18626Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 556
- Nov 8, 2005Jonathan's Space Report
No. 556 2005 Nov 8, Somerville, MA
Expedition 11 crew Sergey Krikalyov and John Phillips, and EP-9 tourist
Greg Olsen, have returned to Earth. Soyuz TMA-6 undocked from the Zarya
module at 2149 UTC on Oct 10. The deorbit burn at 0019 UTC on Oct 11
lowered the orbit from 346 x 348 km to about -40 x 348 km; the orbital
and service modules separated at 0043 UTC and after reentry the
spacecraft landed at 0109 UTC on Oct 11. There was some concern
due to an apparent small pressure leak in the spacecraft, but the crew
were recovered safe and well.
The Expedition 12 crew of Bill McArthur and Valeriy Tokarev made a
spacewalk on Nov 7. The airlock reached 240 mbar at around 1429 UTC, but
because of a valve left in an incorrect position, the pressure did not
drop below 130 mbar and at 1448 UTC the airlock was repressurized. I
count this as a `partial depressurization' only and not as a full EVA.
After opening the crew lock door and resetting the valve, the airlock
was depressurized again, reaching 50 mbar at 1527 UTC. The airlock hatch
was opened at 1529 UTC, with the spacesuits on battery power at 1532
UTC. McArthur and Tokarev emerged at 1544 and 1550 UTC respectively. The
first task was to take a camera from the airlock and a camera support
assembly from the ESP-2 storage platform, and install them at the far
end of the P1 truss segment (a similar camera is already at the end of
S1). At 1800 UTC they headed for the other end of the truss to remove a
failed rotary joint motor controller on S1; by 1836 UTC, after returning
to the airlock, they set off for the top of the P6 tower to remove the
failed FPP experiment. At 1920 McArthur threw the FPP (Floating
Potential Probe) into space, where it is now being tracked in a 338 x
346 km orbit. After returning to the truss and replacing a power module
on the mobile transporter, the astronauts went back to the airlock.
Tokarev went inside at 2025 UTC followed by McArthur at 2035 UTC. The
hatch was closed at 2046 UTC with repressurization at 2054 UTC, for a
duration of 5h27m (depress/repress), 5h17m (hatch open/close) or 5h22m
China's second piloted spaceflight was launched at 0100 UTC on Oct 12.
Two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haishen, were aboard the Shenzhou 6
spacecraft which reached a 330 x 337 km x 42.4 deg orbit. The crew
entered the orbital module of Shenzhou, in contrast to the previous
flight where Yang Liwei remained in the descent vehicle throughout the
flight. The vehicle landed safely at 2032 UTC on Oct 16, leaving the
orbital module in space for tests.
The last Titan rocket, 4B-26, was launched on Oct 19. It deployed
USA 186, a classified NRO satellite, into polar orbit. Hobbyists have
observed the satellite and determined its orbit to be 264 x 1050 km
x 97.9 deg. This confirms that the satellite is one of the improved
CRYSTAL series (KH-11 derived) imaging reconnaissace satellites,
replacing a satellite launched in 1996.
ESA's Cryosat was launched on Oct 8 but failed to reach orbit. Because
of a software error, the Rokot second stage failed to shut down, and did
not separate from the third stage. The vehicle impacted in the Arctic.
It would have studied polar ice to look for effects of global warming.
There is some hope that this important mission will get a reflight.
Novosti Kosmonavtiki reports that on Oct 6 at 2130 UTC the Russian Navy
carried out a suborbital test of the inflatable Demonstrator reentry
but once again the reentry vehicle was not recovered.
The European heavy launch vehicle has made another successful flight.
Ariane 5GS, flight V168, vehicle L524, was launched on Oct 13. The EPC
core stage reached a 44 x 1609 km x 7.9 deg orbit and reentered over the
Pacific. The EPS upper stage placed two satellites in a 577 x 35789 km x
7.0 deg geostationary transfer orbit. Syracuse 3A is a Spacebus 3000B3
communications satellite built by Alenia Alcatel for the French
military procurement agency DGA. The smaller Galaxy 15 was built for
the US company Panamsat by Orbital Sciences using the Star 2 platform,
and will provide services over the US. Both satellites have now reached
Many thanks to Arianespace for their hospitality on my recent visit to
The Russian Kometa mapping satellite Kosmos-2415 completed its standard
44-day mission with a landing at 2144 UTC on Oct 15, according to
analyst Phillip Clark. (A landing 24 hours later is not entirely ruled
out by the data I have, and Space Command reported an Oct 16 landing).
Russia's Polyot company launched a group of small satellites on a
Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk on Oct 27.
The launch includes the first Iranian satellite, Sinah-1 (or Sina-1).
This satellite is a 160 kg experimental payload built by Russia's
Polyot, based in Omsk, and carries a remote sensing (some reports
implausibly allege `spy satellite') payload. The satellite is 0.8 x 1.3
x 1.6m in size.
Earlier reports were confused: another Iranian satellite, a 100-kg class
satellite called Mesbah built by Italy's Carlo Gavazzi Space and based
on the MITA satellite bus was also meant to be aboard, but has
reportedly been delayed. Based on photos of the satellite cluster in
final assembly, Sinah-1 uses a very similar design to MITA, covered by a
prism-shaped cluster of solar-panels. Since Carlo Gavazzi Space and its
partner OHB System of Bremen have been collaborating with Polyot on
launch vehicle engineering, I'm guessing that there is also a
collaboration of some sort on satellite buses and that explains the
similarity between the Italian MITA and the Russian-built Sinah-1. I'm
still a bit confused though, and any clarification is welcomed.
The other payloads are:
Topsat, built by Surrey Satellite, an imaging satellite for UK
Beijing-1 (China-DMC), built by Surrey Satellite, part of the Disaster
Monitoring Constellation and to be operated by Tsinghua University for
a Chinese company, Beijing Landview Mapping Information Technology Ltd.
It carries a 31-cm mapping telescope with a resolution of 4 meters.
SSETI-Express, a student-built satellite sponsored by the European Space
Agency. Shortly after 0830 UTC it ejected three small 1 kg Cubesats:
UWE-1 for the University
of Wurzburg, NCube-2 for Norway, and XI-V for the University of Tokyo.
(NCube-2 has not been heard from and its separation has not been
SSETI Express lost power by 2020 UTC on the day of launch.
Mozhaets-5, an experimental satellite built partly by students at the
Mozhaiskiy military academy and carrying a laser communications
experiment. Mozhaets-5 failed to separate from the rocket final stage
and controllers haven't established communications with it.
Rubin-5 is a technology/communications payload using the ORBCOMM system;
remains intentionally attached to the rocket final stage (in fact,
it's part of the adapter used to deploy the other satellites). It
the AATiS SAFIR-S amateur transponder and the ESA ASOLANT solar-powered
GPS antenna experiment.
Table of Recent Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission
Sep 2 0950 Kosmos-2415 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC31
Sep 8 1308 Progress M-54 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1
Sep 8 2153 Anik F1R Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39
Sep 23 0224 STP-R1 Minotaur Vandenberg SLC8
Sep 26 0337 Navstar GPS 57 Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17A
Oct 1 0355 Soyuz TMA-7 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1
Oct 8 1502 Cryosat Rokot Plesetsk LC133
Oct 12 0100 Shenzhou 6 CZ-2F Jiuquan
Oct 13 2232 Syracuse 3A ) Ariane 5GS Kourou ELA3
Galaxy 15 )
Oct 19 1805 USA 186 Titan 4B Vandenberg SLC4E
Oct 27 0652 Topsat ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1
SSETI Express )
Cubesat XI-V )
| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
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