- Status Report
- Jan 28, 2023
Jonathan’s Space Report No. 585 2007 Sep 19
Shuttle and Station
Endeavour landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 1632 UTC on Aug 21. The deorbit burn at 1525 UTC lowered the orbit from 336 x 347 km to about -28 x 342 km; landing mass was 100878 kg.
On Aug 30 the PMA-3 docking port was moved from Unity’s port side to its nadir side, freeing the port side for use by the Harmony module to be launched on STS-120. The Canadarm-2 was used to unberth PMA-3 about 1215 UTC and reattach it at 1309 UTC.
A Krunichev Proton-M rocket failed just after second stage ignition on Sep 6, destroying the Japanese JCSAT-11 communications satellite payload. Proton-M serial 53522 took off from complex 39 at area 200 with JCSAT-11 and the Briz-M No. 88522 upper stage. The first stage separated 2 min after launch. It seems there was some kind of problem with second stage ignition, and the vehicle fell back to Earth from an altitude of around 75 km.
JCSAT-11 was a Lockheed Martin A2100 series satellite with a launch mass of 4007 kg.
Russia’s Kosmos-2427 Kobal’t-M class imaging satellite, launched on June 7, landed around 2100 UTC on Aug 22 after 76 days. Two objects, 2007-22D and E, separated in orbit prior to the recovery from a 178 x 350 km x 67.1 deg orbit.
The Insat 4CR Ku-band television satellite was launched on Sep 2 by India’s GSLV rocket. GSLV-F04 took off from the second launch pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre and put the Insat in a 196 x 31878 km x 15.8 deg transfer orbit. The apogee is a little lower than the standard 35800 km GTO apogee, but the Insat on-board apogee engine was able to make up the difference and in Sep 3 it was in a 2981 x 35712 km x 11.0 deg intermediate orbit. By Sep 6 Insat 4CR was in a 32579 x 35226 km x 0.3 deg orbit approaching geostationary altitude. The satellite replaces Insat 4C, lost in the destruction of GSLV-F02 in 2006. (GSLV-F03 has not yet been launched.)
A Russian Defense Ministry Parus-class navigation satellite was launched on Sep 11 into a 943 x 1008 km x 83.0 deg orbit using a Kosmos-3M rocket and given the code name Kosmos-2429.
The Japanese SELENE moon probe, Kaguya, was launched from Tanegashima spaceport on Sep 14. Planned orbit was 281 x 232805 km x 29.9 deg; later maneuvers by the probe will raise the apogee to lunar distance.
The Foton M-3 satellite was launched from Baykonur on Sep 14 carrying Russian and European microgravy, life sciences and technology experiments. The spacecraft is in a 258 x 280 km x 62.9 deg orbit. Prior to reentry it will release the European YES-2/Fotino space tether/reentry experiment.
DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-1 satellite was launched on Sep 18 by a Boeing Delta 2 into a 493 x 494 km x 97.5 deg orbit. WorldView-1 carries a 0.6-m aperture imaging telescope/camera for high resolution Earth imaging; DigitalGlobe’s main customer will be the US National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA).
CBERS-2B, the third China-Brazil environmental research satellite, was launched from China’s Taiyuan space center on Sep 19 into a 736 x 741 km polar orbit. The satellite will probably raise its orbit to 774 x 774 km over the next few days, matching the other CBERS satellites.
NFIRE Mission 2a
As I reported in earlier issues, the NFIRE (Near Field IR Experiment) satellite was launched on Apr 24 by a Minotaur I from Launch Area 0B at Wallops Island. The Missile Defense Agency satellite was built by General Dynamics’ Gilbert, Arizona (former Spectrum Astro) unit based on its SA-200 bus and is managed by the USAF Missile Defense Space Systems Office (SMC/SS) at Los Angeles Air Force Base, which is also responsible for the STSS space tracking satellite program. NFIRE was launched into a 255 x 465 km x 48.2 deg orbit; from May 3 to May 18 the orbit was raised to 489 x 497 km and it remained in that orbit on Aug 2. On Aug 9, the orbit was lowered again to 243 x 487 km and by Aug 23 it was in a 219 x 450 km orbit.
NFIRE carries a German laser communications terminal, Tesat, as a secondary payload, but its main instrument is TSP, the Track Sensor Payload, which includes visible and short, medium and long wave infrared sensors to track missiles and their rocket plumes, and is designed to distinguish between the missile and its plume. The satellite is 494 kg full 380 kg dry, 2.7m long and 1.3m diameter.
In a major test of the satellite, a Minotaur II rocket, TLV-7, was launched at 0830 UTC on Aug 23 from Vandenberg’s LF06 silo as NFIRE Mission 2a. The Minotaur II is a three-stage Minuteman 2 missile refurbished by Orbital Sciences with a new guidance and payload section, and has been used for a number of suborbital missile defense tests. (The Minotaur 1 is an orbital launch vehicle which uses the first two stages of a Minuteman 2, topped with two stages taken from the Pegasus space launch vehicle). On each of the two planned Mission 2 flights, the rocket will be aimed to pass within 4 and 20 km of the NFIRE satellite while its third stage motor is burning, allowing NFIRE to get a close look at the rocket and its exhaust. The Missile Defense Agency reported that the Mission 2a flyby was successful.
While on the subject of suborbital launches, here is a list of all suborbital flights so far this year that I know about. Only those with apogees above 80 km are included. I know the list is incomplete (and I would welcome additions) but I thought it might be interesting to my readers to see the range of suborbital missions that are happening these days. (Warning: wide format window needed to view this). Congrats to Stephan McCandliss for his successful ultraviolet telescope flight on Aug 13 which observed the Trifid Nebula (M20).
Suborbital launches 2007 (above 80 km)
Launch Date Flight ID Payload Launch Vehicle Site Estimated Launch/Payload Mission UTC Apogee/km organizations category Jan 11 2228? [Antisatellite weapon] DF-21 Xichang 850? China Weapon Jan 16 0220 S-310-37 S-310-37 S-310 Uchinoura 138 JAXA/ISAS Ionosphere Jan 19 1229? NASA 21.138UE JOULE II Black Brant VC Poker Flat 200? NASA/Clemson U. Auroral Jan 19 1230? NASA 36.234UE JOULE II Black Brant IX Poker Flat 200? NASA/Clemson U. Auroral Jan 19 1244? NASA 41.064UE JOULE II Terrier Orion Poker Flat 200? NASA/Clemson U. Auroral Jan 19 1245? NASA 41.064UE JOULE II Terrier Orion Poker Flat 200? NASA/Clemson U. Auroral Jan 27 0520 FMA Dummy warhead Scud MLP, Kauai 100? MDA/US Army Target Jan 27 0520 FTT-6 THAAD Kill Vehicle THAAD Kauai 100? US Army Interceptor Jan 30? [Long range test] Reentry vehicle Scud D Syria 150? Syrian Missile Cmd Missile R&D flight Feb 7 0814 GT193GM Mk 12 RV Minuteman III Vandenberg 1300? USAF AFSPC Missile op. test Feb 12 1245 NASA 40.020UE ROPA Black Brant XII Poker Flat 748 NASA/Dartmouth U. Auroral Feb 14 0922 NASA 41.061 HEX-II V-1 Terrier Orion Poker Flat 200? NASA/U. Alaska Auroral/Atmosphere Feb 14 0927 NASA 35.037 HEX-II H Black Brant X Poker Flat 150 NASA/U. Alaska Auroral/Atmosphere Feb 14 0936 NASA 41.063 HEX-II V-2 Terrier Orion Poker Flat 200? NASA/U. Alaska Auroral/Atmosphere Feb 14 0938 NASA 41.062 HEX-II V-3 Terrier Orion Poker Flat 200? NASA/U. Alaska Auroral/Atmosphere Feb 28 0839 NASA 40.019UE CHARM Black Brant XII Poker Flat 900? NASA/Dartmouth Auroral Mar 6 0030 - SRALT? SR-19 C-17, Kauai 100? MDA/US Army Target Mar 21 0110 2 Demosat Falcon 1 KMR/Omelek 330? SpaceX Orbit failure Mar 21 0427 TLV-5 Mk 12 RV? Minotaur 2 Vandenberg 1300? USAF AFSPC Target Apr 6 0642 FMA Dummy warhead Scud MLP, Kauai 100? MDA/US Army Target Apr 12 0532 - Reentry vehicle Agni 3 Chandipur 400 India/IDRDL Missile R&D flight Apr 26 2131 FTM-11 Aegis target Terrier Orion Kauai 160? US Navy Target Apr 26 2132 FTM-11 SM-3 Kinetic Warhead SM-3 CG-70, Kauai 160 US Navy Interceptor Apr 28 1456 - Test payload SpaceLoft XL SWRS 117 UP Aerospace/SSI Test/Burial May 15 FCET-37 USN Mk 5 RVs (8?) Trident II SSBN 734, ETR 1000? US Navy Missile op. test May 15 FCET-37 USN Mk 5 RVs (8?) Trident II SSBN 734, ETR 1000? US Navy Missile op. test May 29 1020 - Reentry vehicles (3?) Topol'-M (Yars) Plesetsk 1000? Rossiya/RVSN Missile R&D flight Jun 15 0245 - HYCAUSE Talos Castor Woomera 530 Australia DSTO Hypersonic test flight Jun 15 ARAV ARAV Target Terrier Orion Kauai 150? US Navy Target Jun 15 ARAV ARAV Target Terrier Orion Kauai 150? US Navy Target Jun 21 F2 TN75 RVs (6?) MSBS M51 Landes 1000? DMA France Missile R&D flight Jun 21 NASA 12.059GT ST5000/CACS Terrier Orion White Sands 130? NASA/NSROC Engineering flight Jun 23 0240 FTM-12 Aegis target Castor 4B? Kauai 150? US Navy Target Jun 23 0244 FTM-12 SM-3 Kinetic Warhead SM-3 DDG-73, Kauai 160 US Navy Interceptor Jun 28 - Reentry vehicle Bulava TK-208,WhiteSea 1000? VMF (Rossiya) Missile R&D flight Jul 19 1513 - Cuma II VSB-30 Alcantara 242 AEB/INPE Microgravity Aug 3 2251 NASA 41.069 MASS 1 Terrier Orion Andoya 130? NASA/Colorado Atmosphere Aug 3 2322 - ECOMA 3 Nike Orion Andoya 127 ARR/DLR/IAP Atmosphere Aug 6 2256 NASA 41.070 MASS 2 Terrier Orion Andoya 130? NASA/Colorado Atmosphere Aug 7 - Reentry vehicle R-29R Volna K-211, Pacific 1000? VMF (Rossiya) Missile op. test Aug 13 0545 NASA 36.220UG JHU LIDOS 2 Black Brant IX White Sands 278? NASA/JHU UV Astronomy Aug 23 0830 TLV-7 NFIRE 2a Minotaur 2 Vandenberg 1300? USAF Sensor target
Table of Recent (orbital) Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. DES. 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 Aug 8 2236 Endeavour ) Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 35A ITS S5 ) Truss Spacehab-SM) Module Aug 14 2344 Spaceway 3 ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou Comms 36A BSAT-3A ) Comms 36B Sep 2 1250 Insat 4CR GSLV SDSC Comms 37A Sep 5 2243 JCSAT 11 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur Comms F03 Sep 11 1305 Kosmos-2429 Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1 Navigation 38A Sep 14 0131 Kaguya H-IIA 2022 Tanegashima Moon probe 39A Sep 14 1100 Foton M-3 ) Soyuz-U Baykonur Micrograv 40A YES-2 ) Tech 40B Sep 18 1835 WorldView 1 Delta 7920 Vandenberg SLC2W Imaging 41A Sep 19 0326 CBERS-2B Chang Zheng 4B Taiyuan Imaging 42A
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