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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 817                                                      2023 Mar 18       Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 68 continues.

In JSR 816 I omitted the spacewalk on Feb 2. Mann and Wakata completed installation
of the 1A IROSA mod kit on the station truss.

On Feb 18 at 0226 UTC Progress MS-21 undocked from Poisk. After cameras
on ISS inspected its service module in the area of the coolant leak, it
departed the station and was deorbited over the S Pacific with an engine
burn at 0315 UTC Feb 19 leading to debris impact at 0357 UTC Feb 19.

On Feb 20 at 0420 UTC Progress MS-22 fired its engines for 958 seconds to increase
the ISS velocity by 1.8 m/s, raising its orbit 3 km and using 291 kg of propellant.

Soyuz MS-23 was launched at 0024 UTC Feb 24, and docked with the Poisk module
at 0058 UTC Feb 26. The spacecraft, no. 754, was launched without a crew
to replace the damaged Soyuz MS-22 following the latter's coolant leak.
Soyuz MS-22 is to be returned to Earth without anyone aboard, and its former
crew will land on Soyuz MS-23.

Dragon Endeavour was launched on Mar 2 on the Crew-6 mission, with
astronauts Steve Bowen (NASA), Warren Hoburg (NASA), Sultan Al Neyadi (UAE MBRSC),
and Andrey Fedyaev (Roskosmos). Dragon docked with IDA-3 at 0640 UTC Mar 3.

Progress MS-22 fired its engines on Mar 6 at 1242 UTC for 376s in a burn
to  avoid collision with Satellogic's Nusat-17 satellite (46835) which was on
course to be less than 2 km from ISS at 1823 UTC. At the same time a
Genesis 1 debris object (31392) also was on track for a close pass at
1833 UTC.

Another avoidance burn was carried out by Progress MS-22 at 1154 UTC Mar 14,
probably to avoid object 49982, a piece of Kosmos-1408 ASAT debris.

Dragon Endurance (Crew-5; Mann, Casada, Wakata, Kikina) undocked from
IDA-2 at 0719:26 UTC Mar 11 and landed in the Gulf of Mexico at 0202 UTC
near 28.1N  83.9W. The trunk was jettisoned at 0106 UTC into a 299 x 410
km orbit.

Cargo mission Dragon CRS-27 was launched from KSC on Mar 15. It docked with
IDA-2/PMA-2 at 1131 UTC Mar 16. The trunk carries the Space Force STP-H9
experiment package which will be installed on the Kibo EF.


Progress MS-22 docked with the Zvezda module at 0845 UC Feb 11  (not 0249 UTC)

Chinese Space Station

On Feb 9 astronauts Fei and Zhang made a spacewalk to install a pump
on the station exterior. The hatch was open at 0910 UTC and closed at 1616 UTC.

They apparently made a second spacewalk on Feb 28 but no details of this
EVA were made public. This is the first time in spaceflight history that
a spacewalk was carried out without its duration or start time being
announced (although there were rumours of clandestine EVAs during
military Shuttle missions,  there is no convincing evidence of this).


Starlink Group 2-5 (51 satellites) launched from Vandenberg on Feb 17.
Starlink Group 6-1 (21 satellites) launched from Canaveral on Feb 27 with the first
 800 kg V2-Mini satellites.
Starlink Group 2-7 (51 satellites) launched from Vandenberg on Mar 3.
Starlink Group 2-8 (52 satellites) launched from Vandenberg on Mar 17.

The V2-Mini satellites raised their orbit from 365 to 380 km by Mar 6, but
on Mar 11 all 21 satellites appear to have stopped orbital maintenance burns
and their orbits began to decay. However, it's a bit too early to say whether the
satellites will reenter or whether control over them will be recovered.


The Inmarsat 6F2 communications satellite was launched by SpaceX for
Inmarsat on Feb 18 to geotransfer orbit. The satellite is a 5470 kg
Airbus Eurostar 3000EOR with an electric propulsion system.
As of Mar 15 it was in a 1009 x 42771 km x 24.4 deg orbit.

CALT launches

CALT launched a CZ-3B from Xichang on Feb 23 with the Zhongxing-26
high bandwidth Ka-band comms satellite. By Mar 3 it was in GEO at 125E.

CALT launched CZ-2C vehicles from Jiuquan on Feb 24 and Mar 13 with
Horus-1 (Helusi-1) and Horus-2 (Helusi-2), a pair of Chinese-built
imaging satellites for Egypt. They are both in sun-sync orbit with 10:21 local
time orbital plane.

CALT launched a CZ-11 from Jiuquan on Mar 15 with the Shiyan 19 experiment
satellite, apparently carrying either an optical or possibly radar imaging payload.
The satellite is in sun-sync orbit with 18:00 local time orbital plane.

SAST launches

SAST launched a CZ-4C from Taiyuan on Mar 9 placing two Tianhui-6 imaging
satellites into an 0600 LTDN sun-sync orbit.


The first flight of JAXA's H3 rocket ended in failure on Mar 7. The
second stage did not ignite; a destruct command was sent and the debris
from the vehicle impacted the Pacific east of the Phillipines around
132E 13N at 0155 UTC. Payload was the ALOS-3 (Daichi-3) Earth observing satellite.
JAXA reports that electrical issues in the second stage engine controller
prevented valves from opening and prevented stage ignition.

OneWeb L17

SpaceX launched a further 40 OneWeb internet satellites from Cape Canaveral on Mar 9.


On Mar 13 Russia launched a satellite with the cover name Luch-5Kh. The satellite is believed
to actually be the second Olimp-K geostationary signals intelligence satellite.

Electron 34

Rocket Lab launched the 34th Electron mission on Mar 16. This flight,
from  Launch Area 0C at the  Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on
Wallops Island, Virginia, placed the Capella 9 and 10 radar satellites
in orbit. The second stage reached a 178 x 300 km orbit and then,
in a new launch profile, the kick stage made an immediate apogee raise burn
to about 180 x 600 km, followed by the usual circularization burn
at apogee. A small passivation burn was also reported but the kick
stage appears to be in an orbit close to the payloads.


On Mar 17 SpaceX launched two C-band communications satellites for SES.
SES-18 and SES-19  are Northrop Grumman Geostar-3 satellites with mass
3605 and 3650 kg wet, 1139 and 1280 kg dry.

High energy North Korean missile launches

North Korea launched a Hwasong-17 missile on a high energy trajectory of
Feb 18. The missile reached a 5768 km apogee. This trajectory, although
suborbital, has total energy comparable to an orbital launch; I assign
it one of my 'special' designations, 2023-U01, to distinguish it from
the run-of-the-mill suborbital flights. See for more discussion.

A very similar flight was carried out on Mar 15; I assign it designation


The ION SCV009 tug carried a test of a payload ejection system from the
Ensign-Bickford Aerospace and Defense (EBAD) company.  The EBAD deployer
ejected a dummy test mass in February, cataloged as 2023-014BH. TLEs
suggest the ejection was around Feb 19, but an EBAD press release says
it was on Feb 8.

Transporter 6

Jeff Foust reports in Space News that the Launcher company's Orbiter SN1 tug, launched
on Transporter-6, has failed, and the satellites aboard it can not be deployed.
In GCAT I have assigned those satellites auxiliary catalog numbers A10880
to A10885  (Proves-Yearling, MDQub-SAT1A/1B, Sapling, Unicorn 2G/2H) with
metadata to show they remain attached to the tug.

D-Orbit's ION SCV007 deployed the Kelpie-1 maritime AIS location satellite
on Mar 1, after raising its orbit to 638 x 655 km.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name			     Launch Vehicle	 Site		 Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl	 Notes
Feb  3 0758   Starlink Group 5-3               Falcon 9                    Kennedy LC39A    Comms    15A 322 x 342 x 43.0
Feb  5 0912   Elektro-L No. 4L                 Proton-M/DM-03              Baykonur LC81/24 Weather  16A 35379 x 35502 x 0.6
Feb  7 0132   Amazonas Nexus                   Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    17A 338 x 59587 x 25.1
Feb  9 0615   Progress MS-22                   Soyuz-2-1a                  Baykonur LC31    Cargo    18A 270 x 314 x 51.6
Feb  9 0348   EOS-07                           SSLV                        Satish Dhawan    Tech     19A 443 x 460 x 37.2
              AzaadiSat-2                                                                   Tech     19
              JANUS-1                                                                       Tech     19
Feb 12 0510   Starlink Group 5-4               Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    20A 296 x 338 x 43.0
Feb 14?       DRUMS Target 1                                              DRUMS, LEO        Tech   21-102M 539 x 568 x 97.5
Feb 17 1912   Starlink Group 2-5               Falcon 9                    Vandenberg SLC4E Comms    21A  234 x 316 x 70.0
Feb 18 0359   Inmarsat 6F2                     Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    22A  387 x 41593 x 27.0
Feb 18 0822   Hwasong-17 RV                    Hwasong-17                  Sunan LP4        Missile  U01 -6260 x 5768 x 41
Feb 19 1200?  EBAD Test Mass                                              ION SCV009, LEO   GTech    14BH 318 x 327 x 70.0
Feb 23 1149   Zhongxing-26                     Chang Zheng 3B              Xichang          Comms    23A 225 x 35794 x 27.9
Feb 24 0024   Soyuz MS-23                      Soyuz-2-1a                  Baykonur LC31   Spaceship 24A 193 x 222 x 51.6
Feb 24 0401   Horus-1                          Chang Zheng 2C              Jiuquan          Imaging  25A 488 x 503 x 97.5
Feb 27 2313   Starlink Group 6-1               Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    26A 364 x 372 x 43.0
Mar  1 1200?  Kelpie-1                                                     ION SCV007, LEO           01DC 637 x 655 x 98.1
Mar  2 0534   Dragon Crew-6                    Falcon 9                    Kennedy LC39A   Spaceship 27A 192 x 210 x 51.6
Mar  3 1838   Starlink Group 2-7               Falcon 9                    Vandenberg SLC4E Comms    28A  222 x 327 x 70.0
Mar  7 0137   Daichi-3                         H3-22S                      Tanegashima      Imaging  F03 -5940 x 635 x 86.6
Mar  9 1913   OneWeb L17                       Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    29A  581 x 599 x 86.5
Mar  9 2241   Tianhui-6 01                     Chang Zheng 4C              Taiyuan          Imaging  30A  888 x 888 x 99.0
              Tianhui-6 02                                                                           30B  888 x 888 x 99.0
Mar 12 2313   Luch-5Kh                         Proton-M/Briz-M             Baykonur LC81/24 Sigint   31A  381 x 35715 x 48.7
Mar 13 0402   Horus-2                          Chang Zheng 2C              Jiuquan          Imaging  32A 489 x 502 x 97.4
Mar 15 0030   Dragon CRS-27                    Falcon 9                    Kennedy LC39A    Cargo    33A 194 x 208 x 51.6
Mar 15 1141   Shiyan 19                        Chang Zheng 11              Jiuquan          Tech     34A 495 x 515 x 97.5
Mar 15 2210   Hwasong-17 RV                    Hwasong-17                  Sunan LP5        Missile  U02 -6260 x 6045 x 41.6
Mar 16 2339   Capella 9                        Electron                    MARS LA0C        Radar    35A  590 x 603 x 44
              Capella 10                                                                    Radar    35B  590 x 603 x 44
Mar 17 0833   Gao Fen 13-02                    Chang Zheng 3B              Xichang          Imaging  36A  190 x 35799 x 28.5
Mar 17 1926   Starlink Group 2-8               Falcon 9                    Vandenberg SLC4E Comms    37
Mar 17 2338   SES 18                           Falcon 9                    Canaveral LC40   Comms    38A
              SES 19                                                                        Comms    38B

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches 


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

Feb 10 0701   GT245GM           Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF10       Op.Test      1300?      Kwajalein
Feb 16 1200   MesOrion 1        Imp. Orion         Wallops               Test          114       Atlantic
Feb 16 1228   MesOrion 2        Imp. Orion         Wallops               Test          114       Atlantic
Feb 18 0945?  RV                Sarmat             Plesetsk              Test          100?      (Kura, failed)
Feb 19 2215?  RV                KN-25?             Sukchong              Test          100       Sea of Japan
Mar 13 2241   RV                KN-23              Jangyon               Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Mar 13 2251   RV                KN-23              Jangyon               Test          100?      Sea of Japan

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