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.

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 )
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


David Cottle

UBB Owner & Administrator