Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 440 draft 6 Dec 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
December 6, 2000
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Stations


Endeavour was launched at 0306 UTC on Dec 1 on mission STS-97
to the International Space Station. The external tank and the Orbiter
entered a 74 x 325 km orbit at 0314 UTC. Endeavour’s OMS burn raised
its perigee to 205 km at around 0347 UTC; the ET reentered over the Pacific.
Endeavour docked with the Station’s PMA-3 docking port at 1959 UTC on Dec 2.
Astronauts will install the P6 solar panel truss during a series
of spacewalks.

The crew of STS-97 are: Commander – Brent Jett, Cmdr USN; Pilot –
Michael Bloomfield, LtCol USAF; Mission Specialists – Joseph Tanner,
NASA, Dr. Marc Garneau, CSA, and Carlos Noriega, LtCol USMC.

The payload bay of Endeavour for STS-97 contains:

                                               Est. Mass (kg)
Bay 1-2: Orbiter Docking System 1800
3 EMU spacesuits (S/N unknown) 360?
FPPU experiment (in airlock) 23
Unknown APCU Assembly Power Converter Unit 35
Unknown APCU Assembly Power Converter Unit 35
Bay 3-6: ITS P6 Long Spacer 4000?
TCS radiator (aft) 500?
TCS radiator (starboard) 500?
Bay 8-11: ITS P6 Integrated Equipment Assembly 7200?
PV radiator P6 500?
Bay 12-13: ITS P6 Photovoltaic Array/Beta Gimbal Asy. 1000?
Solar array wing 2B 1070
Solar array wing 4B 1070
Bay 13S IMAX Cargo Bay Camera 238
Sill: Canadarm RMS 303 410
Total payload bay cargo 18740 kg

The main cargo is P6, which is made up of the LS (Long Spacer),
PV-1 IEA (Integrated Equipment Assembly) and the PVAA (Photovoltaic
Array). The LS carries two Thermal Control Systems with radiators
to eject waste heat from the Station; these radiators will be moved
to truss segments S4 and S6 later in assembly. The PVAA has
solar array wings SAW-2B and SAW-4B, which were deployed to a span
of 73 meters.

The FPPU (Floating Potential Probe Experiment) will be installed
on P6 to measure charge buildup as the arrays pass through
the ionospheric plasma. P6 has devices to bleed off excess charge,
and FPPU will see how well they are doing.

I’m still trying to confirm details of the Boeing Rocketdyne APCUs. They
are technically counted as orbiter support equipment rather than
payloads by NASA, but I count anything mounted in the payload bay as a
payload. There don’t seem to be any photos online of Endeavour in the
OPF and NASA PAO’s don’t have any documentation describing the APCUs.
Thanks are due to Bill Harwood (of CBS and for
confirmation of the existence of these extra payload elements. As far as
I can tell, the APCUs are boxes which provide Orbiter power to the
Station; they first flew on STS-91 (providing simulated ISS power to the
AMS experiment) and are probably attached to APCs (Adaptive Payload
Carriers) somewhere in the bay – I suspect near the front at the ODS,
but if anyone knows for sure please let me know.

Readers should note that the STS-97 press kit contains wildly incorrect
weight information for the Long Spacer and the PVA. I’ve had to guess
at the subcomponent masses.

The first STS-97 spacewalk began with airlock depress and hatch open at
1831 UTC on Dec 3. The suits went to battery power at 1835 UTC and Joe
Tanner and Carlos Noriega left the airlock around 1845 UTC. Around 1932
UTC the RMS arm berthed P6 on the Z1 truss, and the astronauts
manually latched it in place by 1940 UTC. There were some problems
releasing latches on the solar array wings, but the first solar
array began to deploy at 0123 UTC on Dec 4. This was the
“starboard” (+X) array, wing SAW-2B. The port (-X) array, SAW-4B,
was left undeployed. The astronauts closed the hatch at 0202 UTC on
Dec 4 and repressurized at 0209 UTC for an EVA-1 duration of 7:38
(depress), 7:31 (hatch open/close), or 7:34 (NASA rule). The P6 PVR
radiator was deployed on the +Y side of the IEA at 0414 UTC on Dec 4.
The SAW-4B wing was deployed starting at 0052 UTC on Dec 5.

The second spacewalk began on Dec 5 with depress at 1718 UTC, hatch open
around 1719 UTC and battery power at 1721 UTC. Repress was at 2358 UTC.
Duration was 6:40 (depress), 6:35 (hatch open/close), or 6:37 (NASA rule).
The astronauts connected up P6 to the station, inspected the tension
wires on wing 2B, and relocated the S-band antenna to the top of P6.
They unlatched the aft TCS radiator, which was deployed sometime
early on Dec 6.

Progress M1-4 undocked from ISS’s Zarya nadir port at 1623 UTC on Dec 1.
The vehicle remains in orbit.

Current Launches


The Israeli commercial imaging satellite EROS A1 was launched
by a Start-1 (modified Topol’ ICBM) rocket
from the Russian Far Eastern spaceport 2-GIK at Svobodniy
on Dec 6. EROS A1 is owned by ImageSat (an Israeli-led
company registered in the Netherlands Antilles) and built by
IAI using the Ofeq-3 design. Earlier Israeli-built satellites
were launched by the Shaviyt rocket from Palmachim south
of Tel Aviv. EROS A1 is in a 491 x 506 km x 97.3 deg
sun-synchronous orbit together with the DS 5th stage.
The fourth stage of Start-1 also normally reaches orbit,
but has not yet been cataloged in this case.

The third Sirius digital radio broadcast satellite was launched on
Nov 30. International Launch Services launched a Krunichev Proton-K
with an Energiya Blok DM3 upper stage from Baykonur. The Sirius
satellite is a Loral FS-1300 series vehicle and will enter
an elliptical 63 degree orbit.

The QuickBird satellite launched on Nov 20 was 3.0m high and 1.6m x 1.6m
in cross-section with a 5.2m solar array span; mass was 931 kg full
and 899 kg dry (the satellite had four 4.4N hydrazine thrusters).
QuickBird 1 was the second use of the Ball Aerospace BCP-2000 satellite;
NASA’s QuikScat, launched in Jun 1999, continues to operate. QuickBird 2
is under construction. Visual observations from Uruguay of reentering
debris suggest that QB-1 reentered at around 0015 UTC on Nov 21.
The last Kosmos-3M failure, in 1995, had a similar profile and
was attributed to contamination in the oxidizer lines for the
second stage main engine.

A classified National Reconnaissance Office payload was launched
on Dec 7 by a Lockheed Martin Atlas 2AS from Cape Canaveral.
The Centaur placed the payload in a 176 x 831 km parking
orbit and then in a 270 x 37490 km x 26.5 deg geostationary transfer orbit;
it is probably either a data relay satellite which transfers
spy satellite imagery to the ground, or a signals intelligence



NASA’s EO-1 is actually called Earth Observing 1; its original “Earth Orbiter 1”
name was changed some time ago.

The P6 IEA is the Integrated Equipment Assembly, not Integrated Electronics Assembly.

I can’t spell “millennium”.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
Nov 10 1714 GPS SVN 41 Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17A Navsat 71A
Nov 16 0107 PAS 1R ) Ariane 5 Kourou ELA3 Commsat 72A
AMSAT-Oscar-40) Commsat 72B
STRV-1c ) Tech 72C
STRV-1d ) Tech 72D
Nov 16 0132 Progress M1-4 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 73A
Nov 20 2300 QuickBird 1 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132 Imaging 74A
Nov 21 1824 EO-1 ) Delta 7320 Vandenberg SLC2W Imaging 75A
SAC-C ) Imaging 75B
Munin ) Science 75C
Nov 21 2356 Anik F-1 Ariane 44L Kourou ELA2 Commsat 76A
Nov 30 1959 Sirius 3 Proton-K/DM3 Baykonur LC81L Commsat 77A
Dec 1 0306 Endeavour) Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39 Spaceship 78A
ITS P6 ) Station seg.
Dec 6 1232 EROS A1 Start-1 Svobodniy Imaging 79A
Dec 7 0247 USA 155? Atlas 2AS Canaveral SLC36A Commsat? 80A

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 VAB Bay 1 STS-98 2001 Jan 18 ISS 5A
OV-105 Endeavour LEO STS-97 2000 Dec 1 ISS 4A

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
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SpaceRef staff editor.