[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 680

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Tue Jun 11 22:58:36 EDT 2013

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 680                                                      2013 Jun 12, Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Soyuz TMA-09M was launched on May 28 carrying Fyodor Yurchikin, Karen
Nyberg and Luca Parmitano. Launched into a 194 x 227 km x 51.7 deg
orbit, it manoeuvred several times and reached a 408 x 421 km orbit for
final approach to ISS, docking with the Rassvet  module at 0210 UTC May
29 after a 5 hr 39min flight, the fastest ascent to ISS to date (see
discussion in JSR 677).

On Jun 5 the fourth Automated Transfer Vehicle, ATV 4, was launched from Kourou.
The cargo ship was named `Albert Einstein' - not to be confused with the Einstein
Observatory satellite launched in 1978. Launch mass was 19870 kg at separation
from the upper stage.

The Ariane 5ES rocket entered a -1242 x 141 km transfer orbit at 2200
UTC. The first EPS upper stage burn reached 137 x 260 km at 2209 UTC.
The second burn at 2251 UTC  raised perigee, and the EPS stage separated
from ATV 4 'Albert Einstein' at 2256 UTC. The ATV will take ten days to
complete the rendezvous with ISS.
On Jun 10 Albert Einstein maneuvered to a 287 x 301 km orbit.

Progress M-19M undocked from the Zvezda module at 1358 UTC on Jun 11, making room
for ATV, and entered a 416 x 456 km orbit for Radar-Progress ionospheric

Expedition 36 is underway. The crew are commander Pavel Vinogradov, 
Flight Engineers FE-2 Alexandr Misurkin, FE-3 Chris Cassidy, FE-4
Yurchikin, FE-5 Parmitano and FE-6 Nyberg. Ferry ship Soyuz TMA-08M is
at Poisk and TMA-09M at Rassvet. Cargo ship Progress M-18M is at the
Pirs module.

Shenzhou 10

China's Shenzhou 10 spaceship was launched on Jun 11, carrying three
astronauts. Shenzhou 10 Commander (zhiling zhang) is Maj-Gen. Nie Haisheng;
Operator (caozuo shou) is Air Force Lt-Col. Zhang Xiaoguang, and 
Experiment Officer (shiyan yuan) is Air Force Major Wang Yaping.
Shenzhou 10 reached a 198 x 310 km orbit, soon raised to 260 x 313 km
on its way to a rendezvous with the Tiangong-1 spacelab.


A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket placed the WGS 5 satellite in
supersynchronous geostationary transfer orbit on May 25. The Wideband
Gapfiller Satellite provides communications for the US military, and is
built by Boeing/El Segundo using the BSS702 bus. The Delta 4 reached a
185 x 6880 km x 25.6 deg parking orbit at 0047 UTC and then restarted to
achieve a 439 x 66900 km x 24.0 deg orbit at 0058 UTC, deploying the
satellite at 0107 UTC. (Orbit details from spaceflightnow.com).
The satellite will probably raise perigee to an orbit of around  35000 x 67000 km,
while lowering inclination,
and then lower apogee to reach the target 35780 km equatorial
geostationary orbit, but orbit data is not being made public.


A Proton was launched from Baykonur on Jun 3 carrying the SES-6
satellite. The Briz-M stage made five burns from -496 x 171 km x 51.5
deg to 173 x 173 km x 51.5 deg, 295 x 6000 km x 51.0 deg, 360 x 14911 km
x 50.8 deg, 475 x 65044 km x 50.5 deg, and finally to a 4461 x 65024 km
x 26.4 deg supersynchronous transfer orbit. The payload separated
at 0049 UTC on Jun 4.

SES-6 is a Eurostar 3000 satellite with a mass of 6140 kg at launch.
Procured by SES Satellite Leasing of the Isle of Man, it will be operated
by SES World Skies of the Hague, also a subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based SES


Russia launched a Persona spy satellite on June 7. After insertion into
an initial 186 x 679 km x 98.3 deg orbit it was given the cover name
Kosmos-2486  (Kosmos-2485 was the Glonass launch in April). On Jun 11
the satellite maneuvered into a 714 x 732 km circular sun-synchronous
orbit with 1031 local time descending node.


Thanks to Richard Langley for passing on info from Boeing spokesperson
Paula Shawa - the Boeing nickname for GPS IIF-1/SVN62 was, appropriately
enough, Polaris. 

The Block IIF satellites are built by Boeing/El Segundo and have a
launch mass of around 1630 kg (including an unknown amount of
propellant); they are 2.5m high and have a solar panel span of about
18m. The IIF navigation payloads carry atomic clocks and broadcast
L-band navigation signals in the L1M, L2M, L2C  and L5 channels; they
also carry sensors to detect nuclear explosions as part of an early
warning system. The IIF system replaces earlier  Block I, Block II, and
IIA series built by  Rockwell/Seal Beach (now part of Boeing) and Block
IIR satellites built by Lockheed Martin/Valley Forge.


In JSR 679, the inclination of the intermediate Eutelsat 3D/Briz-M orbit
should of course have read 18.0 deg, not 180 deg.

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

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
May 25 0027   WGS 5              Delta 4M+(5,4)   Canaveral SLC37B  Comms       24A
May 28 2031   Soyuz TMA-09M      Soyuz-FG         Baykonur          Spaceship   25A
Jun  3 0918   SES-6              Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms       26A
Jun  5 2152   ATV-4              Ariane 5ES       Kourou ELA3       Cargo       27A
Jun  7 1837   Kosmos-2486        Soyuz-2-1B       Plesetsk LC43/4   Imaging     28A
Jun 11 0938   Shenzhou 10        Chang Zheng 2F   Jiuquan           Spaceship   29A

Suborbital launches

On May 22 the US Air Force launched a Minuteman 3 missile from Vandenberg Air Force
Base, California. The reentry vehicle splashed down in Kwajalein Atoll.

On Jun 6, flight NASA 40.030UG saw the launch of the CIBER near infrared telescope to its
highest ever altitude, to minimize atmospheric emissions contaminating its observations
of the cosmic extragalactic background light. The CIBER payload fell in the Atlantic
as planned, and was not recovered. CIBER observes in the 0.8-2 micron band.
The three earlier flights of CIBER were on Black Brant IX rockets from White Sands,
with the payload being recovered from the desert.

     CIBER 1  NASA 36.226UG  2009 Feb 25
     CIBER 2  NASA 36.265UG  2010 Jul 11
     CIBER 3  NASA 36.277UG  2012 Mar 22
     CIBER 4  NASA 40.030UG  2013 Jun  6

Also on Jun 6, the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces carried out a test
launch of a new-generation Rubezh (`Frontier') missile from Kapustin Yar, most likely
impacting the Balkash test range at Sary Shagan. The new missile is
suspected to be a derivative of the existing Topol' solid fuel series of
missiles; earlier launches were in Sep 2011 and May and Oct 2012.
(Thanks to Andrey Krasil'nikov for providing the link to the Rubezh name
on nasaspaceflight.com).

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

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?
May 22 1327   GT207GM          Minuteman 3         Vandenberg LF04   Op. Test    1300?
Jun  6 0305   CIBER            Black Brant XII     Wallops           IR Astron    577
Jun  6 1745   RV               Rubezh              Kapustin Yar      R&D launch  1000?

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |          jcm at cfa.harvard.edu       |
|                                                                         |
| 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         |

More information about the JSR mailing list