|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1998 - Quarter 4|
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Remained attached to STEX. References: 279 .
Tested TAL-D55 plasma engine. Also was part of the NRO's ATeX advanced tether experiment, which reportedly failed on January 16. The ATeX lower end mass was meant to remain attached to the STEX parent spacecraft, but with only 21 m of tether deployed, it appeared the tether was so far off vertical that automatic safety systems jettisoned the base to protect the remainder of the STEX satellite. Thus,the upper and lower ATeX end masses were in orbit as one object connected by a 21 m tether, and designated USA 141 (1998-055C). The main STEX satellite was in orbit as a separate object, 1998-055A. References: 279 .
Geostationary at 16.0 degrees E. References: 279 .
Geostationary at 23.5 degrees E. References: 279 .
Geostationary at 10.0 degrees E.
The orbit at burnout of the Centaur was 286 km x 25866 km x 27.0 degree. Modification of the orbit to a geostationary 38,300 km circular x 0.0 degree inclination was accomplished by the Marquardt R-4D liquid propellant motor on the HS-601 spacecraft. The satellite carried UHF and EHF transponders for naval communications, and a Ka-band Global Broadcast Service video relay package. Launch mass of 3200 kg dropped to 1550 kg once geostationary orbit is reached. UHF F/O F9 was placed over the Atlantic Ocean. Geostationary at 173.9 degrees W. Additional Details: UHF F/O F9.
The ARD was an 80 percent scale model of the Apollo Command Module, and a technology test for a possible International Space Station Crew Rescue Vehicle. Equipment included a TDRS satellite communications system; a GPS navigation system; 7 DASA 40 kgf hydrazine attitude control thrusters; a 2.8 m diameter heat shield; three 23 metre diameter parachutes, and a SARSAT recovery beacon. The ARD separated from the Ariane EPS upper stage at 12 minutes 2 seconds after launch. ARD and the EPC stage manoeuvred into a 1 km x 830 km orbit, guaranteeing re-entry at the end of the first orbit. The spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific at 3.69 degrees N, 153.35 degrees W, and was successfully recovered by the French Navy.
Maqsat 3 was an instrumentation package used to monitor performance of the Ariane 5 booster. At T+12:43 the Speltra adapter cover separated revealing Maqsat-3. At T+15:14 the EPS stage Aestus engine ignited and burned until T+31:00. At this point on a normal mission the satellite would separate from the EPS, but to avoid creating space debris Maqsat remained attached to the EPS. The EPS/Maqsat-3 was placed in a 1027 km x 35863 km x 7.0 degree geostationary transfer orbit.
Brazil's SCD-2 satellite was aboard Orbital Science's L-1011 Stargazer aircraft when it took off from the Cape Canaveral Air Station's Skid Strip (Runway 02/20, 28.2N 80.6W) at 23:05 GMT on Oct 22 and flew to the drop zone near Cape Canaveral (in the Mayport, Florida, Warning Area) at 29.0N 78.3W. The Pegasus ignited 5 seconds after drop. The first stage carried a NASA experiment attached to its right wing, to study hypersonic boundary layer separation. The 115 kg Satelite de Coleta de Dados (Data Collection Satellite) relays data from environmental monitoring stations.
The primary mission of Deep Space 1 probe was to test new technology for future interplanetary spacecraft, the main experiment being an ion propulsion engine using xenon propellant. It had an initial mass of 486.3 kg, including 81.5 kg of Xenon and 31.1 kg of hydrazine propellants. Deep Space 1 successfully started its ion engine on November 24 after an initial attempt failed after four minutes on November 10. From its initial solar orbit of 0.99 AU x 1.32 AU x 0.4 degree, Deep Space 1 was to fly past the 3 km diameter asteroid 1992 KD at its perihelion of 1.33 AU. An additional 2001 flyby of Comet 19P/Borrelly was also planned, by which time Deep Space 1 was to have manoeuvred to an orbit of 1.12 x 1.42 AU. Additional Details: Deep Space 1. References: , 296 .
Following separation of the third stage and the primary Deep Space 1 payload, the Delta second stage manoeuvred from its 185 km parking orbit to a 174 km x 2744 km x 28.5 degree orbit. It then released the SEDSAT micro-satellite, built by the Huntsville, Alabama chapter of SEDS (the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space). SEDSAT has two amateur radio transponders and an earth imaging camera.
Docked with the rear (+X, Kvant) docking port of the Mir station on October 27. Delivered fuel, dry cargo, and the Znamya-2.5 solar illumination experiment. This was a follow-on to the earlier Znamya-2 experiment on Progress M-15 in 1992. The 25 m diameter Znamya reflector, which would unfold from the nose of the Progress, was to reflect sunlight over a 6 km area onto selected cities. Znamya-2.5 was developed by the Space Regatta Consortium, led by RKK Energia. Energia had long studied such space mirrors as a means of providing lighting to Siberian towns. The project was opposed by environmentalists and astronomers, who feared light pollution. Progress M-40 undocked on February 4, 1999 at 09:59 GMT, but the attempted deployment of the Znamya-2.5 reflector was thwarted when it snagged on a rendezvous system antenna. After two more failed attempts to deploy the antenna the experiment was abandoned. Progress M-40 fired its engines at 10:16 GMT on February 5, braked out of orbit, and burned up over the Pacific Ocean.
On a space walk from Mir on November 10, Padalka and Avdeyev hand-launched the Spoutnik-41 amateur-radio mini-satellite at around 19:30 GMT. Spoutnik-41, also designated RS-18, was another scale model of the first satellite, Sputnik 1, launched 41 years ago. It carried a small transmitter and was sponsored by Aero Club de France, AMSAT-France, and the Astronautical Federation of Russia. A similar model was launched in 1997 for the fortieth anniversary of Sputnik. On that occasion, two flight models were carried to Mir but only one was launched. The second Spoutnik-40 flight model was still aboard Mir as of 1998. The second Spoutnik-40 would perhaps be deployed prior to the abandonment of Mir in 1999.
Afristar was the first WorldSpace satellite. Afristar was to broadcast digital radio over Africa and the Middle East. Small hand-held radios could pick up the 24 to 96 radio channels available on the three L-band beams. Dry mass of Afristar was 1205 kg; it carried 1534 kg of propellant at launch. Geostationary at 21.0 degrees E.
Satellite was originally built as a backup for Argentina's Nahuelsat. This allowed Dornier and Alcatel to deliver the satellite in a record twelve months. Dry mass of GE 5 was 769 kg - it carried 950 kg of propellant at launch. Geostationary at 36.4 degrees W.
First flight of a USAF Philips Laboratory/Space Experiments Directorate ejectable technology demonstration platform. Four advanced technologies demonstrated, including composite structure, advanced solar cells, advanced electronics, and a shock device.
SAC-A was to provide engineering bench testing for new space science technology instruments and equipment that will be used in a more complex spacecraft for the Argentine space program.
Retrieved by Discovery November 3 1998.
First attempted launch of STS-88 was scrubbed at 09:03 GMT on December 3 due to a problem with a hydraulic system sensor. Launch came the next day, with Endeavour entering an initial 75 km x 313 km x 51.6 degree orbit. Half an orbit after launch, at 09:19 GMT, Endeavour fired its OMS engines to raise the orbit to 180 km x 322 km x 51.6 degree.
On December 5 at 22:25 GMT Nancy Currie unberthed the Unity space station node from the payload bay using the RMS arm. She then moved the Unity to a position docked to the Orbiter Docking System in the payload bay in readiness for assembly with the Russian-launched Zarya FGB ISS component. After rendezvous with the Zarya FGB module, on December 6 at 23:47 GMT Endeavour grappled Zarya with the robot arm, and at 02:07 GMT on December 7 it was soft docked to the PMA-1 port on Unity. After some problems hard dock was achieved at 02:48 GMT. Unity and Zarya then formed the core of the future International Space Station. Ross and Newman made three space walks to connect cables between Zarya and Unity, on December 7, 9 and 12. On the last EVA a canvas tool bag was attached to the exterior of Unity to provide tools for future station assembly workers. Docking cables were disconnected to prevent Unity and Zarya from inadvertently undocking. Following an internal examination of the embryonic space station, Endeavour undocked at 20:30 GMT on December 13. The SAC-A and Mightysat satellites were ejected from the payload bay on December 14 and 15. Deorbit burn was December 16 at 03:48 GMT, and Endeavour landed at 04:53:29 GMT, on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center.
The flight of STS-95 provoked more publicity for NASA than any other flight in years, due to the presence of ex-astronaut Senator John Glenn on the crew, which also included the first Spanish astronaut, Pedro Duque. The US Navy PANSAT student satellite was deployed on Oct 30 into a 550 km x 561 x 28.5 degree orbit. The Spartan 201 satellite was deployed from Discovery on November 1 and retrieved on November 3. Spartan 201 was on its fifth mission to observe the solar corona. The data on this mission would be used to recalibrate the SOHO satellite which recently resumed observation of the Sun following loss of control. Discovery landed at 17:03:31 GMT November 7 on Runway 33 at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. Additional Details: STS-95. References: 4 , 7 .
The Proton launch vehicles Block DM3 fourth stage put the Panamsat PAS 8 into a 6784 km x 35941 km x 17.3 degree transfer orbit. PAS 8 had 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders and was to be located over the Pacific after its R-4D apogee engine manoeuvred the orbit to geostationary altitude and inclination. Geostationary at 166.1 degrees E.
Plane 5. Ascending node 289.1 degrees. Parking orbit.
Plane 5. Ascending node 294.2 degrees.
Plane 5. Ascending node 294.1 degrees. Raising orbit.
Plane 5. Ascending node 291.1 degrees. Parking orbit.
Plane 5. Ascending node 293.9 degrees. Raising orbit.
Padalka and Avdeyev made the EVA from the Kvant-2 airlock on the Mir. The walk began at 19:24 GMT. The cosmonauts installed a meteoroid detector in for the upcoming Leonid shower, and hand-launched the Spoutnik-41 amateur-radio mini-satellite. The space walk concluded at 01:18 GMT on November 11.
This was the first launch in the assembly of the International Space Station. The Zarya FGB was funded by NASA and built by Khrunichev in Moscow under subcontract from Boeing for NASA. Its design from the TKS military station resupply spacecraft of the 1970’s and the later 77KS Mir modules. Zarya included a multiple docking adapter, a pressurised cabin section, and a propulsion/instrument section with a rear docking port. Initial orbit was 176 lm x 343 km x 51.6 degrees. By November 25 it had manoeuvred to a 383 km x 396 km x 51.7 degree orbit, awaiting the launch of Shuttle mission STS-88 which docked the Unity node to it.
BONUM-1 provided domestic Russian television service for Media Most, a Moscow media enterprise, broadcasting 50 channels to western Russia from a geostationary orbit at 36 degrees E. Mass was 1426 kg at launch, 800 kg of that propellant. BONUM-1 carried 8 Ku-band transponders. The Delta upper stage raised the initial 157 km x 189 km at 29.2 degree parking orbit to 159 km x 1304 km and then 1228 km x 1683 km at 26.7 degrees. A Thiokol Star 48B solid third stage boosted BONUM-1 to a 1285 x 36703 km x 19.5 degree geostationary transfer orbit, with the Thiokol Star 30 apogee kick motor placing the satellite in its final geostationary orbit. After separation of the spacecraft, the Delta made a final depletion burn to lower its orbit to 274 km x 1552 km x 25.6 degree to ensure it would quickly decay and burn up in the atmosphere. Geostationary at 35.9 degrees E. From 8 August 2000 position was 56.0 degrees E.
The Ariane placed the Satmex 5 satellite into a 211km x 21516 km x 7.0 degree orbit from which the satellite was to use its on-board engine to reach geostationary orbit. Satmex 5 was operated by Satellites Mexicanos S.A. de C.V, which took over the Morelos constellation from Mexican Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes. Satmex 5 replaced Morelos 2 and carried the XIPS ion engine station-keeping system.
On December 3 the Orbital Sciences L-1011 Stargazer took off from Vandenberg AFB Runway 30/12 carrying a Pegasus XL launch vehicle with the SWAS satellite aboard. It reached the drop box at 36.0N 123.0W over the Pacific, but due to a software-related problem the range ordered the launch scrubbed and the L-1011 returned to base. After a further delay due to weather, the L-1011 took off at 23:58 GMT on December 5 and SWAS reached orbit and separated from the third stage at 01:09 GMT. SWAS, the Sub-millimetre Wave Astronomy Satellite, had a 0.6m telescope with a 490 to 550 GHz sub-millimetre receiver and an acousto-optical spectrometer. SWAS was used to study the cooling of molecular cloud cores, the sites of star formation in our galaxy, by measuring lines from molecular oxygen and water.
Began assembly of International Space Station. Connected cables between Zarya and Unity modules.
Continued assembly of International Space Station. Connected cables between Zarya and Unity modules and deployed antennae.
Swedish Space Corporation micro-satellite Astrid-2 was ejected from the Nadezdha 5 COSPAS satellite at 15:25 GMT and was to measure the auroral electromagnetic fields and particle environment.
The Mars Climate Orbiter was the second flight of the Mars Surveyor Program. The probe was to enter a 160 km x 38600 km polar orbit around Mars on September 23,1999, and use aerobraking to reach a 373 km x 437 km x 92.9 degree sun-synchronous mapping orbit by November 23 1999. While the Mars Orbit Insertion burn began as planned on September 23, 1999 at 08:50 GMT, no signal was received after the spacecraft went behind the planet. Subsequent investigation showed that the spacecraft had plunged deep into the Martian atmosphere, with its closest approach to Mars being 57 km. It was concluded that the spacecraft burnt up in the atmosphere. It was later found that cutbacks in tracking, combined with incorrect values in a look-up table imbedded deep in the spacecraft software (use of pounds force instead of newtons) were to blame. This failure led to a shake-up of NASA's 'faster, better, cheaper' approach to unmanned spaceflight. Additional Details: Mars Climate Orbiter.
Completed initial assembly of International Space Station. A canvas tool bag was attached to the exterior of Unity to provide tools for future assembly workers. Also disconnected some docking cables, so that Unity and Zarya could no longer undock.
Plane 2. Ascending node 197 degrees. Parking orbit.
Plane 2. Ascending node 197.2 degrees. Parking orbit.
The Ariane third stage placed the PAS 6B into a 228 km x 35717 km x 7.0 degree orbit. The satellite’s on board rocket system will move it into its final geostationary position over South America. PAS 6B will provide direct TV broadcasting service in replacement of PAS 6, a Loral satellite which had problems with its solar arrays. The new satellite had 32 Ku-band transponders.
A Parus navigation satellite in the same orbital plane as Cosmos 2233.
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