Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 438 2000 Nov 6

By SpaceRef Editor
November 6, 2000
Filed under

Shuttle and Stations


The Expedition One crew was launched on a Soyuz transport ship to the
International Space Station at 0753 UTC on Oct 31. Soyuz TM-31 flew from
Pad 5, Area 1 at 5 GIK Baykonur. Soyuz TM-31 commander (komandir) is
Yuriy Gidzenko; Flight engineer-1 (bortinzhener) is Sergey Krikalyov;
Flight engineer-2 is Bill Shepherd of NASA. The astronauts are using
Gidzenko’s callsign “Uran”.

The Progress M1-3 cargo ship undocked from Zvezda’s rear port at 0405
UTC Nov 1 and was deorbited over the Pacific at 0705 UTC.

Soyuz TM-31 docked at Zvezda’s rear port at 0921 UTC on Nov 2. The hatch
to Zvezda was opened at 1023 UTC. Once aboard ISS, Shepherd became the
ISS Commander; I gather the Russians will continue to be referred to as
‘Soyuz Commander’ and ‘Flight Engineer’ rather than giving Gidzenko an
ISS-specific role title. NASA Administrator Goldin has approved ‘Station
Alpha’ as the ISS callsign for the duration of the first expedition.

Space Command appears to have cataloged the vehicle as “Soyuz TMA-1”,
but the Energiya web site calls it Soyuz TM-31. The first Soyuz TMA will
not fly till next year; this vehicle is a standard Soyuz TM,
probably 11F732 No. 205, and the TMA-1 name is simply incorrect.

In last week’s report I inadvertently omitted descriptions of the last two
STS-92 spacewalks. EVA-3, by Chiao and McArthur, was on Oct 17 with
depress around 1425 UTC, on battery at 1430 UTC, and hatch open possibly
around 1432 UTC (the thermal cover was opened at 1433). McArthur emerged
at 1439 UTC. At 1606 the port DDCU, DDCU-HP 4B, was unberthed from its
sidewall carrier and taken up to Z1 for installation by 1615. DDCU-HP 3B
was installed by 1648 UTC. Next, Z1’s cables were attached to Unity. An
ETSD spacewalk toolbox was then taken from the Spacelab pallet to Z1,
and the Z1 keel pin was relocated. The astronauts were back inside at
2113, with hatch close at 2114 and repress at 2118. Duration was about
6h53min (depress/repress), 6h42min (hatch open/close), or 6h48m (NASA

The final EVA, by Wisoff and Lopez-Alegria, began with depressurization
around 1450 UTC on Oct 18. The hatch was opened early, probably around
1455 UTC, and the astronauts then went onto battery power at 1500 UTC.
The thermal cover was opened at 1507 UTC and the astronauts emerged at
that point. They tested a latch on Z1, removed a grapple fixture, and
deployed a cable tray for the ammonia cooling system. The main tasks
complete, it was time for the most spectacular moment of the mission –
tests of the SAFER spacesuit backpack propulsion units. Wisoff and
Lopez-Alegria took turns with semi-free flights, still attached to
Discovery by a long, slack tether but otherwise floating free. Wisoff
flew first, starting at 1855 UTC and flying from Lopez-Alegria on the
RMS near Zarya to the payload bay. By 1939 he was back on the RMS, with
a flight duration of under 46 min. Lopez-Alegria then flew from 1949 to
2016, a duration of 27 min. The astronauts entered the airlock at 2145,
closed the hatch at 2149, and repressurized the airlock at 2156.
Duration was about 7h06m (depress/repress), 6h54m (hatch open/close), or
6h56m (NASA scheme).

Current Launches


China’s first experimental navigation technology satellite, Beidou,
was launched on Oct 30 by CZ-3A from
Xichang into a 195 x 41889 km x 25.0 deg orbit. According to Chinese
space expert Chen Lan, Beidou was developed by CAST/Beijing.
Launch was at 0002 Beijing time Oct 31 which corresponds to 1602 UTC on
Oct 30. Richard Langley informs me that “Beidou” is the Chinese for
“Northern Dipper”, equivalent to “Ursa Major”.

X-38 test vehicle V-131R was drop-tested over Edwards AFB on Nov 2.
The first space flight by X-38 vehicle V-201 is now scheduled for 2002.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

Oct 1 2200 GE-1A Proton-K/DM3 Baykonur LC81L Commsat 59A
Oct 6 2300 N-SAT-110 Ariane 42L Kourou ELA2 Commsat 60A
Oct 9 0538 HETE-2 Pegasus Kwajalein RW06/24 Astronomy 61A
Oct 11 2317 Discovery Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 62A
Oct 13 1412 Kosmos-2374 ) Proton-K/DM-2 Baykonur Navsat 63A
Kosmos-2375 ) Navsat 63B
Kosmos-2376 ) Navsat 63C
Oct 16 2127 Progress M-43 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 64A
Oct 20 0039 DSCS III B11 Atlas IIA Canaveral SLC36A Commsat 65A
Oct 20? K-2306 subsat 7 ) Kosmos-2306, LEO Calib 95-08N
K-2306 subsat 8 ) Calib 95-08P
K-2306 subsat 9 ) Calib 95-08Q
K-2306 subsat 10) Calib 95-08R
K-2306 subsat 11) Calib 95-08S
K-2306 subsat 12) Calib 95-08T
K-2306 subsat 13) Calib 95-08U
K-2306 subsat 14) Calib 95-08V
K-2306 subsat 15) Calib 95-08W
K-2306 subsat 16) Calib 95-08X
K-2306 subsat 17) Calib 95-08Y
K-2306 subsat 18) Calib 95-08Z
K-2306 subsat 19) Calib 95-08AA
Oct 21 0552 Thuraya 1 Zenit-3SL Odyssey, POR Commsat 66A
Oct 21 2200 GE 6 Proton-K/DM-3 Baykonur LC81L Commsat 67A
Oct 29 0559 Europe*Star FM1 Ariane 44LP Kourou ELA2 Commsat 68A
Oct 30 1602 Beidou Chang Zheng 3A Xichang LC1 Navsat 69A
Oct 31 0753 Soyuz TM-31 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 70A

Current Shuttle Processing Status


Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due   

OV-102 Columbia Palmdale OMDP
OV-103 Discovery OPF Bay 1? STS-102 2001 Feb 15 ISS 5A.1
OV-104 Atlantis OPF Bay 3 STS-98 2001 Jan 18 ISS 5A
OV-105 Endeavour VAB Bay 1 STS-97 2000 Nov 30 ISS 4A

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SpaceRef staff editor.