Jonathan's Space Report
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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 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.

See also:

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. 718                                                  2015 Nov 12  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 45 continues under the command of Scott Kelly, with flight
engineers Mikhail Kornienko, Oleg Kononenko, Sergey Volkov, Kimiya Yui,
and Kjell Lindgren.

Following US EVA-32 describedin JSR 717, Kelly and Lindgren performed
spacewalk US EVA-33 on Nov 6. The airlock was depressurized around 1120
UTC and repressurized at 1910 UTC. The astronauts successfully
reconfigured part of the station's cooling system on the P6 truss
segment. The work went a bit slower than planned, though, and a backup
radiator panel (the P6 TTCR) had to be redeployed because there wasn't
enough time to fasten it down; this leaves it a bit more vulnerable to
space debris than NASA would have liked. 


Work by Bill Gray of Project Pluto identified the mystery object WT1190F
with other unidentifed observations dating back to 2009. Kudos to Bill -
this is tricky work since every time the object flies near the Moon the
uncertainties on its subsequent position increase (small errors are
magnified). But we still don't know what it is. Bill's FAQ page at discusses the object. His
argument that probably such objects must be fairly recently launched
since they are probably perturbed out of the Earth-Moon system on a
few-year timescale makes sense - but there aren't any really good
candidates for known metre-sized objects lost in translunar orbits in
the years immediately preceding 2009. It seems unlikely that any of the
Lagrange-bound pieces of the Herschel/Planck launch ended up remaining
in orbit, and all of the pieces of the LRO/LCROSS mission seem to be
accounted for. The third stage of the Stereo mission was predicted to
reenter on its first orbit, and I don't think the two despin weights
from the mission would have the right mass-to-area ratio. So I'm still
open to the idea that it's an older (Apollo era?) object that either
miraculously remained bound, or was recaptured like the Apollo 12 third
stage was a few years ago. For objects that were gently pertubed out into
heliocentric orbit, such recapture might not be that unlikely.

Current prediction is that the object will reenter at 11 km/s over
Sri Lanka at around 0620 UTC Nov 13.


On Nov 1, Dawn was in a 1100 x 1140 km x 90.9 deg orbit around Ceres, in the process
of lowering its orbit from the 1440 x 1460 km x 91.3 deg HAMO orbit it was in until Oct 23.
Thanks to Marc Rayman, the Dawn team and the JPL Horizons team for updating the orbital data.

Zhongxing 2C

The Zhongxing-2C communications satellite was launched from Xichang on Nov 3.
It is thought to be a new military strategic communications payload in the
Shentong-2 series.

Yaogan 28

Yaogan 28 was launched from Taiyuan on Nov 8. It is thought to be
the second Jianbing-11 imaging reconnaissance satellite with an 0.8m
resolution imager, and appears to be replacing the first Jianbing-11,
codenamed Yaogan 14.

Ariane 5

Ariane 5 vehicle 581 placed  Indian and Arab communications satellites in
geotransfer orbit. GSAT-15 has a Ku-band payload for Indian domestic
television broadcasting as well as a GAGAN navigation payload.
Badr-7 (Arabsat-6B) has Ku and Ka-band communications payloads; it is an Airbus
Eurostar 3000 satellite with a launch mass of 5800 kg.

Super Strypi

The USAF/Sandia Super Strypi launch vehicle took off from the Kauai Test
Facility's Kokole Point pad at 0345 UTC on Nov 4, but went out of
control during first stage burn and was destroyed. The University of
Hawaii's Hiakasat and 12 cubesats were aboard. The vehicle had three
solid stages (LEO-46, LEO-7 and LEO-1) developed by Aerojet.

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

Oct 16 1616   Apstar 9             Chang Zheng 3B    Xichang          Comms          59A   S40982    190 x 41767  x 27.2 
Oct 16 2040   Turksat 4B           Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur         Comms          60A   S40984  35717 x 35759  x  0.0
Oct 26 0710   Tianhui 1-03         Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan          Imaging        61A   S40988    490 x   500  x 97.4 1330LT SSO
Oct 31 1613   GPS SVN 73           Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41  Navigation     62A   S41019  20426 x 20485 x  55.0
Nov  3 1625   Zhongxing 2C         Chang Zheng 3B    Xichang          Comms          63A   S41021    195 x 35832 x  27.1
Nov  4 0345   Hiakasat     )                                          Imaging        F03   F01468  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              Argus        )                                          Tech           F03   F01469  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              PrintSat     )       Super Strypi      Kauai            Tech           F03   F01470  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              Techsat-1    )                                          Tech           F03   F01471  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              STACEM       )                                          Imaging        F03   F01472  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 1       )                                          Tech           F03   F01473  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 2       )                                          Tech           F03   F01474  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 3       )                                          Tech           F03   F01475  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 4       )                                          Tech           F03   F01476  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 5       )                                          Tech           F03   F01477  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 6       )                                          Tech           F03   F01478  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 7       )                                          Tech           F03   F01479  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
              EDSN 8       )                                          Tech           F03   F01480  -6378 x    30?x  94.7
Nov  8 0706   Yaogan 28           Chang Zheng 4B     Taiyuan          Imaging        64A   S41026    459 x   482 x  97.2 1414LT SSO
Nov 10 2134   Badr 7      )       Ariane 5ECA        Kourou ELA3      Comms          65A   S41028    264 x 35717 x   4.0
              GSAT-15     )                                           Comms          65B   S41029    259 x 35751 x   4.0

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

The US Navy launched Trident II D-5 submarine-launched ballistic
missiles from the submarine USS Kentucky on Nov 8 and 9. The missiles
were launched from near San Clemente Island off the coast of California
and flew to Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific. The first missile
was launched just after local sunset and its expanding exhaust gases
were illuminated by the sun, causing widespread UFO reports across the
southwestern United States. The 2-dimensional projection on the sky of
the missile's westward motion, as seen from the mostly southwest-facing
southern California coast, fooled many observers into thinking the
missile was flying north along the coast. California observers were also
able to see the deployments of the MIRV reentry vehicles as the vehicle's
final stage approached the horizon.

On Oct 20 a US Navy missile defense test was carried out in the Hebrides
Range in Scotland. The target Terrier Orion rocket launched from the
island of South Uist was the first exoatmospheric rocket launch from UK
territory since 1982.

On Nov 9 India tested an Agni IV missile from its long range military
missile test site near Chandipur. The IC4 complex is on Inner Wheeler
Island, which has recently been renamed Abdul Kalam Island after Indian
missile/space developer and former President Abdul Kalam (1931-2015).

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

Oct 19 1409   O-STATES 2       S31/Orion           Kiruna, Sweden        Atmosphere    244       ESRANGE Area B, Sweden
Oct 20        Aegis Target     Terrier Orion       South Uist, Hebrides  Target        100?      N Atlantic 
Oct 20        Aegis KV         SM-3          DDG-71, Hebrides Range      Interceptor   100?      (N Atlantic)
Oct 21 1245   GT216GM RV       Minuteman 3         Vandenberg LF04       Training     1300?      Kwajalein, Marshall Is.
Oct 28 1130   4 RVs            Yars                Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura, Kamchatka
Oct 30        Topol RV         Topol               Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura, Kamchatka
Oct 30        R-29RM RV x 4?   Sineva        K-117 Bryansk, Barents Sea  Test         1000?      Kura, Kamchatka
Oct 30        R-29 RV x 4?     Volna         K-223 Podolsk,Sea of Okhotsk Test        1000?      Chizha?, Kanin Penisula
Oct 31 2300?  Target           B-611?              Jiuquan, China        Target        100?      Korla
Oct 31 2300?  Interceptor      DF-21?              Korla/Urumqi, China   Interceptor   100       
Nov  1 0305   SRALT RV         SRALT         C-17, Pacific SE Wake I     Target        300?      Wake Island
Nov  1 0307?  THAAD KV         THAAD               Wake Island           Interceptor   100?      (Pacific)
Nov  1 0310?  eMBRM RV         eMRBM         C-17, Pacific SE Wake I     Target        300?      Wake Island
Nov  1 0312?  THAAD KV         THAAD               Wake Island           Interceptor   100?      (Pacific)
Nov  8 0200   USN Mk 5 RV (x14?) Trident II  SSBN 737, Pt Mugu           Test         1000?      Kwajalein?
Nov  9 2000?  USN Mk 5 RV (x14?) Trident II  SSBN 737, Pt Mugu           Test         1000?      Kwajalein?
Nov  9 0415   Agni RV          Agni IV             Abdul Kalam Island    Test          600       Indian Ocean

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