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Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 581

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  • Frits Westra
    Jonathan s Space Report No. 581 2007 Jun 23, Somerville, MA ... Shuttle and Station ... Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 23, 2007
      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 581 2007 Jun 23, Somerville,

      Shuttle and Station

      Space Shuttle OV-104 Atlantis was launched at 2338 UTC on Jun 8 and
      reached preliminary 55 x 228 km x 51.6 deg orbit 8 minutes later.
      Mission STS-117 carries new solar panels for the International Space
      Station and is ISS flight 13A. Atlantis raised its orbit to 155 x 230 km
      at 0016 UTC on Jun 9 and docked with the Station on Jun 10 at 1936 UTC.

      Atlantis cargo bay manifest:

      Location Cargo Mass
      Bay 1-2 Orbiter Docking System 1800 kg?
      EMU 1-2 240 kg?
      Bay 3P? APC with SPDU 20 kg?
      Bay 4-12? Truss segment S3/S4 16183 kg
      Sill OBSS 201 450 kg?
      Sill RMS 301 390 kg
      Total 19083 kg

      The S3/S4 truss was added to the end of the S1 (starboard) truss with
      contact at 1803 UTC on Jun 11. The first spacewalk began with
      depressurization of the Quest airlock at 2000 UTC on Jun 11. Jim Reilly
      in EMU 3010 and Danny Olivas in EMU 3004 opened the hatch at 2002 UTC
      and supervised deployment of the solar wing blanket boxes and thermal
      radiator. They closed the hatch at 0212 UTC on Jun 12 and repressurized
      at 0217 UTC. The S4 solar array wings 1A and 3A were deployed between
      1546 and 1758 UTC. Meanwhile, the 2B solar array wing on P6 was
      retracted in stages between Jun 13 and Jun 16. Quest was depressurized
      for EVA-2 at 1825 UTC on Jun 13, with hatch open at 1827. Astronauts
      Patrick Forrester and Steve Swanson, in EMUs 3018 and 3006, released
      launch locks on S4. The third spacewalk on Jun 15 featured Reilly and
      Olivas again. The Quest was depressurized sometime around 1720 UTC,
      with hatch open at abut 1724 UTC. Olivas repaired a loose thermal blanket
      on Atlantis' port OMS pod, while Reilly installed a hydrogen vent on
      the Destiny module. Then, the astronauts helped with the completion
      of retraction on the P6 SAW-2B solar array. The hatch was closed at
      0118 UTC and the airlock was repressurized at 0122 UTC.

      A fourth spacewalk, by Forrester and Swanson, took place on Jun 17.
      The astronauts depressurized the airlock aroud 1622 UTC, with hatch
      open at 1624 UTC; after more operations with S3/S4 and activation of a
      vent valve on Destiny, they closed the hatch at 2251 UTC and repressurized
      the airlock at 2254 UTC.

      A change in the electrical properties of the station with the attachment
      of S3/S4 resulted in a spacecraft charging event which
      triggered the failure of computers in the Russian segment of
      ISS. This caused some concern, but workarounds were found to allow the
      Expedition 15 crew to continue their mission. Sunita Williams
      transferred to the Shuttle, returning home with the Atlantis crew, and
      was replaced by Clay Anderson who was launched on STS-117.

      Atlantis undocked at 1442 UTC on Jun 19; deorbit was at 1843 UTC on Jun 22,
      lowering the Shuttle's orbit from 333 x 354 km to about 31 x 354 km and
      leading to a landing at 1949 UTC on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base.

      The Soyuz TMA-10 ferry ship is docked with the Zarya module; the
      Progress M-59 cargo ship is docked at Pirs and Progress M-60 is docked
      at Zvezda.


      Following its launch on Apr 24 into a 252 x 459 km x 48.2 deg orbit,
      the US Missile Defense Agency's NFIRE spacecraft reached its
      operational altitude at 489 x 497 km on May 18.

      Nigcomsat 1

      The Chinese-built Nigcomsat 1 was inserted into a 218 x 41927 km x 25.3 deg
      transfer orbit. Between May 15 and 22 it made a series of burns
      to enter geosynchronous orbit and by May 23 was stationary at 42 deg E
      in a 35772 x 35802 km x 0.2 deg orbit.

      Yaogan 2

      China's launch surge continues with the orbiting of Yaogan 2, its second
      SAR (synthetic aperture radar) remote sensing satellite, on May 25.
      Yaogan 2 was launched by a CZ-2D from the northern launch site at
      Jiuquan, while Yaogan 1 had used as CZ-4B from the Taiyuan launch site.
      Some sources have claimed that the Yaogan series also has a military
      role under the codename Jianbing-5, based on unsourced reports at
      sinodefense.com. The satellite entered a 631 x 655 km x 97.8 deg orbit.

      The launch also carried an experimental picosatellite from Zhejiang
      University. The 1 kg satellite is for microelectronics research. It is
      probably the MEMS-Pico satellite, previously announced as under
      development by Zhejiang University and Shanghai Institute of Microsystem
      and Information Technology. MEMS-Pico is a solar-panel-covered
      rhombicuboctahedron containing a MEMS infrared sensor, an S-band
      transceiver and a CMOS camera.

      Xinnuo 3

      Yet another Chinese launch, on May 31, put the DFH-3 class Chinese
      C-band domestic communications satellite Xinnuo 3 (Sinosat 3) in a
      194 x 41904 km x 25.1 deg transfer orbit. By Jun 15 the satellite
      was geostationary at 125E.

      The CZ-3A vehicle used to orbit Xinnuo-3 was the 100th launch of a Chang
      Zheng (Long March) class rocket, including two CZ-1 launches (unrelated
      vehicle) but not counting 11 launches of the related Feng Bao vehicle
      and at least 9 launches of the suborbital DF-5 missile on which the CZ-2
      and later series is based.


      Four first-generation Globlalstar satellites were placed in orbit on May
      29 to supplement the aging constellation of low orbit comm satellites.
      The Soyuz-FG rocket entered a 195 x 233 km x 51.9 deg parking orbit; the
      Fregat stage then made two burns for deployment of the four payloads in
      a 914 x 931 km x 52.0 deg orbit. Thanks to Claudia Duncan for the serial
      numbers of the payload. The Fregat stage made a depletion burn that was
      intended to remove it from orbit entirely; one object in the final
      orbit is cataloged by Space Command as 'Fregat debris'.


      A Russian Defense Ministry satellite, probably a Kobalt-M imaging payload,
      was launched on Jun 7 into a 167 x 339 km x 67.1 deg orbit.


      COSMO-1, the first COSMO-Skymed radar imaging satellite for Italy, was
      launched on Jun 8 into a 621 x 625 km x 97.9 deg orbit. COSMO-1 uses a
      Thales-Alenia Prima bus derived from Globalstar, and is own by the
      Italian space agency ASI and the Italian ministry of defense. It carries
      an X-band SAR. COSMO-1 was launched on a Boeing Delta 7420 by the United
      Launch Alliance (which doesn't seem to do online press kits yet, alas).
      COSMO stands for 'Constellation of Satellites for Mediterranean Basin
      Observation'. COSMO 1's mass has been variously reported as 1700 kg or
      1900 kg.

      'Ofeq 7

      Israel launched a Shavit rocket on Jun 10 carrying the 'Ofeq-7
      imaging spy satellite into orbit. While most launch vehicles fly
      eastward to pick up energy from the Earth's rotation, Israel
      launches to the west to avoid dropping stages on its neighbours,
      so 'Ofeq is in a 142 degree retrograde orbit, at a height of 340 x 575 km.

      NRO payload

      A secret National Reconnaissance Office mission was put in orbit by a
      Lockheed Martin Atlas V on Jun 15. Atlas mission AV-009 had a problem in
      the second burn of the Centaur upper stage, leaving the NRO USA-194
      in a somewhat low, probably elliptical orbit. It is believed that two
      spacecraft were to be deployed into 1150 km altitude, 63 deg inclination
      orbits. Based on optical observations, Ted Molczan reports a possible
      actual orbit of 776 x 1246 km; the payloads are expected to reach the
      original planned orbit using on-board propulsion. It's possible that the
      payloads remain attached to each other until reaching the target orbit.
      USA-194 is believed to be an NRO/US Navy intelligence mission to monitor
      and track ships using their radio emissions.


      The EADS Astrium/DLR TerraSAR-X radar imaging satellite was launched
      from Baykonur on Jun 15 aboard a Dnepr rocket. The 1346 kg satellite
      carries an X-band imaging radar with 1 meter resolution; it is in
      a 499 x 512 km x 97.5 deg orbit, while the Dnepr final stage
      ended up in a higher 506 x 1024 km orbit.

      Imaging radar satellites appear to have come of age; since the launch
      of NASA's Seasat in 1978, missions have been launched at the rate of
      one or two a year, but TerraSAR-X is the fifth in the past year,
      following Germany's SAR-Lupe-1, Japan's IGS R-2, China's Yaogan 2,
      and Italy's COSMO 1; SAR-Lupe-2 is due for launch soon.

      Table of Recent Launches
      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission
      May 4 2229 Astra 1L ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3
      Comms 16A
      Galaxy 17 )
      Comms 16B
      May 12 0325 Progress M-60 Soyuz-U Baykonur
      Cargo 17A
      May 13 1601 Nigcomsat 1 Chang Zheng 3B Xichang
      Comms 18A
      May 25 0712 Yaogan 2 ) Chang Zheng 2D Jiuquan
      Radar 19A
      MEMS-Pico )
      Tech 19
      May 29 2031 Globalstar FM65 ) Soyuz-FG/Fregat Baykonur
      Comms 20A
      Globalstar FM69 )
      Comms 20F
      Globalstar FM71 )
      Comms 20C
      Globalstar FM72 )
      Comms 20D
      May 31 1608 Xinnuo 3 Chang Zheng 3A Xichang
      Comms 21A
      Jun 7 1800 Kosmos-2427 Soyuz-U Plesetsk
      Imaging 22A
      Jun 8 0234 COSMO-Skymed 1 Delta 7420 Vandenberg SLC2
      Radar 23A
      Jun 8 2338 Atlantis (STS-117) Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A
      Spaceship 24A
      Jun 10 2340 'Ofeq 7 Shavit Palmachim
      Imaging 25A
      Jun 15 0214 TerraSAR-X Dnepr Baykonur LC109
      Radar 26A
      Jun 15 1511 USA 194) Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41
      Sigint 27A
      NRO? )
      Sigint 27

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