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Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 707 draft                                             2014 Dec  9     Somerville, MA
The previous latest.html is now at http://planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.706

International Space Station

Expedition 42 continues with commander Barry Wilmore, FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyaev, FE-2 Elena Serova,
FE-3 Anton Shkaplerov, FE-4 Samantha Cristoforetti, and FE-5 Terry Virts.

Yaogan 25

China launched the Yaogan 25 mission from Jiuquan on Dec 10. YG-25 consists of a main satellite and two subsatellites
in an 1100 km, 63 deg orbit, and is the fifth such mission.

      Mission               Main Satellite   Launch date    Current orbit
      ---------                                            peri  apo   inc   RA of node

      Yaogan Triplet 1      Yaogan 9         2010 Mar  5   967 x 1212 x 63.4  33.7
      Yaogan Triplet 2      Yaogan 16        2012 Nov 25  1039 x 1140 x 63.4 319.8
      Yaogan Triplet 3      Yaogan 17        2013 Sep  1  1053 x 1127 x 63.4 105.5
      Yaogan Triplet 4      Yaogan 20        2014 Aug  9  1079 x 1100 x 63.4  33.9
      Yaogan Triplet 5      Yaogan 25        2014 Dec 10  1089 x 1097 x 63.4 320.2


On Dec 13 a United Launch Alliance Atlas V was sent into highly
elliptical orbit with an inclination of 63 deg. The payload is probably
a signals intelligence satellite with an attached SBIRS-HEO early
warning sensor as a secondary payload. The early stages of the launch
were observed by many people in the Los Angeles area; the Centaur
venting was seen from the UK and Ireland at about 0530 UTC. This mission
used the new RL-10C-1 upper stage engine for the first time (refurbished
from Delta IV RL-10B-2 engines replacing the RL10A-4 used previously); a
three-burn Centaur profile appears to have been used, with spacecraft
separation about 0520 UTC into a 2101 x 37748 km x 62.9 deg orbit
(according to observations of the payload by hobbyists). The Centaur is
thought to have been deorbited with reentry around 1400 UTC, and was not

Yamal 401

Yamal 401, a communications satellite for the Russian corporation Gazprom Space Systems,
was launched into geostationary orbit by a Proton on Dec 16. The Briz stage
reached -449 x 170 km x 51 deg at 0025 UTC, 171 x 173 km x 51.5 deg at 0031 UTC,
264 x 4996 km x 50.0 deg at 0141 UTC, and 383 x 35654 km x 47.7 deg at 0402 UTC.
The Briz DTB drop-tank was jettisoned at 0404 UTC and the Briz/Yamal coasted to
apogee, with a final burn at 0903 to 0916 UTC delivering Yamal to a 1421 minute GEO
drift orbit.

O3b Flight 3

Another quartet of O3b satellites for broadband internet distribution
was launched on Dec 18. Each satellite carries an array of 12 Ka-band
spot beam dishes and provides capacity for internet providers in the
developing world. The Soyuz ST-B (Arianespace version of the Soyuz-2-1b)
took off from the Centre Spatial Guyanais and placed the Fregat S/N
133-01 upper stage in a -1167 x 192 km x 5.3 deg suborbit at 1936 UTC
Dec 18. Fregat's first burn, from 1937 to 1941 UTC, reached a 153 x 227
km x 5.2 deg parking orbit. A second, long, burn from 1949 to 1958 UTC
put the stack in a 242 x 7875 km x 3.2 deg transfer orbit. After the
stack coasted to apogee, burn 3 at 2119 to 2124 UTC circularized the
orbit and reduced inclination to 7820 x 7840 km x 0.04 deg. O3b
spacecraft FM10 and FM11 were ejected at 2128 UTC; a small further burn
at 2143 UTC adjusted the Fregat orbit and spacecraft FM9 and FM12 were
ejected at 2149 UTC. Further Fregat burns lowered the empty stage to a
7698 x 7836 km x 0.06 deg orbit.


The second Kondor radar imaging satellite built by NPO Mashinostroenie
(Moscow/Reutov)  was launched into a 498 x 501 km x 74.7 deg orbit on
Dec 19 aboard a Strela launch vehicle, which is a refurbished UR-100NU
ballistic missile launched from a silo. This satellite, Kondor-E No. 2,
is the export version of the spacecraft and has reportedly been sold to
an unnamed foreign customer, reportedly the Defense Intelligence
organization of the South African National Defense Force. The South
African government refuses to confirm or deny this, raising the question
of who will register this satellite with the UN.  The balance of
currently available evidence seems to be that South Africa is the
actual, if secret, legal owner of the satellite. It is possible that for
international regulatory purposes the satellite will be given the
Kosmos-2502 code name and will be registered by Russia. In my own
satellite catalogs, however, I now have separate fields for 'UN state of
registry' and 'actual owner state' and propose to count this as a South
African satellite for statistical purposes pending further evidence one
way or the other.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg

Dec  3 0422   Hayabusa-2    )    H-IIA 202         Tanegashima Y1    Space probe    76A    S40319    245 x -50912 x  29.9
              Shin'en-2     )                                        Comms tech     76B    S40320    245 x -50912 x  29.9
              DESPATCH      )                                        Art satellite  76C    S40321    245 x -50912 x  29.9
              PROCYON       )                                        Space probe    76D    S40322    245 x -50912 x  29.9
              MASCOT        )                                                        76    A08308   Attached to S40319
              Minerva II-1a )                                                        76    A08305   Attached to S40319
              Minerva II-1b )                                                        76    A08306   Attached to S40319
              Minerva II-2  )                                                        76    A08307   Attached to S40319
              SCI           )                                                        76    A08309   Attached to S40319
              DCAM-3        )                                                        76    A08310   Attached to S40319
              Target Marker 1)                                                       76    A08311   Attached to S40319
              Target Marker 2)                                                       76    A08312   Attached to S40319
              Target Marker 3)                                                       76    A08313   Attached to S40319
              Target Marker 4)                                                       76    A08314   Attached to S40319
              Target Marker 5)                                                       76    A08315   Attached to S40319
Dec  5 1205   Orion EFT-1        Delta 4H           Canaveral SLC37B Spaceship test  77A   S40329    -37 x   5809 x  28.8 
Dec  6 2040   DirecTV-14 )       Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3      Comms           78B   S40333   6443 x  35792 x   3.1 
              GSAT-16    )                                           Comms           78A   S40332  15998 x  35774 x   1.1 
Dec  7 0326   CBERS 4            Chang Zheng 4B     Taiyuan LC9      Imaging         79A   S40336    742 x    751 x  98.5 1030LT SSO
Dec 10 1933   Yaogan 25          ) Chang Zheng 4C   Jiuquan          Sigint          80A   S40338   1089 x   1097 x  63.4
              Yaogan 25 fu xing 1)                                   Sigint          80B   S40339   1091 x   1097 x  63.4
              Yaogan 25 fu xing 2)                                   Sigint          80C   S40340   1090 x   1098 x  63.4
Dec 13 0319   USA 259            Atlas V 541        Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint          81A   S40344   2101 x  37748 x  62.9
Dec 15 0016   Yamal 401          Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC81/24 Comms           82A   S40345  35344 x  35639 x   0.0 GEO drift
Dec 18 1837   O3b FM9  )         Soyuz ST-B         CSG ELS          Comms           83A   S40348   7835 x   7844 x   0.0
              O3b FM10 )                                             Comms           83B   S40349   7832 x   7837 x   0.0
              O3b FM11 )                                             Comms           83C   S40350   7816 x   7839 x   0.0
              O3b FM12 )                                             Comms           83D   S40351   7826 x   7836 x   0.0
Dec 19 0443   Kondor-E No. 2     Strela             Baykonur LC175   Radar Imager    84A   S40353    498 x    501 x  74.7

Launch summary for 2014

The 83 orbital launch attempts so far in 2014 (including Proton and Antares launch failures):

 Russia  32   (7 Proton, 2 Dnepr, 20 Soyuz, 2 Rokot, 1 Strela )
 USA:    24   (9 Atlas 5, 1 Delta 2, 4 Delta 4, 6 Falcon 9, 3 Antares, 1 Zenit-3SL)
 China:  14   (1 Kuaizhou, 13 Chang Zheng)
 Europe:  7   (6 Ariane 5, 1 Vega)
 Japan    4   (4 H2A)
 India    4   (3 PSLV, 1 GSLV)
 Israel   1   (1 Shaviyt)

Note that Sea Launch is counted as US even though the rocket stages are
from Ukraine and Russia. The 20 launches this year of Soyuz is the most
since 1993 for that vehicle. However it is far from a record - from 1975
to 1985 there were an average of 59 Soyuz launches per year.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

NASA 52.001UE on Nov 24 was C-REX, the Cusp Region Experiment from the University of Alaska,
which released 24 subpayloads containing chemical Ba and Sr releases to trace the magnetic field.
This was the first flight of the Black Brant XIIA, which uses a Talos-Terrier Mk 70-Black Brant Mk 1-Nihka
combination. The Terrier second stage motor replaces the Taurus (Honest John) motor used in
the older Black Brant XII.

NASA 36.295US on Dec 11 was the second flight of UC Berkeley's FOXSI hard X-ray solar telescope.

On Dec 17 ISRO flew the first GSLV-III rocket on a suborbital test
flight from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota Island. The
S200 solid boosters and L110 core stage, with two Vikas engines,
propelled an inert second stage to 126 km and 5.3 km/s. Second stage
separation and payload separation were also tested; the payload was the
Crew Module Atmospheric Reentry Experiment, a prototype command module
for an Indian spaceship with a mass of 3735 kg which splashed down in
the Bay of Bengal. Orbit was around -4418 x 126 km x 32.7 deg.

Israel launched a target missile over the Mediterranean on Dec 16; it's not
clear which of the Blue/Black/Sliver Sparrow family was used. Launch of the
Arrow 3 missile meant to intercept it was scrubbed.

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

Nov 24 0805   NASA 52.001UE    Black Brant XIIA    Andoya           Magnetosphere 486
Dec  2 0449   Agni RV          Agni 4              Wheeler I.       Test          300?
Dec 11 1911   NASA 36.295US    Black Brant IX      White Sands      Solar X-ray   338
Dec 13        RVs ?            DF-41?              Taiyuan          Test         1000?
Dec 16        Target           Blue Sparrow??    F-15, Med. Sea     ABM Target    100?
Dec 18 0400   CARE/LVM3-X      GSLV-3              Srikarikota SLP  Test flight   126 

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