[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 716

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.org
Wed Oct 7 01:52:10 EDT 2015

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 716                                                        2015 Oct  7  Somerville, MA

Last issue's reference to Soyuz TMA-16,17 and 18 of course should have
said Soyuz TMA-16M, 17M and 18M. 

International Space Station

Expedition 44 concluded with the undocking of Soyuz TMA-16M from the Zvezda
aft port at 2129 UTC Sep 11, carrying Expedition 44 commander Padalka and
EP-18 visiting crew members Mogensen and Aimbetov. Soyuz TMA-16M landed
in Kazakhstan at 0051:36 UTC Sep 12.

Expedition 45 is now underway under the command of Scott Kelly, with
flight engineers Mikhail Kornienko, Oleg Kononenko, Sergey
Volkov, Kimiya Yui, and Kjell Lindgren.

The S-CUBE meteor-observation cubesat from Chiba Institute of Technology
and the SERPENS cubesat from the University of Brazilia were ejected
from the J-SSOD deployer on the Kibo robot arm on Sep 17.

The SSRMS arm unberthed the Kounotori-5 from the Harmony module at 1112 UTC Sep 28.
Release was delayed one orbit due to a robotics problem and occurred at 1653 UTC.
The next day Kounotori-5 lowered its orbit with two burns and then made a final
deorbit burn at 2008 UTC, with atmosphere entry around 2033 UTC for destruction
over the South Pacific.

Progress M-29M was launched from Baykonur on Oct 1 at 1649:40 UTC and
docked with  the ISS Zvezda module at 2252 UTC the same day. The 7283 kg spacecraft
delivered a variety of supplies and maintenance equipment to the station.

NanoRacks cubesat deployments resumed Oct 5 with the ESA-sponsored Danish GOMX-3
and AAUSAT-5, followed by the Flock-2b satellites from PlanetLabs.

Progress M-28M is docked at Pirs.
Progress M-28M is docked at Zvezda aft port.
Soyuz TMA-17M is docked at Rassvet.
Soyuz TMA-18M is docked at Poisk.
The Harmony nadir CBM port is vacant.

GalileoSat-9 and 10

Two more European navigation satellites in the Galileo system were launched
from French Guiana on Sep 11 aboard a Soyuz-ST-B vehicle. The Fregat stage
deployed them in plane A of the system, at an inclination of 57.4 degrees
(satellites in the existing B and C planes are in 55.0 degree orbits).

Each Galileo satellite has at least 5 different names. 
Here is a summary of the system:
   Satellite      FM         GSAT       PRN  Nickname   Plane Slot
   GIOVE A        GSTB-v2/A  -          E01  GIOVE-A  
   GIOVE B        GSTB-v2/B  -          E16  GIOVE_B
   GalileoSat 1   IOC PFM    GSAT-0101  E11  Thijs      B     5
   GalileoSat 2   IOC FM2    GSAT-0102  E12  Natalia    B     6
   GalileoSat 3   IOC FM3    GSAT-0103  E19  David      C     4
   GalileoSat 4   IOC FM4    GSAT-0104  E20  Sif        C     5
   GalileoSat 5   FOC FM1    GSAT-0201  E18  Doresa    (C)   (2)
   GalileoSat 6   FOC FM2    GSAT-0202  E14  Milena    (C)   (7)
   GalileoSat 7   FOC FM3    GSAT-0203  E26  Adam       B     8
   GalileoSat 8   FOC FM4    GSAT-0204  E22  Anastasia  B     3
   GalileoSat 9   FOC FM5    GSAT-0205       Alba       A     5
   GalileoSat 10  FOC FM6    GSAT-0206       Oriana     A     8

  The GIOVE test satellites were retired from the constellation in 2012 although I believe GIOVE-A
may still be alive and monitoring radiation conditions. 

Chinese satellites 1:  TJS-1 and GF-9 

A new Chinese satellite called Tongxing Jisshu Shiyan Weixing yi hao
(Communications Engineering Test Satellite No. 1) was launched by a
Chang Zheng 3B rocket from Xichang on Sep 12. The rocket reached a 208 x
635 km x 27.1 deg parking orbit 10 min after launch and coasted to the
equator, where a second burn at 1601 UTC sent the rocket and payload to
a 195 x 35814 km x  27.1 deg geotransfer orbit.

Another launch two days later from China's Gobi Desert site at Jiuquan
put the Gaofen 9 high resolution imaging satellite in sun-synchronous
orbit. GF-9 may be replacing GF-1, launched in 2013 to a similar orbit.

Chinese satellites 2: Chang Zheng 6 first launch

Then, on Sep 19, the long-awaited first flight of the new generation of
Chinese launch vehicles took place. China is developing Chang Zheng
(Long March) 6 (light), 7 (medium) and 5 (heavy) rocket.s The initial
three-stage CZ-6 took off from pad 16 at Taiyuan space center in Shanxi
on Sep 19 carrying a cluster of 20 small satellites and placed them in a
500 km sun-synchronous orbit. CZ-6 uses LOX/kerosene propellant in its
first two stages and H2O2/kerosene in the lower thrust third stage which
performs orbit insertion, in contrast to earlier-generation CZ vehicles
which used toxic N2O4/UDMH propellants. CZ-6 was developed by SAST
(the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology).

The 20 payloads consist of 10 primary (but still small) satellites and
10 tiny subsatellites  deployed from the primary ones.

The XiWang-2 ('Hope') cluster of amateur radio satellites is from
CAMSAT, the Chinese AMSAT chapter, and Aerospace DFH Satellite Co
(Beijing). The 25 kg XW-2A carried two 1.5 kg subsatellites, XW-2E/2F,
while the 10 kg XW-2B, 2C and 2D satellites were deployed directly from
the rocket third stage.

The Tiantuo-3 constellation is from the National University of Defense
Technology (Guofang Keji Daxue Yan) in Changsha, Hunan. Its primary
satellite, massing 20 kg, is called Luliang-1 and was developed in
collaboration with the municipal government of Luliang city in Shanxi,
near the Taiyuan launch site, for tests of AIS (ship tracking) and ADS-B
(airplane data relay) systems. Luliang-1 ejected the Zhineng hao shouji
weixing (Smart Phone Satellite), a 1 kg satellite also known as
NUDT-Phone-Sat, and built around the motherboard of an Android
smartphone (a technique pioneered by NASA-Ames a few years ago). The
phonesat itself carried four even smaller passengers, the Xingchen
('starlight') picosats with a mass of 0.1 kg and only 98 x 98 x 7mm in
size. The overall experiment was to control a cluster of satellites
using intersatellite communications; however there does not appear to be
a true formation flying element to the experiment since the satellites
don't seem to have propulsion systems.

Zhejian University (Hangzhou, Zhejiang province) launched the Zheda
Pixing 2A  and 2B satellites to test MEMS microelectronic technology,
including a small deployable truss antenna on top of each satellite.
Mass of the ZDPS-2 satellites is 12 kg each.

Tsinghua University (Beijing)'s Naxing-2 (Nanosatellite-2, NS-2) has a
mass of 20 kg. NS-2 is testing MEMS microelectronic components and
carries small Beidou/GPS receivers. It also deploys the Zijing 1 and 2
picosats. ZJ-1 is 234g while ZJ-2 is 173g. ZJ-2 is also called Kongjian
Shiyan-1; it was built by the Xi'an University of Electronic Science and
Technology (Xidian) in Jiangxi.

Zidingxiang-2 ("LilacSat-2") is from the Harbin Inst. of Technology in
Heilongjiang province in China's far northeast. The 11 kg satellite
carries an ADS-B reciever, an FPGA radiation exposure test

Chinese satellites 3: Chang Zheng 11 first launch

The Chinese Academy of Launch Technology (CALT) and the Academy of
Rocket Motor Technology in Xi'an, Shaanxi (subsidiary for solid rockets
of CALT headquarters in Beijing) developed the solid-fuel four-stage
CZ-11 light launch vehicle and carried out its first launch on Sep 25.
The vehicle is 2.0m in diameter and I suspect it is related to the
Xi'an-developed DF-31 and DF-41 ICBMs.

The rocket carried SAST's Pujiang-1 satellite and three small
cubesats for Shanghai Tech and Nanjing University of Science and Technology (NJUST).
The fourth stage made an orbit lowering burn after deploying its payloads
and reentered on Oct 2.

Chinese Satellites 4: Beidou 

A Beidou satellite was launched on Sep 29, the first to carry a hydrogen-maser-based clock.
Beidou daohang weixing 20, or Beidou-3 I-2S, is thought to be heading to inclined synchronous
orbit. Unlike the previous two flights, this mission does not appear to have used the
YZ-1 upper stage.

Chinese Satellites 5: Jilin

A CZ-2D rocket placed the Jilin-1 satellite cluster in orbit on Oct 7;
they are described as China's first 'self-developed' commercial imaging
satellite system (excluding by that caveat the British-built
Tsinghua/BLMIT Beijing-1) and belong to the Chang Guang Satellite
Technology Co. (Zhangchun guangji suo diaoyan), a spinoff of the
Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics (CIOMP) in
Jilin province. The main satellite is the 420-kg Jilin-1 with a 0.7m
resolution imager. Two 92kg 'smart video imaging' satellites, 'Lingqiao
shipin chengxiang weixing' and one 50 kg 'Smart imaging verification
satellite', 'Lingqiao chenxiang yanzheng weixing', complete the cluster.
Orbital parameters are not known at the time of writing.

Ekspress AM-8

The Ekpress AM-8 satellite for Kosmicheskaya Svyaz was launched on Sep
14 by Proton from Baykonur. This flight used the Energiya Blok DM-03
upper stage instead of the currently-standard Briz-M. AM-8 is a
Reshetnev Ekspress-1000 bus with a Thales Alenia Ka/C/L-band comms
payload. On Oct 5 it was in a 35784 x 35788 km x 0.0 deg orbit
stationary over 80.2E.


Three Russian Defense Ministry Rodnik-S satellites, probably codenamed Kosmos-2507 to 2509,
were launched on Sep 23 into 1500 km orbits. This series of launches has sometimes
carried an initially-unannounced fourth payload, but no such payload has yet been
cataloged by US tracking.

Ariane 5

Ariane vehicle 580, flight VA226, was launched on Sep 30 and placed two
communications satellites in geotransfer orbit: ARSAT-2 for Argentina,
and NBN Co. 1 ("Sky Muster") with a Ka-band payload for the Australian
NBN Co, a government-owned company running the national broadband

Morelos 3

Mexico's Morelos 3 communications satellite, a 5400 kg Boeing 702HP
GeoMobile with a 22-metre L-band antenna reflector, was launched Oct 2
by an Atlas V 421 from Cape Canaveral. Flight AV-059 entered a 180 x
31700 km x 30.0 deg parking orbit 18 min after launch, followed by a
4790 x 35800 km x 27 deg geotransfer deployment orbit.


After many years of development India's first space astronomy
observatory, ASTROSAT, is in orbit. The satellite carries near and far
ultraviolet telescopes, a large X-ray proportional counter array, a
soft-X-ray imaging telescope, a hard X-ray coded mask telescope, and a
monitor to detect flaring X-ray sources.

Indonesia's Lapan-A2 was a secondary payload, together with ExactView-9
(EV-9), an AIS (ship tracking) payload for ExactEarth of Canada. EV-9
was built by the U. of Toronto's UTIAS group.

A group of four 3U cubesats was also deployed - the LEMUR-2 satellites
from Spire Global. Spire is based in San Francisco, but these satellites
were the first built in its new Glasgow factory. The LEMUR-2s carry AIS
payloads and GPS-RO (GPS radio occultation) equipment. The GPS-RO
technique uses the bending of GPS radio signals by the atmosphere to
derive atmospheric temperature and pressure. The satellites are being
marketed as 'weather satellites' - which is accurate, but they are not
to be confused with imaging meteorological satellites. The four LEMUR-2
are named Joel, Peter, Jeroen and Chris, presumably after Spire leaders
Joel Spark, Peter Platzer, Jeroen Cappaert and Chris Wake.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
                                                                                                      km      km   deg

Aug 19 1150   Kounotori 5         H-IIB              Tanegashima Y2   Cargo          38A   S40873    399 x    401 x  51.6 at ISS
Aug 20 2034   Eutelsat 8 West B)  Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3      Comms          39B   S40875  35784 x  35790 x   0.1 GEO  1.7E
              Intelsat IS-34   )                                      Comms          39A   S40874  35771 x  35803 x   0.0 GEO 51.5W
Aug 27 0231   Yaogan Weixing 27   Chang Zheng 4C     Taiyuan LC9      Imaging        40A   S40878   1194 x   1206 x 100.5 0930LT SSO
Aug 27 1122   GSAT-6              GSLV Mk II         Sriharikota SLP  Comms          41A   S40880  35676 x  35837 x   1.2 GEO 83E
Aug 28 1144   Inmarsat 5F3        Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC200   Comms          42A   S40882  31521 x  41016 x   0.2 
Sep  2 0437   Soyuz TMA-18M       Soyuz-FG           Baykonur LC1     Spaceship      43A   S40885    401 x    402 x  51.7 at ISS
Sep  2 1018   MUOS 4              Atlas V 551        Canaveral SLC41  Comms          44A   S40887   3802 x  35786 x  19.1
Sep 11 0208   GalileoSat-9  )     Soyuz-ST-B/Fregat  CSG ZLS          Navigation     45A   S40889  23545 x  23610 x  57.4
              GalileoSat-10 )                                         Navigation     45B   S40890  23554 x  23700 x  57.4
Sep 12 1504   Tongxin Jisshu SW1  Chang Zheng 3B     Xichang LC2      Comms          46A   S40892    195 x  35814 x  27.1
Sep 14 0442   Gaofen 9            Chang Zheng 2D     Jiuquan LC603    Imaging        47A   S40894    618 x    664 x  98.0 1100LT SSO
Sep 14 1900   Ekspress AM-8       Proton-M/DM-03     Baykonur LC81/24 Comms          48A   S40895  35814 x  35890 x   0.0 GEO drift
Sep 17 1202   S-CUBE                                 ISS, LEO         Astronomy    98-67GY S40898    397 x    408 x  51.6    
Sep 17 1213   SERPENS                                ISS, LEO         Tech         98-67GX S40897    396 x    408 x  51.6    
Sep 19 2301   Kaituo-1      )                                         Tech/Comms     49A?  S40899    515 x    536 x  97.5 0610LT SSO
              DCBB          )                                         Tech           49P   S40912    513 x    536 x  97.5
              Luliang-1     )     Chang Zheng 6      Taiyuan LC16     Comms          49F   S40904    517 x    538 x  97.5
              Zhineng hao   )                                         Tech           49B   S40900    515 x    536 x  97.5
              Xingchen 1    )                                         Tech           49              515 x    536 x  97.5
              Xingchen 2    )                                         Tech           49              515 x    536 x  97.5
              Xingchen 3    )                                         Tech           49              515 x    536 x  97.5
              Xingchen 4    )                                         Tech           49              515 x    536 x  97.5
              Naxing-2      )                                         Tech           49G?  S40905    519 x    541 x  97.5
              Zijing-1      )                                         Tech           49              519 x    541 x  97.5
              Kongjian Shiyan 1)                                      Tech           49              519 x    541 x  97.5
              Zheda Pixing 2A  )                                      Tech           49C   S40901    516 x    536 x 97.5
              Zheda Pixing 2B  )                                      Tech           49D   S40902    516 x    536 x 97.5
              Zidingxiang-2 )                                         Tech/Comms     49K   S40908    520 x    542 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2A     )                                         Comms          49E   S40903    499 x    532 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2B     )                                         Comms          49N   S40911    519 x    539 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2C     )                                         Comms          49H   S40906    519 x    539 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2D     )                                         Comms          49J   S40907    519 x    539 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2E     )                                         Comms          49L   S40909    519 x    538 x 97.5
              Xiwang-2F     )                                         Comms          49M   S40910    518 x    541 x 97.5
Sep 23 2200   Kosmos-2507)        Rokot              Plesetsk LC133/3 Comms          50A   S40920   1502 x   1508 x 82.5
              Kosmos-2508)                                            Comms          50B   S409210  1494 x   1507 x 82.5
              Kosmos-2509)                                            Comms          50C   S40922   1496 x   1506 x 82.5
Sep 25 0141   Pujiang-1     )     Chang Zheng 11     Jiuquan SLS-E    Tech?          51A   S40925    468 x    486 x 97.3 0800LT SSO
              Shangkeda-2   )                                         Tech?          51B   S40926    466 x    487 x 97.3 0800LT SSO
              NJUST-2?      )                                         Tech?          51C   S40927    466 x    487 x 97.3 0800LT SSO
              NJFA-1?       )                                         Tech?          51D   S40928    466 x    487 x 97.3 0800LT SSO
Sep 28 0430   Astrosat         )                                      Astronomy      52A   S40930    633 x    650 x  6.0
              LAPAN-A2         )                                      Tech           52B   S40931    631 x    650 x  6.0
              ExactView-9      )   PSLV-XL           Sriharikota FLP  Comms (AIS)    52C   S40932    630 x    650 x  6.0
              Lemur-2-Joel     )                                      Comms/Atm      52D   S40933    629 x    650 x  6.0
              Lemur-2-Peter    )                                      Comms/Atm      52E   S40934    634 x    650 x  6.0
              Lemur-2-Jeroen   )                                      Comms/Atm      52F   S40935    635 x    650 x  6.0
              Lemur-2-Chris    )                                      Comms/Atm      52G   S40936    635 x    650 x  6.0
Sep 29 2313   Beidou DW20         Chang Zheng 3B/G2  Xichang LC3      Navigation     53A   S40938    190 x  35881 x 55.0
Sep 30 1630   Sky Muster )        Ariane 5           Kourou ELA3      Comms          54A   S40940    180 x  35563 x  6.0
              ARSAT-2    )                                            Comms          54B   S40941    205 x  35550 x  6.0
Oct  1 1649   Progress M-29M      Soyuz-U            Baykonur LC1     Cargo          55A   S40944    400 x    408 x 51.6 Docked ISS
Oct  2 1028   Morelos-3           Atlas V 421        Canaveral SLC41  Comms          56A   S40946   4790?x  35800?x 27.0?
Oct  5 1405   GOMX-3   )                             ISS, LEO         Comms (ADS-B)98-67GZ S40948?   395 x    408 x 51.6
              AAUSAT-5 )                                              Comms (AIS)  98-67HA S40949?   395 x    408 x 51.6
Oct  6 0115   Flock 2b-1 )                           ISS, LEO         Imaging      98-67HB S40950    400 x    404 x 51.6
              Flock 2b-2 )                                            Imaging      98-67HC S40951    398 x    406 x 51.6
Oct  6 0430   Flock 2b-3 )                           ISS, LEO         Imaging      98-67HD S40952    399 x    405 x 51.6
              Flock 2b-4 )                                            Imaging      98-67HE S40953    401 x    403 x 51.6
Oct  6 0831   Flock 2b-5 )                           ISS, LEO         Imaging      98-67HF S40954    396 x    409 x 51.6
              Flock 2b-6 )                                            Imaging      98-67HG S40955    396 x    409 x 51.6
Oct  6 1145   Flock 2b-7 )                           ISS, LEO         Imaging      98-67HH S40956    396 x    408 x 51.6
              Flock 2b-8 )                                            Imaging      98-67HJ S40957    397 x    408 x 51.6
Oct  7 0010   Flock 2b-9 )                           ISS, LEO         Imaging      98-67HK S40958?   397 x    408 x 51.6
              Flock 2b-10)                                            Imaging      98-67HL S40959?   397 x    408 x 51.6
Oct  7 0413   Jilin-1        )    Chang Zheng 2D     Jiuquan          Imaging        57A?
              Lingqiao SCW-1 )                                        Imaging        57B?
              Lingqiao SCW-2 )                                        Imaging        57C?
              Lingqiao CYW   )                                        Imaging        57D?

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

JAXA launched the S-520-30 rocket on Sep 11, carrying an experiment to simulate and study the nucleation of oxides in cosmic dust.
NRL's CARE-II (NASA 39.012DR) was launched from Norway on Sep 16, and used 37 small CRV-7 rocket motors to eject high
velocity dusty plasma that was observerd to study radar scattering.

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

Aug 12 1004   NASA 46.012UO    Terrer Imp.Malemute Wallops, Virginia     Education     151       Atlantic O.
Aug 19 1003   GT213GM RV       Minuteman 3         Vandenberg LF10       Op.Test      1300?      Kwajalein
Aug 22 1513   Topol'-E RV      Topol'              Kapustin Yar          Test          500?      Sary Shagan
Aug 26        Warhead          Hwasong-6?          Sana'a, Yemen         Weapon         80?      Jizan, Saudi Arabia
Aug 27 1745   NASA 36.282US    Black Brant 9       White Sands, NM       Solar EUV     250?      White Sands 
Sep  3 1701   NASA 36.291US    Black Brant 9       White Sands, NM       Solar UV      287       White Sands 
Sep 11 1100   S-520-30         S-520               Uchinoura, Kyushu     Physics       312       Phillipine Sea
Sep 16 1906   NASA 39.012DR    Black Brant XI      Andoya, Norway        Ionos/Calib   299       Norwegian Sea
Sep 30 0828   M51 RVs          M-51                Landes, France        Test          500?      Atlantic O.
Oct  2 0539   O-STATES         S31/Orion           Kiruna, Sweden        Atmosphere    246       ESRANGE Area B, Sweden

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