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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 779                                                           2020 Jun 14  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 63 continues.

Cygnus NG-13 was deorbited over the Pacific on May 29, with reentry
at 1930 UTC.

Crew Dragon mission DM-2 (Demo-2) was launched on May 30 with capsule
C206, named `Endeavour' after launch. DM-2 flew to orbit aboard a Falcon
9 from Kennedy Space Center. The first stage landed on the OCISLY
droneship and the second stage was deorbited in the ocean near Australia
on the first orbit. DM-2 crew are NASA astronauts Doug Hurley
(spacecraft commander)  and Bob Behnken (joint operations commander).
This is the first human spaceflight launched by SpaceX.

Earlier spaceships called 'Endeavour' were the Apollo CSM 112 (for Apollo 15)
and Space Shuttle Orbiter OV-105.

Endeavour completed a rendezvous with the ISS and docked with
International Docking Adapter 2 (IDA-2) at 1416 UTC May 31. The crew
entered the ISS at 1722 UTC. IDA-2 is attached to PMA-2, which is on the
end of the Harmony module.

The Japanese HTV cargo ships carry an External Pallet (EP), used in recent missions
to carry the replacement ISS batteries. The EP is 900 kg empty and 2.3 tonnes
fully loaded. EP-8 was launched on HTV-8 in Sep 2019, and on Jan 21,
following the battery replacement spacewalks in January, was stowed on
the ISS truss; specifically, on LEE 201 on the Mobile Base System's Payload ORU Accomodations
(MBS POA). It is full of old NiH batteries removed from the P6 truss during the
spacewalks (batteries 0087, 0093, 0099, 0097, 0104, 0106, 0103 and 0102).
EP-9 was launched on HTV-9 in May with a load of new Li-ion batteries (serial numbers
currently unknown, please pass on the data if you have access to it).

Early on Jun 1 Canadarm-2 removed EP-8 from the POA and handed it to the
Japanese JRMS arm (which, unlike Canadarm and Dextre and rather
surprisingly for JAXA, does not have its own cute name).  Then, at 0359
UTC on Jun 1, Canadarm-2 removed EP-9 from Kounotori-9 and later
installed it on the POA. Now the JRMS gave EP-8 back to Canadarm-2 which
stashed EP-8 in the Kounoutori-9 cargo bay at 0248 UTC Jun 2. It will
eventually share a fiery demise with the cargo ship.

On Jun 3 the Kibo RMS removed the EFU Adapter from JEM-EF EFU 5 and
returned it to the Kibo airlock. The EFU Adapter was carrying the
SOLISS and HDTV-EF2 experiments; they were swapped for the iSIM-170
camera delivered by HTV-9. The adapter was reinstalled on June 11.


On May 22 the Russian Space Forces launched the fourth Kupol (EKS) missile
early warning satellite on a Soyuz-2-1B. The Fregat upper stage made three
burns to place the satellite in a high-perigee Molniya type orbit.

Launcher One update

Virgin Orbit report that the first stage ignited correctly and flew stably
until 9 seconds after drop (which I think is 4s after ignition?) when the
engine prematurely shut down and the vehicle fell intact to the ocean.

Sources confirm that Starshine 4 was the inert payload on Launcher One.
An additional small payload, INTERNSAT, was intended to remain
attached to the upper stage.


The X-37B OTV-6 released a subsatellite on around May 28. The satellite has been given the
cover name USA 300. It is likely the US Air Force Academy satellite Falconsat-8 which we
know was to be released from the vehicle, but this has not been confirmed.


On May 29 China's CALT launched a CZ-11 from Xichang for the first time. It carried
two technology development payloads: XJS G (also known as Chuangxin 6-01), from the Shanghai
Engineering Center for Microsatellites, and XJS H, from the National University of Defense

Gao Fen 9-02

On May 31 it was the Shanghai SAST team's turn, launching a CZ-2D from the Jiuquan space centre.
The main payload was a high resolution imaging satellite, Gao Fen 9 hao 02 xing. Some Gao Fen satellites
are civilian, but some, including the GF-9 series, are thought to be for military/intelligence use.

A small secondary payload, HEAD-4, was also aboard. HEAD-4 is owned by 
HEAD Aerospace Tech Co Ltd (Beijing) and has AIS, ADS-B, and IoT relay
communication spayloads.

Haiyang 1D

The HY-1D oceanographic satellite launched on June 10 carries ocean-color imagers and a coastal zone imager,
like previous satellites in the HY-1 series. It was built by DFH satellite.

Electron 12

Electron 12 was launched from New Zealand on Jun 13 and placed three small NRO satellites in orbit.
Also aboard were two cubesats: RAAF M2 Pathfinder for the University of New South Wales and the Royal
Australian Air Force, and Boston University's ANDESITE. ANDESITE consists of ANDESITE Mule, a 6U
parent spacecraft, and ANDESITE Node 1 to Node 8, small magnetometer subsatellites to be ejected
from it to study magnetospheric variation. Each Node is 0.20 x 0.10 x 0.025m in size with a mass of
0.38 kg.

The mission of the three NRO satellites is unknown; likely either communications or signals intelligence.


SpaceX carried out the 8th Starlink launch on Jun 4. The Falcon 9 first stage landed on the
droneship Just Read The Instructions; the second stage deployed 60 Starlinks in orbit.
One of them (Starlink 1436) is VisorSat, with an experimental deployable cover for the nadir antennae.

The 9th Starlink launch on Jun 13 carried only 58 Starlinks. Mounted on top of the Starlinks 
was an adapter carrying three SkySat satellites for Planet. The first stage landed on
droneship Of Course I Still Love You.

Parker Solar Probe

Parker passed through its 5th perihelion, 0.1296 AU from the Sun, at 0823 UTC Jun 7.

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

May  5 1000   XZF-SC      )                Chang Zheng 5B     Wenchang LC101  Spaceship    27A S45599   162 x  377 x 41.1
              RCS-FC-SC   )                                                   Reentry Test 27B S45600   163 x  372 x 41.1
May 12 0116   Xingyun-2 01 )               Kuaizhou-1A        Jiuquan         Comms        28A S45602   557 x  573 x 97.6
              Xingyun-2 02 )                                                  Comms        28B S45603   557 x  573 x 97.6
May 13 2325   Lynk                                       NG-13, LEO           Comms        11D S45604   476 x  486 x 51.6
May 17 1314   OTV 6                        Atlas V 501        Canaveral SLC41 Spaceplane   29A S45606   389 x  390 x 45.0
May 20 1731   Kounotori 9                  H-IIB              Tanegashima     Cargo        30A S45607   187 x  301 x 51.7
May 22 0731   Kosmos-2546                  Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat  Plesetsk        EarlyWarn    31A S45608  1654 x35807 x 63.8
May 25 1950   Starshine 4)                 Launcher One       Mojave          Test         F04 F01554 -6362 x    9 x 67.0?
              INTERNSAT  )                                                    Test         F04 F01555 -6362 x    9 x 67.0?
May 28?       USA 300                                    OTV 6, LEO           Unknown      29B S45610   389 x  389 x 45.0
May 29 2013   XJS G )                      Chang Zheng 11     Xichang LC4     Tech         32A S45611   467 x  486 x 35.0
              XJS H )                                                         Tech         32B S45612   467 x  486 x 35.0
May 30 1922   Endeavour                    Falcon 9           Kennedy LC39A   Spaceship    33A S45623   190 x  211 x 51.6
May 31 0853   Gao Fen 9-02)                Chang Zheng 2D     Jiuquan         Imaging      34A S45624   485 x  502 x 97.3
              HEAD-4      )                                                   Comms        34B S45625   487 x  503 x 97.3
Jun  4 0125   Starlink 1351     )          Falcon 9           Canaveral LC40  Comms        35A S45657-  291 x  365 x 53.0
              Starlink 1370     )                                                         35BM S45716      
              Starlink 1392-1423)
              Starlink 1433-1458)
              Starlink 1460     )
Jun 10 1831   Haiyang-1 D                  Chang Zheng 2C     Taiyuan LC9     Imaging      36A S45721   770 x  786 x 98.4
Jun 13 0512   USA 301  )                                                      Sigint?      37A S45723   590 x  590 x 97.8
              USA 302  )                                                      Sigint?      37B S45724   590 x  590 x 97.8
              USA 303  )                   Electron           Mahia LC1       Sigint?      37C S45725   590 x  590 x 97.8
              ANDESITE )                                                      Science      37D S45726   590 x  590 x 97.8
              RAAF M2PF)                                                      Tech         37E S45727   590 x  590 x 97.8
Jun 13 0921   Starlink 1391     )          Falcon 9           Canaveral LC40  Comms        38A          212 x  367 x 53.0
              Starlink 1459     )
              Starlink 1461-1513)
              Starlink 1516-1517)
              Starlink 1521     )
              Skysat 16         )
              Skysat 17         )
              Skysat 18         )

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches
Date UT       Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle      Site                  Mission    Apogee/km    Target

Apr 15 1500?  Nudol' dummy KV?  Nudol'               Plesetsk            Test          500?      Laptev Sea
Jun 12        M51 RV            M51             S617, Baie d'Audierne    Test         1200?      Atlantic Ocean

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