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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 783                                                        2020 Sep 13   Somerville, MA
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International Space Station
---------------------------

Expedition 63 continues. Progress MS-14 made an orbit adjustment on Sep 10 at 2032 UTC.

SAOCOM 1B
----------

SpaceX launched Argentina's second SAOCOM radar satellite, SAOCOM-1B, on Aug 30. The Falcon 9 first
stage returned for a landing at Canaveral's Landing Zone 1. The second stage maneuvered south-westwards
to complete the first polar orbit insertion from Florida since 1969. 

The second stage then deployed two small satellites, the GNOMES-1 radio-occultation meteorology satellite
for PlanetIQ, and Tyvak-0172 for Tyvak. The satellites are in a 600 km SSO with descending node at 17:52 local time.

Sequoia 
-------

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket returned to flight on Aug 31 and orbited Capella Space's Sequoia radar
satellite. The kick stage was then revealed to be RocketLab's first Photon satellite, dubbed 'First Light'.
The mass of First Light and its specific experiment/instrument payload have not been released.

SSMS
----

Arianespace's Vega returned to flight on Sep 3 with the first flight of its Small Spacecraft Mission
Service, carrying 65 small satellites.

Vega released 7 microsatellites in a 515 km orbit:
  Athena, for Facebook subsidiary Point View, a 150 kg Maxar SSL-100 satellite for E-band comms tests
  Iris (GHGSat-C1) for GHGSat, a 15 kg UTIAS-SFL satellite to measure greenhouse gases
  NEMO-HD, a 65 kg Earth imaging sat for Space-SI of Slovenia, built by UTIAS-SFL.
  UPMSat-2, a 45 kg test satellite for the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.
  ESAIL, a 110 kg AIS (ship tracking) satellite for exactEarth, built by LuxSpace.
  Hypatia, a 44 kg imaging satellite for the Uruguayan/Argentine company Satellogic 
  ION-SVC LUCAS, a maneuverable cubesat deployer from Italy's D-Orbit.

It then moved to a 530 km orbit to deploy a series of cubesats:
   FSSCAT A and B, two 6U satellites for the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona with microwave
     and multispectral imaging payloads.
   OSM-1 Cicero, a 6U GNSS-RO satellite for OSM (Orbital Solutions Monaco) in collaboration with Tyvak.
   NAPA 1, a 6U 40-meter-res imaging satellite for the Royal Thai Air Force, built by ISIS-BV/Delft.
   TARS, a 6U satellite built by AAC Microtec/Clyde for Kepler Comms (Toronto)'s IoT data relay system.
   Tyvak-0171, a 6U satellite built by Tyvak for an unknown customer
   Dove 227c, 2256, 2412, 2274, 240f, 225b, 227b, 2416, 2419, 2254, 2424, 2307, 241c, 227a, 3U imaging satellites for Planet.   
    also called Flock-1v 1 to 14.
   Lemur-2 (8 unnamed 3U satellites) carrying AIS/ADS-B/GNSS-RO payloads for Spire
   Dido 3, a 3U satellite built by ISIS-BV for the Israeli/Swiss SpacePharma microgravity processing company
   PICASSO, a 3U satellite from the Institut d'Aeronomie Spatiale de Belgique (Brussels) for ionospheric and ozone study
   SIMBA, a 3U satellite from Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut (Brussels) to study the Earth's radiation balance
   TRISAT, a 3U satellite from the University of Maribor in Slovenia to test an infrared imager.
   AMICAL-Sat, a 2U satellite from CSUG/Uni. Grenoble Alpes in France, for auroral imaging
   Hamarik (TTU100), a 1U satellite for Tallinn University of Tech, Estonia.
   SpaceBee 10 to 21, a dozen 0.25U communications satellites for the US company Swarm Technologies.

The ION-SVC LUCAS satellite contains 12 additional Flock-1v Dove satellites which will be ejected
later: Dove 2402, 2403, 2426, 2413, 2414, 2406, 2408, 240a, 2401, 2405, 240c, 2407


Starlink
---------

The 12th Starlink launch (V1.0-L11) on Sep 3 carried 60 more Starlinks into orbit.

Chinese Spaceplane
------------------

On Sep 4 at 0730 UTC (plus or minus one minute, based on analysis of
TLEs) China's CALT launched a Chang Zheng 2F (probably S/N T3) carrying
an experimental spacecraft into a 332 x 348 km x 50.2 deg orbit. The
spacecraft was referred to as Chongfu Shiyong Shiyan Hangtian Qi
which translates as Reusable Test Spacecraft.

Xinhua reported early on Sep 6 that the spacecraft had landed successfully.
Likely landing time is around 0200 UTC with a candidate landing site being
runway 05 at an air base at 89.27E 40.78N near Lop Nor.

Sometime around 2230 Sep 5, a few orbits before the landing, a new
object separated from the spacecraft and was cataloged as 2020-063G. It
may be a service module or solar array jettisoned prior to the deorbit
burn.

Gao Fen 11-02
-------------

On Sep 7 China's SAST launched a CZ-4B carrying the CAST-built Gao Fen 11 hao 02 xing
(GF-11-02) imaging satellite to an elliptical sun-synchronous orbit. The orbit is similar
to the initial orbit of GF-11-01, which was launched in 2018 and changed to a circular
500 km orbit 9 months after launch. Igor Lissov has suggested that the GF-11 satellites
have the internal military name Jianbing-16.

Astra Rocket 3.1
----------------

Launch startup company Astra made their first orbital attempt on Sep 12 from Pacific Spaceport
Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island. Target orbit was 340 x 340 km x 86.3 deg. Payload was
test instrumentation only. During first stage flight, guidance oscillations caused the rocket
to go off course, and the engines were commanded to shut down. The rocket tumbled back to Earth
and exploded on impact with the ground.

Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C
------------------

An imaging satellite for the Changuang Sat Tech company, Jilin-1 Gaofen 2C, was lost in
the launch failure of an EXPACE Kuaizhou-1A rocket from Jiuquan on Sep 12. Details of
the failure are unknown.


Table of Recent Orbital Launches
 ----------------------------------

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes

Aug  6 0401   Gao Fen 9-04            )    Chang Zheng 2D      Jiuquan         Imaging    54A S45025    486 x   506 x 97.5
              Zhongli yu Daqi Kexue W.)                                        Science    54B S45026    483 x   505 x 97.5
Aug  7 0512   Starlink 1514     )
              Starlink 1515     )
              Starlink 1522-1527)
              Starlink 1529     )
              Starlink 1530     )                                                              S46027
              Starlink 1532-1536)          Falcon 9            Kennedy LC39A   Comms    55A-BJ   to     386 x   403 x 53.0  
              Starlink 1538-1544)                                                              S46083 
              Starlink 1548     )
              Starlink 1549     )
              Starlink 1551     )
              Starlink 1552     )
              Starlink 1554-1574)
              Starlink 1576-1584)
              Starlink 1591     )
              Global-7          )                                              Imaging  55BP  S46088    385 x   402 x 53.0
              Global-8          )                                              Imaging  55BQ  S46089    385 x   402 x 53.0
Aug 15 2204   Galaxy 30  )                 Ariane 5ECA         Kourou ELA3     Comms    56C   S46114    254 x 35741 x  6.0
              MEV-2      )                                                     Servicing56B   S46113    268 x 35756 x  6.0
              BSAT-4b    )                                                     Comms    56A   S46112    261 x 35783 x  6.0
Aug 18 1431   Starlink 1545      )         Falcon 9            Canaveral SLC40 Comms   57A-BK S46117    290 x   356 x 53.0
              Starlink 1585-1590 )                                                              to
              Starlink 1592-1616 )                                                            S46174
              Starlink 1618-1643 )
              Starlink 1667      )
              Skysat C17         )                                             Imaging   57BQ S46179     250 x  359 x 53.0
              Skysat C18         )                                             Imaging   57BR S46180     250 x  359 x 53.0 
              Skysat C19         )                                             Imaging   57BS S46235     236 x  353 x 53.0
Aug 23 0227   Gao Fen 9-05  )              Chang Zheng 2D      Jiuquan         Imaging   58A? S46232     485 x  505 x 97.5
              Tiantuo 5     )                                                  Comms     58B? S46233     485 x  505 x 97.5
              DGSW          )                                                  Tech      58C? S46234     485 x  505 x 97.5
Aug 30 2318   SAOCOM-1B  )                 Falcon 9            Canaveral SLC40 Radar     59A  S46265     600 x  609 x 97.9
              GNOMES-1   )                                                     Met-RO    59B? S46266     600 x  609 x 97.9
              Tyvak-0172 )                                                     Tech?     59C? S46267     600 x  609 x 97.9
Aug 31 0305   Sequoia     )                Electron            Mahia LC1       Radar     60B  S46269     528 x  546 x 45.1
              First Light )                                                    Tech      60A  S46268     530  x 546 x 45.1
Sep  3 0151   SSMS                 )       Vega                CSG ZLV         Tech      61              515 x  525 x 97.5
              Athena               )                                           Comms     61              515 x  525 x 97.5
              Iris                 )                                           Rem.Sen.  61D  S46278     515 x  525 x 97.5
              NEMO-HD              )                                           Imaging   61              515 x  525 x 97.5
              UMPSat-2             )                                           Tech      61              515 x  525 x 97.5
              ESAIL                )                                           AIS       61B  S46273     515 x  525 x 97.5
              ION-SVC Lucas        )                                           Tech      61C  S46274     515 x  525 x 97.5
              Hypatia              )                                           Imaging   61A  S46272     515 x  525 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Lemur-2 Unnamed      )                                          AIS/Met-RO 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              FSSCAT A             )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              FSSCAT B             )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              OSM-1 CICERO         )                                           Met-RO    61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              NAPA 1               )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              TARS                 )                                           Comms     61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Tyvak-0171           )                                           Unknown   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Dido 3               )                                           Micrograv 61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              PICASSO              )                                           Science   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              SIMBA                )                                           Science   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              TRISAT               )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              AMICal-Sat           )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Hamarik              )                                           Tech      61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              SpaceBEE 10 to 21    )                                           Comms     61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Flock 4v-1 to 4v-14  )                                           Imaging   61              533 x  535 x 97.5
              Flock 4v-15 to 4v-26 )                                           Imaging   Aboard ION-SVC
Sep  3 1246   Starlink 1546      )         Falcon 9            Kennedy LC39A   Comms   62A-BM S46325    242 x   334 x 53.0
              Starlink 1547      )                                                              to
              Starlink 1550      )                                                            S46385
              Starlink 1553      )
              Starlink 1575      )
              Starlink 1617      )
              Starlink 1646      )
              Starlink 1651      )
              Starlink 1653      )
              Starlink 1654      )
              Starlink 1656-1658 )
              Starlink 1661      )
              Starlink 1662      )
              Starlink 1665      )
              Starlink 1666      )
              Starlink 1670      )
              Starlink 1673      )
              Starlink 1686      )
              Starlink 1688-1691 )
              Starlink 1695      )
              Starlink 1707-1711 )
              Starlink 1713      )
              Starlink 1719      )
              Starlink 1721-1727 )
              Starlink 1734      )
              Starlink 1738-1739 )
              Starlink 1742      )
              Starlink 1745      )
              Starlink 1750-1752 )
              Starlink 1756-1760 )
              Starlink 1762-1765 )
              Starlink 1767-1771 )
Sep  4 0730?  Chongfu Shiyong Sh. Han.Qi   Chang Zheng 2F      Jiuquan         Spaceship 63A  S46389    331 x  348  x 52.0
Sep  7 0557   Gao Fen 11-02                Chang Zheng 4B      Taiyuan         Imaging   64A  S46396    247 x  694  x 97.3
Sep 12 0320?  Astra Test Payload           Astra Rocket 3.1    Kodiak LP3B     Test      F07  F01569  -6378?x    2? x 86
Sep 12 0502   Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C           Kuaizhou 1A         Jiuquan         Imaging   F08  F01572  -5000?x  100??x 97.5

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches
-----------------------------------

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

Aug  4 0721   Mk 12 RV)         Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF10       Op. Test     1300?      Kwajalein BOA
              Mk 12 RV)
              Mk 12 RV)
Aug 12        Sparrow Target    Silver Sparrow?    F-15, Med. Sea        Target        100?      Israel (intercepted)
Aug 25        DF-26 RV          DF-26              Da Qaidam             Test          500?      S China Sea
Aug 25        DF-21 RV          DF-21D?            Ningbo                Test          500?      S China Sea
Sep  2 0703   GT233GM RV        Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF04       Op. Test     1300?      Kwajalein BOA
Sep  8 1800   DUST-2            Black Brant IX     White Sands           Physics       346       White Sands


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