Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 502 2003 Jun 17

By SpaceRef Editor
June 20, 2003
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station


The Expedition 7 crew, Yuriy Malenchenko and Edward Lu, are on board the
Space Station. Soyuz TMA-2 is docked to the nadir Zarya port and acts as
the crew return vehicle. Progress vehicle 247 (M-47, flight ISS-10P) is
docked at Zvezda’s rear port. Progress vehicle 259 was launched on Jun 8
on flight ISS-11P and became Progress M1-10. It docked with the nadir
port on Pirs at 1115 UTC on Jun 11. Launch mass was 7270 kg.

Recent Launches


International Launch Services launched a Krunichev Proton-K with a
Briz-M upper stage on Jun 6. The Proton carried the AMC-9 satellite for
SES Americom and the Briz-M into a suborbital path. The first Briz-M
burn acheived a low parking orbit of around 180 x 180 km x 51.6 deg. A
second burn reached 275 x 5000 x 50.3 deg; a third burn increased the
orbit until the DTB fuel tank was depleted and jettisoned in a 296 x
15061 km x 49.6 deg orbit. The fourth burn achieved a standard GTO of
375 x 35786 km x 49 deg, and a final burn released AMC-9 (Americom-9)
into an intermediate geostationary transfer orbit of 6445 x 35674 km x
17.2 deg. The Briz-M stage has not yet been cataloged. AMC-9 will use
its own engine to go the rest of the way to geostationary, and by Jun 10
was in a 31848 x 35689 km x 0.8 deg orbit.

AMC-9 is an Alcatel Spacebus 3000B3 with C and Ku band communications
payloads and will provide services in North America from 72W. Launch
mass was 4100 kg; dry mass probably around 2000 kg. The Americom series
continues the original US domestic communications satellites, the RCA
Americom ‘Satcom’ series first launched in 1975. Americom has been
through several owners, and is now a subsidiary of the Luxembourg-based
Societe Europeene des Satellites (SES) which was originally formed to
run the Astra network.

A Boeing Sea Launch Zenit-3SL was launched from the Odyssey platform
floating at 154W 0N on Jun 10. The payload is a Boeing GEM spacecraft
(modified BSS-702) for Thuraya Satellite (Abu Dhabi), which features a
large (12m) antenna for L-band mobile communications. The Thuraya-2
satellite has a launch mass of 5177 kg. The Yuzhnoe Zenit second stage
was placed on a suborbital -2155 x 187 km trajectory, and the first
Energiya Blok DM-SL burn reached a 180 x 1390 km x 6.3 deg transfer
orbit. A second burn put Thuraya in a 1200 x 35786 km x 6.3 deg orbit.

The first of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers was launched on Jun 10.
The Boeing Delta 7925 reached a 170 km parking orbit; the second
stage made a second burn to a 163 x 4762 km x 28.5 deg orbit
and separated from the PAM-D third stage. Its Star 48 solid
motor fired to put the Rover on an escape trajectory, separating
at 1835 UTC. The Rover will enter a 1.042 x 1.550 AU x 0.26 deg
orbit around the Sun.

The spacecraft launched on Jun 10 is MER-2 “Spirit”, Mars Exploration
Rover 2, on the MER-A mission. The first flight article, MER-1
“Opportunity”, completed checkout later and has been assigned to the
MER-B mission to be launched later on the first flight of the Delta
7925H rocket into a 1.01 x 1.53 AU x 1.04 deg solar orbit. MER-A
consists of the 174 kg Spirit rover, the 365 kg MER-2 lander, the 198 kg
backshell and 90 kg heatshield which encapsulate lander and rover during
Mars atmosphere entry, and the 183 kg Cruise stage which carries 52 kg
of propellant, for a total launch mass of 1062 kg. The MER rovers were
built by JPL.

Corrected mass breakdown for Mars Express (thanks Martin Ransom): Mars
Express has a mass of 637 kg dry including science payload and Beagle
separation device together with 480 kg of propellant and the 69 kg
Beagle 2 lander for a total of 1186 kg. In addition to this a 37 kg
adapter remained attached to Fregat. Mars Express is in a 1.014 x 1.531
AU x 0.2 deg orbit around the Sun, following a course correction on Jun
5 and leaving the Earth’s nominal sphere of influence on Jun 6.
NASA’s OIG (and possibly USAF Space Command) have issued a decay
notice for satellites 27816/27817, Mars Express and its Fregat rocket –
this is of course a mistake (or at least inconsistent with previous
treatment of spacecraft in solar orbit).

Arianespace launched Ariane 515G from Kourou on Jun 11 to place BSAT-2c
and Optus and Defence C1 into geostationary transfer orbit. The upper
spacecraft, Optus and Defence C1, is an Australian satellite jointly
owned by Singtel Optus Pty and the Australian Dept. of Defense. Previous
satellites in the series were simply named Optus and didn’t carry the
extra defence comms payload. Prime contractor is Mitsubishi, using a
Loral FS-1300 bus with a UHF, X-band and Ka-band communications payload.
BSAT-2c, which was launched in the lower position below the SYLDA
adapter, is an Orbital Sciences Star-1 bus for Broadcasting Satellite
System Corp. BSAT-2c fired its solid apogee motor on Jun 16
to enter geosynchronous drift orbit.

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

May 8 1128 GSAT-2 GSLV Sriharikota Comms 18A
May 9 0429 Hayabusa M-V Kagoshima Probe 19A
May 13 2210 Hellas Sat 2 Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Comms 20A
May 24 1634 Beidou CZ-3A Xichang Navigation 21A
Jun 2 1745 Mars Express Soyuz-FG/Fregat Baykonur LC31 Probe 22A
Jun 4 1923 Kosmos-2398 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk Navigation 23A
Jun 6 2215 AMC-9 Proton-K/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms 24A
Jun 8 1034 Progress M1-10 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 25A
Jun 10 1356 Thuraya 2 Zenit-3SL Odyssey, Pacific Phone comms 26A
Jun 10 1758 MER-A Spirit Delta 7925 Canaveral SLC17A Mars probe 27A
Jun 11 2238 BSAT-2c ) Ariane 5G Kourou ELA3 Comms 28A
Optus/D C1 ) Comms 28B

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