The Space Report ("JSR") is issued about twice a month. It describes all space launches, including both piloted missions and automated satellites. Back issues are available online. To receive the JSR each week by direct email, subscribe at http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr Feel free to reproduce the JSR as long as you're not doing it for profit. If you are doing so regularly, please inform Jonathan by email. Comments, suggestions, and corrections are encouraged. See here for translations to other languages.
You can mail Jonathan McDowell at planet4589 at gmail dot com.
JSR STOP PRESS - the draft of NEXT week's JSR, updated throughout the week.
GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE LOG with a catalog of all known satellites ever in the geosynchronous ring and their reasonably current positions.
LAUNCH LOG - My best attempt at a complete listing of all satellite launch attempts.
Jonathan's Space Home Page - with links to lots of other space data not available elsewhere.
SATELLITE CATALOG - My version of the Space Command satellite catalog, providing a cross reference between catalog number and international designation. Corrections are welcome.
Jonathan's Space Report No. 696 2014 Apr 19 Somerville, MA --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- International Space Station --------------------------- Expedition 39 continues with commander Koichi Wakata and flight engineers Tyurin, Mastracchio, Skvortsov, Artem'ev and Swanson. The Progress M-22M cargo ship undocked from the Pirs module at 1358 UTC Apr 7; it remained in a 360 x 417 km orbit for Radar-Progress ionospheric studies until Apr 18, when it was deorbited over the Pacific. Progress M-23M was launched on Apr 9 and docked with Pirs at 2114 UTC. On Apr 11 the EXT-2 MDM computer in the S0 truss failed; the unit is needed as a backup for SSRMS operations, and will be replaced during a forthcoming spacewalk. The Dragon CRS-3 cargo ship took off from Cape Canaveral on Apr 18 and is in a 313 x 322 km orbit on course to rendezvous with ISS. This was the first time a Dragon has flown on the uprated Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, and the first flight of a Falcon 9 with experimental landing legs on the first stage. Falcon 9 stage 1 reignited during descent after reaching probably around 120 km, and touched down vertically on the ocean after demonstrating that it could maintain its orientation during the return from space. The Falcon 9 second stage was deorbited over the Indian Ocean and destroyed during reentry. The Dragon trunk carries the OPALS and HDEV experiments for laser communications and Earth imaging respectively. They will be installed on the ISS - JSC's HDEV is slated for the Columbus module EPF, and JPL's OPALS for the ELC-1 platform. Spacesuit EMU 3003 is also aboard Dragon. Total mass of Dragon CRS-3 at orbit insertion may be around 10000 kg, larger than earlier missions, but this is speculative as SpaceX has not released the mass information. Falcon 9 cubesats ------------------ The second stage of Falcon 9 flight 9 carried five cubesats - SporeSat and PhoneSat-2.5 for NASA Ames, TSat for Taylor University, All-Star for the Colorado Space Grant consortium, and KickSat for Cornell University's Space Systems Design Stuido. KickSat has a mass of 2.68 kg of which 0.52 kg will be ejected in the form of 104 tiny 5-gram 'Sprites', circuit boards which will act as independent satellites with small transmitters able to send a simple message to ground stations. The Sprites will be ejected from Kicksat on around May 4. Insat 3E -------- Space News reports that India's Insat 3E communications satellite has failed. Orbital data also shows that Insat 3E began to slowly drift off station in late March and its orbit was lowered on Apr 4 to 35579 x 35693 km, drifting two degrees east per day. The Hindu newspaper reported on Apr 2 that the satellite has been decommissioned and that the orbit will later be raised to a higher 'graveyard' orbit, although the same report says that the satellite's oxidizer has been depleted, which presumably takes the main bipropellant propulsion system out of action. The satellite probably has small monopropellant thrusters and maybe these can be used for small orbit adjustments. SJ11-06 ------- Launch of the 6th satellite in China's Shi Jian 11 constellation occurred on Mar 30. The satellite was placed in a 687 x 704 km x 98.3 deg, 0902LTDN sun-synchronous orbit, replacing SJ11-01. The SJ11 satellites are rumoured to carry infrared sensors of some kind. DMSP ---- A ULA/Lockheed Martin Atlas V model 401, flight AV-044, took off from Vandenberg's Space Launch Complex 3-East on Apr 3 to place the penultimate US Air Force Defense Meteorological Satellite Program payload in orbit. The DMSP Block 5D-3 S-19 spacecraft was built by RCA/East Windsor, New Jersey and transferred to Lockheed Martin/Sunnyvale after closure of the former facility. It is the 19th of the Block 5D subseries to be launched, and as such has the flight name Block 5D-3 F-19. It is also the 53rd DMSP satellite produced. DMSP 50 (Block 5D-3 S-16) will be the final launch, to be designated F-20. The last-produced, DMSP 54 (Block 5D-3 S-20) was launched as F-16 in 2003. ULA has confirmed that the AV-044 Centaur stage reignited to go into heliocentric orbit, like that for the previous DMSP launch. Two debris objects, 2014-015C and D, were cataloged in 844 x 848 km x 98.9 deg orbits. The DMSP satellite's solar array did not completely deploy, but the satellite is expected to enter service nonetheless. Sentinel-1A ----------- The first satellite in the European Commission's Sentinel/Copernicus Earth observing program is now in orbit. ESA will operate the Sentinel-1A C-band radar satellite. The Soyuz-2-1A (ST-A) flew to a -3147 x 668 km x 91.1 deg orbit and fell in the Canadian Arctic at around 2127 UTC. The Fregat upper stage, which separated near the Soyuz apogee, completed its first burn at 2122 UTC to deliver Sentinel to a 684 x 689 km x 98.2 deg orbit. Sentinel separated from Fregat at 2126 UTC; the Fregat ignited again at 2203 UTC and entered a -250 x 708 km x 102.8 deg orbit which dumped it in the South Atlantic around 2236 UTC. Sentinel-1A's C-band SAR is 13.3 x 0.8m in size. The satellite has a mass of 2157 kg, only a quarter the mass of its predecessor Envisat which carried a wider array of instruments; in the Sentinel program there will be a series of smaller, more specialized satellites. At 0514 UTC on Apr 5, Sentinel made a maneuver to avoid a very close pass by NASA's defunct ACRIMSAT satellite, which failed on Dec 14 after suffering battery issues, ending its 14 year record of measuring the solar output. The Space Debris Office at ESOC, the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt (http://www.esa.int/debris) noticed the possible close approach after recieving the first post-launch orbital data for the satellite and, after exchanges with NASA and the USAF JSpOC space operations center, worked the plan for an avoidance burn with the ESOC flight dynamics group. Debris avoidance burns are moderately normal, but doing one during spacecraft checkout in the first days after launch is not, and required a major replanning effort as described in the ESA blog http://blogs.esa.int/eolaunches/2014/04/09/a-night-shift-like-never-before STARS-II -------- Kagawa University's STARS-II satellite has been renamed Gennai after the Japanese polymath Hiraga Gennai (1728-1780). Based on the orbital decay rate, the Kagawa team believes that the 300m tether has been deployed. IRNSS-1B -------- India's second dedicated navigation satellite for the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System was launched on Apr 4. The PSLV rocket flew southeast from Sriharikota; the third stage entered a marginally suborbital trajectory (possibly something like -300 x 600 km) and reentered on the first orbit off the west coast of S America. After a coast phase the fourth stage ignited to accelerate the vehicle to a 269 x 20558 km x 19.3 deg transfer orbit. IRNSS-1B used its onboard engine to join IRNSS-1A in circular inclined geosynchronous orbit, and on Apr 17 was in a 35565 x 35878 km x 31.0 deg orbit over the Indian Ocean. 'Ofeq-10 -------- Israel reportedly launched the 'Ofeq-10 (Horizon-10) satellite on Apr 9. The Jerusalem Post reports it carries a radar imaging (SAR) payload. Israeli news reports give a launch time of 2215 local (1915 UTC) but the official Israeli MOD YouTube video of the launch gives a time of 1906 UTC. Amateur tracking puts the satellite in a 384 x 609 km x 141.0 deg orbit as of Apr 16. In contrast to all other countries which launch either to polar orbit or eastward - to take advantage of Earth's rotation direction - Israel launches westward over the Med to retrograde orbit, accepting a payload mass penalty as a result. The reasons for this are, of course, obvious: eastward launches from Israel might be misinterpreted by its neighbours. NROL-67 ------- United Launch Alliance's Atlas V model 541 rocket, serial AV-045, took off from Cape Canaveral on Apr 10 carrying the NRO Launch 67 (NROL-67) payload. It appears likely that the Centaur stage made three burns to deploy the USA 250 payload in geosynchronous orbit. The payload is suspected to be a large NRO signals intelligence satellite. Egyptsat-2 ----------- The Egyptsat-2 satellite, bult by RKK Energiya for Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Science using the 559GK bus, was launched on Apr 16 by a Soyuz-U into a 435 x 703 km x 51.6 deg orbit. It carries a 1-meter resolution imager. Cassini -------- Cassini completed its T-100 flyby of Titan on Apr 7, passing 963 km from the surface at 1342 UTC. The encounter changed Cassini's orbit around Saturn from 799000 x 2963000 km x 45.5 deg to 684000 x 3384000 km x 40.7 deg. LADEE -------- NASA's LADEE spacecraft was lowered into an orbit with a 2 km perilune in early April, and it impacted the lunar farside between 0430 and 0522 UTC Apr 18, possibly (per twitter.com/nasaladee) on the east rim of the crater Sundman V at 12N 93W, north of Mare Orientale. (Note to those unfamiliar with lunar nomenclature: that is letter V, not a Roman numeral). LADEE studied the thin lunar atmosphere. ISEE-3 ------- The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 spacecraft, also known as the International Cometary Explorer after its trip to P/Giacobini-Zinner in 1985, is returning to the vicinity of the Earth in August following 30 years in solar orbit. On Apr 18 ISEE 3 was in a 0.927 x 1.034 AU x 0.06 deg solar orbit at a distance of 28.9 million km from Earth. Current (but inaccurate) orbital data suggest that on Aug 9 at 1145 UTC the probe will pass only 397000 km from Earth and then return to a solar orbit with slightly higher period and inclination. A group of enthusiasts is attempting to revive the spacecraft; they request that readers with original ISEE-3 documentation (for example, telemetry formats) contact them (see http://www.rockethub.com/42228 ). ISEE 3 was developed by NASA-GSFC and was the first spacecraft at the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange point. However, in a special 1986 ceremony NASA Administrator James Fletcher transferred ownership of the spacecraft from NASA to the Smithsonian Institution - see the 1986 Spaceflight magazine article at http://planet4589.org/space/jsr/isee3e.pdf for details. The legal status of this transfer is currently unclear - I am investigating. Table of Recent (orbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. Mar 15 2308 Ekspress-AT1 ) Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC81/24 Comms 10A Ekspress-AT2 ) Comms 10B Mar 22 2204 Astra 5B ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3 Comms 11A Amazonas 4A) Comms 11B Mar 23 2254 Glonass-M No. 54 Soyuz-2-1B Plesetsk LC43/4 Navigation 12A Mar 25 2117 Soyuz TMA-12M Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 13A Mar 31 0258 SJ-11 06 Chang Zheng 2C Jiuquan Pad 603 Surveillance? 14A Apr 3 1446 DMSP 5D-3 F-19 Atlas V 401 Vandenberg SLC3E Weather 15A Apr 3 2102 Sentinel-1A Soyuz-2-1A CSG ELS Radar 16A Apr 4 1144 IRNSS-1B PSLV-XL Sriharikota FLP Navigation 17A Apr 9 1526 Progress M-23M Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 18A Apr 9 1906 'Ofeq-10 Shaviyt Palmachim Radar 19A Apr 10 1745 USA 250 Atlas V 541 Canaveral SLC41 Sigint 20A Apr 16 1620 Egyptsat-2 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC31 Imaging 21A Apr 18 1925 Dragon CRS-3 ) Falcon 9 v1.1 Canaveral SLC40 Cargo 22A SporeSat ) Bio 22 TSat ) Tech 22 All-Star ) Sci 22 Kicksat ) Tech 22 Sprite (00,01) ) Tech 22 to ) Sprite (206,207) ) Tech 22 Suborbital missions ------------------- Russia launched several (possibly four?) reentry vehicles from Plesetsk to Kura (in Kamchatka) on Apr 14 aboard a Yars missile. Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches ---------------------------------- Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km Mar 2 2119? Hwasong RV Hwasong 6? Kittaeryong Training 150? Mar 2 2119? Hwasong RV Hwasong 6? Kittaeryong Training 150? Mar 3 1109 GREECE Black Brant IX Poker Flat Pad3 Aurora 335 Mar 4 1810 Topol' RV Topol' Kapustin Yar Test 1000? Mar 23 Hyunmoo RV Hyunmoo 2B Taean Test 100? Mar 25 1735 Nodong RV Nodong 1? Sukchon Test 150? Mar 25 1742 Nodong RV Nodong 1? Sukchon Test 150? Apr 14 0640 Yars RV x 4? Yars Plesetsk Test 1000? .-------------------------------------------------------------------------. | Jonathan McDowell | | | Somerville MA 02143 | inter : planet4589 at gmail | | USA | twitter: @planet4589 | | | | JSR: http://www.planet4589.org/jsr.html | | Back issues: http://www.planet4589.org/space/jsr/back | | Subscribe/unsub: http://www.planet4589.org/mailman/listinfo/jsr | '-------------------------------------------------------------------------'
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