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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 774 Draft                                                     2019 Dec 27 Somerville, MA
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International Space Station
---------------------------

Expedition 61 continues.

On Dec 23 the BCDU FRAM (the adapter for the recently used spare BCDU) was moved
from the Dextre EOTP to the CRS-19 Dragon trunk, where it will be destroyed on
reentry.

On around Dec 27, the failed MSBU S/N C250636 (brought inside on Sep 5) and
the failed BCDU S/N 011 (brought inside on Oct 18)  were transferred to the CRS-19
Dragon's cabin for return to Earth.

On Dec 27 at 0128 and 0436 UTC the Progress MS-13 cargo ship docked to the Pirs module
fired its engines to raise the ISS orbit from 411 x 422 km to 415 x 422 km.

On Jan 3 to 4 the Dextre arm was used to transfer the Space Debris
Sensor (SDS) and SOLAR payloads from the Columbus external payload
facility to external attachment points on the PCM module of the S.S.
Alan Bean (Cygnus NG-12) cargo ship for reentry disposal. SDS was
launched in 2017 on Dragon CRS-13, but failed in Jan 2018. SOLAR was
launched on STS-122 in 2008. On Jan 6 a Resupply Stowage Platform 
(possibly RSP 1008/SE177, launched on STS-131) was moved from the PMM1D3
rack location to the Bean's pressurized module for disposal.

On Jan 7 at about 0500 UTC the Canadarm-2 unberthed the Dragon CRS-19 ship from the
Harmony module. Dragon was released back into orbit at 1005 UTC, and performed
three separation burns between 1008 and 1020 UTC. The plume from one of those firings 
was reported to have made the Cygnus NG-12 solar arrays wobble, which is something
one tries to avoid. Dragon fired its thrusters to deorbit at 1451 UTC until 1504 UTC,
jettisoned the trunk section at 1508 UTC and entered the atmosphere at 1524 UTC
with splashdown near 121.0W 31.2N at 1542 UTC.

On Jan 15 astronauts Koch and Meir, in suits EMU 3004 and 3008, made spacewalk US EVA-62
to continue battery replacements from the EP8 pallet to the P6 truss 4B channel.
The airlock was depressurized from 1130 to 1904 UTC. Transfers made were:
 NiH 0104 from P6 4B1 to EP8-Z
 Li-ion 21 from  EP8-F to P6 4B1
 NiH 0106 from P6-4B2 to EP8-F
 Adapter plate 0014 from EP8-F to P6 4B2
 NiH 0101 from P6-4B3 to P6-4B2 on top of the adapter plate
 Li-ion 22 from EP8-E to P6-4B3
 NiH 0103 from P6-4B4 tp EP8-Y

On Jan 20  Meir and Koch completed the P6 4B battery work with US EVA-63. The airlock
was depressurized from 1127 to 1833 UTC. Transfers made were:
 Adapter plate 0013 from EP8-E to P6-4B4
 NiH 0098 from P6-4B6 to P6-4B4 on top of the adapter plate
 Li-ion 23 from EP8-C to P6-4B6
 NiH 0102 from P6-4B5 to EP8-C
 Adapter plate 0011? from EP8-C to P6-4B5


CZ-5
----

China's largest rocket, the Chang Zheng 5, made a successful third flight on Dec 27,
after a major engine rework following the failure of the second flight in July 2017.
The CZ-5 second stage put the Shi Jian 20 communications satellite in supersync
transfer orbit.

Jilin-1 KF-1
------------

On Jan 15 China's SAST launched a CZ-2D with Chuanguang's biggest satellite to date, the 1.5t Jilin-1 Kuanfu-1.
The rocket also placed three smaller satellites in orbit, two Satellogic Nusat imagers (Sophie and Marie) 
and Guodian Gaokeji's Tianqi-5.


Starlink
--------

The third launch of 60 Starlink satellites, V1.0 Batch 2, was orbited on Jan 7.

As I have previously reported, the unexpected brightness of Starlink
satellites has caused widespread concern among astronomers. Thousands of
such satellites could dominate the visible view of the night sky in dark
areas; the bright satellites crossing the field of view of astronomical
detectors could cause bright streaks, electronic cross-talk and `ghost
images' compromising deep exposures of faint objects. At a meeting of
the American Astronomical Society in January,  SpaceX representatives
seemed confident they would be able to reduce the brightness of future
satellites so that they would no longer be naked eye objects, and
expressed committment to iterative improvements to address the concerns
of professional astronomers. I welcome the willingness of SpaceX to address
the issue (nevertheless, I do think some formal regulations on light pollution
are needed, because other constellations will also be an issue).

The latest launch includes a modified satellite, Starlink 1130, with a
special dark coating  on the bus to reduce its brightness. This
satellite will be used to improve SpaceX's models of satellite light
scattering, allowing engineers to evaluate design improvements for
future versions of the satellite. 

It will be important to get visual magnitude estimates of Starlink 1130
once it reaches its operational orbit. 

Stage 2 of the Falcon 9 was deorbited south of Australia, reentering
at approximately 0448 UTC Jan 7 after 1.6 orbits.


TJS 5
------

On Jan 7 China launched the Tongxing Jishu Shiyan 5 satellite to
geotransfer orbit. The TJS series of `experimental communications
satellites' is believed to be a cover for a range of military programs,
and TJS 5 appears to be an SAST/Shanghai `Houyan' early warning
satellite like 2017's TJS 2.

Crew Dragon
-----------

Crew Dragon C205 was launched from KSC LC39A at 1530 UTC Jan 19 on a Falcon 9
for the Inflight Abort Test.

A preplanned shutdown of core stage B1046 at 90s into flight triggered
an inflight abort and the Super Draco thrusters pushed Dragon to a 44 km apogee
followed by a parachute-aided splashdown in the Atlantic. The Falcon 9
disintegrated in flight 7 seconds after separation.


Errata
------

Danna Barnett informs me that Tyvak-0092 is actually built for Israel's Elbit Systems
and not for an Italian company. Elbit calls the satellite NANOVA; it has a UHF comm
payload.

The dual-engine Centaur on the Atlas V N22 uses the RL10-A4-2 engine, not RL10-A4-1.


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

Dec  5 1729   Dragon CRS-19               Falcon 9           Canaveral SLC40 Cargo     83A S44821    203 x   378 x 51.7
Dec  6 0800?  Kosmos-2543?                              Kosmos-2542, LEO     Inspector 79D S44835    368 x   858 x 97.9
Dec  6 0818   ALE-2     )                 Electron           Mahia LC1       Tech      84A S44824    397 x   415 x 97.0
              NOOR 1A   )                                                    Com       84D S44827    348 x   403 x 97.0
              NOOR 1B   )                                                    Com       84E S44828    348 x   403 x 97.0
              SMOG-P    )                                                    Sigint    84J S44832    348 x   403 x 97.0
              TRSI-Sat  )                                                    Tech      84H S44831    348 x   403 x 97.0
              FossaSat-1)                                                    Tech      84F S44829    348 x   403 x 97.0
              ATL-1     )                                                  Sigint/Tech 84G S44830    348 x   403 x 97.0
Dec  6 0934   Progress MS-13              Soyuz-2-1A         Baykonur LC31   Cargo     85A S44833    186 x   219 x 51.6
Dec  7 0255   Jilin-1 Gaofen 02B          Kuaizhou-1A        Taiyuan         Imaging   86B S44837    531 x   544 x 97.5
Dec  7 0852   HEDE-2A   )                 Kuaizhou-1A        Taiyuan         Comms     87  S44839    495 x   511 x 97.4
              HEDE-2B   )                                                    Comms     87            495 x   511 x 97.4
              Tianqi-4A )                                                    Comms     87            495 x   511 x 97.4
              Tianqi-4B )                                                    Comms     87            495 x   511 x 97.4
              Tianyi-16 )                                                    Imaging   87            495 x   511 x 97.4
              Tianyi-17 )                                                    Imaging   87            495 x   511 x 97.4
Dec 11 0854   Kosmos-2544                 Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat  Plesetsk LC43/3 Nav       88A S44850  19125 x 19150 x 64.8
Dec 11 0955   RISAT-2BR1)                 PSLV-QL            Satish Dhawan   Radar     89A S44852    564 x   574 x 37.0
              Izanagi   )                                                    Radar     89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              1HOPSAT   )                                                    Imaging   89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Duchifat-3)                                                    Tech      89C S44854    568 x   579 x 37.0
              Tyvak-0092)                                                    Comms     89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Tyval-0129)                                                    Tech      89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Lemur-2-Unnamed)                                               AIS/Met   89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Lemur-2-Unnamed)                                               AIS/Met   89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Lemur-2-Unnamed)                                               AIS/Met   89            568 x   579 x 37.0
              Lemur-2-Unnamed)                                               AIS/Met   89            568 x   579 x 37.0
Dec 16 0722   Beidou DW 52 )             Chang Zheng 3B/YZ1  Xichang LC3     Nav       90A S44864  21528 x 22192 x 55.0
              Beidou DW 53 )                                                 Nav       90B S44865  21528 x 22192 x 55.0
Dec 17 0010   JCSAT-18/Kacific-1         Falcon 9            Canaveral SLC40 Comms     91A S44868    272 x 20319 x 26.9
Dec 18 0854   CSG 1   )                  Soyuz ST-A/Fregat   CSG ELS         Radar     92A S44873    622 x   623 x 97.8
              CHEOPS  )                                                      Astronomy 92B S44874    698 x   709 x 98.2
              ANGELS  )                                                      Comms     92D?S44876    508 x   527 x 97.4
              EyeSat  )                                                      Astronomy 92E?S44877    508 x   527 x 97.4
              OPS-SAT )                                                      Tech      92F?S44878    508 x   527 x 97.4
Dec 20 0322   CBERS-4A     )             Chang Zheng 4B      Taiyuan         Imaging   93A S44879    615 x   635 x 98.0
              ETRSS-1      )                                                 Imaging   93
              Tianqin-1    )                                                 Sci/Tech  93
              BDSAGR-1     )                                                 Imaging   93
              Yuheng       )                                                 Comms     93
              Shuntian     )                                                 Comms     93
              Yizheng 1    )                                                 Imaging   93
              Xingshidai 8 )                                                 Imaging   93
Dec 20 1136   Starliner OFT              Atlas V N22         Canaveral LC41  Spaceship 94A S44900    180 x   221 x 51.6
Dec 24 1203   Elektro-L No. 3            Proton-M/DM-03      Baykonur LC81/24 Weather  95A S44903  35372 x 35571 x  0.6
Dec 26 2312   Gonets-M No. 24            Rokot               Plesetsk LC133/3 Comms    96A S44905   1500 x  1508 x 82.5
              Gonets-M No. 25                                                 Comms    96B S44906   1500 x  1508 x 82.5
              Gonets-M No. 26                                                 Comms    96C S44907   1500 x  1508 x 82.5
Dec 27 1245   Shi Jian 20                Chang Zheng 5       Wenchang         Comms    97A S44910    180 x 67690 x 19.4
Jan  7 0219   Starlink 1066      )       Falcon 9            Canaveral SLC40  Comms    01A S44914   
              Starlink 1069-1104 )                                            Comms    01 
              Starlink 1106-1119 )                                            Comms    01 
              Starlink 1121-1126 )                                            Comms    01 
              Starlink 1128      )                                            Comms    01 
              Starlink 1130      )                                            Comms    01 
              Starlink 1144      )                                            Comms    01BM S44973
Jan  7 1520   TJS 5                      Chang Zheng 3B      Xichang          Comms    02A S44978    195 x 35804 x 27.5
Jan 15 0253   Jilin-1 Kuanfu 1 )         Chang Zheng 2D      Taiyuan          Imaging  03A S45016    477 x   492 x 97.3
              Sophie           )                                              Imaging  03
              Marie            )                                              Imaging  03
              Tianqi-5         )                                              Comms    03
Jan 16 0302   Xinhe 1                    Kuaizhou 1A         Jiuquan          Comms    04A          1200 x  1213 x 80.0?


Table of Recent Suborbital Launches
-----------------------------------

On Jan 7 Iran launched a series of Zulfiqar and Qiam-1 missiles against US military targets in Iraq.
The exact number and mix of missiles is unknown.


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

Dec 10 0930   CHI               Black Brant IX       Svalbard            Ionosphere    360       Arctic
Dec 11 1753   New Shepard NS12  New Shepard          West Texas          Test          105       West Texas
Dec 12 1630   IRBM Test         Castor 4B?           Vandenberg TP-01    Test          500?      Pacific
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Erbil, Iraq
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Qiam-1               ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2245?  HE Warhead        Qiam-1               ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2315?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Al Asad, Iraq
Jan  7 2315?  HE Warhead        Zulfiqar             ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Erbil, Iraq
Jan  7 2315?  HE Warhead        Qiam-1               ?, Iran             Weapon        100?      Erbil, Iraq
Jan  9 0800   S-310-45          S-310                Uchinoura           Test          131       Pacific
Jan 19        RV                K-4                  Visakhapatnam       Test          500?      Indian Ocean

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