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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 799 draft                                                2021 Oct 15     Somerville, MA

Note: I have added a new set of lists on my website covering various aspects of
human spaceflight. See

International Space Station

Expedition 65 concluded on Oct 17 with the undocking of Soyuz MS-18 and the beginning
of Expedtion 66.

Soyuz MS-18 undocked at 0114:00 UTC Oct 17 with Novitskiy, Shipenko and Peresild;
the ship landed in Kazakhstan at 0435:44 UTC according to Roskosmos.

Chinese Space Station

Shenzhou 13 was launched on Oct 15, carrying Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Yu Guangfe.
It docked with the nadir docking port on Tianhe at 2248 UTC the same day.

Chinese orbital weapon test

The Financial Times quotes unnamed US government sources as revealing
that China launched a missile sometime in August that placed a reentry
vehicle (RV) in Earth orbit. The RV completed slightly less than one
orbit and was deorbited for impact at an unspecified location (probably
in China). This is a technique tested by the USSR in the 1960s and
called `Fractional Orbital Bombardment System' (FOBS) by the US defense

Space Force did not catalog any objects from the mission and it did not receive an 
international designation. I am assigning it the `uncataloged' designation 2021-U01
in my system in GCAT (

A denial from China implies that the Chinese think what is being referred to is
the spaceplane test on Jul 16. At the time we thought it was a short range test
but as Marco Langbroek points out it might have been an one-orbit test where the
landing was geographically not far from the takeoff. However, Chinese statements
at the time described the test as suborbital.

Also, Jul 16 was not in August, but it's quite possible the sources are
that sloppy (this does cast doubt on the other details though!). 
One counter-indication is that the launch is suspected to have been
a CZ-2C, and Chinese statements indicate that the Jul 19 and Aug 24 CZ-2C launches were
the 76th and 78th of the kind respectively, implying a launch between those
two dates (and ruling out the spaceplane test). The FT report also cites
the US sources as saying the missile missed its target by 'two dozen miles',
while the Jul 16 flight was reported to have sucessfully landed on the target runway.

So, nothing is clear! 

Properties of the mission:  
   Launch date: Unknown date in 2021 Aug (but perhaps Aug includes July?)
   Launch vehicle; CZ-2C?
   Launch site: Taiyuan or Jiuquan?
   Impact site: Unknown
   Orbit: Unknown: possibly around 60 x 200 km?
   Inclination: Unknown - probably 97 deg?

Shiyan 10

Reports of the Shiyan-10 satellite's death appear to have been premature.
A small orbit raising burn seems to have occurred on Oct 15.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name			     Launch Vehicle	 Site		 Mission  INTL.  Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl	 Notes
Aug           Chinese Orbital RV               Chang Zheng 2C?      Taiyuan?          Test      U01  A09890  200?x200?x 97?
Oct  5 0855   Soyuz MS-19		       Soyuz-2-1a	    Baykonur LC31     Spaceship 89A  S49269  195 x 227 x 51.6
Oct  6 0920   Binar-1 ) 					    ISS, LEO	      Tech    98067SR S49272 413 x 421 x 51.6
	      Maya-3  ) 							      Tech    98067SS S49273 413 x 421 x 51.6
	      Maya-4  ) 							      Tech    98067ST S49274 413 x 421 x 51.6
Oct  6 1055   CUAVA-1						    ISS, LEO	      Tech    98067SU S49275 413 x 421 x 51.6
Oct 12 1100   CAPSat						    ISS, LEO	      Tech    98067SV S49276?
Oct 12 1230   SPACE HAUC)					    ISS, LEO	      Tech    98067SW S49277?
	      PR-CuNaR2 )							      Tech    98067SX S49278?
Oct 14 0940   OneWeb SL0332		       Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat    Vostochniy PU1S   Comms   90A-AM  S49279  413 x 421 x 87.4
              OneWeb SL0347
              OneWeb SL0349
              OneWeb SL0353
              OneWeb SL0356
              OneWeb SL0358-SL0388
Oct 14 1051   Xihe (CHASE)        )            Chang Zheng 2D       Taiyuan           Solar     91A  S49315?  503 x 522 x 97.5
              QX-1                )                                                   Meteo     91B?
              Tianshu-1           )                                                   Tech?     91C?
              JTSY                )                                                   Comms     91D?
              HEAD-IIE            )                                                   Comms     91E?
              Guidao Daqi Midu TSW)                                                   Sci       91F?
              SSS-1               )                                                   Tech      91G?
              HEAD-IIF            )                                                   Comms     91H?
              Tianyuan-1          )                                                   Tech?     91J?
              Zijinjing-2         )                                                   Imaging?  91K?
              SSS-2A              )                                                   Tech      91L?
Oct 15 1623   Shenzhou 13                      Chang Zheng 2F        Jiuquan          Spaceship 92A  S49326   

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Oct  8 1740   CLASP 2.1         Black Brant IX     White Sands           Solar UV      272       White Sands
Oct 13 1449   NS-18             New Shepard        West Texas            Tourism       107       West Texas

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