WORLDVIEW-3 SATELLITE DELIVERS FIRST SUPER-HI-RES IMAGES - The world's most powerful commercial Earth-imaging satellite was launched less than two weeks ago, but DigitalGlobe's WorldView-3 spacecraft is already sending back ultra-high-resolution pictures of cars with their doors left open and dump trucks that have clearly emptied their loads.
The resolution is so ultra-high, in fact, that the federal government isn't allowing DigitalGlobe to release the pictures at their best just yet. Due to regulatory restrictions, they have to be downgraded from a resolution of 12 inches per pixel to a fuzzier 15 inches per pixel (30 to 40 centimeters per pixel) until Feb. 21, 2015. More
(Source: NBCNews.com - Aug 27)
LOW ON FUEL, RAINFALL SATELLITE SLOWLY SPIRALS TO ITS DEATH IN 2016 - After 17 years of faithful service, the end is in sight for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM). The joint NASA-Japanese mission is out of fuel (except for a small reserve amount for emergencies) and beginning its slow descent back to Earth.
From that fall, the satellite is not going to recover. It's expected to re-enter the atmosphere and be destroyed around November 2016. The satellite will be shut down around February 2016, depending on how much solar activity pumps up the atmosphere. More
(Source: Universe Today - Aug 26)
ROSCOSMOS WANTS $440 MILLION TO BUILD INFLATABLE SPACE STATIONS - Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, has requested 16 billion rubles ($440 million) for the development of inflatable space station habitats, Interfax reported Monday, citing a copy of the proposed federal space program for 2016-2025.
The program, which Russian media reports say was submitted to the government last week, contains proposals for a number of ambitious projects, including moon bases and super-heavy lift rockets. More
(Source: The Moscow Times - Aug 26)
SPACEX DELAYS FALCON 9 SATELLITE LAUNCH AFTER ROCKET BLOWUP - SpaceX says it's delaying this week's Falcon 9 rocket launch by a day to review the circumstances behind a test flight that ended in a spectacular explosion on Friday. In a statement issued on Sunday, SpaceX spokesman John Taylor said the company is aiming to launch the AsiaSat 6 telecommunications satellite during a 3-hour, 15-minute window beginning at 12:50 a.m. ET Wednesday. That's a day later than previously planned.
Taylor said the circumstances surrounding the Falcon 9 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida are "very different" from those for Friday's flight of the F9R prototype, which was designed to test technologies for bringing a rocket booster back for a landing after launch. More
(Source: NBCNews.com - Aug 25)
NASA SATELLITE TO HELP FARMERS COMBAT DROUGHT - NASA scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a new satellite than can predict the severity of droughts worldwide and help farmers maximise crop yield.
Currently, there is no ground- or satellite-based global network monitoring soil moisture at a local level.
Farmers, scientists and resource managers can place sensors in the ground, but these only provide spot measurements and are rare across some critical agricultural areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America. More
(Source: Economic Times - Aug 25)
EUROPEAN NAVIGATION CRAFT LAUNCHED INTO WRONG ORBIT - Arianespace confirmed late Friday that two satellites for Europe's Galileo navigation network were released into the wrong orbit after launching aboard a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.
It was not immediately clear whether the two satellites have enough fuel to make up for the orbit injection error. Arianespace and European Space Agency officials initially heralded Friday morning's launch as a success, declaring the satellites healthy and claiming they were deployed into their targeted orbit approximately 23,500 kilometers, or 14,600 miles, above Earth. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 23)
SPACEX ROCKET EXPLODES DURING US TEST FLIGHT - An unmanned SpaceX rocket self-destructed shortly after launching on a test flight at a Texas development site, the company said Friday.
Nobody was injured.
The test flight involved a three-engine version of the company's reusable Falcon 9 rocket, spokesman John Taylor said in a statement. SpaceX has been using the Falcon 9 to launch satellites and the Dragon spacecraft, which delivers cargo to the International Space Station. "During the flight, an anomaly was detected in the vehicle and the flight termination system automatically terminated the mission," Mr Taylor said. More
(Source: Telegraph.co.uk - Aug 23)
EU TO LAUNCH GALILEO SATELLITE NAMED AFTER ESTONIAN TEENAGE-GIRL - A European Union navigation system satellite of Galileo Programme, which is going to be launched into space (Scheduled at GMT 1227), was named after a Estonian girl from.
The namesake of the Milena is Milena Kaznatsejeva, 14, who several years ago won a drawing competition held by the European Space Agency, according to Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR).
The Milena satellite and another one, Doresa, will be launched from French Guyana, the ERR report said, and will eventually be part of the Galileo navigation system, which is a European alternative to the American-led GPS program. More
(Source: Xinhua - Aug 23)
SPACEX TARGETS EARLY TUESDAY SATELLITE LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - A commercial communications satellite has been secured inside a payload fairing in preparation for its planned launch early Tuesday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Liftoff of the 224-foot rocket and AsiaSat 6 satellite is targeted for 12:50 a.m. Tuesday, at the opening of a window extending to 4:05 a.m. at Launch Complex 40. The Air Force has not yet released a weather forecast. More
(Source: Florida Today - Aug 23)
CLEAR SOME SPACE! RUSSIA TO DEVELOP SCAVENGER TO COLLECT COSMIC DEBRIS BY 2025 - The Russian space agency is allocating around $297 million to design and construct a spacecraft that would clean circumterrestrial space of disabled communication satellites and upper-stage rockets currently cluttering up the geostationary orbit.
Roscosmos is ready to allocate 10.8 billion rubles (about $297 million) from 2016-2025 for the new mission: development of a space scavenger relieving terrestrial space of non-operating satellites and space exploration waste, Izvestia daily reported on Friday. More
(Source: RT - Aug 22)