Author Topic: Launch codes  (Read 4769 times)

Online Phillip Clark

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Launch codes
« on: 01/24/2015 11:50 PM »
Input~2 kindly posted his listing of the known launch codes for Chinese launches on the Yaogan Weixing 26 thread on here.   As a result I have been playing with the data.

I will post my full results here later today (I need some sleep and it's after midnight!), but is there any chance that the code 07-20 does not relate to the first Beidou launch but to the second Fengyun-2 launch?   If it does relate to the Fengyun-2 launch then I have got all of the codes to fit with the known launches in a logical manner but if it relates to Beidou then I have an unaccounted for launch before the Beidou and an extra launch after it.

Many thanks.

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #1 on: 01/25/2015 07:45 AM »
Philip, you will be interested to know that the first projected launch of Fenyun-2 planned for April 8, 1994 and which ended in a pre-launch explosion on April 2, 1994 had a launch code: 07-14
As for FY-2B launch code is 07-19 while Beidou-1A launch code is 07-20

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #2 on: 01/25/2015 08:55 AM »
I am attaching an EXCEL file of the Chinese launch record starting with their first satellite, showing my attempt to make sense of the launch codes.   This was done before Input~2’s posting earlier today: following that I have just included the planned FY-2 launch in 1994 but not made any other changes.

Apologies, dear Moderator, if I have incorrectly attached the EXCEL file!   Of course, using EXCEL means that it is easy to filter by the launch site code.

I have put the “derived” launch codes in a separate column and these are preceded by “U”.  Launches are colour-coded, so failures to reach orbit are in red and in-orbit failures are in blue: there are also some intentionally sub-orbital missions included in the listings.   Of course, only the intended orbital missions get a launch code here – the sub-orbital missions might be coded but as far as I know such codes are not circulating.

One “rule” which I have is that launches where the primary payload is foreign or commercial has a either a separate numbering sequence for Xichang or no launch code for Jiuquan and Taiyuan: they will have launch codes, of course, but we do not know the formats (do we??).

So, considering the launch sites individually …….

JIUQUAN.

The derived launch codes seem to work but interestingly the Shenzhou launches are not included in the known codes, while Tiangong 1 is included.   From the official numbering sequence the Kuaizhou launch failure in 2012 is not included, so I have also excluded the two successful launches.   Since the FSW was the primary payload with the Swedish Freya satellite as a piggy-back I am assuming that it is counted as a Chinese payload launch.   On that basis the derived codes work perfectly.   Too perfectly?

TAIYUAN

This again appears to be straightforward.   The Iridium payloads were for the USA and thus not included in the launch code count: the KT-1 launches are also excluded – maybe because they use a mobile launcher (like the Kuaizhou launches from Jiuquan!).   On the other hand the Iridium MFS satellites were built in China so this was counted as a Chinese launch.   Tan Ce 2 was the European DoubleStar satellite, so is not included in the count.

XICHANG

This is where things get strange and go wrong!

The foreign satellites – and here I include AsiaSat and APStar – are included in the 867 series.   The only way to balance the numbers is to assume that the launches 867-1 through to U867-5 also had parallel 07 numbers: but the inclusion of the failed Fengyun-2 from 1994 messes up the sequence of 07 numbers.

You will also see why I raised the issue of the launch codes for Fengyun-2 #2 and the first Beidou satellite.   Not yet resolved.


So I am open to logical suggestions to explain the anomalies.   The codes seem to be a nice and easy sequence which should make their derivation extremely easy.   I am now going to have my first morning coffee and let my brain rest as I waken up properly ……..
« Last Edit: 01/25/2015 10:37 AM by Phillip Clark »

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #3 on: 01/25/2015 03:13 PM »
Thanks Philip for these data!

I have modified or confirmed some of it in the attached file (in green) (unfortunately I had not time enough to review it thoroughly and now I really have to go!)

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #4 on: 01/25/2015 05:31 PM »
Thank you for the new information Input~2.   It is interesting that the program codes - 331 and 921 - are used for some of the launches.   The Tiangong 1 designator differs from the one in the listing which you previously posted.

I wonder why the Chinese switched from using the program codes to codes based upon the launch site?   Secrecy, perhaps?   Or maybe - conspiracy theory warning! - there are two sets of designators, one relating to the individual programme and the other being a sequential series based upon the launch site?

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #5 on: 01/28/2015 12:56 AM »
Insomnia means I am still thinking too much about launch codes and anomalies from the data supplied by Input~2.

The maiden flight of the CZ-3A was the 12th launch from Xichang, yet it has the launch code 07-13.   The launch had been preceded by 7 launches in thew 331 series and four launches in the 867 series, so where does 07-13 come from?

Tan Ce 1 from Xichang had the normal "domestic payload" designator 07-24 but the count of launches from Taiyuan does not appear to allow for a designator for Tan Ce 2.   I wonder why.

With the launches from Jiuquan, I would assume that VRSS 1 and Geoturk 2 will not have the normal 01-XX codes because these were foreign satellites as the primary (only) payloads.
« Last Edit: 01/28/2015 03:23 AM by Phillip Clark »

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #6 on: 01/28/2015 07:39 PM »
The maiden flight of the CZ-3A was the 12th launch from Xichang, yet it has the launch code 07-13.   The launch had been preceded by 7 launches in thew 331 series and four launches in the 867 series, so where does 07-13 come from?

Here is the explanation: Optus B1 launch is counted twice as per Chinese sources!
It was initially planned to be launched on March 22, 1992 as the tenth launch from Xichang and this mission was allocated  launch code "867-3". However the launch sequence stopped.
Finally launch occurred on August 14, 1992 (LT) and that mission got launch code "867-3 continuation" and is counted as mission#11 from Xichang

See rev2 attached
« Last Edit: 01/28/2015 08:39 PM by input~2 »

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #7 on: 01/29/2015 05:35 AM »
Input~2, thank you for the explanation but that is crazy counting!   But it makes the figures "add up".

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #8 on: 03/30/2015 03:01 PM »
From Chinese sources launch code for today Beidou 3 launch is "07-63" (as expected)

Offline beidou

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #9 on: 03/30/2015 06:20 PM »
I think it's better to share this spreadsheet file somewhere online, such as Google Docs, instead of updating the .xls file each time when there is a launch.

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #10 on: 09/15/2015 03:35 AM »
I have noted that while we are normally getting the launch codes for launches from Xichang and Taiyuan, in recent years the codes for Jiuquan are not as forthcoming.   I wonder why.

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #11 on: 11/09/2015 07:05 AM »
I have tried to put together a revision 3 to Phillip's list.
For figures from TSLC to add-up, the Iridium launches have been set apart (specific codes?)
Comments are welcomed!

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #12 on: 05/16/2017 09:58 AM »
Per Phil's request here is an update to the file

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #13 on: 05/16/2017 11:59 AM »
Per Phil's request here is an update to the file

Thank you! :)

Just wondering ........... could the Tianzhou launch code be in the "921" series, like the Jiuquan Program 921 launches?
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 03:34 PM by Phillip Clark »

Offline input~2

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #14 on: 05/16/2017 06:36 PM »
Per Phil's request here is an update to the file

Thank you! :)

Just wondering ........... could the Tianzhou launch code be in the "921" series, like the Jiuquan Program 921 launches?
Yeah, I had the same idea ;) ; actually I have inserted an additional sheet called "WSLC space station" with this entry:
Codename   Payload   Launch date
921-W1?   Tianzhou-1   4/20/2017
« Last Edit: 05/16/2017 06:38 PM by input~2 »

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: Launch codes
« Reply #15 on: 05/16/2017 06:49 PM »
Per Phil's request here is an update to the file
Thank you! :)
Just wondering ........... could the Tianzhou launch code be in the "921" series, like the Jiuquan Program 921 launches?
Yeah, I had the same idea ;) ; actually I have inserted an additional sheet called "WSLC space station" with this entry:
Codename   Payload   Launch date
921-W1?   Tianzhou-1   4/20/2017

Since the Tiangongs were 921-TGx maybe it's 921-TZ1 without reference to the launch site?

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