Current Issue


[For STOP PRESS edition click HERE]


Jonathan's Space Report
No. 795                                                          2021  Jul 22   Somerville, MA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

International Space Station
---------------------------

Expedition 65 continues.

On Jun 30 the Canadarm-2 removed the IROSA FSE carrier from the POA (Payload ORU Accomodation)
storage point on the ISS truss Mobile Base System and stowed it in the trunk of Dragon CRS-22,
wrapping up the operations to install the 2B and 4B IROSA solar arrays.

Cygnus NG-15, in free flight after departing ISS, released three cubesats from its SEOPS LLC Slingshot
deployer on Jun 30. Two of the satellites are thought to be ORCA-7 and Gunsmoke-J 3.
NG-15 was deorbited over the Pacific at about 0130 UTC Jul 2.

According to reporting by Novosti, the BD-28 satellite deployed from ISS
on Jun 22 is actually G-SATELLITE 2. The satellite is owned by OneTeam,
a collaboration of Tokyo U's Nakasuka Funase Lab and various companies.
G-SATELLITE 1 was deployed in similar secrecy in Apr 2020.  That
satellite's mission was advertising, to promote the Tokyo Olympics.  It
contained mechanisms to deploy to the exterior (but remaining attached)
a display with figurines of robot characters from the 'Mobile Suit
Gundam' anime television series, and a camera to image them against the
Earth in the background. I assume G-SATELLITE 2 is a duplicate of the
first one.

On Jul 8 at 1445 UTC the Dragon CRS-22 cargo ship undocked from the IDA-3 docking port
to begin its return to Earth. Around 1800 UTC Jul 8 the ship lowered its orbit to 203 x 319
km. On Jul 10, after jettisoning the trunk (containing the IROSA FSE) CRS-22 fired
its engines at about 0245 UTC for a 9 minute deorbit burn, and splashed down at 0329 UTC
in the Gulf of Mexico near 84.3W 29.2N.

On Jul 21 at 1045 UTC astronauts Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide and Pesquet undocked
from IDA-2 in Dragon Endeavour and flew around ISS to redock at IDA-3 at 1135 UTC.
This leaves IDA-2 free for the planned Starliner docking.

On Jul 21 at 1458 UTC Roskosmos launched a Proton-M from Baykonur
carrying the 20-tonne MLM-U Nauka module to orbit. Nauka is scheduled to
dock with the ISS Zvezda nadir port. Attached to the 19627 kg Nauka is
the European Robotic Arm, ERA, a 630 kg, 11.4m long robot arm. Two parts
of Nauka, the ShK airlock and the module radiator, are already at ISS -
they have been sitting dormant attached to the Rassvet module for the
past eleven years. On the first day in orbit, a number of Nauka's
systems malfunctioned, including its main engines, and flight
controllers were working to resolve the issues.

Blue Origin NS-16
-----------------

On Jul 20 Blue Origin launched the New Shepard PM4/CC2.0-2 stack on its
third flight from the West Texas launch site. Mission NS-16 carried Jeff
Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen aboard the crew capsule
CC2.0-2 (RSS First Step). The flight reached a 107 km apogee; the booster
PM4 landed back at the launch site and the capsule separated and landed
on parachutes.

Virgin Galactic Unity-22
------------------------

Virgin Galactic carried out another test flight of Spaceship Two into
space on Jul 11, with six Virgin Galactic employees on board: Chief
Pilot David Mackay, Pilot Mike Masucci, and 'Astronaut 001' to
'Astronaut 004' Richard Branson, Beth Moses, Colin Bennett and Sirisha
Bandla.

The Unity 22 mission took off from Spaceport America at 1443 UTC. The
carrier plane VMS Eve, flying at 14.1 km altitude, dropped the VSS Unity
spaceplane at 1525 UTC over 107.0W 33.2N. Two seconds later Unity fired
its hybrid rocket engine for a 60 second burn with a cutoff velocity of
0.98 km/s. Unity reached space at D+2:02 (2 min 2s after drop); at
D+2:39 it reached an apogee of 86.2 km above sea level. It dropped below
80 km at D+3:14 and glided to landing back at Spaceport America at
D+14:19 (touchdown), with wheels stop at D+15:14. The exact drop time to
the second is not yet available.

Virgin Orbit
------------

Virgin Orbit's third orbital attempt, with LauncherOne S/N R4, was
carried out on Jun 30. The Boeing 747 'Cosmic Girl' took off from Mojave
at 1353 UTC and flew to 120.1W 33.2N where it dropped the LauncherOne at
1447 UTC. The first stage ignited a few seconds later. The two-stage
rocket reached transfer orbit at 1455 UTC and then made an orbit
circularization burn at 1525 UTC. Payload deployment began at 1527 UTC.

The payloads were:
   CNCE Block 1 (two 3U satellites) for the Missile Defense Agency's Cubesat Networked Communications Experiment
    - the two cubesats will mimic two suborbital interceptor kill vehicles and test communications between them.
    Control from MDA/Schriever in Colorado Springs; unclear who built the satellites.
   
   Gunsmoke-J, a 3U communications test satellite for the US Army Space and Missile Defence Center, built by
     TriSept Corp. Two other Gunsmoke-J satellites were launched on Electron 19 and Cygnus NG-15.

   Halo-NET Free Flyer, a 3U test of a laser retroreflector array for the US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Center's
    laser communications program. An earlier Halo-NET payload flew attached to STPSAT-5 in 2018.

   Brik-II, a 6U test satellite for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

   STORK 4 and STORK 5, 3U imaging satellites for SatRevolution of Poland.
   


Transporter-2
-------------

SpaceX launched the Transporter-2 rideshare mission and three Starlink satellites on Jun 30.
The main payload was a stack of 4 ESPA rings from which satellites were ejected. The three
Starlink satellites were on a truss structure at the top of the stack and ejected last. It is not yet clear if
the usual four tension rods were also released. Three of the ejected payloads - Sherpa-FX2, Sherpa-LTE1
and ION-SVC-003 - were `tugs' that carried satellite stacks of their own. The Sherpa subsatellites
were released within a few hours of launch. Two NASA satellites were released from a Mandrake dispenser
attached to the aft end of the second stage. The second stage was deorbited over the Indian Ocean
at about 2130 UTC, with the ESPA stack still attached. (On Transporter 1, the Starlinks were between
the ESPA stack and the second stage, so the ESPA stack had to be itself ejected and remains in orbit as debris.)

ION-SVC-003 'Dauntless David' began dispensing its payloads on Jul 16, including the first Kuwaiti satellite
QMR-KWT.


OneWeb
------

36 more OneWeb satellites were launched by Soyuz from Vostochniy on Jul 1.

CZ-2D
-----

SAST (Shanghai) launched a CZ-2D from Taiyuan on Jul 3 with five imaging
satellites. The Jilin-1 series of commercial Earth imaging satellites is
operated by the Changguang Sat Tech Ltd in Changchun, Jilin province.
The Jilin-1 Kuanfu (wide) series has a large field of view while the
Jilin-1 Gaofen (hi-res) series has narrow hi-res imagers. Xingshidai-10
(also called Guangdong Hengjian) is a small imaging satellite from
Guoxing Yuhang Keji YG (ADA Space).

Jilin-1 Kuanfu 01B is also called Neimenggu 1 (Inner Mongolia 1).


Tianhe
------

Chinese astronauts Liu and Tang made the first spacewalk from the new Chinese station on Jul 4.
The hatch was opened at 0011 UTC and closed at 0657 UTC. They installed foot restraints on
the robot arm and tested moving Liu on the arm, and deployed an exterior camera.

CZ-4C
-----

SAST (Shanghai) launched a CZ-4C from Jiuquan on Jul 4 with the Fengyun 3E polar weather 
satellite. The satellite entered a sun-sync orbit with 0541 local time descending node.

CZ-3C
-----

CALT (Beijing) launched a CZ-3C from Xichang on Jul 6 with the TianLian 1-05 data relay satellite.


CZ-6
----

SAST launched a CZ-6 from Taiyuan on Jul 9 with five radio-spectrum monitoring satellites for the Ningxia
company, designated Zhongzi Constellation Group 2.


CZ-2C
-----

CALT launched a CZ-2C from Xichang on Jul 19 with the tenth triplet of Yaogan-30 satellites,
thought to be for signals intelligence. The Tianqi-15 commercial communications satellite
was carried as a secondary payload.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches
 ----------------------------------

Date UT       Name                           Launch Vehicle      Site            Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
Jun 18 0630   Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 01 xing)    Chang Zheng 2C        Xichang           Sigint?  55A  S48860 590 x  603 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 02 xing)                                            Sigint?  55B  S48861 591 x  602 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 03 xing)                                            Sigint?  55D  S48863 592 x  602 x 35.0
              Tianqi 14                  )                                            Comms    55E  S48864 571 x  681 x 35.1
Jun 22 1055   MIR-SAT1                                              ISS, LEO          Tech   9867SP S48868 416 x 420 x  51.6
Jun 22 1200?  G-SATELLITE 2                                         ISS, LEO          Tech   9867SN S48867 415 x 419 x 51.6
Jun 23?       Test satellite?                 Simorgh?              Khomeini          Test?    F03
Jun 25 1950   Kosmos-2550                     Soyuz-2-1b            Plesetsk LC43/4   Sigint   56A  S48865 195 x 466 x 67.1
Jun 29 2250   IT-SPINS )                                            Cygnus NG-15, LEO Sci      13G  S49017 489 x 503 x 51.6
              MySat-2  )                                                              Tech     13F  S49016 489 x 503 x 51.6
Jun 29 2327   Progress MS-17                  Soyuz-2-1a            Baykonur LC31     Cargo    57A  S48869 280 x 383 x 51.7
Jun 30 1447   CNCE 1               )          Launcher One         B747, Mojave       Com      58E  S48875 495 x 520 x 60.7
              CNCE 3               )                                                  Com      58D  S48874 495 x 520 x 60.7
              Gunsmoke-J 4         )                                                  Com      58H  S48878 495 x 526 x 60.7
              HALO-Net FF          )                                                  Tech     58G  S48877 495 x 522 x 60.7
              Brik-II              )                                                  Tech/Com 58F  S48876 495 x 522 x 60.7
              STORK 4              )                                                  Imaging  58C  S48873 495 x 526 x 60.7
              STORK 5              )                                                  Imaging  58B  S48872 495 x 522 x 60.7
Jun 30 1931   Transporter-2           )       Falcon 9              Canaveral SLC40  Dispenser 59          530 x 545 x 97.5
              Starlink 3003           )                                               Comms    59A  S48879 515 x 536 x 97.5
              Starlink 3004           )                                               Comms    59B  S48880 515 x 536 x 97.5
              Starlink 3005           )                                               Comms    59C  S48881 510 x 525 x 97.5
              SHERPA-LTE-1            )                                              Dispenser 59BQ S48941 524 x 536 x 97.5
              SHERPA-FX-2             )                                              Dispenser 59
              ION-SVC-003             )                                              Dispenser 59AK S48912 520 x 537 x 97.5
              YAM-2                   )                                               Tech     59
              YAM-3                   )                                               Tech     59AN S48915 519 x 537 x 97.5
              Nusat-19 (Rosalind)     )                                               Imaging  59AC S48905 521 x 537 x 97.5
              Nusat-20 (Grace)        )                                               Imaging  59AU S48921 521 x 537 x 97.5
              Nusat-21 (Elisa)        )                                               Imaging  59AT S48920 521 x 537 x 97.5
              Nusat-22 (Sofya)        )                                               Imaging  59AS S48919 521 x 537 x 97.5
              Umbra-SAR 2001          )                                               Radar    59AD S48906 521 x 537 x 97.5
              ICEYE-X11               )                                               Radar    59AR S48918 519 x 537 x 97.5
              ICEYE-X12               )                                               Radar    59AM S48914 519 x 537 x 97.5
              ICEYE-X13               )                                               Radar    59AP S48916 519 x 537 x 97.5
              ICEYE-X15               )                                               Radar    59AQ S48917 519 x 537 x 97.5
              Capella 5               )                                               Radar    59AL S48913 520 x 536 x 97.5
              TUBIN                   )                                               Tech     59X  S48900 523 x 537 x 97.5
              Lemur-2-Jackson         )                                               Com/Met  59G  S48885 524 x 537 x 97.5
              Lemur-2-AnnaBanana      )                                               Com/Met  59AW S48923 524 x 537 x 97.5
              D2/AtlaCom-1            )                                               Tech     59
              PACE-1                  )                                               Tech     59
              TROPICS Pathfinder      )                                               Sci      59Y  S48901 522 x 537 x 97.5
              Mandrake 2A             )                                               Com      59AE S48907 521 x 537 x 97.5
              Mandrake 2B             )                                               Com      59AF S48908 521 x 537 x 97.5
              LINCS 1                 )                                               Com      59
              LINCS 2                 )                                               Com      59
              Centauri 4              )                                               Com      59V  S48898 522 x 538 x 97.5
              GNOMES 2                )                                               Com      59
              EG-3                    )                                               Com      59P  S48892 642 x 655 x 97.5
              SpaceBEENZ-7            )                                               Com      59L S48889  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEENZ-8            )                                               Com      59N S48891  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEENZ-9            )                                               Com      59J S48887  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEENZ-10           )                                               Com      59D S48882  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-88             )                                               Com      59BJ S48935 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-89             )                                               Com      59BG S48933 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-90             )                                               Com      59BW S48947 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-91             )                                               Com      59BP S48940 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-92             )                                               Com      59BF S48932 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-93             )                                               Com      59BN S48939 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-94             )                                               Com      59BL S48937 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-95             )                                               Com      59BU S48945 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-96             )                                               Com      59BH S48934 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-97             )                                               Com      59BK S48936 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-98             )                                               Com      59BY S48949 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-99             )                                               Com      59BV S48946 525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-100            )                                               Com      59E S48883  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-101            )                                               Com      59F S48884  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-102            )                                               Com      59H S48886  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-103            )                                               Com      59K S48888  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-104            )                                               Com      59M S48890  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-105            )                                               Com      59T S48896  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-106            )                                               Com      59Q S48893  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-107            )                                               Com      59R S48894  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-108            )                                               Com      59S S48895  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-109            )                                               Com      59U S48897  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-110            )                                               Com      59W S48899  525 x 536 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE-111            )                                               Com      59AB S48904 521 x 536 x 97.5
Jun 30 2300?  Astrocast-0201     )                                  Sherpa-FX2, LEO   Com      59CD S48954 512 x 533 x 97.5
              Astrocast-0202     )                                                    Com      59CL S48961 512 x 533 x 97.5
              Astrocast-0203     )                                                    Com      59CE S48955 512 x 533 x 97.5
              Astrocast-0204     )                                                    Com      59
              Astrocast-0205     )                                                    Com      59CK S48960 512 x 533 x 97.5
              Hawk 3A            )                                                    Sigint   59CG S48957 513 x 536 x 97.5
              Hawk 3B            )                                                    Sigint   59BE S48931 513 x 536 x 97.5
              Hawk 3C            )                                                    Sigint   59BX S48948 513 x 536 x 97.5
              Lynk 06 (Shannon)  )                                                    Com      59BM S48938 513 x 536 x 97.5
              Painani-2          )                                                    Tech     59
              Lemur-2-John-Treires    )                                               Com/Met  59AY S48925 524 x 537 x 97.5
              Lemur-2-AC-Cubed        )                                               Com/Met  59BA S48927 524 x 537 x 97.5
              Lemur-2-Merima          )                                               Com/Met  59BC S48929 524 x 537 x 97.5
Jun 30 2300?  Aurora/Shasta        )                                Sherpa-LTE1, LEO  Sigint   59
              Polar Vigilance 1    )                                                  Sigint   59  
              Polar Vigilance 2    )                                                  Sigint   59  
              Polar Vigilance 3    )                                                  Sigint   59  
              Polar Vigilance 4    )                                                  Sigint   59  
              Faraday Phoenix      )                                                  Tech     59  
              Lemur-2-CarlSantaMari   )                                               Com/Met  59CJ S48959 524 x 537 x 97.5
              Tiger-2              )                                                  Tech     59  
              ARTHUR-1             )                                                  Tech     59CC S48953 513 x 534 x 97.5
              Tenzing              )                                                  Tech     59  
Jun 30 1500   ORCA-7                                                 Cygnus NG-15,LEO  Tech?   13C  S49013 492 x 501 x 51.6
Jun 30 1630   UNKNOWN SAT                                            Cygnus NG-15,LEO  Com     13E? S49015 487 x 503 x 51.6
Jun 30 1830   Gunsmoke-J 2                                           Cygnus NG-15, LEO Com     13D  S49014 487 x 503 x 51.6
Jul 1 1238    OneWeb SL0249-SL0284 )          Soyuz/Fregat          Vostochniy PU1     Com    60A-AM       443 x 454 x 87.4
Jul 3 0251    Jilin-1 KF01B   )               Chang Zheng 2D         Taiyuan           Imaging 61A  S49003 531 x 545 x 97.5
              Jilin-1 GF03D-01)                                                        Imaging 61   S49004 530 x 543 x 97.5
              Jilin-1 GF03D-02)                                                        Imaging 61   S49005 526 x 543 x 97.5
              Jilin-1 GF03D-03)                                                        Imaging 61   S49006 525 x 543 x 97.5
              Xingshidai 10   )                                                        Imaging 61   S49007 525 x 543 x 97.5
Jul 4 2328    Fengyun-3 05                    Chang Zheng 4C         Jiuquan           Meteo   62A S49008  792 x 815 x 98.7
Jul 6 1553    TianLian 1-05                   Chang Zheng 3C         Xichang           Comms   63A S49010  180 x 39784 x 17.6
Jul 9 1159    Zhongzi 2-01 )                  Chang Zheng 6          Taiyuan           Sigint  64A S49018  857 x 867 x 45.0
              Zhongzi 2-02 )                                                           Sigint  64B S49019  857 x 867 x 45.0
              Zhongzi 2-03 )                                                           Sigint  64C S49020  857 x 867 x 45.0
              Zhongzi 2-04 )                                                           Sigint  64D S49021  857 x 867 x 45.0
              Zhongzi 2-05 )                                                           Sigint  64E S49022  857 x 867 x 45.0
Jul 16        QMR-KWT)                                             ION-SVC03, LEO      Tech    59
              Ghalib )                                                                 Tech    59
Jul 18        NAPA-2                                               ION-SVC03, LEO      Img     59
Jul 19 0019   Yaogan 30 hao 10 zu 01 xing )   Chang Zheng 2C         Xichang           Sigint  65A? S49026 588 x 599 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 10 zu 02 xing )                                            Sigint  65B? S49027 588 x 599 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 10 zu 03 xing )                                            Sigint  65C? S49028 588 x 599 x 35.0
              Tianqi 15                   )                                            Com     65D? S49029 591 x 602 x 35.0
Jul 21 1458   Nauka                           Proton-M              Baykonur LC39/200  Module  66A S49044  190 x 346 x 51.6

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches
-----------------------------------

China's CALT launched a test of a suborbital reusable spaceplane from
Jiuquan on Jul 16. It flew across the Badain Jaran desret and landed on
the runway at Alashan Youqi. It was described as Ya (sub) guidao
(orbital) chongfu shiyong (reusable) yanshi (demo) yanzheng
(verification/test) xiangmu (project) yunzai (carrier) qi (vehicle). 
Neither apogee reached nor details of the vehicle are available.


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

Jun 23 0050   DLR BOLT-1        VS-31/Orion        Kiruna                Hypersonic    280?      ESRANGE
Jun 25 1232   RockOn            Terrier/Imp.Orion  Wallops Island        Education     116       Atlantic
Jun 28 0525   Agni P RV         Agni P             Kalam Island          Test          800?      Indian O.
Jul  3 0845   MOMO F7           MOMO               Hokkaido              Test           99       Pacific
Jul  7 1800   Dynamo 2A         Black Brant 9      Wallops I             Ionosphere    123       Atlantic
Jul 11 1525   Unity 22          Spaceship Two      Spaceport America     Test           86       Spaceport America
Jul 11 1756   Dynamo 2B         Black Brant 9      Wallops I             Ionosphere    133       Atlantic
Jul 16        YG Chongfu Shiyong   YGCS            Jiuquan               Test          200?      Alashan Youqi
Jul 20 1311   RSS First Step    New Shepard        West Texas            Tourism       107       West Texas

.-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
|                                                                         |
| JSR: https://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html                                 |
| Back issues:  https://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back                  |
| Subscribe/unsub: https://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr         |
'-------------------------------------------------------------------------'