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Fwd = Jonathan's Space Report, No. 508

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) Originally from: owner-jsr@host.planet4589.org Original Subject: Jonathan s Space Report, No. 508 Original
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2003
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      Originally from: owner-jsr@...
      Original Subject: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 508
      Original Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 20:27:52 -0400

      ========================== Forwarded message begins ======================

      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 508 2003 Sep 2, Victoria, British

      Shuttle and Station

      The Expedition 7 crew, Yuriy Malenchenko and Edward Lu, remain on board
      the Space Station. The Progress 247 cargo ship undocked from Zvezda on
      Aug 27 and deorbited later the same day. Progress 248 (M-48) was
      launched on Aug 28 and docked with Zvezda on Aug 31. The Progress
      ferries are automated versions of the Soyuz spaceship and are used to
      bring supplies to the Station.

      The Columbia Accident Investigation Board has released its report. It's
      going to take a long time to get the Shuttle ready for flight again,
      particularly since the CAIB requires NASA to develop an on-orbit method
      to repair RCC leading edge panels. It will take even longer for NASA to
      develop a healthy human spaceflight program management structure. There
      are of course a lot of dedicated and talented people in the Shuttle and
      Station programs, but I'm afraid there is rampant bureaucracy, a large
      number of people who do not impress, and as an outsider I see only mild
      overall improvement since the loss of Challenger. In contrast, my
      impression is that NASA's space science program is in incomparably
      better health compared to its sorry state in the 1980s, with a diverse
      mix of small and large missions and, despite some funding problems and
      occasional failures, a remarkable rate of spectacular discoveries. That
      gives me hope that similar change is possible on the human spaceflight
      side of the house.

      Recent Launches

      Boeing launched another Delta IVM from Cape Canaveral on Aug 29,
      carrying the final DSCS III military communications satellite to
      geostationary transfer orbit. The Delta 4 second stage entered a 186 x
      401 km x 29.2 deg parking orbit and then a 235 x 35551 km x 25.5 deg
      transfer orbit. The DSCS III, built by Lockheed Martin, is attached to
      the IABS-7 upper stage with two R-4D bipropellant engines, which was
      expected to be fired around Sep 1 to put the satellite in geostationary
      orbit. DSCS III B-6 was originally built by GE/Valley Forge for launch
      by Shuttle, and was extensively modified after the Challenger accident
      and the acquisition of GE's space division by Lockheed Martin. The
      satellite has been assigned the cover designator USA-170. This was the
      third launch of a Delta IV rocket; all have been successful.

      According to data received from Boeing and other sources, the Delta 300
      final stage used to launch SIRTF entered heliocentric orbit. When a
      vehicle reaches escape velocity, its path around the Earth is a
      hyperbola, in this case with an eccentricity of e=1.104. Now e=0 is a
      circle, e=0.999 is a very long ellipse, so this is just a little bit
      hyperbolic, but more so than SIRTF which had only e=1.006. As the
      spacecraft rises out of the Earth's gravitational field it slows down,
      and approaches a fixed speed as it gets very far away. This 'speed at
      infinity' was 2.5 km/s for Delta 300, compared to 0.6 km/s for SIRTF.
      The craft also tends towards a particular point on the sky, the
      'departure asymptote' which in the case of Delta 300 was 19 39 34 +30
      50.5 (J2000) in Cygnus. After the craft reaches a million km or so from
      the Earth, it mostly feels the Sun's gravity and we can then better
      describe its orbit as an ellipse around the Sun instead of a hyperbola
      around the Earth. I did an approximate calculation and derived an orbit
      of 0.86 x 1.01 AU x 8.2 deg, where 1 AU is the radius of the Earth's
      orbit and the inclination is with respect to the ecliptic plane in which
      the planets move. Delta 300 will reach perihelion around 2004 Mar 13
      about 20 million km outside the orbit of Venus. This is believed to be
      the first Delta second stage to enter orbit around the Sun - usually
      Delta space probe launches use a third stage solid motor for solar orbit
      injection. Delta 247, which launched ACE to L1 in 1997 and achieved
      close to escape velocity, made a retrograde depletion burn and is
      believed to have reentered the Earth's atmosphere.

      The SIRTF dust cover was ejected on Aug 30, probably around 0300 UTC.
      The aperture door was opened about a day later. The instruments are now
      seeing the sky, although the telescope is not cool enough yet to do

      The earlier reports of injuries in addition to the fatalities from the
      VLS explosion in Brazil were incorrect. 21 people were killed, but there
      were no other casualties.


      Apologies for the glitch which caused some subscribers to get a second
      copy of JSR 507!

      Table of Recent Launches

      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.

      Jul 8 0318 MER-B Opportunity Delta 7925H Canaveral SLC17B Mars probe
      Jul 17 2345 Rainbow 1 Atlas V 521 Canaveral SLC41 Comms
      Aug 8 0331 Echostar 9 Zenit-3SL Odyssey, POR Comms
      Aug 12 1420 Kosmos-2399 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC31/6 Imaging
      Aug 13 0209 Scisat-1 Pegasus XL Vandenberg RW30/12 Science
      Aug 19 1050 Kosmos-2400 ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1 Comms
      Kosmos-2401 )
      Aug 25 0535 SIRTF Delta 7920H Canaveral SLC17B Astronomy
      Aug 28 0148 Progress M-48 Soyuz-U Baykonur Cargo
      Aug 29 2313 DSCS III B-6 Delta IVM Canaveral SLC37B Comms

      | Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
      | c/o Harvard-Smithsonian Center for| |
      | Astrophysics | |
      | 60 Garden St, MS6 | |
      | Cambridge MA 02138 | inter : jcm@... |
      | USA | jmcdowell@... |
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