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Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 709 draft                                             2015 Feb  3     Somerville, MA
The previous latest.html is now at http://planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.708

International Space Station

Expedition 42 continues with commander Barry Wilmore, FE-1 Aleksandr Samokutyaev, FE-2 Elena Serova,
FE-3 Anton Shkaplerov, FE-4 Samantha Cristoforetti, and FE-5 Terry Virts.
Soyuz TMA-14M is docked at Poisk; Soyuz TMA-15M is docked at Rassvet; Progress M-25M is docked at Pirs.

ISS cubesat deploys resumed on Feb 5 after a five-month hiatus following deployer problems.
Brazil's AESP-14 cubesat was ejected at 1250 UTC Feb 5, but appears not to be transmitting.

The Dragon CRS-5 cargo vehicle was unberthed form Harmony at about 1700 UTC Feb 10
by the SSRMS arm, which released it at 1910 UTC. The Dragon made its deorbit burn at 2349 UTC,
with trunk separation at 0005 UTC Feb 11 and splashdown at about 0044 UTC.

The European cargo ship ATV-5 "Georges LemaƮtre" undocked from the ISS
Zvezda module at 1342 UTC Feb 14 and was deorbited over the Pacific on Feb 15.
The Russian cargo ship Progress M-26M was launched on Feb 17 at 1100 UTC
and docked with Zvezda at 1657 UTC the same day.

On Feb 21 astronauts Wilmore and Virts made spacewalk US EVA-29 from the
Quest module. The crew lock was depressurized by 1240 UTC and the hatch
opened at 1242 UTC. The astronauts took the two IDA Cable Bags, A and B,
and installed them on the end of the Harmony module. I believe the bags
were launched aboard Dragon CRS-5.

Each bag contained four IPIM (IDA Preparation ISS Mod) cables which will
route power and data to the IDA-1 and IDA-2 international docking
adapters. The IDAs will be installed on the PMA-2 and PMA-3 Shuttle
docking ports later this year to allow direct docking of Dragon and
CST-100 ships to the Station. Cables W2254, W2256, W2258, and W2262 from
Bag A and W2252, W2272 from Bag B were installed and routed between
PMA-2, Harmony and Destiny. Bag A was returned to the airlock at the end
of the spacewalk. Cables W2264 and W2253 remain in Bag B and would be
installed on the next EVA. The astronauts closed the Quest hatch at
around 1918 UTC and began airlock repressurization at 1926 UTC.

On Feb 25, Wilmore and Virts headed out again on US EVA-30. The
remaining two cables were installed, and the soft thermal cover was
removed from the PMA-2 docking port. The cover was launched on HTV-3 in
Jul 2012 and installed on PMA-2 during spacewalk US EVA-22 on 2013 Jul
9. The cover and IDA Bag B  were returned to the airlock, after which
Virts performed several hours of lubrication work on the Canadarm-2's
LEE-A (Latching End Effector, the part that actually grabs things) and
Wilmore installed wire ties on the P1 and S1 truss segments to prepare
for communications cabling on the next EVA. The spacewalk begain with
airlock depressurization around 1142 UTC and hatch opening around 1148
UTC, with the astronauts on battery power at 1151 UTC. The hatch was
closed at 1829 UTC and repressurization was at 1834 UTC.

The third and last in the current set of spacewalks, EVA-31 on Mar 1,
saw the installation of the C2V2 antennae and associated cabling on
the P3 and S3 truss segments. The C2V2 system will provide communications links
to the Dragon 2 and CST-100 visting commercial crew spaceships.

On Feb 27 deployments of PlanetLabs cubesats resumed with the ejection
of Flock 1b-27, 28. These satellites were launched on Cygnus ORB-2 last July.


The Arianespace/ESA Vega rocket made its fourth flight from Kourou on Feb 11.
The Vega VV04 took off at 1340 UTC, with the AVUM 4th stage entering a 76 x 416 km x 5.4 deg
orbit at 1353 UTC. The payload was ESA's Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, the IXV,
an 1845 kg reentry vehicle to study hypersonic aerothermodynamics. The IXV reentered
over the Pacific at 1444 UTC, with parachute deployment at 1509 UTC and
splashdown at 123W 3N at about 1518 UTC.

The AVUM stage made a second burn at apogee at 1411 UTC.  Although
details have not been officially revealed, according to user SCE on the
Novosti Kosmonavtiki forum, it entered a 220 x 430 km x 5 deg orbit. A
third burn followed at 1529 UTC as the AVUM passed over Kourou again, to
deorbit the stage after one trip around Earth; the AVUM reentered over
the Indian Ocean around 1600 to 1615 UTC.

By traditional NORAD rules, the AVUM stage should have received a launch
number of 2015-007 and a catalog number, but this appears not to have
happened. I have therefore added it to my supplementary catalog of
unnumbered objects, and given the launch a designation in my 'U' series,
2015-U01.   The last such case was 1995-U01, the Japanese launch of
Germany's EXPRESS, which made several orbits but was not cataloged. 

I am also interested in launches  which had orbital energy even if they
did not complete one orbit; these do not deserve launch numbers by the
old NORAD rules, but I assign U codes to them too. Recent examples are
2001-U01 (Taurus 6 launch failure); 2003-U01 (Chinese KT-1 launch
failure); 2004-U01 (Soyuz-2-1A suborbital test); 2013-U01 (Chinese
Kunpeng-7 high altitude probe). Reports that ASTRO E made it to a
postive-perigee orbit of 80 x 410 km led me to give it designation
2000-U01, but more recent information makes it more likely that the
perigee was negative,  perhaps -1200 km.


Iran's Fajr satellite does not seem to have made any orbital maneuvers.
The orbit decayed from an initial 223 x 470 km to 196 x 293 km by Feb 22, and then 
after falling to 134 x 155 km early on Feb 26 it reentered. The Safir rocket stage
orbit decayed a bit more slowly, and was 203 x 325 km on Feb 26.


26 new debris objects have been cataloged associated with the DMSP F-13 satellite,
a US Air Force weather satellite which was launched in 1995 and has been semi-retired
since 2009. According to calculations by T.S. Kelso, the debris was released on Feb 3.
It is not yet known whether the debris comes from an internal event like a battery
explosions, or an external collision.

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

Jan 10 0947   Dragon CRS-5       Falcon 9 v1.1      Canaveral SLC40  Cargo           01A   S40370    400 x    408 x  51.7 ISS
Jan 21 0104   MUOS 3             Atlas V 551        Canaveral SLC41  Comms           02A   S40374   5592 x  35788 x  16.7
Jan 31 1422   SMAP         )     Delta 7320-10C     Vandenberg SLC2W Atm.Science     03A   S40376    660 x    686 x  98.1 0600LT
              FIREBIRD IIA )                                         Space sci.      03B   S40377    438 x    669 x  99.1 0600LT
              FIREBIRD IIB )                                         Space sci.      03C   S40378    438 x    669 x  99.1 0600LT
              GRIFEX       )                                         Tech            03D   S40379    438 x    669 x  99.1 0600LT
              ExoCube CP10 )                                         Atm.Science     03E   S40380    437 x    670 x  99.1 0600LT
Feb  1 0121   IGS Radar Spare    H-IIA 202          Tanegashima      Radar Imager    04A   S40381    490 x    511 x  97.5
Feb  1 1231   Inmarsat 5F2       Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC200/39 Comms          05A   S40384   4366 x  64968 x  26.8
Feb  2 0850?  Fajr               Safir              Semnan           Imaging         06A   S40387    224 x    469 x  55.5
Feb  5 1250?  AESP-14            -                  Kibo RMS, ISS    Tech          98-67FM S40389    397 x    405 x  51.6
Feb 11 1340   IXV       )        Vega               Kourou ZLV       Reentry Test    U01   A08334     76 x    416 x   5.4
              AVUM VV04 )                                            Tech            U01   A08335    220 x    430 x   5.4
Feb 11 2303   DSCOVR             Falcon 9 v1.1      Canaveral SLC40  Space sci       07A   S40390    187 x1371156 x  33.1
Feb 17 1100   Progress M-26M     Soyuz-U            Baykonur LC1/5   Cargo           08A   S40392    186 x    237 x  51.6 Docked ISS
Feb 27 1101   Kosmos-2503        Soyuz-2-1A         Plesetsk LC43/4  Imaging         09A   S40420    327 x    539 x  97.6 0245LT
Feb 27 1430   Flock 1b-27  )                        ISS Kibo, LEO    Imaging       98-67FN S40422    396 x    404 x  51.7 
              Flock 1b-28  )                                         Imaging       98-67FP S40423    396 x    404 x  51.7 
Mar  2 0125   Flock 1b-21  )                        ISS Kibo, LEO    Imaging       98-67FQ S40424?
              Flock 1b-22  )                                         Imaging       98-67FR S40425?

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

Bill Gertz (Washington Free Beacon) reports launch on Jan 23 of a new
North Korean missile, called KN-11 by the US government, from a submerged test pad.

Three rockets were launched from Wallops over a 30 second period on Feb
24 for the FTX-19 experiment in which several US Navy Aegis missile
defense ships tracked the rocket payloads. This was basically a software
test and no Aegis interceptor missiles were launched.

The MOSC 2 (Metal Oxide Space Cloud) experiment from the US Air Force Research Lab
was launched on Feb 25 on a NASA sounding rocket, flight 36.299DR.

The US Navy test-launched two Trident missiles on Feb 22 off the coast of California,
probably sending its reentry vehicles (RVs) towards Kwajalein.
The Pacific Ocean launches of Trident are treated with more secrecy than East Coast ones,
and it is not known which Ohio-class sub performed the launches.

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

Jan 23        RV               JL-2               Sub, Yellow Sea?  Test         1000?
Jan 23        RV               KN-11               Sinpo, N Korea?  Test             ?
Jan 26 0913   NASA 46.009UE    Terrier Imp. Mal.   Poker Flat       Atmosphere    160?
Jan 26 0914   NASA 41.111UE    Terrier Orion       Poker Flat       Atmosphere    130?
Jan 26 0946   NASA 46.010UE    Terrier Imp. Mal.   Poker Flat       Atmosphere    160?
Jan 26 0947   NASA 41.112UE    Terrier Orion       Poker Flat       Atmosphere    130?
Jan 28 1041   NASA 49.002UE    Oriole IV           Poker Flat       Aurora        590?
Jan 31 0236   RV               Agni V              Chandipur        Test          800
Feb 19 2206   ICI-4            VS-30/Imp. Orion    Andoya           Aurora        365
Feb 22 0752   Cryofenix        VSB-30              Kiruna           Tech          265
Feb 22        USN RV )         Trident II D-5      SSBN, Pacific    Test         1000?
              USN RV )
              USN RV )
              USN RV )
Feb 22        USN RV )         Trident II D-5      SSBN, Pacific    Test         1000?
              USN RV )
              USN RV )
              USN RV )
Feb 24 0730   FTX-19 Target    Terrier Oriole      Wallops I        Target        150?
Feb 24 0730   FTX-19 Target    Terrier Oriole      Wallops I        Target        150?
Feb 24 0730   FTX-19 Target    Terrier Oriole      Wallops I        Target        150?
Feb 25 1226   NASA 36.299DR    Black Brant IX      White Sands      Ionosphere    300?

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