Jonathan's Space Report - Next Issue

This is the draft of the NEXT issue of JSR. WARNING: Information on this page is up to date but not well checked, and may include wild rumours and downright nonsense. For the CURRENT issue of JSR, click here

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 724 draft                                                 2016 Mar 16 Somerville, MA

JSR 723 is now permalinked at http://planet4589.org/space/jsr/back/news.723

International Space Station

Expedition 47 continues with  commander Tim Kopra and flight engineers
Yuriy Malenchenko and Tim Peake. On Mar 18 Soyuz TMA-20M was launched
carrying Alexey Ovchinin, Oleg Skripochka and Jeff Williams. This is the
last of the 11F732A47 Soyuz TMA-M series, which will be replaced by the
improved Soyuz-MS variant.

On Mar 23 Cygnus cargo ship OA-6, "SS Rick Husband", was launched aboard
Atlas V flight AV-064 from Cape Canaveral. A mixture ratio problem on
the Atlas caused an 5-seconds-early first stage cutoff, which required a
full extra minute's burn on the Centaur upper stage to make the correct
orbit. After deploying Cygnus, the Centaur's second burn was intended to
deorbit the stage south of Australia, but because of insufficient
remaining propellant the engine cutoff early, and reentry occurred
downrange south of New Zealand.

SS Rick Husband arrived at the ISS on schedule, and was grappled by
the Canadarm-2 at 1051 UTC Mar 26.

Progress M-29M undocked from the Zvezda module on Mar 30 at 1415 UTC and
Progress MS-02 was launched from Baykonur on Mar 31 and docked with
Zvezda on Apr 2 at 1758 UTC.


Russia launched a Bars-M cartography satellite on Mar 26, giving it the
codename Kosmos-2515. Bars-M No. 2 joins the No. 1 satellite (Kosmos-2503)
launched in 2015.

Tiangong 1

On Mar 21 China announced the end of "data service" with the Tiangong 1 space
laboratory. The 8500 kg lab is in a 377 x 394 km x 42.8 deg orbit; it
had made reboost manuevers about twice a year, the most recent on 2015
Dec 16. Scott Tilley reported on the SeeSat list that regular radio
transmissions from the spacecraft were not received during passes
on Mar 31.

If the spacecraft is now inactive, it will reenter the atmosphere
sometime in the next few years. 


Optical observations of the ExoMars launch have revealed several debris objects
in the vicinity of the Briz-M final stage shortly after payload separation.
At this writing it's unclear if the Briz-M completed its separation burns.
However, the stage's trajectory as measured by astronomers puts it on course
to safely miss Mars by almost one million km. Meanwhile, ESA reports that
the ExoMars TGO spacecraft itself is in good health and on course to Mars.


JAXA's Hitomi satellite (the ASTRO-H X-ray observatory, not to be
confused with Tokyo University's homonymic Hitomi satellite) suffered a
major anomaly on Mar 25 while observing the quasar Markarian 205.  At
1910 UTC the satellite started tumbling and then at 0140 UTC Mar 26 the
spacecraft partly disintegrated. US tracking found eleven debris objects
in orbit. During the next scheduled pass at 0740 UTC, JAXA received only
a short burst from the radio beacon and nothing more; three more such
beacon detections were obtained up to Mar 29, when the spacecraft fell
silent.  Ground-based optical observations showed that at least two of
the debris objects, 2016-012A and 012L, were bright and tumbling several
times a minute. 2016-012A is probably the main spacecraft bus. It's
possible that 2016-012L is the extensible optical bench with the HXI
cameras, or part of the solar panels.

JAXA hopes that as the tumbling eventually slows, the spacecraft
will regain power and communications would again be possible. If
the spacecraft attitude can be fixed, it's likely that at least the
SXI CCD imagers would be able to operate.


China's SJ-10 microgravity experiment satellite was launched on Apr 5
into low orbit. SJ-10 is based on the old FSW recoverable film-based spy
satellites. The main experiment section will separate and return to
Earth at the end of the mission.

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

Feb  1 0729   Beidou DW21         Chang Zheng 3C/YZ1 Xichang           Navigation     06A   S41315  21512 x 21981 x  55.0
Feb  3 1322   Fleshka             -                  ISS, LEO        Commemorative 98-067HR?S41326?   395 x   406 x  51.6
Feb  5 1338   GPS SVN 70          Atlas V 401        Canaveral SLC41   Navigation     07A   S41328  20438 x 20442 x  55.0 
Feb  7 0021   Glonass-M No. 51    Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat  Plesetsk LC43/4   Navigation     08A   S41330  19132 x 19158 x  64.8
Feb  7 0030   Kwangmyongsong-4    Kwangmyongsong     Sohae             Imaging        09A   S41332    465 x   501 x  97.5 0840LT SSO
Feb 10 1140   TOPAZ 4?            Delta 4M+(5,2)     Vandenberg SLC6   Radar          10A   S41334   1078 x  1085 x 123.0   
Feb 16 1757   Sentinel-3A         Rokot              Plesetsk LC133    Imaging/Alt    11A   S41335    802 x   806 x  98.6 1000LT SSO
Feb 17 0845   Hitomi     )        H2A 202            Tanegashima       X-ray Astron   12A   S41337    565 x   580 x  31.0
              Kinshachi-2)                                             Space Sci      12B   S41338    559 x   579 x  31.0
              Kinshachi-3)                                             Imaging        12C   S41339    558 x   578 x  31.0
              Horyu-4    )                                             Tech           12D   S41340    557 x   578 x  31.0
Mar  4 2335   SES-9               Falcon 9 FT        Canaveral SLC40   Comms          13A   S41380  28569 x 41649 x   0.5
Mar  9 0520   Eutelsat 65 West A  Ariane 5 ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms          14A   S41832  35729 x 35759 x   0.0 GEO 44W drift
Mar 10 1031   IRNSS-1F            PSLV-XL            Satish Dhawan SLP Navigation     15A   S41384  33349 x 35750 x   5.3
Mar 13 1856   Resurs-P No. 3      Soyuz-2-1B         Baykonur LC31     Imaging        16A   S41386    279 x   452 x  97.3 1150LT SSO
Mar 14 0931   ExoMars TGO   )     Proton-M/Briz-M    Baykonur LC200/39 Mars orbiter   17A   S41388    750 x-71368 x  51.5
              Schiaparelli  )                                          Mars lander    17    A08532    750 x-71368 x  51.5
Mar 18 2126   Soyuz TMA-20M       Soyuz-FG           Baykonur LC1      Spaceship      18A   S41391    193 x   230 x  51.6
Mar 23 0305   SS Rick Husband     Atlas V 401        Canaveral SLC41   Cargo          19A   S41393    240 x   250 x  51.6
Mar 24 0942   Bars-M No. 2        Soyuz-2-1A         Plesetsk          Mapping        20A   S41394    332 x   540 x  97.6 1325LT SSO
Mar 29 2011   Beidou DW 22        Chang Zheng 3A     Xichang LC2       Navigation     21A   S41434    195 x 35796 x  55.0
Mar 31 1623   Progress MS-02      Soyuz-2-1A         Baykonur LC31     Cargo          22A   S41436    261 x   267 x  51.6
Apr  5 1738   Shi Jian 10         Chang Zheng 2D     Jiuquan           Microgravity   23A   S41448    233 x   267 x  42.9

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Mar  1 1450   MUSIC            Terrier Imp.Mal.    Wallops Island        Tech          185       Atlantic Ocean
Mar  7 1205   NASA 41.114NP    Terrier Imp.Orion   Wallops Island        Tech          160?      Atlantic Ocean
Mar  8        Shahab RV        Shahab-1            Qom Desert, Iran      Test          100?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  8        Shahab RV        Shahab-2            Qom Desert, Iran      Test          120?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  8        Qiam RV          Qiam                Qom Desert, Iran      Test          125?      Qom Desert, Iran
Mar  9        Ghadr RV         Ghadr-F             Semnan?, Iran         Test          150?      Makran, S Iran
Mar  9        Ghadr RV         Ghadr-H             Semnan?, Iran         Test          150?      Makran, S Iran
Mar  9 2020   Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Chiha?, N Korea       Test          150?      Sea of Japan
Mar  9 2020   Hwasong RV       Hwasong 6?          Chiha?, N Korea       Test          150?      Sea of Japan
Mar 14        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 15        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 16        Trident RVs x ?  Trident D-5       SSBN off Cape Canaveral Test         1000?      S Atlantic
Mar 17 2055   Nodong RV        Nodong              Sukcheon, N Korea     Test          150?      Sea of Japan

|  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         |

Jonathan's Space Home Page

Jonathan's Home Page