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Fwd = Jonathan's Space Report, No. 510

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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. 510 Original
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2003
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      Originally from: owner-jsr@...
      Original Subject: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 510
      Original Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 20:41:55 -0400

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

      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 510 2003 Sep 29, Cambridge, MA

      Shuttle and Station

      Jim Oberg reports that the new plan for Shuttle flights includes a
      stripped-down ISS ULF-1 mission, with added on-orbit tile inspection and
      repair tests, to fly on STS-114 next summer (no earlier than Jul 15),
      followed by a new ISS ULF-1.1 mission to complete the original
      objectives and perform extra tests; this new mission will be STS-121.

      Recent Launches

      The Galileo Orbiter spacecraft entered the Jovian atmosphere on Sep 21
      at 1857 UTC. Entry was at 48.2 km/s from an orbit with a periapsis 9700
      km below the 1-bar atmospheric layer (used by convention as the nominal
      'surface' of Jupiter). The spacecraft continued transmitting at least
      until it passed behind the limb of Jupiter at 1850:54 UTC, at which point
      it was 9283 km above the 1-bar level, surprising Galileo veterans who
      feared it might enter safemode due to the high radiation environment. It
      crossed the orbit of Callisto at around 1100 UTC on Sep 20, the orbit of
      Ganymede at around 0500 UTC on Sep 21, Europa's orbit at about 1145 UTC,
      Io's orbit at about 1500 UTC, Amalthea's orbit at 1756 UTC, and the
      orbits of Adrastea and Metis at 1825 UTC. No close approaches were made
      to any of the moons during this final suicide dive. Galileo was destroyed
      to prevent the possibility that its orbit would eventually be perturbed
      in such a way that it would crash on and biologically contaminate Europa,
      which is considered a possible place to search for life. Light travel
      time from Jupiter to Earth was 52 min 20 sec at the time of impact,
      and the final signal reached Earth at 1943:14 UTC.

      Chinese space analyst Chen Lan passes on a report from
      china-spacenews.com that the Chinese solid-fuel launch vehicle KT-1 was
      launched on Sep 16, one year after the first KT-1 launch failure. The
      official release claims the new launch as a test flight which was
      successful overall, including satellite/launch vehicle separation, but
      did not achieve all objectives. Since Space Command have not cataloged
      any new orbiting objects, it seems fair to infer that one of the
      secondary objectives not achieved was orbit insertion, and I am
      including this launch as a failed orbital attempt. Since the report
      implies any failure came late in the process and states that guidance
      was successful, I speculate wildly that fourth stage propulsion is the
      most likely source of the failure. As far as I know, the exact launch
      time has not been released.

      Mr. Chen also reports from other sources that the launch was intended
      to place a 40 kg microsatellite called PS2 into a 300 x 300 km polar
      orbit. According to him, the CASIC (China Aerospace Science and Industry
      Corp) is privately developing the KT-1 rocket, and leads two consortia
      ASLVC (Aerospace Solid Launch Vehicle Corp) and Harbin Fenghua
      Aerospace acting as prime contractor and launch provider.

      A Polyot Kosmos-3M rocket was launched from Russia's Plesetsk spaceport
      on Sep 27. It placed into orbit a cluster of seven satellites:

      - STSat-1 (or KAISTSAT-4), a Korean satellite which carries an
      extreme ultraviolet telescope built by UC Berkeley;
      - Three satellites built by Surrey Satellite for the Disaster Monitoring
      Constellation: UK-DMC for the British National Space Center,
      NigeriaSat-1 for the National Space Research and Development Agency
      of Nigeria, and BILSAT-1 for TUBITAK-ODTU-BILTEN, the Information
      Tech and Electronics Research Institute of Middle East Technical University
      in Ankara, Turkey;
      - Mozhaets-4, a modified NPO-PM Strela-1M satellite carrying experiments
      built by students at the Mozhaiskiy space engineering academy.
      - Larets, a small Russian satellite about which very little is known. A TASS
      report (pointed out to me by spaceflightnow.com's Justin Ray)
      claimed it is for radar calibration.
      - Rubin-4-DSI, an instrument package attached to the Kosmos-3M final
      stage to measure the launch environment. The Rubin packages are built
      by OHB System of Bremen, the European partner in the commercialization
      of the Kosmos-3M rocket,
      The satellites were placed in a 674 x 696 km x 98.2 deg sun-synchronous orbit.
      They have been cataloged as objects 2003-42A to 42G, but it isn't clear
      yet which is which.

      An additional object was cataloged by Space Command as SSN 27947
      (2003-42J) and then reported by them as having "decayed" from this
      fairly high orbit the following day; I believe this is a bureaucratic
      way of dealing with the fact that they messed up and had a duplicate
      entry for one of the other satellites in the launch, since their
      software doesn't have a way of saying 'this is a mistake and we deleted
      it'. This sort of thing is not uncommon when trying to sort out the
      radar data from a cluster of closely spaced small objects.

      Arianespace launched an Ariane 5G rocket, vehicle 516, from Kourou on
      Sep 27. It carried three payloads - Insat 3E, e-Bird, and SMART-1.
      SMART-1 is a European Space Agency satellite which will use ion drive to
      reach lunar orbit; it was built by the Swedish Space Corp. Insat 3E is
      an Indian communications satellite, while e-Bird is a Boeing BSS 376
      class satellite owned by Eutelsat, and will provide data transmission in
      Europe. The Ariane EPC core stage reached a 55 x 1512 km x 7.0 deg orbit
      and reentered at around 0100 UTC, The EPS upper stage placed the
      payloads in a 670 x 35830 km x 6.9 deg geostationary transfer orbit.

      The Telstar 4 (former Telstar 402R) satellite suffered a power failure
      on Sep 19 and appears to be a total loss. Telstar 402R was launched on
      1995 Sep 24 on Ariane flight V78. It was part of AT&T's satellite
      fleet, later sold to Loral Skynet and now in the process of being
      sold to Intelsat.

      Telstar 402R had replaced the Telstar 402 satellite which exploded
      shortly after launch in Sep 1994. Only one object was cataloged, and
      that object (SSN 23249) is designated Telstar 402 by Space Command,
      implying that the Ariane third stage did not remain in orbit. Anyone who
      can confirm that the third stage from that flight reentered on its first
      orbit is invited to contact me.

      Table of Recent Launches

      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.
      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 29 0148 Progress M-48 Soyuz-U Baykonur Cargo
      Aug 29 2313 DSCS III B-6 Delta IVM Canaveral SLC37B Comms
      Sep 9 0429 USA 171 Titan 4B/Centaur Canaveral SLC40 Sigint
      Sep 16 PS2 KT-1 Taiyuan Test
      Sep 27 0612 STSat-1 ) Astronomy
      UK-DMC ) Imaging 42
      NigeriaSat-1 ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132 Imaging 42
      BILSAT-1 ) Imaging 42
      Mozhaets-4 ) Comms? 42
      Larets ) Calib? 42
      Rubin-4-DSI ) Test 42
      Sep 27 2314 Insat 3E ) Ariane 5G Kourou ELA3 Comms 43
      e-Bird ) Comms 43
      SMART-1 ) Lunar 43

      | Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
      | 1 Fitchburg St C-205 | |
      | Somerville MA 02143 | |
      | and | |
      | Center for Astrophysics, | |
      | 60 Garden St, MS6 | |
      | Cambridge MA 02138 | inter : jcm@... |
      | USA | jmcdowell@... |
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