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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 786                                                        2020 Nov 22  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 64 is now underway under the command of Sergey Ryzhikov.

The Nanoracks NRCSD-19 payloads delivered to the ISS on Cygnus NG-14
were deployed on Nov 5. One correction: Djara is a Lemur satellite developed by Spire
Global, but it is operated by the Australian Office of National
Intelligence to test an FPGA supercomputing chip in space.

The SpaceX Crew-1 mission was launched at 0027 UTC on Nov 16 from
Kennedy Space Center with Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Soichi Noguchi
and Shannon Walker. Crew Dragon capsule C207 'Resilience' entered orbit
and separated from the Falcon 9 second stage at 0039 UTC, beginning orbit
manuevers to rendezvous with the ISS. Resilience docked with the IDA-2 port on ISS
at 0401 UTC Nov 17 and the crew boarded ISS at 0602 UTC.

On Nov 18 astronauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov carried
out the first ever spacewalk  from the Poisk module, VKD-47. All
previous Russian ISS spacewalks were from Pirs, and in the 11 years
since Poisk's launch its airlock had lain dormant. Now the Pirs module
is scheduled to be removed from the ISS, so Poisk's airlock is being
brought into service.

I count `depress(urized) activities' (DPA) from the point where the
airlock pressure reaches 50 mbar. By this rule, Nov 18 saw two DPAs,
which I label VKD-47a and VKD-47. Roskosmos counts from first hatch open
to last hatch close, and considers VKD-47 as a single `vykhod' (EVA, in
NASA jargon). The timeline:

  1446 UTC:  Poisk airlock first depressurization begins
  1453 UTC:  Poisk depressurized below 50 mbar, begin VKD-47a (my rule)
  1512 UTC:  Poisk airlock hatch open, begin VKD-47 (Roskosmos rule)
             The astronauts inspected the hatch seals.
  1520 UTC:  Poisk airlock hatch closed
  1523 UTC:  Airlock repressurized above 50 mbar, end VKD-47a (my rule)
  1527 UTC:  Airlock repress stopped at 350 mbar
  1539 UTC:  Poisk airlock second depressurization begins
  1544 UTC:  Airlock below 50 mbar, begin VKD-47 (my rule)
  1555 UTC:  Poisk airlock hatch open again
  1606 UTC:  Kud-Sverchkov egress airlock
  1616 UTC:  Ryzhikov egress airlock with pressurized container for new flow regulator
  1739 UTC   Zarya Flow regulator No. 1 replacement abandoned; could not open container
  1816 UTC   Pressurized container returned to airlock
  1923 UTC   Transit-B antenna cable relocated from Pirs to Poisk.
  2015 UTC   Retrieve old Impakt exterior sample plate on Zvezda
  2030 UTC   Install new  Impakt exterior sample plate on Zvezda
  2054 UTC   Jettison of two decontamination towels
  2134 UTC   Ryzhikov ingress
  2145 UTC   Kud-Sverchkov ingress
  2159 UTC   Poisk airlock hatch closed
  2205 UTC   Airlock repressurization above 50 mbar

  VKD-47a depress time:                     30m
  VKD-47a hatch open time:                   8m
  VKD-47  depress time: (JCM rule)        6h21m
  VKD-47  hatch open time:                6h04m
  VKD-47 Ryzhikov time outside:           5h18m
  VKD-47 Kud-Sverchkov time outside:      5h39m
  VKD-47 'official' Roskosmos time        6h47m48s
    (1st hatch open to 2nd hatch close):


The fourth GPS Block 3 satellite was launched on Nov 5 on a Falcon 9. Launch had
been delayed because of engine contamination issues. The first stage, B1062, landed on OCISLY.


The fourth Chang Zheng 6 launch, CZ-6 Y3, flew from Taiyuan on Nov 6 and placed a cluster of small
satellites in 1030 LT sun-synchronous orbit.

Ten of the payloads were imaging satellites for the Uruguayan/Argentine Satellogic company.
The other three are:

 BY70-03, an amateur radio satellite. Its full name is 
 Zhongguo qing shaonian kepu weixing bayi 03 xing 'Taiyuan hao',
 which means Chinese Youth Science Satellite BY-03 'Taiyuan'. Students
 from Taiyuan Jinshan Middle School helped build it.

 Tianyan 05 is also called Dianzi keji daxue hao weixing, or more loosely translated, UESTC
 Satellite, after the Univ.  of Electronic Science and Technology (Dianzi keji daxue) in
 Chengdu.  The sat was built by Weina (Minospace) and Guoxing Aerospace; it has an imager
 and a THz `6G' experimental communications payload.
 Tianyan 05 uses the MN50 bus. The satellite has the additional alternate name Xingshidai-12.

 Beihang Kongshi Weixing yi hao (Beihang Konghsi 1 satellite) carries technology payloads.
 It was built by Tianyi (which calls it TY-20) 
 and BUAA (Beijing Hangkong Hangtian Daxue, Beijing U of Aero. and Astro).
 It includes a ThrustMe NPT30 electric propulsion system.

Galactic Energy

  Galactic Energy (Beijing) has developed a small solid launch vehicle, Gushenxing-1 ("Ceres-1")
  using demilitarized solid motors, probably from the DF-21 missile.

  The three solid stages are 1.4, 1.4 and 1.2 metres in diameter; a fourth liquid-propellant stage
  is used for orbit insertion. Gunshenxing-1 Y1 was launched on Nov 7 from Jiuquan, reaching orbit
  successfully with the Tianqi-11 satellite for the Guodian Gaokeji company.


  ISRO launched its second PSLV-DL on Nov 7, placing in orbit the EOS-1 radar satellite. 
  EOS-1 was formerly called RISAT-2BR2, and follows on from earlier RISAT satellites.
  Co-passengers included the R2 test satellite for NanoAvionics of Vilnius, four SpireGlobal Lemur-2
  satellites, and four Kleos Scouting Mission satellites for commercial signals intelligence
  for Kleos Space of Luxembourg.


China's second Tiantong satellite, Tiantong 1 hao 02 xing, was launched
on Nov 12 to geotransfer orbit. The satellite has an S-band antenna for
communications by mobile users.


United Launch Alliance flew Atlas V mission AV-090 on Nov 13 from Cape
Canaveral into a orbit with an inclination of around 55 to 60 degrees.
AV-090 was an Atlas V 531 variant, using the new Northrop Grummann
(formerly Hercules) GEM 63 solid boosters for the first time. The launch
was for the US National Reconnaissance Office and was designated
NROL-101. The payload was USA 310, a secret NRO satellite. Observations
of the Centaur propellant dump over the western US suggested that the
orbit was a medium altitude one and it was soon discovered by Marco
Langbroek and Cees Bassa in a highly unusual 11033 x 11068 km, 58 degree
orbit. The satellite therefore does not appear to be one of an existing
series, and its mission is at present unclear.

Vega VV17

The Arianespace Vega has suffered its second failure. Launched
northwards from the Centre Spatial Guyanais, Vega's three solid stages
appear to have worked correctly. However, the liquid propellant AVUM
fourth stage malfunctioned at the beginning of its burn, losing attitude
control. Arianespace reports that control system cables were connected
to the wrong sockets during assembly. The AVUM and its attached payloads
presumably fell in the Arctic, just possibly making it as far as the
coast of Yakutia.

Since the orbit would have had a perigee not much less than zero, maybe
around -500 km, I am giving the launch a 'U' ('uncataloged) designation:
2020-U01. I use these designations for launches which are marginally
orbital, and therefore 'interesting' in my opinion. Launches which fall
further short of orbit get 'F' (failed to orbit) designations. The list
of 'U' launches is at

The payloads of VV17 were the Spanish imaging satellite SARSAT-Ingenio
and the French Taranis scientific satellite, which would have studied
lightning sprites and related phenomena.

Electron 16

The Electron 16 launch `Return to Sender' took off from New Zealand on Nov 20,
placing a cluster of small satellites in a 1440 local time sun-synchronous orbit:
   Alchemy and Augury (DragRacer A and B): two 6U satellites from TriSept Corp, Millenium Space and
     Tethers Unlimited. Alchemy has a 70-metre-long `Terminator Tape' drag tether to make it reenter
     quickly; Augury does not have the tape and will be used as a control, decaying normally.
     As I understand it the two satellites were deployed attached to each other. It is not
     clear when they will separate or when the tether will be deployed;
   BRO-2 and BRO-3 for Unseen Labs, 6U satellites providing commercial radio spectrum monitoring;
   Te Waka Amiorangi o Aotearoa (APSS-1), a 1U satellite for the Auckland Program for Space Studies
     of the University of Auckland. It carries a Langmuir probe to study possible ionospheric
     precursors to earthquakes;
   SpaceBEE 22 to 45, a set of twenty-four 0.25U communications satellites for Swarm Technologies.


SpaceX launched the European Union's `Sentinel 6 Michael Freilich'
oceanographic satellite on Nov 21 from Vandenberg AFB. Sentinel-6
carries the Poseidon-4 sea surface height radar altimeter, continuing
the series begun by TOPEX-Posideon satellite and continued by the Jason
series Poseidon is developed by ESA and CNES; the satellite calso
carries NASA/JPL equipment for orbit determination and GNSS radio
occultation.  The satellite is named in honor of American oceanographer
Michael Freilich (1954-2020).

The Falcon 9 first stage returned to Vandenberg, landing at Landing Zone 4. The second stage
was left in an orbit slightly below the payload.


The Aerocube 10a satellite released its fourth passive atmospheric probe on around Nov 18.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches

Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle        Site            Mission       INTL.   Catalog  Perigee Apogee  Incl   Notes

Oct 25 1908   Glonass-K No. 15L              Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat   Plesetsk LC43/4 Navigation 75A S46805 19125 x 19150 x 64.8
Oct 26 1519   Yaogan 30 hao 07 zu 01 xing)   Chang Zheng 2C      Xichang         Sigint     76A S46807   589 x   604 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 07 zu 01 xing)                                       Sigint     76B S46808   589 x   604 x 35.0
              Yaogan 30 hao 07 zu 01 xing)                                       Sigint     76C S46809   589 x   604 x 35.0
              Tianqi Xingzuo 06          )                                       Comms      76D S46810   589 x   604 x 35.0
Oct 28 2121   CE-SAT-IIB     )               Electron            Mahia LC1       Imaging    77F S46818   508 x   524 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-1    )                                                   Imaging    77A S46813   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-2    )                                                   Imaging    77H S46820   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-3    )                                                   Imaging    77G S46819   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-4    )                                                   Imaging    77J S46821   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-5    )                                                   Imaging    77E S46817   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-6    )                                                   Imaging    77K S46822   511 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-7    )                                                   Imaging    77B S46814   505 x   528 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-8    )                                                   Imaging    77D S46816   507 x   524 x 97.5
              Flock 4e'-9    )                                                   Imaging    77C S46815   505 x   525 x 97.5
Nov  5 0905   Bobcat-1)                                          ISS, LEO        Tech    98067
              SPOC    )                                                          Imaging 98067
Nov  5 1040   Neutron-1                                          ISS, LEO        Sci     98067
Nov  5 1215   Djara                                              ISS, LEO        Tech    98067
Nov  5 1315   Descent        )                                   ISS, LEO        Tech    98067
              SAT-TLA 1      )                                                   Tech    98067
              Lemur-2-Unnamed)                                                   Com/Met 98067
Nov  5 2324   GPS III SV-04                   Falcon 9           Canaveral LC40  Nav        78A S46826  402 x 20183 x 55.0
Nov  6 0318   Nusat-9  (Alice)     )          Chang Zheng 6      Taiyuan         Imaging    79A?S46827  465 x   473 x 97.3
              Nusat-10 (Caroline)  )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-11 (Cora)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-12 (Dorothy)   )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-13 (Emmy)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-14 (Hedy)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-15 (Katherine) )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-16 (Lise)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-17 (Mary)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Nusat-18 (Vera)      )                                             Imaging    79
              Taiyuan BY70-3       )                                             Comms      79
              Beihang Kongshi 1    )                                             Comms      79
              Tianyan 05           )                                             Imaging    79
Nov  7 0712   Tianqi-11                       Gushenxing-1       Jiuquan         Comms      80A S46904   485 x   501 x 97.4
Nov  7 0941   EOS-1           )               PSLV-DL          Satish Dhawan FLP Imaging    81A          568 x   576 x 36.9
              Lemur-2-Ozarak  )                                                  Com/Met    81D          565 x   578 x 36.9
              Lemur-2-Jindra  )                                                  Com/Met    81E          565 x   578 x 36.9
              Lemur-2-Wallace )                                                  Com/Met    81F          565 x   576 x 36.9
              Lemur-2-Jeremiah)                                                  Com/Met    81G          565 x   576 x 36.9
              R2              )                                                  Tech       81
              KSM-1A          )                                                  Sigint     81
              KSM-1B          )                                                  Sigint     81
              KSM-1C          )                                                  Sigint     81
              KSM-1D          )                                                  Sigint     81
Nov 12 1559   Tiantong-1 02                    Chang Zheng 3B     Xichang        Comms      82A S46917   170 x 35820 x 28.4
Nov 13 2332   USA 310                          Atlas V 531       Canaveral SLC41 Radar?     83A S46918 11033 x 11068 x 58.5
Nov 16 0027   Resilience                       Falcon 9          Kennedy LC39A   Spaceship  84A S46920   189 x   208 x 51.6
Nov 17 0152   SEOSAT-Ingenio)                  Vega              CSG             Imaging    U01 A09651  -500? x  250?x 98.5
              Taranis       )                                                    Science    U01 A09652  -500? x  250?x 98.5
Nov 18?       AC-10a Probe 04                                  AC-10a, LEO       Science 19-22N S46928   469  x  482 x 51.6
Nov 20 0220   Augury                      )    Electron          Mahia LC1       Tech       85  S46931?  501  x  521 x 97.4
              Alchemy                     )                                      Tech       85
              BRO-2                       )                                      Sigint     85
              BRO-3                       )                                      Sigint     85
              Te Waka Amiorangi o Aotearoa)                                      Sci        85
              SpaceBEE 22 to 45           )                                      Comms      85
Nov 21 1717   Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich      Falcon 9          Vandenberg SLC4E Oceanog.  86A S46984  1308  x 1327 x 66.0

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Oct  1        Black Dagger      Boosted Zombie     Fort Wingate?         Target        100?      White Sands
Oct 13 1336   NS-13             New Shepard        W Texas               Test          106       W Texas
Oct 29 0727   GT236GM           Minuteman 3        Vandenberg LF09       Op. Test     1300?      Kwajalein
Nov  2 1040   DEUCE 3           Black Brant IX     White Sands           UV Astron     285       White Sands
Nov 17 0550   FTM-44 Target     ICBM-T2?           Meck, Kwajalein       Target       1000?      Pacific (intercepted)
Nov 17 0605?  FTM-44 KV         SM-3 Block IIA    DDG-18, Pacific        Interceptor   200?      FTM-44 interception

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