Jonathan's Space Report, No. 609

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Monday, April 6, 2009

Shuttle and Station

The Expedition 18 crew of Michael Fincke and Yuriy Lonchakov continue work on board ISS and have now been joined by Expedition 19 crewmembers Gennadiy Padalka, Mike Barratt, and Koichi Wakata, and visiting spaceflight-participant Charles Simonyi. Progress M-66 is docked to the Pirs module, Soyuz TMA-13 to Zarya and Soyuz TMA-14 to Zvezda. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata became a member of the Station crew at around 2330 UTC on Mar 17, replacing Sandra Magnus who joined the STS-119 crew and departed aboard Discovery.

The final bit of the Station's truss, S6, was unberthed from Discovery's payload bay at 1609 UTC on Mar 18. On Mar 19 astronauts Steve Swanson and Ricky Arnold, in EMU spacesuits 3017 and 3006, made a spacewalk from the Quest module to supervise the mating of the S6 truss segment to the end of the S5 segment on ISS. S6 made contact with S5 at 1817 UTC and was bolted in place by 1906 UTC. The EVA began with airlock depress at 1712 UTC, hatch open at 1715, hatch close at 2320, and repress at 2323.

Four small fabric thermal covers about 0.5m across were manually jettisoned at 2223-2230 UTC. On Mar 20, the solar array wings were deployed smoothly from the new truss segment.

The second spacewalk on Mar 21 was less successful, with Swanson and Joe Acaba (in suits 3017 and 3005) failing to deploy the UCCAS-1 payload attachment platform from the P3 truss. The astronauts were in a depressurized environment from 1647 to 2321 UTC, with hatch open/close at 1650 to 2316. Astronauts Acaba and Arnold, on a third spacewalk on Mar 23, again failed to deploy UCCAS-1, although other spacewalk tasks were achieved, including relocating one of the CETA carts. Hatch open/close was from 1536 to 2200 UTC.

Discovery undocked at 1953 UTC on Mar 25. On Mar 28 it fired its engines for the deorbit burn at 1808:14 UTC and landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 1913:17 UTC.

Soyuz spacecraft serial no. 224, Soyuz TMA-14, was launched from Baykonur on Mar 26 carrying the Expedition 19 crew of Gennadiy Padalka and Michael Barratt, with visiting crew member Charles Simonyi, on his second 'space tourist' flight. The ship docked to the Zvezda aft port at 1305 UTC on Mar 28.

GPS 49

Navstar satellite SVN 49 is the 20th Block IIR to be launched, and carries the first civil L5 signal which will be standard on the forthcoming Block IIF series of satellites. GPS SVN 49 was launched on Mar 24 from Cape Canaveral and fired its apogee motor on Mar 26.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Mar  7 0350   Kepler            Delta 7920-10L   Canaveral SLC17B  Astronomy 11A
Mar 15 2343   Discovery STS-119 Space Shuttle    Kennedy LC39A     Spaceship 12A
Mar 17 1421   GOCE              Rokot            Plesetsk LC133/3  Science   13A
Mar 24 0834   GPS 49            Delta 7925       Canaveral SLC17A  Nav       14A
Mar 26 1149   Soyuz TMA-14      Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1      Spaceship 15A

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

Date UT     Payload/Flt Name  Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    Apogee/km
Mar  6 1054   Target          Dhanush         Ship, Chandipur Target       120
Mar  6 1100?  Interceptor     Prithvi         Chandipur IC4   ABM Test      75?
Mar 12 1008   SSC REXUS 6     Imp. Orion      Esrange         Ionos./Tech   88
Mar 13 0600   SSC REXUS 5     Imp. Orion      Esrange         Atmos./Tech   87
Mar 20 1104   NASA 40.023UE   Black Brant XII Poker Flat      Aurora       560?
              + 4 subpayloads
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
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