[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 691

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Sun Dec 15 14:27:04 EST 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 691                                                      2013 Dec 15, Somerville, MA


Chang'e-3 was in lunar polar orbit from Dec 6 to Dec 14.  On Dec 10 at
1320 UTC the orbit was lowered from 100 x 100 to 15 x 100 km. At 1259:52
UTC Dec 14, near perilune, the descent engine was turned on to
decelerate the probe and fly it down to the surface. Chang'e-3 touched
down at 1311:18 UTC Dec 14, at 19.51W 44.12N, about 43 km south of
crater Laplace F in the Mare Imbrium. This was the first lunar soft
landing since the USSR's Luna-24 in 1976.

Note: The original planned landing site was in Sinus Iridum (Bay of Rainbows) but
the Chinese decided to land one orbit early, with the probe flying a little
further east over Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains). Unfortunately many of the media
reports appear to have missed that memo...

At 2035 UTC on Dec 14 the `Yutu hao' (`rabbit') rover drove down the
Chang'e-3 ramp onto the lunar surface. Yutu and Chang'e-3 are both solar
powered, but also carry small Pu-238 radioactive heater units to keep
systems from freezing during the 14-day lunar night (see Dwayne Day's
article at http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2401/1). Yutu has six
wheels and a mass of around 140 kg.

The CZ-3B third stage rocket was launched to a 311 x 352280 km x 29.6
deg orbit which passed close to the Moon at around 1100 UTC on Dec 6
and, according to tracking by astronomers, is currently in a 106000 x
662000 km x 35.8 deg orbit around the Earth-Moon system. See Bill Gray's
page at http://www.projectpluto.com/pluto/mpecs/che3.htm for details.

        Lunar robotic landings
                                   Active on lunar surface
        Luna-9 (E-6M No. 202)      1966 Feb 3 - 1966 Feb 6    Planitia Descensus
        Surveyor 1                 1966 Jun 2 - 1967 Jan 7    Flamsteed P Crater
        Luna-13 (E-6M No. 205)     1966 Dec 24- 1966 Dec 28   Oceanus Procellarum
        Surveyor 3                 1967 Apr 20- 1967 May 4    Surveyor Crater, Oc. Proc.
        Surveyor 5                 1967 Sep 11- 1967 Dec 17   Mare Tranquillitatis
        Surveyor 6                 1967 Nov 10- 1967 Dec 14   Sinus Medii
        Surveyor 7                 1968 Jan 10- 1968 Feb 21   Tycho Crater
        Luna-16    [Sample return] 1970 Sep 20 -1970 Sep 21   Mare Fecunditatis
        Luna-17                    1970 Nov 17- 1970 Nov 17   Mare Imbrium
         Lunokhod-1 rover          1970 Nov 17- 1971 Oct?     
        Luna-20    [Sample return] 1972 Feb 21 -1972 Feb 22   Apollonius C Crater
        Luna-21                    1973 Jan 15 -1973 Jan 16?  Le Monnier Crater
         Lunokhod-2 rover          1973 Jan 16 -1973 Jun  3 
        Luna-23                    1974 Nov  6 -1974 Nov  9   Mare Crisium
        Luna-24    [Sample return] 1976 Aug 18 -1976 Aug 19   Mare Crisium
        Chang'e-3                  2013 Dec 14 -              Mare Imbrium
         Yutu rover                2013 Dec 14 -           

   Yutu is the sixth wheeled vehicle on the Moon following the two Lunokhods and the 
   three Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicles.

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 and Progress M-21M is at the Zvezda module.

A problem developed on Dec 11 with the Pump Module on ETCS Loop A,  one
of the Station's two cooling loops. With only loop B operating,  various
ISS systems had to be shut down to reduce the amount of heat being
generated. It seems likely - but not yet certain - that a series of
spacewalks will be needed to replace the module. 

The newly failed Pump Module is serial number S/N 04 (PM-1), which was
launched on STS-121 in 2006 and stored on External Stowage Platform 2
until Aug 2010, when it was  installed in the S1 truss to replace
another Pump Module, S/N 02, which had failed after 8 years in space.
The P1 truss hosts the Loop B PM (unknown serial number) which has been
operating since 2002. There are three spares on ISS:

         PM S/N 02      (Loop A)  - Launched 2002, failed 2010, returned to Earth 2011
         PM S/N Unknown (Loop B)  - Launched 2002, active
         PM S/N 04      (Spare 1) - Launched 2006, in use 2010, failed on S1 truss 2013
         PM S/N Unknown (Spare 2) - Launched 2009, stored on ESP-3
         PM S/N 07      (Spare 3) - Launched 2009, stored on ELC-2
         PM S/N 05      (Spare 4) - Launched 2009, stored on ELC-1

 The pump modules have a mass of 354 kg. (If you can fill in the gaps 
 in the serial numbers, please contact me at planet4589 at gmail.com)


SpaceX carried out its first geostationary transfer launch on Dec 3.
Payload was the SES-8 satellite, a 3100-kg Orbital Star-2.4 for SES
World Skies. The second flight of the uprated Falcon 9 v1.1, and its
first from Cape Canaveral, appears to have been a complete success.
After reaching parking orbit the second stage reignited at 2308 UTC and
placed SES-8 in a 423 x 79977 km x 20.47 deg supersynchronous transfer
orbit. SpaceX does not appear to have released the parameters of the
parking orbit but it appears to have been around 300 x 400 km x 28.5
deg. [Note: this analysis is based on the tracking data which was 
probably taken at high altitudes, so the perigee estimate may be
inaccurate]. Around 1545 UTC on Dec 5 SES-8 reached first apogee and raised
its orbit to 14401 x 80416 km x 6.2 deg, and then the next day to
35823 x 79932 km x 1.2 deg. Apogee was then lowered on Dec 11 and the
orbit is now 35681 x 45299 km x 0.5 deg, with a further apogee lowering
burn needed to reach GEO once the spacecraft is in the right spot.

Inmarsat 5F1

Inmarsat PLC's first Inmarsat 5 satellite, carrying the Ka-band Global XPress 
communications payload, was launched from Baykonur on Dec 8.
The Inmarsat 5 satellites, with 6090 kg launch mass, are BSS-702HP models
built by Boeing/El Segundo.

The Proton reached a -495 x 170 km orbit and the first Briz burn put
the stack in a 173 x 173 km parking orbit. Further burns
delivered I5-F1 to a 4306 x 64809 km x 26.7 deg supersynchronous transfer orbit
via intermediate orbits of 295 x 6000 km, 360 x 14847 km, and 475 x 65044 km.
The Briz-M stage and drop tank are being tracked, but there seems to be 
no orbital data yet for the payload.


A new China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite was launched on Dec 9.
Zi Yuan 1 No. 3 was launched from Taiyuan Space Center.

Brazilian sources initially reported the launch was a success, but
it now appears that the CZ-4B rocket failed to reach orbit. A news
story on globo.com cited in nasaspaceflight.com reports that stage
3 cutoff was 11 seconds too early. I estimate an approximate
orbit of around -150 x 720 km x 98.5 deg, with impact in
the Antarctic around 0407 UTC; however, the uncertainties are
large and this estimate could be way off.

Suborbital launches

On Dec 14 the Iranian Space Agency launched a Shahab-1 liquid propellant
missile from the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Semnan province on a 120
km suborbital flight, carrying a 3 kg, 3 year old rhesus monkey (Macaca
mulatta)  named Fargam. This was the fourth Iranian monkey in space, and
the second to return successfully following the Kavoshgar Pisgham
('Pioneer Probe') mission in January. The use of a liquid fuel missile
provides gentler acceleration than the small solid propellant sounding rockets
used for earlier experiments. 

The Kavoshgar Pazhuhesh ('Research Probe') flight was the first 'Class
D' mission of the  Kavoshgar series. The payload was developed by the
Institute of Astronautical Systems, which I believe is part of the
Aerospace Research Institute in Tehran. A new web site,
kavoshgar.ari.ac.ir, gives new details of this and earlier flights; I
summarize the program below. The M5 rocket used for the first flight is
a small vehicle, possibly similar to the Nazeat class sounding rocket
used for flights 2 and 3.

    Kavoshgar flights   (best current info)

    Date          Payload               Rocket       Apogee/km  Mission
    2008 Feb  4   Kavoshgar 1           M5             10       Telemetry test? Failed?
    2008 Nov 26   Kavoshgar 2           Nazeat-6?      40       Capsule B recovery test
    2010 Feb  3   Kavoshgar 3           Nazeat-6?      55       Capsule B rec., with turtles,mice
    2011 Mar 15   Kavoshgar 4           Fateh? K110   135       Capsule C recovery test
    2011 Sep  7   Kavoshgar 5           Fateh? K110   120       Capsule C/Monkey, crashed on recovery
    2012 Sep  8   Kavoshgar 6           Fateh? K110   120       Capsule C/Monkey, crashed on recovery
    2013 Jan 28   Kavoshgar Pishgam     Fateh? K110   120       Capsule C/Monkey, successful
    2013 Dec 14   Kavoshgar Pazhuhesh   Shahab-1      120       Capsule D/Monkey, successful
The Shahab-1 was based on the Soviet R-11 and was originally used in
1985 in Iranian missile attacks on Iraq during those two countries' long
war; it is several generations behind the latest Iranian military
missiles, the liquid fuel Shahab-3 and Ghadr missiles based on the North
Korean Nodong, and the domestically developed solid fuel Sejjil-2.
Roughly speaking, one prefers solid fuel in ballistic missiles for
storability and rapid launch, but liquid fuel in human spaceflight
launchers for gentler acceleration and more controllable abort modes, so
it makes sense for retired large liquid fuel missiles to be transferred
to the research program as Iran masters the larger solids for military
use - just as liquid fuel Atlas and Thor missiles were recycled as space
launch vehicles when the solid fuel Minuteman took over the bulk of ICBM

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 64N
	      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        66Z
              VELOX-P2         )                                    Tech        66Y
              First-MOVE       )                                    Tech        66AG
              FUNcube-1        )                                    Tech        66AE
              HINCube-1        )                                    Tech        66B
              Tshepiso         )                                    Tech        66AF
              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         72D
              Aerocube 5b )                                         Tech         72E
              SMDC-ONE 2.3)                                         Comms        72N
              SMDC-ONE 2.4)                                         Comms        72L
              Tacsat 6    )                                         Tech?        72M
              ALICE       )                                         Tech         72F
              SNAP-3      )                                         Tech?        72G
              FIREBIRD A  )                                         Sci          72B
              FIREBIRD B  )                                         Sci          72C
              MCubed-2    )                                         Tech/Imaging 72H
              IPEX        )                                         Tech         72K
              CUNYSAT 1   )                                         Sci          72J
Dec  8 1212   Inmarsat 5 F1      Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms        73A
Dec  9 0326   ZY-1 No. 3         Chang Zheng 4B   Taiyuan           Imaging      F03

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?
Dec 14        Kavoshgar Pazhuhesh  Shahab-1        Semnan           Bio           120

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