From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2007
ERRATUM: The upper stage for the Skynet/Insat Ariane 5ECA launch was of course an ESC-A, not the old EPS stage.
Soyuz TMA-10 was launched on Apr 7.
Progress M-58 undocked from the Zvezda module on Mar 27 at 1811 UTC and was deorbited at 2244 UTC. The Expedition 14 crew boarded Soyuz TMA-9 on Mar 29, undocking from Zarya at 2230 UTC and redocking with Zvezda at 2254, leaving the Zarya port free for the planned Soyuz TMA-10 launch. TMA-10 took off at 1731 UTC Apr 7 and reached orbit at 1740 UTC. The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft is Soyuz TMA factory article 11732 No. 220 and is flying ISS mission 14S. Aboard Soyuz TMA-10 are Expedition 15 astronauts Fyodor Yurchikin of RKK Energiya (a Russian citizen born in Gruziya - 'Georgia') and Oleg Kotov (a Russian Air Force pilot), as well as EP-12 (Visting Mission 12) tourist crewmember Charles Simonyi. Simonyi (born in Hungary as Simonyi Karoly) is a former Microsoft executive and (for the coders among my readers) inventor of the Hungarian notational convention for naming variables in software. For the Soyuz flight, Kotov is commander and Yurchikin is flight engineer; as Station crewmembers their roles switch. The Expedition 15 and EP-12 crewmembers joined the Expedition 14 crew of Mike Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams when Soyuz TMA-10 docked with the Zarya module at 1910 UTC on Apr 9. On Apr 21, Lopez-Alegria, Tyurin and Simonyi returned to Earth in the Soyuz TMA-9 ship, landing at 1231 UTC. The Expedition 15 crew now consists of Yurchikin, Kotov and Williams.
The Falcon flight reached an orbit of around -4200 x 289 km x 9 deg. SpaceX reported that the test payload instrument ring was successfully deployed; the payload and the second stage fell in the Pacific.
A Proton-M rocket launched on Apr 9 placed a Briz-M upper stage (S/N 88519) in orbit with the Canadian Anik F3 communications satellite aboard. Anik F3 was delivered to geostationary transfer orbit of 5514 x 35771 km x 11.0 deg. The Briz-M stage is in a similar orbit; the Briz-M DTB tank is in a 316 x 17659 km x 49.5 deg orbit, and the Proton third stage reentered from a -932 x 163 km x 51.5 deg orbit. Anik F3 is an EADS Astrium Eurostar 3000 model satellite with C, Ku and Ka band payloads. On Apr 23 it was in a 35781 x 35791 km x 0.1 deg GEO at 119 deg W.
The Haiyang-1B oceanographic satellite was launched on Apr 11 from Taiyuan Space Center in China into a 783 x 813 km x 98.6 deg orbit. It carries a 10-band ocean color scanner, a 4-band CCD imager with 250-meter resolution, and an infrared water profile radiometer.
HY-1A was launched in 2002 as a secondary payload on a CZ-4B launch, while HY-1B was the primary payload on its lighter CZ-2C rocket.
The 5th Beidou satellite was launched on Apr 13; it is the first to be targeted for a GPS-like 12-hour, 55 deg inclination, 21000 km altitude orbit. The 4th Beidou, launched in January, finally reached geostationary orbit in early April following deployment problems with its solar panels and reports of US detection of a debris cloud at the time of the original expected apogee firing.
(US reports talk about the new launch as part of the 'Compass' system; this appears to be a name used by China only in English language documents to refer to the system. Some reports talk about 'Compass M1'; since there is no alphabet in Chinese, it's unclear what the 'M' would represent in that language).
Kosmotras launched a Dnepr rocket (converted R-36M missile) on Apr 17. The rocket carried six small Saudi Arabian satellites, the Egyptsat (Misr) 1 payload, and three picosat deployers carrying six 1-kg Cubesats and the MAST tether satellite experiment. The satellites are in 650 x 660-792 km x 98.1 deg orbits:
12D Plume shield 97.836 649 x 660 x 98.1 12A Egyptsat 97.970 657 x 665 x 98.1 12B Saudisat 3 98.094 656 x 678 x 98.1 12J SaudiComsat-3 98.465 653 x 717 x 98.1 12H SaudiComsat-5 98.570 652 x 728 x 98.1 12C SaudiComsat-7 98.677 651 x 739 x 98.1 12L SaudiComsat-4? 98.777 650 x 750 x 98.1 12E SaudiComsat-6 98.888 649 x 761 x 98.1 12F Cubesat? 98.969 648 x 770 x 98.1 12K Cubesat? 99.083 647 x 782 x 98.1 12N Cubesat? 99.180 646 x 792 x 98.1 12P Cubesat? 99.184 646 x 792 x 98.1 12M Cubesat? 99.186 646 x 792 x 98.1 12Q Cubesat? No orbit data yet 12R Cubesat? No orbit data yet 12G Dnepr stage 101.988 624 x1079 x 98.1
Egyptsat (MisrSat) is a 100-kg class imaging payload built by the Ukranian company Yuzhnoe for Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences.
Saudisat-3 carries an imaging payload and a data collection relay payload; it has a mass around 200 kg (?) and is the largest satellite to date for the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Tech. (KACST) space research center in Riyadh. The flight also carried a group of five 12-kg SaudiComsat messaging payloads, SaudiComsat 3 to 7.
Three PPOD picosatellite launchers were used:
PPOD-A carried Aerocube 2 for the Aerospace Corp (El Segundo, Calif.); CSTB 1, the CubeSat TestBed for Boeing IDS/Advanced Systems (Huntington Beach, Calif.); and the Cal Poly CP4 cubesat, which is a backup for the CP2 lost in last year's Dnepr failure.
PPOD-B carried MAST 1, the Multi Application Survivable Tether experiment, for Tethers Unlimited Inc and Stanford U.. MAST 1 consists of the TED (Tether Deployer) satellite, with a 1 km deployable multi-strand Hoytether; RALPH, the small end mass satellite; and between them, GADGET, an Inspector satellite which can crawl up and down the tether. Before deployment the MAST vehicle is 0.3m x 0.1m, fitting inside a triple cubesat envelope.
PPOD-C carried the Cajun Advanced Picosatellite Experiment (CAPE 1) for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Libertad 1 for Universidad Sergio Arboleda, Bogota, Colombia; and the Cal Poly CP3 cubesat.
Space surveillance catalog
I note that Space Command seems to still be leaving catalog number 29676 blank, even though the catalog numbers are now up to 31134.
The Italian gamma-ray observatory AGILE (Astrorivelatore Gamma ad Imagini Leggero, Light Gamma-Ray Imaging Astronomical Detector) was launched on Apr 23 aboard an Indian PSLV rocket into a 523 x 552 km x 2.5 deg orbit. AGILE carries the GRID 0.3-200 MeV wide-field gamma ray imager, which will try and scoop some of the science from NASA's much more powerful GLAST mission to be launched at the end of the year. It also carries the Super-AGILE 15-45 keV detector which will give the best look yet at the hard X-ray sky.
PSLV-C8 flew for the first time in a light configuration with no strap-on motors. It used a Dual Launch Adapter; the secondary payload was an Advanced Avionics Module for future use on Indian launch vehicles; the AAM presumably did not separate from the PS4 fourth stage.
I report with sadness the death of Dorrit Hoffleit at the age of 100. Dorrit was the author of the Yale Bright Star Catalog, first published in 1930 and reaching its fifth edition in the 1990s. In her almost 80-year-long active career in astronomy beginning here at Harvard in the 1920s and continuing at Yale since the 1950s she was a mentor to many young astronomers, notably including many of the senior women in the field; she was one of the last living links to Annie Cannon and her colleagues in the pioneering era of Harvard astrophysics.
Table of Recent Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. DES. Mar 9 0310 STPSat-1 ) Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Tech 06D Astro ) Tech 06A NextSat ) Tech 06C Midstar 1 ) Tech 06B Falconsat-3) Tech/Sci 06E CFESat ) Science 06F MEPSI Picosat) Tech 06 MEPSI Picosat) Tech 06 Mar 11 2203 Skynet 5A ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3 Comms 07B Insat 4B ) Comms 07A Mar 21 0110 DemoFlight 2 Falcon 1 Kwaj/Omelek Test F02 Apr 7 1731 Soyuz TMA-10 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 08A Apr 9 2254 Anik F3 Proton-M/Briz Baykonur Comms 09A Apr 11 0327 Haiyang 1B Chang Zheng 2C Taiyuan Imaging 10A Apr 12 2011 Beidou 5 Chang Zheng 3A Xichang Navigation 11A Apr 17 0646 MAST ) Dnepr Baykonur Tech 12 Misr 1 ) Imaging 12A Saudisat 3 ) Imaging 12B SaudiComsat-3 ) Comms 12J SaudiComsat-4 ) Comms 12L? SaudiComsat-5 ) Comms 12H SaudiComsat-6 ) Comms 12E SaudiComsat-7 ) Comms 12C CAPE 1 ) Tech 12 Aerocube 2 ) Tech 12 CSTB 1 ) Tech 12 CP 3 ) Tech 12 CP 4 ) Tech 12 Libertad ) Tech 12 Apr 23 1000 AGILE PSLV Sriharikota Astronomy 13A
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