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Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 576

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  • Frits Westra
    Jonathan s Space Report No. 576 2007 Feb 2, Somerville, MA ... Shuttle and Station ... Discovery undocked at 2210 UTC
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6, 2007
      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 576 2007 Feb 2, Somerville, MA

      Shuttle and Station

      Discovery undocked at 2210 UTC on Dec 19. Remaining aboard the station
      are Mike Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin, and Sunita Williams. The Progress
      robotic cargo vehicle was launched at 0212 UTC on Jan 18 and docked
      with the Pirs module on Jan 20. Progress M-57 undocked from Pirs
      and was deorbited over the Pacific; M-58 remains docked to Zvezda with
      its antenna all tangled up with the rear of the module.

      Lopez-Alegria and Williams made a spacewalk on Jan 31 to reconfigure the
      ammonia cooling system. The Quest airlock was depressurized at 1510 UTC
      with hatch open at 1513 UTC; the hatch was closed again at 2250 UTC and
      after a pause to check for ammonia contamination the airlock was
      repressurized at 2309 UTC.

      Chinese Antisatellite Test

      According to US government sources, China has carried out a test of an
      kinetic-energy antisatellite weapon. The intercept occurred at 2226
      UTC on Jan 11, destroying China's own elderly Feng Yun 1C weather
      satellite which was launched in 1999. The weapon was launched on a
      suborbital medium range ballistic missile, reportedly from the Xichang
      space center. The FY-1C was in an 843 x 862 km x 98.7 deg orbit; the
      initial debris cataloged ranges from 165 x 850 km to 850 x 3500 km, a
      wide range of heights indicating an energetic fragmentation with
      delta-Vs along the direction of motion of -190 to +550 m/s. Of course,
      we are missing the tail of dV significantly less than -190 since those
      objects would reenter immediately. As of Jan 27, over 500 objects had
      been cataloged by the US, mostly with velocities of order 500m/s or less
      relative to the original orbit.

      Xichang's a bit of a surprise - I would have expected a launch from
      Taiyuan space center which is where most recent Chinese military
      ballistic missiles have been tested. Xichang is normally used for
      CZ-3-class liquid-propellant geostationary launch vehicles.

      The type of missile used has not been identified; the most likely
      candidate is probably the solid-fuel DF-21 missile. CNN quoted US
      sources as indicating that this is the fourth launch in the program
      following three previous failures; another source suggests to me that
      there was only one previous failure, and yet other reports give
      other numbers - the best we can say right now is that the situation
      remains confused.

      This is the first known antisatellite intercept since the USA's Delta 180
      flight in 1986 (not counting the accidental events of Progress/Spektr
      and DART/MUBLCOM, which were due to lousy driving and not deliberate
      weapons tests).


      The French astronomy satellite COROT was launched on Dec 27 by the first
      Soyuz-2-1b rocket. The launch was carried out under the auspices of
      Starsem, the French launch services provider which markets Soyuz
      commercially. Soyuz-2-1a has modern avionics compared to the old
      Soyuz-U, while the 14A14 Soyuz-2-1b introduces a new third stage engine,
      the Khimavtomatiki RD-0124 (14D23), replacing the RD-0110 (11D55)
      series in service since the 1960s. The 605 kg COROT carries a 0.30m
      optical telescope with two off-axis parabolic mirrors, used to search
      for extrasolar planets by detecting the subtle dimming in brightness as
      they pass in front of their parent stars. COROT is operated by the French
      space agency CNES and was built by Alcatel Alenia Space (Cannes) using
      the Proteus small satellite bus.

      The Soyuz-2-1b third stage entered a 215 x 227 km x 90.0 deg orbit
      (unlike Soyuz-2-1a launches in which the third stage has been
      suborbital). The Fregat stage then made two burns to a 895 x 906 km x 90.0
      deg orbit to deploy COROT, and a third burn to remove itself from
      orbit and reenter.


      The three GLONASS-M satellites launched in December are now being
      referred to as Kosmos-2424, 2425, 2426 by the GLONASS control center
      web site. They are Uragan-M satellites no. 715, 716 and 717.
      They are in Plane 2 of the system; all the other operating satellites
      are in Planes 1 and 3.

      NSS 8

      Boeing Sea Launch suffered a dramatic failure on Jan 30 when the
      Ukrainian/Russian Zenit-3SL launch vehicle failed just after ignition
      and fell back onto its floating launch platform. The New Skies NSS 8
      communications satellite payload was destroyed. Video showed the launch
      platform enveloped in a spectacular explosion, but a statement on
      the RKK Energiya web site claims that the damage is not critical.


      Following Intelsat's acquisition of Panamsat satellites, the names of a
      number of satellites are being changed. For example, PAS 7 will now be
      "Intelsat 7" or "IS-7". Of course, there is also a type of satellite
      called "Intelsat VII". Similarly, "Intelsat 10" is the former PAS 10,
      but there is also an "Intelsat 10-02" from the 10th generation of the
      old Intelsat fleet; "Intelsat 10" and "Intelsat 10-02" are unrelated and
      "Intelsat 10" is not an Intelsat 10 class satellite. I guarantee this
      will cause endless confusion. Although I am generally strict about using
      the satellite names assigned by the satellite owner, in this case I
      recommend using the slightly incorrect "Intelsat IS-7" and "Intelsat
      IS-10" to remove the ambiguity.


      The first orbital launch of 2007 was made by the Indian Space Research
      Organization (ISRO). The main payloads of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C7
      were Cartosat-2 and the SRE recovery experiment. Two picosatellites
      were also deployed: Pehuensat for Argentina and LAPAN-TUBsat for Indonesia.

      Cartosat-2 is a land imager with meter-class resolution and a mass of 680
      The Space Recovery Experiment vehicle will carry out microgravity
      experiments and then use a liquid engine for a deorbit burn. It carries
      a rounded conical heat shield and will parachute down to the Bay of Bengal
      for recovery.

      The 6 kg Pehuensat remained attached to the Dual Launch Adapter which
      was used to carry Cartosat-2 above SRE. It is a project of
      Universidad Nacional del Comahue and AMSAT-LU.

      LAPAN-Tubsat carries a 5-meter imaging camera. It was developed with
      help from TUB (Berlin Technical University) whose previous TUBSAT
      included one for Morocco. Mass is 56 kg.

      India's SRE-1 was deorbited and landed successfully in the Bay of Bengal
      near 13.3N 81.4E on Jan 22. The satellite was launched into a 620 x 640 km
      polar orbit on Jan 10; the orbit was lowered to 485 x 643 km on Jan 20.
      The 10-minute deorbit burn began at 0330 UTC Jan 22, with entry at 0407 and
      splashdown at 0416 UTC.

      The US, Russia, China, Japan and the European Space Agency have also
      spacecraft from orbit.

      Table of Recent Launches
      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission
      Dec 8 0053 Fengyun 2D Chang Zheng 3A Xichang
      Weather 53B
      Dec 8 2208 WildBlue 1 ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3
      Comms 54A
      AMC 18 )
      Comms 54B
      Dec 10 0147 Discovery STS-116 Shuttle Kennedy LC39B
      Spaceship 55A
      Dec 11 2328 Measat 3 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39
      Comms 56A
      Dec 14 2100 USA-193 (NROL-21) Delta 7920 Vandenberg SLC2W
      Unknown 57A
      Dec 16 1200 Tacsat 2 ) Minotaur Wallops LA0B
      Imaging/Tech 58A
      Genesat-1 )
      Dec 18 0632 ETS-8 H2A 204 Tanegashima
      Comms 59A
      Dec 19 1400 SAR-Lupe 1 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1
      Radar 60A
      Dec 21 0019 MEPSI-2A/2B - Discovery, LEO
      Tech 55B
      Dec 21 0156 RAFT ) Discovery, LEO
      Calibration 55C
      NMARS )
      Comms 55D
      Dec 21 1822 ANDE-MAA ) Discovery, LEO
      Science 55J
      FCAL )
      Calibration 55F
      Dec 24 0834 Meridian No. 1 Soyuz-2-1A Plesetsk LC43/4
      Comms 61A
      Dec 25 2018 Glonass-M ) Proton-K/DM-2 Baykonur LC81/24
      Navigation 62A
      Glonass-M )
      Navigation 62B
      Glonass-M )
      Navigation 62C
      Dec 27 1423 COROT Soyuz-2-1B Baykonur LC31/6
      Astronomy 63A
      Jan 10 0416 Cartosat-2 ) PSLV Sriharikota LP1
      Imaging 01B
      SRE-1 )
      Tech 01C
      LAPAN Tubsat)
      Imaging 01A
      Pehuensat )
      Comms 01D
      Jan 18 0212 Progress M-59 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1
      Cargo 02A
      Jan 30 2322 NSS 8 Zenit-3SL SL Odyssey, POR
      Comms F01

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