Jonathan's Space Report, No. 301

Ian Porter (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 18:26:03 +1000

>Date: Tue, 15 Oct 1996 16:31:23 -0400
>Subject: Jonathan's Space Report, No. 301
>Jonathan's Space Report
>No. 301                    1996 Oct 15               Cambridge, MA
>Precedence: bulk
>Shuttle and Mir
>The next Shuttle launch is STS-80. The payload bay will include the
>ORFEUS ultraviolet telescope on the ASTRO-SPAS free flying
>satellite and the Wake Shield Facility, another free-flying satellite
>which will grow crystals in vacuum and microgravity. Another
>Space Station development spacewalk is planned.
>Launch of the Progress M-33 cargo ship to Mir has been delayed
>to early November. It will resupply Mir crewmembers Korzun, Kaleri
>and Blaha.
>Joel Powell points out that mission STS-79 used external tank ET-82,
>not ET-81 as I said. Geoff Perry spotted my error on the undocking
>time: Atlantis undocked from Mir at 0133 UTC on Sep 24.
>Recent Launches
>The world's launch pads have been quiet recently, so I'll take
>the opportunity to talk about space history instead.
>40 Years Ago: The Jupiter C and JPL Cluster Program
>In 1953 the Redstone missile, developed by Werner Von Braun's Army
>Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA) in Huntsville, Alabama, made its first
>flight. Launches after Sep 1955 were designated Jupiter A, as they were
>nominally in support of ABMA's Jupiter IRBM program. (Jupiter itself is
>a significantly different rocket). Meanwhile, the Jet Propulsion Lab  in
>Pasadena, California developed the JPL Cluster, a multi-stage clustered
>rocket to be used as an upper stage velocity package. The Cluster
>consisted of a Stage 2 Assembly with 11 small rocket motors known as
>Scaled Sergeants or Baby Sergeants (they were  scaled down from the
>design of JPL's Sergeant missile), a Stage 3 Assembly with three Scaled
>Sergeants, and a Stage 4 assembly with a single Scaled Sergeant. The
>Cluster was spin-stabilized and mounted on the Redstone's nose. The
>initial tests of the Cluster had no Stage 4 and were known as Jupiter C,
>with the first launch 40 years ago on 1956 Sep 20 achieving a world
>altitude record of 1097 km.
>The fourth Cluster launch on 1958 Feb 1 (UTC) placed the first US
>satellite in orbit, Explorer 1. The orbital Jupiter C's were designated
>Juno I. Unfortunately the available records at JPL for these launches
>are patchy and I'm not certain of the Cluster unit serial number for the
>historic Explorer I launch, but one diagram gives the designation
>'RTV-7'. If anyone can fill in the missing Cluster designations, I'd
>love to get them. The final Redstone/Cluster launch carried the Army's
>Beacon balloon satellite, together with the first ever apogee motor, a
>small 2 lb solid rocket. Unfortunately the Stage 2 Assembly failed and
>Beacon did not reach orbit. Explorer II and V were also failures.
>Following the final Juno I launch, the JPL Cluster was used as
>an upper stage to the Jupiter rocket, the combination being
>known as Juno II. Meanwhile, the Explorer name was used for
>scientific satellites developed at NASA-Goddard and NASA-Langley.
>Launch Date   Redstone No.   JPL Cluster No.    Payload
>1956 Sep 20   RS-27          Cluster 1    Dummy stage 4, Microlock beacon
>1957 May 15   RS-34          Cluster 2    Scaled Jupiter nosecone
>1957 Aug  8   RS-40          Cluster 5?   Scaled Jupiter nosecone
>1958 Feb  1   RS-29          Cluster 7?   Explorer I
>1958 Mar  5   RS-26          Cluster 6?   Explorer II
>1958 Mar 26   RS-24          Cluster 4?   Explorer III
>1958 Jul 26   RS-44          Cluster 8    Explorer IV
>1958 Aug 24   RS-47          Cluster 9    Explorer V
>1958 Oct 23   RS-49          Cluster 10?  Apogee motor/Beacon
>The Juno II launches, carried out by ABMA under NASA auspices, were:
>Launch Date   Jupiter No.    JPL Cluster No.    Payload
>1958 Dec  6   AM-11          Cluster 11   Pioneer III
>1959 Mar  3   AM-14          Cluster 12   Pioneer IV
>1959 Jul 16   AM-16          Cluster 14   NASA S-1
>1959 Aug 15   AM-19B         Cluster 15   Beacon 2
>1959 Oct 13   AM-19A         Cluster 13   NASA S-1A
>1960 Mar 23   AM-19C         Cluster 16   NASA S-46
>1960 Nov  3   AM-19D         Cluster 17   NASA S-30
>1961 Feb 24   AM-19F         Cluster 19   NASA S-45
>1961 Apr 27   AM-19E         Cluster 18   NASA S-15
>1961 May 24   AM-19G         Cluster 20?  NASA S-45A
>Cluster 14 and Cluster 15, used in the unsuccessful S-1 and Beacon 2
>launch attempts, did not have an Assembly 4 stage.  S-1A was named
>Explorer VII after the successful launch; S-30 became Explorer VIII, and
>S-15 became Explorer XI. Pioneer IV entered solar orbit.
>Table of Recent Launches
>Date UT       Name            Launch Vehicle  Site            Mission    INTL.
>                                                                          DES.
>Sep  4 0901   Kosmos-2333      Zenit-2        Baykonur LC45L  Sigint      51A
>Sep  5 1347   Kosmos-2334 )    Kosmos-3M      Plesetsk LC132/1 Navsat     52A
>              UNAMSat     )                                               52B
>Sep  6 1737   Inmarsat III F2  Proton         Baykonur LC81   Comsat      53A
>Sep  8 2149   GE-1             Atlas IIA      Canaveral LC36B Comsat      54A
>Sep 11 0000   Echostar II      Ariane 42P     Kourou ELA2     Comsat      55A
>Sep 12 0849   Navstar 30       Delta 7925     Canaveral LC17A Navsat      56A
>Sep 16 0855   Atlantis         Shuttle        Kennedy LC39A   Spaceship   57A
>Sep 26 1751   Ekspress         Proton-K       Baykonur        Comsat      58A
>Current Shuttle Processing Status
>Orbiters               Location   Mission    Launch Due
>OV-102 Columbia        VAB Bay 2     STS-80  Nov 8
>OV-103 Discovery       OPF Bay 2     STS-82  Feb 13
>OV-104 Atlantis        OPF Bay 3     STS-81  Jan 12
>OV-105 Endeavour       Palmdale      OMDP
>ML/SRB/ET/OV stacks                       
>ML2/RSRM-54                VAB Bay 1      STS-81
>ML3/RSRM-49/ET-80/OV-102   VAB Bay 3      STS-80
>|  Jonathan McDowell                 |  phone : (617) 495-7176            |
>|  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for    |                                    |
>|   Astrophysics                     |                                    |
>|  60 Garden St, MS6                 |                                    |
>|  Cambridge MA 02138                |  inter :    |
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Ian & Shari Porter
Rye, Victoria, Australia
144.8070E 38.3745S 5m AMSL