Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 466 2001 Oct 27

By SpaceRef Editor
October 31, 2001
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station


Soyuz TM-33 docked at Zarya’s nadir docking port at 1044 UTC on Oct 23
with the EP-2 visiting crew. EP-2 Commander Afanas’ev, Flight engineer-1
Haignere’ and flight engineer-2 Kozeev joined the Ex-3 crew of
Commander Frank Culbertson, Soyuz commander Dezhurov and flight engineer
Tyurin aboard the station with hatch opening around 1215 UTC.

A slight correction to JSR 465: Haignere is now an ESA astronaut
flying a mission for CNES, rather than a CNES astronaut. And of course
vehicle 206 is Soyuz TM-32, it’s vehicle 207 that is Soyuz TM-33.

Endeavour has been moved to the VAB. In preparation for flight STS-108
it will be connected to the BI-110 stack consisting of the RSRM-82 solid
rocket motors and the ET-111 external tank. The payload bay will contain
the Raffaello logistics module, the MACH-1 Hitchiker experiment bridge,
and the new LMC lightweight experiment bridge as well as an adapter beam
with two GAS canisters and the RMS-303 manipulator arm. STS-108
will deploy the Starshine-2 and SPASE subsatellites in addition to
its logistics delivery to the Station. Meanwhile, there has still
been no contact with the Simplesat astronomy test satellite deployed
on the last flight and it now seems probable that the satellite failed.

Red Planet


Congratulations to the JPL Mars team on a successful milestone in the
Mars 2001 mission, navigating Odyssey to within 1 kilometer of its
insertion target!

The 2001 Mars Odyssey probe entered Mars orbit on Oct 24. The orbit
insertion burn with the main 640N bipropellant hydrazine/N2O4 engine
began at 0218UTC and ended at 0238 UTC after a 20 min 19 sec burn with a
300 km periapsis at 0231 UTC. Mass of the spacecraft is now about 456 kg
(including 79 kg of fuel left) compared with 725 kg at launch.

The Odyssey team has kindly provided the orbital data at first apogee:
relative to a 3397.5km radius for Mars, the orbit was 272 x 26818 km x
93.42 deg with a period of 18hr 36min. Longitude of node is 278.4 deg
and argument of perigee is 112.5 deg, putting closest approach near the
Martian north pole. The choice of a 93.4 deg orbit, the same as for MGS,
makes the spacecraft sun-synchronous. Apogee was reached at 1147 UTC on
Oct 24 and the next perigee was at 2105 UTC (by which time orbital
mechanics reduced the apogee slightly to 26400 km). Aerobraking was due
to begin on Oct 26; the solar panels will reach almost 180 deg C when
Odyssey dips through the Martian atmosphere.

Observations with the THEMIS infrared mapper and the MARIE radiation
experiment begin shortly; the gamma-ray spectrometer will take some
data, but its 6-meter experiment boom will not be deployed until next spring,
after MO has reached its 400 km circular mapping orbit.

Recent Launches


India launched the Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) on Oct 22. TES
is an experimental spy satellite, or at least an imaging satellite
intended to try out spy satellite technology; it is probably a modified
IRS remote sensing satellite. It has a mass of 1108 kg at launch, and
carries cameras and instruments designed to develop a future Indian
space reconnaissance capability. India decided to move into the spy
satellite game when a 1999 incursion into disputed territory in Kashmir
caught it by surprise. TES was developed by ISRO, the Indian Space
Research Organization.

Two small secondary payloads were carried on the PSLV. BIRD (Bispectral
IR Detector) is a German research satellite testing a new sensor for
Earth imaging studies, detecting forest fires and other hot spots and
studying vegetation changes. BIRD is being referred to as BIRD-2 by US
Space Command, presumably because of the unrelated BIRD-Rubin payload
carried on a Kosmos-3M launch last year.

Proba is a European Space Agency technology development minisatellite
with a mass of 94 kg, carrying an IR spectrometer, debris impact
detectors, and Earth imaging cameras as well as an experimental
spacecraft processor and spacecraft autonomy experiments. The
satellite was built by Verheart in Belgium using the MiniSIL bus
developed by SI of England, and is being controlled from Belgium.

PSLV-C3 took off from Sriharikota at 0453UTC on Oct 22 and its first
three stages completed their burns and separated b 0501 UTC when the PS4
stage began its long 7 minute insertion burn. The PS4 uses two MON-3/MMH
bipropellant 7kN LVS engines developed by ISRO; at 0509:10 UTC the PS4
deployed the TES satellite into a 550 x 579 km x 97.8 deg
sun-synchronous orbit, with ejection of BIRD coming 40 seconds later.
PS4’s small RCS engines then raised the orbit to 553 x 676 km, and PROBA
was ejected at 0520 UTC.

An Molniya-3 communications satellite built by NPO PM was launched from
Plesetsk on Oct 25 on an 8K78M Molniya-M launch vehicle with a 2BL upper
stage. This is the second Molniya-3 this year, following only 4 launches
in the previous 5 years. The 8K78M’s 11S59 packet and 11S510 third
stage put the Molniya-3/ML stage combo into a 214 x 617 km x 62.8 deg
parking orbit at 1143 UTC, 9 min after launch. At around 1230 UTC,
near apogee over the South Pacific, the BOZ ullage motor fired
and separated, as the ML main engine ignited and put the Molniya-3
satellite in a 615 x 40659 km x 62.8 deg orbit with apogee over the
northern hemisphere.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
Sep 7 1939 Picosat 7/8 – Sindri, LEO Technology 00-42C
Sep 8 1525 USA 160 ) Atlas IIAS Vandenberg SLC3E Sigint 40A
NRO satellite ) 40C
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
Oct 5 2120 USA 161 Titan 4B Vandenberg SLC4E Imaging 44A
Oct 6 1645 Raduga-1 Proton-K/DM2? Baykonur C telecom 45A
Oct 11 0232 USA 162 Atlas IIAS Canaveral SLC36B Data relay? 46A
Oct 18 1851 QuickBird Delta 7320 Vandenberg SLC2W Imaging 47A
Oct 21 0859 Soyuz TM-33 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 48A
Oct 22 0453 TES ) PSLV Sriharikota Imaging? 49A
BIRD ) Imaging 49C
PROBA ) Imaging/tech 49B
Oct 25 1134 Molniya-3 Molniya-M Plesetsk LC43/3 Comms 50A

Current Shuttle Processing Status


Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due   

OV-102 Columbia OPF Bay 3 STS-109 2002 Feb 14 HST SM-3B
OV-103 Discovery OPF Bay 1? Maintenance
OV-104 Atlantis OPF Bay 2? STS-110 2002 Mar 21 ISS 8A
OV-105 Endeavour VAB Bay 1 STS-108 2001 Nov 29 ISS UF-1

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
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