Jonathan's Space Report
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The Space Report ("JSR") is issued about twice a month. It describes all space launches, including both piloted missions and automated satellites. Back issues are available online. To receive the JSR each week by direct email, subscribe at Feel free to reproduce the JSR as long as you're not doing it for profit. If you are doing so regularly, please inform Jonathan by email. Comments, suggestions, and corrections are encouraged. See here for translations to other languages.

You can mail Jonathan McDowell at planet4589 at gmail dot com.

See also:

JSR STOP PRESS - the draft of NEXT week's JSR, updated throughout the week.

GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE LOG with a catalog of all known satellites ever in the geosynchronous ring and their reasonably current positions.

LAUNCH LOG - My best attempt at a complete listing of all satellite launch attempts.

Jonathan's Space Home Page - with links to lots of other space data not available elsewhere.

SATELLITE CATALOG - My version of the Space Command satellite catalog, providing a cross reference between catalog number and international designation. Corrections are welcome.

Jonathan's Space Report 
No. 741                                                    2017 Oct 6     Somerville, MA
Apologies for the long gap since the last issue, I've been busy.

International Space Station

Dragon CRS-12 was launched on Aug 14 at 1631 UTC and arrived at the ISS on
Aug 16. The Canadarm-2 grappled CRS-12 at 1032 UTC and the Dragon was berthed
at the Harmony nadir port at 1302 to 1307 UTC.

On Aug 17 astronauts Yurchikin, in suit Orlan-MKS No. 4, and Ryazanskiy,
in Orlan-MK No. 6, performed spacewalk VKD-43. They threw five small
satellites into space and retrieved and installed materials exposure
experiments. Depressurization time was 7hr 58 min; hatch open-to-close
time was 7h 34 min. This was the first use of the new Orlan-MKS model

On Sep 2 at 2158 UTC Soyuz MS-04 undocked from the Poisk module with
Yurchikin, Fischer and Whitson. At undocking, Expedition 53 began. The
Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft landed at 0121 UTC Sep 3. Soyuz MS-05 remains
docked to the Rassvet module.

On Sep 12 Soyuz MS-06 was launched from Baykonur with astronauts
Aleksandr Misurkin, Mark Vande Hei, and Joe Acaba. The Soyuz docked at
the Poisk module at 0255 UTC and the hatch to ISS was opened at 0508

On Sep 16 at about 2000 UTC Dragon CRS-12 was unberthed from Harmony;
it was released at 0840 UTC Sep 17. After a deorbit burn at 1324 UTC
it splashed down SW of Los Angeles near 120.9W 32.4N at about 1414 UTC.

Astronauts Bresnik and VandeHei, in suits EMU 3003 and 3008
respectively, made spacewalk US EVA-44 on Oct 5. The airlock was
depressurized around 1200 UTC and repressurized at 1900 UTC. They
replaced one of the LEE (Latching End Effector) systems on the end of
the Canadarm-2 (SSRMS, Space Station Remote Manipulator System). 

The Canadarm-2 was launched in 2001; it has a LEE on each end (LEE-A and
LEE-B). The LEE is around 190 kg and about a metre long.
One LEE grabs the ISS and the other a satellite (like Dragon) or
station component to be moved. The arm can 'walk' across the station by
alternately grabbing ISS at each end, first using A as its 'foot' 
then B and then A, etc. There is also a LEE on the MBS POA. The MBS
(Mobile Base System) is a device that sits on the MT (Mobile
Transporter) truck that goes up and down the truss railway. The SSRMS
can attach itself to the MBS and be moved along the truss to work on
different parts of the station. MBS has four PDGF (Power/Data Grapple
Fixture) attachment points; it also has a device called the POA
(Payload/ORU Accommodations) for temporary storage of a cargo, and this
POA has a LEE on it.

There are five LEE systems on the ISS:
   LEE S/N 201, acting as LEE-B on the SSRMS.
   LEE S/N 202, acting as LEE-A on the SSRMS until Oct 5.
   LEE S/N 203, acting as the LEE on the MBS POA until Oct 5. Launched in 2002.
   LEE S/N 204, a spare LEE stored on Express Logistics Carrier 1 (ELC-1). Launched in 2009.
   LEE S/N 301, attached to the Dextre SPDM robot arm. Launched in 2008.

In addition, there's another spare LEE on Earth. The most heavily used
LEEs are the ones on the end of the Canadarm and LEE 202 has been
showing  degraded behaviour recently. During the spacewalk it was
swapped with LEE 203, so now LEE 203 is on the Canadarm-2 and LEE 202 is
on the less-frequently-used MBS POA.


On Aug 16 a Khrunichev Proton was launched from Baykonur carrying the Blagovest No. 11L 
military communications satellite, which was later given the code name Kosmos-2520.
Blagovest is built by Reshetnev and uses the Ekspress-2000 bus.


A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 placed the TDRS M satellite in geotransfer orbit
on Aug 18. TDRS M (to be renamed TDRS 13 in service) is a NASA Tracking and Data
Relay Satellite.


The Kosmos-2519 satellite launched in June made small orbit adjustments on Jul 27 and Aug 3
to a 649 x 668 km orbit. On Aug 23, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, it
released a 'small satellite-inspector' (maliy sputnik-inspektor) whose mission is to
observe other Russian satellites. Most likely the satellite's first task is to observe
the Kosmos-2519 host satellite, described as a generic platform for carrying experiments.
The inspector is thought to be designated Kosmos-2521.


SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 from Vandenberg on Aug 24 carrying the Formosat-5 imaging satellite
for Taiwan's National Space Office (NSPO, Guojia Taikong Zhongxin). Formosat-5 has a mass
of only 525 kg, much less than F9 could carry to this orbit. The F9 S/N B1038 first stage
landed downrange on the 'Just Read The Instructions'; the second stage completed just
more than 1 orbit and was deorbited in the South Pacific east of New Zealand.


ORS-5 is a space surveillance satellite (also called SensorSat) for the US Air Force 
Operationally Responsive Space office (Kirtland AFB, New Mexico). The satellite was
inserted into equatorial LEO to monitor debris and satellites in the GEO belt.

A 5-stage Minotaur IV was used to orbit the satellite. Stage 4, with an
Orion 38 motor, inserted the stack in a 400 x 600 km x 24.6 deg parking
orbit. Stage 5, with a second Orion 38, made the plane change to reach
599 x 604 km x 0.02 deg. 

Three cubesats were ejected into the parking orbit: two for Los Alamos (probably the 1.5U
comm satellites Prometheus 2.2 and 2.4) and one for DARPA, understood to be the 3U cubesat DARPA
High Frequency Receiver experiment developed by Utah's SDL.  The DoD has cataloged
three pieces of debris but has not cataloged the cubesats. (Of course, the
claimed 'debris' may well be the cubesats; it will be interesting to see what the US
registers with the UN).


On Aug 31 launch C39 of the PSLV rocket ended in failure when the
payload fairing (`heat shield' in ISRO parlance) failed to separate. The
extra mass caused stage 3 to be low and slow at cutoff; instead of
reaching apogee of 170 km and impacting off the coast of Chile it
probably reached only 155 km and crashed near Borneo. The fourth stage,
PS4, was also slowed by the extra mass, reaching a 166 x 6556 km orbit
instead of the planned 284 x 20650 km. It appears that the IRNSS-1H
navigation satellite may have separated from the PS4 payload adapter but
remains trapped withing the attached nose fairing, resulting in a single
object in orbit with a mass of about 2600 kg dry plus 827 kg of
propellant. According to ISRO the propellant was successfully vented
during the first day in orbit. On Sep 1 two debris objects were cataloged
in a similar orbit, but since Sep 7 no orbital data has been released from


The fifth flight of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle project (and probably
the third flight of spacecraft number 1) began on Sep 7. This was the
first X-37 launch on a Falcon 9; the B1040 core stage landed back at
Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1. The spacecraft was also given the code
name USA 277.

Proton launches

Amazonas-5, for Spanish operator Hispasat's Brazilian Hispamar
subsidiary, was launched on Sep 11. Amazonas-5 is an SSL/MDA 1300
satellite bus with a launch mass of 5900 kg, built at Loral/Palo Alto.
Asiasat-9 for the Hong Kong operator Asiasat, launched on Sep 28.
Asiasat 9 is also an SSL/MDA 1300 bus, with  a launch mass of 6141 kg. 

Uragan No.  752

A new GLONASS-M navigation satellite, vehicle Uragan-M No. 752 or
GLONASS M-52, also codenamed Kosmos-2522, was launched into 12-hour
orbit on Sep 22.

USA 278

A ULA Atlas 5 placed an NRO satellite in highly elliptical orbit on Sep
24. The satellite is thought to host a signals intelligence payload
(possibly codenamed RAVEN) and the HEO-4 missile early warning package.
The Centaur stage was deorbited after one revolution.


The Chinese space program returned to flight on Sep 29 after a pause
following the June ZX-9A launch mishap. The CZ-2C, in a rare  flight
from Xichang, placed three satellites in orbit. The satellites are
called Yagoan 30 hao 01 zu 01,02,03 xing (Resource No. 30 Group 01 Sat
01,02,03). They appear to be a new series, possibly replacing the higher
orbit triplets Yaogan 9, 16, 1 7, 20, 25. The name is odd, since the
previous Yaogan series launch in May 2016 was called Yaogan 30 (Yaogan
30 hao weixing) but appears to be unrelated. It's possible that the
Chinese authorities lost track of the count and should have named the
new launch Yaogan 31-01.

Ariane L5100

Ariane 5 vehicle L5100, flight VA239 was launched into geotransfer orbit
on 2017 Sep 29 with two communications satellites: the 3520 kg BSAT-4a
for BSAT Corp of Tokyo  (a Loral 1300 bus) and the 6538 kg Intelsat 37e
(a Boeing 702MP bus) for Intelsat.


NASA's OSIRIS-Rex space probe made a 17200 km flyby of Earth on Sep 22
with closest approach at 1653 UTC. It left the Earth's gravitational
Hill sphere on Sep 25 at 0849 UTC and is now in a 0.87 x 1.31 AU x 6.4 deg
solar orbit on course for rendezvous with minor planet (101955) Bennu
in Aug 2018.


The Cassini spacecraft was launched in 1997 and entered Saturn orbit in
2004. Following a remarkable series of scientific discoveries, the
spacecraft was placed in a disposal orbit with final apoapsis at 0539
UTC on Sep 12, 1.2 million km from Saturn. From there it fell towards
the planet, picking up speed, and entered Saturn's atmosphere on Sep 15
at a speed of 34.3 km/s (123660 km/hr). The spacecraft tumbled and broke
up at 1032:16 UTC, sending out its last radio signal which reached Earth
at 1155:42 UTC.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes

Aug  1 0703   Silu-1                                Tianzhou-1, LEO     Tech          21F   S42903   385 x   395 x  42.8
Aug  2 0158   OptSat-3000         )   Vega             Kourou           Imaging       44A   S42900   440 x   450 x  97.2
              Ven{\mu}s           )                                     Imaging       44B   S42901   720 x   724 x  98.4
Aug 14 1631   Dragon CRS-12           Falcon 9         Kennedy LC39A    Cargo         45A   S42904   204 x   353 x  51.6
Aug 16 2207   Kosmos-2520             Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC81/24 Comms         46A   S42907 35511 x 35766 x   0.1
Aug 17 1510   Tomsk-TPU-120                         ISS, LEO            Tech        98-67MZ S42910?  401 x   408 x  51.6
Aug 17 1515   Tanyusha YuZGU No. 1                  ISS, LEO            Tech        98-67NA S42911?  401 x   408 x  51.6
Aug 17 1516   Tanyusha YuZGU No. 2                  ISS, LEO            Tech        98-67NB S42912?  401 x   408 x  51.6
Aug 17 1521   TNS-0-2                               ISS, LEO            Tech        98-67NC S42913?  401 x   408 x  51.6
Aug 17 1529   TS530-Zerkalo                         ISS, LEO            Tech        98-67ND S42914?  401 x   408 x  51.6
Aug 18 1229   TDRS M                  Atlas V 401      Canaveral SLC41  Comms         47A   S42915  4647 x 35753 x  26.2
Aug 19 0529   Michibiki-3             H2A 204          Tanegashima      Nav           48A   S42917   344 x 35392 x  19.9
Aug 23        Kosmos-2521                           Kosmos-2519, LEO    Tech          37D   S42919   654 x   669 x  98.0
Aug 24 1851   Formosat-5              Falcon 9         Vandenberg SLC4E Imaging       49A   S42920   717 x   730 x  98.3
Aug 26 0604   ORS-5           )       Minotaur IV      Canaveral SLC46  SpaceSurv     50A   S42921   599 x   604 x   0.0
              Prometheus 2.2? )                                         Comms         50C?  S42922   388 x   602 x 24.52  
              Prometheus 2.4? )                                         Comms         50D?  S42923   384 x   603 x 24.53  
              DHFR            )                                         Tech          50B?  S42924   430 x   597 x 24.52  
Aug 31 1330   IRNSS-1H                PSLV-XL          Satish Dhawan SLP Nav          51A   S42928   166 x  6556 x 19.16
Sep  7 1400   X-37B OTV-5             Falcon 9         Kennedy LC39A    Spaceplane    52A   S42932   350?x   350?x 43?
Sep 11 1923   Amazonas 5              Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms        53A   S42934  4360 x 35270 x 22.8
Sep 12 2117   Soyuz MS-06             Soyuz-FG         Baykonur LC1      Spaceship    54A   S42937   192 x   240 x 51.6
Sep 22 0002   Kosmos-2522             Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat Plesetsk LC43-4  Nav          55A   S42939 19130 x 19160 x 64.8
Sep 24 0549   USA 278                 Atlas V 541      Vandenberg SLC3E  Sigint       56A   S42941  2100?x 37800?x 62.8
Sep 28 1852   Asiasat-9               Proton-M/Briz-M  Baykonur LC200/39 Comms        57A   S42942  4014 x 35848 x 23.4  
Sep 29 0421   YG-30 01 zu 01 xing )   Chang Zheng 2C   Xichang           Sigint       58A   S42945   592 x   601 x 35.0
              YG-30 01 zu 02 xing )                                      Sigint       58B   S42946   592 x   601 x 35.0
              YG-30 01 zu 03 xing )                                      Sigint       58C   S42947   594 x   601 x 35.0
Sep 29 2156   BSAT-4a      )          Ariane 5 ECA     Kourou ELA3       Comms        59B   S42951   265 x 35617 x  5.9
              Intelsat-37e )                                             Comms        59A   S42952   263 x 35693 x  6.0

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Aug  2 0910   GT223GM           Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF10       Test         1000?      Kwajalein
Aug 13 0930   Rocksat-X 7       Terrier Imp.Mal.   Wallops               Education     151       Atlantic
Aug 23        RV                DF-4               Taiyuan, China        Test         1000?      China
Aug 23        Hyunmoo RV        Hyunmoo-2B?        Anhueng, S Korea      Test          100?      E China Sea
Aug 23        Hyunmoo RV        Hyunmoo-2B?        Anheung, S Korea      Test          100?      E China Sea
Aug 24?       Hyunmoo RV        Hyunmoo-2B?        Anheung, S Korea      Test          100?      E China Sea
Aug 25 2149   RV                Hwasong 5?         Kittareyong, N.Korea  Training?     100?      Sea of Japan
Aug 25 2219   RV                Hwasong 5?         Kittareyong, N.Korea  Training?     100?      Sea of Japan
Aug 28 2058   RV                Hwasong 12         Pyongyang-Sunan, N.K. Test          550       Pacific Ocean
Aug 29        FTM-27E2 Target   MRBM-T3?           Kauai                 Target        300?      Pacific Ocean
Sep  3        Hyunmoo RV        Hyunmoo-2B?        Unknown site,S Korea  Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep  9 1134   WINDY 1           Black Brant 9      Kwajalein             Ionosphere    409       Pacific
Sep  9 1139   WINDY 2           Terrier Malemute   Kwajalein             Ionosphere    400?      Pacific
Sep 12        RV x4?            Yars               Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Sep 14 2157   RV                Hwasong 12         Pyongyang-Sunan, N.K. Test          770       Pacific Ocean
Sep 14 2330?  RV                Hyunmoo-2A?        Goseung, S Korea?     Test          100?      Sea of Japan
Sep 17        PTV               Janus              Wake Island           Target        300?      Kwajalein
Sep 20        RV x4?            Yars               Plesetsk              Test         1000?      Kura
Sep 26 1530?  Topol-E RV        Topol'-E           Kapustin Yar          Test         1000?      Sary Shagan

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |                                    |
|  Somerville MA 02143               |  inter : planet4589 at gmail       |
|  USA                               |  twitter: @planet4589              |
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