Jonathan's Space Report No. 614 2009 Aug 6

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009

Shuttle and Station

Endeavor docked to the Station at 1747 UTC on Jul 17. The hatches were open by 1948 UTC, and at 2122 UTC Tim Kopra replaced Koichi Wakata on the Expedition 20 crew. During the flight there were a record 13 people on board the Station; this also equals the record total number of people in space at one time (Mar 1995: Soyuz TM-21, Mir, STS-67; Feb 1997: Soyuz TM-25, Mir, STS-82; Mar 2009: Soyuz TMA-14, ISS, STS-119).

On Jul 18 at 0035, the ISS orbit was boosted slightly to avoid a close pass with a debris object. Object 84180 is what's known as an 'analyst object', an object whose orbit and origin aren't well known enough to be put in the main catalog, and its orbital data are not public.

EVA-1: On Jul 18 at 1613 UTC the Quest airlock was depressurized to 0.7 psi with Dave Wolf in EMU spacesuit 3003 and Tim Kopra in EMU 3005. The hatch was opened at 1618 UTC, and Kopra and Wolf emerged to install the JEM Exposed Facility (EF) on the Kibo module. Wolf jettisoned a thermal cover from Kibo at 1742 UTC. The Station SSRMS arm grappled the EF at 1505 UTC and unberthed it at 1759 UTC. Then, SSRMS handed it to Endeavour's RMS; the RMS grappled the EF at 1830 UTC, and the SSRMS released it at 1846 UTC. The UCCAS structure (for mounting science experiments) was deployed from the P3 truss at around 2000 UTC, after having become stuck on a previous mission. The astronauts returned to the airlock with hatch closed at 2148 UTC and repressurization at 2151 UTC. The EF was connected to the Kibo module starting at 2215 UTC, with the structure latched at 2247 UTC.

On Jul 19, the ICC (Integrated Cargo Carrier) was moved from the Shuttle bay to a storage area on the ISS transporter's MBS (Mobile Base System). The Shuttle RMS unberthed ICC, and handed it to the Station SSRMS which installed it.

EVA-2 on Jul 20 saw the transfer of spares from the ICC-VLD truss to the ESP-3 storage area. Depress was around 1508 UTC with hatch open at 1524 UTC and battery power at 1527; hatch closed at 2215 and repressurization at 2220 UTC. The SGANT antenna, a pump module, and a spare drive unit for the transporter were installed. The spacewalkers were Tom Marshburn and Dave Wolf, in EMUs 3005 and 3003.

On Jul 21, it was the turn of the Japanese Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section (JEM ELM-ES), known more simply as the Japanese Logistics Element, JLE or "Jelly" for short. JLE was unberthed from the Shuttle bay and handed off from the Shuttle RMS to the Station SSRMS which installed it on the end of the Kibo EF. Them the SSRMS picked up the ICC from the Mobile Base System and moved it to near the P6 truss in preparation for EVA-3.

The third EVA, on Jul 22, featured Chris Cassidy in EMU 3018 and Dave Wolf again in EMU 3003. They depressurized Quest at 1428 UTC and opened the hatch at 1431 UTC. Cassidy's first stop was the Kibo EF, where he removed four thermal covers to prepare the EF for experiment installation. Three of the covers were jettisoned into space, between 1507 and 1520 UTC, and are cataloged as 1998-67BS, BT, BU. The fourth cover was returned to the airlock. The rest of the EVA was carried out at P6, with old batteries in the P6 IEA (Integrated Electronics Assembly) being replaced by new ones from the ICC truss. Cassidy's LiOH unit, used to scrub CO2 from his air supply, malfunctioned after the astronauts energetic activity, and the spacewalk was cut short at 2005 UTC with airlock repressurization at 2031 UTC.

The next day saw robot arm work by the Japanese Kibo RMS. The Kibo arm moved three experiments from the JLE to the EF: MAXI, IOCS and SEDA-AP. MAXI is an X-ray astronomy all-sky monitor experiment.

On Jul 24, Cassidy and Marshburn, in EMUs 3018 and 3005, went outside again for EVA-4, to complete the battery replacements on P6. The airlock was depressurized from 1345 UTC to 2107 UTC. The JLE was moved back to the Shuttle payload bay on Jul 26. On Jul 27 Cassidy and Marshburn carried out the final spacewalk, with hatch open at 1132 UTC and repress at 1627 UTC; they worked on electrical cables on the Z1 truss, thermal covers on the Dextre robotic manipulator and TV camera installation on the Kibo EF.

Endeavour undocked at 1726 UTC on Jul 28, leaving the six-strong Expedition 20 crew on ISS.

The Progress M-67 robot cargo ship was launched on Jul 24 from Baykonur into a 188 x 236 km x 51.6 deg orbit, soon corrected to a 255 x 310 km orbit. It docked with the Zvezda aft port at 1112 UTC on Jul 29, following the departure of STS-127.

On Jul 30 at 1234:30 UTC, the Dragonsat experiment was ejected from a small launcher in the Shuttle payload bay into a 325 x 332 km orbit. Dragonsat consists of two small 1.5 kg student-built cubesats, BEVO-1 from UT Austin and Aggiesat 2 by Texas A&M University. The two satellites are launched attached to each other; they were to be separated by springs but this failed to occur. The satellites carry GPS receivers for a test of components for a future rendezvous system.

On Jul 30 at 1723:02 UTC the ANDE-2 canister was jettisoned from Endeavour. At 1723:39 the upper canister separated from the lower and the ANDE Passive satellite separated. At 1723:56 the ANDE center avionics section separated from the lower canister and the ANDE Active satellite separated. ANDE Active and Passive are also called Castor and Pollux. This unimaginative name for twin satellites has been used previously for the French D-5A/D-5B satellites in May 1975, which also studied the upper atmosphere.

On Jul 31 Endeavour fired the OMS engines at 1341 UTC to lose 92 m/s, lowering the orbit to about 17 x 335 km and beginning the journey home. It landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 1448 UTC. The four thermal covers jettisoned during the mission reentered between Jul 26 and Aug 2. In addition, the Crew Lock toolbag lost during a spacewalk in Nov 2008 reentered on Aug 3. Space Shuttle Discovery and the STS-128 stack rolled out to the launch pad on Aug 4; launch is scheduled for late August.


The name of the Belgian astronaut currently on the Station is Frank De Winne (not DeWinne as I sloppily wrote in JSR 613.) Thanks to my Belgian readers for pointing this out!


The first Sterkh search-and-rescue satellite was launched at 0357 UTC on Jul 21. Russia's contribution to the space based COSPAS-SARSAT search and rescue system used to be installed together with navigation payloads on Nadezhda satellites, but have now been moved to the dedicated Sterkh system. A second satellite, Kosmos-2454, was launched on the same rocket. It is a Parus satellite, used for military navigation and communications, and Bob Christy reports signals on a typical Parus frequency. Orbit of the satellites is 917 x 943 km x 83.0 deg.

The Kosmos-3M rocket entered a transfer orbit at around 0404 UTC. It reignited at about 0500 UTC to enter a 917 x 943 km orbit; the combined Sterkh/Parus pair separated from the final stage. Sterkh and Parus separated from each other at around 1300 to 1430 UTC. Parus mass is around 800 kg, and Sterkh is around 150 kg.


Kosmotras launched a Yuzhoye-built Dnepr rocket on Jul 29 carrying a cluster of small satellites. The payloads are Dubaisat 1 (190 kg Korean SatRec bus) for the Emirates Institute of Advanced Science and Technology in Dubai; Deimos-1 (90 kg Surrey SSTL-100 bus) for Deimos Space SL of Madrid; UK DMC-2 (95 kg Surrey SSTL-100 bus) for DMC International Imaging of Guildford, Surrey; Nanosat-1b, a 22 kg payload for the Spanish space agency INTA; and AprizeSat-3 and AprizeSat-4, for SpaceQuest of Fairfax, Virginia.

SpaceQuest also owns and operates AprizeSat-1 and 2 (formerly known as Latinsat C/D). Aprize Satellite, also of Fairfax, is the owner of the similar SpaceQuest-built Latinsat-A and -B satellites which operate the Argentine-registerd Latinsat communications network. (Thanks to Dino Lorenzini for SpaceQuest for clarifying this).

The objects cataloged in orbit appear to be:

A Deimos 1 634 x 677 km
B Dubaisat-1 665 x 681 km
C UK DMC-2 623 x 677 km
D Aprizesat 4 606 x 677 km
E Nanosat 1B 586 x 677 km
F Aprizesat 3 565 x 677 km
G Dnepr gas-dynamic shield 541 x 678 km
H Dnepr rocket stage 668 x 1302 km
J Upper payload platform 641 x 677 km

The Dnepr rocket carries on burning as the satellites are dispensed, so they end up at different heights and the rocket stage ends up with a higher apogee.


Russia's latest Kobal't-M spy satellite landed on Jul 27 after an 89-day mission.

Table of Recent (orbital) Launches

Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL.
May 5 2024 STSS-ATRR Delta 7920-10C Vandenberg SLC2W Tech 23A
May 7 1837 Progress M-02M Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1 Cargo 24A
May 11 1802 Atlantis STS-125 Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 25A
May 14 1312 Herschel ) Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3 Astronomy 26A
Planck ) Astronomy 26B
May 16 0057 Protostar-2 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur Comms 27A
May 19 2355 Tacsat 3 ) Minotaur I Wallops LA0B Imaging 28A
Pharmasat ) Bio 28
CP6 ) Tech 28
HawkSat-1 ) Tech 28
Aerocube 3 ) Tech 28
May 21 2153 Meridian-2? Soyuz-2-1a/Fregat Plesetsk LC43/4 Comms 29A
May 27 1034 Soyuz TMA-15 Soyuz-FG Baykonur LC1 Spaceship 30A
Jun 18 2132 LRO ) Atlas V 401 Canaveral SLC41 Lunar probe 31A
LCROSS ) Lunar probe 31B
Jun 21 2150 Measat 3a Zenit-3SLB Baykonur LC45 Comms 32A
Jun 27 2251 GOES 14 Delta 4M+(4,2) Canaveral SLC37B Weather 33A
Jun 30 1910 Sirius FM5 Proton-M/Briz-M Baykonur Radio 34A
Jul 1 1752 Terrestar 1 Ariane 5ECA Kourou ELA3 Comms 35A
Jul 6 0126 Kosmos-2451 ) Rokot Plesetsk LC133? Comms 36A
Kosmos-2452 ) 36B
Kosmos-2453 ) 36C
Jul 14 0336 Razaksat Falcon 1 Omelek I. Imaging 37A
Jul 15 2203 Endeavour STS-127 ) Space Shuttle Kennedy LC39A Spaceship 38A
Kibo Exposed Facil)
Jul 21 0357 Kosmos-2454 ) Kosmos-3M Plesetsk LC132/1 Nav/Com? 39A
Sterkh No. 1) SAR 39B
Jul 24 1056 Progress M-67 Soyuz-U Baykonur LC1/5 Cargo 40A
Jul 29 1846 Dubaisat-1 ) Dnepr Baykonur LC109 Imaging 41B
Deimos 1 ) Imaging 41A
UK-DMC 2 ) Imaging 41C
Nanosat-1B ) Tech 41E
AprizeSat 3) Comms 41F
AprizeSat 4) Comms 41D
Jul 30 1234 DRAGONSAT
(BEVO-1/Aggiesat-2) OV-105, LEO Tech 38B
Jul 30 1723 ANDE Active (Castor) OV-105, LEO Science 38F
ANDE Passive(Pollux) Science 38E

Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

Date UT Payload/Flt Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission Apogee/km
Apr 10 0810 RV Topol' Plesetsk Op Test 1000?
Apr 15 0450 Prithvi RV Prithvi II Chandipur Test 80?
Apr 17 1118 FalconLaunch 7 FalconLaunch White Sands Test 108
May 7 HIFIRE-0 Terrier Orion? Woomera Hypersonic 200?
May 19 0436 RV Agni 2 Chandipur Test 300?
May 20 RV Sejjil-2 Semnan Test 800
May 22 1032 MAPHEUS Nike Orion Esrange Micrograv 140
May 26 RV (3?) Trident II UK S06, ETR Test 1000?
May 28 1652 NASA 41.080NR Terrier Orion Wallops Hypersonic 130?
May 29 1325 Maracati 1 Improved Orion Alcantara Test 93
Jun 6 ABL Target Terrier Lynx San Nicolas Target 100?
Jun 13 ABL Target Terrier Lynx San Nicolas Target 100?
Jun 26 0930 NASA 41.083UO Terrier Orion Wallops Education 117
Jun 29 0730 NASA 36.244UG Black Brant 9 White Sands UV Astron 300?
Jun 29 1001 Mk 12 RV ) Minuteman 3 Vandenberg Op Test 1300?
Mk 12 RV ) (GT199)
Mk 12 RV )
Jul 13 RV (x 10?) Sineva K-117, N Pole Test 1000?
Jul 14 RV (x 10?) Sineva K-117, N Pole Test 1000?
Jul 22 1945 Arrow Target LRALT? C-17, Pacific Target 500?
Jul 31 0340 Aegis Target Unknown Kauai Target 160?
Jul 31 0342 Aegis FTM-17 KV SM-3 DDG-70, Pacific Interceptor 160
Jul 31 0400? Aegis Target Unknown Kauai Target 160?

| Jonathan McDowell | phone : (617) 495-7176 |
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