[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 690

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Fri Dec 6 23:06:40 EST 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 690                                                   2013 Dec 6, Somerville, MA, USA


The Cubesat Era has truly begun with the launch of 90 payloads
in the past month, most of them picosatellites with masses under 10 kg.
Let's hope my data entry skills can keep up!

International Space Station

Expedition 38 continues with commander Oleg Kotov, and flight engineers
FE-2 Sergey Ryazanskiy, FE-3 Michael Hopkins, FE-4 Mikhail Tyurin, FE-5
Rick Mastracchio and FE-6 Koichi Wakata. Ferry ship Soyuz TMA-10M is at
Poisk and TMA-11M is at Rassvet.  Cargo ship Progress M-20M is at the
Pirs module. 

The last of the cubesats delivered by HTV-4, TechEdSat-3p, was
deployed from the Kibo module at 0758 UTC on Nov 20.

A new cargo ship, Progress M-21M, was launched on Nov 25. It made a 1.5 km
flyby of ISS at 2150 UTC on Nov 27 to test the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system,
and then a re-rendezvous on Nov 29. A glitch forced a switch to manual TORU
control for the last 60m to docking with the Zvezda module at 2230 UTC.


Several of the ORS-3 cubesat operators have reported successful contact
with their satellites, suggesting that the deployments occurred as scheduled.
However, there is no orbital data for most of them yet.

Yaogan 19

China launched a Yaogan satellite on Nov 20; it is thought to be an
imaging satellite similar to Yaogan 8. According to nasaspaceflight.com
the launch time was 0331 UTC. Orbit is 1201 x 1207 km x 100.5 deg; the
CZ-4C depletion burn left the final stage in a 991 x 1201 km orbit.

Shiyan 5

A Chinese launch on Nov 25 put the Shiyan wu hao weixing (Experiment
Satellite No 5) into a 739 x 754 km x 97.8 deg orbit. The CZ-2D final
stage may have been deorbited on the first revolution.

Dnepr launch

A Dnepr rocket launched from an ICBM silo at Yasniy in Russia placed a 
cluster of 24 satellites in orbit on Nov 21. Although this is fewer than
the ORS-3 launch the day before, the Unisat-5 satellite carries a
further eight tiny satellites within it, and one of those (PUCP-Sat)
carries a further nested satellite, Pocket-PUCP. Most of the
subsatellites were ejected from Unisat-5 between 0810 and 0825 UTC on
Nov 21. If all are dispensed successfully, the launch total will be a
record 33 satellites.

The primary payloads were 
  Dubaisat-2, a 300 kg imaging satellite
     for the United Arab Emirates build by Satreci of South Korea.
  SkySat-1, a 90 kg imaging satellite, the first for the US company Skybox.
  STSat-3, a 170 kg payload for KAIST of South Korea, carrying the MIRIS
   infrared astronomy experiment (an 8cm telescope operating at 0.9-2 microns
   with a 4 degree field of view for spectroscopy of diffuse extended emission)
   as well as earth imaging and technology payloads.
  Aprizesat 7 and 8, 14 kg communications satellites for SpaceQuest.

Smaller payloads were
  WNISAT-1, a 10 kg, 30cm cube for Weather News Inc. and Axelspace, to monitor
    northern sea routes and atmospheric CO2.
  Unisat-5, a 19 kg technology satellite for the University of Rome containing
    deployers for Cubesats and PocketQubes (see below).
  Lem, a 6 kg satellite using Toronto's GNB bus carrying the BRITE-PL astronomical photometry payload
    for the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Cubesats deployed from the Dnepr final stage were
  Dove-3, a 3U imaging satellite from PlanetLabs, San Francisco;
  GOMX-1, a 6kg 2U cubesat test an ADS-B air traffic
    control receiver, for GOMSpace, Aalborg, Denmark.
  OPTOS, a 3U satellite from INTA of Spain;
  Delfi-n3Xt, a 3U cubesat from Delft U. of Tech.;
  Triton-1, a 3U test of an AIS receiver from ISIS b.v., Netherlands;
  KHUSAT-1 and 2 3U cubesats from Kyung Hee U., Seoul, to join the CINEMA constellation;
  Cubebug-2 'Manolito' (2U) from Argentina,
  NEE-2 'Krysaor' from Ecuadorian Space Agency,
  and ZACUBE-1 'Tshepiso' from South Africa's Cape Peninsula U. of Tech (CPUT);
  VELOX-P2 from Singapore's Nanyang Tech U., UWE-3 from U. Wurzburg,
  and First-MOVE from Tech. U. Munich;
  FUNCUBE-1 for AMSAT-UK, and Hincube-1 from Narvik University College.

Cubesats to be deployed from Unisat-5 were
  ICUBE-1 for Inst. of Space Technology, Islamabad.
  PUCPSat-1 for Pontifica Universidad Catolica del Peru, Lima.
  HUMSAT-D for University of Vigo, Spain.
  Dove-4  (3U), Earth imaging satellite for PlanetLabs.
 One of these may not yet have been deployed.

The flight saw the launch of the first PocketQubes, ejected
from Unisat-5.
The 1P size are 0.15 kg 5 x 5 x 5cm cubes; $50Sat, WREN and Pocket-PUCP. 
  $50Sat (Eagle-2, 50DollarSat) from Morehead State Univ.
  WREN from StaDoKo (spinoff company of the Univ. Aachen).
  Pocket-PUCP was further nested inside PUCPSat-1 and it is not clear if 
   it has been ejected yet.
2.5P PocketQubes deployed were 
   BeakerSat (Eagle-1) from Morehead State Univ.
   QubeScout-S1 from U.Maryland/Baltimore County


The NRO L-39 mission was launched from Vandenberg on Dec 6. The mission
appears to have carried the third TOPAZ radar satellite, which entered a
1075 x 1089 km, 123 degree retrograde orbit around 0732 UTC.  The
satellite is being tracked by hobbyist observers. The Centaur AV-042
upper stage then made two orbit lowering burns to a 467 x 883 km x 120.5
deg orbit. Attached to AV-042 was GEMSAT, the second NPSCuL cubesat
launcher, which ejected 12 cubesats between around 1022 and 1038 UTC.
   - FIREBIRD A and B, two 1.5U cubesats from the Montana Space Grant Consortium
       to study electron microbursts in the magnetosphere.
   - CUNYSAT, a 1U from the  City University of New York's
       Medgar Evers College, with a GPS ionospheric receiver.
   - MCUBED-2, 1 1U from the University of Michigan with technology experiments.
       including a low resolution imager.
   - IPEX-CP8, a 1U built by Cal Poly to test systems and algorithms for JPL.
   - ALICE, a 1U from the Air Force Institute of Technology carrying
      technology experiments.
   - SMDC-ONE C and D (Charlie and David), 3U communications satellites for the
      US Army Space and Missile Defense Command.
   - Aerocube 5a and 5b, 1.5U technology cubesats for the Aerospace Corporation.
   - SNAP, a 3U cubesat for the SMDC Nanosatellite Program, with an unknown mission.
   - Tacsat-6, a 3U cubesat for SMDC with an unknown mission, probably tactical
      communications or imaging.


China's most ambitious lunar mission began on Dec 1 with the launch
of the Chang'e-3 spacecraft from Xichang into a 210 x 389109 km x 28.5 deg
lunar transfer orbit. On Dec 6 at 0950 the spacecraft entered a 100 km
polar orbit around the Moon.

The heavy (3800 kg wet, 1200 kg at landing) spacecraft has a descent
engine and landing legs, and has a variety of lunar surface science
experiments. It also carries Yutu, a small 140 kg rover.
Landing on the lunar surface is scheduled for Dec 14 at 1535 UTC.

Mars Orbiter 

India's Mars Orbiter Spacecraft made a perigee burn at 1919 UTC Nov 30
to accelerate to a hyperbolic Earth escape trajectory, and entered
an 0.98 x 1.45 AU solar orbit on Dec 3 on the way to Mars.


Cassini flew 1400 km from Titan on Dec 1 at 0041 UTC. The T-96 flyby
occurred at perigee 199 and led to a 1.12 x 2.64 million km x 51.3 deg
orbit around Saturn. The Titan encounter lowered the apoapsis; the
previous orbit was 1.15 x 3.80 million km x 49.7 deg.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission    INTL.  

Nov  5 0908   Mars Orbiter Spacecraft   PSLV-XL   Sriharikota       Mars probe  60A
Nov  7 0414   Soyuz TMA-11M       Soyuz-FG        Baykonur LC1      Spaceship   61A
Nov 11 2346   Raduga-1M          Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC81/24  Comms       62A
Nov 18 1828   MAVEN              Atlas V 401      Canaveral SLC41   Mars probe  63A
Nov 19 1218   PicoDragon   )                      ISS, LEO          Tech      98-067DA
              Ardusat-1    )                                        Tech      98-067DB
              Ardusat-X    )	                                    Tech      98-067DC
Nov 20 0115   STPSAT-3       )   Minotaur I       Wallops I LA0B    Tech        64A?
              ORS-3          )                                      Tech        64
              TJ3Sat         )                                      Tech        64
              DragonSat      )                                      Tech        64
              COPPER         )                                      Tech        64
              ChargerSat 1   )                                      Tech        64
              SwampSat       )                                      Tech        64
              Ho'oponopono 2 )                                      Radar cal   64
              KySat-2        )                                      Tech        64
              CAPE 2         )                                      Tech        64
              Trailblazer    )                                      Tech        64
              Vermont Lunar Cubesat )                               Tech        64
              PhoneSat-2.4   )                                      Tech        64
              NPS-SCAT       )                                      Tech        64
              Black Knight 1 )                                      Tech        64
              Firefly        )                                      Science     64
              Horus/STARE-B  )                                      Space Surv. 64
              SENSE-A        )                                      Ionospheric 64
              SENSE-B        )                                      Ionospheric 64
	      ORSES          )                                      Comms       64
              ORS Tech 1     )                                      Tech        64
              ORS Tech 2     )                                      Tech        64
              Prometheus 1A? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 1B? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 2A? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 2B? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 3A? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 3B? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 4A? )               	                    Comms       64
              Prometheus 4B? )               	                    Comms       64
Nov 20 0331   Yaogan 19          Chang Zheng 4C   Taiyuan           Imaging     65A
Nov 20 0758   TechEdSat-3p                        ISS, LEO          Tech      98-067DD
Nov 21 0710   Dubaisat-2       )                                    Imaging     66D
              SkySat-1         ) Dnepr            Yasniy            Imaging     66C
              STSat-3          )                                    Astronomy   66G
              AprizeSat-7      )                                    Comms       66A
              AprizeSat-8      )                                    Comms       66K
              WNISAT-1         )                                    Weather     66H
              Lem              )                                    Astronomy   66R
              GOMX-1           )                                    Comms       66Q
              Dove-3           )                                    Imaging     66P
              Delfi-3nXt       )                                    Tech        66N
              Triton 1         )                                    Comms/AIS   66M
              KHUSAT-1         )                                    Science     66J
              KHUSAT-2         )                                    Science     66L
	      OPTOS            )                                    Tech        66E
              Manolito         )                                    Tech        66AB
              Krysaor          )                                    Tech        66AA
              UWE-3            )                                    Tech        66
              VELOX-P2         )                                    Tech        66
              First-MOVE       )                                    Tech        66
              FUNcube-1        )                                    Tech        66
              HINCube-1        )                                    Tech        66
              Tshepiso         )                                    Tech        66
              BPA-3            )                                    Tech        66AJ
              Unisat-5         )                                    Tech        66F
                Dove-4         )                                    Imaging     66
                ICUBE-1        )                                    Tech        66
                PUCPSat-1      )                                    Tech        66
                Pocket-PUCP    )                                    Tech        66
                HUMSAT-D       )                                    Tech        66
		QBScout-1      )                                    Tech        66
		BeakerSat-1    )                                    Tech        66
                $50SAT         )                                    Tech        66
                WREN           )                                    Tech        66
Nov 22 1202   SWARM-1   )        Rokot            Plesetsk          Science      67A
              SWARM-2   )                                           Science      67B
              SWARM-3   )                                           Science      67C
Nov 25 0212   Shiyan 5 Weixing   Chang Zheng 2D   Jiuquan           Tech/Sci?    68A
Nov 25 2053   Progress M-21M     Soyuz-U          Baykonur LC31     Cargo        69A
Dec  1 1730   Chang'e-3 )        Chang Zheng 3BE  Xichang           Moon probe   70A
              Yutu      )                                           Rover
Dec  3 2241   SES-8              Falcon 9 v1.1    Canaveral SLC40   Comms        71A
Dec  6 0714   TOPAZ 3?    )      Atlas V 501      Vandenberg SLC3E  Radar        72A
              Aerocube 5a )                                         Tech         72
              Aerocube 5b )                                         Tech         72
              SMDC-ONE C  )                                         Comms        72
              SMDC-ONE D  )                                         Comms        72
              Tacsat 6    )                                         Tech?        72
              ALICE       )                                         Tech         72
              SNAP        )                                         Tech?        72
              FIREBIRD A  )                                         Sci          72
              FIREBIRD B  )                                         Sci          72
              MCubed-2    )                                         Tech/Imaging 72
              IPEX        )                                         Tech         72
              CUNYSAT 1   )                                         Sci          72

Suborbital launches

Congrats to Stefan McCandliss on the second flight of his ultraviolet FORTIS telescope,
launched on Nov 20 (flight 36.296UG) to get spectra of comet ISON. Boston University's
John Clarke launched his VeSpR payload on Nov 27 to study the Venus exosphere with
an ultraviolet telescope.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Nov  3 0925   NASA 36.294UH    Black Brant IX      White Sands      X-ray Astron  280?
Nov 12 1615?  SL-8             SpaceLoft XL        Spaceport America Tech         116 
Nov 20 1140   NASA 36.296UG    Black Brant IX      White Sands      UV Astron     277
Nov 27 0350   NASA 36.261UG    Black Brant IX      White Sands      UV Astron     280?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
|                                                                         |
| JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html                                 |
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