Jonathan's Space Report No. 463 2001 Oct 3

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Shuttle and Station

The Expedition 3 crew continues work on the Station. The Progress M-SO1 vehicle undocked from the Pirs module at 1536 UTC on Sep 26 and was deorbited over the Pacific at 2330 UTC the same day. This leaves the Pirs docking port free for dockings.

Upcoming Shuttle flights are likely to be delayed because of recently discovered damage to mounting points on the OMS pods in several orbiters.

The daily Shuttle processing reports from KSC are now suppressing information about which orbiter is in which OPF bay at the request of security officials. While I'm in agreement with the need for increased security at NASA bases - access control can be pretty lax sometimes - this, like so many recent so-called security measures, seems to fall in the 'really silly' category.

Recent Launches

The first orbital launch from Alaska's Kodiak Island took place on 2001 Sep 30. The Lockheed Martin Athena-1 (serial LM-001) took off from the Kodiak Launch Complex at 0240 UTC. The Castor 120 first stage and Orbus 21 second stage fired and separated, followed at 0245 UTC by the first burn of the Orbit Adjust Module (OAM). The OAM uses four MR-107 hydrazine engines which fired for 12 min to put the payload in a 237 x 815 km transfer orbit. After coast to apogee above East Africa, a second burn at around 0337 UTC circularized the orbit. USAF Space Test Program satellites Picosat, Sapphire and PCSat were deployed into an 790 x 800 km x 67 deg orbit between 0344 and 0352 UTC; the OAM then made a perigee lowering burn, probably about 0355 UTC, to a 470 x 800 km orbit. Another burn half an orbit later put OAM in a 467 x 474 km orbit. The Starshine-3 was deployed around 0450 UTC; it is a 90 kg, 0.9m geodetic sphere that will be observed by school students. The project is managed by NASA GSFC and Starshine was built by NRL. Finally, the OAM made a perigee-lowering depletion burn which left in in a 215 x 403 km x 67.2 deg orbit from which it should reenter in a few months. STP P97-1 Picosat (incorrectly called Picosat 9 by Space Command) was built by Surrey Satellite for the USAF using a Uosat-type bus; the 68 kg satellite carries a polymer battery experiment and ionospheric instruments. PCSat is a UHF/VHF amateur radio satellite built by US Naval Academy students at Annapolis; mass is probably of order 10 kg. SAPPHIRE was built by Stanford University students and carries experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital camera. The satellite is about 0.5m in size and has a mass of 16 kg.

Athena flights:

Type Serial  Date     Payload          Site

1  DLV   1995 Aug 15  Gemstar          SLC6, Vandenberg    (Failure)
1  LM-2  1997 Aug 23  Lewis            SLC6, Vandenberg    
2  LM-4  1998 Jan  7  Lunar Prospector SLC46, Canaveral  
1  LM-6  1999 Jan 27  ROCSAT           SLC46, Canaveral
2  LM-5  1999 Apr 27  Ikonos           SLC6, Vandenberg    (Failure)
2  LM-7  1999 Sep 24  Ikonos           SLC6, Vandenberg   
1  LM-1  2001 Sep 30  Kodiak Star      KLC, Kodiak 
The MAP satellite has now arrived at the vicinity of the Earth-Sun L2 point, although I have been unable to obtain detailed trajectory information.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
Aug  6 0728   DSP 21            Titan 4B/IUS   Canaveral SLC40  Early Warn   33A
Aug  8 1613   Genesis           Delta 7326     Canaveral SLC17A Space probe  34A
Aug 10 2110   Discovery  )      Shuttle        Kennedy LC39     Spaceship    35A
              Leonardo   )
Aug 20 1830   Simplesat         -              Discovery, LEO   Astronomy    35B
Aug 21 0924   Progress M-45     Soyuz-U        Baykonur LC1     Cargo        36A
Aug 24 2034   Kosmos-2379       Proton-K/DM2M? Baykonur LC81R   Early Warn?  37A
Aug 29 0700   VEP-2   )         H-2A           Tanegashima      Technology   38B
              LRE     )                                         Geodesy      38A
Aug 30 0646   Intelsat 902      Ariane 44L     Kourou ELA2      C/Ku telecom 39A
Sep  7 1939   Picosat 7/8       -              Sindri, LEO      Technology  00-42C
Sep  8 1525   USA 160           Atlas IIAS     Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint       40A
Sep 14 2335   Pirs           )  Soyuz-U        Baykonur LC1     Station module  
              Progress M-SO1 )                                  Cargo        41A
Sep 21 1849   Orbview-4  )      Taurus 2110    Vandenberg 576E  Imaging      F01
              QuikTOMS   )                                      Environment  F01
              SBD        )                                      Technology   F01
              Celestis-4 )                                      Burial       F01
Sep 25 2321   Atlantic Bird 2   Ariane 44P     Kourou ELA2      Ku telecom   42A
Sep 30 0240   Starshine 3  )    Athena-1       Kodiak           Science      43A
              Picosat      )                                    Technology   43B
              PCSat        )                                    UHF/VHF comm 43C
              Sapphire     )                                    Technology   43D

Current Shuttle Processing Status

Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due   
OV-102 Columbia        OPF Bay 3     STS-109 2002 Jan 17  HST SM-3B
OV-103 Discovery       OPF Bay 2     Maintenance
OV-104 Atlantis        VAB           STS-110 2002 Feb 28  ISS 8A
OV-105 Endeavour       OPF Bay 1     STS-108 2001 Nov 29  ISS UF-1
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
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