Status Report

Jonathan’s Space Report No. 638 (revised) 2011 Feb 25 Sagamihara, Japan / Somerville, MA

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2011
Filed under ,

Note: resending with minor corrections following a problem with the mailer configuration.

Shuttle and Station

Space Shuttle Discovery was launched on Feb 24 on mission STS-133. Discovery’s main cargo is Leonardo, the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), a cargo storage unit to be added to the station. The ELC-4 logistics carrier is also aboard.

Expedition 26 is now underway with crew commander Scott Kelly, flight engineer-2 Aleksandr Kaleri, flight engineer-3 Oleg Skripochka, flight engineer-4 Dmitri Kondratev, flight engineer-5 Paolo Nespoli and flight engineer-6 Cady Coleman aboard the Station. Soyuz TMA-01M is docked at Poisk, and Soyuz TMA-20 at Rassvet.

Kounotori 2 arrived at the Station on Jan 27. It was grappled by the SSRMS arm and berthed on the nadir port of the Harmony module at 1451 UTC. Progress M-09M was launched from Baykonur on Jan 28. According to, the cargo ship carries Energia’s 30 kg Kedr amateur radio minisatellite. It docked with Pirs on Jan 30 at 0239 UTC.

Skripochka and Kondratev made another spacewalk, Russian EVA 28, on Feb 16. Pirs airlock hatch open/close was 1330 UTC to 1821 UTC, with one small piece of debris floating away at 1330 UTC and the Ferrozond foot restraint jettisoned at 1654 UTC. The Molniya-Gamma and SVCh-Radiometria experiments were installed on the Russian segment of the station, and two experimental insulation panels were retrieved. The astronauts used spacesuits Orlan MK-4 and MK-5 respectively.

On Feb 16 the European Space Agency’s second Automated Transfer Vehicle, ATV 2 “Johannes Kepler” was launched by Ariane 5ES vehicle 544 from Kourou. The core stage flew to a -1274 x 139 km x 51 deg orbit; first EPS burn reached a 142 x 256 km orbit at 2208 UTC, followed by circulazation at 268 x 271 km at 2250 UTC and ATV separation at 2254 UTC. The EPS third burn at 0015 UTC on Feb 17 was used to deorbit the stage. The separated ATV has a mass of 19712 kg. ATV 2 docked with the Station’s Zvezda module on Feb 25. The Progress M-07M cargo ship had undocked from Zvezda on Feb 20 at 1312 UTC and was deorbited over the Pacific at 1612 UTC.


Russia’s Geo-IK-2 No. 11 satellite, built by ISS Reshetnev, was stranded in transfer orbit when the Rokot launch vehicle’s Briz-KM upper stage failed to restart for its second burn on Feb 1. The payload and rocket are being tracked in 355 x 933 km and 319 x 1053 km x 99.5 deg orbits. The model 14F31 satellite is based on the Glonass-M bus and so probably has a mass around 1400 kg.


The National Reconnaissance Office’s Rapid Pathfinder Program technology satellite was launched on Feb 6. No details are available; it presumably ended up in a polar orbit between 500 and 1500 km.

Suborbital launches

The Far-ultraviolet Imaging Rocket Experiment (FIRE) was launched from the Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska on Jan 28. The telescope, developed by Jim Green’s group at U Colorado/Boulder, imaged the nearby galaxy M51 in the 900-1100A far ultraviolet band.

The Polar NOx payload was also launched from Poker Flat in early Feb, but failed to return science data.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches

Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.
Jan 18 0300 Nanosail-D2 Fastsat, LEO Tech 62L
Jan 20 1229 Elektro-L Zenit-3SLBF Baykonur LC45 Weather 01A
Jan 20 2110 USA 224 Delta 4H Vandenberg SLC6 Imaging 02A
Jan 22 0537 Kounotori 2 H-IIB Tanegashima Y2 Cargo 03A
Jan 28 0131 Progress M-09M Soyuz-U Baykonur Cargo 04A
Feb 1 1400 Geo-IK-2 No. 11 Rokot Plesetsk LC133/3 Geodetic 05A
Feb 6 1226 RPP (USA 225) Minotaur I Vandenberg SLC8 Tech 06A
Feb 16 2151 Johannes Kepler Ariane 5ES Kourou ELA3 Cargo 07A
Feb 24 2153 Discovery ) Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 08A
PMM ) Station mod. 08

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km

Jan 22 0610 Aegis Target Terrier Oriole Wallops I. Target 100?
Jan 28 1049 NASA 36.257UG Black Brant IX Poker Flat UV Astron 240?
Feb 5 0811 NASA 36.256UE Black Brant IX Poker Flat Atmosphere 260?

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
| Somerville MA 02143 | inter : planet4589 at gmail |
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SpaceRef staff editor.