|astronautix.com||Chronology - 1999 - Quarter 2|
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ISRO's Insat 2E was placed in geostationary transfer orbit. The Indian-built satellite carried a C and S band communications package. Stationed at 83 deg E.
Resupply craft docked uneventfully with the Mir complex two days later. It also delivered the Sputnik-99 amateur radio satellite, launched into orbit by hand by the cosmonauts during an EVA on April 16. Still hopeful of finding a backer to pay to keep Mir in space, Progress M-41 began a series of engine burns in late April to raise the orbit of the station. It finally undocked from Mir at 11:20 GMT on July 17 and was deorbited over the Pacific later the same day.
Subscale amateur radio model of Sputnik 1. Reentered July 29.
The DSP F19 payload was a USAF Defense Support Program missile early warning satellite equipped with an infrared telescope to detect rocket launches. The Titan 4B placed the IUS upper stages and payload into a 188 km x 718 km x 28.6 deg parking orbit. The first stage of the IUS burned at 18:14 GMT and put the second stage and payload into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The IUS second stage fired at 23:34 GMT. However, the two stages of the IUS failed to separate completely. At least one connector remained attached. This meant the second stage motor nozzle did not extend properly. When the stage fired, the vehicle tumbled during the burn. The DSP was left out of control in a useless orbit.
Communications satellite is for the European Telecommunications Satellite Organization. The vehicle entered a 153 km x 385 km x 27.4 deg parking orbit nine minutes after launch. The second Centaur stage burn delivered the satellite to a 166 km x 46,076 km x 19.7 deg super-synchronous transfer orbit. The satellite was stationed at 7 deg E and carried 24 Ku-band transponders with a wide beam covering Europe, North Africa and Asia, and a spot beam for digital TV to Turkey.
The Ikar upper stage entered a 234 km x 900 km transfer orbit, then maneuvered to dispense the four spacecraft into 900 km x 950 km x 52.0 deg parking orbits. The satellite's own thrusters would be used to place them into their 1410 km circular operational orbits. The Ikar stage deorbited itself after one day. The Globalstar satellites, built by Alenia and Loral, are L-band comsats which provide satellite phone service.
The vehicle entered a 175 km x 706 km x 98.2 deg initial orbit. 57 minutes after launch the Delta stage burned again to circularize the orbit at 668 km x 698 km and Landsat 7 separated from the stage. The Delta stage then burned to depletion of its propellant, into a 184 km x 710 km x 107.5 deg orbit that would decay quickly. The Landsat 7 remote sensing satellite was to be operated by NASA/Goddard until October 2000, when operations would be transferred to the US Geological Survey.
Haignere launched by hand the Sputnik-99 amateur radio satellite, delivered to Mir by Progress M-41.
First launch of Russia's Dnepr launch vehicle, a converted R-36M2 ICBM. The Dnepr was launched from a silo. The third stage maneuvring bus (used on the ICBM for dispensing multiple warheads) placed UoSAT-12 into a 638 km x 652 km x 64.6 deg orbit. The third stage separated from the payload at 05:13 GMT and then made a burn into a 599 km x 1403 km x 64.6 deg orbit. UoSAT-12 was the first test of the Minibus platform, at 325 kg a larger spacecraft than earlier 50 kg Surrey UoSATs. It carried a mobile radio experiment (MERLION), a GPS receiver, and imaging cameras.
Tracking stations downrange did not pick up the spacecraft. It was later determined that the rocket nose fairing failed to separate four minutes after launch. The extra mass caused the vehicle to reenter over the South Pacific on the first partial orbit. Space Imaging's Ikonos 1 was to have been the first commercial imaging satellite with a high a resolution camera.
X-ray astronomy satellite with the mission to carry out an all-sky survey in the 1-10 keV band. The satellite's battery failed and contact was lost on May 1.
A small technology satellite which carried an experimental high rate data transmission payload.
The Titan core vehicle operated correctly, but a software error in the Centaur stage resulted in all three planned burns being made at the wrong times, during the first orbit instead of over a six hour period. The three burns planned to place Milstar successively in a 170 x 190 km parking orbit, a geostationary transfer orbit, and finally geosynchronous orbit. Instead, at 19:00 GMT, several hours before the scheduled third burn, Milstar separated into a useless 740 km x 5000 km orbit. Milstar-2 F1 was the first upgraded Milstar with an extra Medium Data Rate payload with a higher throughput. The payload included EHF (44 GHz), SHF (20 GHz) and UHF communications transponders and satellite-to-satellite crosslinks, with narrow beams to avoid jamming.
The Centaur RL-10B-2 second stage engine's combustion chamber ruptured at the beginning of the second burn. The hot gases already in the chamber vented, putting the stage/spacecraft assembly into an uncontrollable tumble. The Orion 3 communications satellite ended up in a useless parking orbit of 162 km x 1378 km x 29.5 deg. It was to have served the Asia-Pacific region for Loral Orion with 33 Ku-band and 10 C-band transponders.
Weather satellite. First launch of stretched CZ-4B booster.
Research satellite carried as a secondary payload to study the radiation belts.
After deploying the TERRIERS satellite, the conical Payload Adapter Fitting (1998-26E) was jettisoned at 05:21 GMT, leaving the disk-shaped MUBLCOM satellite attached to the Pegasus XL PRIMEX HAPS-Lite stage. The second HAPS burn at 05:22 GMT raised apogee to 775 km, followed by a third, apogee burn at 06:10 GMT which circularised the orbit. MUBLCOM was deployed to a 769 km x 776 km x 97.7 degree orbit. The final HAPS burn then placed the depleted HAPS stage in a lower 388 km x 722 km x 97.1 degree disposal orbit. MUBLCOM (Multiple beam Beyond Line-of-sight Communications) was an experimental satellite funded by DARPA and managed by the US Army's Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM) at Ft Monmouth, New Jersey. It was built by Orbital Sciences using the Microstar (Orbcomm type) bus and carries a payload testing hand-held radio satellite communications for the armed forces.
TERRIERS was part of NASA's Student Explorer Demonstration Initiative (STEDI), which was a precursor program to the UNEX (University Explorer) series. STEDI was managed by USRA (the Universities Space Research Association) for NASA, while UNEX was to be more directly managed by NASA-GSFC. TERRIERS was to be operated by the space physics group at Boston University for ionosphere studies, and carried TESS, a set of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectrographs to get electron density and thermosphere emission profiles. The GISSMO instrument measured the solar EUV flux. The spacecraft was built by AeroAstro and based on HETE. TERRIERS was placed in the correct orbit, but it failed to orient its solar panel to the Sun and ran out of battery power by May 20. Controllers were optimistic that when its orbit processes to a better sun angle the satellite could be revived. Additional Details: TERRIERS.
Telesat Canada's Nimiq television broadcasting satellite was placed into a 7050 km x 35790 km x 15.9 degree transfer orbit. The Nimiq was to use its liquid apogee engine (Royal Ordnance Leros 1) to reach geosynchronous orbit. Telesat Canada also operated the Anik Canadian domestic communications satellites, the first of which was launched in 1972.
This classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite represented the first successful Titan launch in four attempts. The payload had been reported to be a Lacrosse radar imaging reconnaissance satellite. However the short 50 foot Titan fairing was used instead of the 66 foot fairing used by Lacrosse. This only seems to be used previously for an Improved Crystal photo-reconnaissance satellite in November 1992. The payload therefore could be related to the ocean surveillance triplets, or be an Improved CRYSTAL derivative.
Remote sensing satellite with an ocean colour imager experiment.
At 0:721 GMT on June 5 the Starshine satellite was ejected into a 379 x 396 km x 51.6 degree orbit from a canister at the rear of STS-96 Space Shuttle Discovery's payload bay. The small Starshine satellite, built by NRL, was to be observed by students as part of an educational exercise.
Discovery docked at the PMA-2 end of the International Space Station PMA-2/Unity/PMA-1/Zarya stack. The crew transferred equipment from the Spacehab Logistics Double Module in the payload bay to the interior of the station. Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry made a space walk to transfer equipment from the payload bay to the exterior of the station. The ODS/EAL docking/airlock truss carried two TSA (Tool Stowage Assembly) packets with space walk tools. The Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), built by Energia and DASA-Bremen, carried parts of the Strela crane and the US OTD crane as well as the SHOSS box which contains three bags of tools and equipment to be stored on ISS's exterior.
The STS-96 payload bay manifest:
On May 30 at 02:56 GMT Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry entered the payload bay of Discovery from the tunnel adapter hatch, and made a 7 hr 55 min space walk, transferring equipment to the exterior of the station.
On May 31 at 01:15 GMT the hatch to Unity was opened and the crew began several days of cargo transfers to the station. Battery units and communications equipment were replaced and sound insulation was added to Zarya. Discovery undocked from ISS at 22:39 GMT on June 3 into a 385 x 399 km x 51.6 degree orbit, leaving the station without a crew aboard. On June 5 the Starshine satellite was ejected from the payload bay. The payload bay doors were closed at around 02:15 GMT on June 6 and the deorbit burn was at 04:54 GMT. Discovery landed on runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center at 06:02 GMT. Additional Details: STS-96. References: 4 , 7 .
On May 30 at 02:56 GMT Tammy Jernigan and Dan Barry entered the payload bay of space shuttle Discovery from the tunnel adapter hatch. During the space walk they transferred equipment to the exterior of the station.
Geosynchronous communications satellite. Stationed at 19 deg E.
NASA's QuikScat carried the SeaWinds scatterometer for remote sensing of ocean winds. The Titan 2ís second stage shut down at 02:20 GMT and then coasted to apogee still attached to the QuikScat. The Titan second stage vernier thrusters ignited at apogee to raise perigee, leaving QuikScat in a 280 km x 813 km x 98.7 degree parking orbit. The QuikScat's own hydrazine propulsion system then fired to raise the perigee over a period of weeks.
The Delta 3-m payload fairing was successfully jettisoned and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer was placed in a 754 km x 769 km x 25.0 degree initial orbit. After separation the Delta second stage then a depletion burn and was left in a 182 x 915 km x 19.1 degree orbit from which it would quickly decay out of orbit. Checkout of FUSE in orbit was proceeding well as of July 1.
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