Home 2012 Summary
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Spacecrafts launched in 2012:
1) ZY-3 / Ziyuan III 2) VesselSat 2 3) FY-2 (07) / Fengyun 2F 4) WGS 4 (USA 233)
5) Chibis-M 6) Progress M-14M / ISS-46P 7) Navid 8) LARES
9) Almasat-1 10) e-st@ 11) Goliat 12) MaSat-1
13) XaTcobeo 14) PW-Sat-1 15) ROBUSTA 16) UNICubeSat-GG
17) LARES A&H/SS  18) SES-4 19) Beidou 11 (G5 20) MUOS 1
21) ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi 22) Intelsat IS-22 23) Kosmos 2479 / Oko-1 24) Apstar 7
25) NROL-25 (USA 234) 26) Kwangmyongsong-3 27) Progress M-15M / ISS-47P 28) Yahsat-1B
29) RISAT-1 30) Beidou 12 (M3) 31) Beidou 13 (M4) 32) AEHF 2 (USA 235)
33) TH 1-02 / Tianhui 1-02 34) YW-14 / Yaogan Weixing 14 35) Tiantuo 1 36) Soyuz TMA-04M / ISS-30S
37) JCSAT 13 38) Vinasat 2 39) Kosmos 2480 / Kobal't-M  40) GCOM W1 / Shizuku
41) Kompsat 3 / Arirang-3 42) SDS-4 43) Horyu-2 44) Nimiq 6
45) Dragon C2+ 46) Celestis 11 -- Fajr 47) ZX-2A / Zhongxing 2A / Chinasat 2A
48) YW-15 / Yaogan Weixing 15 49) Intelsat IS-19 50) NuSTAR 51) Shenzhou IX
52) NROL-38 (USA 236) 53) NROL-15 (USA 237 54) Echostar 17 55) MSG 3 / Meteosat 10
56) SES-5 57) Soyuz TMA-05M / ISS-31S 58) HTV-3 / Kounotori  59) Kanopus-V 1 / Kanopus-Vulkan-1
60) BelKA-2 / BKA 2 61) ExactView-1 / ADS-18 62) TET-1 63) MKA-PN 1
64) Tianlian 1-03 65) Kosmos 2481 /  Strela-3M  66) Gonets-M 13 67) MiR / Yubeleiny 2
68) Gonets-M 15 69) Progress M-16M / ISS-48P 70) Intelsat IS-20 71) Hylas 2
72) Telkom-3 73) Ekspress MD2 74) Intelsat IS-21 75) Sfera-53
76) RBSP A / Van Allen Probe A 77) RBSP B / Van Allen Probe B 78) SPOT 6 79) PROITERES
80) NROL-36 (USA 238) 81) USA 238 P/L 2 82) OUTSat 83) SMDC-ONE 1.2
84) Aeneas 85) CSSWE 86) CXBN 87) CP5
88) CINEMA 1 89) Re / STARE 90) SMDC-ONE 1.1 91) Aerocube-4.5A
92) Aerocube-4.5B 93) Aerocube-4 94) METOP-B 95) Beidou 14 (M5)
96) Beidou 15 (M6) -- Irainan satellite? 97) Astra 2F 98) GSAT-10
99) VRSS 1 / Miranda 100) Navstar 63 (USA 239 101) RAIKO 102) FITSat / Niwaka
103) TechEdSat 104) F-1 105) We Wish 106) Dragon CRS-1
107) Orbcomm OG2-1 108) Galileo IOV-3 / GSAT0103 109) Galileo IOV-4 / GSAT0104 110) SJ-9A / Shi Jian 9A
111) SJ-9B / Shi Jian 9B 112) Intelsat IS-23 113) Soyuz TMA-06M / ISS-32S 114) Beidou 16 (G6)
115) Progress M-17M / ISS-49P 116) Luch-5B 117) Yamal-300K 118) Star One C3
119) Eutelsat 21B 120) Meridian 6 121) HJ-1C / Huan Jing 1C 122) FN-1A / Fengniao 1A
123) Xinyan-1 124) FN-1B / Fengniao 1B 125) Echostar XVI 126) YW-16 / Yaogan 16A
127) YW-16 Subsat / Yaogan 16B  128) YW-16 Subsat 2 / Yagon 16C 129) ZK-12 / Zhongxing 12 / Chinasat 12  130) Pleiades 1B 
131) W5A / Eutelsat 70B 132) Yamal 402 133) X-37B OTV-3 (USA 240) 134) KMS 3-2 / Kwangmyongsong-3 F2
135) Gokturk 2 136) Soyuz TMA-07M / ISS-33S 137) Skynet 5D 138) Mexsat 3 / Mexsat-Bicentenario
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ZY-3 / Ziyuan III
Spacecraft: “zi yuan san hao”
Chronologies: 2012 payload #1 ; 2012-01A ; 7,121st spacecraft.
Type: Photo Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 9 January 2012 at 3h17 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4B.
Orbit: 498 km x 506 km x 97.5° 
Mission: Ziyuan III is probably a 2,650-kg military photo surveillance satellite. It is reported that it is carrying an electro-optical imaging payload comprising three pointing forward, down and aft. The ground-facing camera has a resolution of 2.5 metres. The spacecraft also features an infrared spectrometer. According to Chinese press, Ziyuan II is a high-resolution remote-sensing satellite for civilian use: “According to the launch center, the satellite is tasked with offering services to aid the country's land-resources surveys, natural-disaster prevention, agriculture development, water-resources management, and urban planning.” It has a designed life expectancy of five years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653 ; NSSDC 2012-001A ; Spaceflight Now's 9 Jan 12 ; China Daily's 9 Jan 12, 12 Jan 11, 24 May 12, 24 May 12, 31 Jul 12, 10 Jan 13, 10 Jan 13 ;
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VesselSat 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #2 ; 2012-01B ; 7,122nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Orbcomm
Launch: 9 January 2012 at 3h17 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4B.
Orbit: 489 km x 500 km x 97.5°
Mission: This is the second of two 28.5-kg VesselSat spacecraft. It carries a receiver for Automatic Identification System (AIS) signals to relay positions of ships around the world. Constructed by LuxSpace of Luxembourg, It is integrated into ORBCOMM's Next Generation (OG2) constellation of 18 AIS-enabled satellites due to begin launching this year. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653 ; NSSDC 2012-001B ; Spaceflight Now's 9 Jan 12 ; China Daily's 9 Jan 12 ;
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FY-2 (07) / Fengyun 2F
Spacecraft: “fengyun erhao 07 xing“
Chronologies: 2012 payload #3 ; 2012-02A ; 7,123rd spacecraft.
Type: Meteorology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 13 January 2012 at 0h56 UT, from Xichang Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 3A.
Orbit: Geostationary at 112°East longitude.
Mission: Fengyun 2F is a 1,369-kg meteorology satellite that collects real-time weather imagery every 15 minutes for forecasters in China and neighboring countries. The craft carries instruments for visible and infrared high-resolution cloud imagery and for monitoring space weather. It began its operational life as a backup satellite. It has a design life of four years, an improvement over the previously launched Fengyun 2 satellite series. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653 ; NSSDC 2012-002A ; Spaceflight Now's 13 Jan 12 ; (Note: China Daily didn't report the launch) ;
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WGS 4 (USA 233)
Spacecraft: WGS stands for Wideband Global SATCOM.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #4 ; 2012-03A ; 7,124th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense
Launch: 20 January 2012 at 0h38 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-37B, by a Delta 4M+(5,4).
Orbit: Geostarionary
Mission: WGS-F4 is a communications satellite that provides services in X- and Ka-bands for U.S. forces.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653 ; NSSDC 2012-003A ; Spaceflight Now's 11 Oct 11, 17 Nov 11, 4 Jan 12, 17 Jan 12, 20 Jan 12; Boeing's 19 Jan 12 ;
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Chibis-M
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #5 ; 2011-62C ; 7,125th spacecraft.
Type: Earth/Space Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: Carried onboard Progress M-13M on 30 October 2011 and deployed when the cargocraft undocked from ISS on 24 January 2012 at 23h18 UT.
Orbit:4 493 km x 508 km
Mission: Chibis-M is a 40-kg microsatellite designed to study plasma waves in the ionosphere and the physical processes behind terrestrial gamma-ray flashes that generate in the vicinity of lightning in thunderstorms.  The microsatellite is also intended to develop new methods of studying Earth and the near-Earth space using spacecraft built around microsatellite buses. The overall dimensions when fully deployed with open antennas and solar panels is 1,250 x 0.966 metre. The craft was developed at IKI RAN.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653 ; Spaceflight Now's 23 Jan 12 ; RSC Energia's 25 Jan 12, 28 Mar 13 ;
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Progress M-14M / ISS-46P
Spacecraft: Progress M (7K-TGM) No. 414
Chronologies: 2012 payload #6 ; 2012-04A ; 7,126th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks: 290th Soyuz (7K) spacecraft and 137th Progress.
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 25 January 2012 at 23h06 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1, by a Soyuz-U.
Orbit: Initial: 190.97 km x 261.92 km x 51.64° x 88.73 min.
Deorbited: 28 April 2012.
Mission: Progress M-14M is a cargo ship that delivers more 2.66 tons of various cargoes to the International Space Station.  The dry cargo weighs 1,260 kg and consists of food, spare parts, life support gear and experiment hardware. The refueling module carries 930 kg of propellant. Also aboard the craft are 420 kg of water and 50 kg of oxygen and air. The cargocraft docked to the Pirs Nadir port on 28 January 2012 at 0h09 UT. Three months later, it undocked on 19 April 2012 at 11h04 UT to begin nine days of Radar-Progress ionospheric experiments. It completed its free flight and was deorbited over the Pacific on 28 April 2012.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 653, 657, 658 ; NSSDC 2012-004A ; Spaceflight Now's 24 Jan 12, 25 Jan 12 ; RSC Energia's 19 Jan 12, 20 Jan 12, 21 Jan 12, 22 Jan 12, 22 Jan 12, 24 Jan 12, 26 Jan 12, 28 Jan 12 ;
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Navid
Spacecraft: Navid translates to “promise of science and industry” in Persian. 
The satellite is also known as Navid-e Elm-o Sanat.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #7 ; 2012-05A ; 7,127th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Iranian Space Agency 
Launch: 3 February 2012 at 0h04 UT, from Semnan, by a Safir.
Orbit: 275 km x 374 km x 56.0°
Mission: Navid is a 50-kg satellite which carries a panchromatic imager to collect weather data and monitor natural disasters. It carries a camera with the ability to photograph from low altitudes of about 250-375 km from Earth. It is intended for high-precision imagery of Earth and will collect weather data and monitor natural disasters. It is the largest and heaviest spacecraft orbited by Iran to date. It is reported that the satellite was completely designed and built by Iranian experts at the Science and Technology University in Tehran,
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-005A ; Spaceflight Now's 3 Feb 12 ; China Daily's 3 Feb 12 ;
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LARES
Spacecraft: LARES stands for Laser Relativity Satellite. 
Chronologies: 2012 payload #8 ; 2012-06A ; 7,128th spacecraft.
Type: Geodesy
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ASI / Agenzia Spaziale Italiana & University of Rome, Italy.
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: Weighing 400 kg, LARES is covered with 92 laser retroreflectors that are used to track the satellite via laser from stations on Earth. The objective of LARES is to refine the real effect of frame-dragging with an accuracy approaching 1 percent, ultimately, increasing understanding of physical properties of distant bodies of even greater mass such as black holes and neutron stars. LARES was designed at Sapienza University of Rome. 
Notes: LARES was launched with nine other small satellites by the new European launch vehicle Vega, for its qualification flight.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654, 655 ; NSSDC 2012-006A ; Spaceflight Now's 30 Jan 12, 3 Feb 12, 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12, 14 Feb 12 ;
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Almasat 1
Spacecraft: Almasat stands for ALma MAter SATellite.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #9 ; 2012-06B ; 7,129th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University of Bologne
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: Almasat is a 12.5-kg technology microsatellite demonstrator. The 30-centimeter cube is a modular structure that can be utilized for technology demonstrations in Earth orbit or Earth observation missions. It had a short mission duration.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006B ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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e-st@r
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #10 ; 2012-06C ; 7,130th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University students from Italy
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: E-st@r is a 1-kg cubesat to demonstrate an active three-axis attitude determination and control system, including an inertial measurement unit. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006C ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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Goliat
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #11 ; 2012-06D ; 7,131st spacecraft.
Type: Technology (Earth Imaging)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University of Bucharest students, Romania
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: Golia is a 1-kg cubesat that performs Earth imaging with a 3-megapixel digital camera and conduct measurements of radiation and micrometeoroids in low-Earth orbit. This is Romania's first satellite. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006D ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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MaSat-1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #12 ; 2012-06E ; 7,132nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Hungarian Students
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: MaSat 1 is a 1-kg cubesat that demonstrates a power conditioning system, a transceiver and an on-board data handling system. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006E ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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XaTcobeo
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #13 ; 2012-06F ; 7,133rd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Spanish Students
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: Xatcobeo is a 1-kg cubesat that tests a software-defined reconfigurable radio and an ionizing radiation measurement system.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006F ; Spaceflight Now's  10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12
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PW-Sat-1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #14 ; 2012-06G ; 7,134th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Polish Students
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: PW-Sat 1 is a 1-kg cubesat that tests a deployable atmospheric drag augmentation device to de-orbit satellites and reduce the issue of orbital debris.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006G ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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ROBUSTA
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #15 ; 2012-06H ; 7,135th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: French Students
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: Robusta is a 1-kg cubesat that studied the effect of radiation on electronic components based on bipolar transistors for comparison with its own degradation models.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006G ; Spaceflight Now's  10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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UNICubeSat-GG
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #16 ; 2012-06J ; 7,136th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Italian Students
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: UniCubeSat GG is a 1-kg cubesat which deployed two booms to demonstrate gravity-gradient stabilization on a small satellite. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654 ; NSSDC 2012-006G; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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LARES A&H/SS / LARES Support System
Spacecraft: LARES stands for Laser Relativity Satellite and A&H/SS for Avionics and Harness Subsystem,
Chronologies: 2012 payload #17 ; 2012-06X ; 7,137th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Italy
Launch: 13 February 2012 at 10h00 UT, from Kourou Space Center, by a Vega.
Orbit:
Mission: The 960-kg LARES A&H/SS was attached on the Vega AVUM stage. It consists of several boxes on the LARES support system. The system is built by Temis S.r.l. of Milano, while the overall support system is built by the Milan company OHB CGS (formerly Carlo Gavazzi Space). Overall mass of the LARES support system is probably 300 kg, and the dry AVUM is around 660 kg for a total in orbit mass for the object of about 960 kg.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654, 655 ; Spaceflight Now's 10 Feb 12, 13 Feb 12 ;
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SES-4
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #18 ; 2012-07A ; 7,138th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: SES / Société Européenne des Satellites
Launch: 14 February 2012 at 1936 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-200/39, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 22° West longitude.
Mission: SES 4 is a 6,180-kg telecommunications satellite which carries 52 C-band and 72 Ku-band transponders to serve the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The satellite also has the capability of onboard channel switching between C- and Ku-band transponders. It replaced the aging NSS 7 spacecraft and is designed for a 15-year service life. At launch, the satellite was owned by SES Satellite Leasing (Isle of Man) but it is operated by SES World Skies (den Haag).
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 654, 655 ; NSSDC 2012-007A ; Spaceflight Now's ; ILS's 15 Feb 12 ;
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Beidou 11 (G5)
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #19 ; 2012-08A ; 7,139th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 24 February 2012 at 16h12 UT, from Xichang Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 3C.
Orbit: Geostationary at 58.7° East longitude. 
Mission: Beidou 11 is a navigation satellite which is part of the Beidou navigation constellation, also known as the Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS), China's second-generation satellite navigation system. The system is used to provide high-accuracy positioning services for users in China and its neighboring regions. It is capable of providing continuous, real-time passive 3D geo-spatial positioning and speed measurement. The system will be dual use, based around a civilian service that will provide an accuracy of 10 metres in the user position, with the military and authorized user's service, providing higher accuracies. The long-term goal is to develop a global navigation satellite network consisting of a constellation of 35 vehicles by 2020. The satellites have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 655 ; NSSDC 2012-008A ; Spaceflight Now's 24 Feb 12 ; China Daily's 25 Deb 12 ;
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MUOS 1
Spacecraft: MUOS stands for Mobile User Objective System.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #20 ; 2012-09A ; 7,140th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Navy
Launch: 24 February 2012 at 22h15 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force StatIon, by an Atlas V 551.
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: MUOS 1 is a 6,740-kg communications satellite which support UHF communications for the U.S. Navy. it is based on the Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 655 ; NSSDC 2012-009A ; Spaceflight Now's 9 Feb 12, 24 Feb 12, 26 Mar 12, 25 Nov 12 ;
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ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi
Spacecraft: ATV stands for Automated Transfer Vehicle. ATV 3 is named after Edoardo Amaldi (1908-1989) who was a co-founder of CERN and of ESA's precursor ESRO.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #21 ; 2012-10A ; 7,141st spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ESA / European Space Agency
Launch: 23 March 2012 at 4h34 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ES.
Orbit: Initial: 274 km x 294 km x 51.6°
Docked to ISS at about: 387 km x 398 km x 51.6°
De-orbited: 2 October 2012 at 23h42 UT.
Mission: ATV-3 is a 19,714 kg resupply ship which carried approximately 7 tons of dry cargo, fuel, and oxygen. The craft docked with the Zvezda service module on 28 March 2013 at 22:31 UT. This ESA's third ISS resupply mission was named after the famous Italian physicist and spaceflight pioneer Edoardo Amaldi. The flight is part of the internationally coordinated servicing effort to support the ISS. It was the heaviest rocket and spacecraft ever launched by Europe to date.  ATV-3 undocked from ISS on 28 September 2012 at 21h44 UT and was deorbited over the Pacific on 2 October at 23h42 UT.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 656 & 668 ; NSSDC 2012-010A ; Spaceflight Now's 8 Feb 12, 2 Mar 12, 23 Mar 12, 28 Mar 12, 2 Apr 12, 28 Sep 12, 3 Oct 12 ;
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Intelsat IS-22
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #22 ; 2012-11A ; 7,142nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Intelsat
Launch: 25 March 2012 at 12h10 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-200/39, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 72° East longitude.
Mission: Intelsat IS-22 is a 6,249-kg communications satellite which is equipped with 48 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders to provide a full range of services across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. It is thus replacing Intelsat 709 over the Indian Ocean.  The craft also carries an Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) hosted payload that is used by the Australian Defence Force. This UHF payload replaced capability lost on the Leasat 5 satellite when it is retired in 2013. Intelsat IS-22 has an anticipated service life of up to 18 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 656 ; NSSDC 2012-011A ; Spaceflight Now's 27 Mar 12 ; Intelsat's 25 Mar 12 ; ILS' 25 Mar 12 ;
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Kosmos 2479
Spacecraft: Oko-1 (US-KMO, 71Kh6)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #23 ; 2012-12A ; 7,143rd spacecraft.
Type: Missile Early Warning
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia Defense Ministry
Launch: 30 March 2012 at 5h49 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-K/DM-2.
Orbit: Geostationary 
Mission: Kosmos 2479 is a 700-kg missile detection spacecraft, which operates as part of the Oko network of early-warning satellites. US-KMO consists of satellites placed into geosynchronous orbit to monitor missile launches via infrared telescopes.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 656 ; NSSDC 2012-012A ; Spaceflight Now's 30 Mar 12 ; RSNF 30 Mar 12 ;
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Apstar 7
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #24 ; 2012-13A ; 7,144th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: APT (Asia Pacific Telecom) Satellite company (Hong-Kong)
Launch: 31 March 2012 at 10h27 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3B/E.
Orbit: Geostationary at 76.5° East Longitude.
Mission: Apstar 7 is a 5,054-kg communications satellite which provides broadcasting and telecommunications services with 28 C-band and 28 Ku-band transponders. The satellite service area includes Asia, Middle East, Africa, Austria and partial Europe in the C-band as well as China, Middle East, Central Asia and Africa for DTH and VSAT transcontinental broadcasting and communication services in the Ku-band. It replaces Apstar 2R and is expected to have a minimum of 15 years lifetime.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 656 ; NSSDC 2012-013A ; Spaceflight Now's 31 Mar 12 ; China Daily's 31 Mar 12 ;
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NROL-25 (USA 234)
Spacecraft: Second FIA Radar mission,
Chronologies: 2012 payload #25 ; 2012-14A ; 7,145th spacecraft.
Type: Radar Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
Launch: 3 April 2012 at 23h12 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-6, by a Delta 4M+(5,2).
Orbit: 1,068 km x 1,107 km x 123.0°
Mission: It is believe that this satellite is the second FIA Radar mission, following NROL-41.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 656 ; NSSDC 2012-014A ; Spaceflight Now's 4 Apr 12 ;
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Kwangmyongsong-3
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #26 ; 2012 Fail ; 7,146th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: North Korea
Launch: 12 April 2012 at 22h39 UT, from Sohae launch site, by a Unha-3.
Orbit: N/a
Mission: Kwangmyongsong-3 was a 100-kg crude 'technological satellite', box-shaped (1.4 x 0.6 x 0.7-metre in size) with body-mounted solar panels. The Unha-3 rocket flew south on an azimuth that would lead to an 88 degree inclination orbit. as the third stage was expected to make a yawed burn that, if successful, would have resulted in a 500 km, 97.4° sun-synchronous orbit. But it seems that the rocket failed near the end of first stage burn, probably at the point of separation of the first and second stages, about1.5 minute after launch. The remains of it then arced up 151 km into space and fell back into the Yellow Sea, probably about 5 minutes after launch. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No.656, 657 ; Spaceflight Now's 13 Apr 12 ; China Daily's 16 Mar 12, 17 Mar 12, 17 Mar 12, 18 Mar 12, 18 Mar 12, 18 Mar 12, 19 Mar 12, 19 Mar 12, 19 Mar 12, 20 Mar 12, 20 Mar 12, 20 Mar 12, 21 Mar 12, 23 Mar 12, 26 Mar 12, 26 Mar 12, 27 Mar 12, 27 Mar 12, 27 Mar 12, 28 Mar 12, 28 Mar 12, 29 Mar 12, 30 Mar 12, 30 Mar 12, 31 Mar 12, 6 Apr 12, 6 Apr 12, 6 Apr 12, 8 Apr 12, 10 Apr 12, 10 Apr 12, 10 Apr 12, 11 Apr 12, 11 Apr 12, 11 Apr 12, 11 Apr 12, 12 Apr12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12 13 Apr 12, 19 Apr 12 ; NYT 11 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12, 13 Apr 12  ; Nature 10 Apr 12
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Progress M-15M / ISS-47P
Spacecraft: Progress M (7K-TGM) No. 415
Chronologies: 2012 payload #27 ; 2012-15A ; 7,147th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks: 291st Soyuz (7K) spacecraft and 138th Progress.
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 20 April 2012 at 12h50 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-U.
Orbit: Initial: 187 km x 230 km x 51.6°
Later: 245 km x 305 km x 51.6°
De-orbited: 20 August 2012
Mission: Progress M-15M is a resupply ship which delivers approximately 3 tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The dry cargo weighs 1,226 kg and consists of food, spare parts, life support gear and experiment hardware. The refueling module carries 902 kg of propellant. Also aboard the craft are 420 kg of water and 50 kg of oxygen and air. The cargo ship docked to the Pirs Nadir port on 22 April 2012 at 14h39 UT.
     The Progress undocked from Pirs on 22 July 2012 at 20h26 UT.  It was to return to ISS two days later in a test of the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system, but its Kurs-NA failed to start up correctly and the rendezvous was postponed, with Progress M-15M flying past the station at a distance of 3 km.  The cargoship redocked with Pirs on 29 July at 1h01 UT in a successful test of the new Kurs-NA automatic rendezvous system. It then undocked once more on 30 July at 21h19 UT and placed itsefl on a high orbit. Finally, after three weeks of independent flight involving Radar-Progress experiments using thruster burns to study the ionosphere, it was deorbited over the Pacific on 20 August 2012.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658, 663 & 664, 664 ; NSSDC 2012-015A ; Spaceflight Now's 20 Apr 12, 22 Apr 12 ; RSC Energia's 12 Apr 12, 12 Apr 12, 14 Apr 12, 16 Apr 12, 17 Apr 12, 18 Apr 12, 20 Apr 12, 22 Apr 12, 23 Jul 12, 24 Jul 12, 27 Jul 12, 29 Jul 12 ;
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Yahsat-1B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #28 ; 2012-16A ; 7,148th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Yah Satellite Communications, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Launch: 23 April 2012 at 22h18 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-200/39, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 50.5° East longitude.
Mission: Yahsat 1B is a 6,050-kg telecommunications satellite with 25 commercial Ka-band transponders and 21 secure transponders for military and government purposes. It offers Ka-band to Europe, all of Africa, and a large swath covering Central and South Asia, including India and China. It is the second satellite of Al Yah Satellite Communications' new Generation Satellite Constellation and completes the current in-orbit development program. The craft is expected to be operating for at least 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-016A ; Spaceflight Now's 24 Apr 12 ; ILS' 24 Apr 12 ;
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RISAT-1
Spacecraft: RISAT stands for Radar Imaging Satellite.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #29 ; 2012-17A ; 7,149th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing (by radar)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ISRO / Indian Space Research Organization
Launch: 26 April 2012 at 0h17 UT, from Satish Dhawan Space Center, by a PSLV-XL.
Orbit: Initial: 465 km x 480 km x 97.6°
28 Apr 12: 530 km x 549 km x 97.6°
Mission: RISAT 1 is a 1,858-kg Earth observation satellite which carries a C-band microwave synthetic aperture radar used for disaster prediction, agriculture, forestry and the high resolution pictures. Its microwave imaging could also be used for defense purposes. It is India's first indigenous radar observation satellite and was the most massive spacecraft launched by a PSLV to date. RISAT 1 is in fact the second to RISAT launched, RISAT-2 having been launched in 2009. It is expected to operate in orbit for five years, with a ground track repeating every 25 days.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-017A ; Spaceflight Now's 25 Apr 12 ; ISRO's 23 Apr 12, 26 Apr 12, 28 Apr 12 ; China Daily's 24 Apr 12 ;
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Beidou 12 (M3)
Spacecraft: “shier ke Beidou er hao weixing” (Beidou-2 satellite 12)
Also known as COMPASS MEO 3.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #30 ; 2012-18A ; 7,150th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 29 April 2012 at 20h50 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3B.
Orbit: Initial: 200 km x 21,550 km x 55.0°
Mission: Beidou 12 is a navigation satellite which is part of the Beidou navigation constellation, also known as the Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS), China's second-generation satellite navigation system. CNSS is capable of providing continuous, real-time passive 3D geo-spatial positioning and speed measurement. The system will be dual use, based around a civilian service that will provide an accuracy of 10 metres in the user position, with the military and authorized user's service, providing higher accuracies. The satellites have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. Launched with Bediou 13, this is the first time China launched a dual-satellite primary payload into high-altitude orbit.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-018A ; Spaceflight Now's 29 Apr 12 ; China Daily's 30 Apr 12, 2 May 12, 2 May 12 ;
 
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Beidou 13 (M4)
Spacecraft: shisan ke Beidou er hao weixing” (Beidou-2 satellite 13)
Also known as COMPASS MEO 4. 
Chronologies: 2012 payload #31 ; 2012-18B ; 7,151st spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 29 April 2012 at 20h50 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3B.
Orbit: Initial: 200 km x 21,550 km x 55.0°
Mission: Beidou 13 is a navigation satellite which is part of the Beidou navigation constellation, also known as the Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS), China's second-generation satellite navigation system. CNSS is capable of providing continuous, real-time passive 3D geo-spatial positioning and speed measurement. The system will be dual use, based around a civilian service that will provide an accuracy of 10 metres in the user position, with the military and authorized user's service, providing higher accuracies. The satellites have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-018B ; Spaceflight Now's 29 Apr 12 ; China Daily's 30 Apr 12, 2 May 12, 2 May 12 ;
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AEHF 2 (USA 235)
Spacecraft: AEHF stands for Advanced Extremely High Frequency, Also known as AEHF SV-2
Chronologies: 2012 payload #32 ; 2012-19A ; 7,152nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks: U.S. Department of Defense
Sponsor:
Launch: 4 May 2012 at 18h42 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-41, by an Atlas V 531.
Orbit: Initial: 185 km x 901 km x 27.5°
Later: 225 km x 50,031 km x 20.6°
Mission: AEHF 2 is a 6,154-kg communications satellite that provides strategic military communications at EHF frequencies. This is the second of four Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites that are replacing the earlier Milstar system. The AEHF spacecraft provides highly-secure communication and has more capacity and faster data rates that will benefit tactical military communications, enabling higher quality maps, targeting data and live video to be transmitted ensuring a survivable line of contact in times of nuclear warfare. The craft has a 14-year design life. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-019A ; Spaceflight Now's 12 Mar 12, 8 Apr 12, 23 Apr 12, 4 May 12, 16 May 12, 25 Nov 12  ;
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TH 1-02 / Tianhui 1-02
Spacecraft: “Tianhui yihao 02 xing” (Mapping-1 Satellite 02) 
Chronologies: 2012 payload #33 ; 2012-20A ; 7,153rd spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese
Launch: 6 May 2012 at 7h10 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center's SLS-2, by a Chang Zheng 2D.
Orbit: 490 km x 506 km x 97.4° 
Mission: Tianhui 1-02 is a mapping satellite equipped with a three-dimensional survey camera and a CCD camera with a ground resolution of 5 metres and a field-of-view of 25 degrees. A multi-spectral camera with a ground resolution of 10 metres is also on-board. The cameras from an image of 60 km wide. The Tianhui satellites are part of the Ziyuan program that cover different civil and military Earth observation as well as remote sensing programs.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 658 ; NSSDC 2012-020A ; Spaceflight Now's 6 May 12 ; China Daily's 6 May 12, 7 May 12 ;
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YW-14 / Yaogan Weixing 14
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #34 ; 2012-21A ; 7,154th spacecraft.
Type: Photo Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 10 May 2012 at 7h06 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4B.
Orbit: 473 km x 479 km x 97.2°
Mission: Yaogan 14 is a military remote sensing satellite. 
Notes: The launcher's third stage reentered over Texas on 27 February 2013 at about 9h15 UT.  Local news channel KLTV reported observations of fireballs moving south to north over Longview, Texas at that time.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 & 675 ; NSSDC 2012-021A ; Spaceflight Now's ; China Daily's 10 May 12, 11 May 12 ;
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Tiantuo 1
Spacecraft: Tiantuo means 'Space Pioneer'.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #35 ; 2012-21B ; 7,155th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China's National University of Defense Technology
Launch: 10 May 2012 at 7h06 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4B.
Orbit: 468 km x 471 km x 97.2°
Mission: Tiantuo I is a 9.3-kg nanosatellite with a mission dedicated to optical imaging, detection of on-orbit atomic oxygen and receiving signals from the marine Automatic Identification System (AIS) that is currently in its testing phase. The microsatellite was developed and built by the National University of Defense Technology. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-021B ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Soyuz TMA-04M / ISS-30S
Spacecraft: Soyuz 11F732A47 (7K-STMA) No. 705
Chronologies: 2012 payload #36 ; 2012-22A ; 7,156th spacecraft.
Type: Piloted Spaceship
Families:
Ranks: 292nd Soyuz (7K) spacecraft, 136th Soyuz spaceship (112nd manned).
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 15 May 2012 at 3h01 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1/5, by a Soyuz-FG.
Orbit:
Recovered: Landed on 17 September 2012 at 2h53 UT
Mission: Soyuz TMA-04M is a crew transport spaceship that carried ISS Expedition 31/32 crew to the International Space Station (Gennadi Padalka, Sergey Revine and Joseph Acaba). It docked to the Poisk module's zenith port on 17 May 2012 at 4h36 UT. Six months later, the Soyuz undocked from Poisk on 16 September 2012 at 23h09 UT and landed in Kazakhstan on 17 September at 2h53 UT, after a 124 days, 23 hours and 52 minutes flight. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 & 667 ; NSSDC 2012-022A ; Spaceflight Now's 2 Feb 12, 14 May 12, 17 May 12, 16 Spe 12  ; RSC Energia's 2 May 12, 3 May 12, 5 May 12, 6 May 12, 8 May 12, 11 May 12, 12 May 12, 13 May 12, 15 May 12, 17 May 12, 17 Sep 12 ;
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JCSAT 13
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #37 ; 2012-23A ; 7,157th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Sky Perfect JSAT (Japan)
Launch: 15 May 2012 at 22h13 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 124° East longitude.
Mission: JCSAT 13 is a 4.53-ton communications satellite which carries 44 Ku-band transponders to provide service to Japan and Southeast Asia. It is replacing JCSAT 6 and has a design life of 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-023A ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Vinasat 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #38 ; 2012-23B ; 7,158th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Vietnam Posts and Telecom (VNPT)
Launch: 15 May 2012 at 22h13 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 131.8° East longitude.
Mission: Vinasat 2 is a 2.97-ton communications satellite which carries 24 Ku-band transponders to provide service to Vietnam and its neighboring countries. It has a design life of at least 15 years. The craft is carrying additional fuel reserves to maximize its maneuvering longevity.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-023B ; Spaceflight Now's ; China Daily's 16 May 12 ;
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Kosmos 2480
Spacecraft: Kobal't-M
Chronologies: 2012 payload #39 ; 2012-24A ; 7,159th spacecraft.
Type: Photo Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russian Defense Ministry
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 14h05 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-16, by a Soyuz-U.
Orbit: Initial: 186 km x 255 km x 81.4°
20 May 12: 218 km x 248 km
Recovered: 24 September 2012 at around 17h03 UT.
Mission: Kosmos 2480 is a Kobal't-M imaging spy satellite - the second Kobal't-M to this near polar inclination. The recovery capsule, which contains cameras and film, landed on 24 September 2012.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 , 668 ; NSSDC 2012-024A ; Spaceflight Now's 17 May 12 ; RSNF's 17 May 12, 24 Sep 12 ;
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GCOM W1 / Shizuku
Spacecraft: GCOM-W stands for Global Change Observation Mission-Water, 
Shizuku means water drop in japanese.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #40 ; 2012-25A ; 7,160th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing / Climatology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: JAXA / Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 16h39 UT, from Tanegashima Y1, by a H-2A.
Orbit: 670 km x 674 km x 98.2°
Mission: GCOM-W1 is a 1.991-kg satellite that studies water circulation systems in the Earth’s atmosphere. It carries the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer 2 (AMSR2), a remote sensing instrument for measuring weak microwave emission from the surface and the atmosphere of the Earth. It is the first satellite for the GCOM-W series which will track precipitation, clouds, atmospheric water vapor, sea surface temperatures, sea ice, snow cover, and soil moisture. GCOM-W1 is expected to operate in orbit for at least five years. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-025A ; Spaceflight Now's 17 May 12 ;
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Kompsat 3 / Arirang-3
Spacecraft: Kompsat stands for Korean Multi-Purpose Satellite .
Chronologies: 2012 payload #41 ; 2012-25B ; 7,161st spacecraft.
Type: Earth Imaging
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: KARI, South Korea
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 16h39 UT, from Tanegashima Y1, by a H-2A.
Orbit:
Mission: Kompsat 3 is a 800-kg high-resolution imaging satellite required for the Geographical Information Systems and other environmental, agricultural and oceanographic monitoring applications. It carries a camera that resolved objects as small as 70 cm on Earth's surface. The satellite has an expected lifespan of 4 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-025B ; Spaceflight Now's 17 May 12 ;
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SDS-4
Spacecraft: SDS stands for Small Demonstration Satellite.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #42 ; 2012-25C ; 7,162nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: JAXA / Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 16h39 UT, from Tanegashima Y1, by a H-2A.
Orbit:
Mission: SDS 4 is a 50-kg cubesat which carries several technology demonstration experiments which will be used to verify new technologies for components and devices in space. One is an experiment to monitor AIS (Automatic Information System) messages transmitted from ships at sea.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-025C ; Spaceflight Now's 17 May 12 ;
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Horyu-2
Spacecraft: Horyu is an imaginary Phoenix-Dragon.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #43 ; 2012-25D ; 7,163rd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Kyushu Institute of Technology students, Japan
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 16h39 UT, from Tanegashima Y1, by a H-2A.
Orbit:
Mission: Horyu 2 is a 7.1 kg microsatellite dedicated to the High Voltage Technology Demonstration Satellite Program. It’s mission objective is to test an experimental high-voltage solar array system and observe spacecraft charging effects caused by it. The satellite was operated for about one year operations.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-025D ; Spaceflight Now's 17 May 12 ;
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Nimiq 6
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #44 ; 2012-26A ; 7,164th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Telesat Canada Ltd
Launch: 17 May 2012 at 19h12 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 91.1° West longitude.
Mission: Nimiq 6 is a 4,500-kg communications satellite equipped with 32 Ku-band transponders to provide coverage to Canadian users. It has a design life of 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; NSSDC 2012-026A ; Spaceflight Now's 17 Mah 12 ;
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Dragon C2+
Spacecraft: Also called Dragon COTS 2+ DEMO mission.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #45 ; 2012-27A ; 7,165th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: SpaceX for NASA
Launch: 22 May 2012 at 7h44 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's LC-40, by a Falcon 9.
Orbit: Initial: 297 km x 346 km x 51.6°
At ISS arrival: 380 km x 396 km x 51.6°
Recovered: 31 May 2012 at 15h42 UT
Mission: Dragon C2 is the first commercial cargo ship launched for NASA by SpaceX. The craft, which probably weights around 7 tons, consists of a pressurised cabin with cargo and an unpressurized trunk section with solar panels. SpaceX have not released the mass of the spacecraft, but it is probably around 6,650 kg. The cargoship was carrying 544 kg of supplies, including food, crew provisions, student-developed experiments and computer equipment. Mission objectives were to demonstrate its ability to remain in orbit for several weeks, test its maneuvering and navigation systems and perform a rendezvous with the International Space Station.
     After successfully completing a detailed series of navigation and other systems test, Dragon approached within ten metres of ISS before being grappled by the Canadarm2 remote manipulator system and connected to the nadir port of the Harmony module. Capture occured on 28 May 2012 by the SSRMS at 13h56 UT, berthing was completed at 16h02 UT. The craft remained connected to ISS for three weeks, allowing astronauts to empty it before loading it with used scientific equipment for the return to Earth. The craft was unberthed on 31 May at 8h07 UT and was released at 9h49 UT. It then returned to Earth under parachutes, splashing down occurred at 15h42 UT in the Pacific Ocean, off the California coast. Dragon's flight lasted 9 days, 7 hours and 58 minutes. This was the first fully functional Dragon spacecraft as part of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstration Mission for NASA.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 & 660 ; NSSDC2012-027A ; Spaceflight Now's 20 Jan 12, 3 Feb 12, 1 Mar12, 30 Mar 12, 16 Apr 12, 23 Apr 1227 Apr 12, 30 Apr 12, 1 May 12, 4 May 12, 15 May 12, 18 May 12, 19 May 12, 19 May 12, 21 May 12, 22 May 12, 23 May 12, 25 May 12, 26 May 12, 28 May 12, 29 May 12, 31 May 12, 2 Jun 12, 15 Jun 12 ; NASA's 2010-2014 NASA News Releases ;
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Celestis 11
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #46 ; 2012-27B ; 7,166th spacecraft.
Type: Technology ? Burial
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Celestis
Launch: 22 May 2012 at 7h44 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's LC-40, by a Falcon 9.
Orbit: 268 km x 333 km x 51.7°
Mission: A Celestis space burial capsule (with cremated human remains) was attached to the Falcon 9's second stage.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 659 ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Fajr
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: Not applicable
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Iran
Launch: Around 23 May  2012, from Semnan launch site, by a Safir.
Orbit: n/a
Mission: An Iranian ‘Fajr’ satellite was rumored to have been launched around 23 May 2012, but no confirmation of either a launch attempt or a launch failure do exist.  The 50-kg satellite, with an imaging payload and a small thruster, was expected to be launched on May 23, but frequent Iranian media reports in advance of the expected date were followed by sudden silence. Evidence of launch pad burn marks were presented in some reports, as well as claims that U.S. authorities had detected a launch. But later statements from Iran say that the Fajr satellite will be launched in the coming months (if it does, it could be a backup flight model). The launch failure rumours are not specific.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ;
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ZX-2A / Zhongxing 2A / Chinasat 2A
Spacecraft: May have the classified name of Shentong-2
Chronologies: 2012 payload #47 ; 2012-28A ; 7,167th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 26 May 2012 at 15h56 UT, from Xichang Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 3BE.
Orbit: Geostationary at 98° East longitude.
Mission: Zhongxing 2A is believed to be a new generation strategic military communications satellite for the Chinese People's Liberation Army.3
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 660 ; NSSDC 2012-028A ; Spaceflight Now's 27 May 12 ; China Daily's 27 May 12, 28 May 12, 28 May 12 ;
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YW-15 / Yaogan Weixing 15
Spacecraft: “Yaogan Weixing shiwu hao” ('Remote Sensing Satellite No. 15')
Chronologies: 2012 payload #48 ; 2012-29A ; 7,168th spacecraft.
Type: Radar Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 29 May 2012 at 7h31 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4C.
Orbit: 1,201 km x 1,206 km x 100.1°
Mission:
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 660 ; NSSDC 2012-029A ; Spaceflight Now's 29 May 12 ; China Daily's 30 May 12 ;
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Intelsat IS-19
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #49 ; 2012-30A ; 7,169th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Intelsat
Launch: 1st June 2012 at 5h23 UT, from Odyssey Launch Platform in the Pacific Ocean, by a Zenit-3SL.
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: Intelsat IS-19 is a 5,600-kg telecommunications satellite with a C and Ku-band payload.  The craft is part of Intelsat's on-going fleet investment program.  It replaced the aging Intelsat 8 and has an expected lifetime on orbit of over 15 years. One of the satellite's solar arrays was damaged during ascent, shortly after fairing separation.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 660 ; NSSDC 2012-030A ; Spaceflight Now's 25 Jan 12, 6 Arp 12, 1 Jun 12, 9 Jun 12, 19 Jun 12, 1 Jul 12 ; RSC Ebergiya's 1 Jun 12 ;
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NuSTAR
Spacecraft: NuSTAR stands for Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array
Chronologies: 2012 payload #50 ; 2012-31A ; 7,170th spacecraft.
Type: Astronomy
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Launch: 13 June 2012 at 16h00 UT, from a L-1011, at Kwajalein, by a Pegasus XL.
Orbit: 627 km x 633 km x 6.0°
Mission: NuSTAR is a 360-kg X-ray telescope which studies supermassive black holes believed to be at the cores of galaxies and to probe the creation of heavy elements in the cataclysmic death of massive stars. In addition, it is studying high-energy objects such as the remains of exploded stars; compact, dead stars; and clusters of galaxies. NuSTAR is also studying the Sun's atmosphere, looking for clues as to how it is heated. This mission is a Small Explorer mission led by the Caltech and managed by JPL for NASA.
     In August 2014, NuSTAR completed its two-year prime mission and is moving onto a two-year extension. In its prime mission, it made the most robust measurements yet of the spin rate of black holes and provided new insight into how massive stars slosh around before exploding. Other observations include: the discovery of a highly magnetized neutron star near the center of our Milky Way galaxy, measurements of luminous active black holes enshrouded in dust, and serendipitous discoveries of supermassive black holes. “We achieved all the mission science objectives and made some amazing discoveries I never would have predicted two years ago,” said Fiona Harrison, the mission's principal investigator.
Note: The L-1011 airplane took off from Kwajalein on 13 June at 15h00 UT and dropped the Pegasus at 16h00:37 UT. The rocket reached orbit at 16h10 UT and NuStar separated from it at 16h13 UT. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 660, 661 ; NSSDC 2012-031A ; Spaceflight Now's 1 Feb 12, 18 Feb 12, 3 Apr 12, 5 Jun 12, 13 Jun 12, 2014 Stories ; NASA's Nustar, 19 Feb 14 ; NASA's NuSTARr & 2010-2014 News Releases ; Caltech's NuSTAR ;
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Shenzhou IX
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #51 ; 2012-32A ; 7,171st spacecraft.
Type: Piloted Spaceship
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 16 June 2012 at 10h37 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2F.
Orbit:
Recovered: 29 June 2013 at 2h02 UT.
Mission: Shenzhou IX was a piloted spaceship which was carrying three crewmembers, including the first Chinese woman: Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang. The mission featured the first piloted docking tests for China, roughly comparable to Gemini 8/Agena and Soyuz-11/Salyut-1 missions performed more than 40 years ago by the U.S. and U.S.S.R. 
     The 13-day flight centered on docking tests with the Tiangong 1 space module launched in 2011. Shenzhou IX took two days to get near its target. docked to it on 18 June at 6h08 UT.  The crew opened the hatches at 9h10 UT and entered into the lab. Spacecrafts stayed docked for six days. A second docking test was performed on 24 June; onboard Shenhzhou IX, the crew undocked at 3h09 UT, backed off to 300 metres, then made a manua redocking at 4h49 UT, and reentered the module.  Finally, on 28 June, Shenhzhou IX undocked at 1h22 UT and returned to Earth on 29 June. Landing occured at 2h02 UT in Inner Mongolia, after a 12 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes flight.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 660, 661 & 662 ; NSSDC 2012-032A ; Spaceflight Now's 17 Feb 12, 14 May 12, 10 Jun 12, 16 Jun 1218 Jun 12, 24 Jun 12, 29 Jun 12 ; China Daily's 17 Feb 12, 18 Feb 12, 1 Mar 12, 3 Mar 12, 12 Mar 12, 25 Mar 12, 9 Apr 12, 9 Jun 12, 9 Jun 12, 10 Jun 12, 11 Jun 12, 11 Jun 12, 12 Jun 12, 12 Jun 12, 12 Jun 12,13 Jun 12, 13 Jun 12, 13 Jun 12, 13 Jun 12, 13 Jun 12, 14 Jun 12, 14 Jun 12, 14 Jun 12, 15 Jun 12, 15 Jun 12, 15 Jun 12, 15 Jun 12, 15 Jun 1216 Jun 12, 16 Jun 12, 17 Jun 12, 18 Jun 12, 18 Jun 12, 18 Jun 12, 19 Jun 12, 19 Jun 12, 19 Jun 12, 20 Jun 12, 22 Jun 12, 23 Jun 12, 24 Jun 12, 24 Jun 12, 24 Jun 12, 25 Jun 12, 25 Jun 12, 26 Jun 12, 27 Jun 12, 28 Jun 12, 29 Jun 12, 29 Jun 12, 29 Jun 12, 29 Jun 12, 29 JUn 12, 30 Jun 12, 30 Jun 12, 30 Jun 12, 14 Jul 12 ;
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NROL-38 (USA 236)
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #52 ; 2012-33A ; 7,172nd spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
Launch: 20 June 2012 at 12h28 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-41, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: Geostationary?
Mission: Analysts expected that the payload is a Satellite Data System communications spacecraft.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 661, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-033A ; Spaceflight Now's 20 Jun 12, 17 Jul 12 ;
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NROL-15 (USA 237)
Spacecraft: 'Heavy ORION'?
Chronologies: 2012 payload #53 ; 2012-34A ; 7,173rd spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks: U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
Sponsor:
Launch: 29 June 2012 at 13h15 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Staton's SLC-37B, by a Delta 4H.
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: The mission is likely to be a geostationary signals intelligence satellite, maybe the first 'Heavy ORION'?
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 661 ; NSSDC 2012-034A ; Spaceflight Now's 4 Apr 12 ;
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Echostar 17
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #54 ; 2012-35A ; 7,174th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Echostar
Launch: 5 July 2012 at 21h36 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 107.1° West longitude.
Mission: Echostar 17 is a 6,100-kg communications satellite which provides high-speed internet links. It carries 60 Ka band (NATO K band) transponders which are used to cover North America. The satellite measures 8.0 m x 3.2 m x 3.1 m, with 26.07-m solar arrays. It is expected to operate for fifteen years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 662 ; NSSDC 2012-035A ; Spaceflight Now's 8 Jul 12 ;
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MSG 3 / Meteosat 10
Spacecraft: MSG stands for Meteosat Second Generation
Chronologies: 2012 payload #55 ; 2012-35B ; 7,175th spacecraft.
Type: Meteorology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: EUMETSAT / European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites
Launch: 5 July 2012 at 21h36 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary 
Mission: MSG 3 is a meteorology satellite which has, as primary instrument, the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infra-red Imager (SEVIRI), which builds images of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere in 12 different wavelengths once every 15 minutes. Four of the 12 SEVIRI channels look at sunlight reflected from the Earth’s surface and clouds, while the remaining eight are designed to monitor thermal infrared wavelengths.  Also carried on MSG 3 is the Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget (GERB) instrument for measurements of radiation originating on Earth from the Sun. The payload is completed by a communications package for the rebroadcast of EUMETSAT data to end users’ ground stations, as well as a search and rescue transponder for the international Cospas-Sarsat program. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 662 ; NSSDC 2012-035B ; Spaceflight Now's 8 Jul 12,; NAWA Watch's 7 Aug 12 ;
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SES-5
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #56 ; 2012-36A ; 7,176th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: SES / Société Européenne des Satellites
Launch: 9 July 2012 at 18h38 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 5° East longitude.
Mission: SES 5 is a 6-ton communications satellite which carries 36 Ku-band transponders and up to 24 transponders in C-band for direct-to-home television, cellular backhaul and maritime communications in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. It features two Ku-band beams, one targeting the Nordic and Baltic regions, the other trained on sub-Saharan Africa.  SES 5 is also carrying a hosted L-band navigation terminal for the executive commission of the 27-nation European Union. The terminal will be operated as part of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) system, which provides verification of GPS navigation signals through the use of satellites in geostationary orbit. SES-5 was formerly Sirius 5; the Nordiska Satellite company was bought by SES and progressively absorbed.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 662 ; NSSDC 2012-036A ; Spaceflight Now's 19 Jun 12 ; RSC Energia's 10 Jul 12
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Soyuz TMA-05M / ISS-31S
Spacecraft: Soyuz 11F732A47 (7K-STMA) No. 706
Chronologies: 2012 payload #57 ; 2012-37A ; 7,177th spacecraft.
Type: Piloted Spaceship
Families:
Ranks: 293rd Soyuz (7K) spacecraft, 137th Soyuz spaceship (113rd manned).
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 15 July 2012 at 2h40 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1/5, by a Soyuz-FG.
Orbit:
Recovered: 18 November 2012 at 1h56 UT
Mission: Soyuz TMA-05M is a crew transport spaceship that carried ISS Expedition 32/33 crew to the International Space Station (Youri Malenchenko, Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide). It docked with the Rassvet module on 17 Julu 2012 at 4h51 UT. Six months later, on 17 November 2012, the Soyuz undocked from the Rassvet module at 22h26 UT and landed in Kazakhstan on 18 November at 1hh56 UT, after a 126 days, 23 hours and 16 minutes flight.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 662 & 671 ; NSSDC 2012-037A ; Spaceflight Now's 13 Jul 12, 14 Jul 12, 17 Jul 12, 18 Nov 12 ; RSC Energiya's 2 Jul 12, 3 Jul 12, 5 Jul 12, 6 Jul 12, 8 Jul 12, 10 Jul 12, 11 Jul 12, 12 Jul 12, 15 Jul 12, 17 Jul 12, 19 Nov 12 ;
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HTV-3 / Kounotori 3
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #58 ; 2012-38A ; 7,178th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: JAXA / Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Launch: 21 July 2012 at 2h06 UT, from Tanegashima LP2, by a H-IIB.
Orbit:
De-orbited: 14 September 2012
Mission: HTV-3 is a cargo ship designed to deliver up to 6 tonnes of supplies including food, clothes, and experiment devices to the International Space Station (ISS) and return with spent equipment, used clothing, and other waste material. Cargo includes five cubesats intended to be released from the ISS during September. Equipment carried in the outside unpressurised section were transferred to the Kibo module using the Japanese robotic arm on the ISS. The cargo craft is 4 metres across and about 10 metres long. It consists primarily of three parts: (a) a propulsion module installed at the rear and composed of main engines for orbit maneuvering, reaction control system (RCS) thrusters for position control, fuel and oxidizing reagent tanks, and high-pressure air tanks; (b) an avionics module installed in the center part, with electronic equipment for guidance control, power supply, and telecommunications data processing; and, and (c) a logistics carrier that stores supplies. 
     HTV-3 was captured by the ISS Remote Manipulator Arm on 27 July 2012 at 12h23 UT, and contact with the nadir port of the Harmony module was at 14:19 UT.  Two months later, on 12 September, it was unberthed by the SSRMS arm at about 12h02 UT and released into space at 15h50 UT. After one of HTV-3's onboard computers failed, a planned small separation burn was replaced by a much larger abort burn which safely and rapidly separated the cargocraft from the vicinity of the ISS. It was then successfully deorbited over the Pacific on 14 September 2012.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 664, 665 & 667 ; NSSDC 2012-038A ; Spaceflight Now's 20 Jul 12, 15 Aug 12, 12 Sep 12, 17 Sep 12 ;
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Kanopus-V 1 / Kanopus-Vulkan-1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #59 ; 2012-39A ; 7,179th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Imaging
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 22 July 2012 at 6h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Orbit: 505 km x 510 km x 97.5°
Mission: Kanopus-V is an Earth imaging satellite which carries a 2-meter resolution cameras. It was built by VNII Elektromekhaniki.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663 ; China Daily's 22 Jul 12 ;
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BelKA-2 / BKA 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #60 ; 2012-39B ; 7,180th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Imaging
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Belorussian Academy of Sciences.
Launch: 22 July 2012 at 6h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-FG/Fregat.
Orbit: 505 km x 510 km x 97.5°
Mission: BelKA-2 is an Earth imaging satellite which carries a 2-meter resolution cameras. It was built by VNII Elektromekhaniki.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663 ; China Daily's 22 Jul 12, 24 Jul 12 ;
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ExactView-1 / ADS-18
Spacecraft: This satellite was formerly ADS-1B.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #61 ; 2012-39C ; 7,181st spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ComDev, Canada
Launch: 22 July 2012 at 6h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Orbit: 805 km x 821 km x 99.0°
Mission: ExactView-1 is a satellite for monitoring shipping movements by using AIS, built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited for exactEarth. The Automatic Identifcation System picks up VHF 162 MHz transmitters on marine vessels.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663 ; NSSDC 2012-039C ; China Daily's 22 Jul 12 ;
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TET-1
Spacecraft: TET stands of Technologieerprobungstraeger. 
Chronologies: 2012 payload #62 ; 2012-39D ; 7,182nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: German Space Agency (DLR, formerly DFVLR)
Launch: 22 July 2012 at 6h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Orbit: 505 km x 510 km x 97.5°
Mission: TET 1 is a 120-kg satellite which is the core element of DLR's On-Orbit Verification Program (OOV). The main aim of this program is to test new space technologies in a space environment over a period of one year. Eleven experiments will be accommodated by Kayser-Threde onboard the satellite. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663 ; NSSDC 2012-039D ; China Daily's 22 Jul 12 ;
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MKA-PN 1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #63 ; 2012-39E ; 7,183rd spacecraft.
Type: Earth remote sensing and upper atmosphere research
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Institute for Space Research (IKI), Russia
Launch: 22 July 2012 at 6h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31/6, by a Soyuz-FG/Fregat
Orbit: 805 km x 821 km x 99.0°
Mission: MKA-PN1 was designed to monitor ocean salinity and temperature, as well as humidity of the land surface, based on the 'Carat' standard satellite bus. It is also a magnetospheric research mission.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663 ; NSSDC 2012-039E ; China Daily's 22 Jul 12 ;
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Tianlian-1-03
Spacecraft: “Tianlian yihao 03 xing” (Tianlian-1 Satellite 03)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #64 ; 2012-40A ; 7,184th spacecraft.
Type: Communications (Data Relay)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 25 July 2012 at 15h43 UT, from Xichang Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 3C.
Orbit: Geostationary at 16.7° East longitude.
Mission: This Tianlian-1 is China's third tracking and data relay satellite.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 664 ; China Daily's 26 Jul 12, 27 Jul 12 ;
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Kosmos 2481
Spacecraft: Strela-3M
Chronologies: 2012 payload #65 ; 2012-41A ; 7,185th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russian Defense Ministry
Launch: 28 July 2012 at 13h5 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-133, by a Rokot.
Orbit: 1,483 km x 1,506 km x 82.5°
Mission: Kosmos-2481 is a Strela-3M military communications satellite. It is part of a military store-dump communications satellite. It will join a Russian network of about 70 military reconnaissance satellites.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-041A ; RSNF's 28 Jul 12 ; China Daily's 28 Jul 12 ;
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Gonets-M 13
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #66 ; 2012-41B ; 7,186th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia
Launch: 28 July 2012 at 13h5 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-133, by a Rokot.
Orbit: 1,483 km x 1,506 km x 82.5°
Mission: Gonets-M 13 is a store-dump communications satellite for Russia's civilian system; it is the civilian counterparts of the Strela-3M.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-041B; RSNF's 28 Jul 12 ; China Daily's 28 Jul 12 ;
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MiR / Yubeleiny 2
Spacecraft: This satellite was named after Mikhail Reshetnev (1924-1996),  spacecraft designer and the founder of the company that bears his name. 
Chronologies: 2012 payload #67 ; 2012-41C ; 7,187th spacecraft.
Type: Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Students and research staff of the Siberian State Aerospace University (SibGAU).
Launch: 28 July 2012 at 13h5 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-133, by a Rokot.
Orbit: 1,483 km x 1,506 km x 82.5°
Mission: This satellite carries student technology experiments relating to contoured heat pipes, new radio equipment and miniaturised components for satellite attitude and orientation control systems using magnetic torquing. Onboard also is a webcam and solar power experiments. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-041C; RSNF's 28 Jul 12 ; China Daily's 28 Jul 12 ;
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Gonets-M 15
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #68 ; 2012-41D ; 7,188th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia
Launch: 28 July 2012 at 13h5 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-133, by a Rokot.
Orbit: 1,483 km x 1,506 km x 82.5°
Mission: Gonets-M 15 is a store-dump communications satellite for Russia's civilian system; it is the civilian counterparts of the Strela-3M.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-041D; RSNF's 28 Jul 12 ; China Daily's 28 Jul 12 ;
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Progress M-16M / ISS-48P
Spacecraft: Progress M (7K-TGM) No. 416
Chronologies: 2012 payload #69 ; 2012-42A ; 7,189th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks: 294th Soyuz (7K) spacecraft and 139th Progress.
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 1st August 2012 at 19h35 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1, by a Soyuz-U.
Orbit:
De-orbited 9 February 2013
Mission: Progress M-16M is a cargo ship that delivers to the ISS some 2,600 kg of supplies, including scientific equipment, medicine, food and water. Also included was the small passive satellite Sfera-53, which was deployed by occupants of ISS during a spacewalk. The craft tested a new fast rendezvous profile, docking with Pirs only 5 hours and 43 minutres after launch, on 2 August at 1h18 UT. Six months later, on 9 February 2013, the Progress was undocked from the Pirs module at 13h16 UT and was deorbited over the Pacific Ocean at 16h19 UT with impact of its debris at 17h05 UT. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 & 674 ; NSSDC 2012-042A ; RSC Energiya's 22 Jul 12, 25 Jul 12, 27 Jul 12, 27 Jul 12, 29 Jul 12, 30 Jul 12, 1 Aug 12, 2 Aug 12 ;
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Intelsat IS-20
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #70 ; 2012-43A ; 7,190th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Intelsat
Launch: 2 August 2012 at 20h54 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 68.5° East longitude.
Mission: Intelsat IS-20 is a 6,094-kg communications satellite with C- and Ku-band payload optimized for high-power distribution of video, voice and data network services over Asia, Africa and the middle East. It is replacing the Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 satellites, which are co-located.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-043A ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Hylas 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #71 ; 2012-43B ; 7,191st spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Avanti Cyprus Limited
Launch: 2 August 2012 at 20h54 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: HYLAS 2 is a 3,311-kg communications satellite which carries 24 Ka-band transponders to provide data and video services to Northern and Southern Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the craft is equipped with a steerable spot beam which can provide coverage anywhere on Earth that is visible from the satellite.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; NSSDC 2012-043B ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Telkom-3
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #72 ; 2012-44A ; 7,192nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: PT Telkom of Indonesia
Launch: 6 August 2012 at 19h31 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: 266 km x 5,015 km x 49.9° (instead of geostationary orbit)
Mission: Telkom-3 is a 1,903-kg communications satellite for PT Telkom of Indonesia.
Note: Proton's Briz-M upper stage's third burn failed after only 7 seconds, leaving the vehicle in a low elliptical orbit, instead of continuing towards geostationary altitude. The two payloads and the DTB drop tank separated from the Briz. They had probably reenter within one year.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; Spaceflight Now's 7 Aug 12, 24 Oct 12 ; China Daily's  7 Aug 12 ; Itar-Tass' 8 Aug 12 ;
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Ekspress MD2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #73 ; 2012-44B ; 7,193rd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Kosmicheskiya Svyaz (Russia)
Launch: 6 August 2012 at 19h31 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: 266 km x 5,015 km x 49.9° (instead of geostationary orbit)
Mission: Ekspress-is a 1,140 kg communications satellite for Kosmicheskiya Svyaz, the Russian domestic communications satellite operator.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 664 ; Spaceflight Now's 7 Aug 12 24 Oct 12 ; China Daily's 7 Aug 12 ; Itar-Tass' 8 Aug 12 ;
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Intelsat IS-21
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #74 ; 2012-45A ; 7,194th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Intelsat
Launch: 19 August 2012 at 6h55 UT, from SL Odyssey platform in the Pacific Ocean, by a Zenit-3SL.
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: Intelsat IS-21 is a communications satellite that maintain and enhance the leading video neighborhood in Latin America, as well as offer mobility services.  It isreplacing the IS-9 satellite. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 665 ; NSSDC 2012-045A ; Spaceflight Now's 25 Jan 12, 19 Aug 12 ; RSC Energia's 17 Aug 12, 19 Aug 12 ;
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Sfera-53
Spacecraft: Also known as TEKh 44 or Vektor-T or just "sphere".
Chronologies: 2012 payload #75 ; 2012-42C (1998-067CM); 7,195th spacecraft.
Type: Earth/Space Science (Upper atmosphere density)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia
Launch: Launched onboard Progress M-16M on 1st August 2012 and deployed from ISS on 20 August 2012 at 18h29 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: Sfera-53 was a 13-kg passive, highly-reflective sphere 53 cm in diameter which was released during a spacewalk by occupants of the International Space Station. The sphere was tracked and its rate of decay used to determine the density of the Earth's upper atmosphere at altitude ranging from 100 to 400 kilometres. Release of Sfera was made in the aft-nadir from ISS utilizing a mechanism that was attached to it prior to the EVA. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 665 ; NSSDC 2012-042C ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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RBSP A / Van Allen Probe A
Spacecraft: RBSP stands for Radiation Belt Storm Probes, also known as Van Allen Probe A.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #76 ; 2012-46A ; 7,196th spacecraft.
Type: Earth/Space Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: NASA
Launch: 30 August 2012 at 8h05 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-41, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 601 km x 30,709 km x 10.0°
Mission: RBSP-A is a 591.6-kg science satellite studying the Van Allen radiation belt. RBSP mission is part of NASA's Living With a Star Geospace program to explore fundamental processes that operate throughout the Solar system, in particular those that generate hazardous space weather effects near the Earth and phenomena that could affect Solar system exploration. RBSP is designed to help understand the Sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the planet's radiation belts on various scales of space and time. The mission's science objectives are to: (1) discover which processes, singly or in combination, accelerate and transport radiation belt electrons and ions and under what conditions; (2) understand and quantify the loss of radiation belt electrons and determine the balance between competing acceleration and loss processes; and, (3) understand how the radiation belts change in the context of geomagnetic storms.  The instruments on the two RBSP spacecraft provides the measurements needed to characterize and quantify the processes that produce relativistic ions and electrons. They are measuring the properties of charged particles that comprise the Earth's radiation belts and the plasma waves that interact with them, the large-scale electric fields that transport them, and the magnetic field that guides them.  The spacecraft have an octagonal prism shape with a diameter of 1.8 meter and a length of 1.3 meter.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 666 ; NSSDC 2012-046A ; Spaceflight Now's 1 May 12, 30 Aug 12 ; NASA's 2010-2014 NASA News Releases ;
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RBSP B / Van Allen Probe B
Spacecraft: RBSP stands for Radiation Belt Storm Probes, also known as Van Allen Probe B.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #77 ; 2012-46B ; 7,197th spacecraft.
Type: Earth/Space Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: NASA
Launch: 30 August 2012 at 8h05 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-41, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 601 km x 30,709 km x 10.0°
Mission: RBSP-B is a 591.6 kg science satellite studying the Van Allen radiation belt. RBSP mission is part of NASA's Living With a Star Geospace program to explore fundamental processes that operate throughout the Solar system, in particular those that generate hazardous space weather effects near the Earth and phenomena that could affect Solar system exploration. RBSP is designed to help understand the Sun's influence on the Earth and near-Earth space by studying the planet's radiation belts on various scales of space and time. The mission's science objectives are to: (1) discover which processes, singly or in combination, accelerate and transport radiation belt electrons and ions and under what conditions; (2) understand and quantify the loss of radiation belt electrons and determine the balance between competing acceleration and loss processes; and, (3) understand how the radiation belts change in the context of geomagnetic storms.  The instruments on the two RBSP spacecraft provides the measurements needed to characterize and quantify the processes that produce relativistic ions and electrons. They are measuring the properties of charged particles that comprise the Earth's radiation belts and the plasma waves that interact with them, the large-scale electric fields that transport them, and the magnetic field that guides them.  The spacecraft have an octagonal prism shape with a diameter of 1.8 meter and a length of 1.3 meter. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 666 ; NSSDC 2012-046B ; Spaceflight Now's 1 May 12, 30 Aug 12 ; NASA's 2010-2014 NASA News Releases ;
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SPOT 6
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #78 ; 2012-47A ; 7,198th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Spot Image (France)
Launch: 9 September 2012 at 4h23 UT, from Satish Dhawan Space Center's LP1, by a PSLV-CA.
Orbit: 640 km x 647 km x 98.2°
Mission: Spot 6 is a 712-kg Earth remote sensing satellite which collects high-resolution imagery, resolving objects as small as 1.5 meter. SPOT 6 was built by Astrium/Toulouse for Astrium subsidiary Spot Image (Toulouse). (Earlier SPOT satellites were owned by CNES with Spot Image marketing the data.)
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-047A ; Spaceflight Now's ; ISRO 3 Apr 12, 9 Sep 12 ;
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PROITERES
Spacecraft: PROITERES stands for PRoject of OIT Electric-Rocket-Engine on Small satellite (also an acronym for the Osaka Institute of Technology).
Chronologies: 2012 payload #79 ; 2012-47B ; 7,199th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Osaka Institute of Technology (Japan)
Launch: 9 September 2012 at 4h23 UT, from Satish Dhawan Space Center's LP1, by a PSLV-CA.
Orbit:
Mission: PROITERES is a 15-kg satellite aimed at testing an electric propulsion thruster for attituse control and orbit changes. It is also intended to produce Earth images, particulary of the area around Osaka, The project also focus on: Experimental verification of two-way radio signal propagation characteristics using amateur radio-frequency bands; communication tests and their feedback aiming at improvement of satellite communication technology by using off-the-shelf consumer goods; tracking and communicating with our satellite by amateur earth stations all over the world; powered-flight by electric rocket engine; monitoring with a high-resolution camera the Kansai District; especially Osaka, around Yodogawa basin.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-047B ; Spaceflight Now's 9 Sep 12 ;
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NROL-36 (USA 238)
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #80 ; 2012-48A ; 7,200th spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 1,010 km x 1,200 km x 63.4°
Mission: The main payload is thought to be a pair of Navy signals intelligence satellites, the 6th launch of a doublet of third generation Navy Ocean Surveillance Satellite vehicles. This series of satellites is thought to be the modern successor to NRL's GRAB/POPPY/PARCAE satellites, first launched in 1960.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667, 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048A; Spaceflight Now's 13 Sep 12;
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USA 238 P/L 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #81 ; 2012-48Q ; 7,201st spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 1010 km x 1200 km x 63.4°
Mission: The main payload is thought to be a pair of Navy signals intelligence satellites, Observers confirm the presence of the expected second payload, which has been cataloged by the U.S. government as 'debris', but is observed to be able to manuever.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC  NSSDC2012-048A ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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OUTSat
Spacecraft: OUTsat stands for Operationally Unique Technologies Satellite.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #82 ; 2012-48N ; 7,202nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: OUTSat structure is the NPSCUl launcher developed by the US Naval Postgraduate School. It contains 8 P-POD cubesat deployers which ejected the individual cubesats. This was the first Atlas V launch with modified helium tanks in the Centaur stage that has created room in the aft skirt to accommodate OUTsat, which carried eight P-POD dispensers containing eleven cubesats. OUTsat released the cubesats about 3 hours after launch, and following manoeuvres by the Centaur.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC  NSSDC2012-048A ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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SMDC-ONE 1.2
Spacecraft: SMDC-ONE stands for Space and Missile Defense Command - Operational Nanosatellite Effect.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #83 ; 2012-48B ; 7,203rd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Army 
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: SMDC-ONE is a [3-kg] communications nanosat to demonstrate the ability to rapidly design and develop militarily relevant low cost spacecraft; receive packetized data from multiple Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS); transmit that data to ground stations within the SMDC-ONE ground track; provide real time voice and text message data relay to and from field deployed tactical radio systems; demonstrate SMDC-ONE operational life time of 12 months or longer. This satellite is part of the Army's continuing effort to develop low-cost space support capabilities thru the evolution of advanced nanosatellite technologies and concepts.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048B ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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Aeneas
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #84 ; 2012-48C ; 7,204th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University of Southern California, Los Angeles and Department of Homeland Security
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: Aeneas is a [3-kg] nanosatellite for tracking cargo containers over the open ocean with a 1-watt WiFi-like transceiver. The secondary payload is an experimental, next-generation, radiation-hardened flight processor. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048C ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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CSSWE
Spacecraft: CSSWE stands for Colorado Student Space Weather Experiment.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #85 ; 2012-48D ; 7,205th spacecraft.
Type: Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University of Colorado Students
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: CSSWE is a [3-kg] cubesat which houses an energetic particle telescope. Its primary objective is to measure the directional differential flux of Solar Energetic Proton (SEPs) and Earth’s radiation belt electrons.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048D ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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CXBN
Spacecraft: CXBN stands for Cosmic X-Ray Background.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #86 ; 2012-48E ; 7,206th spacecraft.
Type: Astronomy
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Morehead State University
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: CXBN is a [2-kg] cubesat for cosmic hard X-ray backgroun studies. Mission goal is to increase the precision of measurements of the Cosmic X-Ray Background (CXRB) in the 30-50 keV range, to constrain models that explain the relative contribution of cosmic X-Ray sources to the CXRB. The satellite produces data that will lend insight into the underlying physics of the Diffuse X-Ray Background and provide flight heritage for CZT-based X-Ray-gamma-ray detectors and CubeSat technologies.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048E ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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CP5
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #87 ; 2012-48F ; 7,207th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Cal Poly
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: CP5 is a 1-kg cubesat designed to test a deployable spacecraft de-orbiting thin-film mechanism. The mechanism consists of a miniature solar sail, similar to the ones used by NanoSail-D or LightSail but much smaller in size. Once the sail is deployed, observations will be made from the ground to detect any altitude or velocity degradation and change of the spacecraft.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048F ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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CINEMA 1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #88 ; 2012-48G ; 7,208th spacecraft.
Type: Science
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: University of California at Berkeley
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: CINEMA is a [3-kg] cubesat to observe and obtaine images of an electrical current that encircles the Earth, known as the “ring current.” This ring current has been known to blow out power grids on Earth during large magnetic space storms. If CINEMA proves successful, it will be joined by three identical satellites, two from Korea and one from NASA, and together will continue to monitor the ring current for signs of dangerous activity. Those three cubesats are expected to launch sometime next year. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048G ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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Re / STARE
Spacecraft: STARE stands for Space-Based Telescopes for Actionable Refinement of Ephemeris.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #89 ; 2012-48H ; 7,209th spacecraft.
Type: Tracking
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: Re is one of a [3-kg] cubesat pair with optical sensors to detect orbiting payloads and debris for orbit measurement. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048H ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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SMDC-ONE 1.1
Spacecraft: SMDC-ONE stands for Space and Missile Defense Command - Operational Nanosatellite Effect.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #90 ; 2012-48J ; 7,201th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Army
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: SMDC-ONE is a [3-kg] communications nanosat to demonstrate the ability to rapidly design and develop militarily relevant low cost spacecraft; receive packetized data from multiple Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS); transmit that data to ground stations within the SMDC-ONE ground track; provide real time voice and text message data relay to and from field deployed tactical radio systems; demonstrate SMDC-ONE operational life time of 12 months or longer. This satellite is part of the Army's continuing effort to develop low-cost space support capabilities thru the evolution of advanced nanosatellite technologies and concepts.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048J ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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Aerocube-4.5A
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #91 ; 2012-48K ; 7,211th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Aerospace Corporation
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: AeroCube are 1-kg nanosatellites for technical research. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048K ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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Aerocube-4.5B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #92 ; 2012-48L ; 7,212th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Aerospace Corporation
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: Aerocube are 1-kg nanosatellites for technical research. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048L ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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Aerocube-4
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #93 ; 2012-48M ; 7,213th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Aerospace Corporation
Launch: 13 September 2012 at 21h39 UT, from Vandenberg Air Force Base's SLC-3E, by an Atlas V 401.
Orbit: 470 km x 780 km x 64.7°
Mission: Aerocube are 1-kg nanosatellites for technical research. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 667 ; NSSDC 2012-048M ; Spaceflight Now's  13 Sep 12 ;
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METOP-B
Spacecraft: METOP stands for Meteorological Operational.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #94 ; 2012-49A ; 7,214th spacecraft.
Type: Meteorology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Eumetsat
Launch: 17 September 2012 at 16h28 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31, by a Soyuz-2.1a.
Orbit: 805 km x 809 km x 98.7°
Mission: METOP is Europe's polar-orbiting operational meteorological satellite. It is their contribution to the Initial Joint Polar System (IJPS), a co-operative agreement between Eumetsat and NOAA to provide data for climate and environmental monitoring and improved weather forecasting. Three Metop satellites are launcehd in five-year intervals, starting in 2005. In total, the programmes will be operational for at least 14 years. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-049A ; Spaceflight Now's  6 Mar 12, 27 Apr 12, 16 Sep 12, 17 Sep 12 ; ESA's 27 Apr 12 ;
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Beidou 14 (M5)
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #95 ; 2012-50A ; 7,215th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 18 September 2012 at 19h10 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3BE.
Orbit:
Mission: The Beidou constellation, also known as Compass, is China's counterpart to the U.S. Global Positioning System, provides navigation services to military vehicles, precision munitions, civil aviation, personal cars, boats, and search-and-rescue forces. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-050A ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Sep 12 ; China Daily's 16 May 12, 19 Sep 12 ;
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Beidou 15 (M6)
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #96 ; 2012-50B ; 7,216th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 18 September 2012 at 19h10 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3BE.
Orbit:
Mission: The Beidou constellation, also known as Compass, is China's counterpart to the U.S. Global Positioning System, provides navigation services to military vehicles, precision munitions, civil aviation, personal cars, boats, and search-and-rescue forces. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-050B ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Sep 12 ; China Daily's 16 May 12, 19 Sep 12
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Irainan satellite?
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: Not applicable
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Iran
Launch: Around 23 September 2012,
Orbit: n/a
Mission: According to Jane's, Iran had a launch failure on or soon after 22 September 2012. The failure appears to have taken place on the pad, so it is hard to be sure that an orbital launch was intended.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 672 ;

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Astra 2F
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #97 ; 2012-51A ; 7,217th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks: SES / Société Européenne des Satellites
Sponsor:
Launch: 28 September 2012 at 21h18 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 28.2° West longitude.
Mission: Astra 2F is a communications satellite that broadcasts TV for Europe. The satellite provides replacement for Astra 2B and new capacity for the SES WORLD SKIES division, serving the African and the Middle Eastern markets with Ku-and Ka-band capacity.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-081A ; Spaceflight Now's 28 Sep 12 ;
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GSAT-10
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #98 ; 2012-51B ; 7,218th spacecraft.
Type: Communications and Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ISRO / Indian Space Research Organization
Launch: 28 September 2012 at 21h18 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 83º East longitude.
Mission: GSAT-10 is a 3,400-kg communications  satellite which carries 12 Normal C-band, 6 Extended C-band, 12 Ku-band transponders along with GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation) payload. It is expected have an operational life of 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-051B ; Spaceflight Now's 28 Sep 12 ;
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VRSS 1 / Miranda
Spacecraft: VRSS stands for Venezuela Remote Sensing Satellite, also named after Francisco de Miranda. (Also: “Venezuela Yaogan Weixing yi hao”,  Venezuela Remote Sensing Satellite 1.)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #99 ; 2012-52A ; 7,219th spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensing
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Venezuela
Launch: 29 September 2012 at 4h12 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2D.
Orbit: 621 km x 654 km x 98.0
Mission: VRSS 1 is Venezuela's first remote sensing satellite and is designed to help the country monitor its territory, specifically helping it protect its environment, monitor disasters, estimate agricultural harvests and plan the urban environment. The satellite is based on the CAST2000 bus developed by China Academy of Space Technology.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No.668  ; NSSDC 2012-052A ; Spaceflight Now's 29 Sep 12 ; China Daily's 29 Sep 12, 3 Sep 13 ;
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Navstar 63 (USA 239)
Spacecraft: Navstar SVN-65 / GPS 2F-3 / 'Arcturus'
Chronologies: 2012 payload #100 ; 2012-53A ; 7,220th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks: U.S. Department of Defense
Sponsor:
Launch: 4 October 2012 at 12h10 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-37B, by a Delta 4M+(4,2).
Orbit: 20,426 km x 20,481 km x 55.0° 
Mission: Navstar 67 is the third of the new II-F series of navigation satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS). It occupied the Plane A, Slot 6 location of the navigation network, which is divided into six orbital groupings with multiple satellites flying in each. The craft took over the position held by the Navstar 2A-06 launched in 1992. The GPS II-F series contains upgrades such as greater accuracy, better jam-resistance and a new civilian aviation signal.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668 ; NSSDC 2012-053A ; Spaceflight Now's 19 Aug 12, 1 Oct 12, 4 Oct 12, 6 Oct 12, 9 Dec 12, 2013 Stories ;
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RAIKO
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #101 ; 2012-38B (1998-067CN) ; 7,221st spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Wakayama University, Japan
Launch: Launched onboard HTV-3 on 21 July 2012 and deployed from ISS' Kibo on 4 October 2012 at 14h37 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: Raiko was a 2-kg cubesat carrying an imager and a deployable drag-membrane to make the satellite reenter more quickly.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No.663, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-038B ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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FITSat / Niwaka
Spacecraft: Also named Hakata Niwaka
Chronologies: 2012 payload #102 ; 2012-38C (1998-067CP) ; 7,222nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Institute of Technology in Fukuoka, Japan.
Launch: Launched onboard HTV-3 on 21 July 2012 and deployed from ISS' Kibo on 4 October 2012 at 15h44 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: FITSat was a 1.3-kg cubesat developed by Fukuoka Institute of Technology in Fukuoka, Japan.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-038C ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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TechEdSat
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #102 ; 2012-38D (1998-067CQ) ; 7,223rd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: San Jose State University and NASA Ames Research Center
Launch: Launched onboard HTV-3 on 21 July 2012 and deployed from ISS' Kibo on 4 October 2012 at 15h44 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: TechEdSat is a 1.2-kg cubesat developed by San Jose State University in partnership with NASA Ames Research Center.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-038D ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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F-1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #104 ; 2012-38E (1998-067CR) ; 7,224th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: FTP University in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Launch: Launched onboard HTV-3 on 21 July 2012 and deployed from ISS' Kibo on 4 October 2012 at 15h44 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: F 1 is a 1-kg cubesat developed by FSpace Laboratory at FTP University in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-038E ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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We Wish
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #105 ; 2012-38F (1998-067CS) ; 7,225th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Meisei Amateur Radio Club
Launch: Launched onboard HTV-3 on 21 July 2012 and deployed from ISS' Kibo on 4 October 2012 at 14h37 UT.
Orbit:
Mission: We Wish was a 1-kg cubesat in-frared imaging satellite. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 663, 668 ; NSSDC 2012-038F ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Dragon CRS-1
Spacecraft: CRS stands for Commercial Resupply Services.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #106 ; 2012-54A ; 7,226th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: SpaceX for NASA
Launch: 8 October 2012 at 0h35 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-40, by a Falcon 9.
Orbit: 202 km x 323 km x 51.65°
Recovereed: 28 October 2012 at 19h22 UT,
Mission: Dragon CRS-1 is a space capsule designed to provide supplies to the International space station. It was made up of a pressurized capsule and unpressurized trunk used for transport of pressurized cargo, unpressurized cargo, and/or crew members. It eached the ISS on 10 October 2012 and was captured by the SSRMS arm at 10h56 UT. Berthing at the Harmony module was completed at 13h03 UT.
     On 28 October 2012, Dragon CRS-1 was unberthed by the SSRMS from the Harmony module at 11h19 UT and released at 13h29 UT. The capsule with its cargo splashdown in the Pacific after a 20 days, 18 hours and 47 minutes flight.
Note: One minute and 20 seconds after lift-off, one of Falcon 9's first stage engine had an anomaly at max Q, with some debris observed falling away. The engine was shut down, but the remaining engines and the second stage compensated to reach the initial orbit. However, extra propellant was used and stage 2 did not restart as planned. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668, 669, 670 ; NSSDC 2012-054A ; Spaceflight Now's 2 Jun 12, 24 Aug 12, 31 Aug 12, 29 Sep 12, 5 Oct 12, 8 Oct 12, 8 Oct 12, 10 Oct 12, 24 Oct 12, 28 Oct 12, 14 Nov 12 ; NASA's 2010-2014 NASA News Releases ;
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Orbcomm OG2-1
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #107 ; 2012-54B ; 7,227th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Orbcomm
Launch: 8 October 2012 at 0h35 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's SLC-40, by a Falcon 9.
Orbit: 203 km x 322 km x 51.64°
Reentered: 10 October 2012 at 6h19 UT.
Mission: Orbcomm OG2-1 is the prototype of the second generation Orbcomm communictions satellite. It is equipped with upgraded communications equipment and offers a location system for shipping using AIS (Automatic Identification Service) radio transmissions. Following Falcon 9's anomaly (see note above), the satellite was not ejected into its planned 750-km circular orbit and it was not able to get to its operational orbit. The satellite reentered on 10 October 2012 after only 2 days in space, Orbcomm states that they were able to test out the satellite's systems before the reentry.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 668, 669 ; NSSDC 2012-054B ; Spaceflight Now's 8 Oct 12, 8 Oct 12, 11 Oct 12 ;
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Galileo IOV-3 / GSAT0103
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #108 ; 2012-55A ; 7,228th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ESA / European Space Agency
Launch: 12 October 2012 at 18h15 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELS, by a Soyuz-2.1b (ST-B, VS03).
Orbit: 23,215 km x 23,232 km x 55.3° 
Mission: Galileo IGV-3 is one of the two validation platforms of the Galileo navigation network, setting the stage for further launches every six months over the next few years to build a constellation of global positioning services to airplanes, automobiles and millions of users. The satellites join two other Galileo IGV spacecraft launched in October 2011. The quartet began a comprehensive test campaign winter 2012-13 to prove the Galileo "mini-constellation" can provide navigation services.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669 ; NSSDC 2012-055A ; Spaceflight Now's 11 Oct 12, 12 Oct 12 ; ESA's 3 May 12 ;
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Galileo IOV-4 / GSAT0104
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #109 ; 2012-55B ; 7,229th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: ESA / European Space Agency
Launch: 12 October 2012 at 18h15 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELS, by a Soyuz-2.1b (ST-B, VS03).
Orbit: [Somewhat like: 23,215 km x 23,232 km x 55.3°]
Mission: Galileo IGV-4 is one of the two validation platforms of the Galileo navigation network, setting the stage for further launches every six months over the next few years to build a constellation of global positioning services to airplanes, automobiles and millions of users. The satellites join two other Galileo IGV spacecraft launched in October 2011. The quartet began a comprehensive test campaign IN winter 2012-13 to prove the Galileo "mini-constellation" can provide navigation services.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669 ; NSSDC 2012-055B ; Spaceflight Now's  11 Oct 12, 12 Oct 12 ; ESA's 3 May 12;
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SJ-9A / Shi Jian 9A
Spacecraft: “Shi Jian jiu hao A/B weixing” (technology satellites 9a)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #110 ; 2012-56A ; 7,230th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 14 October 2012 at 3h25 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2C.
Orbit: Initial: 623 km x 650 km x 98.0°
19 Oct 13: 619 km x 644 km 
22-23 Oct 13: 623 km x 650 km
Mission: Shi Jian 9A is part of a pair of space technology development satellites. It is reported that they are testing high-precision and high stability control systems based on an ion thruster system, power supply systems and efficient thermal control systems. May also equipped for remote imaging. The mission also conducts on-orbit experiments for electric propulsion, testing the XIPS-20 xenon gas ion thruster system. Spacecrafts also test high precision and high stability control systems, high efficient power supply and advanced thermal control technology. The satellites features also instruments for Earth observation. “Shijian” means “Practice” and this series of satellites have previously been used with a variety of configurations and missions for scientific research and technological experiments.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669; NSSDC2012-056A ; Spaceflight Now's 14 Oct 12 ; China Daily's 14 Oct 12, 15 Oct 12, 29 Aug 13 ;
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SJ-9B / Shi Jian 9B
Spacecraft: “Shi Jian jiu hao A/B weixing” (technology satellites 9b)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #111 ; 2012-56B ; 7,231st spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 14 October 2012 at 3h25 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng2C.
Orbit: 623 km x 650 km x 98.0°
Mission: Shi Jian 9B is part of a pair of space technology development satellites. It is reported that they are testing high-precision and high stability control systems based on an ion thruster system, power supply systems and efficient thermal control systems. May also equipped for remote imaging. The mission also conducts on-orbit experiments for electric propulsion, testing the XIPS-20 xenon gas ion thruster system. Spacecrafts also test high precision and high stability control systems, high efficient power supply and advanced thermal control technology. The satellites features also instruments for Earth observation. “Shijian” means “Practice” and this series of satellites have previously been used with a variety of configurations and missions for scientific research and technological experiments.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669 ; NSSDC 2012-056B ; Spaceflight Now's 14 Oct 12 ; China Daily's 14 Oct 12, 15 Oct 12, 29 Aug 13 ;
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Intelsat IS-23
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #112 ; 2012-57A ; 7,232nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Intelsat
Launch: 14 October 2012 at 8h37 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 53° West longitude.
Mission: Intelsat IS-23 is a communications satellite which carries 15 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders to provide services for the Americas, Europe and Africa. It is expected to have a useful life of at least 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669 ; NSSDC 2012-057A ; Spaceflight Now's 13 Sep 12, 14 Oct 12 ;
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Soyuz TMA-06M / ISS-32S
Spacecraft: Soyuz 11F732A47 (7K-STMA) No. 707
Chronologies: 2012 payload #113 ; 2012-58A ; 7,233rd spacecraft.
Type: Piloted Spaceship
Families:
Ranks: 295th Soyuz (7K) spacecraft, 138th Soyuz spaceship (114th manned).
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 23 October 2012 at 10h51 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-31, by a Soyuz-FG.
Orbit:
Recovered: Landed on 16 March 2013 at 3h06 UT
Mission: Soyuz TMA-06M is a crew transport spaceship that carried ISS Expedition 33/34 crew to the International Space Station (Oleg Novitski, Evgeny Tarelkine and Kevin Ford). The transport ship docked with the Poisk module on 25 October 2012 at 12h29 UT.  Six months later, on 15 March 2013 it undocked at 23h43 UT and landed in Kazakhstan on 16 March at 3h06 UT, after a 143 days, 16 hours and 15 minutes flight.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 669, 670, 676 ; NSSDC 2012-058A ; Spaceflight Now's 19 Sep 12, 23 Oct 12, 2013 Stories ; RSC Energia's 9 Oct 12, 10 Oct 12, 12 Oct 12, 14 Oct 12, 16 Oct 12, 18 Oct 12, 19 Oct 12, 20 Oct 12, 21 Oct 12, 22 Oct 12, 23 Oct 12, 25 Oct 12, 16 Mar 13 ; NASA's 15 Mar 13 ;
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Beidou 16 (G6)
Spacecraft: “Beidou Daohang Weixing 16”
Chronologies: 2012 payload #114 ; 2012-59A ; 7,234th spacecraft.
Type: Navigation
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 25 October 2012 at 15h33 UT, from Xichang Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 3C.
Orbit: Geostationary at 80.4° East longitude.
Mission: Beidou 16 is part of China's navigation satellite system, known as "Compass" which provides time and messaging services for the Asia-Pacific region.  This 16th Bediou completes the constellation required to provide a full regional service to China and neighbouring areas. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670 ; NSSDC 2012-059A ; Spaceflight Now's ; China Daily's 16 May 12, 15 Oct 12, 16 Oct 12, 26 Oct 12
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Progress M-17M / ISS-49P
Spacecraft: Progress M (7K-TGM) No. 417
Chronologies: 2012 payload #115 ; 2012-60A ; 7,235th spacecraft.
Type: Cargo delivery to the International Space Station
Families:
Ranks: 296th Soyuz (7K) spacecraft and 140th Progress.
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 31 October 2012 at 7h41 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1, by a Soyuz-U.
Orbit:
De-orbited: 21 April 2013 at around 15h02 UT.
Mission: Progress M-17M is a cargoship launched toward the International Space Station, supplying more than 2.6 tons of cargoes, including propellant, oxygen, air, water, food rations, hardware to support the operation of the station systems and equipment and for scientific research and experiments, as well as packages for the ISS crew. It  docked to ISS 5 hours and 52 minutes after its launch. Six months later, on 15 April 2013, the Progress undocked from Zvezda at 12h02 UT and then carry out Radar-Progress ionospheric tests. Finally, on 21 April, it fired its engine to deorbit and impacted the Pacific Ocean.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670, 677, 678 ; NSSDC 2012-060A ; Spaceflight Now's ; RSC Energia's 25 Oct 12, 26 Oct 12, 26 Oct 12, 28 Oct 12, 21 Oct 12, 31 Oct 12, 31 Oct 12 ;
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Luch-5B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #116 ; 2012-61A ; 7,236th spacecraft.
Type: Communications (Data Relay)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia
Launch: 2 November 2012 at 21h04 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary
Mission: Luch-5B is the second relay satellite of the series, with S- and Ku-band channels linked with receive/transmit points via satellite communications links. It provides communications support to the International Space Station. Each Luch-5 is capable of orienting its high-precision antennas towards low-flying spacecraft to track them along their trajectories. Additionally, Luch-5B carries a laser-communication device.  Luch-5 are based on the Ekspress-1000 bus.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670, 671 ; NSSDC 2012-061A ; Spaceflight Now's 3 Nov 12 ;
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Yamal-300K
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #117 ; 2012-61B ; 7,237th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia's Gazprom Space Systems
Launch: 2 November 2012 at 21h04 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-81/24, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 90.8° East longitude.
Mission: Yamal 330K is a communications satellite equippet with 8 C-band and 18 Ku-band transponders to provide much-needed expansion of Gazprom's telecommunication services across Russia and northern Asia. The craft was built by Russia's Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Co. for a division of one of Russia's largest corporation, Gazprom Space Systems (owned by Gazprom, the Russian natural gas and oil supergiant).
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670, 671 ; NSSDC 2012-061B ; Spaceflight Now's 3 Nov 12 ;
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Star One C3
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #118 ; 2012-62A ; 7,238th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Star One S.A. (Brazil)
Launch: 10 November 2012 at 21h05 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary between 75 and 84° West longitude.
Mission: Star One C3 is a communications satellite with 28 C-band transponders for coverage of South America, and 16 Ku-band transponders with six switchable channels between Brazil and the Andean coverage region. The Star One satellites continue the old Brasilsat system, with Brasilsat B1-B4 renamed Star One B1-B4; AMC 12 is Star One C12;
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670 ; NSSDC 2012-062A ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Eutelsat 21B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #119 ; 2012-62B ; 7,239th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks: Eutelsat
Sponsor:
Launch: 10 November 2012 at 21h05 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 21.5° East longitude.
Mission: Eutelsat 21B is a 5-ton communications satellite with 40 transponders to provide video, data and government services over Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. It is replacing Eutelsat 21A, increasing capacity by more than 50%.  Based on the Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000 platform, it has an expected orbital life exceeding 15 years.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670 ; NSSDC 2012-062B ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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Meridian 6
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #120 ; 2012-63A ; 7,240th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia Defense Ministry
Launch: 14 November 2012 at 11h42 UT, from Plesetsk Cosmodrome's LC-43/4, by a Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat.
Orbit: 974 km x 39,740 km x 62.8°
Mission: The Meridian series of communication satellites are replacement for all the Molniya-1T, the Molniya-3 and Molniya-3K satellite series and possibly also for the communication component of the Parus. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 670 ; NSSDC 2012-063A ; Spaceflight Now's 14 Nov 12 ; RSNF's 14 Nov 12 ;
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HJ-1C / Huan Jing 1C
Spacecraft: “Huan Jing yihao C weixing”
Chronologies: 2012 payload #121 ; 2012-64A ; 7,241st spacecraft.
Type: Earth Remote Sensintg (Radar)
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 18 November 2012 at 22h53 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2C.
Orbit: 487 km x 503 km x 97.4° 
Mission: HJ-1C is a 890-kg satellite, the first radar satellite in China's environment and disaster monitor constellation, operating with the HJ-1A and 1B optical satellites. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-064A ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 19 Nov 12, 11 Dec 12 ;
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FN-1A / Fengniao 1A
Spacecraft: Also called Fengniao A1 or HummerSat 1A “fengniao shiyan zaihe” (Hummingbird experimental payload)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #122 ; 2012-64B ; 7,242nd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 18 November 2012 at 22h53 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2C.
Orbit: 487 km x 503 km x 97.4°
Mission: Fengniao consists of the 130-kg FN-1A and the 30-kg FN-1B, which later separate for formation flying experiments. The mission is to demonstrate new minisat technologies for formation flying.  Both spacecrafts are in contact with a crosslink for information exchange and the enactment of required orbit maneuvers. However, all ground communications with the formation is only via the mother spacecraft.  The goal of the FN-1 mission is to demonstrate the newly developed CAST-mini bus and CAST-micro bus designs in space, in particular to validate their functional capabilities and technologies introduced and to demonstrate the capability of close formation flying technologies such as relative navigation, guidance and control, intersatellite crosslink, and command.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-064B ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 19 Nov 12 ;
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Xinyan-1
Spacecraft: “xin jishu yanzheng weixing”' (New technology demonstration satellite)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #123 ; 2012-64C ; 7,243rd spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 18 November 2012 at 22h53 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2C.
Orbit: 487 km x 503 km x 97.4°
Mission: Xinyan 1 is a technology demonstration satellite.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-064C ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 19 Nov 12 ;
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FN-1B / Fengniao 1B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #124 ; 2012-64 ; 7,244th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 18 November 2012 at 22h53 UT, from Taiyuan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2C.
Orbit: 487 km x 503 km x 97.4°
Mission: Fengniao consists of the 130-kg FN-1A and the 30-kg FN-1B, which later separate for formation flying experiments. The mission is to demonstrate new minisat technologies for formation flying.  Both spacecrafts are in contact with a crosslink for information exchange and the enactment of required orbit maneuvers. However, all ground communications with the formation is only via the mother spacecraft.  The goal of the FN-1 mission is to demonstrate the newly developed CAST-mini bus and CAST-micro bus designs in space, in particular to validate their functional capabilities and technologies introduced and to demonstrate the capability of close formation flying technologies such as relative navigation, guidance and control, intersatellite crosslink, and command.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC NSSDC2012-064B ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 19 Nov 12 ;
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Echostar XVI
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #125 ; 2012-65A ; 7,245th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Echostar Communications Corp 
Launch: 20 November 2012 at 18h31 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-39/200, by a Proton-M/Briz-M.
Orbit: Geostationary at 37° West longitude.
Mission: EchoStar XVI is a 6,650-kg communications satellite which carries an all Ku-band satellite with continental United States and spot beam transponders. It is fully leased to DISH Network for the delivery of direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services to DISH customers in the United States. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-065A ; Spaceflight Now's 20 Nov 12 ;
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YW-16 / Yaogan 16A
Spacecraft: “Yaogan Weixing 16” (Resource satellite 16)
Chronologies: 2012 payload #126 ; 2012-66A ; 7,246th spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 25 November 2012 at 4h06 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4C.
Orbit: 1,079 km x 1,089 km x 63.4°
Mission: This trio of satellites is thought to be an ocean surveillance system similar to the American NOSS. This is the second such launch, joining the Yaogan 9 triplet launched in 2010.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-066A ; Spaceflight Now's 25 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 25 Nov 12 ;
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YW-16 Subsat 1 / Yaogan 16B
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #127 ; 2012-66B ; 7,247th spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 25 November 2012 at 4h06 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4C.
Orbit: 1079 km x 1089 km x 63.4°
Mission: This trio of satellites is thought to be an ocean surveillance system similar to the American NOSS. This is the second such launch, joining the Yaogan 9 triplet launched in 2010.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-066B ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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YW-16 Subsat 2 / Yaogan 16C
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #128 ; 2012-66C ; 7,248th spacecraft.
Type: Signal Intelligence
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Chinese People's Liberation Army
Launch: 25 November 2012 at 4h06 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 4C.
Orbit: 1079 km x 1089 km x 63.4°
Mission: This trio of satellites is thought to be an ocean surveillance system similar to the American NOSS. This is the second such launch, joining the Yaogan 9 triplet launched in 2010.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-066C ; Spaceflight Now's ;
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ZK-12 / Zhongxing 12 / Chinasat 12
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #129 ; 2012-67A ; 7,249th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: China
Launch: 27 November 2012 at 10h13 UT, from Xichang Launch Center's LC-2, by a Chang Zheng 3BE
Orbit: Geostationary at 81.5° East longitude.
Mission: Zhongxing 12 provides communications capacity for China Satcom. The satellite is a Spacebus 4000C2 built by Thales Alenia Space (Cannes, France) and was originally constructed for the Hong Kong based company Asia Pacific Satellite (Apstar).
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; Spaceflight Now's 27 Nov 12 ; China Daily's 28 Nov 12 ;
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Pleiades 1B 
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #130 ; 2012-68A ; 7,250th spacecraft.
Type: Photo Surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: CNES, France
Launch: 2 December 2012 at 2h02 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELS, by a Soyuz-2.1a/Fregat (ST-A, VS04).
Orbit: 673 km x 681 km x 98.2°
Mission: Second of a pair of French digital imaging satellites with very high resolution sensors. To be used by commercial organisations, government and the military. The spacecraft is operated by CNES, buit the French Defense Ministry is a `preferred customer'. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-068A ; Spaceflight Now's 28 Nov 12, 2 déc 12 ;
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W5A / Eutelsat 70B
Spacecraft: The craft is numbered 70 beacause it is stationed at 70° East longitude.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #131 ; 2012-69A ; 7,251st spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Eutelsat
Launch: 3 December 2012 at 20h44 UT, from Odyssey platform in the Pacifi Oceanc, by a Zenit-3SL.
Orbit: Geostationary at 70.5° East longitude.
Mission: W5B is a 5,250-kg communications satellite with 48 Ku-band transponder, it replaces W5A spacecraft and more than double Eutelsat's resources at this orbital location to provide premium communications services for users in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The satellite is based on the Astrium Eurostar E-3000 platform with a designed lifetime exceeding 15 years. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671 ; NSSDC 2012-069A ; Spaceflight Now's 2 Dec 12 ; RSC Energia's 26 Nov 12, 27 Nov 12, 4 Dec 12 ;
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Yamal 402
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #132 ; 2012-70A ; 7,252nd spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Russia's Gazprom Space Systems
Launch: 8 December 2012 at 13h13 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-39/200, by a Proton-M/Briz-M,
Orbit: Geostationary at 55° East longitude.
Mission: Yamal 402 is a communications satellite owned by Gazprom to service the region covering Russia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. 
Notes: The satellite was left in a lower than planned transfer orbit when the final Briz-M burn was cut short. But the satellite has enough fuel to reach its intended orbit, but will have a shorter than planned orbital station-keeping lifetime.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671, 672 ; NSSDC 2012-070A ; Spaceflight Now's 6 Dec 12, 8 Dec 12, 13 Dec 12, 14 Feb 13 ;
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X-37B OTV-3 (USA 240)
Spacecraft: OTV stands for Orbital Test Vehicle. Second flight of the OTV vehicle #1.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #133 ; 2012-71A ; 7,253rd spacecraft.
Type: Surveillance?
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense
Launch: 11 December 2012 at 18h03 UT, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Staton's SLC-41, by an Atlas V 501.
Orbit: Initial: 343 km x 360 km x 43.5°
5 May 2014: 382 km x 405 km x 43.5°
6 Oct 2014: 259 km x 285 km 
Recovered: 17 October 2014 at 16h24 UT.
Mission: The X-37B is a robotic spaceplane developed by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office and carries secret test payloads. According to a Boeing fact sheet, the X-37B weighs about 5,000 kg fully fueled. Details on its activities in space have been kept secret by the Air Force, but some analysts speculate the winged spaceship could test next-generation surveillance, communications and intelligence-gathering instruments, deploy small satellites, or demonstrate new materials for use in future military programs.  "The X-37B program performs risk-reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies," the Air Force said in a press release. 
     The X-37B concluded its third mission on 17 October 2014, gliding to an automated landing on Runway 12 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, after spending a record 22.5 months (677 days, 22 hours and 21 minutes) in orbit. Touchdown occurred at 16h24 UT.  With this successful landing, the program's three missions have accumulated 1,367 days, 21 hours and 47 minutes (3.75 years) in orbit.  Air Force officials offered no explanation for the mission's long duration. A fourth X-37B mission is scheduled for launch from Cape Canaveral in 2015.
Notes:
X-37B Program Summary
Mission Launch Landing Duration Duration
OTV 1 F1 22 Apr 2010 3 Dec 2010 7.5 months 224 d. 09 hr. 24 min.
OTV 2 F1 5 Mar 2011 16 Jun 2012 16.5 months 468 d. 14 hr. 02 min.
OTV 1 F2 11 Dec 2012 17 Oct 2014 22.5 months 674 d. 22 hr. 21 min.
3 Missions 3.75 years 1367 d. 21 hr. 47 min.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671, 672, 703, 704 ; NSSDC2012-071A ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Sep 12, 11 Dec 12, 2014 Story ;
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KMS 3-2 / Kwangmyongsong-3 F2
Spacecraft: Kwangmyongsong means  star of hope in Korean and is believed to be a reference to former leader Kim Jong Il.
Chronologies: 2012 payload #134 ; 2012-72A ; 7,254th spacecraft.
Type: Technology
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: North Korea
Launch: 12 December 2012 at 0h49 UT, from Sohae launch site, by a Unha-3.
Orbit: 494 km x 588 km x 97.4°
497 km x 581 km x 97.40°
Mission: Kwangmyongsong 3 was reportedly a 100-kg Earth observation satellite, North Korea's fourth attempt to orbit a satellite. The Unha-3 rocket carried the second flight model of the Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite. The satellite reportedly had a launch mass of about 100 kg and a life time of 2 years. Its dimensions are 1.4 m × 0.6 m × 0.7 metre. Power is provided by body mounted solar cells. It is claimed to have 3-axis control to point a camera toward Earth. The satellite was reported to broadcast its remote sensing data in the UHF band and video in the X-band.  It was thought to carry reaction wheels or some similar three-axis stabilization system, but this does not seem to be working. Also, the failure to pick up signals at 470 MHz by independent observers is strong circumstantial evidence that the satellite's transmitter is not working and that the craft is most likely dead.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 671, 672 ; NSSDC 2012-072A ; Spaceflight Now's 12 Dec 12 ; China Daily's 19 Apr 12, 3 May 12, 1 Dec 12, 2 Dec 123 Dec 12, 3 Dec 12, 4 Dec 12, 5 Dec 12, 7 Dec 12, 9 Dec 12, 9 Dec 12, 10 Dec 12, 11 Dec 12, 11 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 13 Dec 12, 14 Dec 12, 15 Dec 12 ;
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Gokturk 2
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #135 ; 2012-73A ; 7,255th spacecraft.
Type: Photo surveillance
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Turkish Defense Ministry
Launch: 18 December 2012 at 16h12 UT, from Jiuquan Launch Center, by a Chang Zheng 2D.
Orbit: 669 km x 689 km x 98.2°
Mission: Under the turkish Göktürk-2 program, a 2.5-metre resolution reconnaissance and surveillance satellite system is being developed by national resources. The project is carried out by the business partnership established by TAI and TÜBI.TAK Space.  The satellite was developed in built in Turkey, except for the EOS-C optical camera of DubaiSat 1 and RazakSAT hertitage, which has been procured from South Korean Satrec Inivatiative.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 672 ; NSSDC 2012-073A ; Spaceflight Now's 18 Dec 12 ; China Daily's 19 Dec 12, 20 Dec 12 ;
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Soyuz TMA-07M / ISS-33S
Spacecraft: Soyuz 11F732A47 (7K-STMA) No. 704A
Chronologies: 2012 payload #136 ; 2012-74A ; 7,256th spacecraft.
Type: Piloted Spaceship
Families:
Ranks: 297th Soyuz (7K) spacecraft, 139th Soyuz spaceship (115th manned).
Sponsor: Roscosmos Russian Space Agency
Launch: 19 December 2012 at 12h12 UT, from Baykonur Cosmodrome's LC-1, by a Soyuz-FG.
Orbit: Initial: 194 km x 236 km x 51.6°
Recovered: 14 May 2013 at 2h31 UT.
Mission: Soyuz TMA-07M is a crew transport spaceship that carriied ISS Expedition 34/35 crew to the International Space Station (Roman Romanenko, Chris Hadfield and Thomas Marshburn). It docked with the Rassvet module on 21 December 2012 at 14h09 UT. Six momtn later, the Soyuz spacecraft undocked from Rassvet on 13 May 2013 at 23h08 UT and landed in Kazakhstan on 14 May at 2h31 UT, after a 145 days, 14 hours and 19 minutes flight.
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 672 & 679 ; NSSDC 2012-074A ; Spaceflight Now's 6 Dec 12, 19 Dec 12, 21 dec 12, 6 Dec 12, 7 Dec 12, 9 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 12 Dec 12, 14 Dec 12, 14 Dec 12, 16 Dec 12, 17 Dec 12, 19 Dec 12, 21 Dec 12, 2013 Stories ; NASA 13 May 13
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Skynet 5D
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #137 ; 2012-75A ; 7,257th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: British Ministry of Defense
Launch: 19 December 2012 at 21h49 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 24° East longitude.
Mission: Skynet 5D is a 4,800-kg communications satellite with UHF and X-band communications systems. Its payload includes jamming countermeasures. The spacecraft is operated by Astrium Services on behalf of the British Ministry of Defence. It was the last of four Skynet 5 satellites to be launched. It was constructed by Astrium, based on the Eurostar 3000S satellite bus and is designed to operated for at least 15 years. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 672 ; NSSDC 2012-075A ; Spaceflight Now's 19 Dec 12 ;
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Mexsat 3 / Mexsat-Bicentenario
Spacecraft:
Chronologies: 2012 payload #138 ; 2012-75B ; 7,258th spacecraft.
Type: Communications
Families:
Ranks:
Sponsor: Mexico
Launch: 19 December 2012 at 21h49 UT, from Kourou Space Center's ELA-3, by an Ariane 5 ECA.
Orbit: Geostationary at 114.9? West longitude.
Mission: Mexsat 3 is a communications satellite which carry 12 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders to provide services to Mexico and its surrounding waters. The MEXSAT satellite system comprises two Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) spacecraft designed and built by Boeing and one FSS spacecraft designed and built by Orbital. 
Source: Jonathan Space Report No. 672 ; NSSDC 2012-075B ; Spaceflight Now's  19 Dec 12 ; Orbital's 5 Mar 13 ;
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© Claude Lafleur, 2012-13 Mes sites web: claudelafleur.qc.ca