Jonathan's Space Report No. 667 2012 Sep 17

Status Report From: Jonathan's Space Report
Posted: Monday, September 17, 2012

Jonathan's Space Report No. 667 2012 Sep 17 Somerville, MA USA

International Space Station

On Sep 12 the Japanese HTV-3 cargo ship was unberthed by the SSRMS arm at about 1202 UTC and released into space at 1550 UTC. After one of HTV-3's onboard computers failed, a planned small separation burn was replaced by a much larger abort burn which safely and rapidly separated HTV-3 from the vicinity of the ISS. HTV-3 was successfully deorbited over the Pacific on Sep 14. On Sep 16 at 2309 UTC Soyuz TMA-04M undocked from Poisk carrying Expedition 32 crew Gennadiy Padalka, Sergey Revin and Joe Acaba, marking the beginning of ISS Expedition 33 under the command of NASA's Capt. Sunita Lyn Williams, USN, with crewmembers Flight Engineer-4 Yuriy Malenchenko (Roskosmos) and Flight Engineer-6 Akihiko Hoshide (JAXA). According to Wikipedia (I haven't managed to confirm this from other sources) the full original name of Ohio-born Capt. Williams was Sunita Pandya Krishna; her father's surname is Pandya so the Krishna should be considered a suffix. Williams' first flight was on STS-116/Expedition 14-15; she is the second woman to command a space station, following Peggy Whitson. Soyuz TMA-04M flew for 2h 47 min in a 403 x 426 km orbit, and then at 0156 UTC on Sep 17 fired its deorbit engine to enter a 13 x 425 km entry orbit. The three Soyuz modules separated at 0225 UTC. At around 0230 UTC the BO and PAO (orbital and service modules) burnt up in the atmosphere as the SA (descent module) performed a controlled entry. The spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan at 0235 UTC. SPOT 6

On Sep 9 India launched PSLV-C21 from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island into a 640 x 647 km x 98.2 deg, 10:00LT sun-synchronous polar orbit. The main payload was the 712 kg SPOT 6 Earth observing satellite built by Astrium/Toulouse for Astrium subsidiary Spot Image (Toulouse). Earlier SPOT satellites were owned by CNES with Spot Image marketing the data. A secondary payload, the 15 kg PROITERES, was also deployed. PROITERES (Project of Osaka Inst. of Technology Electric Rocket Engine aboard small Spaceship) carries a pulsed plasma thruster experiment. NROL-36

On Sep 13 United Launch Alliance flew a Lockheed Martin Atlas V 401, serial AV-033, from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The main payload is thought to be a pair of Navy signals intelligence satellites deployed in a 1010 x 1200 km x 63.4 deg orbit after the second Centaur burn. (The primary satellite is USA 238; the secondary satellite has not yet been cataloged and may not have separated yet). This series of satellites is thought to be the modern successor to NRL's GRAB/POPPY/PARCAE satellites, first launched in 1960. The Centaur then made two further burns to 470 x 780 km x 64.7 deg. The Centaur second stage carries the OUTSat secondary payload which ejected 11 small 'cubesats,' for a mixture of US military and university customers. Of particular interest is CXBN, a Morehead State U. experiment to produce an all-sky 30-50 keV hard X-ray cosmic diffuse emission map. The two US Army sats in the SMDC-ONE (Operational Nanosatellite Effect) program are variously numbered 1.1/1.2 and 2.1/2.2 in different sources. The OUTSat structure is the NPSCUl launcher developed by the US Naval Postgraduate School. It contains 8 P-POD cubesat deployers which ejected the individual cubesats, a mixture of 1U (0.1m cube), 2U (0.1 x 0.1 x 0.2m box) and 3U (0.1 x 0.1 x 0.3m box) payloads, as follows:

 Pod 1 3U SMDC-ONE 1.2     (US Army Space and Missile Defence Command, Huntsville, Alabama)
 Pod 3 3U Aeneas           (U. Southern California, Los Angeles and Dept. of Homeland Security)
                            Cargo container tracking
 Pod 4 3U CSSWE            (U. Colorado, Boulder)  Colorado Student Space Weather Expt.
                            Radiation belt electrons and protons
 Pod 5 1U CP5              (Cal Poly. State U., San Luis Obispo)
                            Solar sail deorbit technology
       2U CXBN             (Morehead State U., Morehead, Kentucky)
                            Cosmic Hard X-ray background
 Pod 6 3U CINEMA 1         (U Cal. Berkeley)
                            Magentospheric studies
 Pod 7 3U Re               (Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab, California)
                            Space debris tracking
 Pod 8 3U SMDC-ONE 1.1     (US Army Space and Missile Defence Command, Huntsville, Alabama)
 Pod 2 1U Aerocube 4       (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)
       1U Aerocube 4A      (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)
       1U Aerocube 4B      (Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, California)
The payloads were ejected in the order Pod 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,2. I believe the OUTSat remained attached to the Centaur; whether you count it as an attached secondary payload or a non-payload piece of hardware is a matter of taste, but I'll count it as a payload. Since their first flight in 2003, 102 Cubesats have been launched: 2 suborbital, 19 launch failures (4 exoatmospheric), and 81 orbital. Of these, 60 are still in orbit. This includes two attached pairs, M-Cubed/E1PU2 and STARS-1, and five cubesats currently aboard the Kibo module which should be deployed later this month. Errata

Thanks to the editor of the German translation of JSR for spotting the typo in Sunita Williams' surname in the last few issues. Amazing how many times one can look at an error and not spot it. A reminder to my loyal readers that they are encouraged to point out to me typos and mistakes of all kinds. Armstrong and Aldrin landed just 20 seconds before they would have been told to abort due to low fuel readings. However, Henry Spencer points out that it later turned out they had 63.5 seconds of hover time remaining. And of course, Jim Lovell was Capt USN (Ret.), not USAF - apologies for that cut-and-paste error. Suborbital flights

A US Army/Orbital Juno target missile was launched from Fort Wingate to White Sands on Sep 13; the Juno is similar to the old Hera and like it has an SR19 motor topped with an M57A1 motor, both old Minuteman stages. NASA launched a Terrier Lynx from Wallops on Sep 11 on a military mission but neither the flight number nor the DoD customer has been identified. Previous Terrier Lynx flights have been for the Naval Air Warfare Center and the Missile Defense Agency. Table of Recent (orbital) Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.  
Aug  1 1935   Progress M-16M     Soyuz-U           Baykonur LC1      Cargo     42A
Aug  2 2054   Intelsat IS-20 )   Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3       Comms     43A
             Hylas 2        )                                       Comms     43B
Aug  6 1931   Telkom-3    )      Proton-M/Briz-M   Baykonur LC81/24  Comms     44A
             Ekspress MD2)                                          Comms     44B
Aug 19 0655   Intelsat IS-21     Zenit-3SL         SL Odyssey, Pacific Comms   45A
Aug 20 1829   Sfera-53           -                 ISS, LEO          Sci       98-067CM
Aug 30 0805   RBSP A )           Atlas V 401       Canaveral SLC41   Sci       46A
             RBSP B )                                               Sci       46B
Sep  9 0423   SPOT 6    )        PSLV-CA           Sriharikota LP1   Imaging   47A
             PROITERES )                                            Tech      47B
Sep 13 2139   USA 238?      )    Atlas V 401       Vandenberg SLC3E  Sigint    48A
             OUTSat        )                                        Tech      48N
             SMDC-ONE 1.2  )                                        Comms     48B
             Aeneas        )                                        Comms     48C
             CSSWE         )                                        Sci       48D
             CXBN          )                                        XR Astron 48E
             CP5           )                                        Tech      48F
             CINEMA 1      )                                        Sci       48G
             Re/STARE      )                                        Tracking  48H
             SMDC-ONE 1.1  )                                        Comms     48J
             Aerocube-4    )                                        Tech?     48M
             Aerocube-4.5A )                                        Tech?     48K
             Aerocube-4.5B )                                        Tech?     48L
             USA 238 P/L 2?)                                        Sigint    48
Table of Recent (suborbital) Launches

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

Aug  7 0730   S-310-41         S-310              Uchinoura           Reentry test 150
Aug  9 0316   Agni RV          Agni II            Chandipur           Test         220?
Sep 12        Radar target?    Terrier Lynx       Wallops Island      Target?      300?
Sep 13 1230   Patriot Target   Juno               Fort Wingate        Target       100?
|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
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