Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 570 2006 Sep 9

By SpaceRef Editor
September 11, 2006
Filed under ,

Shuttle and Station

OV-104 Atlantis was launched at 1514:55 UTC on Sep 9 on mission STS-115. The RSRM-94 solid rocket boosters separated at 1517 UTC and the Orbiter’s main engines shut down at 1523 UTC, followed by separation of external tank ET-118. ET-118 and Atlantis were then in a 58 x 220 km x 51.6 deg orbit. ET-118 made one partial orbit of the Earth, reentering over the Pacific. Atlantis fired its OMS engines at apogee at 1552 UTC to raise the orbit to 228 x 285 km.

Atlantis will carry the P3/P4 truss segments to the Station, including a large new set of solar panel arrays. P3 carries a rotary joint to rotate the solar arrays, and an attachment point for external payloads. P4 carries two Solar Array Wings, and an Integrated Equipment Assembly with batteries and controllers as well as a thermal control system radiator. P3 and P4 were attached to each other on the ground and form a single unit; P3 will be connected to the end of the P1 segment on the Station (P2 was the name for a segment which was intended for an earlier version of the Station design but was never built).

 Location       Cargo                            Mass
 Bay 1-2        Orbiter Docking System           1800 kg?
 Bay 3P         APC with SPDU                      20 kg?
 Bay 3-12       Truss segment P3/P4             15821 kg
 Sill           OBSS 201                          450 kg?
 Sill           RMS 301                           390 kg
 Total cargo:                                   18481 kg?

Note: NASA uses a different definition of “cargo”.

Note: OBSS serial number from Bill Harwood’s page,

SPDU is a (Shuttle?) power distribution unit. The OBSS is the Orbiter Boom Sensor System, which can be attached to the RMS (Remote Manipulator System).

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

MRO was inserted into a 426 x 43000 km x 93.3 deg orbit around Mars on 2006 Mar 10. During aerobraking the periapsis was lowered to only 105 km, and friction with the atmosphere lowered to apoapsis. On Aug 30 several months of aerobraking were completed and MRO riased its periapsis to 210 km. After another burn on Sep 5, the spacecraft was in an approximately 289 x 440 km x 92.5 deg orbit around Mars, close to its final science orbit.

Voyager 1

On 2006 Aug 13 at 2113 UTC, Voyager 1 reached 100 AU from the Sun. Pioneer 10 is at 91.2 AU, Voyager 2 is at 80.4 AU, Pioneer 11 at 70.4 AU.


China launched the Shi Jian 8 satellite on Sep 9 from the Jiuquan space center into a 177 x 445 km x 63.0 deg orbit. SJ-8, unlike earlier SJ satellites, is a recoverable satellite derived from earlier FSW reconnaissance and microgravity satellites. It will study the exposure of seeds to microgravity and radiation. The Xinhua news agency reports that the launch vehicle was a CZ-2C. Both CZ-2C and uprated CZ-2D rockets are used for the recoverable satellites.

Based on orbital data, I estimate that the launch time was 0700 UTC.


Japan’s H-2A F8 second stage, which was used to launch the Daichi (ALOS) remote sensing satellite in January, appears to have exploded. 21 debris objects were cataloged around Sep 8.


Koreasat 5 (also called Mugunghwa 5) was launched on Aug 22 by a Sea Launch Zenit-3SL into equatorial geostationary transfer orbit. The Alcatel Alenia Spacebus 4000C1 satellite will provide Ku-band capacity for Korea Telecom and Ka-band and SHF band transponders for the South Korean government’s Agency for Defense Development.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
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
Jul 21 0420   Kosmos-2422       Molniya-M       Plesetsk LC16/2  Early warn  30A
Jul 26 1943   BelKA         )   Dnepr           Baykonur                     F03
              Baumanets     )
              Unisat-4      )
              PICPOT        )
              ICECube-1     )
              ION           )
              RINCON        )
              AeroCube-1    )
              CalPoly CP1   )
              SEEDS         )
              nCube-1       )
              HAUSAT-1      )
              MEROPE        )
              CalPoly CP2   )
              KUTESat       )
              SACRED        )
              Voyager       )
              ICECube 3     )
Jul 28 0705   Kompsat-2         Rokot           Plesetsk         Imaging     31A
Aug  4 2148   Hot Bird 8        Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur LC200/39 Comms      32A
Aug 11 2215   JCSAT-10   )      Ariane 5ECA     Kourou ELA3      Comms       33A
              Syracuse 3B)                                       Comms       33B
Aug 22 0327   Koreasat 5        Zenit-3SL       SL Odyssey       Comms       34A
Sep  9 0700?  SJ-8              Chang Zheng 2C  Jiuquan          Micrograv.  35A
Sep  9 1515   Atlantis (STS-115) Shuttle        Kennedy LC39B    Spaceship   36A
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
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SpaceRef staff editor.