Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 513 2003 Nov 3

By SpaceRef Editor
November 4, 2003
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station


Soyuz TMA-2 undocked from the Zarya module at 2317 UTC on Oct 27 with
Yuriy Malenchenko, Ed Lu and Pedro Duque aboard. It fired its deorbit
engines at 0147 UTC on Oct 28 and landed near Arkalyk in Kazakhstan at
about 0241 UTC. Happily, there was no repetition of the reentry anomaly
which caused Soyuz TMA-1 to land off course. Aboard the Station, the
Expedition 8 crew of Mike Foale and Aleksandr Kaleri are settling in to
their vigil on orbit. Soyuz TMA-3 is docked to the Pirs module and
Progress M-48 is docked to Zvezda.

Recent Launches


Eurockot/Krunichev has launched a UR-100N Rokot two-stage refurbished
missile with a Briz-KM upper stage and the SERVIS-1 satellite. SERVIS-1
(Space Environment Reliability Verification of Integrated System) is
owned by the Japanese USEF organization and (possibly) the Japanese
Ministry of Trade and Industry; the satellite is to flight-qualify a
variety of spacecraft components including navigation, computer, star
tracker, battery and laser gyro. It was built by Mitsubishi. The purpose
of SERVIS is to increase the reliability of Japanese satellites;
meanwhile, JAXA lost contact with the Midori-2 earth observing satellite
last week and its mission is presumed lost.

China has launched a recoverable satellite with a Chang Zheng 2D rocket
from Jiuquan. The satellite is a modified version of the FSW-2
recoverable satellite and includes a camera payload which will probably
be used for both military reconnaissance and earth resources studies.
Some Western analysts expected that the new FSW would be the previously
promised `seeds’ mission with a study of 1000 species of seeds in space,
but the Xinhua news agency release does not mention this and emphasizes
only ‘land surveying, mapping and other scientific experiments’.
No US orbital elements have been released so far.

Thanks to work by independent analysts and info from some of the
satellite operators, I can now report the identities of the 2003-42 launch

 27939 2003-42A  Mozhaets 4
 27940 2003-42B  S3M rocket/Rubin-4-DSI
 27941 2003-42C  NigeriaSat-1
 27942 2003-42D  UK-DMC 
 27943 2003-42E  BILSAT-1
 27944 2003-42F  Larets
 27945 2003-42G  STSat-1
 27947 2003-42J  cataloging error - not a real object

BILSAT-1 has begun testing its cold-gas propulsion system; the
Surrey-built satellites comprising the Disaster Monitoring Constellation
(Alsat, UK-DMC, NigeriaSat and BILSAT) have a limited maneuvering
capability. It has been confirmed that Larets is a small 0.2m sphere
covered with laser retroreflectors for calibration and geodesy, although
it still isn’t clear which Russian organizations built, own and operate

Table of Recent Launches


Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
Sep  9 0429   USA 171           Titan 4B/Centaur Canaveral SLC40  Sigint     41A
Sep 16        PS2               KT-1            Taiyuan           Test       F01
Sep 27 0612   UK-DMC       )                                      Imaging    42D
              NigeriaSat-1 )    Kosmos-3M       Plesetsk LC132    Imaging    42C
              BILSAT-1     )                                      Imaging    42E
              STSat-1      )                                      Astronomy  42G
              Mozhaets-4   )                                      Comms?     42A
              Larets       )                                      Calib      42F
              Rubin-4-DSI  )                                      Test       42B
Sep 27 2314   Insat 3E  )       Ariane 5G       Kourou ELA3       Comms      43E
              e-Bird    )                                         Comms      43B
              SMART-1   )                                         Lunar      43C
Oct  1 0403   Galaxy 13         Zenit-3SL       SL Odyssey        Comms      44B
Oct 15 0100   Shenzhou 5 )      CZ-2F           Jiuquan           Spaceship  45A
              SZ-5 OM    )                                        Imaging    45G
Oct 17 0452   IRS-P6            PSLV            Sriharikota       Imaging    46A
Oct 18 0538   Soyuz TMA-3       Soyuz-FG        Baykonur          Spaceship  47A
Oct 18 1617   DMSP F16          Titan 23G       Vandenberg        Weather    48A
Oct 21 0316   ZY-1 No. 2  )     CZ-4B           Taiyuan           Imaging    49A
              CX-1        )                                       Comms      49B
Oct 30 1343   SERVIS-1          Rokot           Plesetsk          Tech       50A
Nov  3 0720   FSW               CZ-2D           Jiuquan           Imaging    51A

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |                                    |
|   c/o                              |                                    |
|  Center for Astrophysics,          |                                    |
|  60 Garden St, MS6                 |                                    |
|  Cambridge MA 02138                |  inter :   |
|  USA                               | |
|                                                                      |
| JSR:                              |
| Back issues: 

SpaceRef staff editor.