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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 800                                                     2021 Nov 28        Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 66 continues.

On Nov 17 Dextre moved the STP-H6 experiment from Express Logistics Carrier 3 and attached
it to the exterior of the Cygnus NG-16 cargo ship for disposal.

On Nov 20 at 1340 UTC Canadarm-2 unberthed the Cygnus, S.S. Ellison
Onizuka, from the Unity nadir port and released it into orbit at 1601
UTC. As of Nov 26 the Onizuka remained in a 456 x 464 km x 51.6 deg

On Nov 24 Russia launched the Uzlovoy Modul' (UM No. 1L, the `node
module'), named `Prichal'. Prichal has a mass of 4650 kg including about
580 kg of cargo. It is attached to a modified Progress,  Progress M-UM
No. 303, which has the normal Progress/Soyuz propulsion section and an
adapter docked to Prichal.    The UM/Progress vehicle docked with Nauka
SSVP-M port at 1519 UTC on Nov 26. The Progress will undock later to
expose the UM's main docking port.

Progress MS-17 undocked again from Nauka at 1122 UTC Nov 25, this time
taking the SSVP adapter with it, exposing the SSVP-M docking adapter
designed for module dockings. The cargo ship was deorbited over the
Pacific with debris impact on the ocean at 1517 UTC.

Russian ASAT test

On Nov 15 at about 0245 UTC Russia launched a Nudol' suborbital
antisatellite missile from Plesetsk. The missile intercepted the defunct
Soviet satellite Ikar No. 39L (codename Kosmos-1408) a few minutes
later, possibly at 0250 UTC over about 60E 75N.  Kosmos-1408 was in a
465 x 490 km x 82.6 deg orbit at the time. The intercept occurred at a
height of 468 km above the Earth ellipsoid (486 km above the fictive
6378 km spherical Earth used for orbit parameters). The International
Space Station passes through resulting debris cloud every 93 minutes,
and the crew were instructed to take safety preparations including
closing hatches and being ready for evacuation if needed. As of this
writing, however, there is no evidence of any debris hits from the cloud
on ISS.


On Nov 16 Arianespace launched Vega VV20 from the Centre Spatial
Guyanais. The AVUM upper stage deployed three CERES electronic
intelligence satellites operated by the French space agency CNES on
behalf of the French defense agency DGA.


Electron flight 22 placed two BlackSky Global imaging satellites in orbit. The first stage
was lowered to the ocean by parachute; the third stage made a perigee lowering burn to reduce
its orbital lifetime.


On Nov 20 SAST launched a CZ-4B with the Gao Fen 11 hao 03 xing imaging satellite into an elliptical
orbit. GF-11 satellites (thought to really be the Jianbing-16 spy sat series) spend several months
in such an elliptical orbit before changing to a second mission phase with a circular orbit.

 Mission   Launch        Initial Orbit    SSO       Circ Date            Post-Circ Orbit  SSO
 GF11-01   2018 Jul 31   247 x 694 x 97.4 1009 LT   2019 Apr 11 (254 d)  483 x 507 x 97.4  1050 LT
 GF11-02   2020 Sep  7   247 x 694 x 97.3 1306 LT   2021 Mar 17 (176 d)  494 x 496 x 97.3  1326 LT
 GF11-03   2021 Nov 20   243 x 695 x 97.5 0900 LT   -                    -                 -


Astra Space launched its Rocket 3.3 vehicle (serial LV0007) from
Kodiak's Pacific Spaceport Alaska on Nov 20, placing a small
non-separating test payload in polar orbit. This was Astra's first
successful orbital launch. The mission, STP S27AD2, was sponsored by the
USSF Space Test Program.


Gao Fen 3-02, the second GF3 radar satellite from CAST/Beijing, was launched on Nov 22.

Shiyan 11

Shiyan 11, a remote sensing satellite built by DFH Shenzhen, was launched by
EXPACE on a KZ-1A on Nov 24.


An EKS (Kupol/Tundra) infrared missile early warning satellite was launched to elliptical
Molniya orbit on Nov 25. The satellite will probably get the cover name Kosmos-2552.


Shi Jian 21 and its subsatellite continue to operate in geosynchronous drift orbit, 
On Nov 15 SJ-21 completed a re-rendezvous with the subsatellite (ejected on Nov 1),
approaching and remaining within 5 km of it.

Point Arguello - a little history of PALC2-4

There are two separate but physically adjacent spaceports in the Cape
Canaveral vicinity: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and the NASA John
F. Kennedy Space Center. Although they are often conflated, they are
owned and operated separately (by Space Force and NASA).

Similarly, from 1959 to 1964 there were two separate, adjacent
spaceports on the California coast north of Santa Barbara near Lompoc:
Vandenberg Air Force Base and the Naval Missile Facility Point Arguello

The first space launch from Point Arguello was a Nike-Asp sounding rocket in Jul 1959
from Launch Complex A; the first orbital attempt was the 1960 Oct 11 launch
of SAMOS 1 on an Atlas Agena A from Launch Complex 1, Pad 1.

Point Arguello's Launch Complex 2, Pad 4 was not used for a launch
until August 1964, by which time NMFPA had been transferred to the Air Force
and become the South Base section of Vandenberg AFB - the pad was then called
Vandenberg AFB PALC2-4 (Point Arguello Launch Complex 2, Pad 4).

Because NMFPA was once a separate spaceport, I still track its pads
separately as `South Vandenberg' with site code VS in my launch database
(versus site code V for pads on the North Base).

In 1966 the Vandenberg and Point Arguello orbital pads were renamed
and PALC2-4 became Space Launch Complex 4-East (SLC-4E). It continued
launching Atlas Agena rockets with GAMBIT spysats until 1967; from 1971
to 2005 it was the home for Titan IIID and later Titan 34D and Titan 4.

After lying silent for eight years, in 2013 SLC-4E became the
West Coast launch site for SpaceX's Falcon 9. So far there have
been 17 Falcon 9 launches from the pad.


At 0621:02 UTC Nov 24, a Falcon 9 launched from SLC-4E at Vandenberg
Space Force Base with the DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test)
spacecraft, sending it to solar orbit. Deep space launches are rare from
Vandenberg; the first was the Clementine probe, launched on a Titan II
from SLC-4W in 1994. 

Four Atlas V launches from SLC-3E in the 2009-2014 period deployed primary
payloads in Earth orbit but then boosted their Centaur upper
stages to solar orbit for disposal. Most recently, another
Atlas V took off from SLC-3E in 2018 carrying the Mars Insight probe.

The launch was the first deep space launch from
Space Launch Complex 4-East. The Falcon 9 headed south
from Vandenberg to a 230 x 300 km x 64.7 deg parking orbit.
After a short coast, the second stage reignited
over the Antarctic and boosted DART to a 263 x -135000 km x 64.7 deg
escape hyperbola. DART and the second stage will
depart the Earth-Sun Hill Sphere on Nov 30 at about 0700 UTC,
entering a 0.938 x 1.069 AU x 3.8 deg heliocentric orbit
on course for the (65803) Didymos system.

(65803) Didymos is a 780-metre-diameter asteroid orbiting
the Sun in a 1.01 x 1.64 AU x 3.4 deg orbit.
The half-gigatonne asteroid has a moon, the 163-metre-diameter Dimorphos
which has a mass of around a million tonnes and orbits Didymos at a 
center-to-center distance of only 1.2 km.

Didymos then shuttles between the orbit of Mars and the orbit of
Earth every 2.1 years. But usually when it comes close to Earth orbit,
Earth itself is at some other part of that orbit. Not this time:
Didymos is currently heading inward from aphelion and in Oct 2022
it will reach perihelion passing only about 11 million kilometers
from Earth!  OK, I know that sounds like a lot, but right now
it's 113 million km away.

Taking advantage of this close pass, NASA's DART
mission will go round the Sun in an orbit just a little bit different
from Earth's and reach Didymos just as it passes by Earth.
DART will reach the Didymos system in Oct 2022 and smash into Dimorphos.
The impact is expected to change the orbital period of Dimorphos around
Didymos by of order ten minutes, something that can be accurately
measured, allowing scientists to determine how efficiently the collision
imparts momentum to the target rock. This information will be crucial in
designing missions that could divert a possible future Earth-impacting

The DART mission is led by JHU's Applied Physics Laboratory (APL)
and is managed by NASA MSFC and the
NASA Planetary Defense Coordination Office. 
DART has a mass of 500 kg dry. It has two propulsion systems:
a set of twelve Aerojet Rockedtyne MR-103G thrusters
with a thrust of 1N each, fed by 50 kg of hydrazine; and the
7.4 kW NEXT-C ion engine with a thrust of 25 to 235 mN, fed
by 60 kg of Xe and powered by two ROSA roll-out solar arrays.
The main DART spacecraft, built by APL, is 1.2 x 1.3m in size
and the deployed ROSA arrays span 19 metres.
DART has one main instrument, the DRACO (Didymos Reconnaissance &
Asteroid Camera for OpNav) imaging camera. 10 days before the Didymos
encounter it will eject a 6U cubesat, LICIACube. The 14 kg LICIACube is
built by Argotec for the Italian space agency ASI; it carries two
cameras to image the impact.


It has been announced that OneWeb satellite SL0041 (catalog 45148) has
failed; based on analysis of the orbit uncontrolled decay seems to have
set in on about 2021 Feb 24. The remaining 357 OneWeb satellites
continue to operate.

Epsilon 5

On Nov 9 JAXA/ISAS launched the fifth Epsilon rocket from Uchinoura with a cluster 
of small satellites. The Epsilon third stage entered a 221 x 568 km orbit; the PBS
fourth stage then separated and went to a 543 x 572 km orbit. Attached to the PBS
was the ESMS (Epsilon Satellite Mounting Structure), a large multisatellite dispenser.
The payloads released from the ESMS were:

  RAISE-2, for JAXA, a 110 kg satellite with a series of technology experiments.
  Hibari, for Tokyo Inst. of Technology, a 55 kg satellite with an experiment to test attitude
    control while varying the shape of the craft by deploying a boom.
  Oruri (TeikyoSat-4), a 52 kg satellite bus test for Teikyo U.
  Z-Sat, a 46 kg multispectral infrared imaging satellite for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. 
  DRUMS (Debris Removal Unprecedented Micro Satellite), 46 kg, for Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which will
   release two 0.13m dia 0.25m long cylindrical targets and attempt to recapture them.
  Asutarisuku (ASTERISC), a 3U cubesat for Chiba Inst. Tech. with a cosmic dust detector.
  NanoDragon, a 3U cubesat for the Vietnam National Space Centre in collaboration with Meisei Electric Co.
   with an AIS payload and a test of a high performance computer.
  KOSEN-1, a 2U cubesat to observe Jovian radio emission  from Kochi Koygo Kosen college.
  ARICA, a 1U cubesat to test a gamma ray burst detector and a rapid alert system, from Aoyama Gakuin U.


China launched a communications satellite to geotransfer orbit on Nov
26. The satellite is codenamed Zhongxing-1D (Chinasat-1D) but is
probably a Fenghuo-2 military communications satellite.

Solar Orbiter

The ESA Solar Orbiter  (SOLO) spacecraft  re-entered the Earth's
gravitational sphere 1345 UTC Nov 25 and will fly 455 km over the
Atlantic at closest approach 0432 UTC Nov 27. SOLO will leave Earth's
sphere at 1918 UTC Nov 28. The encounter lowers SOLO's perhihelion to
0.32 AU.


 SDGSAT was launched Nov 5 (as in the table), not Nov 3 (as I incorrectly said in the text).

 I made some spelling mistakes last issue: the Crew-3 astronauts are
 Raja Chari (Cdr), Tom Marshburn (Pilot), Matthias Maurer (Mission
 Specialist 1) and Kayla Barron (Mission Specialist 2). 

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name			     Launch Vehicle	 Site		 Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl	 Notes
Nov  3 0743   Yaogan 32 hao 02 zu 01 xing )    Chang Zheng 2C/YZ1S   Jiuquan          Sigint    99A  S49383   689 x 703 x 98.3
              Yaogan 32 hao 02 zu 02 xing )                                           Sigint    99B  S49384   689 x 703 x 98.3
Nov  5 0219   SDGSAT-1 (Guangmu)               Chang Zheng 6         Taiyuan          Imaging  100A  S49388   502 x 514 x 97.5
Nov  6 0300   Yaogan 35A )                     Chang Zheng 2D        Xichang          Tech?    101A  S49390   493 x 499 x 35.0
              Yaogan 35B )                                                            Tech?    101B  S49391   493 x 499 x 35.0
              Yaogan 35C )                                                            Tech?    101C  S49392   493 x 499 x 35.0
Nov  9 0055   RAISE-2     )                    Epsilon               Uchinoura        Tech     102A  S49395   561 x 573 x 97.6
              Oruri       )                                                           Tech     102B? S49396   543 x 572 x 97.6
              Asutarisuku )                                                           Sci      102C? S49397   543 x 572 x 97.6
              Z-SAT       )                                                           Imaging  102E? S49399   543 x 572 x 97.6
              DRUMS       )                                                           Tech     102D? S49398   543 x 572 x 97.6
              Hibari      )                                                           Tech     102F? S49400   543 x 572 x 97.6
              KOSEN-1     )                                                           Astron   102H? S49402   543 x 572 x 97.6
              ARICA       )                                                           Astron   102J? S49403   543 x 572 x 97.6
              NanoDragon  )                                                           Com      102G? S49401   543 x 572 x 97.6
Nov 11 0203   Endurance (Crew-3)               Falcon 9              Kennedy LC39A    Spaceship 103A S49407   190 x 212 x 51.6
Nov 13 1219   Starlink 3044                    Falcon 9              Canaveral LC40   Comms    104A-BE        212 x 333 x 53.2
              Starlink 3049                                                                    S49408-S49460
              Starlink 3075
              Starlink 3097-3099
              Starlink 3105
              Starlink 3108
              Starlink 3110-3112
              Starlink 3114-3115
              Starlink 3117
              Starlink 3120-3141
              Starlink 3144-3147
              Starlink 3149-3151
              Starlink 3153-3162
Nov 16 0928   CERES 1 )                       Vega                  CSG  ELV          Sigint   105A S49464  669 x 672 x 75.0
              CERES 2 )                                                               Sigint   105B S49465  671 x 672 x 74.9
              CERES 3 )                                                               Sigint   105C S49466  670 x 673 x 75.0
Nov 18 0138   BlackSky Global 14 )            Electron              Mahia LC1A        Imaging  106A S49469  428 x 439 x 42.0
              BlackSky Global 15 )                                                    Imaging  106B S49470  428 x 439 x 42.0
Nov 20 0152   Gao Fen 11-03                   Chang Zheng 4B        Taiyuan           Imaging  107A S49492  243 x 695 x 97.5
Nov 20 0616   STP-S27AD2                      Astra Rocket 3.3      Kodiak LP3B       Tech     108A S49494  438 x 507 x 86.0
Nov 22 2345   Gao Fen 3-02                    Chang Zheng 4C        Jiuquan           Radar    109A S49495  737 x 746 x 98.4
Nov 24 0621   DART      )                     Falcon 9              Vandenberg SLC4E  Probe    110A S49497  263 x -135267 x 64.7
              LICIACube )                                                             Probe    110C T00005  263 x -135267 x 64.7
Nov 24 1306   Prichal/Progress M-UM           Soyuz-2-1B            Baykonur LC31     Module   111A S49499  323 x 351 x 51.6
Nov 24 2341   Shiyan 11                       Kuaizhou-1A           Jiuquan           Imaging  112A S49501  489 x 502 x 97.5
Nov 25 0109   Kosmos-2552                     Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat     Plesetsk LC43/4 Early Warn 113A S49503 1643 x 35838 x 63.8
Nov 26 1640   Zhongxing 1D                    Chang Zheng 3B        Xichang           Comms    114A S49505  186 x 35832 x 27.1

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Nov  4 0209   SS-520-3          SS-520             Svalbard              Ionosphere    956       Arctic
Nov  8 0925   SISTINE 2         Black Brant IX     White Sands           UV Astron     257       White Sands
Nov 15 0245?  Nudol KV          Nudol'             Plesetsk              Antisatellite 500?      Kosmos-1408
Nov 25        RV                Shaheen 1A         Somniani?             Op. Test      100?      Arabian Sea?

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