Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 568 2006 Jul 21, Beijing

By SpaceRef Editor
July 21, 2006
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station

The STS-121 mission has concluded successfully, putting the Shuttle program back on track for further Station assembly missions.

Discovery completed its rendezvous with the International Space Station on Jul 6 and docked with the PMA-2 adapter on the Destiny module at 1452 UTC.

On Jul 7 the Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module, MPLM-1, was grappled by the Station robot arm at 0942 UTC, unberthed from the Shuttle payload bay at 1012 UTC and connected to the Unity (Node-1) module at around 1150 UTC. The MPLM contains supplies which will be transferred to the station via the large diameter hatch between it and Unity.

On Jul 8, astronauts Piers Sellers and Mike Fossum made a spacewalk from the Station’s Quest airlock using US spacesuits EMU 3006 and 3015. The airlock pressure reached 50 mbar at 1311 UTC. Hatch open was at 1316 UTC, with Sellers and Fossum emerging at 1325 and 1335 UTC. The astronauts tested the dynamic response of the OBSS robot arm extension to check it out for possible use on future missions to send an astronaut underneath the Shuttle for tile repairs. The spacewalkers reentered the airlock at 2025 (Fossum) and 2033 (Sellers), closing the hatch at 2042 UTC. The airlock was repressurized at 2048 UTC.

EVA-2 began on Jul 10 at 1209 UTC with depressurization of the airlock below 50 mbar, with hatch open at 1213 UTC. The astronauts helped with installation of a spare pump module on the ESP-2 platform used as a place to stash spare parts for ISS; they also replaced an umbilical cable assembly for the Mobile Transporter, making the MT ready to support installation of new Station solar panels on later Shuttle missions. The hatch was closed at 1852 UTC and the airlock was repressurized at 1901 UTC.

EVA-3 on Jul 12 saw airlock depressurization at 1115 UTC and hatch open at 1119 UTC. Fossum and Sellers worked at the rear of Discovery’s payload bay, playing with repairing heat shield samples in a test box on the LMC (Lightweight MPESS Carrier) in the bay. The hatch was closed at around 1821 UTC with repressurization at 1831 UTC.

On Jul 14, the station SSRMS arm was used to disconnect the Leonardo logistics module from Unity at around 1308 UTC and stick it back in Discovery’s payload bay around 1450 UTC.

On Jul 17 at 1207 UTC Discovery fired its engines for a 92 m/s deorbit burn, with landing on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 1314 UTC.

The ISS Expedition 13 crew on board the station now consists of Pavel Vingradov, Jeffrey Williams, and ESA’s Thomas Reiter.


India’s GSLV-F02 rocket failed seconds after launch on Jul 10 and crashed into the sea. It was to have launched the Insat-4C satellite into geostationary orbit.

One of the strapon motors failed to develop thrust, sending GSLV off course; by 40s after launch it was outside the planned corridor and it broke up at 60s; following a command destruct, the debris fell in the Bay of Bengal not far from the Satish Dhawan Space Center launch site. This was the second launch from the SDSC’s second launch pad.

Genesis 1

Russia has made its first orbital launch from the Dombarovskiy launch site, previously just an intercontinental missile base. The Dnepr converted ICBM orbited a US commercial satellite, Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis 1 inflatable spacecraft. Genesis 1 is a pathfinder for future human-occupied space station modules. It was launched to a 555 x 561 km x 64.5 deg orbit. The module inflated from 1.9 to 3.8 meters diameter once on orbit and deployed a pair of solar arrays.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Jun 15 0800   Resurs-DK No. 1   Soyuz-U         Baykonur LC1     Imaging     21A
Jun 17 2244   KazSat            Proton-K/DM3    Baykonur LC200/39 Comms      22A
Jun 18 0750   Galaxy 16         Zenit-3SL       Odyssey, POR     Comms       23A
Jun 21 2215   USA 187 )         Delta 7925      Canaveral SLC17A Tech        24A
              USA 188 )                                          Tech        24B
              USA 189 )                                          Tech        24B
Jun 24 1508   Progress M-57     Soyuz-U         Baykonur LC1     Cargo       25A
Jun 25 0400   Kosmos-2421       Tsiklon-2       Baykonur LC90?   Sigint      26A
Jun 28 0333   USA 184 (NROL-22) Delta 4M+(4,2)  Vandenberg SLC-6 Sigint?     27A
Jul  4 1838   Discovery (STS-121) Shuttle       Kennedy LC39B    Spaceship   28A
              Leonardo (MPLM-1)                                  Module      28
Jul 10 1208   Insat 4C          GSLV            Sriharikota SLP  Comms       F02
Jul 12 1453   Genesis 1         Dnepr           Dombarovskiy     Tech        29A
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter :   |
|  USA                               |       |
|                                                                         |
| JSR:                                 |
| Back issues:                  |
| Subscribe/unsub: mail, (un)subscribe jsr  |   

SpaceRef staff editor.