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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. 733                                                       2016 Dec 28    Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 50 continues. 

The Progress MS-04 cargo ship was launched from Baykonur on a Soyuz-U
rocket on Dec 1. However, the vehicle failed during third stage burn and
its debris fell in the Tuva Republic. Lost with the rest of the cargo
was the first Orlan-MKS spacesuit (possibly serial No. 3). Unconfirmed
reports from commenters in the Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum suggest the
Progress separated from the rocket third stage prematurely and the
accelerating stage then crashed into the Progress.

The 16-tonne Japanese HTV-6 (Kounotori-6) cargo ship was launched on Dec
9. The pressurized module contains 600 kg of water and 2152 kg of dry
cargo. This includes two JAXA J-SSOD and one Nanoracks NRCSD-10 cubesat
deployers; these will be transferred to the Kibo module.

The J-SSOD #5 contains the following cubesats:
  STARS-C Oyaki and Koki ('parent' and 'child'), two 1U cubesats connected by a tether,
    from Shizuoka University which is contining the earlier STARS experiments by Kagawa U.
    STARS-C appears to have the alternate name 'Hagoromo', also used for a 1990 lunar orbiter.

The J-SSOD #6 contains the following cubesats:
  EGG, a U. Tokyo 3U cubesat with a 0.6m deployable aeroshell for controlled reentry.
  ITF-2, from Tsukuba University, a 1U amateur radio payload.
  AOBA-VeloxIII is a 2U mission from Kyushu Tech and NTU of Singapore with a 
   micropropulsion system.
  FREEDOM, a 1U cubesat with a 1.5m deorbit drag device, from Nakashima Engineering of
   Hirokawa and Tohoku University.
  Waseda-Sat3, a 1U cubesat from Waseda University with a large thin film drag sail.
  TuPOD, from GAUSS SRi (Rome), a 3U cubesat containing (and ejecting)
  two cylindrical 'Tubesats', each 0.75 kg, 0.09m dia 0.13m long. The tubesats are 
  TANCREDO-1 from a school in Ubatuba, Brazil
   and OSNSAT from the Open Space Network of Mountain View, California.

The NRCSD-10 contains four Lemur-2 3U cubesats from Spire Global, and
the TechEdSat-5 (TES-5) from NASA-Ames. TES-5 will carry out a
controlled reentry experiment with an 'exobrake' drag sail.  In
addition, the  Honeywell/Morehead U. DM-7 'dependable multiprocessor'
experiment will be attached to the Nanoracks External Platform on the
Kibo exposed facility; it is a 1U box.

The HTV also has an Exposed Pallet, which on this mission (using the
enhanced capacity EP6B+) carries a set of replacement batteries for the
ISS truss, with a total cargo mass of 1367 kg. The S4, S6, P4 and P6
truss segments each contain an Integrated Electronics Assembly (IEA),
with 12 Ni-H2 batteries apiece in separate ORUs (Orbital Replacement
Units).  On this mission the S4 batteries are to be replaced. Six new
197 kg Li-ion battery ORUs will be installed and six of the 166 kg Ni-H2
battery ORUs will be transferred to the HTV EP for disposal on reentry.
The remaining six Ni-H2 ORUs will remain on S4, but they will be taken
off line and new 29 kg Adapter Plate ORUs will  be installed between
them and the truss.

On Dec 14 the Exposed Pallet was grappled by the Canadarm-2, pulled
out of HTV-6 and attached to the Mobile Base System on the ISS truss.
On Dec 15-16 the J-SSOD #5 was moved to the Kibo module's airlock.
On Dec 19 the Japanese RMS arm took the MPEP platform, with
J-SSOD attached, out of the airlock and the STARS-C cubesat was
ejected from it at 0855 UTC. On Dec 27 J-SSOD #6 was installed
in the airlock with its sats to be deployed in January.


The Turkish Defense Ministry's Gokturk-1 high resolution (0.7m) imaging satellite
was launched by the light European launch vehicle Vega on Dec 5. The satellite
was built by Thales Alenia (Cannes).


The 8th Boeing 702-class Wideband Global Satcom payload for the US Dept.
of Defense carries an improved 'channelizer' that increases the capacity
of the satellite. The second stage was reportedly deorbited, and the
extra propellant required to do this necessitated a lower apogee
transfer orbit than for previous WGS missions. By Dec 25 WGS-8
had reached a 26728 x 44588 km x 0.2 deg orbit.


On Dec 7 India launched the Resourcesat-2A imaging satellite to provide
continuity of service for the system as 2011's Resourcesat-2 ages. The
satellite has a 6 metre resolution imager.

Fengyun 4-01

The first satellite in the FY-4 series flew on Dec 10 to geotransfer orbit.
China's FY-1 and newer FY-3 series are polar orbiting weather satellites comparable
to the NOAA polar series, while the FY-2 constellation, now to be superseded
by the FY-4 system, consists of geostationary satellites like NOAA's GOES.
FY-4 No. 1 carries a 0.5 km resolution imager, a 913-channel IR sounder,
a lightning mapping imager, and a space environment package.


Japan's second Epsilon rocket launched the 350 kg ERG geospace
science satellite on Dec 20 into elliptical orbit.
ERG carries experiments to study energetic particles, waves and fields
in the magnetosphere. After launch, ERG was renamed 'Arase' (rough water,
a metaphor for the dynamic magnetic storms of geospace).

The second Epsilon uses a new second stage, the M-35. The first flight
in 2013 used a derivative of the M-34 from the old M-V rocket. The M-35,
with a mass of 17200 kg, is a growth version sized to match the 2.6m
diameter of the larger Epsilon first stage. The third stage is the
KM-V2c, with minor improvements compared to the previous mission's
KM-V2b. The PBS liquid post-boost 4th stage was not included on this


On Dec 28 China launched a CZ-2D from Taiyuan - the first time the 2D model has
flown from their southern launch site. However, the rocket appears to have
run into problems and achieved orbit with an underspeed of 100 m/s, making
a 212 x 520 km orbit instead of a circular 500 km one. 

The main payloads are Gaojing 1 and 2, two commercial high resolution
(0.5m) imaging satellites also called SuperView 1 and 2. The satellites
are owned by Beijing Aerospace World View Information Technology Co.,
Ltd (also called Beijing Space View Tech Co.Ltd.); the US company
DigitalGlobe is a major investor.

Also aboard was BY70-1, or Bayi kepu weixing 01 xing, a 2U cubesat with
an amateur radio payload developed by high school students at the
PLA-related Beijing Bayi School.

Tan Weixing

China's Tan Weixing (Carbon Satellite or TanSat) was launched on Dec 21.
It carries a high resolution grating spectrometer to measure CO2 and O2
distribution and a wide field of view cloud/aerosol imager. The 620 kg
satellite will map  global CO2 sources and sinks with a precision of 1
percent. Three smaller payloads from the Shanghai microsatellite center
were also carried; they are about 50 kg each. Spark-01 and Spark-02 
have hyperspectral imagers; the third, referred to as Chao fenbianlu duo
guangpu chengxiang weixing (Ultra-resolution multispectral imaging
satellite) has a 1.4m resolution imager.


Ariane vehicle L587, mission VA234, placed two comm satellites in orbit
on Dec 21. JCSAT 15, for Sky Perfect JSAT of Japan, will become JCSAT-110A
once it becomes operational at 110E to replace JCSAT-110R. Star One D1,
for Embratel Star One of Brazil, will replace Brasilsat B4. Both are
Loral 1300 class satellites built in MDA/Loral's Palo Alto factory.

Tianlian 1-04

On Dec 1 Tianlian 1-04 was tracked on station at 76.9E, a few degrees from
Tianlian 1-01.


The Nov 9 launch of a CZ-11 rocket, described last issue, put 4 objects
in a circular 500 km orbit and 3 in an elliptical 500 x 1000 km orbit.
It now appears that the final stage rocket, with attached amateur radio
payload CAS-2T, is object E, one of those in the elliptical orbit.
Space-Track has identified object A in the circular orbit as the main
pulsar navigation experiment satellite, and puts E in the 'large' radar
cross-section category which supports the idea that E is the rocket.

I am guessing that the two remaining small payloads are the two
remaining elliptical orbit objects F and G while objects B to D are
launch adapters or other debris. But it could be the other way around.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg
Nov  2 0620   Himawari 9            H-IIA 202         Tanegashima LP1  Weather       64A    S41836    243 x 35857  x 22.4
Nov  3 1243   Shi Jian 17           Chang Zheng 5/YZ2 Wenchang LC101   Comms/Tech    65A    S41838  35771 x 35804  x  0.8 GEO 163E
Nov  9 2342   Maichong Xing SW   )  Chang Zheng 11    Jiuquan SLS-E    Astronomy     66A    S41841    493 x   512  x 97.4
              Xiaoxiang-1        )                                     Tech          66F?   S41846?   503 x  1034  x 98.8
              Lishui 1-01        )                                     Imaging       66G?   S41847?   503 x   992  x 98.8
              KS-1Q              )                                     Imaging       66E?   S41845?   503 x  1029  x 98.8
              CAS-2T             )                                     Imaging       66E?   S41845?   503 x  1029  x 98.8
Nov 11 1830   WorldView-4       )   Atlas V 401       Vandenberg SLC3E Imaging       67A    S41848    607 x   611  x 98.0
              Prometheus 2.1    )                                      Comms         67     S41849    572 x   585  x 98.0
              Prometheus 2.2    )                                      Comms         67     S41850    571 x   584  x 98.0
              Aerocube 8C       )                                      Tech          67     S41851    573 x   586  x 98.0
              Aerocube 8D       )                                      Tech          67     S41852    575 x   585  x 98.0
              CELTEE            )                                      Tech          67     S41853    576 x   586  x 98.0
              Opticube 4        )                                      Cal           67     S41854    576 x   585  x 98.0
              RAVAN             )                                      Tech/Sci      67     S41855    569 x   583  x 98.0
Nov 11 2314   Yunhai-1 01           Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan          Weather       68A    S41857    760 x   787  x 98.5
Nov 17 1306   GalileoSat-15  )      Ariane 5ES        Kourou ELA3      Nav           69A    S41859  22879 x 22906  x 54.6
              GalileoSat-16  )                                         Nav           69B    S41860  22890 x 22926  x 54.6
              GalileoSat-17  )                                         Nav           69C    S41861  22901 x 22912  x 54.6
              GalileoSat-18  )                                         Nav           69D    S41862  22898 x 22899  x 54.5
Nov 17 2020   Soyuz MS-03           Soyuz-FG          Baykonur LC1     Spaceship     70A    S41864    195 x   228  x 51.6
Nov 19 2342   GOES 16 (GOES R)      Atlas V 541       Canaveral SLC41  Weather       71A    S41866   8157 x 35269  x 10.6
Nov 22 1524   Tianlian-1 04         Chang Zheng 3C    Xichang          Data relay    72A    S41869    201 x 41776  x 17.4
Nov 25 2015   Lemur-2-Sokolsky)                     Cygnus OA-5, LEO   Weather/AIS   62D    S41872    498 x   507  x 51.6  
              Lemur-2-Xiaoqing)                                        Weather/AIS   62C    S41871    498 x   507  x 51.6  
Nov 26 0010   Lemur-2-Anubhavthakur )               Cygnus OA-5, LEO   Weather/AIS   62E    S41873    498 x   507  x 51.6  
              Lemur-2-Wingo         )                                  Weather/AIS   62F    S41874    498 x   507  x 51.6  
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
              Gaojing 2  )                                             Imaging       83B    S41908    212 x   523 x  97.6
              BJ70-1     )                                             Comms         83C    S41909    212 x   523 x  97.6

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

There have been suggestions of planned Chinese missile launches in early
December based on NOTAM airspace closures, but no evidence that the
launches actually occurred.

On Dec 16 the US Army (as part of a NASA managed launch) test-launched the Zombie, a missile-defense target missile
probably based on an ATACMS motor. It's not clear whether the flight was exoatmospheric.
The Dec 15 MDA target launch was intercepted by two SM-6 endoatmospheric missiles from the Aegis ship DDG 53.
It's not clear what kind of target launch vehicle was used.

Also on Dec 16, according to Pentagon sources quoted by Bill Gertz in the Washington Free Beacon,
Russia again tested the Nudol antisatellite missile. It's probable Russia is still just testing
the rocket launch vehicle rather than carrying out actual intercepts at this stage.

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

Oct 25 0858   RV                UR-100NU           Yasniy                Test         1000?      Kura
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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