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The Space Report ("JSR") is issued about twice a month. It describes all space launches, including both piloted missions and automated satellites. Back issues are available online. To receive the JSR each week by direct email, subscribe at Feel free to reproduce the JSR as long as you're not doing it for profit. If you are doing so regularly, please inform Jonathan by email. Comments, suggestions, and corrections are encouraged. See here for translations to other languages.

You can mail Jonathan McDowell at planet4589 at gmail dot com.

See also:

JSR STOP PRESS - the draft of NEXT week's JSR, updated throughout the week.

GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE LOG with a catalog of all known satellites ever in the geosynchronous ring and their reasonably current positions.

LAUNCH LOG - My best attempt at a complete listing of all satellite launch attempts.

Jonathan's Space Home Page - with links to lots of other space data not available elsewhere.

SATELLITE CATALOG - My version of the Space Command satellite catalog, providing a cross reference between catalog number and international designation. Corrections are welcome.

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 705                                                       2014 Nov 14    Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 41 commander Max Suraev and flight engineers  FE-5 Reid
Wiseman and FE-6 Alex Gerst returned to Soyuz TMA-13M on Nov 9. FE-3
Barry 'Butch' Wilmore then became ISS commander of Expedition 42,
staying on the station with FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyaev and FE-2 Elena

Soyuz TMA-13M undocked from Rassvet at 0031 UTC Nov 10. The deorbit
burn at 0305 UTC reduced velocity by 128 m/s, dipping perigee into the atmosphere.
Landing in Kazakhstan came at 0358:35 UTC.

Rosetta and Philae

The 85 kg Philae lander was ejected from the Rosetta probe 22 km from
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 0835 UTC Nov 12. Philae's thruster
was not working, and at 1533 UTC on contact with 67P's surface at the
Agilkia landing site the harpoons intended to lock it to the surface
apparently did not  deploy. The lander bounced off the surface gently
and settled down in another location at 1726 UTC, for a second briefer
bounce that resulted in final touchdown at 1733 UTC, with the lander
tilted, with one of its three legs off the surface. The lander is in the
shadow of a crater cliff and not receiving enough sunlight to recharge
its 2.5-day-life batteries. Science data is being received, but at the
moment it looks like a race against time. However, the situation is evolving

    Comet missions

    Spacecraft           Comet              Closest Approach, Date         Notes
    ISEE-3               21P/Giacobini-Zinner    7870 km   1985 Sep 11     Flyby
    Vega-1               1P/Halley               8900 km   1986 Mar  6     Flyby
    Suisei               1P/Halley             151000 km   1986 Mar  8     Flyby
    Vega-2               1P/Halley               8030 km   1986 Mar  9     Flyby
    Giotto               1P/Halley                596 km   1986 Mar 13     Flyby, imaging
    Giotto               26P/Grigg-Skjellerup     200 km   1992 Jul 10     Flyby
    Sakigake        45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova 10000 km?  1996 Feb 11?    Flyby, no data?
    Deep Space 1         19P/Borrelly            2171 km   2001 Sep 22     Flyby
    Contour        (   2P/Encke                           (2002 Aug)       Probe failed
                   (  73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3                       (blew up departing Earth)
                   (   6P/d'Arrest
    Stardust             81P/Wild 2               250 km   2004 Jan  2     Dust collection
    Deep Impact          9P/Tempel 1                0 km   2005 Jul  4     Impact
    DI Flyby Probe       9P/Tempel 1              500?km   2005 Jul  4     Flyby,imaging
    DI Flyby Probe       103P/Hartley 2           700 km   2010 Nov  4     Flyby,imaging
    Rosetta           67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko    10 km   2014 Oct        Orbiter
    Philae            67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko     0 km   2014 Nov 12     Lander

Chinese lunar probe

The Chang'e-5 Flight Test Vehicle (Chang'e wu hao feixing shiyan qi),
also called the Reentry Return Flight Test Mission (Zai ru Fanhui
Feixing Shiyan Renwu), passed around 11300 km from the Moon on Oct 27
and returned to Earth on Oct 31. The descent capsule separated from the
main vehicle at 2153 UTC and landed north of Hohhot at 2242 UTC. The
service module (fuwu cang) made a burn at 2156 UTC to avoid reentry and
swung past the Earth to head out towards the Earth-Moon L2 point.

The orbital analysis mentioned in JSR704 was the work of Cees Bassa.


The Kosmos-2499 satellite launched in May continues manuevering in
orbit. On Oct 28 at about 1035 UTC the satellite raised its orbit from
927 x 1485 km to 1054 x 1493 km. Then on Nov 9 at about 0540 UTC it made
a final burn to complete  its rendezvous with the Briz rocket stage that
launched it, in an 1151 x 1502 km orbit.


The Japanese ASNARO high resolution imaging satellite was placed in orbit by a Dnepr rocket launched
from the Dombarovskiy/Yasniy missile base in Russia on Nov 6. The satellite was developed by
NEC and is managed by Japan Space Systems (formerly USEF, part of the Ministry of Trade and
Industry) rather than by the main Japanese space agency JAXA. The 495 kg ASNARO has 0.5m resolution
on a 10 km nadir swath width and is in a 505 x 506 km x 97.5 deg sun-synchronous orbit
with a 1057 local time descending node (LTDN).

Four small (50 kg) Japanese satellites were also carried: Tsubame,
Hodoyoshi-1, Kinshachi-1 and Tsukushi. Tsubame ('Swallow') is an
astronomy satellite from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo kogyo
daigaku) and carries a hard X-ray polarimeter to study the polarization
of gamma ray bursts. Hodoyoshi-1, from the University of Tokyo and
AXELSPACE, carries an imager with 6.8m resolution and 28 km swath.
Kinshachi-1, also known as ChubuSat-1, is a project of Nagoya and Daido
universities. (The name Kinschachi refers to the golden sea-monster
statues on Nagoya castle; Nagoya and Daido are in the Chubu region of
Japan). It carries a 10m res, 14 km swath imager, a 130m res, 7-13
micron infrared camera reported to be for atmosphere temperature
profiles and space debris monitoring. and an amateur radio relay
payload. The Tsukushi ('Horsetail'; also an old name for the Kyushu
region) payload is also called QSAT-EOS: Kyushu Satellite for Earth
Observation System Demonstration. The sastellite carries a CMOS camera
with 4m res and 7 km swath, a magnetometer and an in-situ space debris
detector, as well as a deployable 3-meter kapton sail used as a drag
augmentation device.

The Dnepr rocket deposits its payloads while still gaining velocity, resulting in slightly different orbits:
  70G  GDS nosecone  478 x 507 km  (Platform A attached?)
  70A  ASNARO        505 x 506 km x 97.5 deg
  70B  Hodoyoshi-1   506 x 524 km x 97.5 
  70C  Kinshachi-1   506 x 537 km x 97.5
  70D  Tsukushi      506 x 553 km x 97.5
  70E  Tsubame       505 x 568 km x 97.5
  70F  Third stage   485 x 1942 km    

Erratum: JSR 704 should have been dated Oct 30. Oops.

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

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        62A
              ARSAT-1        )                                       Comms        62B
Oct 20 0631   Yaogan 21          Chang Zheng 4C    Taiyuan           Imaging?     63A
Oct 21 1509   Ekspress AM-6      Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Comms        64A
Oct 23 1800   CE-5 FTD )         Chang Zheng 3C/G2 Xichang           Lunar probe  65A
              4M       )                                            Amateur radio 65B
Oct 27 0659   SJ-11 08           Chang Zheng 2C    Jiuquan         Surveillance?  66A
Oct 28 2220   Cygnus ORB-3     ) Antares 130       Wallops MARS 0A   Cargo        F02
              RACE             )                                     Science      F02
              Arkyd-3          )                                     Tech         F02
              GOMX-2           )                                     Comms AIS    F02
              Flock-1d 1 to 26 )                                     Imaging      F02
Oct 29 0709   Progress M-25M     Soyuz-2-1a        Baykonur LC31     Cargo        67A
Oct 29 1721   GPS SVN 69         Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Navigation   68A
Oct 30 0143   Meridian No. 17L   Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat Plesetsk LC43/4   Comms        69A
Nov  6 0735   ASNARO      )      Dnepr             Yasniy            Imaging      70A
              Hodoyoshi-1 )                                          Imaging      70B
              Kinshachi-1 )                                          Imaging      70C
              Tsukushi    )                                          Imaging      70D
              Tsubame     )                                          XR Astron    70E

Suborbital missions

Russia launched a Bulava missile from the Yuri Dolgorukiy submarine in the Barents
Sea on Oct 29; multiple reentry vehicles flew a suborbital trajectory to
the Kura target range in Kamchatka.

I don't normally cover rocket flights within the Earth's atmosphere, but
the Oct 31 Spaceship Two accident is noteworthy - as well as tragic.
Spaceship Two S/N 01 'VSS Enterprise' was a rocket-powered glider
dropped from the White Knight 2 carrier aircraft, based at Mojave
Spaceport in California, and was intended for passenger suborbital
flights to be operated by Virgin Galactic. The vehicle had made 12
captive flights, 32 glide flights, and 3 rocket-powered flights prior to
the accident. The glide flights had been piloted by a mixture of Scaled
Composites and Virgin Galactic test pilots, but the powered flight tests
were mostly led by the Scaled Composites team (one flight was piloted by
Virgin Galactic test pilot D. Mackay). Only short rocket burns had been
made and the highest apogee was only 22 km.  On Oct 31, flight PF04 made
a short rocket burn of 9 seconds, at which point the co-pilot unlocked
the rotating tail booms, apparently by mistake; these were not intended
to be deployed at the then speed of around Mach 1.0 during
rocket-powered flight. The unlocked booms then accidentally deployed
('feathered'), followed by disintegration of the vehicle. The debris
fell near Koehn Lake in California, about 40 km NE of the takeoff
airport at Mojave. Pilot Pete Siebold parachuted to safety and was
hospitalized with serious injuries, but is now recovering at home;
co-pilot Mike Alsbury was killed in the crash. The second SS Two, S/N 02
'VSS Voyager', is under construction at Mojave.

The flights were:
          Date                 Apogee   Burn time(s)   Pilots
                                 km       s
    PF01  2013 Apr 29 1447UTC  17       16          Mark Stucky, Mike Alsbury
    PF02  2013 Sep  5 1611UTC  22       20          Mark Stucky, Clint Nichols
    PF03  2014 Jan 10 1600UTC? 21       20          David Mackay (VG), Mark Stucky 
    PF04  2014 Oct 31 1709UTC  16?       9?         Pete Siebold, Mike Alsbury

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

NASA 36.253US RAISE-2 was launched on Nov 6 to obtain time-resolved UV spectra
of solar active regions.

The FTM-25 missile defense test used an ARAV short range target with a separating
dummy warhead; probably an ARAV-B Terrier Oriole vehicle was used, or maybe an ARAV-A
Terrier Orion.

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

Oct  7 1310   SR-10            Sounding Rocket     Jiupeng          Ionosphere    286
Oct 12 0427   MDA Target?      Terrier Lynx        Wallops I        Target?       150?
Oct 17 0708   FTX-20           MRBM-T3?            Kauai            Target        300?
Oct 23 1333   SL-9             SpaceLoft XL        Spaceport America Micrograv    124
Oct 29 1727   RVs              Bulava            K-535, Barents Sea Test         1000?
Nov  1 0620   RV               Topol'-M            Plesetsk         Test         1000?
Nov  5        RV               Sineva            K-114, Barents Sea Test         1000?
Nov  6 1907   RAISE 2          Black Brant IX      White Sands      Solar         300?
Nov  6 2203   FTM-25 Target    Terrier Oriole?     Kauai            Target        150?
Nov  6 2206?  Aegis KV         SM-3-IB           DDG-53, Pacific    Interceptor   150?

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