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Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 556

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  • Frits Westra
    Jonathan s Space Report No. 556 2005 Nov 8, Somerville, MA ... Station ... Expedition 11 crew Sergey Krikalyov and John
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 8, 2005
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      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 556 2005 Nov 8, Somerville, MA
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      Station
      ------

      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
      (NASA rule).

      Shenzhou 6
      ----------

      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.

      Titan
      -----

      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.


      Cryosat
      --------

      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.

      Demonstrator-2R
      ---------------

      Novosti Kosmonavtiki reports that on Oct 6 at 2130 UTC the Russian Navy
      carried out a suborbital test of the inflatable Demonstrator reentry
      vehicle,
      but once again the reentry vehicle was not recovered.

      Ariane
      -------

      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
      geostationary orbit.

      Many thanks to Arianespace for their hospitality on my recent visit to
      Evry!

      Kosmos-2415
      -----------

      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).

      Multi-satellite launch
      ----------------------

      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
      military research.
      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
      confirmed).
      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;
      it
      remains intentionally attached to the rocket final stage (in fact,
      it's part of the adapter used to deploy the other satellites). It
      includes
      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
      INTL.
      DES.
      Sep 2 0950 Kosmos-2415 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC31
      Imaging 34A
      Sep 8 1308 Progress M-54 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1
      Cargo 35A
      Sep 8 2153 Anik F1R Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39
      Comms 36A
      Sep 23 0224 STP-R1 Minotaur Vandenberg SLC8
      Tech 37A
      Sep 26 0337 Navstar GPS 57 Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17A
      Navigation 38A
      Oct 1 0355 Soyuz TMA-7 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1
      Spaceship 39A
      Oct 8 1502 Cryosat Rokot Plesetsk LC133
      Science F03
      Oct 12 0100 Shenzhou 6 CZ-2F Jiuquan
      Spaceship 40A
      Oct 13 2232 Syracuse 3A ) Ariane 5GS Kourou ELA3
      Comms 41A
      Galaxy 15 )
      Comms 41B
      Oct 19 1805 USA 186 Titan 4B Vandenberg SLC4E
      Imaging 42A
      Oct 27 0652 Topsat ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1
      Imaging 43B
      Beijing-1 )
      Imaging 43A
      Sinah )
      Imaging? 43D
      SSETI Express )
      Imaging/Tech 43E
      Mozhaets-5 )
      Tech/Comms 43G
      UWE-1 )
      Comms 43F
      NCube-2 )
      Comms 43
      Cubesat XI-V )
      Tech 43C
      Rubin-5 )
      Comms 43G

      .-------------------------------------------------------------------------.
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      | Somerville MA 02143 | inter : jcm@... |
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