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Jonathan's Space Report No. 679 draft 2013 May 2, Somerville, MA --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- International Space Station ---------------------------- Expedition 36 is underway with astronauts Vinogradov, Misurkin and Cassidy. Ferry ship Soyuz TMA-08M is at Poisk. Cargo ship Progress M-18M is at the Pirs module and Progress M-19M is at the Zvezda module. On May 9 a serious ammonia coolant leak was discovered on the P6 truss segment, one of the outboard segments of the Station that carries a pair of solar array wings. The 2B solar array section was be shut down to isolate the leak, reducing the power available to operate the Station. (details are from www.nasaspaceflight.com, which has the best coverage on this). On May 11 astronauts Cassidy and Marshburn, in suits EMU 3010 and EMU 3005, carried out spacewalk US EVA-21 from the Quest airlock to replace a Pump Flow Control System (PFCS) unit suspected to be responsible for the ammonia leak. The Station has eight solar array wings, labelled 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A and 4B. Associated with each wing is one PFCS unit, which is a 111 kg, 1.0 x 0.5m box placed in the IEA (Integrated Electronics Assembly) section of the truss. In addition, two further PFCS units on the P6 Long Spacer (LS) were used as part of the EEATCS Early External Active Thermal Control System used when P6 was installed on the zenith of Z1 between 2000 Dec 3 and 2007 Oct 28, and a spare PFCS was launched on the ESP-1 external stowage platform in 2001. PFCS units: Truss section Solar array wing Launched 1 Port 6 IEA 2B 2000 Dec 1 - removed to Port 6 Long Spacer on May 13 2 Port 6 IEA 4B 2000 Dec 1 3 Port 6 LS EEATCS 2000 Dec 1 - moved to Port 6 IEA/2B on May 13 4 Port 6 LS EEATCS 2000 Dec 1 5 Lab ESP-1 - 2001 Mar 8 (Spare) 6 Port 4 IEA 2A 2006 Sep 9 7 Port 4 IEA 4A 2006 Sep 9 8 Stbd 4 IEA 1A 2007 Jun 8 9 Stbd 4 IEA 3A 2007 Jun 8 10 Stbd 6 IEA 1B 2009 Mar 15 11 Stbd 6 IEA 3B 2009 Mar 15 During the spacewalk, the astronauts removed the 2B PFCS unit from the P6 IEA and swapped it with one of the EATCS units on the P6 Long Spacer. Quest was depressurized at 1241 UTC and repressurization began at 1814 UTC. On May 12 at 1948 UTC Expedition 35 commander Chris Hadfield transferred command of Station to Pavel Vinogradov. Meanwhile, Hadfield relased his cover of David Bowie's 'Space Oddity', performed while floating in a most peculilar way sitting in a tin can far above the world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaOC9danxNo On May 13 at 2308 UTC Soyuz TMA-07M undocked from Rassvet carrying commander Roman Romanenko and flight engineers Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn. After deorbit burn at 0137 UTC May 14, the descent module landed in Kazakhstan at 0231 UTC. On May 13 at 2308 UTC Expedition 36 began with commander Pavel Vinogradov, FE-2 Aleksandr Misurkin and FE-3 Chris Cassidy. Kunpeng-7 --------- China reported the launch of a suborbital high altitude sounding rocket on May 13 to an altitude of more than (but of order?) 10000 km, and possibly of order 30000 km. The US Dept of Defense reports that it tracked the launch to `nearly GEO' with reentry 'over the Indian Ocean': The full statement from LtCol Catherine Wilkinson, Dept of Defense, kindly forwarded by Tomotaro Inoue of Kyodo News: "We detected a launch on May 13 from within China. The launch appeared to be on a ballistic trajectory nearly to geosynchronous Earth orbit. We tracked several objects during the flight but did not observe the insertion of any objects into orbit and no objects associated with this launch remain in space. "Based upon observations, we assess that the objects reentered the atmosphere above the Indian Ocean. We defer any further questions to the government of China." The rocket appears to have been launched on a 32 deg inclination path SE from Xichang (based on NOTAM analysis) and according to reports on nasaspaceflight.com its flight was observed widely in SE China and Hong Kong. The Kunpeng-7 magnetosphere science payload was reported to have included a Langmuir probe, particle detectors, a magnetometer, and a barium cloud release. Because of the relatively unusual secrecy preceding the launch some analysts concluded that the mission was actually a military one. The only previous large military program known to have launched from Xichang in recent years was the antisatellite test program; the launch vehicle for Kunpeng-7 was reported to be from the CASIC company and was probably a variant of the DF-21 missile used in that program or its DF-31 cousin. It is indeed possible that this launch was to qualify a new launch vehicle variant intended to carry a high altitude ASAT payload - but there's no evidence that such a payload was carried on this particular flight. This is the highest altitude suborbital flight since Gravity Probe A in 1976, and possibly since Blue Scout Jr O-2 in 1961. If the rocket reached 30000 km, its flight may have lasted 8 to 9 hours and impacted in the Indian Ocean - moving east for the first hour or so, and then to the southwest as it slowed and the Earth's rotation overtook it, passing perhaps over Malaysia and Sumatra, then east again in the final hour of descent. Flights like this can loosely be described as sounding rockets, but the more precise term of art is 'vertical probe', which was used to describe similar Soviet and US high altitude suborbital flights in the 1960s and 1970s. Unlike typical sounding rocket or ICBM launches, although this launch was suborbital it had more than orbital energy, which places it in a special category; I assign the launch a 'U-series' pseudo-international designation (U for uncataloged or unusual, take your pick) of 2013-U01. You'll find other interesting launches in this category if you dig through my online launch vehicle database. I estimate the launch had a C3 (specific binding energy, -GM/a) of at least -42 km^2/s^2 and perhaps as much as -19, (compared to a LEO C3 of circa -58 and a GTO C3 of -16; C3>=0 is needed for Earth escape). I also find it useful to characterize orbits by their specific total energy ETOT, ETOT = GM/R(Earth) - GM/2a, which represents the sum of kinetic and potential energy relative to an inertial point on the geoid - ETOT is just 2 * C3 plus a constant, For this launch ETOT was between 41 and 53 in these units compared to 33 for LEO and 54 for GTO. For comparison sounding rockets typically have circa C3 = -118, ETOT = 3 and ICBMs have C3 = -80, ETOT = 21. (ETOT is defined as the sum of inertial kinetic and potential energy at apogee). Chinasat -------- China's Zhongxing-11 satellite was launched on May 1 into geostationary transfer orbit (data from Rui Barbosa on Nasaspaceflight.com; nice to meet you in Lisboa, Rui!). Object A was in a 196 x 42178 km x 26.7 deg orbit initially, changed by May 10 to a 35775 x 35803 km x 0.7 deg orbit over the Pacific. B, presumably the CZ-3B third stage rocket, is in a 227 x 43081 km orbit. The ZX-11 satellite, a DFH-4 model, is operated by China Satcom (Zhongguo weixingtongxin jituangongsi). Vega VV02 --------- Arianespace's Vega rocket made a second successful flight on May 7. Flying north-northwest from Kourou, the three solid stages reached a near-orbital trajectory of around -370 x 226 km. Stage 3 reentered over the Canadian Arctic around 0228 UTC. The AVUM liquid fourth stage then made a first burn to about 289 x 820 km at 0217 UTC; at 0300 UTC a second burn circularized the orbit at apogee and the upper payload, Proba-V, was deployed into a 787 x 828 km x 98.7 deg orbit. A third burn at 0310 UTC lowered perigee, leading to a 670 x 815 km orbit. At 0357 UTC the lid of the dual payload adapter, Vespa, was ejected, and at 0400 UTC AVUM's burn 4 recircularized the orbit at 669 x 673 km x 98.1 deg. The lower payload VNREDSAT-1 was ejected at 0404 UTC, with the 1U cubesat ESTCube-1 deployed three minutes later. At 0423 UTC the AVUM stage was scheduled to make a deorbit burn for disposal in the South Pacific, probably reentering around 0510 UTC west of southern Chile. Proba-V is a European Space Agency technology satellite carrying the Vegetation sensor previously used on French SPOT remote sensing satellites. It was built by Qinetiq Space (formerly Verhaert) in Belgium. The VNREDSAT-1, built by Astrium/Toulouse, is a remote sensing satellite for the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology. ESTCube-1 was built by the Estonian Student Satellite Program led by the University of Tartu. Eutelsat 3D ------------ International Launch Services launched the Eutelsat 3D satellite on a Khrunichev Proton-M on May 14 into a 6782 x 35741 km x 17.6 deg geostationary transfer orbit. The Briz-M stage then maneuvered to a 5866 x 34205 km x 180 deg orbit, with the DTB drop tank in a 335 x 18231 km x 49.5 deg orbit. Eutelsat 3D, for the Paris-based Eutelsat European satellite communications company, uses a Thales Alenia Spacebus 4000 spacecraft bus and has Ku-band and Ka-band transponders. It will be stationed temporarily at 3 deg East until replaced by Eutelsat 3B, and then will move to 7 deg E where it will probably be renamed to Eutelsat 7B. GPS IIF F-4 ----------- United Launch Alliance flew the Atlas AV-039 mission to place a GPS navigation satellite in orbit on May 15. The Atlas flew up the US east coast to put the GPS and Centaur in a 167 x 20335 km x 55 deg transfer orbit. After coasting for three hours Centaur fired again to circularize the orbit, with spacecraft separation at 0102 UTC on May 16 into a 20449 x 20471 km x 55 deg orbit. The Centaur then made a disposal burn to 20457 x 22342 km x 55.6 deg. The payload is GPS space vehicle number 66/ IIF-SV5, the fifth IIF model to be built (IIF-SV4 was launched as IIF Flight 3; SV3 has not yet been launched). It has been given the nickname 'Vega'. Block IIF satellites are named after stars traditionally used for navigation: SVN62 Block IIF-1 (unknown name) SVN63 Block IIF-2 Sirius SVN65 Block IIF-3 Arcturus SVN66 Block IIF-4 Vega - let me know if you know the name for IIF-1. Bion M-1 -------- Russia's Bion-M biological satellite landed 82 km N of Orenburg at 0312 UTC on May 19 after a 29.7 day flight. Unfortunately the crew of gerbils perished during the flight due to equipment failure; all of the geckos and half of the mice are reported to be alive. The spacecraft was launched to a 252 x 554 km initial orbit and used its onboard engine with a burn at 0605 UTC Apr 21 to reach an operational 557 x 581 km x 64.9 deg orbit, where it remained until May 14 at about 0350 UTC when a perigee lowering burn left it in a 471 x 579 km orbit. Table of Recent (orbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. Mar 1 1510 Dragon CRS-2 Falcon 9 Canaveral SLC40 Cargo 10A Mar 19 2121 SBIRS GEO-2 Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Early Warn 11A Mar 26 1907 Satmex 8 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms 12A Mar 28 2043 Soyuz TMA-08M Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1/5 Spaceship 13A Apr 15 1836 Anik G-1 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms 14A Apr 19 1000 Bion-M No. 1 ) Soyuz-2-1A Baykonur LC31/6 Life Sci 15A OSSI-1 ) 15B BEESAT-2 ) 15G BEESAT-3 ) 15E SOMP ) 15F Dove-2 ) 15C AIST-2 ) 15D Apr 21 2100 Cygnus Mass Sim ) Antares 110 Wallops MARS 0A Tech 16A Alexander ) Tech 16C Graham ) Tech 16E? Bell ) Tech 16D Dove-1 ) Tech 16B Apr 24 1012 Progress M-19M Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1/5 Cargo 17A Apr 26 0413 Gao Fen 1 ) Imaging 18A NEE-01 Pegaso ) Chang Zheng 2D Jiuquan Tech Turksat-3USAT ) Tech CubeBug-1 ) Tech Apr 26 0523 Glonass-M No. 47 Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat Plesetsk Nav 19A May 1 1606 Zhongxing-11 Chang Zheng 3B/E Xichang Comms 20A May 7 0206 Proba-V ) Imaging 21A VNREDSAT-1 ) Vega Kourou ZLV Imaging 21B ESTCube-1 ) Tech 21C May 13 1258 Kunpeng-7 Unknown (DF-31?) Xichang Magnetosphere U01 May 14 1601 Eutelsat 3D Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms 22A May 15 2138 GPS SVN 66 Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Nav 23A Suborbital launches ------------------- Colorado's SLICE UV astronomy experiment launched from White Sands on Apr 21 as flight NASA 36.271UG, to study the Local Interstellar Cloud. The payload is a reflight of the DICE experiment launched on 2010 May 21. It was followed two days later by the third flight of the NASA-Goddard EUNIS solar telescope, NASA 36.269GS. The Johns Hopkins ultraviolet telescope FORTIS was launched on May 11. On May 1 NASA carried out the first of a series of launches from Roi-Namur Island, part of Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific, with the Air Force Research Lab's MOSC payload. The flight, NASA 41.100DR, released a cloud of samarium vapor to investigate the use of 'metal oxide space clouds' to suppress ionospheric disturbances that disrupt radio signals. The flight was funded by the US Air Force Space Test Program. On May 7, two more Kwajalein launches were flown for the University of Illinois' Equatorial Vortex Experiment (EVEX), and a second MOSC launch, 41.102DR, flew on May 9. The French ministry of defense launched an M51 missile from the submarine Le Vigilant off the coast of Brittany on May 5, but it was destroyed after a first stage failure and did not reach space. On May 17 the Missile Defense Agency launched an ARAV-C two-stage target from Kauai and intercepted it with an Aegis SM-3 missile. Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km Mar 11 0610? Shark Terrier Lynx Wallops I Target 300? Apr 4 2155 Kunpeng-1 Tianying-3E Hainan Ionosphere 191 Apr 7 0455 Agni RV Agni 2 Wheeler I. Op. Test 200? Apr 10 Haft-IV RV Shaheen 1 Somniani? Op. Test 100? Apr 12 0425 TEXUS 50 VSB-30 Kiruna Micrograv 261 Apr 21 0800 SLICE Black Brant IX White Sands FUV Astron 318? Apr 23 1730 EUNIS Black Brant IX White Sands Solar EUV 320? May 1 0738 NASA 41.100DR Terrier Imp. Orion Roi-Namur Ionosphere 189 May 7 0400 REXUS 14 Imp. Orion Kiruna Micrograv 81 May 7 0739 NASA 45.005UE Terrier Oriole Roi-Namur Atmosphere 350? May 7 0740 NASA 46.001UE Terrier Imp.Mal. Roi-Namur Atmosphere 350? May 9 0400 REXUS 13 Imp. Orion Kiruna Micrograv 83 May 9 0723 NASA 41.102DR Terrier Imp. Orion Roi-Namur Ionosphere 188 May 11 0500 FORTIS Black Brant IX White Sands UV Astron 280? May 13 1258 Kunpeng-7 Unknown (DF-31?) Xichang Magnetosphere 30000? May 17 0325 FTM-19 Target Talos-Castor? Kauai Target 300? May 17 0330? Aegis KV SM-3-1B USS Lake Erie Interceptor 150? .-------------------------------------------------------------------------. | Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 | | Somerville MA 02143 | inter : planet4589 at gmail | | USA | email@example.com | | | | JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html | | Back issues: http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back | | Subscribe/unsub: http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr | '-------------------------------------------------------------------------'