Jonathan's Space Report No. 587   2007 Oct 30

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Saturday, November 3, 2007

Shuttle and Station

The Expedition 15 crew of Fyodor Yurchikin and Oleg Kotov, and visiting Malaysian astronaut  Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, undocked from the Station's Zvezda port in Soyuz TMA-10 at 0714 UTC on Oct 21. Soyuz TMA-10 fired its deorbit engines at 0947 and, after a ballistic reentry, landed in Kazakhstan at 1036 UTC. The Expedition 16 crew of Peggy Whitson (Commander), Yuriy Malenchenko (Flight Engineer 1) and Clay Anderson (Flight Engineer 2) remained aboard the Station. Spaceship Soyuz TMA-11, docked at the Zarya port, serves as the emergency ferry ship for the Expedtion 16 crew. The Progress M-61 cargo ship is docked at the Pirs port.

Orbiter OV-103 Discovery took off from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on Shuttle mission STS-120, Station flight 10A, at 1538 UTC on Oct 23. Discovery, commanded by astronaut Pam Melroy, docked with the PMA-2 port on the Destiny module at 1240 UTC on Oct 25.  Here is my estimated cargo manifest for the mission:

STS-120 Cargo Manifest

                           Bay      Mass (kg) 
Orbiter Docking System     1-2      1800 
 EMU 3004                            130? 
 EMU 3003                            130? 
SPDU                       3P        100?  Station Power Distribution Unit 
SASA FSE                   4S        100?  Fixture for return of S-band Antenna 
PDGF                       5P         50?  Power/Data Grapple Fixture for Node-2 
MBSU                       6S        238   Main Bus Switching Unit 
                                     122   MBSU adapter 
SPDU                       7P        100?  Station Power Distribution Unit 
Node-2 Harmony             8-12    14300 
OBSS 203?                  Sill      450? 
RMS 301?                   Sill      410? 
                                   17390 kg 

At 1001 UTC on Oct 26 the Quest airlock was depressurized and the hatch opened, and astronauts Parazynski and Wheelock began the first STS-120 spacewalk in EMU suits 3004 and 3003 respectively. They removed an antenna from the Z1 truss and stowed it in the payload bay, prepared the P6 truss for separation from Z1, and supervised the installation of the Node-2 Harmony module. Harmony was unberthed from Discovery's payload bay at 1340 UTC by the Station Canadarm-2, and installed on Node-1 Unity at 1538 UTC. The astronauts reentered Quest, closing the hatch at 1558 UTC and repressurizing the airlock at 1616 UTC.

On Oct 28 astronauts Parazynski and Tani, in suits 3004 and 3018, depressurized Quest at 0927 UTC, opening the hatch at 0932 UTC. At 1103 UTC the P6 truss was unberthed from Z1 and moved to a park position. The spacewalkers installed handrails and a grapple fixture on Harmony and inspected the malfunctioning Solar Array Rotary Joint (SARJ) on the S3/S4 truss. They closed the hatch at 1600 UTC and repressurized the airlock at 1605 UTC.

On Oct 29 two more radiators were deployed from the S1 truss at 0530 and 0550 UTC. The Shuttle RMS grappled P6 at 0704 UTC and the Station arm released it at 0832 UTC; then the Station arm on its MBS truck moved along the truss, and regrappled P6 at 1314 UTC, with the Shuttle RMS releasing it again at 1321 UTC; the following morning, the Station arm moved P6 to near the end of P5.

On Oct 30 at 0841 UTC the Quest was again depressurized for the third spacewalk, this time by Parazynski and Wheelock. The hatch was open at 0844 UTC and the astronauts supervised the mating of P6 to P5 which was completed at 1110 UTC. A radiator was deployed on P6 at 1253 UTC; Wheelock transferred a spare Main Bus Switching Unit (MBSU) from the Shuttle bay to the External Stowage Platform 3 (ESP3) on the Station at 1430 UTC. From 1441 to 1532 UTC the P6 solar array wing 2B was redeployed; array 4B on the other side of P6 was deployed starting at 1609 UTC but at 1624 UTC a tear developed in the solar array and the process was halted. The astronauts had reentered the airlock, closing the hatch at 1545 UTC and repressurizing at 1553 UTC.

GPS 55

GPS satellite SVN 55, the Block IIR(M)-17 launch, was orbited on Oct 17. This is the 4th IIR(M) launch. ULA (United Launch Alliance) launched the Boeing Delta 7925 into a 197 x 20368 km x 40.0 deg transfer orbit. The solid apogee motor was fired on Oct 19 to put the GPS satellite in a 20149 x 20213 km x 54.9 deg orbit.


An Oko early warning satellite was launched on Oct 23 from Plesetsk into a 521 x 39057 km x 62.8 deg orbit and named Kosmos-2430. The Oko satellites are built by NPO Lavochkin.


China's first deep space probe was launched on Oct 24. Chang'e-1 is designed to enter lunar orbit; its initial orbit was 221 x 50602 km x 31.0 deg, and by Oct 26 this had been raised to 594 x 71317 km.


Three Uragan-M navigation satellites, Nos. 718, 719 and 720, were launched to replenish the Glonass navigation system. A Krunichev Proton-K rocket with an Energiya DM-11S861 upper stage put the three satellites in 19120 x 19130 km 64 deg orbits. The satellites were given Kosmos cover names after deployment.


Four more Globalstar satellites were launched by Soyuz-FG/Fregat on Oct 20. Globalstar FM 66, 67, 68 and 70 are the last of the first generation constellation. The satellites were inserted into 913 x 930 km x 52.0 deg orbits. The Soyuz third stage entered a 187 x 218 km orbit; the Fregat fourth stage made a first burn to around 200 x 930 km, a second burn to circularize the orbit and deploy the satellites, and a third burn to deorbit itself over the Pacific.


On Oct 5 at 2328 UTC, the EPS third stage of Ariane 5GS vehicle L526 reignited in the first in-orbit restart test of an Aestus engine. The test, which followed successful deployment of the Intelsat IS-11 and Optus D-2 satellites, sets ESA up for the launch of the Jules Verne ATV cargo ship in 2008. The burn lowered the orbit slightly from 590 x 35790 km to 358 x 33480 km.

Erratum - Dawn

I said that Dawn's asteroid orbit insertion would be done by the hydrazine engines rather than the ion engines, but this is wrong. Marc Rayman writes:  Asteroid orbit insertion as well as transfers between science orbits and  Vesta escape all will be accomplished with the ion propulsion system.  

The hydrazine is principally for reaction wheel desaturation and safe  mode entry (including rate control after launch vehicle separation).  To  extend reaction wheel life, we may also fly part of the mission using  hydrazine for attitude control.  We do have a budget of 10 m/s for a  contingency orbit change maneuver with hydrazine, but the range of cases  in which that would be needed is small.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.   
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       40C 
              Fotino     )                                        Tech       40 
              MASS       )                                        Tech       40 
Sep 18 1835   WorldView 1       Delta 7920       Vandenberg SLC2W Imaging    41A 
Sep 19 0326   CBERS-2B          Chang Zheng 4B   Taiyuan          Imaging    42A 
Sep 27 1134   Dawn              Delta 7925H      Canaveral SLC17B Probe      43A 
Oct  5 2202   Intelsat IS-11 )  Ariane 5GS       Kourou ELA3      Comms      44B 
              Optus D-2      )                                    Comms      44A 
Oct 10 1322   Soyuz TMA-11      Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1     Spaceship  45A 
Oct 11 0022   WGS SV-1          Atlas V 421      Canaveral SLC41  Comms      46A 
Oct 17 1223   Navstar GPS 55    Delta 7925       Canaveral SLC17A Navigation 47A 
Oct 20 2012   Globalstar FM66)  Soyuz-FG/Fregat  Baykonur LC31    Comms      48 
              Globalstar FM67)                                    Comms      48 
              Globalstar FM68)                                    Comms      48 
              Globalstar FM70)                                    Comms      48 
Oct 23 0439   Kosmos-2430       Molniya          Plesetsk LC16/2  Early Warn 49A 
Oct 23 1538   Discovery   )     Shuttle          Kennedy LC39A    Spaceship  50A 
              Harmony     )                                       Module     50 
Oct 24 1005   Chang'e-1         Chang Zheng 3A   Xichang         Lunar probe 51A 
Oct 26 0735   Kosmos-2431  )    Proton-K/DM2     Baykonur LC81    Navigation 52A 
              Kosmos-2432  )                                      Navigation 52B 
              Kosmos-2433  )                                      Navigation 52C 
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter :   |
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