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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 784 draft                                                     2020 Sep 13   Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 63 continues.

CZ-11 Sea Launch

The second sea-launched Chang Zheng 11 flight took place on Sep 15 from a barge called Debo-3
in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Haiyang. It placed nine imaging satellites in orbit for
Chuangguang Satellite Technology: six Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B pushbroom imager satellites and
three Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C video satellites.

Starlink retirements

SpaceX is retiring the V0.9 constellation of 60 prototype satellites launched in May 2019.
As of Sep 17, 27 of the 60 satellites have reentered.

This is a new kind of reentry: it's not a normal deorbit and not a
normal orbital decay, but something inbetween. The Starlink satellites
are, apparently,  retired by continuously lowering their orbit with
electric propulsion. Reentry occurs in a way similar to uncontrolled
reentry - eventually the satellite is low enough and the ambient density
is high enough that the vehicle heats, breaks up and is destroyed. The
crucial point here is that the *location* of the breakup on the Earth is
unpredictable and uncontrolled, in contrast to an impulsive deorbit
where the rapid elliptical-orbit descent from a relatively high apogee
means that reentry location is determined relatively precisely by the
orbital parameters. These Starlink retirements should perhaps be termed
`propulsion-assisted orbital decay' - they are more like normal
uncontrolled orbital decay but speeded up by the thrusters.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes

Sep  4 0730?  Chongfu Shiyong Sh. Han.Qi   Chang Zheng 2F      Jiuquan         Spaceship 63A  S46389    331 x  348  x 52.0
Sep  7 0557   Gao Fen 11-02                Chang Zheng 4B      Taiyuan         Imaging   64A  S46396    247 x  694  x 97.3
Sep 12 0320?  Astra Test Payload           Astra Rocket 3.1    Kodiak LP3B     Test      F07  F01569  -6378?x    2? x 86
Sep 12 0502   Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C           Kuaizhou 1A         Jiuquan         Imaging   F08  F01572  -5000?x  100??x 97.5
Sep 15 0123   Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 01 xing)  Chang Zheng 11  Debo-3,Yellow Sea   Imaging   65A? S46454    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 02 xing)                                      Imaging   65B? S46455    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 03 xing)                                      Imaging   65C? S46456    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 04 xing)                                      Imaging   65D? S46457    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 05 xing)                                      Imaging   65E? S46458    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 06 xing)                                      Imaging   65F? S46459    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 01 xing)                                      Imaging   65G? S46460    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 02 xing)                                      Imaging   65H? S46461    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 03 xing)                                      Imaging   65J? S46462    538 x  550  x 97.5 

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Sep  8 1800   DUST-2            Black Brant IX     White Sands           Physics       346       White Sands

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