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Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 702 draft                                          2014 Sep 6  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

The NanoRacks cubesat deployer package remains attached to the JEM RMS robot arm
while troubleshooting continues on electrical problems with the deployer.
Four more 3U cubesats remain in the deployers while another package of 8 deployers
with 16 x 3U equivialent of cubesats sits inside Kibo.

On Sep 10 at 2301 UTC Skvortsov, Artemev and Swanson undocked from the Poisk module
in Soyuz TMA-12M. The deorbit burn at 0130 UTC Sep 11 lowered the orbit to about
-22 x 418 km followed by module separation at 0158 UTC, atmosphere entry at 0201UTC
and landing in Kazakhstan at 0223 UTC.

Expedition 41 began with undocking of Soyuz TMA-12M with commander Max Suraev and
flight engineers FE-5 Reid Wiseman and FE-6 Alex Gerst.


It now appears that something went wrong with the recovery of a Russian Defense Ministry
Kobal't spy satellite on Sep 2. (The satellite is usually called Kosmos-2495 in the press,
although the confusion about Kosmos numbering means it may actually be Kosmos-2493).

Based on the knowledge that the satellite was no longer in orbit of Sep 2, I calculated
(using algorithms pioneered by Phil Clark) that if it landed in the usual area,
the deorbit would have been northbound over the Horn of Africa around 1805 UTC Sep 2
with entry around 1818 UTC and landing around 1828 UTC near Orenburg in Russia.
The descent module (SA) would separate from the service module (AO) after the deorbit
burn, with the AO burning up since it does not have a heat shield. The AO carries
the solar panels, which are likely to break off early in the descent.

Reentering debris overhead was observed by people in Kazakhstan at
around 1814 UTC Sep 2, exactly the expected time for the service module
entry. (but also close to a pass of the Chinese Yaogan 5 satellite
wich completed its reentry two orbits later. However, Ted Molczan reports that
he has ruled out Yaogan 5 as a possibility.)

In addition, large amounts of reentering debris were observed
northbound over Colorado and Wyoming at about 0430 UTC on Sep 3, which
is consistent with the projected path and timing of the satellite if no
deorbit burn was made.

The most likely interpretation is that a deorbit attempt on a southbound 0330 UTC
pass over Russia was partly unsuccessful, causing the satellite to enter a low perigee orbit
leading to its unplanned demise over US territory. It is possible that the
SA landed successfully but the AO bounced off the atmosphere and remained in a very low
orbit for 7 further revolutions before finally succumbing over US territory.

Meanwhile, Bob Christy reports that NOTAMS (announcements of airspace
closures) suggest recovery dates for the two small SpK capsules. Based
on these I infer SpK landing times of Jun 20 0808 UTC and Jul 3 0402

Asiasat 6

On Sep 7 SpaceX launched the Asiasat 6 satellite. It reached a 175 x 202 km x 27.7 deg
parking orbit and then was delivered to a 154 x 35752 km x 25.4 deg geostationary
transfer orbit. Asiasat is a Hong Kong based telecom company.

Yaogan 21

China's Yaogan 21 imaging satellite was launched to a 475 km, 1030LTDN SSO on Sep 8.
The mission continues a series begun with the Zi Yuan 2 satellites.

A small 67 kg subsatellite, Tiantuo-2 was also deployed. The Tiantuo
satellites are built by the National University for Defense Technology;
this one carries video imaging experiments.

Ariane 5

Ariane 5 flight VA218, vehicle 573, placed two communications satellites in
geostationary transfer orbit on Sep 11. Measat 3b is an Airbus/Toulouse Eurostar 3000
satellite for Malaysia's Measat; part of the capacity is leased to NewSat (Melbourne)
to be marketed as the Jabiru-2 payload. Optus 10 is owned by Singtel Optus,
the Australian subsidiary of Singapore Telecome.


United Launch Alliance launched a Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401, flight
AV-049, on Sep 17. The rocket placed the Lockheed Martin A2100 class
CLIO satellite in an unusual high-perigee geostationary transfer orbit.
CLIO's owner is an unidentified US government agency - possibly the
National Reconnaissance Office although nowadays its satellites are
normally acknowledged. It may have a communications or signals
intelligence payload.

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

Aug  2 0323   GPS 68             Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Navigation   45A
Aug  5 0800   Asiasat 8          Falcon 9 v1.1     Canaveral SLC40   Comms        46A
Aug  9 0545   Yaogan 20 Sat 1 )  Chang Zheng 4C    Jiuquan           Sigint       47A
              Yaogan 20 Sat 2 )                                      Sigint       47B
              Yaogan 20 Sat 3 )                                      Sigint       47C
Aug 13 1830   WorldView-3    )   Atlas V 401       Vandenberg SLC3E  Imaging      48A
              Centaur AV-047 )                                      Rocket stage  48B
Aug 18 1423   Chasqui-1                            ISS, LEO          Tech        98-67ET
Aug 19 0315   GaoFen 2  )        Chang Zheng 4B    Taiyuan           Imaging      49A
              Heweliusz )                                            Astronomy    49B
Aug 19 1825   Flock 1b-24 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67EU
              Flock 1b-23 )                                          Imaging     98-67EV
Aug 20 0226   Flock 1b-26 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67EW
              Flock 1b-25 )                                          Imaging     98-67EX
Aug 20 0950   Flock 1b-15 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67EY
              Flock 1b-16 )                                          Imaging     98-67EZ
Aug 21 1337   Flock 1b-1  )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67FA
              Flock 1b-2  )                                          Imaging     98-67FB
Aug 22 1227   Galileo FOC FM01 ) Soyuz ST-B        CSG ELS           Navigation   50A
              Galileo FOC FM02 )                                     Navigation   50B
Aug 23 1944   Flock 1b-7  )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67FC
              Flock 1b-8  )                                          Imaging     98-67FD
Sep  4 0015   Chuangxin 1-04 )                     Jiuquan           Comms        51B
              Ling Qiao      )                                       Comms        51A
Sep  5 0929   Flock 1b-17 )                        ISS, LEO          Imaging     98-67FF
              Flock 1b-18 )                                          Imaging     98-67FE
Sep  7 0500   Asiasat 6          Falcon 9 v1.1     Canaveral SLC40   Comms        52A
Sep  8 0322   Yaogan 21  )       Chang Zheng 4B    Taiyuan           Imaging      53A
              Tiantuo 2  )                                           Imaging      53B
Sep 11 2205   Measat 3b )        Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms        54A
              Optus 10  )                                            Comms        54B
Sep 17 0010   CLIO               Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Sigint?      55A?

Suborbital missions

Russia launched a submarine missile on Sep 10; India carried out a training launch
of its Agni I missile on Sep 11. Three Trident missiles were launched from off the
coast of Southern California Sep 12, from an unidentified Trident submarine;
at least one of the launches was widely observed along the US west coast.

Israel carried out a missile defense test Sep 9; according to the Times of Israel the
target was a Blue Sparrow missile which is thought to fly a slightly exoatmospheric
trajectory, although the Arrow 2 interceptor itself would not have left the atmosphere.

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Aug  4 1400   S-310-43         S-310               Uchinoura        Technology    117
Aug 17 1010   S-520-29         S-520               Uchinoura        Ionosphere    243
Aug 23 1313   Shark?           Terrier Lynx        Wallops          Target        150? 
Aug 25 0825?  AHW FT2          STARS IV            Kodiak           Hypersonic      1?
Aug 28 0900   NASA 36.308GT    Black Brant IX      Wallops I.       Test/Aeron.   350?
Sep  2 0202   EPL-ME           VS-30/EPL           Alcantara        Test          130?
Sep  9        Sparrow Target   Blue Sparrow?       F-15D, Med.Sea   Target        100?
Sep 10        RV               Bulava              K-551,White Sea  Test         1000?
Sep 11 0541   Agni RV          Agni I              Chandipur        Op. Test      500?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?
Sep 12 1300   USN RV           Trident D-5         Sub, Pacific O.  Test         1000?

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