Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 583 2007 Aug 4

By SpaceRef Editor
August 6, 2007
Filed under ,

Erratum: ZX-6B launch date is Jul 5, not Jul 4.

Shuttle and Station

Yurchikin, Kotov and Anderson continue the Expedition 15 mission on board the Station. Launch of Endeavour on mission STS-118 is scheduled for Aug 8.

The Progress M-59 cargo ship undocked from the Pirs module on Aug 1 at 1407 UTC and was deorbited over the Pacific at 1842 UTC. Progress M-60 remains docked to Zvezda. Progress M-61 was launched from Baykonur at 1733 UTC on Aug 2 and reached orbit at 1742 UTC; it is scheduled to dock with the Station at the Pirs module.

On Jul 23 Anderson and Yurchikin made a spacewalk from the Quest airlock using EMU suits 3008 and 3006. The spacewalk began a little before 1024 UTC and ended at 1805 UTC. A camera stand (‘video stanchion’) that was being stored on an FSE/FRAM (Flight Support Equipment/Flight Releasable Attach Mechanism) on the ESP-2 spares pallet was retrieved and installed on the truss. The FSE/FRAM was then removed from ESP-2 and jettisoned overboard at 1321 UTC; the empty VSSA FSE/FRAM is 96 kg in mass and 1.4 x 1.2 x 0.9m in size. The ESP-2 was launched on STS-114 and attaced to Quest on 2005 Aug 3; the VSSA FSE carried four VSSAs, all now installed on the truss on 2005 Nov 4, 2006 Aug 3, 2007 Jun 17 and 2007 Jul 23. The second jettison during the spacewalk was that of the Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS); it was removed from the P6 truss and jettisoned overboard at 1437 UTC; the EAS is 2.4 x 1.1 x 1.7 meters in size and has a mass of 640 kg. It was launched on Discovery on 2001 Aug 10 during mission STS-105, and attached to P6 on 2001 Aug 16. Also during the spacewalk, the Node 1 nadir berthing port was cleaned in preparation for the installation of the PMA-3 docking adapter there later this summer.

Jens Wehrmann has kindly sent me a detailed description of the camera positions on the truss, listed below. Some stanchions carry the ETVCG external cameras, but some just carry WETA comm relays for wireless video (such as the spacewalk helmet cameras) as well as UHF and S-band comm relays. At CP2 is a stanchion carrying the Floating Potential Measurement Unit (FPMU) which monitors electrical charging.

      Location               Stanchion     Carrying:     Previous 
                             installed                   location:
 CP1  S3 aft                  2007 Jun 17  (for WETA)   ESP-2
 CP2  S1 outboard, zenith     2006 Aug  3  FPMU         ESP-2
 CP3  S1 outboard, nadir      2002 Oct 10  ETVCG        S1 stbd keel pin
 CP4  S1 inboard, zenith      -
 CP5  S1 inboard, nadir       -
 CP6  P1 inboard, zenith      -
 CP7  P1 inboard, nadir       2007 Jul 23  -            ESP-2
 CP8  P1 outboard, zenith     2002 Nov 28  WETA         P1 port keel pin
 CP9  P1 outboard, nadir      2005 Nov  7  ETVCG        ESP-2
 CP10 P3 aft                  -
 CP11 (Node 2 nadir)          -
 CP12 Node 1 zenith           2002 Nov 26  WETA         P1 stbd keel pin
 CP13 Lab zenith, starboard   2002 Oct 12  ETVCG        S1 port keel pin
 CP14 (Node 3 stbd. forward)  -

There is also a set of CETA lights for the spacewalk equipment carts, near but not at CP5, installed 2003 Apr 8. Thanks Jens!

Phoenix to Mars

The first Mars Scout mission was launched at 1026 UTC on Aug 4. Phoenix is a Mars lander mission based on the hardware from the cancelled Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander and instruments developed for the failed Mars Polar Lander, and is intended to land in the Martian Arctic, Vastitas Borealis, at 68.4N 233.0E areocentric (68.6N 127.0W areographic) near the Scandia Colles hills.

Total Phoenix mass is 680 kg including a 350 kg lander; the remaining mass includes a cruise stage, aeroshell, backshell, parachute system and propellant – I haven’t managed to find a detailed mass breakdown. The lander carries a robotic arm, soil analysis instruments, meteorology instruments, and cameras.

Launch was by Boeing/ULA Delta 7925-9.5 from pad 17A at Cape Canaveral; the Delta second stage burned to a 166 x 167 km x 28.5 deg parking orbit at 0935 UTC, and again at 1140 UTC to a 163 x 5651 km x 28.5 deg intermediate orbit. The ATK solid PAM-D (Star 48) third stage fired at 1044 UTC and shut down at 1045 UTC; at 1050 UTC two ‘yo-yo’ weights on cables were deployed to despin the stage, and the stage separated from Phoenix. The PAM-D, the two weights, and Phoenix were then on a hyperbolic Earth escape orbit with a perigee of 195 km and an asymptotic specific energy of C3= 29.080 km^2/s^2. Phoenix will pass lunar orbit at 0445 UTC on Aug 5 and leave the Earth’s gravitational sphere of influence early on Aug 6, into a solar orbit of 0.975 x 1.668 AU with an ecliptic inclination of 3.4 deg. The probe is targeted for Mars arrival on 2008 May 25; the other three objects will fly past Mars.


The miscreant catalog number 29676 has been assigned to 2005-049F, the MSG 2 SEVIRI baffle cover, which was previously listed with my auxiliary catalog number A05861 in my geosync objects list.

Table of Recent Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Jun  7 1800   Kosmos-2427       Soyuz-U          Plesetsk        Imaging     22A
Jun  8 0234   COSMO-Skymed 1    Delta 7420       Vandenberg SLC2 Radar       23A   
Jun  8 2338   Atlantis (STS-117) Space Shuttle   Kennedy LC39A   Spaceship   24A
Jun 10 2340   'Ofeq 7           Shavit           Palmachim       Imaging     25A
Jun 15 0214   TerraSAR-X        Dnepr            Baykonur LC109  Radar       26A
Jun 15 1511   USA 194)          Atlas V 401      Canaveral SLC41 Sigint      27A
              NRO?   )                                           Sigint      27C
Jun 28 1502   Genesis 2         Dnepr            Yasniy          Tech        28A
Jun 29 1000   Kosmos-2428       Zenit-2M         Baykonur LC45/1 Sigint      29A
Jul  2 1938   SAR-Lupe 2        Kosmos-3M        Plesetsk LC132  Radar       30A
Jul  5 1208   Zhongxing 6B      Chang Zheng 3B   Xichang LC2     Comms       31A
Jul  7 0116   DirecTV 10        Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms     32A
Aug  2 1733   Progress M-61     Soyuz-U          Baykonur LC1    Cargo       33A
Aug  4 0926   Phoenix           Delta 7925       Canaveral SLC17A Mars probe 34A
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
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SpaceRef staff editor.