|astronautix.com||Chronology - 2001 - Quarter 1|
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The second Shenzhou manned spaceship carried a monkey, a dog and a rabbit in a test of the spaceship's life support systems. Other scientific experiments included China's first gamma ray burst detectors. Shenzhou 2 made three orbit-raising manoeuvres during its flight. The descent module landed at 1122 GMT on January 16 in Inner Mongolia. Lack of post-recovery photographs led to speculation that the recovery may have been unsuccessful. References: 4 .
The Shenzhou orbital module had its own solar panels and remained operational in orbit after the separation of the descent and service modules. References: 4 .
The Turksat 2A (Eurasiasat 1) satellite was an Alcatel Spacebus 3000B3 with a dry mass of 1577 kg (launch mass 3535 kg) and a 37m solar panel span. The satellite was placed in a 162 x 36742 km x 2.9 deg orbit; by January 13 the perigee had been raised to 21185 km. Turksat 2A is owned by Eurasiasat, a joint venture between Turk Telecom of Ankara and Alcatel Espace, based in Monaco. The satellite had 36 Ku-band transponders and three antennae. References: 4 .
The Mir station had a power failure on January 18, delaying the launch of the Progress cargo ship that was to deorbit it for a few days. Progress M1-5 carried 2677 kg of fuel. A special three-day fuel-economy approach was be used to keep as much fuel as possibile for the deorbit. Progress M1-5 docked with the +X Kvant port at 0533 GMT on January 27. References: 4 .
GPS spacecraft SVN 54 (GPS Block IIR production no. SV 14) was the seventh IIR to be launched. The GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites provide navigation signals using on-board atomic clocks; following Block I, II and IIA constellations, launches of Block IIR replenishment satellites began in January 1997. References: 4 .
Sicral, (Sistema Italiana de Communicazione Riservente Allarmi) was a communications satellite for the Italian defense ministry's procurement division, the Segretariato Generale della Difesa's Direzione Nazionale degli Armamenti. Sicral was built by Alenia Aerospazio and derived from the Italsat series. Its mass was 2596 kg full, 1253 kg dry and it carried a liquid apogee engine. References: 4 .
Skynet 4F was a communications satellite for the UK Ministry of Defense, and the last of the venerable ECS (European Communications Satellite) class of satellites built by Astrium/Stevenage. It carried a Thiokol Star 30 apogee motor and its mass was 1489 kg full, 830 kg dry - a dry mass more than twice the first OTS. References: 4 .
International Space Station assembly mission; delivered the Destiny and PMA-2 modules. The shuttle orbiter was placed in an initial 74 x 323 km x 51.6 deg orbit. At 2357 GMT the OMS engines fired for the OMS-2 burn which raised Atlantis' orbit to 204 x 322 km x 51.6 deg. Atlantis docked with the Station at 1651 GMT on February 9 at the PMA-3 port on Unity's nadir. At 1500 GMT on Feb 10 Marsha Ivins used the RMS arm to unberth the PMA-2 docking port from Unity. Tom Jones and Bob Curbeam then conducted three spacewalks on Februay 10 to 14 to attach the Destiny and PMA-2 modules to the station. Atlantis undocked from Alpha at 1406 GMT on February 16. Atlantis landed at Edwards AFB on February 20; plans to land on February 18 and 19 were called off due to bad weather at Kennedy Space Center. The deorbit burn was at 1927 GMT and lowered the orbit from 370 x 386 km to about 50 x 380 km. The nominal entry interface at 122 km came at 2002 GMT and touchdown on runway 22 was at 20:33 GMT. On March 1 Atlantis was flown on the back of NASA's SCA 911 carrier aircraft to Altus AFB, Oklahoma, en route to Kennedy. References: 4 .
Tom Jones and Bob Curbeam began the first STS-98 spacewalk from the ODS airlock on Atlantis, supervising the ISS/Destiny assembly operations. The airlock was depressurized at 1544 GMT. PMA-2 was berthed on Z1 at 1650 GMT; Destiny was unberthed from the payload bay at 1735 GMT and docked to Unity at 1900 GMT. At 1935 GMT Curbeam was connecting ammonia coolant lines when a leaking connector sprayed ammonia into space, contaminating his suit. He was ordered to stay in sunlight to bake off the ammonia. At around 2311 GMT the spacewalkers returned to the airlock, closing the hatch at 2318 GMT. A new depressurization for decontamination was begun at 2342 GMT, with the airlock fully depressurized at 2350 GMT. The hatch was then opened and closed quickly at 2351-2352 GMT, to flush the airlock of any ammonia residue. This last event was not counted as an EVA by NASA.
STS-98 EVA-2 began at 1555 GMT on February 12 with depressurization of the airlock. The astronauts went to battery power at 1559 GMT. The PMA-2 docking port was attached to Destiny at 1728 GMT. The Power Data Grapple Fixture (PDGF) was removed from its location on an adaptive payload carrier on the port side of the payload bay (probably bay 5P) and installed on Destiny. The PDGF will be used by the Station's robot arm, and is an improved grapple fixture with electrical power and data ports. The hatch was closed at 2240 GMT and the airlock was repressurized at 2249 GMT
On the third STS-98 EVA the airlock was depressurized at 1443 GMT, with hatch open at around 1445 and battery power at 1448. The spare SASA S-band antenna was unberthed from an adapter beam in the payload bay (around bay 4P?) and installed on Z1. The +X (starboard) TCS radiator on P6, launched on the previous mission, was deployed at 1649 GMT. The astronauts completed the spacewalk with repressurization of the airlock at 2013 GMT
Sweden's Odin scientific satellite carried a submillimeter wave astronomy instrument and a radiometer for atmospheric studies. The 1.1-meter reflector fed 500 GHz and 119 GHz radiometers and was used to study galactic molecular clouds, complementing NASA's SWAS satellite. The Odin satellite was designed and built by the Swedish Space Corporation (Svenska Rymdbolaget or Rymdaktiebolaget). SSC does most of its satellite design and construction in-house, although Saab made the antenna and carried out satellite final assembly. Although SSC is usually the public face of the Swedish space program, technically it is a goverment owned company and is a contractor for the actual space agency, the Rymdstyrelsen (Swedish National Space Board). References: 4 .
Progress M-44 docked with the -Y port on Zvezda at 0950 GMT on February 28. References: 4 .
The Milstar DFS 4 satellite (the second Milstar Block 2) provided secure communications for the US Department of Defense, with UHF, EHF and SHF band transmitters. Titan 4B-41 with core stage K-30 took off from Cape Canaveral and placed Milstar and the Centaur TC-22 upper stage in a suborbital trajectory. TC-22 then ignited to enter a 200 km parking orbit, and after two more burns delivered Milstar to geosynchronous drift orbit. Small engines on board the Milstar placed it at its targeted geostationary position. References: 4 .
BSAT-2a was the second Orbital STAR-class television broadcasting satellite. Its launch mass was 1317 kg; dry mass was 535 kg. The satellite had a Thiokol Star 30CBP solid apogee motor. The new BSTAR STAR-class satellites are a new design replacing the earlier Starbus type satellite of which only one (Cakrawarta 1) was launched. BSAT Corp. (Broadcasting Satellite System Corp.) earlier launched HS-376 satellites BSAT 1a and 1b, replacing the government's BS series which began Japanese direct broadcast services in 1978.
Eurobird was a Spacebus 3000B3 built by Alcatel (Cannes). Dry mass was probably around 1300 kg. The satellite had an Astrium S400 bipropellant engine.
Discovery was launched on mission STS-102 (Space Station flight 5A.1) into an initial 60 x 222 km x 51.6 deg orbit. The mission was delivery of supplies and equipment, and changeout of the Expedition One and Expedition Two station crews. STS-102 carried the Leonardo Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), built by Alenia Spazio (Torino), to the International Space Station. The MPLM was a descendant of the Spacelab long modules. Also carried was a Spacehab/Energia unpressurized Integrated Cargo Carrier with LCA/MTSAS-A, RU, and PFCS. A sidewall adapter beam with two GAS canisters (G-783 and WSVFM) was also on board. WSVFM measured vibration during launch. Another adapter beam, probably at the rear of the payload bay, carried SEM-9. SEM-9 and G-783 contained high school microgravity experiments.
Leonardo carried 16 'racks' of equipment, including the Human Research Facility Rack (Rack 13) which allowed the astronauts to do extensive medical experiments, the CHeCS Rack (28), the DDCU-1 and DDCU-2 racks (7 and 9), the Avionics-3 (Rack 6), and the MSS Avionics/Lab (Rack 11) and Avionics/Cupola (Rack 12) racks for a total of 7 equipment racks to be installed on Destiny. Three Resupply Stowage Racks (50, 51, 52) and four Resupply Stowage Platforms (180, 181, 182 and 188) remained installed on Leonardo, with their equipment bags being individually transferred to the Station. System Racks 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 were already on Destiny together with stowage racks 110 through 117. Each rack had a mass of 150-300 kg.
The orbiter fired its OMS engines at 1221 GMT to raise the orbit to 185 x 219 km. Discovery docked with the PMA-2 port on the Station at 0639 GMT on March 10. The LCA (Lab Cradle Assembly) was attached to Destiny's +Z side during an EVA. It was to be used on the next mission to temporarily place a Spacelab pallet on Destiny during installation of the Station's robot arm. Later, it would be the site for the main Station truss, beginning with segment S0.
The PMA-3, on Unity at the -Z nadir position, had to be moved to the port position to make room for Leonardo. An external stowage platform was attached to Destiny and the External Stowage Platform and the PFCS Pump Flow Control System were added to the port aft trunnion on Destiny. A rigid umbilical (RU) was connected to the PDGF grapple fixture on Destiny to support the Station's future robot arm. Leonardo was docked to Unity at -Z for a while so that its cargo could be transferred to the station easily; it was then be returned to the payload bay and brought back to earth.
At 0232 GMT on March 19 command of ISS was transferred to Expedition 2 and the hatches were closed. Discovery undocked at 0432 GMT and flew once around the station before departing at 0548 GMT. ISS mass after undocking was 115527 kg. The OMS engines fired for the deorbit burn at 0625 GMT on March 21, and Discovery touched down on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 0731 GMT.
On March 11 Jim Voss and Susan Helms made a spacewalk from Discovery's airlock. A PAD device used to attach equipment to the RMS arm floated free and Voss retrieved a spare one from Unity, putting the walk behind schedule. The astronauts installed the Lab Cradle Assembly and the Rigid Umbilical on Destiny and disconnected the umbilicals connecting the PMA-3 docking port to Unity. The astronauts then spent two-and-a-half hours back in the depressurized airlock in case their help was needed during the move of PMA-3. Thomas used the RMS arm to unberth PMA-3 from the nadir port on Unity and relocated it to the port port location, freeing up the nadir for the MPLM. The airlock was depressurized at 0508 GMT and repressurized at 1408 GMT.
The airlock was depressurized at 0518 GMT and the hatch opened at 0520 GMT. The astronauts took the External Stowage Platform from the ICC carrier to the port side of the Destiny module, and then installed the spare Pump Flow Control System on it. The ESP was used to store on-orbit-spare equipment. Next they hooked up cables on the robot arm's umbilical, and travelled up to the top of the P6 tower to fix a solar array latch - it just needed a good thump - and inspect the FPP experiment. The astronauts returned to the airlock at 1132 GMT and began repressurizing at 1144 GMT.
The XM Radio satellites (using Boeing 702 buses) provided digital radio entertainment broadcast to the US. It was planned at launch that the XM-2 Rock satellite was to be accompanied by an XM-1 Roll spacecraft, planned for launch later in 2001. A Boeing Sea Launch Zenit-3SL took off from the Odyssey floating launch platform at 154W 0 N in the Pacific. The two-stage Zenit put the Blok DM in a suborbital trajectory with a 190 km apogee; the DM first burn went to a 180 x 990 km x 1.3 deg orbit, with the second burn delivering Rock to geostationary transfer orbit.
On March 19, 2001 Mir was in a 224 x 230 km x 51.6 deg orbit. On March 23 at 0033 GMT Progress M1-5 carried out the first small DPO burn to lower Mir's orbit from 212 x 218 km to 190 x 219 km. A second small burn began at 0201 GMT and put Mir in a 150 x 215 km orbit. The main deorbit burn began at 0507 GMT, lowering perigee to less than 80 km. At 0550 GMT observers in Fiji reported seeing multiple bright reentry bodies passing overhead, confirming that the station had broken up by that time. The impact zone was around 160 W 40 S.
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