Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 484 2002 Jul 26

By SpaceRef Editor
July 26, 2002
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station


The Expedition 5 crew remain aboard the Station. Meanwhile, the Shuttle
launch schedule remains under review, and no final decision has been
made on repairs to the Orbiter hydrogen flow liners. It does seem likely
that the next flight will be STS-111/Atlantis, with STS-107/Columbia
delayed till the end of the year.

Recent Launches


The second Araks/Arkon (11F664) satellite, Kosmos-2392, was launched
from Baykonur on Jul 25. The satellite is a large (2600 kg) imaging
satellite built by Lavochkin, and derived from the Mars/Venera probe
bus. The Proton third stage and the Blok DM adapter were left in low
parking orbit; the DM then made two burns to a higher orbit, expected to
be 1500 x 1836 km x 64.4 deg, and separated from the payload at 1727
UTC. Two SOZ ullage motors were probably left in a 180 x 1800 km
transfer orbit. The Arkon satellites are operated by the Russian
Ministry of Defense and reportedly used for both military and civilian
imaging; the first one in the series was Kosmos-2344 in Jun 1997. The
Kosmos-2344 launch reportedly used an 17S40 (DM5) upper stage, a minor
modification of the 11S861-01 Blok DM-2M stage. As of early Jul 26, no
orbital data for Kosmos-2392 had been issued by Space Command.

The Russian Navy has launched an R-29R Volna rocket carrying a 146-kg
IRDT-2 spacecraft from the submarine K-44 Ryazan. This is a followon to
the IRDT spacecraft launched on Soyuz-Fregat in 2000, with an inflatable
reentry shield; the vehicle was a joint project of Astrium/Bremen and
Lavochkin/Moskva. The spacecraft was launched on a suborbital trajectory
from the Barents Sea and landed in Kamchatka. Launch was at 0058 UTC on
Jul 12. (source: Aleksandr Zheleznyakov, The three-stage Volna is a
submarine-launched ballistic missile built by the Makeev company (it was
called SS-N-18 by NATO) and is 14.1m long and 1.8m diameter. It is
liquid-propelled (N2O4/UDMH). After third stage separation the IRDT
fires a boost motor to increase its speed and then inflates the first
stage of its heat shield. Reentry velocity, presumably Earth-relative,
was either 7.0 km/s or 7.3 km/s according to different sources. I don’t
have any information on the apogee of the flight; the standard Volna
commercial microgravity trajectory is about -2200 x 200 km x 76 deg, but
the solar sail mission last year had an apogee of 400 km.
As of Jul 25, the IRDT-2 reentry vehicle had not been located.

Known Volna (R-29R or R-29RL) and Shtil’ (R-29RM) space-related launches:

 1995 Jun  6   Volna    Unknown                Volan reentry vehicle?
1998 Jul 7 Shtil’ K-407 Novomoskovsk TUBSAT-N satellite (orbital)
2001 Jul 20 Volna K-? Borisoglebsk Cosmos-1 solar sail
2002 Jul 12 Volna K-44 Ryazan Demonstrator-2

It appears that Space Command has still not allocated the catalog
numbers 27406 and 27407. I think these were originally reserved
for objects from the 2002-16 Proton launch which do not in fact exist
(the third stage was suborbital and the SOZ ullage motors stayed
attached to the DM3 stage); but normally the numbers would have
been reallocated by now. New numbers have been allocated up to 27468.

Erratum: Gareth Williams points out that Contour’s second target, comet
73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3, is spelt without a hyphen preceding the 3.

Russian sources inform me that the identification by the Kommersant
newspaper of the Strela-3 satellites as GRU communications relay
satellites is considered reliable.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

Jun 5 0644 Intelsat 905 Ariane 44L Kourou ELA2 Comms. 27A
Jun 5 2122 Endeavour ) Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 28A
Leonardo )
Jun 10 0114 Ekspress A1R Proton-K/DM2M? Baykonur Comms 29A
Jun 15 2239 Galaxy 3C Zenit-3SL Odyssey, POR Comms 30A
Jun 20 0933 Iridium SV97 ) Rokot/Briz-KM Plesetsk Comms 31A
Iridium SV98 ) Comms 31B
Jun 24 1823 NOAA 17 Titan 23G Vandenberg SLC4W Weather 32A
Jun 26 0536 Progress M-46 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1/5 Cargo 33A
Jul 3 0647 CONTOUR Delta 7425-9.5 Canaveral SLC17A Space probe 34A
Jul 5 2322 Stellat 5 ) Ariane 5G Kourou ELA3 Comms 35A
NStar c ) 35B
Jul 8 0636 Kosmos-2390 ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk Comms 36A
Kosmos-2391 ) Comms 36B
Jul 25 1513 Kosmos-2392 Proton-K/DM5? Baykonur LC81/24 Imaging 37A?

Current Shuttle Processing Status


Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due

OV-102 Columbia OPF STS-107 2002 Dec? Spacehab
OV-103 Discovery VAB Maintenance
OV-104 Atlantis OPF STS-112 2002 Oct? ISS 9A
OV-105 Endeavour OPF STS-113 2002 Nov? ISS 11A

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SpaceRef staff editor.