Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 460 2001 Sep 3 Cambridge, MA

By SpaceRef Editor
September 3, 2001
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station


Erratum: the description of the launch phase of STS-105 was
off by one hour in most of the quoted times. Here is the corrected

STS-105 was launched on Aug 10 at 2110 UTC. MECO (main engine cutoff)
was at 2118 UTC with separation of external tank ET-110 into a 58 x 234
km x 51.6 deg orbit. At 2148 UTC Discovery reached apogee and fired its
OMS engines to enter a 155 x 233 km x 51.6 deg orbit; another burn at
around 0100 UTC raised the orbit to 198 x 277 km. Meanwhile the External
Tank fell back towards the Pacific and reentered at its first perigee at
around 2240 UTC.

The Progress M1-6 tanker was undocked from the aft Zvezda port at 0601 UTC
on Aug 22 and deorbited sometime around 0900 UTC the same day.
Progress M-45, 7K-TGM No. 245 (the older generation type of Progress)
was launched on Aug 21 at 0924 UTC from Baykonur and docked at 0951 UTC
on Aug 23 at the newly vacant port.

Recent Launches


Japan’s NASDA space agency launched the first H-2A rocket from
Tanegashima on Aug 29. The Vehicle Evaluation Payload is a conical
ballast payload with monitoring instrumentation attached to the second
stage. It includes a doppler ranging experiment for orbit determination.
The LRE Laser Ranging Experiment satellite carries 126 laser
retroreflectors for geodesy and separatedn from the second stage at 0739
UTC into a 271 x 36214 km x 28 deg orbit. It has a mass of 86 kg and is
0.5 meters across.

The H-2A 202 version has two strap-on SRB-A solid boosters, shorter and
fatter than the SRBs used on the old H-2 rocket. The core stages are
uprated versions of the H-2 core, with the same 4.0 meter diameter and a
larger propellant load. Both stages use uprated Mitsubishi liquid
hydrogen/ liquid oxygen engines; the LE-7A on the first stage is roughly
comparable with the Ariane 5 main engine while the LE-5A on the second
stage is comparable with the RL-10 engine used on Centaur and Delta 3.

An Arianespace Ariane 44L was launched from Kourou on Aug 30. It carried
the Intelsat 902 communications satellite. The Intelsat international
telecoms organization is currently being privatized. To harp on my
current hobbyhorse (er… sorry about the mixed metaphor there) it will
be interesting to see whether it starts registering its satellites with
the UN, something Intelsat has been forgetting to do for 20 years. The
902 satellite has both C-band and Ku-band transponders and will be
stationed initially over the Indian Ocean giving coverage to Europe,
Africa, Asia and Australasia. The Loral FS-1300 satellite has a dry mass
of 1978 kg and carries a further 2745 kg of propellant at launch.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

Jul 12 0904 Atlantis STS-104) Shuttle Kennedy LC39B Spaceship 28A
Quest ) Station module
Jul 12 2158 Artemis ) Ariane 5G Kourou ELA3 Expt. comms 29A
BSAT-2b ) Ku video 29B
Jul 20 0017 Molniya-3 Molniya-M Plesetsk LC43/4 Comms 30A
Jul 23 0723 GOES 12 Atlas IIA Canaveral SLC36A Weather 31A
Jul 31 0800 Koronas-F Tsiklon-3 Plesetsk LC32 Astronomy 32A
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

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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SpaceRef staff editor.