[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 771

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.com
Sun Nov 17 20:42:08 EST 2019

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 771                                                         2019 Nov 17   Somerville, MA

International Space Station

The Canadarm-2 unberthed Japan's HTV 8 cargo ship at about 1230 UTC Nov 1 and released
it into orbit at 1721 UTC. Burns at 1941 UTC Nov 2, 2112 UTC Nov 2 and 0141 UTC Nov 3
lowered the perigee to 250, 145 and about 12 km respectively.
HTV 8 reentered over the south Pacific at about 0209 UTC Nov 3.

The first launch in the CRS2 commercial cargo supply contract was carried out on Nov 2.
Cygnus flight NG-12 was launched aboard the first Antares 230+. The new rocket has
minor changes from the Antares 230, including a redesigned stage 1/2 interstage section.
The Castor 30XL second stage motor and the Cygnus were inserted in a 187 x 257 km x 51.6 deg
orbit. Cygnus NG-12 has been named the S.S. Alan Bean.

Cygnus had a launch mass of 8011 kg and carried 3586 kg of pressurized cargo and 119 kg
of external cargo. The latter consisted of the NanoRacks NRCSD-E external deployer with seven
cubesats aboard. Inside Cygnus is the US Air Force STPSAT-4 satellite (for SSIKLOPS deploy,
probably around 50 kg), five cubesats with the NanoRacks NRCSD-17 package to be deployed from
the Kibo module, and two more unidentified cubesats.

On Nov 4, NG-12 completed its rendezvous with the ISS. The Canadarm-2 grappled it at 0910 UTC
and berthed it at Unity nadir at 1121 UTC.

On Nov 7 at 2240 UTC, Progress MS-12 (docked at the Pirs module) fired its engines for 6min 46s
to adjust the station's orbit, using about 67 kg of propellant.

On Nov 15 astronauts Parmitano and Morgan carried out spacewalk US
EVA-59 in suits 3004 and 3008, to begin repairs to the AMS-2 cooling
system. AMS-2, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, is a particle physics
experiment which was launched to ISS in 2011 and attached to the S3
truss segment. The astronauts removed a 9 kg debris shield, jettisoned
at 1417 UTC, and a small Vertical Support Beam Cover (probably about 1
kg?), jettisoned at 1616 UTC. They also installed handrails and removed
smaller internal components to gain access to cooling system.
 Quest was depressurized at 1133 UTC and the hatch was opened at 1136 UTC; the hatch was
closed at 1814 UTC and the airlock was repressurized at 1818 UTC.


The OTV-5 mission of the X-37B spaceplane ended at 0751 UTC Oct 27 with landing at the SLF
runway at Kennedy Space Center. 

The USAF announced that the mission was successful while "providing a ride for small satellites".
No such satellites have been cataloged in the US satellite catalog, nor have they been identified
in registration notification documents sent to the United Nations, in violation of UN Resolution 
3235 (XXIX), Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.


The second batch of 60 SpaceX Starlink satellites were launched on Nov 11.
The Falcon 9 launch vehicle used first stage B1048 on its fourth flight; the
stage landed on the OCISLY drone ship and the second stage was deorbited
south of Australia, leaving the 60 payloads and four deployment rods
in orbit.  The new satellites have both Ka and Ku band antennae.
This time the payloads were deployed in a 298 x 303 km x 53.0 deg orbit;
the deployment rods seem to have been ejected in a retrograde direction
and are in a 275 x 288 km orbit; I expect them to reenter in a few weeks.

The serial numbers of the new payloads are Starlink 1007-1017, 1019-1065, 1067-1068.


The MINERVA-II container was released from Hayabusa-2 about 1 km above
Ryugu at 1557 UTC on Oct 2. Rover 2 separated from the container and
both objects (container and Rover) are believed to have drifted onto the
surface by Oct 8. Measurements of the radio beacon on Rover 2 confirmed
it to be on the surface. However I gather from the JAXA team at IAC2019
that, as expected, the earlier failure of the Rover 2 computer prevented
any science data from being obtained.

On Oct 14 Hayabusa-2 returned to its home point 20 km from Ryugu. On Nov 13
at 0105 UTC, it made a 0.1m/s departure burn to begin the trip back to Earth
On Nov 18 Hayabusa-2 left Ryugu's gravitational sphere of influence and
reentered a 0.96 x 1.41 AU x 5.9 deg heliocentric orbit.

GaoFen 7

The GaoFen 7 civilian high resolution imaging satellite was launched to sun-synchronous orbit
on Nov 3. The launch also carried three small satellites:

  Huangpu-1  (50-100 kg class) developed by Lizheng (Shanghai) for the Dawan District Research Inst, Guangdong.
  Sudan Kexue Shiyan Weixing (Sudan science experiment satellite, 50-100 kg class?) 
     developed by Shenzhen DFH HIT for Sudan.
  Dianfeng (Xiaoxiang-1 08), a 6U cubesat from Tianyi Research for remote sensing and tests of laser
    communications and a French solid iodine thruster.

Beidou Daohang Weixing 49

China's BDW 49 navigation satellite was launched to geotransfer orbit on Nov 3.
The satellite is the third inclined geosynchronous mission in the Beidou-3 system.
It appears to have made its circularization burn on Nov 5 but no TLEs have
been released for it in the new orbit as of Nov 16.

Jilin-1 Gaofen 2A

On Nov 13 China's EXPACE launched KZ-1A no. Y11 with the Jilin-1 Gaofen
02A high resolution (0.8m) imaging payload aboard. The satellite entered
a sun-synchronous orbit with 1000 local time descending node.


On Nov 13, China's CALT launched the third Chang Zheng 6. placing five
Ningxia-1 satellites in orbit. The satellites are thought to be
measuring terrestrial radio emissions, either for military signals
intelligence or for a civilian equivalent (like the Hawkeye 360


On Nov 17, EXPACE launched Kuaizhou-1A no. Y7 with two `global
multimedia' Ka-band communications satellites, KL-Alpha-A and
KL-Alpha-B, built by Shanghai's IMICAS for an unnamed German company.

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

Oct  4 1851   GaoFen 10                   Chang Zheng 4C     Taiyuan        Imaging    66A S44622    612 x   622 x 97.8 0200LT SSO
Oct  9 1017   MEV-1        )              Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur       Servicing  67  S44624? 11989 x 65080 x 13.4
              Eutelsat 5WB )                                                Comms      67  S44625? 11982 x 64871 x 13.4
Oct 11 0200   ICON                        Pegasus XL       L1011, Canaveral Science    68A S44628    569 x   569 x 27.0
Oct 17 0122   Palisade                    Electron           Mahia LC1      Tech       69A S44634   1208 x  1225 x 87.9
Oct 17 1521   TJS 4                       Chang Zheng 3B     Xichang LC3    Sigint?    70A S44637    195 x 34974 x 27.0
Nov  2 1359   S.S. Alan Bean              Antares 230+       MARS LA0       Cargo      71A S44701    186 x   257 x 51.6
Nov  3 0322   Gao Fen 7          )        Chang Zheng 4B     Taiyuan LC9    Imaging    72A S44703    489 x   518 x 97.5 1030LT SSO
              Huangpu-1          )                                          Imaging?   72C S44706    485 x   505 x 97.5
              Dianfeng           )                                          Imaging    72D S44705    485 x   505 x 97.5
              Sudan Kexue Shiyan )                                          Tech       72B S44704    487 x   504 x 97.5
Nov  4 1743   Beidou DW49                 Chang Zheng 3B     Xichang        Navigation 73A S44709    184 x 35822 x 28.5
Nov 11 1456   Starlink 1007    )                                           
                 to            )                                                      74A  S44713    298 x   303 x 53.0
              Starlink 1017    )          Falcon 9           Canaveral SLC40 Comms     to
              Starlink 1019    )                                                      74BM S44772    298 x   303 x 53.0
                 to            )
              Starlink 1065    )
              Starlink 1067    )
              Starlink 1068    )
Nov 13 0340   Jilin-1 Gaofen 02A          Kuaizhou-1A        Jiuquan        Imaging    75A S44777    532 x   546 x 97.5 1000LT SSO 
Nov 13 0635   Ningxia-1 01   )            Chang Zheng 6      Taiyuan        Sigint     76A S44779    886 x   898 x 45.0
              Ningxia-1 02   )                                              Sigint     76B S44780    886 x   898 x 45.0
              Ningxia-1 03   )                                              Sigint     76C S44781    886 x   898 x 45.0
              Ningxia-1 04   )                                              Sigint     76D S44782    886 x   898 x 45.0
              Ningxia-1 05   )                                              Sigint     76E S44783    886 x   898 x 45.0
Nov 17 1000   KL-Alpha-A )                Kuaizhou-1A        Jiuquan        Comms      77A S44785   1044 x  1058 x 88.9
              KL-Alpha-B )                                                  Comms      77B S44876   1045 x  1432 x 88.8

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Oct  1 2211   RV                Bukgeukseong-3       Wonsan?             Test          950       Sea of Japan
Oct  2 0813   GT232GM           Minuteman 3          Vandenberg LF10     Op.Test      1300?      Kwajalein
Oct  7 1500   DUST              Black Brant 9        White Sands         Physics       338       White Sands
Oct 17?       RV                Yars                 Plesetsk            Op.Test      1000?      Kura
Oct 17?       RV x 4?           Sineva            K-18, Barents Sea      Op.Test      1000?      Kura
Oct 17?       RV x 3?           Volna             K-44, Sea of Okhotsk   Op.Test      1000?      Chiza
Oct 25 0000   SubTec-8          Terrier Imp.Mal.     Wallops I.          Tech          209       Atlantic
Oct 27 0430   FORTIS 4          Black Brant 9        White Sands         UV Astron     261       White Sands
Oct 30 1457   RV x 6?           Bulava            K-549, White Sea       Test         1000?      Kura
Oct 31 0735   RV                DPRK MLRS            Puckhong?           Test           90       Sea of Japan
Oct 31 0738   RV                DPRK MLRS            Puckhong?           Test           90       Sea of Japan
Nov 15 0935   TEXUS 56          VSB-30               Kiruna              Micrograv     256       ESRANGE
Nov 16 1402   RV                Agni 2               Kalam Island        Test          600?      Indian O.

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