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Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 546

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  • Frits Westra
    Jonathan s Space Report No. 546 2005 Apr 14, Somerville, MA ... NASA ... Mike Griffin was confirmed as NASA
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 14, 2005
      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 546 2005 Apr 14, Somerville,


      Mike Griffin was confirmed as NASA Administrator on Apr 14. In testimony
      to the US Senate, Griffin endorsed both human exploration and the
      robotic science program, saying "NASA can do more than one thing".
      That's a very encouraging beginning - let's hope he can make the math
      work out, because just in the past couple of weeks space science got hit
      with big cuts to Great Observatory operating budgets and major research
      grant (i.e. postdoc salary) programs in order to help pay for Shuttle
      return-to-flight costs.

      Space Station

      Expedition 10 astronauts Shalizan Sharipov (in suit Orlan-M No. 27) and
      Leroy Chiao (in suit Orlan-M No. 25) made a spacewalk on Mar 28 from the
      Pirs airlock module. They installed communications and GPS antennae to
      support rendezvous and docking by the European ATV Jules Verne ferry.
      Pirs was depressurized by 0608 UTC and the hatch was opened at 0625 UTC.
      At 0830 UTC Sharipov threw a 5 kg nanosatellite into space, and at 1055
      UTC the hatch was closed for repressurization at 1057. The nanosatellite
      experiment is called Nanosputnik, TEKh-42 or TNS-0 No. 1, and is 0.3m
      long. Several antenna covers and cleaning towels were also jettisoned,
      with mass at most 0.1 kg each. [Times from Andrey Krasil'nikov; duration
      4h30min hatch open/close; 4h49min depress/repress].

      Launch of Soyuz TMA-6 is scheduled for Apr 15, with Expedition 11 crew
      Sergey Krikalyov and John Phillips as well as EP-8 visiting crewmember
      Roberto Vittori aboard.


      The US Air Force has launched the XSS-11 experimental satellite on an
      Orbital Minotaur from Space Launch Complex 8 at Vandenberg. The
      satellite probably entered an 800 km, 99 deg orbit. It will rendezvous
      with several defunct US-owned satellites to test autonomous rendezvous
      and inspection technology. The satellite was built by Lockheed
      Martin/Denver for the Air Force Research Lab.

      Apstar 6

      APT Satellite Co. (Hong Kong) launched the APStar 6 communications
      satellite to supplement its existing fleet. The satellite was launched
      by China using a CZ-3B into a 209 x 49991 km x 26 deg supersynchronous
      transfer orbit. It is an Alcatel Spacebus 4000 with Ku and C band

      Ekspress AM-2

      Russia's Ekspress AM-2 communications satellite was launched at 2131 UTC
      on Mar 29 by a Krunichev Proton-K rocket, serial number 410-09, with an
      Energiya Blok DM-2M upper stage. The Proton-K third stage reached low
      parking orbit, with the DM-2M first burn at 2244 UTC entering elliptical
      transfer orbit. Ekspress AM-2 is built by NPO PM with an Alcatel comms
      payload of C, Ku and L band transponders. It will be stationed at 80E.
      [Note: some reports quote 2231 UTC, which is an error caused by ignoring
      Moscow's recent shift to daylight saving time when converting from Moscow


      The Cassini spacecraft made its Titan-4 flyby at 2005 UTC on Mar 31,
      passing 2402 km above 33.3 deg N 118.6 deg W. Closest approach to Saturn
      on this orbit was on Mar 29, completing a 20-day circuit which began
      with a 504 km Enceladus flyby and a 82000 km Tethys flyby on Mar 9. The
      flyby lowered the Saturnian apoapsis The north polar Titan-5 (06TI)
      flyby is due on 1912 UTC Apr 16 at a height of 1025 km above 74.0N 272W.


      Japan has renamed the MTSAT-1R as Himawari-6, following on from the
      GMS weather satellites Himawari-1 to 5 (Himawari means 'sunflower').

      Table of Recent Launches

      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission

      Mar 1 0351 XM Radio 3 Zenit-3SL Odyssey, PO
      Comms 08A
      Mar 11 2142 Inmarsat 4 F-1 Atlas V 431 Canaveral SLC41
      Comms 09A
      Mar 28 0830 TNS-0 Nanosputnik - ISS, LEO
      Tech 05C
      Mar 29 2131 Ekspress AM-2 Proton-K/DM2M Baykonur PL200
      Comms 10A
      Apr 11 1335 XSS-11 Minotaur Vandenberg SLC8
      Tech 11A
      Apr 12 1200 Apstar 6 CZ-3B Xichang
      Comms 12A

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