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This week in launches

By: RocketGirl
It's been an interesting week for launches! On Sunday, we saw the launch of a Soyuz 2-1b out of  the Plesetsk Missile and Space complex in Russia. The Soyuz delivered a Glonass-M (designated No. 54) satellite to orbit. This launch brings the Glonass system up to 28 satellites in orbit—one test satellite, three backups and 24 operational satellites. You can find this satellite in the STK Satellite Database under Cosmos 2491 or the SSC (Norad Catalog number) 39620. On Tuesday, a Soyuz-FG launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying the Expedition 39 crew to the International Space Station (ISS). This was supposed to be a 6-hour flight to the ISS, however the spacecraft was slightly out of attitude for the third burn, which ended up being aborted. The crew successfully docked with the space station on Thursday. The SSC number for this mission is 39622 or you can search for Soyuz-TMA 12 M in the STK Satellite Database. There have been some interesting developments for two launches that were supposed to occur this week out of the Eastern Range. An Atlas 5 carrying NROL -67 was scheduled to launch on March 23 from Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral. A fire at one of the range's radar stations forced the 7th delay in this mission. The Atlas 5 has been rolled back and will not launch before April 10. The Atlas 5 was rolled back for the Falcon 9 launch that was scheduled to happen on March 30. The Falcon 9 is carrying a Dragon cargo craft to the ISS. This mission was originally scheduled to launch March 16. Range radar problems have not been resolved, forcing the Falcon 9 launch to be postponed as well. There is no new launch date for the Falcon 9 and there is a Russian Progress cargo craft set to dock with the space station on April 9, which may delay the launch even further. The launch forecast for next week shows a Soyuz launching on Thursday from French Guiana with the Sentinel-1A Earth observation satellite. Also on Thursday there is  an Atlas 5 scheduled to launch out of Vandenberg with the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program 19 (DMSP 19) satellite. India has a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) scheduled to launch on Friday with the IRNSS 1B navigation satellite. So keep your eyes on the sky towards the end of next week, we'll have three new satellites joining the party in orbit. In April we will be introduction a new Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) capability as part of our STK Missile Modeling Tools. The SLV tool is a launch path-generator based on the 3-DOF Missile Flight Tool propagator with pitch programs suitable for satellite insertion. We'll be demoing this capability during an online STK DIY on April 24, so stay tuned to for registration and more details.
Posted: 3/28/2014 4:09:20 PM