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Jonathan's Space Report
No. 784 draft                                                     2020 Sep 13   Somerville, MA
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International Space Station
---------------------------

Expedition 63 continues.

CZ-11 Sea Launch
-----------------

The second sea-launched Chang Zheng 11 flight took place on Sep 15 from a barge called Debo-3
in the Yellow Sea off the coast of Haiyang. It placed nine imaging satellites in orbit for
Chuangguang Satellite Technology: six Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B pushbroom imager satellites and
three Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C video satellites.

Starlink retirements
--------------------

SpaceX is retiring the V0.9 constellation of 60 prototype satellites launched in May 2019.
As of Sep 17, 27 of the 60 satellites have reentered.

This is a new kind of reentry: it's not a normal deorbit and not a
normal orbital decay, but something inbetween. The Starlink satellites
are, apparently,  retired by continuously lowering their orbit with
electric propulsion. Reentry occurs in a way similar to uncontrolled
reentry - eventually the satellite is low enough and the ambient density
is high enough that the vehicle heats, breaks up and is destroyed. The
crucial point here is that the *location* of the breakup on the Earth is
unpredictable and uncontrolled, in contrast to an impulsive deorbit
where the rapid elliptical-orbit descent from a relatively high apogee
means that reentry location is determined relatively precisely by the
orbital parameters. These Starlink retirements should perhaps be termed
`propulsion-assisted orbital decay' - they are more like normal
uncontrolled orbital decay but speeded up by the thrusters.

Kosmos-2535/2536
----------------

Kosmos-2536 returned the the vicinity of Kosmos-2535 on Aug 18 and has
remained within 1 km of it for the past month (it's possible that the two are docked,
or just stationkeeping; can't tell from the TLEs.)


Table of Recent Orbital Launches
 ----------------------------------

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

Sep  4 0730?  Chongfu Shiyong Sh. Han.Qi   Chang Zheng 2F      Jiuquan         Spaceship 63A  S46389    331 x  348  x 52.0
Sep  7 0557   Gao Fen 11-02                Chang Zheng 4B      Taiyuan         Imaging   64A  S46396    247 x  694  x 97.3
Sep 12 0320?  Astra Test Payload           Astra Rocket 3.1    Kodiak LP3B     Test      F07  F01569  -6378?x    2? x 86
Sep 12 0502   Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C           Kuaizhou 1A         Jiuquan         Imaging   F08  F01572  -5000?x  100??x 97.5
Sep 15 0123   Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 01 xing)  Chang Zheng 11  Debo-3,Yellow Sea   Imaging   65A? S46454    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 02 xing)                                      Imaging   65B? S46455    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 03 xing)                                      Imaging   65C? S46456    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 04 xing)                                      Imaging   65D? S46457    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 05 xing)                                      Imaging   65E? S46458    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03B 06 xing)                                      Imaging   65F? S46459    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 01 xing)                                      Imaging   65G? S46460    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 02 xing)                                      Imaging   65H? S46461    538 x  550  x 97.5 
              Jilin-1 Gaofen 03C 03 xing)                                      Imaging   65J? S46462    538 x  550  x 97.5 

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

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

Sep  8 1800   DUST-2            Black Brant IX     White Sands           Physics       346       White Sands


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