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Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 738 draft                                                 2017 Apr 22 Somerville, MA
JSR 737 is now permalinked at http://planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.737

International Space Station

Expedition 51 continues with Soyuz MS-03 (vehicle No. 733) and MS-04 (vehicle No. 735) 
docked at the Station.

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 16 cubesats were deployed from the Nanoracks NRCSD-11 dispenser attached to the JEM RMS robot arm
on Kibo. The first deploy consisted of three 2U satellites to study the upper atmosphere as part of the
QB50 mission: SOMP-2 from Dresden,  Havelsat from the Turkish company HAVELSAN, and Columbia from
the U of Turabo in Puerto Rico. Deploy two had three cubesats not part of QB50: CXBN-2, a 2U X-ray
astronomy payload from Morehead State U; the 1U SGSat stellar gyroscope test from Kentucky Space Grant;
and the 3U IceCube from NASA-Goddard, which is a test flight of a submillimeter radiometer for Earth observations.

On May 17, three more QB50 released: Phoenix (NCKU, Taiwan), X-Cubesat (Ecole Polytechnique, France)
and qbee50-LTU-OC (Lulea Techinical Univ, Sweden).


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.

Ariane 5

After delays due to social unrest in French Guiana, Arianespace has
resumed launches with flight VA236 on launcher L589, placing the
Brazilian military communications satellite Satélite Geoestacionário
de Defesa e Comunicações Estratégicas 1 (SGDC) and the Korea Telecom
satellite Koreasat-7 in geotransfer orbit.

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.


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. I'm waiting for details.


SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 on May 15, placing Inmarsat's broadband
communications satellite 5F4 in geotransfer orbit. No attempt was made
to recover the first stage.


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

Tianzhou 1

The Tianzhou cargo ship docked with the Tiangong-2 lab at 0416 UTC Apr 22.

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   400?x   400?x  51.0
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   98067
              Havelsat        )                                         Space sci   98067
              Columbia Sat    )                                         Space sci   98067
May 16 1155   KySat-3/SGSAT )                        ISS, LEO           Tech        98067
              CXBN 2        )                                           Astronomy   98067
              IceCube       )                                           Tech/sci    98067
May 17 0145   Phoenix         )                      ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067
              X-Cubesat       )                                         Space sci   98067
              qbee50-LTU-OC   )                                         Space sci   98067
May 17 0813   Altair                                 ISS, LEO           Tech        98067
May 17 1240   SHARC                                  ISS, LEO           Tech        98067
May 18 0100   ZA-Aerosat   )                         ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067
              LINK         )                                            Space sci   98067
May 18 0415   CSUNSat 1                              ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067
May 18 0825   UPSat    )                             ISS, LEO           Space sci   98067
              SpaceCube)                                                Space sci   98067
              Hoopoe   )                                                Space sci   98067
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?

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.

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

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