Jonathan's Space Report No. 464 2001 Oct 16

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2001

Shuttle and Station

Astronauts Dezhurov and Tyurin made a spacewalk from the Pirs module on Station on Oct 8. The airlock was depressurized for the first time by around 1420 UTC and the hatch was opened at 1423 UTC. The crew installed the Strela crane on the outside of Pirs and jettisoned some thermal covers. After five minutes wrestling with the mechanism, the hatch was closed at 1921 UTC and repressurization began at 1926 UTC. Orlan-M spacesuits were used for the spacewalk; the 'official' time was counted from hatch open to hatch closed (Russian rules), inconsistent with the durations used for spacewalks from Quest, which are counted from battery power to repress (NASA rules).

The same two astronauts made another spacewalk on Oct 15, with Culbertson again staying inside the station. At 0903 UTC the airlock was depressurized to about 20 mbar; the hatch began opening to full vaccuum at 0916 UTC with official hatch opening at 0917 UTC. Tyurin exited the airlock at 0925 UTC, with Dezhurov emerging a few minutes later. The astronauts attached the Kromka contamination experiment and two Japanese exposure experiments to the hull of the Zvezda module. The Russian flag on Zvezda was retrieved for an exposure study and replaced with a commercial logo. Dezhurov and Tyurin re-entered the airlock at 1445 UTC and after more hatch closing troubles, the hatch was latched at 1509 UTC and the airlock repressurization began around 1510 UTC.

Recent Launches

Galileo completed the Io 32 flyby on Oct 16. It passed 343000 km from Jupiter's cloud tops at 2252 UTC on Oct 15, and only 181 km from Io's south polar region at 0223 UTC on Oct 16 It will retreat to 11 million km from Jupiter by Nov 23 before coming back in for an equatorial pass of Io on Jan 17.

Lockheed Martin Astronautics' Titan 4B-34 was launched from SLC4E at Vandenberg on Oct 5 at 2121 UTC. The vehicle had a 20-m fairing with no upper stage. The SRMU solids and the Titan core first stage fell in the Pacific as planned, with the Titan core second stage reaching orbit at 2130 UTC and deploying a National Reconnaissance Office payload into a sun-synchronous orbit.

Analysts speculate that the payload is probably an Improved CRYSTAL imaging satellite. If so, it will probably be in a 150 x 1050 km x 97.9 deg orbit.

The Russian Kosmos-2377 Kobal't-class imaging satellite landed on Oct 10 after a 4-month mission.

The OAM stage from the recent Athena launch seems to have made further depletion burns and on Oct 3 was in a 155 x 376 km orbit; it reentered on Oct 6.

A Krunichev Proton-K was launched from Baykonur on Oct 6. The Energiya Blok-DM2 upper stage put a Globus military communications satellite in geostationary orbit. The Globus satellites, built by NPO-PM, are given the public name Raduga-1 when in orbit. The DM2 entered orbit at 1654 UTC, made its first burn around 1755 UTC to transfer orbit, and is believed to have made a second burn at about 2318 UTC to circularize orbit at geostationary altitude.

A Lockheed Martin Astronautics Atlas IIAS, flight AC-162, was launched from Cape Canaeral on Oct 11. The Centaur entered a 176 x 907 km x 28.2 deg parking orbit at 0242 UTC and then made a second burn to deploy its payload in a 274 x 37538 km x 26.5 deg geostationary transfer orbit at 0301 UTC. The payload is rumoured to be a data relay satellite used to return data from imaging satellites like the one launched on Oct 5. It is also possible, but less likely, that the satellite is a signals intelligence payload. The satellite is owned and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

USA 160, launched on Sep 8, has not been joined by any more cataloged payloads, although it is possible that 2001-40C, officially registered as a debris object, is actually a payload. Although it was expected that three payloads would be deployed from the launch, the new ocean surveillance design may use fewer independent satellites. In the past, four objects were officially assigned USA numbers from each of the ocean surveillance launches.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
Sep  7 1939   Picosat 7/8       -              Sindri, LEO      Technology  00-42C
Sep  8 1525   USA 160       )   Atlas IIAS     Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint       40A
              NRO satellite )                                                40C
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
Oct  5 2120   USA 161           Titan 4B       Vandenberg SLC4E Imaging      44A
Oct  6 1645   Raduga-1          Proton-K/DM2?  Baykonur         C telecom    45A
Oct 11 0232   USA 162           Atlas IIAS     Canaveral SLC36B Data relay?  46A
Current Shuttle Processing Status

Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due

OV-102 Columbia        OPF Bay 3     STS-109 2002 Feb     HST SM-3B
OV-103 Discovery       OPF Bay 2     Maintenance
OV-104 Atlantis        VAB           STS-110 2002 Mar     ISS 8A
OV-105 Endeavour       OPF Bay 1     STS-108 2001 Nov 29  ISS UF-1
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for    |                                    |
|   Astrophysics                     |                                    |
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