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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. 753                                                      2018 Sep 19  Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 56 continues with astronauts Feustel, Artem'ev, Arnold, Prokop'ev,
Aunon-Chancellor and Gerst.

The Progress MS-08 cargo ship undocked from the Zvezda module at 0216 UTC on Aug 23.
It carried out experiments independently for a week. At about 0530 UTC Aug 23
it lowered its orbit to 346 x 402 km; it was deorbited over the South Pacific 
at 0207 UTC Aug 30.

On Aug 28 the Canadarm-2/Dextre robot arms moved the DESIS atmospheric
research instrument from the Kibo airlock and installed it on the MUSES
Earth-observing platform on the JEM Exposed Facility. DESIS was launched
on Dragon CRS-15.

At 2300 UTC Aug 29 a drop in ISS air pressure was detected. By 1400 UTC
Aug 30 the crew had located the leak coming from a hole in the BO
(`orbital module') of the Soyuz MS-09 ferry ship. The 2mm hole was
hidden behind a panel in the module. Photos of the hole suggest that it
is not an orbital debris strike - it appears to have been drilled into
the BO's pressure shell. Presumably the hole was drilled during
manufacture, either in error or to hold an internal or external fixture
that has since come free. In this hypothesis the hole may have been
plugged with something that prevented the leak appearing after launch on
June 6, but that something since came free creating a leak path to the
outside. (These ideas are based on discussion on
and elsewhere; we'll have to wait for an official analysis from
Roskosmos - probably months from now - to get the full story.) By 1630
UTC the Russian crew had plugged the leak with sealant and Kapton tape.

On Sep 6 at 0050 UTC the Zvezda module fired its engines to reboost
the station's orbit slightly, increasing its velocity by 0.2m/s.

On Sep 6 to Sep 14 the Japanese HDTV-EF2 camera, launched on HTV-6 and
installed in Feb 2017, was removed from the Exposed Facility and swapped
out with a new HDTV-EF2. Unfortunately the  replacement package did not
activate correctly. I don't know which cargo mission brought up the new
HDTV-EF2 - let me know if you do.


The European Space Agency's Aeolus satellite was launched to
sun-synchronous orbit by Vega flight VV12 on Aug 22. Aeolus carries an
1-metre telescope with an ultraviolet laser radar (lidar) to study wind
velocities at different altitudes in the atmosphere.

Beidou 35/36

China launched two more Beidou-3 navigation satellites on Aug 24. The
satellites, built by the Shanghai microsatellite center, are vehicles
M11 and M12 for medium Earth orbit.


HY-1C, launched by China on Sep 7, is an oceanographic satellite. It
carries an ocean color imager, a multispectral imager for study of
coastal zones, an ultraviolet imager, and a ship-tracking AIS payload.

Telstar 18 Vantage

Telesat Canada has another massive (7070 kg launch mass) C/Ku-band
Maxar/SSL-1300 communications satellite in orbit: Telstar 18 Vantage.
Much of the mass is propellant which will be used to reach GEO following
is launch to an 18000 km apogee subsynchronous transfer orbit by a Block
5 Falcon 9, repeating the mission profile of Telstar 19 Vantage in July.

APT (Asia Pacific Telecom) has leased some of the capacity on the
satellite, and refers to the satellite as Apstar 5C. Since APT doesn't
actually own the satellite, I regard this as a marketing name only.

The Falcon 9 first stage, B1049, landed safely on the droneship 'Of
Course I Still Love You'. The second stage remains in transfer orbit.
Telstar 18V made its first apogee raising burn at 0800 UTC Sep 11, to
292 x 20475 km x 27 deg. By Sep 18 the orbit was 12083 x 35752 km x 7.3 deg.


NASA-Goddard's long-delayed ICESAT-2 was launched in September aboard
the final Delta 2 rocket, flight Delta 381. ICESAT-2 carries the ATLAS
instrument, a visible-light laser with a 0.8m aperture telescope. The
spacecraft is an Orbital (now Northrop Grumman) Leostar-3. ICESAT-2 wll
measure the thickness of the polar ice sheets.

The Delta second stage delivered ICESAT-2 to a 92 degree orbit and then
made a small burn to change inclination to 93 degrees before ejecting
four university-developed cubesats. ELFIN and ELFIN-STAR (or ELFIN-B)
from UCLA are studying relativistic electrons in the radiation belts.
DAVE (CP7) from Cal Poly is studying a new damper technology for deploying
booms gently. A final cubesat from the University of Central Florida 
studies surface charging; unfortunately its name, Surfsat, is identical
to that of a small 1995 satellite which is still in orbit.

The Delta 381 second stage performed a deorbit burn and impacted the 
ocean around 1512 UTC.

Delta 381 was the 724th and last launch of a rocket using a first stage
based on the 1957-era Thor missile. 155 of these were Delta II vehicles,
with the Extra Extended Long Tank Thor first stage - the Delta II class
had a remarkable 99.1% launch success rate by my scoring criteria.

Surrey Imaging Satellites

India launched a PSLV Core-Alone variant on Sep 16 carrying two
commercial payloads built by Surrey Satellite Technology. NovaSar-S is a
445 kg experimental imaging radar satellite; it carries a 3m x 1m S-band
(3 GHz) radar and a xenon ion propulsion system. The S1-4 satellite uses
the same design as the earlier DMC3 imaging constellation and will
supplement it; they operate in almost the same orbital plane. The data
from the constellation is used by the Beijing-based company 21AT.


It's been a busy time at Surrey Satellite and Surrey Space. Surrey's
RemoveDebris satellite began active operations in September. On Sep 16
at 2306 UTC the satellite ejected a 2U cubesat, DebrisSat-1.
RemoveDebris then fired a net at the tumbling satellite; the net wrapped
around DebrisSat, increasing its drag coefficient - which will
accelerate its reentry.

Kosmos-2519/2521/2523: Addendum

I forgot to include in last issue's analysis the total manuever
capability demonstrated by the three satellites:

 Kosmos-2519  125 m/s
 Kosmos-2521  204 m/s
 Kosmos-2523   27 m/s

I should also have noted that Phillip Clark has presented his own
excellent analysis of the mission in an article in Spaceflight magazine
(vol 60, p 30, June 2018) and I understand that a sequel is in the

Helios Wire

Two Astro Digital-built 6U cubesats lost in the Nov 2017 Soyuz launch
failure referred to in JSR 743 as Corvus BC 3 and 4 were actually Corvus
BC-C and Helios Wire BIU. Helios Wire BIU was a payload intended for
Vancouver-based Helios Wire, which plans to deploy a constellation of
data relay satellites.


Hayabusa-2 made its first `touchdown rehearsal', TD1-R1 on Sep 11-12,
approaching the asteroid to within 0.6 km before retreating, rather than
the planned 0.04 km. Release of the MINERVA-II-1 lander was planned for
Sep 21, but I'm guessing this will be delayed while the team work out
how to operate more reliably close to Ryugu's surface.  [Update: Nope,
they are going ahead! Awesome!]

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

Aug  7 0518   Merah Putih             Falcon 9 FT       Canaveral SLC40  Comms        64A   S43587   182 x 29470 x 27.0
Aug 10 0945   Bhutan-1  )                            ISS, LEO            Tech      9867PD   S43590   398 x   409 x 51.6
              UiTMSAT-1 )                                                Tech      9867PC   S43589   398 x   409 x 51.6
              Maya-1    )                                                Tech      9867PE   S43591   398 x   409 x 51.6
Aug 12 0731   Parker Solar Probe      Delta 4H/Star48BV Canaveral SLC37B Astron       65A   S43592   617 x-18602 x 33.0
Aug 15 1643   Tanyusha-YuZGU-3                       ISS, LEO            Tech      9867PF   S43595?  402 x   406 x 51.6
Aug 15 1645   Tanyusha-YuZGU-4                       ISS, LEO            Tech      9867PG   S43596?  401 x   408 x 51.6
Aug 15 1651   SiriusSat-1                            ISS, LEO            Tech      9867PH   S43597?  402 x   407 x 51.6
Aug 15 1656   SiriusSat-2                            ISS, LEO            Tech      9867PJ   S43598?  401 x   408 x 51.6
Aug 22 2120   Aeolus                  Vega              CSG ELV          Sci          66A   S43600   316 x   318 x 96.7 0600LT SSO
Aug 24 2352   Beidou 35 )             Chang Zheng 3B/YZ1 Xichang         Navigation   67A   S43602 21540 x 22197 x 55.0
              Beidou 36 )                                                Navigation   67B   S43603 21518 x 21537 x 55.0
Sep  7 0315   Haiyang 1C              Chang Zheng 2C     Taiyuan         Rem.Sensing  68A   S43609   770 x   786 x 98.6 1020LT SSO
Sep 10 0445   Telstar 18V             Falcon 9 FT        Canaveral SLC40 Comms        69A   S43611   250 x 18094 x 27.0
Sep 15 1302   ICESAT-2 )              Delta 7420-10      Vandenberg SLC2W Rem.Sensing 70A   S43613   459 x   464 x 92.0
              ELFIN    )                                                 Sci          70B?  S43614   448 x   467 x 93.0
              ELFIN-B  )                                                 Sci          70C?  S43615   448 x   467 x 93.0
              DAVE     )                                                 Tech         70D?  S43616   447 x   468 x 93.0
              SurfSat  )                                                 Tech         70E?  S43617   448 x   467 x 93.0 
Sep 16 1638   NovaSAR-S )             PSLV-CA            Sriharikota FLP Imaging      71A   S43619   574 x   592 x 97.8 2215LT SSO
              SSTL S1-4 )                                                Imaging      71B   S43620   574 x   619 x 97.7 2215LT SSO
Sep 16 2306   DebrisSat-1                               RemDeb, LEO      Tech        9867PM S43621   400 x   404 x 51.7

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

The suborbital launches table includes known flights above 80 km.
The Chinese private company iSpace flew a modified short range missile to about 100 km on Sep 5,
releasing three 1U cubesats on its suborbital trajectory. Despite being `cubesats' by design,
they are not `satellites' since they did not, and were not intended to, reach orbit.

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

Jul 18 1511   New Shepard CC2.0 New Shepard        West Texas            Abort test    119       West Texas
Jul 23 0600   MICRO-X           Black Brant 9      White Sands           XR Astron     270       White Sands      
Jul 31 1138   GT225GM           Minuteman 3        Vandenberg            Test          200?      Destroyed, fell in Pacific
Aug 14 1013   Rocksat-X 8       Terrier Imp.Mal.   Wallops Island        Education     158       Atlantic Ocean
Sep  5 0500   Hyperbola-1Z      Shuang Quxian 1Z   Jiuquan               Test          108       Jiuquan
              TFJR-1  )
              CDGX-1  )
              EREBUS  )
Sep  7 1721   FOXSI             Black Brant 9      White Sands           Solar XR      304       White Sands
Sep 12 0837   JFTM-05 Target    ?                  Kauai                 Target        150?      Pacific
Sep 12 0840?  JFTM-05           SM-3-IB          JS Atago, Pacific       Interceptor   150?      Intercept
Sep 12 1433   ADEPT             SpaceLoft XL       Spaceport America     Tech          114       Spaceport America, NM

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