Jonathan's Space Report
No. 746 2018 Mar 9 Somerville, MA

International Space Station

Expedition 54 continued with ISS Commander Aleskandr Misurkin and flight
engineers Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba, Anton Shkaplerov, Scott Tingle and
Norishige Kanai, until the undocking of Soyuz MS-06 on Feb 27.

Progress MS-08 was launched on Feb 13, carrying 2548 kg of cargo
including the DLR ICARUS antenna which will be installed on a spacewalk.
It docked with the Zvezda module at 1038 UTC Feb 15.

On Feb 16 astronauts Vande Hei and Kanai made US spacewalk EVA-48, in
suits 3003 and 3008, and SAFER units 15 and 13, to complete work on
refurbising the Canadarm-2 and related systems. The airlock was
depressurized about 1156 UTC and the hatch was opened at 1159 UTC. The
crew removed LEE 202 from the Mobile Base System's POA (Payload ORU
Accommodations) unit at 1306 UTC. The POA LEE is used to temporarily
stash large ISS components. LEE 202 was returned to the airlock at 1325
UTC. Next, LEE 201 was removed from the ESP2 storage platform at 1345
UTC and attached to the POA at 1359 UTC. By 1431 UTC work on the POA LEE
installation was complete and LEE 201 became the new POA LEE. LEE 202
will be returned to Earth aboard a Dragon, and LEE 205 will be launched
on a future mission to serve as an on-orbit spare. The astronauts also
lubricated LEE 203 (SSMRS LEE A). The hatch was closed at 1750 UTC and
Quest was repressurised at 1757 UTC.

Summary of the Canadarm LEEs:

S/N Pre2017 Post2018

202 LEE A Return to Earth
204 ELC1 spare LEE B

Soyuz MS-06 undocked on Feb 27 at 2308 UTC and landed in Kazakhstan Feb 28 at 0231 UTC.
It returned astronauts Misurkin, Vande Hei and Acaba to Earth. Expedition 55
then began with Shkaplerov in command, Tingle and Kanai as flight engineers.


Two more CAST/Beijing-built Beidou-3 navigation satellites, Beidou 3
MEO-3 and MEO-4, were launched on Feb 12, becoming Beidou Daohang
Weixing 28 and 29.


The PAZ radar satellite, built by Airbus for Hisdesat and the Spanish
Defense Ministry, was launched on Feb 22 by Falcon 9. Two test
communications satellites for SpaceX were also aboard. No attempt was
made to recover the Falcon 9 first stage, but one half of the newly
designed fairing made a controlled reentry aimed at the recovery boat
Mr. Steven. However, the fairing missed the boat by a short distance.

PAZ was deployed at 1426 UTC; the Tintin satellites some unknown time
later. The second stage, after deploying PAZ and Tintin A/B, made an
orbit lowering burn over the Arctic at 1542 UTC, changing orbit from 495
x 516 km to 211 x 517 km. After completing a second orbit, a further
burn over Norway at 1709 UTC appears to have deorbited the stage. It
reentered as it travelled southbound over the Pacific between the
Aleutians and Midway, at about 1730 UTC. The two-stage deorbit is
unusual and has not been explained by SpaceX.

Hispasat 30W-6

On Mar 6 SpaceX carried out the 50th Falcon 9 launch, placing the Hispasat 30W-6
communications satellite into a subsynchronous transfer orbit. The 6092 kg satellite
carries a C/Ku/Ka-band communications payload for the Spanish telecom operator Hispasat,
and was built by Maxar SSL/MDA (former Loral).

Attached to the Hispasat satellite was a small subsatellite, PODSAT, which was ejected
after orbit insertion. PODSAT is a DARPA-sponsored project built by NovaWurks in
collaboration with SSL/MDA, consisting of standardized 'satlets' like the SIMPL
payload deployed from the ISS last year. The presence of PODSAT was not announced
prior to launch.

Ariane V241

The investigation report confirms that a single wrong number was
responsible for the incorrect orbit achieved by Ariane V241/L5101. The
inertial reference system (IRS) was aligned at the usual 90 degrees
azimuth, but for this mission - targeted at a slightly different
transfer orbit than usual - 70 degrees should have been specified.

Owners of the Al Yah 3 satellite requested that they be deployed at 90
degrees to the flight direction. With the usual alignment, this involved
a risk of the IRS going through a coordinate zero point which would
cause potential loss of reference, so the alignment was to be offset;
but, this offset was not applied in at least some of the places

The report has not been released; the only public official statement is at


On Feb 27 Japan's MHI launched H-IIA flight 38 from Tanegashima, carrying an optical
spy satellite to sun-synchronous orbit. In Japanese the name of the satellite is
'Joho Shushu Eisei Kougaku 6 gouki', which translates as 'Information Gathering Satellite,
Optical 6 Unit'. Most English-language sources use an abbreviated form of
the translation, IGS O-6; but we don't do that for Russian satellites - it's
Soyuz MS-06, not Union MS-06. I therefore adopt an abbreviated form of the Japanese name,
JSE K-6.


The GOES-S weather satellite (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite S,
for the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) was launched by a United
Launch Alliance Atlas V into a high-perigee geotransfer orbit of 8240 x 35290 km
transfer orbit, raised to 16930 x 35285 km by Mar 8.


The mysterious Demosat-2 cubesat orbited on the January PSLV launch has been identified
as a testbed for Astranis, a San Francisco based startup which plans to provide
broadband connectivity to the developing world using geostationary satellites.
The SpaceBee satellites carried on the same launch are still unidentified.

Table of Recent Orbital Launches
Date UT Name Launch Vehicle Site Mission INTL. Catalog Perigee Apogee Incl Notes
Feb 1 0207 Kanopus V-3 ) Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat Vostochniy Imaging 14A S43180 500 x 511 x 97.5 2323LT
Kanopus V-4 ) Imaging 14B S43181 500 x 510 x 97.5 2323LT
S-NET 1 ) Comms 14 S43182? 571 x 589 x 97.7
S-NET 2 ) Comms 14 S43183? 571 x 589 x 97.7
S-NET 3 ) Comms 14 S43184? 571 x 589 x 97.7
S-NET 4 ) Comms 14 S43185? 571 x 589 x 97.7
Lemur-2-Kadi ) AIS/Weather 14 S43186? 570? x 590?x 97.7?
Lemur-2-TheNickMolo ) AIS/Weather 14 S43187? 570? x 590?x 97.7?
Lemur-2-Jin-Luen ) AIS/Weather 14 S43188? 570? x 590?x 97.7?
Lemur-2-UramChanSol ) AIS/Weather 14 S43189? 570? x 590?x 97.7?
D-Star One Phoenix ) Tech 14 S43190? 570? x 590?x 97.7?
Feb 2 0751 Zhang Heng 1 ) Chang Zheng 2D Jiuquan Science 15A S43192 489 x 509 x 97.3 1411LT
Ada ) Imaging 15 S43193? 493 x 504 x 97.2
Maryam ) Imaging 15 S43194? 488 x 508 x 97.3
Ulloriaq ) AIS/Imaging 15 S43195? 486 x 508 x 97.3
GOMX-4B ) Tech 15 S43196? 483 x 507 x 97,3
Shaonian Xing ) Tech 15 S43197? 483 x 507 x 97,3
FengMaNiu 1 ) Tech 15 S43199? 485 x 507 x 97.3
Feb 3 0503 Tasuki SS-520 Uchinoura Comms 16A S43201 186 x 2012 x 30.9
Feb 6 2045 Elon's Roadster Falcon Heavy Kennedy LC39A Test 17A S43205 717 x-79898 x 28.9
Feb 12 0503 Beidou DW28 ) Chang Zheng 3B/YZ1 Xichang LC2 Navigation 18A S43207 21464 x 22170 x 55.0
Beidou DW29 ) Navigation 18B S43208 21539 x 22191 x 55.0
Feb 13 0813 Progress MS-08 Soyuz-2-1A Baykonur LC31 Cargo 19A S43211 189 x 223 x 51.6
Feb 22 1417 PAZ ) Falcon 9 Vandenberg SLC4E Radar 20A S43215 501 x 518 x 97.5 0600LT SSO
Tintin A ) Comms 20B S43216 500 x 517 x 97.5 0600LT SSO
Tintin B ) Comms 20C S43217 500 x 517 x 97.5 0600LT SSO
Feb 27 0434 JSE K-6 H-IIA 202 Tanegashima Imaging 21A S43223 500?x 500?x 97.5?
Mar 1 2202 GOES 17 Atlas V 541 Canaveral SLC41 Weather 22A S43226 8241 x 35286 x 9.5
Mar 6 0533 Hispasat 30W-6 ) Falcon 9 Canaveral LC40 Comms 23A S43228 287 x 22255 x 27.0
PODSAT ) Tech 23B S43229 188 x 22250 x 27.0

Table of Recent Suborbital Launches

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

Jan 30 Burkan RV Burkan H-2 Yemen Weapon 100? Riyadh Airport
Feb 5 Target B-611? Jiuquan? Target 300? Urumqi?
Feb 5 Interceptor DF-21 Urumqi? Interceptor 100? Intercept
Feb 6 0300 Agni RV Agni I Kalam Island Test 300? Bay of Bengal
Feb 18 2330 Arrow KV Arrow 3 Palmachim Test 100? Mediterranean?
Feb 20 0308 Agni RV Agni II Kalam Island Test 600? Indian Ocean

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