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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. 745                                                      2018 Feb  8  Somerville, MA
International Space Station

Expedition 54 continues with ISS Commander Aleskandr Misurkin and flight
engineers Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba, Anton Shkaplerov, Scott Tingle and
Norishige Kanai.

Vande Hei and Tingle made spacewalk EVA-47 on Jan 23, using suits EMU 3003
and 3004, to replace the LEE-B robot hand on the Canadarm-2. They
removed LEE 201 and stowed it on External Stowage Platform 2; they then
took LEE 204 off ESP-2 and installed it on the arm, making it the new
LEE B. Unfortunately, according to a report by, the
new LEE has been having problems and the swap may need to be reversed.
The Quest airlock was depressurized around 1145 UTC and repressurized at
1913 UTC.

Misurkin and Shkaplerov, in suits Orlan-MKS 4 and Orlan-MK 6, made
spacewalk VKD-44 on Feb 2. They depressurized Pirs by around 1511 UTC
and opened the hatch at 1534 UTC. The astronauts floated to the aft end
of Zvezda and replaced a receiver box on the large ONA (Lira)  antenna.
The ONA can be moved into four defined positions at 90 degrees from one
another; it was launched in 2000 with the antenna stowed pointing down,
blocking the aft docking port, and then moved 90 deg to position 1,
where I believe it has stayed since. The ONA was moved back to launch
position for the work. The old box was jettisoned into orbit at 1941
UTC. After the new ShA-317A-II box was installed, ONA refused to return
to its original position 1, snagging on an old ATV rendezvous target.
Eventually it was freed, but ended up in position 3, 180 degrees from
that intended; this was deemed acceptable for the time being. The
astronauts closed the hatch at 2347 UTC and repressurized the airlock at
2353 UTC.

This was a record duration Russian EVA using the Roskosmos criterion of
hatch open/hatch closed, 8hr 13 min; it is the 4th longest EVA ever by
this criterion, after STS-102 EVA1, STS-49 EVA-3, and ISS US EVA-18.  By
the criterion I use myself (50 mbar depress to repress) it is the second
longest spacewalk by anyone, 8hr 42min - the record is held by Helms and
Voss on STS-102 EVA-1 at 9h 00min. It should be noted that Helms and
Voss spent a lot of time in the depressurized airlock instead of being
outside - I count that, because I see work in a depressurized
environment as the interesting thing. If you only care about being
actually outside the spacecraft, I believe (my figures are not so
accurate for this) the record is 8h 23min, shared by Thout and Hieb
during STS-49 EVA-3. In these egress-to-ingress rankings Misurkin is in
13th place at about 7h42min, and Shkaplerov shares 14th place with
Hoshide at about 7h38min.

Ariane anomaly

Ariane flight VA241, using vehicle L5101, was launched from Kourou on Jan 25
carrying the SES-14 and Al Yah 3 communications satellites. The rocket appears
to have flown on a wildly incorrect azimuth, heading southeast instead of east,
and although the payloads were inserted into geotransfer orbit with a near-correct
apogee and perigee, the orbital inclination was 20 degrees instead of 3 degrees.
This will require the satellites to use a lot of extra propellant to reach their
final geostationary locations. 

Arianespace has not yet explained the error but it is hard to see any way for this
to happen other than a mission planning/preparation error in which the rocket was
commanded to fly on an incorrect launch azimuth. In general accordance with the
rules I defined in JSR 669, with this launch falling at the low end of the
'orbit usable but not nominal' range, I am giving the launch a 0.65 score.
This gives the Ariane 5 overall a score of 96.8 percent over 97 launches;
the Ariane 5 ECA model has 97.9 percent over 65 launches.

Falcon Heavy

The first Falcon Heavy launch was successfully carried out on Feb 6 at 2045 UTC.
The vehicle used center core stage B1033, with two side cores made
from reused Falcon 9 first stages: B1023 and B1025. The side cores
landed back simultaneously at landing zones LZ-1 and LZ-2, located on the
site of the Cape's old Pad 13. The center core aimed for the drone ship Of Course
I Still Love You, but missed it by 100 metres when two of the three engines
to be used for the landing burn failed to restart. Stage 2 fired
to enter a low parking orbit, probably around 185 x 185 km x 29.0 deg,
at 2053 UTC. After a coast to the equator, stage 2 made its second burn at 2113 UTC
to place itself in a 184 x 6953 km x 29.0 deg orbit, taking it into the Van Allen
belts. Falcon spent two orbits of the Earth in this elliptical path. On approach
to second perigee, at 0230 UTC Feb 7, the stage was passing over Los Angeles
when it reignited for the third burn, placing it on an escape trajectory.

Attached to the second stage payload adapter was Elon Musk's Tesla
Roadster car, together with a SpaceX prototype spacesuit containing a
mannequin named Starman, and several cameras. I assume the Roadster
remains attached to the second stage and has not separated, but this has
not been confirmed.

The escape orbit is 717 x -79898 km x 28.9 deg with a C3 of 12.0 km**2/s**2.
Roadster passes the orbit of the moon 0419 GMT  Feb 8; it leaves the
Earth-Moon system (Hill sphere) 1800 GMT Feb 11 to enter a 0.99 x 1.71 AU
x 1.1 deg heliocentric orbit. Roadster passes the orbit of
Mars in Jul 2018, reaching aphelion on Nov 19.

Congratulations to SpaceX and thanks to them for providing trajectory data;
asteroid observers are trying to pick up the object.


On Jan 17 the Japanese space agency JAXA launched the third Epsilon rocket
carrying the Asnaro-2 radar satellite to orbit. Asnaro-2 is operated by
the trade ministry's USEF space applications center.


The CALT Chang Zheng 11 rocket made its third flight on Jan 19, placing
two more Jilin-1 video satellites in orbit as well as 4 cubesats.

- Jilin-1 Shipin 07, 08 xing (Jilin-1 Video 7 and 8), imaging sats
  for Chang Guang Satellite Technology Ltd (CGSTL) in Changchun, Jilin province.
- Hunan xiangjiang xinqu hao weixing  (Hunan Xiangjiang New Area satellite, also Tianyi-2),
  a 6U cubesat with technology experiments.
  developed by Tianyi Research Institute in Changsha, Hunan province,
- Quan Tu Tong 1 (also Tianyi-6), a 6U cubesat for search-and-rescue service experiments 
  built by Changsha-based Tianyi for Beijing-based Quan Tu Tong Co
  (``Full Map Network Co.'') It carries navigation, comm, imaging, AIS, and amateur radio payloads
- KIPP, a 3U cubesat for Kepler Communications of Toronto, to server as a pathfinder for their 
  proposed constellation. The satellite is named in honor of a fictional robot, 
  from the movie 'Interstellar'.
- Huia'an hao Enlai xing, a 2U cubesat from schoolkids at Huai'an Youth Comprehensive Development Base,
  Jiangsu province, and named in honour of Zhou Enlai who was from the area. It has a drag brake experiment.

 The satellites were launched to 500 km SSO; as with the previous CZ-11 mission, some objects were
 also placed in higher apogee 530 x 1070 km orbits; these are probably separation motor covers.


United Launch Alliance flew Atlas mission AV-076 on Jan 20 to place the SBIRS GEO-4 missile
early warning satellite in geotransfer orbit. The Centaur stage made an additional maneuver
at 0202 UTC to lower its perigee, and reentered around 1013 UTC over the Pacific SW of Hawaii.


The RocketLab Electron launch vehicle reached a successful orbit on only its second mission
on Jan 21. The `Still Testing' mission carried RocketLab's Humanity Star (a 1-meter
polyhedron designed for high visibility) and three cubesats - Dove Pioneer (satellite 0F1C)
for Planet, and two SpireGlobal Lemur-2 satellites. Dove and Humanity Star were deployed
in elliptical orbit; a previously undisclosed third stage then fired to circularize the orbit
at 500 km and deployed the Lemurs. 

I have included 'Still Testing' in the launch list as a satellite, since the stage probably
carried diagnostic equipment to measure the launch environment.

Yaogan-30 group 4

The fourth triplet of Yaogan-30 Group satellites, CX-5-10 to CX-5-12, were launched on
Jan 25. A small sub-payload was also deployed, Weina-1, also called CX-6-6.


SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 on Jan 31, delivering the GovSat-1 payload to geotransfer orbit.
GovSat-1, also known as SES-16, is an OrbitalATK Geostar-3 payload for X- and Ka- band
military communications. It is owned by LuxGovSat S.A., a joint venture of the Luxembourg
government and SES.


The third orbital launch from Russia's Vostochniy spaceport was a success, following
the failure of a Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat launch in November. This time the rocket was a Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat.
The Soyuz third stage was suborbital; the Fregat made two burns to a circular 505 km orbit
and deployed two imaging satellites in the Russian government's Kanopus-V series. After two
more Fregat burns to a 580 km orbit, 9 small satellites were deployed: four 8 kg, 24-cm S-NET
satellites for the Technical University of Berlin, four 3U cubesats for Spire Global, and a reflight
of the D-Star One communications cubesat design for German Orbital Systems, whose first D-Star One was lost
in the failure of the previous Vostochniy launch.


JAXA/ISAS launched the SS-520-5 rocket from Uchinoura on Feb 3. The 2.6
tonne vehicle is the lighest orbital launch vehicle by a wide margin
(ISAS' 9-tonne Lambda 4S was previously the record holder). Payload is a
single 3U cubesat with a store-forward communications experiment.
TRICOM-1R, for the University of Tokyo, was named Tasuki after reaching
its 187 x 2012 km x 30.1 deg orbit.

Zuma redux

Bill Harwood (CBS) notes that NRO has denied ownership of Zuma.
However, it could still be that NRO is the customer for the data and the
contractor, e.g. Northrop Grumman, was to operate the satellite on NRO's
behalf. Other possibilities are that, after 50 years of subsuming its
space activities within NRO, CIA is back to having its own satellites;
or that a new US secret agency has started space activities. Some have
suggested the possibility that the satellite is actually  for a foreign
ally of the US, but this seems unlikely to me as the most obvious
suspects have been pretty open about their military satellites.


The 8-tonne Zenit second stage rocket from the December launch of
Angosat-1 reentered at 2337 UTC Jan 27 over the Ucayali region of Peru.
This is likely to be one of the two biggest uncontrolled reentries this
year, along with Tiangong-1 whose reentry is currently expected in late

(thanks to Collin Krum for the idea for the section name.)

Table of Recent Orbital Launches 
Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes
Jan  8 0100   Zuma (USA 280)          Falcon 9          Canaveral LC40   Radar?       01A   S43098  1000?x  1000?x  50.0
Jan  9 0324   Gaojing-1 03 )          Chang Zheng 2D    Taiyuan          Imaging      02A   S43099   523 x   536 x  97.6
              Gaojing-1 04 )                                             Imaging      02B   S43100   510 x   529 x  97.6
Jan 11 2318   Beidou DW 26  )         Chang Zheng 3B    Xichang          Navigation   03A   S43107 21538 x 22194 x  55.0 
              Beidou DW 27  )                                            Navigation   03B   S43108 21543 x 22194 x  55.0
Jan 12 0359   Cartosat 2ER    )       PSLV-XL          Satish Dhawan FLP Imaging      04A   S43111   495 x   510 x  97.6  0930LT
              INS-1C          )                                          Imaging      04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              LEO Vantage 1   )                                          Comms        04C   S43113   495 x   508 x  97.6
              ICEYE-X1        )                                          Radar        04D   S43114   495 x   508 x  97.6
              VividX2         )                                          Imaging      04E   S43115   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Arkyd-6A        )                                          Imaging      04V   S43130   495 x   508 x  97.6
              CICERO 7        )                                          Weather      04AJ  S43143   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Landmapper-BC3  )                                          Imaging      04H   S43118   495 x   508 x  97.6
              PICSAT          )                                          Astronomy    04W   S43131   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Tyvak-61C       )                                          Astronomy    04AK  S43144   495 x   508 x  97.6
              CANYVAL-X1/X2   )                                          Tech         04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              CNUSail-1       )                                          Tech         04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              STEP Cube Lab   )                                          Tech         04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              KAUSAT-5        )                                          Imaging      04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              KHUSAT-3        )                                          Tech         04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              Fox-1D (AO-92)  )                                          Comms        04AC  S43137   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Micromas-2A     )                                          Science      04X   S43132   495 x   508 x  97.6
              DemoSat-2       )                                          Comms        04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              SpaceBEE-1      )                                          Comms        04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              SpaceBEE-2      )                                          Comms        04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              SpaceBEE-3      )                                          Comms        04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              SpaceBEE-4      )                                          Comms        04             495 x   508 x  97.6
              Lemur-2-PeterWebster)                                      AIS/Weather  04P   S43124   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Lemur-2-DaveWilson  )                                      AIS/Weather  04R   S43126   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Lemur-2-McCafferty  )                                      AIS/Weather  04N   S43123   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Lemur-2-BrownCow    )                                      AIS/Weather  04Q   S43125   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Flock 3p'-1       )                                        Imaging      04L   S43121   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Flock 3p'-2       )                                        Imaging      04K   S43120   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Flock 3p'-3       )                                        Imaging      04J   S43119   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Flock 3p'-4       )                                        Imaging      04M   S43122   495 x   508 x  97.6
              Microsat-TD     )                                          Imaging      04T   S43128   346 x   371 x  96.9
Jan 12 2211   USA 281                 Delta 4M+(5,2)    Vandenberg SLC6  Radar        05A   S43145  1052 x  1053 x 106.0
Jan 13 0710   Ludi Kancha Weixing 3   Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan          Imaging      06A   S43146   496 x   506 x  97.3 1330LT
Jan 17 2106   ASNARO 2                Epsilon           Uchinoura        Radar        07A   S43152   493 x   506 x  97.4 0546LT
Jan 19 0412   Jilin-1 Shipin 07 )     Chang Zheng 11    Jiuquan          Imaging      08A   S43155   523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
              Jilin-1 Shipin 08 )                                        Imaging      08B   S43156   523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
              KIPP              )                                        Comms        08    S43157?  523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
              Huai'an           )                                        Education    08    S43158?  523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
              Quan Tu Tong 1        )                                    SAR          08    S43159?  523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
              Hunan xiangjian xinqu )                                    Tech         08    S43160?  523 x   547 x  97.5 1030LT
Jan 20 0048   SBIRS GEO-4             Atlas V 411       Canaveral SLC40  Missile Warn 09A   S43162   185 x 35851 x 16.9
Jan 21 0143   Dove Pioneer         )                                     Imaging      10A   S43163   288 x   533 x 82.9
              Lemur-2-Tallhamn-ATC )  Electron          Mahia            AIS/Weather  10B   S43164?  497 x   533 x 82.9
              Lemur-2-Marshall     )                                     AIS/Weather  10C   S43165?  497 x   533 x 82.9
              Still Testing        )                                     Tech         10E?  S43166?  497 x   533 x 82.9
              Humanity Star        )                                     Advertising  10F?  S43168   288 x   533 x 82.9
Jan 25 0539   Chuangxin-5 10 )        Chang Zheng 2C    Xichang          Sigint?      11B   S43170   591 x   602 x 35.0
              Chuangxin-5 11 )                                           Sigint?      11C   S43171   591 x   602 x 35.0
              Chuangxin-5 12 )                                           Sigint?      11D   S43172   591 x   602 x 35.0
              Chuangxin-6 6  )                                           Tech?        11A   S43169   594 x   602 x 35.0
Jan 25 2220   SES-14   )              Ariane 5ECA       Kourou ELA3      Comms        12A?  S43174   230 x 43164 x 20.7
              Al Yah 3 )                                                 Comms        12B?  S43175   344 x 43203 x 20.5
Jan 31 2125   GovSat-1                Falcon 9          Canaveral SLC40  Comms        13A   S43178   300?x 35800?x 25.0?
Feb  1 0207   Kanopus V-3         )   Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat Vostochniy       Imaging      14A   S43180   500 x   511 x 97.5 2323LT
              Kanopus V-4         )                                      Imaging      14B   S43181   500 x   510 x 97.5 2323LT
              S-NET 1             )                                      Comms        14    S43182?  571 x   589 x 97.7
              S-NET 2             )                                      Comms        14    S43183?  571 x   589 x 97.7
              S-NET 3             )                                      Comms        14    S43184?  571 x   589 x 97.7
              S-NET 4             )                                      Comms        14    S43185?  571 x   589 x 97.7
              Lemur-2-Kadi        )                                      AIS/Weather  14    S43186?  570? x  590?x 97.7?
              Lemur-2-TheNickMolo )                                      AIS/Weather  14    S43187?  570? x  590?x 97.7?
              Lemur-2-Jin-Luen    )                                      AIS/Weather  14    S43188?  570? x  590?x 97.7?
              Lemur-2-UramChanSol )                                      AIS/Weather  14    S43189?  570? x  590?x 97.7?
              D-Star One Phoenix  )                                      Tech         14    S43190?  570? x  590?x 97.7?
Feb  2 0751   Zhang Heng 1  )         Chang Zheng 2D    Jiuquan          Science      15A   S43192   489 x   509 x 97.3 1411LT
              Ada           )                                            Imaging      15    S43193?  493 x   504 x 97.2
              Maryam        )                                            Imaging      15    S43194?  488 x   508 x 97.3
              Ulloriaq      )                                            AIS/Imaging  15    S43195?  486 x   508 x 97.3
              GOMX-4B       )                                            Tech         15    S43196?  483 x   507 x 97,3
              Shaonian Xing )                                            Tech         15    S43197?  483 x   507 x 97,3
              FengMaNiu 1   )                                            Tech         15    S43199?  485 x   507 x 97.3
Feb  3 0503   Tasuki                  SS-520            Uchinoura        Com          16A   S43201   186 x  2012 x 30.9
Feb  6 2045   Elon's Roadster         Falcon Heavy      Kennedy LC39A    Test         17A   S43205   717 x-79898 x 28.9

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Dec 12 1659   New Shepard CC2   New Shepard        West Texas            Test           99       West Texas
Dec 19        RV/Warhead        Burkan 2H          Sa'dah                Weapon        150?      Riyadh
Dec 26 0330?  RV                Topol'-E?          Kapustin Yar          Test         1000?      Balkhash?
Jan 18 0423   RV                Agni V             Kalam Island          Test         1000?      Indian Ocean
Jan 19 1217   DXL-3             Black Brant 9      Poker Flat            XR Astron     230       Alaska
Jan 26 1411   Super Soaker 1    Terrier Imp Orion  Poker Flat            Aeronomy      160?      Alaska
Jan 26 1458   Super Soaker 2    Terrier Imp Orion  Poker Flat            Aeronomy      100?      Alaska
Jan 26 1459   Super Soaker 3    Terrier Imp Orion  Poker Flat            Aeronomy      160?      Alaska
Jan 31        FTM-29 Target     IRBM Target?       C-17, Pacific?        Target        300?      Pacific
Jan 31        FTM-29 KV         SM-3 Block IIA     Kauai                 Interceptor      ?      Intercept (failed)
Feb  5        Target            B-611?             Jiuquan?              Target        300?      Urumqi?
Feb  5        Interceptor       DF-21              Urumqi?               Interceptor   100?      Intercept
Feb  6 0300   Agni RV           Agni I             Kalam Island          Test          300?      Bay of Bengal         

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