Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 448 4 March 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
March 4, 2001
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Stations


Atlantis landed at Edwards AFB on Feb 20, completing mission STS-98.
Plans to land on Feb 18 and Feb 19 were called off due to bad weather at
Kennedy Space Center. The deorbit burn was at 1927 UTC and lowered the
orbit from 370 x 386 km to about 50 x 380 km. The nominal entry
interface at 122 km came at 2002 UTC and touchdown on runway 22 was at
2033 UTC. On Mar 1 Atlantis was flown on the back of NASA’s SCA 911
carrier aircraft to Altus AFB, Oklahoma and will be returned to KSC when
the weather clears. Meanwhile, in nearby Palmdale, Columbia has
completed its maintenance period and began its journey back to KSC on
NASA SCA 905 half an hour earlier, landing at Dyess AFB, Abilene, Texas.
There are two converted Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, but it’s
been a while since both have been needed at the same time and this is
the first time that both have been in the air carrying an Orbiter

Soyuz TM-31, carrying the Expedition One crew of Shepherd, Gidzenko and
Krikalyov, undocked from the -Y port on Zvezda on Feb 24 at 1006 UTC
and redocked with the -Z port on Zarya at 1037 UTC. This freed the Zvezda
port for a Progress resupply ship.

Progress No. 244 was launched on Feb 26 and named Progress M-44 once on
orbit. Launch vehicle was a Soyuz 11A511U, which took off from GIK-5
(Baykonur). Progress M-44 docked with the -Y port on Zvezda at 0950 UTC
on Feb 28.

The next Shuttle launch is STS-102, which will carry the Leonardo Multi
Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by Alenia Spazio (Torino).
The MPLM is a descendant of the Spacelab long modules. Also carried is a
Spacehab/Energia unpressurized Integrated Cargo Carrier with
LCA/MTSAS-A, RU, and PFCS (An ammonia servicing system has reportedly
been omitted from the cargo). A sidewall adapter beam with two
GAS canisters (G-783 and WSVFM) is also on board. WSVFM measures
vibration during launch. Another adapter beam, probably at
the rear of the payload bay, carries SEM-9. SEM-9 and G-783
contain high school microgravity experiments.

I’m guessing that the ICC is probably in Bay 5 with the MPLM behind it
in Bay 8-12, and SEM-9 the adapter beam in bay 13, but NASA does not
seem to have released any photos or diagrams of the overall STS-102
cargo bay. The robot arm carried on Discovery is RMS 301, according to
Bill Harwood’s info on the site.

Discovery will dock at PMA-2 on Destiny. The LCA (Lab Cradle Assembly,
apparently the same thing as MTSAS-A, Module Truss Structure Attachment
System) will be attached to Destiny’s +Z side during an EVA. It will be
used on the next mission to temporarily place a Spacelab pallet on
Destiny during installation of the Station’s robot arm. Later, it
will be the site for the main Station truss, beginning with segment S0.

The PMA-3, currently on Unity at the -Z nadir position, will be moved to
the port position to make room for Leonardo. An external stowage
platform will be attached to Destiny and the External Stowage Platform
and the PFCS Pump Flow Control System will be added to the port aft
trunnion on Destiny. A rigid umbilical (RU) will be connected to the
PDGF grapple fixture on Destiny to support the Station’s future robot
arm. Leonardo will be docked to Unity at -Z for a while so that its
cargo can be transferred to the station easily; it will then be returned
to the payload bay and brought back down.

STS-102 cargo: The JSR guess

                                               Est. Mass (kg)
Bay 1-2: Orbiter Docking System 1800
and External Airlock
3 EMU spacesuits (S/N unknown) 360?
Bay 4 Port?: Adapter Beam with 218?
WSVFM and G-782
Bay 5?: Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC) 1282
with LCA (Lab Cradle Assembly) 83
ESP (External Stowage Plat.)+
PFCS (Pump Flow Control System) 210
RU (Rigid Umbilical) 28
Bay 8-12?: Leonardo Module (MPLM-1) 4760
MPLM racks and cargo 5362
Bay 13S? Adapter Beam with SEM-09 100?
Unknown Adapter Beam with 100?
Assembly Power Converter Units?
Sill: Canadarm RMS 301 410
Total payload bay cargo 14713 kg

Leonardo carries 16 ‘racks’ of equipment, including the Human Research
Facility Rack (Rack 13) which will allow the astronauts to do extensive
medical experiments, the CHeCS Rack (28), the DDCU-1 and DDCU-2 racks (7
and 9), the Avionics-3 (Rack 6), and the MSS Avionics/Lab (Rack 11) and
Avionics/Cupola (Rack 12) racks for a total of 7 equipment racks to be
installed on Destiny. Three Resupply Stowage Racks (50, 51, 52) and four
Resupply Stowage Platforms (180, 181, 182 and 188) will remain installed
on Leonardo, with their equipment bags being individually transferred to
the Station. System Racks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 are already on Destiny
together with stowage racks 110 through 117. Each rack has a mass of
around 150-300 kg.

The STS-102 crew are Jim Wetherbee (commander), James Kelly (pilot),
Andrew Thomas and Paul Richards (mission specialists). In addition,
Discovery will carry the Expedition Two crew of Yuriy Usachyov,
James Voss and Susan Helms to the Station and bring back the
Expedition One crew.

The International Space Station was in a 373 x 384 km x 51.6 deg
orbit on Mar 2. The Mir complex was in a 253 x 269 km x 51.6 deg
orbit on Mar 3, with deorbit expected within the next two weeks.

Recent Launches


Sweden’s Odin scientific satellite was launched on Feb 20 by a Russian
Start-1 rocket from the 2 GIK spaceport at Svobodniy. The Start-1 is a
modified Topol’-class ICBM. Odin carries a submillimeter wave astronomy
instrument and a radiometer for atmospheric studies. The 1.1-meter
reflector feeds 500 GHz and 119 GHz radiometers and will be used to
study galactic molecular clouds, complementing NASA’s SWAS satellite.

The Odin satellite was designed and built by the Swedish Space
Corporation (Svenska Rymdbolaget or Rymdaktiebolaget). SSC does most of
its satellite design and construction in-house, although Saab made the
antenna and carried out satellite final assembly. Although SSC is
usually the public face of the Swedish space program, technically it is
a goverment owned company and is a contractor for the actual space
agency, the Rymdstyrelsen (Swedish National Space Board).

The four-stage solid Start-1 entered a 576 x 606 km x 97.8 deg orbit
about 8 minutes after launch A post-boost engine attached to the fourth
stage then raised the orbit to 610 x 621 km. I thought this was a liquid
engine, but Sven Grahn informs me that it is actually a solid-propellant
gas generator with multiple nozzles. A similar system was used in the
Aeronutronic-Ford Trident upper stage used on a number of Atlas reentry
tests in the late 1960s (and if anyone has info on *that* interesting
and poorly documented vehicle, please get in touch!). A number of debris
objects have been cataloged between the initial and final orbits.

The Milstar DFS 4 satellite (the second Milstar Block 2) was launched on
Feb 27. Milstar provides secure communications for the US Department of
Defense, with UHF, EHF and SHF band transmitters. Titan 4B-41 with core
stage K-30 took off from Cape Canaveral and placed Milstar and the
Centaur TC-22 upper stage in a suborbital trajectory. TC-22 then ignited
to enter a 200 km parking orbit, and after two more burns delivered
Milstar to geosynchronous drift orbit. Small engines on board the
Milstar will place it at its targeted geostationary position. Milstar is
built by Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space (Sunnyvale); Titan Centaur
is built by Lockheed Martin Astronautics (Denver).

The Japanese Asuka (ASTRO D, ASCA) X-ray astronomy satellite
reentered on Mar 2. It operated from Feb 1993 to Jul 2000
and made observations of the hard X-ray sky with CCD imagers
and a foil-type set of X-ray telescopes.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

Jan 9 1700 Shenzhou 2 ) Chang Zheng 2F Jiuquan Spaceship 01A
SZ-2 Orb. module) Science 01C
Jan 10 2209 Turksat 2A Ariane 44P Kourou ELA2 Commsat 02A
Jan 24 0428 Progress M1-5 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 03A
Jan 30 0755 Navstar GPS 54 Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17A Navsat 04A
Feb 7 2306 Sicral ) Ariane 44L Kourou ELA2 Commsat 05A
Skynet 4F ) Commsat 05B
Feb 7 2313 Atlantis (STS-98))Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 06A
Destiny ) Module 06B
Feb 20 0848 Odin Start-1 Svobodniy Astronomy 07A
Feb 26 0809 Progress M-44 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 08A
Feb 27 2120 Milstar DFS 4 Titan Centaur Canaveral SLC40 Commsat 09A

Current Shuttle Processing Status


Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due   

OV-102 Columbia Dyess AFB STS-107? Late 2001?
OV-103 Discovery LC39B STS-102 2001 Mar 8 ISS 5A.1
OV-104 Atlantis Altus AFB STS-98 2001 Feb 7 ISS 5A
OV-105 Endeavour OPF Bay 2 STS-100 2001 Apr 19 ISS 6A

LC39B: Mobile Launch Platform 3 (MLP-3)

Solid Rocket Boosters BI-106/RSRM-78

External Tank ET-107

Orbiter OV-103 (Discovery)

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