Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 463 2001 Oct 3

By SpaceRef Editor
October 3, 2001
Filed under , ,

Shuttle and Station


The Expedition 3 crew continues work on the Station. The Progress M-SO1
vehicle undocked from the Pirs module at 1536 UTC on Sep 26 and was
deorbited over the Pacific at 2330 UTC the same day. This leaves the
Pirs docking port free for dockings.

Upcoming Shuttle flights are likely to be delayed because of recently
discovered damage to mounting points on the OMS pods in several

The daily Shuttle processing reports from KSC are now suppressing
information about which orbiter is in which OPF bay at the request of
security officials. While I’m in agreement with the need for increased
security at NASA bases – access control can be pretty lax sometimes –
this, like so many recent so-called security measures, seems to fall in
the ‘really silly’ category.

Recent Launches


The first orbital launch from Alaska’s Kodiak Island took place on 2001
Sep 30. The Lockheed Martin Athena-1 (serial LM-001) took off
from the Kodiak Launch Complex at 0240 UTC. The Castor 120 first stage
and Orbus 21 second stage fired and separated, followed at 0245 UTC by
the first burn of the Orbit Adjust Module (OAM). The OAM uses four
MR-107 hydrazine engines which fired for 12 min to put the payload in a
237 x 815 km transfer orbit. After coast to apogee above East Africa, a
second burn at around 0337 UTC circularized the orbit. USAF Space Test
Program satellites Picosat, Sapphire and PCSat were deployed into an 790
x 800 km x 67 deg orbit between 0344 and 0352 UTC; the OAM then made a
perigee lowering burn, probably about 0355 UTC, to a 470 x 800 km orbit.
Another burn half an orbit later put OAM in a 467 x 474 km orbit. The
Starshine-3 was deployed around 0450 UTC; it is a 90 kg, 0.9m geodetic
sphere that will be observed by school students. The project is managed
by NASA GSFC and Starshine was built by NRL. Finally, the OAM made a
perigee-lowering depletion burn which left in in a 215 x 403 km x 67.2
deg orbit from which it should reenter in a few months. STP P97-1
Picosat (incorrectly called Picosat 9 by Space Command) was built by
Surrey Satellite for the USAF using a Uosat-type bus; the 68 kg
satellite carries a polymer battery experiment and ionospheric
instruments. PCSat is a UHF/VHF amateur radio satellite built by US
Naval Academy students at Annapolis; mass is probably of order 10 kg.
SAPPHIRE was built by Stanford University students and carries
experimental infrared horizon sensors, a voice synthesizer and a digital
camera. The satellite is about 0.5m in size and has a mass of 16 kg.

Athena flights:

Type Serial  Date     Payload          Site

1 DLV 1995 Aug 15 Gemstar SLC6, Vandenberg (Failure)
1 LM-2 1997 Aug 23 Lewis SLC6, Vandenberg
2 LM-4 1998 Jan 7 Lunar Prospector SLC46, Canaveral
1 LM-6 1999 Jan 27 ROCSAT SLC46, Canaveral
2 LM-5 1999 Apr 27 Ikonos SLC6, Vandenberg (Failure)
2 LM-7 1999 Sep 24 Ikonos SLC6, Vandenberg
1 LM-1 2001 Sep 30 Kodiak Star KLC, Kodiak

The MAP satellite has now arrived at the vicinity of the Earth-Sun L2
point, although I have been unable to obtain detailed trajectory

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
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
Sep 7 1939 Picosat 7/8 – Sindri, LEO Technology 00-42C
Sep 8 1525 USA 160 Atlas IIAS Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint 40A
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

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.