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Why has the U. S. State Department Declared War on the American Satellite Industry?

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Frontier Status 303

April 19, 2002

By Dale M. Gray

Frontier Historical Consultants

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The work on the International Space Station dominated the news this past week. The astronauts on-board Atlantis conducted four space walks, two this week, to attach the S0 Truss to the station. Their activities culminated in the landing of Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center. Other news includes the launch of an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

Frontier Status has returned to intermittent publication, new issues will continue to be published as time and tide allow.

Highlights of the week of April 19 include:

  • Shuttle crew conducts two spacewalks
  • Atlantis arrives safely home at Kennedy Space Center
  • NASA may cancel Pluto mission (again)
  • Arianespace successfully launches its 150th mission.
  • Marshall Space Flight Center resumes rocket engine tests
  • Stardust sets record for solar-powered spacecraft



On Friday, April 19, the Shuttle Atlantis made a picture-perfect landing at Kennedy Space Center runway 22 at 12:27 p.m. EDT. The 11-day STS-110 mission, launched on April 8, delivered the new 12,250 kg S0 Truss to the International Space Station. The Shuttle undocked from the Station on Wednesday at 2:31 p.m. EDT. During the mission, four spacewalks were conducted, totaling 28 hours and 22 minutes. The Mission Commander was Michael Bloomfield, Pilot was Stephen Frick. Mission Specialists included Ellen Ochoa, Steven Smith, Rex Walheim, Jerry Ross and Lee Morin. This marks the completion of Jerry Ross' record seventh flight. The $600 million S0 will serve as the base for future solar panel expansions for the station. It also contains the $190 mobile transporter, which gives the Canadarm 2 the ability to move along the Truss for construction and maintenance. The S0 Truss has a mass of (NASA; AP;
Spaceflight Now).


The Shuttle Endeavour is being prepared for roll-over to the Vehicle Assembly building to be mated with its External Tank / SRBs assembly. During the week, managers moved the launch date up a day. Endeavour is now slated for launch on May 30 with a logistical support mission to the ISS. STS-11 will deliver a variety of equipment and supplies in a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (NASA).


Columbia is in the Orbiter Processing Facility being prepared for STS-107, a SpaceHab / Freestar research flight. This past week, the flight was pushed back to July 19 to allow additional processing time (NASA).


The Shuttle Discovery is in temporary storage in the Vehicle Assembly Building (NASA)


Third Spacewalk

On April 14, astronauts Steven Smith and Rex Walheim conducted a six-hour, 27-minute space walk out of the International Space Station's Quest airlock. During the walk, the pair rewired the Station's Canadarm-2 so that it would derive its power from the S0 Truss. They also removed launch locks from the front of the Truss. The only task left uncompleted was the installation of a 4.25 m ladder to connect the Quest airlock to the S0 Truss. This will be installed on the 4th spacewalk (Spaceflight Now; NASA; Space< /a>).

Fourth Spacewalk

On April 16, astronauts Lee M. E. Morin and Jerry Ross conducted the fourth and final spacewalk to complete the installation of the 43-foot-long S0 Truss. As with the other three walks, this was conducted out of the Quest airlock. During the walk, the pair activated critical internal systems on the Truss and verified the so-called hot crosstie that allows power transfers during power losses. The space walk was six-hours and 37-minutes in duration (CNN;
Spacef light Now).


Ariane 4 / NSS-7

On April 16, at 7:02 p.m. EDT, an Ariane 44L rocket was launched from Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket on flight 150, carried the 4,700 kg Lockheed Martin-built NSS-7 satellite for New Skies Satellites of The Hague, The Netherlands. The satellite was released into an elliptical geostationary transfer orbit by the rocket's third stage. The satellite will eventually be place in the 21.5 degrees West Longitude orbital slot where it will provide commercial communications services. It will replace the aging NSS-K satellite, which was launched in 1992. The satellite is a hybrid C-band / Ku-band satellite with 36 C-band and 36 Ku-band transponders. It is expected to have a service life of 12 years. This was the 111th Ariane 4 flight (Arianespace PR; Spaceflight Now;; NewSkies; Space


Delta II / Aqua

In preparation for its May 2 launch, the Earth Observing System Aqua Observatory (Aqua) was moved to Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg AFB and attached to the top of a Delta II rocket (NASA).

Delta II / GPS

A planned launch of the GPS 2R-8 mission slated for May 8 has been delayed for at least a month as managers review the installation of a new self-destruct system in the Delta II rocket to be used to launch the satellite. Work on a new configuration for the Delta 2 using Delta 3 developed strap on solid rocket motor uncovered a scenario that the new system was not designed to cover. While the complex series of events in the scenario are extremely unlikely, managers are using the time to assess the risk and implement changes. The upgraded self-destruct system will first fly on the May 2 Aqua mission ( Spaceflight Now).

Christmas Island

Australia's plans to build a detention center for asylum-seekers on Christmas Island, has Russia worried that the center will jeopardize security at their planned launch facility on the island. Russia and Australia signed an agreement in May, 2001, to build the Asia Pacific Space Centre on Christmas Island using Russian technology and Australian infrastructure. Project managers hope to have the Centre development at a stage for two tests next year. Christmas Island is 1,500 km west of Australia (AFP).



In an effort to save the cost of transporting 300,000 pounds of hydrogen fuel from near New Orleans to Kennedy Space Center for every Shuttle launch, NASA has recently awarded a group of Florida Universities $8.1 million in grants. The Universities will study ways of manufacturing and storing the large amounts of hydrogen needed to fuel the Shuttle and top off the tanks as the hydrogen boils away. Research will also concentrate on ways of making the gas that do not produce carbon dioxide as a by-product. The Glenn Research Center, near Cleveland, Ohio, granted bout $5.4 million to University of Central Florida and $2.7 to University of Florida. The research will focus in on economic, yet environmentally-friendly technologies ranging from solar energy, lasers to electricity to create the fuel from water (UniSci).

Reaction Control

Marshall Space Flight Center has returned to the rocket engine test business with the testing of reaction control system rockets as part of Space Launch Initiative preliminary research. The rockets under test were provided by TRW and were powered by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. More than 30 tests were performed as part of the $15.5 million TRW contract. The new motors combine functions of two different systems currently used on the Shuttle, the reaction-control system and the orbital maneuvering system. The system will also be cheaper to maintain and safer to operate. TRW and Aerojet, who was awarded a similar $7.6 million contract will continue to work and refine their new thruster systems for the next two years (Huntsville Times).


Satellite Broadband

On April 18, the FCC adopted a new stance on licensing shared Ku-band satellite systems. The new Report and Order will allow non-geostationary satellites communicating with fixed satellite receivers on earth to share frequencies with geostationary satellites in the 10.7 to 14.5 GHz range. When the non-fixed satellites pass in a direct line between fixed satellites and receivers then a sharing method involving splitting the spectrum will be used for the duration of the event. A new Rulemaking also limits the total power fixed satellite can emit on the Ku-band. There are currently seven applications pending for non-geostationary satellite services (Media-News).



For political and time-management reasons, the proposed mission to Pluto to study its atmosphere now appears to be canceled. The mission is said to be out of favor with the current White House and NASA officials stated that it is highly unlikely that the mission will be ready to be launched by 2006. The mission did not get the $122 million need in the next fiscal year to begin the development in earnest. Ultimately, the mission will require $500 million. The mission needs to be launched by 2006 so that it can arrive at Pluto before the receding planet's atmosphere freezes. Another problem with the mission is the use of plutonium fuel source to power the craft is controversial (L.A. Times).


On April 18, the Stardust explorer set a new record for reaching a point farther from the sun than any other solar-powered spacecraft in history. Launched on February 7, 1999, Stardust is now 407 million km from the sun, well beyond the orbit of Mars. The spacecraft has a date with comet Wild 2 on January 2, 2004, where it will collect samples during a fly-by. If all goes well, the spacecraft will return the samples to Earth in January of 2006. Stardust is now at its furthest point from the Sun and will now begin to track inward on its elliptical solar orbit (Leonard David,



Telesat has selected Spacenet Inc. to provide VSAT satellite communications equipment to operate Telesat's new High Speed Internet Service. The service will be available in 13 Canadian provinces and territories as well as the US. The arrangement revolves around Gilat 260E VSAT technology. Spacenet is s subsidiary of Gilat (Gilat Satellite PR).


Space Pollution

In a NewScientist article Joel Primack of the University of California at Santa Cruz stated that US missile defense system could make low-Earth space unusable. Primack contends that US interceptors destroying warheads in space would create swarms of debris. The US military contends that neither the missiles nor the interceptors are traveling at orbital velocity at the time of impact. Primack also contends that the debris would be permanent, belying the physics of atmospheric drag, which brings down objects in LEO relatively quickly (New Scientist).


The stock listing is for information only and not intended for trading purposes. Frontier Status shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Additional stocks may be listed by request ( ( .

Company Ticker Monday Close Last Friday 1 Year Ago
Alliant Techsys ATK 102.49 106.35 85.5
Boeing BA 42.75 48.55 61.7
EchoStar DISH 28.37 28.11 31.18
GlobalStar GSTRF 0.14 0.11 0.52
Hughes Electronics GMH 16.37 16.11 22.6
Lockheed Martin LMT 59.85 61.54 34.97
Loral Space LOR 2.21 1.92 1.757
Motorola MOT 15.91 13.44 16.01
Orbital Sciences ORB 4.95 5.20 4.12
Sirius SIRI 5.20 5.10 10.10
SpaceDev SPDVE.OB 0.451 0.52 0.60
SpaceHab SPAB 0.95 0.89 3.25
TRW TRW 53.60 51.97 37.91
NASDAQ NASDAQ 1796.83 1756.19.70 2163.41

* Price reflects ATK 3:2 Stock Split (September 10, 2001).

http:// s/stocks2.html


Courtesy J. Ray, and other sources.
  • April 25 - Soyuz, Taxi Flight, Baikonur, Cosmodrome, Tyuratam, Kazakhstan.
  • May 2 - Delta 2, Aqua, Vandenberg AFB.
  • May 4 - Ariane 42P, Spot 5, Kourou, French Guiana.
  • May 6 - ILS Proton, DirecTV-5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Tyuratam, Kazakhstan.
  • May - Sea Launch Zenit, Galaxy 3C, Equatorial Pacific.
  • May 30 - Shuttle Endeavor, ISS UF2 (STS-111), Cape Kennedy Space Center.
  • June 3 - Titan 4B, classified payload, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.


With the landing of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on April 8, the space population returned to baseline of three. two American astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut on the International Space Station. Thus far in 2002, humans have spent 491.75 man days in orbit. This marks the completion of 527 days of continuous occupation of the International Space Station beginning on November 2, 2000. ISS has been in orbit for 1,239 days.


April 16, 1997 - The ESA launched an Ariane 44LP rocket from Kourou carrying the Thaicom 3 communications satellite and the BSAT la communications satellite.

April 17, 1997 - Russia launched a Kosmos rocket from Plesetsk carrying a Parus military navigation satellite.

April 15, 1992 - Russia launched a Kosmos rocket from Plesesk carrying a Parus military navigation satellite.

April 15, 1992 - The ESA launched an Ariane 44L from Kourou carrying the Telecom 2B communications satellite and the Inmarsat 2 F4 communications satellite.

April 16, 1987 - The USSR launched a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur carrying a Progress supply vehicle to Mir.

April 15, 1982 - The USSR launched a Soyuz rocket carrying a Yantar-2K photo reconnaissance satellite.

April 19, 1982 - The USSR launched a Proton K rocket from Baikonur carrying the Zarya module for the Salyt 7 space station. The space station reentered the atmosphere on February 7, 1991, showering the town of Capitan Bermudez, Argentina with the remaining fragments.

April 14, 1972 - The USSR launched a Molniya rocket from Baikonur carrying a Prognoz science satellite.

April 14, 1972 - The USSR launched a Voskhod rocket from Plesetsk carrying a Zenit-4 photo reconnaissance satellite.

April 16, 1972 - The US launched a Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 16. The crew of John Young, Thomas Mattingly and Charles Duke successfully entered lunar orbit three days later. Duke and Young landed the Lunar Module Orion in the Descartes region on April 20. After three days of exploration and collecting samples, the Orion blasted off the Moon's surface and rendezvoused with the Command Module Casper. The spacecraft safely splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on April 27, 1972.

April 19, 1972 - The US launched an LT Thor Agena D rocket from Vandenberg AFB carrying the KH-4B 1116 surveillance satellite.

April 13, 1967 - The US launched a Scout A rocket from Vandenberg AFB carrying a Transit navigation satellite.

April 13, 1967 - Japan launched a L-4S rocket from Kagoshima carrying the Ohsumi 3 technology satellite. The mission failed when the fourth stage did not ignite.

April 17, 1967 - The US launched a Minuteman 2 rocket on the Last Emergency Rocket Communications Satellite test.

April 17, 1967 - The US launched an Atlas Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral carrying Surveyor 3. The spacecraft successfully landed on the moon, returning soil test results and photographs.

April 19, 1967 - The US conducted the last of three test flights of the Prime 3 space plane. The unmanned space plane was launched from Vandenberg AFB on an Atlas 3 rocket.

April 13, 1962 - The USSR issued a restriction of work order on the N1 rocket, slowing its development. The same day it also authorization for the rocket along with the R-36, R-36-O, and R-56 along with the Soyuz 7K-OK spacecraft.

April 18, 1962 - The US launched a Jupiter rocket from Cape Canaveral. The missile impacted 230 miles short of its target due to a premature fuel depletion.

April 18, 1962 - The US launched a Thor Agena B rocket from Vandenberg AFB carrying Discoverer 39 surveillance satellite.

April 19, 1962 - The US conducted X-15 flight 51 from Edwards AFB. The rocket plane, piloted by Neil Armstrong, reached 6,097 kph and an altitude of 63,250 m.

April 19, 1957 - The US attempted to launch a Thor 102 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The mission was erroneously destroyed when a false reading indicated to the range safety officer that the rocket was heading over land instead of out to sea.

April 17, 1947 - The US launched V-2 number 24 from White Sands. The rocket reached 143.7 km with experiments for General Electric.

April 19, 1932 - Robert Goddard tested a liquid fuel rocket with tanks pressurized by liquid nitrogen. The almost 11-foot tall rocket also featured eight gyro-controlled vanes for flight control. Four impinged on the rocket blast and four pushed out into the slipstream. The rocket reached an altitude of 135 feet.

Sources: Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica ; "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology" by Kenneth Gatland


Space Today:

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Universe Today: http://www.universe

Russian Space Web:

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Jonathan's Space Report:

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NASA: News Releases:

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Space Frontier Foundation:

Archimedes Institute (space law):

Space Statistics:

Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica: ade/spaceflt.htm

Robert Kennedy's Ultimax Group (Russian space encyclopedia):

Apollo Society - Space Updates:

Satellite news:

RLV News: http://www.hob Links/RLVNews.html


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Space Memorabilia:

71 articles archived; 48 used

Dale M. Gray is the president of Frontier Historical Consultants. Frontier Status reports are free weekly annotated indices chronicling progress of the emerging space frontier.

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(c) Copyright Dale M. Gray April 19, 2002.

Collection and annotation of articles is based upon the Frontier Model posted at:

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