trial posting of Jonathan's
Fri, 30 Dec 1994 13:25:17 -0500

Appended is the latest issue of a weekly which is posted on the Usenet

I am sending it to you to solicit your opinions as to whether it should be
distributed by this list:
1) in toto
2) in part
3) weekly
4) occasionally
5) never again.

(Jonathan, please feel free to correct me if my impression that you would
welcome/tolerate/facilitate distribution here is in any way mistaken.)

Speaking personally, I found this week's issue as compared with other
recent reports neither especially interesting nor especially weak.
Obviously some reports will be of greater interest than others.  I would
anticipate that reports of space operations that have been or will be
observed and reported here would be of the greatest interest, but what do
I know?

If you have access to this report elsewise, but would prefer to receive it
here, please bear in mind that there is a theoretical possibility that
some others would decide not to subscribe to SeeSat-L because of heavy
volume (a concept of a highly personal nature).

Please express your opinions.



Jonathan's Space Report
No. 225               1994 Dec 27           Cambridge, MA


On Dec 26 the Mir complex was in a 390 x 393 km x 51.6 deg orbit.
The EO-17 crew of Viktorenko, Kondakova and Polyakov continue
their mission.


1995 will see Phase I of ISSA (International Space Station Alpha):
the joint flights of Shuttle and Mir. The first few Shuttle/Mir flights are:
  STS-63 (Feb):  Adapter, Transition, Spacehab, Spartan    (Rendezvous only)
  STS-71 (May):  Adapter, Tunnel, Docking Assembly, Spacelab Long Module
  STS-74 (Oct):  Adapter?, Docking Assembly, ?
  STS-76 ('96):  Adapter?, Transition, Spacehab.
Later flights will see docking missions involving Spacehab
modules instead of Spacelab. I'm a little confused about the
exact configuration of the hardware in the payload bay for
STS-74 and later Mir docking flights, so if anyone has a good description,
please pass it on! My *impression* from what little I have read is that

the APDA (Androgynous Peripheral Docking Assembly) will be mounted on
the Spacelab Tunnel Adapter for STS-71, but on STS-74 it will be left on
the Kristall module at Mir and later flights will just carry the
Spacelab Tunnel Adapter, which will dock directly to the APDA on
Kristall.  Clarification will hopefully be forthcoming.


Ta to Russell Eberst for pointing out that the RAF test base should be
spelt Boscombe Down. Thanks also to Mark Matossian for catching another
slip - the 63.4 degree critical inclination I discussed in the piece on
Molniya stops the advance of perigee around the orbit, not the
longitudinal precession of the orbital plane as I loosely implied.

New Launches

A new launch vehicle, the Rokot, made its debut on Dec 26. The first two
stages of Rokot are the RS-18 ICBM (known in the West as the SS-19, and
developed from the Chelomei bureau's original UR-100 missile). Rokot
carries a new Briz third stage, which entered orbit with the RS-15
amateur radio satellite. The 1-m diameter, 70 kg payload uses a similar
bus to the RS-3 to RS-8 satellites, and ended up in a 1884 x 2165 km x
64.8 deg orbit. Two suborbital tests of Rokot were carried out on 1990
Nov 20 and 1991 Dec 20. 1994 saw the first successful  launch of four
new launch vehicles: Japan's H-II, the US Taurus, India's PSLV and
Russia's Rokot, and several upgraded ones: the US Titan 4 Centaur,
China's Chang Zheng-3A, and the US Pegasus XL (which failed).

Martin Marietta's Titan 4 number K-14 was launched from pad 40 at Cape
Canaveral on Dec 22. The vehicle was a Titan 402 model with an Inertial
Upper Stage (IUS), and placed a TRW Defense Support Program satellite
into geostationary orbit. DSP F17 carries a wide field infrared
telescope to provide real-time warning of missile launches. It is the
fourth advanced DSP to be launched; two others went up on Titan and
another on the Shuttle. The Titan 4 places the DSP/IUS in low parking
orbit; the SRM-1 IUS first stage goes to geostationary  transfer orbit;
and finally the SRM-2 fires to place itself and the DSP in
near-synchronous orbit, eliminating the need for an internal apogee
engine. This was the 4th Titan 4 mission this year, and the 11th
since 1989; one launch in 1993 was a failure.

(Thanks to Lt. Archer of Patrick AFB Public Affairs for the
Titan serial number. Serial number F17 of the DSP is conjectural;
the last three were F14, 15 and 16.)

Six small communications satellites were launched by a Ukranian-built
Tsiklon-3 launch vehicle on Dec 26 into 1400 x 1415 km x 82.5 deg
orbits. Kosmos-2299 to Kosmos-2304 will supplement the Russian Defense
Ministry's store-dump comsat network.

Date UT         Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.

Nov 24 0916     Kosmos-2297     Zenit-2         Baykonur LC45   SIGINT      77A
Nov 29 0254     Geo-IK          Tsiklon-3       Plesetsk LC32   Geodetic    78A
Nov 29 1021     Orion 1         Atlas IIA       Canaveral LC36A Comsat      79A
Nov 29 1702     DFH-3           Chang Zheng 3A  Xichang         Comsat      80A
Dec  1 2255     Panamsat K2     Ariane 42P      Kourou ELA2     Comsat      FTO
Dec 14 1421     Molniya-1T      Molniya-M       Plesetsk LC43   Comsat      81A
Dec 16 1200     Luch            Proton-K/DM-2   Baykonur LC81   Comsat      82A
Dec 20 0511     Kosmos-2298     Kosmos-3M       Plesetsk LC132  Comsat      83A
Dec 22 2219     DSP F17         Titan 4/IUS     Canaveral LC40  Early Warn  84A
Dec 26 0300     RS-15           Rokot           Baykonur        Comsat      85A
Dec 26 2227?    Kosmos-2299 )   Tsiklon-3       Plesetsk LC32   Comsat      86A
                Kosmos-2300 )                                   Comsat      86B
                Kosmos-2301 )                                   Comsat      86C
                Kosmos-2302 )                                   Comsat      86D
                Kosmos-2303 )                                   Comsat      86E
                Kosmos-2304 )                                   Comsat      86F


Nov 14          Atlantis        Landed at Edwards AFB
Dec  9          Kosmos-2238     Reentered

Current Shuttle Processing Status

Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due

OV-102 Columbia        Palmdale      OMDP    -
OV-103 Discovery       OPF Bay 2     STS-63  Feb 2
OV-104 Atlantis        OPF Bay 3     STS-71  May
OV-105 Endeavour       OPF Bay 1     STS-67  Mar 2

ML/SRB/ET/OV stacks

ML1/RSRM-42/ET-68          VAB Bay 3 STS-63
ML2/RSRM-43                VAB Bay 1 STS-67

|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
|  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for    |                                    |
|   Astrophysics                     |                                    |
|  60 Garden St, MS4                 |                                    |
|  Cambridge MA 02138                |  inter :    |
|  USA                               | |
| JSR:                       |
!*                |


How many pieces of humble pie should an Intel PR flack eat before
breakfast to gird himself for the day?
Answer: 3.1418

Aim for a 586, build a 586.  Aim for a Pentium, build a 585.96.