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Fwd: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 586

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  • Frits Westra
    Jonathan s Space Report No. 586 2007 Oct 14, Somerville, MA ... Shuttle and Station ... Soyuz TMA-11 was launched at
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 14, 2007
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      Jonathan's Space Report
      No. 586 2007 Oct 14, Somerville, MA
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      Shuttle and Station
      -------------------

      Soyuz TMA-11 was launched at 1322 UTC on Oct 10. The spaceship is
      production number 221, and flies the ISS 15S mission carrying both the
      Expedition 16 long stay crew and the EP-13 visiting crew to the Space
      Station. The Soyuz crew is commanded by Yuriy Malenchenko and includes
      NASA's Peggy Whitson and Malaysia's Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie.
      They docked with the Station's Zarya module at 1450 UTC on Oct 12.
      Aboard the station, Whitson takes command as Expedition 16 commander,
      with Malenchenko as flight engineer, together with second flight engineer
      Clay Anderson who has been aboard since August. Expedition 15 crew
      Fyodor Yurchikin and Oleg Kotov will return to Earth on Soyuz TMA-10
      together with EP-13 crewmember Shukor Al Masrie.

      Orbiter OV-103 Discovery is now on pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center awaiting
      launch on mission STS-120.

      The Progress M-60 cargo ship undocked from Zvezda at 0037 UTC on Sep 19
      and was used for plasma depletion experiments before being deorbited
      over the Pacific at 1901 UTC on Sep 25. Progress M-61 remains docked at
      Pirs. Soyuz TMA-10 undocked from Zarya at 1920 UTC on Sep 27 and docked
      with Zvezda at 1947 UTC.

      Dawn
      ----

      The Dawn space probe was launched towards the asteroid belt on Sep 27.
      Congratulations to loyal reader and Dawn project engineer Marc Rayman;
      I recommend his journal at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/journal.asp

      Dawn is the 9th NASA Discovery mission and will orbit the dwarf planet
      Ceres and the large asteroid Vesta; it follows on from the successful
      Deep Space 1 technology mission in using ion drive for NASA planetary
      exploration. It has 3 NSTAR xenon ion thrusters, with 425 kg of xenon
      propellant for interplanetary travel, and 12 0.9-Newton MR-103G
      hydrazine thrusters with 46 kg of propellant for asteroid orbit
      insertion. The spacecraft was built by Orbital/Dulles using a
      Star-2-derived bus with a dry mass of 747 kg, and is 1.8 x 1.3m in size
      with two large 19.7-meter-span solar arrays to provide power for the ion
      drive. Dawn has three main instruments: the Framing Cameras, the VIR
      visible/IR mapping spectrometer, and the GRaND gamma ray and neutron
      spectrometer. The mission is managed by JPL and principal investigator
      is Chris Russell of UCLA.

      United Launch Alliance carried out the launch on a Boeing Delta 7925H at
      1134 UTC on Sep 27. At 1142 UTC the Delta second stage reached a 185 x
      186 km Earth parking orbit; the second burn was at 1225 UTC. After a
      third, depletion, burn the second stage was in a 170 x 6776 km x 26.7
      deg orbit, but I don't have the post-second-burn orbit - it was probably
      about 185 x 6835 km with a velocity at perigee of 9.01 km/s. The PAM-D
      solid third stage fired at 1229 UTC to accelerate the probe to an escape
      velocity of 11.50 km/s; at 1236 UTC the stage separated after releasing
      two small despin weights on cables. Dawn's hyperbolic escape orbit of
      209 x -83420 km x 28.9 deg had an asymptotic velocity of 3.36 km/s
      (specific energy C3 = 11.319 km**2/s**2). Dawn passed lunar orbit at
      about 1430 UTC on Sep 28 and left the Earth's sphere of influence on Sep
      30. Dawn is now in a 1.00 x 1.62 AU solar orbit inclined 0.5 deg to the
      ecliptic; after a Mars flyby in Feb 2009 it will reach Vesta in 2011 and
      Ceres in 2015. The first test burn of the ion engine on Oct 6 was
      successful.


      Kaguya
      ------

      Japan's Kaguya moon probe was in a 2243 x 378132 km cislunar transfer orbit
      by Sep 30; on Oct 3 at 2100 UTC it entered a 101 x 11741 km x 95 deg
      lunar orbit. The probe is now lowering its orbit to 100 km circular;
      the Okina (R-Star) subsatellite was ejected into a 115 x 2399 km
      orbit at 0036 UTC on Oct 9, and the Ouna (VRAD) subsatellite
      was ejected at 0428 UTC on Oct 12 into a 127 x 795 km orbit.


      Ariane L526
      -----------

      Intelsat IS-11 and Optus D2 were launched by Ariane 5GS vehicle L526.
      Both are Orbital Star-2 communications satellites; IS-11 provides
      Atlantic region C and Ku-band comms for Intelsat, and Optus D2
      is a Ku-band satellite for Australia/New Zealand region TV, internet,
      telecom and data. By Oct 12 both had reached geosynchronous altitude.

      WGS SV-1
      --------

      The USAF's first Wideband Global Satcom satellite was launched by United
      Launch Alliance Atlas V model 421, serial AV-011 on Oct 11 into
      a 477 x 66847 km x 20.1 deg transfer orbit. The satellite replaces the
      DSCS military communications satellites and carries X-band and Ka-band
      communications payloads. WGS uses a Boeing 702 bus.


      Foton M-3
      ---------

      The Foton M-3 microgravity satellite was deorbited at 0723 UTC on Sep 26
      and landed at 0758 UTC in Kazakhstan, returing its Russian/European
      microgravity payload to Earth.

      One day earlier, on Sep 25 at 0447 UTC, the ESA YES-2 tether was
      deployed from the battery pack on the front end of Foton. The tether was
      then severed at the battery pack end at about 0720 UTC, after it had
      reached only 8.5 km of its planned 30 km length. The tiny 5 kg Fotino
      reentry capsule separated from the attached MASS data support system
      shortly afterwards. The idea was that the dynamics of space tethers let
      you send a capsule back to Earth without using a heavy retro-rocket; as
      the tether swings beneath the parent satellite, if you wait until the
      velocity of the capsule is too low for orbit at that height and then
      release it, it will reenter for free. It is not yet known what actually
      happened to the capsule; my best guess is that both MASS/tether and
      Fotino did reenter sometime on Sep 25 either on their first orbit or
      shortly afterwards. The next day at Foton deorbit, the battery pack and
      its attached YES2 deployer was ejected into a 257 x 275 km orbit and two
      retrorocket covers were ejected into higher 265 x 500 km orbits.

      CBERS-2B
      --------

      On Sep 21, the China-Brazil CBERS-2B remote sensing satellite raised its
      orbit to an operational altitude of 773 km.

      Table of Recent (orbital) Launches
      ----------------------------------
      Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission
      INTL.
      DES.
      Sep 2 1250 Insat 4CR GSLV SDSC
      Comms 37A
      Sep 5 2243 JCSAT 11 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur
      Comms F03
      Sep 11 1305 Kosmos-2429 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1
      Navigation 38A
      Sep 14 0131 Kaguya H-IIA 2022 Tanegashima Moon
      probe 39A
      Sep 14 1100 Foton M-3 ) Soyuz-U Baykonur
      Micrograv 40A
      YES-2 )
      Tech 40C
      Fotino )
      Tech 40
      MASS )
      Tech 40
      Sep 18 1835 WorldView 1 Delta 7920 Vandenberg SLC2W
      Imaging 41A
      Sep 19 0326 CBERS-2B Chang Zheng 4B Taiyuan
      Imaging 42A
      Sep 27 1134 Dawn Delta 7925H Canaveral SLC17B
      Probe 43A
      Oct 5 2202 Intelsat IS-11 ) Ariane 5GS Kourou ELA3
      Comms 44A
      Optus D-2 )
      Comms 44B
      Oct 10 1322 Soyuz TMA-11 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1
      Spaceship 45A
      Oct 11 0022 WGS SV-1 Atlas V 421 Canaveral SLC41
      Comms 46A


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