asiasat-9               Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms        57A   S42942 35780 x 35792 x  0.1 GEO 121.6E  
Sep 29 0421   YG-30 01 zu 01 xing )   Chang Zheng 2C   Xichang           Sigint       58A   S42945   592 x   601 x 35.0
              YG-30 01 zu 02 xing )                                      Sigint       58B   S42946   592 x   601 x 35.0
              YG-30 01 zu 03 xing )                                      Sigint       58C   S42947   594 x   601 x 35.0
Sep 29 2156   BSAT-4a      )          Ariane 5 ECA     Kourou ELA3       Comms        59B   S42951 35772 x 35801 x  0.0 GEO 103.8E
              Intelsat-37e )                                             Comms        59A   S42950 20673 x 35773 x  0.2
Oct  9 0413   Sucre                   Chang Zheng 2D   Jiuquan           Imaging      60A   S42954   655 x   668 x 98.0 1030 LT SSO
Oct  9 1237   Iridium 133  )          Falcon 9         Vandenberg SLC4E  Comms        61A   S42955   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 127  )                                             Comms        61B   S42956   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 122  )                                             Comms        61C   S42957   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 129  )                                             Comms        61D   S42958   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 119  )                                             Comms        61E   S42959   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 107  )                                             Comms        61F   S42960   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 132  )                                             Comms        61G   S42961   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 136  )                                             Comms        61H   S42962   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 139  )                                             Comms        61J   S42963   612 x   626 x 86.6
              Iridium 125  )                                             Comms        61K   S42964   612 x   626 x 86.6
Oct  9 2201   Michibiki 4             H-2A 202        Tanegashima        Nav          62A   S42965 35889 x 36070 x 40.4
Oct 11 2253   SES-11                  Falcon 9        Kennedy LC39A      Comms        63A   S42967   304 x 40500 x 27.8
Oct 13 0927   Sentinel-5P             Rokot           Plesetsk LC133     Rem.Sens.    64A   S42968   808 x   847 x 98.7 1330 LT SSO
Oct 14 0846   Progress MS-07          Soyuz-2-1A      Baykonur LC31      Cargo        65A   S42971   185 x  219 x  51.6 Docked ISS
Oct 15 0728   USA 279                 Atlas V 421     Canaveral SLC41    Comms        66A   S42949  1096 x 35809 x 18.7
Oct 24 0945   Kestrel Eye II-M                        ISS, LEO           Imaging   98067NE  S42982   400 x   407 x 51.6
Oct 27 0915   SIMPL                                   ISS, LEO           Tech      98067NF  S42983   400 x   407 x 51.6
Oct 30 1934   Koreasat-5A             Falcon 9        Kennedy LC39A      Comms        67A   S42984   285 x 50185 x 22.0
Oct 31 2137   Skysat-8  )                                                Imaging      68F   S42992   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Skysat-9  )             Minotaur-C 3210 Vandenberg 576E    Imaging      68E   S42991   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Skysat-10 )                                                Imaging      68D   S42990   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Skysat-11 )                                                Imaging      68C   S42989   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Skysat-12 )                                                Imaging      68B   S42988   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Skysat-13 )                                                Imaging      68A   S42987   500 x   527 x 97.4     
              Flock 3m-1)                                                Imaging      68G   S42993   500 x   526 x 97.4     
              Flock 3m-2)                                                Imaging      68H   S42994   500 x   531 x 97.4     
              Flock 3m-3)                                                Imaging      68J   S42995   500 x   532 x 97.4     
              Flock 3m-4)                                                Imaging      68K   S42996   500 x   523 x 97.4     
Nov  5 1145   Beidou DW 24 )          Chang Zheng 3B/YZ1  Xichang LC3    Comms        69A   S43001 21485 x 21614 x 55.0
              Beidou DW 25 )                                             Comms        69B   S43002 21541 x 22194 x 55.0
Nov  8 0142   Mohammed VI-A           Vega              CSG ZLV          Imaging      70A   S43005   620 x   673 x 98.0
Nov 12 1219   SS Gene Cernan          Antares 230       MARS LA0B        Cargo        71A   S43006   200 x   299 x 51.6
Nov 14 1835   FY-3D  )                Chang Zheng 4C    Taiyuan          Weather      72A   S43010   798 x   812 x 98.7
              HEAD-1 )                                                   Imaging      72B   S43011   798 x   809 x 98.7
Nov 18 0947   NOAA-20/JPSS-1 )        Delta 7920-10C    Vandenberg SLC2W Weather      73A   S43013   817 x   820 x 98.7
              EagleSat       )                                           Tech         73    S43016?  455 x   818 x 98.7   
              MakerSat-0     )                                           Tech         73    S43017?  454 x   818 x 97.7
              RadFxSat       )                                           Tech         73    S43018?  454 x   818 x 97.7
              Buccaneer-RMM  )                                           Tech         73B   S43014   460 x   819 x 97.7
              MiRaTa         )                                           Tech         73C   S43015   455 x   818 x 97.7
Nov 20 0805   EcAMSat                                   ISS, LEO         Sci        98-67NG S43019   399 x   407 x 51.6
Nov 20 1225   ASTERIA                                   ISS, LEO         Ast        98-67NH S43020   401 x   405 x 51.6
Nov 20 1702   Dellingr                                  ISS, LEO         Sci        98-67NJ S43021   401 x   405 x 51.6
Nov 21 0450   Jilin-1 Shipin 4  )     Chang Zheng 6     Taiyuan          Imaging      74A   S43022   532 x   545 x 97.5
              Jilin-1 Shipin 5  )                                        Imaging      74B   S43023   532 x   545 x 97.5
              Jilin-1 Shipin 6  )                                        Imaging      74C   S43024   532 x   545 x 97.5
Nov 21 0825   TechEdSat-6                               ISS, LEO         Tech       98-67NJ S43026   398 x   406 x 51.6
Nov 21 1140   OSIRIS-3U                                 ISS, LEO         Sci        98-67NJ S43027   395 x   409 x 51.6
Nov 24 1810   Yaogan-30 02 zu 01 xing ) Chang Zheng 2C  Xichang          Sigint       75A   S43028   590 x   604 x 35.0
              Yaogan-30 02 zu 02 xing )                                  Sigint       75B   S43029   590 x   604 x 35.0
              Yaogan-30 02 zu 03 xing )                                  Sigint       75C   S43030   590 x   604 x 35.0

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Sep 12        RV x4?            Yars               Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Sep 14 2157   RV                Hwasong 12         Pyongyang-Sunan, N.K. Test          770       Pacific Ocean
Sep 14 2330?  RV                Hyunmoo-2A?        Goseung, S Korea?     Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep 17        PTV               Janus              Wake Island           Target        300?      Kwajalein
Sep 20        RV x4?            Yars               Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Sep 25        Aegis Target      Terrier Oriole     South Uist            Target        100?      Atlantic
Sep 26 1530?  Topol-E RV        Topol'-E           Kapustin Yar          Test         1000?      Sary Shagan
Oct 15        Aegis Target      Terrier Oriole     South Uist            Target        100?      Atlantic
Oct 15        Aegis KV          SM-3-IB           DDG-75, Hebrides Range Interceptor   100?      Atlantic
Oct 26        Topol' RV         Topol'             Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Oct 26        RV                Sineva            Sub, Barents Sea       Test         1000?      Kura
Oct 26        RV                Volna?            Sub, Sea of Okhotsk    Test         1000?      Chiza
Oct 26        RV                Volna?            Sub, Sea of Okhotsk    Test         1000?      Chiza
Oct 30        CPS FE-1          STARS              Kauai LC42            Test         1000?      Kwajalein
Oct 30 1000   DEUCE             Black Brant IX     White Sands           UV Astron     250?      White Sands
Nov  4 1707   RV/Warhead        Burkan 2H          Yemen?                Weapon        150?      Riyadh

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