[JSR] Jonathan's Space Report, No. 794

Jonathan McDowell jcm at planet4589.com
Wed Jun 30 00:07:02 EDT 2021

Jonathan's Space Report
No. 794                                                            2021  Jun 30   Somerville, MA

International Space Station

The Dragon CRS-22 cargo ship docked at IDA-3 at 0909 UTC Jun 5.

On Jun 10 at 2249 UTC the Canadarm-2 extracted the IROSA solar array package from CRS-22's trunk.
At 0343 UTC Jun 11 the package was stowed on the POA (`Payload ORU Accommodation') on the station
truss' Mobile Base System. The MBS was later moved to worksite 8 at the end of the truss railway
to put the IROSA package nearer the P6 truss where the new arrays are to be installed.

CRS-22 delivered the Nanoracks NRCSD-20 package to ISS; the crew moved it to the Kibo module airlock and
on Jun 14 the Japanese RMS arm extracted NRCSD-20 from the airlock. Two cubesats, RamSat and SOAR,
were ejected from it at 0505 UTC Jun 14. NRCSD-20 was then placed back in the airlock. CRS-22
also delivered J-SSOD-17, as noted below.

RamSat is a 2U student satellite from Robertsville Middle School, Oak
Ridge, Tennessee. SOAR is a 3U cubesat from the University of Manchester
to study materials coatings and aerodynamics in lower LEO.

On Jun 16 astronauts Pesquet and Kimbrough made a spacewalk in suits
3009 and 3006 to attempt installation of IROSA array 2B, as US EVA-74.
The crew lost some time due to problems with Kimbrough's spacesuit, but
eventually removed array 2B from the IROSA launch package and attached
it to the support bracket at the base of the 2B array mast on truss
segment P6. However, they were unable to unfold the two halves of the
array cylinder and returned to the airlock with the array still in a
packed configuration.
 Quest was depressurized from 1204 to 1926 UTC and the hatch was open from 1210 to 1923 UTC.

On Jun 20 US EVA-75 saw the completion of 2B IROSA deployment. EVA-75
used spacesuits 3009 (Pesquet) and 3015 (Kimbrough) with SAFER units 13
and 15. The airlock was depressuized at 1135 UTC and repressurized at
1810 UTC (50 mbar level). The hatch was open from 1141 to 1807 UTC. EV1
was outside 1147 to 1755, EV2 from 1154 to 1745. The astronauts went on
to battery power at 1142 UTC and back to station power around 1805 UTC?.
The IROSA 2B array was unfolded at 1300 UTC and deployed from 1524 to
1535 UTC. The 2nd IROSA array, 4B, remained attached to the carrier on
the MBS POA until EVA-76.

On Jun 22 the Japanese RMS robot arm extracted the J-SSOD-17 deployer from the
Kibo airlock. J-SSOD-17 was delivered to ISS on CRS-22. At 1055 UTC the deployer
ejected MIR-SAT1, a 1U cubesat from the Mauritius Research and Innovation Council
sponsored by the UN KiboCube program. 

A second satellite was deployed a few hours later (actual time unknown).
It was described only as a 'business satellite'. We don't know the owner
or even which country licences the satellite. In the Space-Track
database it is called 'BD-28', which I suspect is a designation from
JAXA's commercial cubesat integrator SpaceBD, which probably managed the
integration and flight, and not the name that the owner gave the
satellite. SpaceTrack marks the satellite as being a US one, but it's not clear
where they get that information.

On Jun 25 Pesquet and Kimbrough carried out US EVA-76 to install the 4B IROSA
array on the 4B mod kit at P6. The airlock was depressurized at 1145 UTC and
repressurized at 1837 UTC. Hatch open/close was 1151 to 1833 UTC; astronauts
went on battery pwer at 1152 UTC. The 4B IROSA was removed from the carrier
at 1410 UTC and soft docked to the mod kit on P6 at 1550 UTC. Array deployment
was complete at 1755 UTC.

On Jun 29 the Canadarm-2 unberthed the S.S.Katherine Johnson (Cygnus NG-15) from
the Unity module and at 1632 UTC released it into orbit. At 2250 UTC the IT-SPINS and MySat-2
cubesats were deployed from the Nanoracks NRCSD-E deployer on NG-15.

On Jun 29 the Progress MS-17 cargo ship (spacecraft 7K-TGM No. 446) was launched from Baykonur.
It is scheduled to dock with the Poisk module.


On Jun 6 SpaceX launched the SXM-8 digital radio broadcasting satellite
for Sirius XM. Launch mass of the satellite is approximately 7000 kg.
The F9 first stage landed on the droneship JRTI. SXM-8 and the F9 second
stage were placed in a 235 x 19384 km transfer orbit. SXM-8 was on station
in geostationary orbit at 120.5W by Jun 22.


The first of the Beijing-3 series of imaging satellites was launched from Taiyuan by a SAST CZ-2D
on Jun 11. The satellite is operated by 21st Century Aerospace Technology of Beijing.
The Beijing-1 satellite was built for them by Surrey Satellite and launched in 2005.
21AT also leased the capacity of the DMC-3 satellites from Surrey, launched in 2015, and branded
the data as Beijing-2.


The first US Space Force Tactical Responsive Launch, TacRL-2, flew successfully on Jun 13, placing 
the Odyssey satellite in orbit. The Northrop Grumman L-1011 Stargazer aircraft took off
from runway 30/12 at Vandenberg Space Force Base at about 0710 UTC and headed out over the California
coast. At 0811 UTC the airplane dropped its Pegasus XL launch vehicle at about 123.5W 35.3N.
The Pegasus first stage ignited 5 seconds later and after about 8 minutes stage 3 burnout left
the third stage and the Odyssey satellite in sun-synchronous orbit with a 23:43 local time descending node. 

Odyssey is a satellite dedicated to `space domain awareness', which is US military jargon for 
tracking other satellites and space debris.


On Jun 15 Northrop Grumman launched a Minotaur 1 rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
at Wallops Island, Virginia on the NROL-111 launch mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office.
Three small satellites were placed in low Earth orbit. Their mission is not known; I am labelling them
as communications for now but that's a very low confidence guess.

Shenzhou 12

China's first human spaceflight launch in over 4 years took off on Jun 17. The CZ-2F placed Shenzhou 12
in orbit on its way to a rendezvous with the Tianhe/Tianzhou-2 complex.

Crew of Shenzhou 12 are Nie Haipeng, Liu Boming and Tang Honbo. The spaceship docked with the forward
port of the Tianhe module at 0754 UTC. The mission is scheduled to last three months.


The fifth GPS Block III navigation satellite was launched on Jun 17. The
first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle landed on the droneship JRTI;
the second stage made two burns to  place the GPS satellite in transfer
orbit and then made a third burn to deorbit the stage southeast of South
Africa. By Jun 25 GPS III SV05 was in a 21068 x 21098 km x 55.0 deg orbit.

Yaogan 30 Group 09

The 9th triplet of Yaogan 30 (also called Chuangxin-5) satellites was
launched from Xichang on Jun 18. There are now 27 Yaogan-30 satellites
in orbit; they are thought to be a signals intelligence constellation
although a communications role also seems possible.

A secondary payload, the Tianqi-14 commercial IoT data relay satellite
for Guodian Gaokeji, was also deployed.  The CZ-2C second stage carried
out propellant depletion venting while tumbling, resulting in one of the
notorious spiral clouds being observed under its ground track in New Caledonia
and Vanuatu.

Iranian launch failure

US government sources have confirmed that Iran attempted an orbital
launch of the Simorgh rocket from the Khomeini launch complex at the
Semnan spaceport on Jun 12, but the launch failed in some way. This is
the 4th failed orbital attempt of the rocket (there was also a 2016 test
launch that may not have been intended to reach orbit).

There are some indications there may have been a second failed launch
on Jun 23.


The Russian Defense Ministry launched its first Pion NKS naval
electronic intelligence satellite, Pion-NKS No. 901, on Jun 25. The
6.5-tonne spacecraft was developed by KB Arsenal (St-Peterburg) and
TsSKB-Progress (Samara). It will probably raise perigee and circularize
orbit on Jun 26.


In the text of JSR793 the May 15 Starlink launch was misstated as being on May 9.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name                           Launch Vehicle      Site            Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
Jun  2 1617   Fengyun 4 02 xing               Chang Zheng 3B        Xichang LC2        Weather 47A  S48808 186 x 35808 x 28.5
Jun  3 1729   Dragon CRS-22                   Falcon 9              Kennedy LC39A      Cargo   48A  S48831 193 x 212 x 51.6
Jun  6 0426   SXM-8                           Falcon 9              Canaveral LC40     Comms   49A  S48838 235 x 19384 x 27.0
Jun 11 0303   Beijing-3 )                     Chang Zheng 2D        Taiyuan            Imaging 50A  S48840 488 x  502 x 97.5
              Yangwang-1)                                                            UV Astron 50
              Haisi-2   )                                                              Imaging 50
              Tianjian  )                                                              Tech    50
Jun 12        Test satellite?                 Simorgh?              Khomeini          Test?    F03
Jun 13 0811   Odyssey                         Pegasus XL            Vandenberg AFB    Tracking 51A  S48844 405 x  452 x 97.5
Jun 14 0505   RamSat)                                               ISS, LEO       Education 9867SL S48851 414 x 421 x 51.6
              SOAR  )                                                                Tech    9867SM S48850 414 x 421 x 51.6
Jun 15 1335   USA 316 )                       Minotaur 1            MARS LA0B         Comms?   52A  S48846 500?x 500? x 50?
              USA 317 )                                                               Comms?   52B  S48847 500?x 500? x 50?
              USA 318 )                                                               Comms?   52C  S48848 500?x 500? x 50?
Jun 17 0122   Shenzhou 12                     Chang Zheng 2F        Jiuquan          Spaceship 53A  S48852 193 x 486 x  41.4
Jun 17 1609   GPS III SV05                    Falcon 9              Canaveral LC40    Nav      54A  S48859 394 x 20176 x 55.0
Jun 18 0630   Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 01 xing)    Chang Zheng 2C        Xichang           Sigint?  55A  S48860 590 x  603 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 02 xing)                                            Sigint?  55B  S48861 591 x  602 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 09 zu 03 xing)                                            Sigint?  55D  S48863 592 x  602 x 35.0
              Tianqi 14                  )                                            Comms    55E  S48864 571 x  681 x 35.1
Jun 22 1055   MIR-SAT1                                              ISS, LEO          Tech   9867SP S48868 416 x 420 x  51.6
Jun 22 1200?  BD-28                                                 ISS, LEO          Tech   9867SN S48867 415 x 419 x 51.6
Jun 23?       Test satellite?                 Simorgh?              Khomeini          Test?    F03
Jun 25 1950   Kosmos-2550                     Soyuz-2-1b            Plesetsk LC43/4   Sigint   56A  S48865 195 x 466 x 67.1
Jun 29 2250   IT-SPINS )                                            Cygnus NG-15, LEO Sci      13C     
              MySat-2  )                                                              Tech     13D
Jun 29 2327   Progress MS-17                  Soyuz-2-1a            Baykonur LC31     Cargo    57A  S48869

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

May 22 1526   VG-021            Spaceship Two      Elephant Butte        Test           89       Spaceport America
May 24 0535   MAPHEUS 11        IM/IM              Kiruna                Micrograv     216?      ESRANGE
May 26        T4-B Target       Terrier Oriole     South Uist            Target        300?      Atlantic
May 26        AEGIS KV          SM-3             DDG-117, D-701 Atlantic Interceptor   150?      Intercept T4-B
May 27 0115   VIPER             Terr. Imp. Mal.    Wallops               Ionosphere    151?      Atlantic
May 29?       FTM-31E1 Target   MRBM-T3c2          Kwajalein Meck I.     Target        500?      Pacific
May 30        T4-B Target       Terrier Oriole     South Uist            Target        300?      Atlantic
May 30        AEGIS KV          SM-3             DDG-117, D-701 Atlantic Interceptor   150?      Intercept T4-B
Jun  7 0625   CIBER 2           Black Brant 9      White Sands           IR Astron     310       White Sands
Jun 11?       RV?               Topol?             Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Jun 23 0050   DLR BOLT-1        VS-31/Orion        Kiruna                Hypersonic    280?      ESRANGE
Jun 25 1232   RockOn            Terrier/Imp.Orion  Wallops Island        Education     116       Atlantic
Jun 28 0525   Agni P RV         Agni P             Kalam Island          Test          800?      Indian Ocean

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