BEAUTIFUL BERING STRAIT IMAGE CAPTURED BY COPERNICUS SENTINEL-3A SATELLITE - NASA's Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite snapped a stunning photo of the Bering Strait during a recent trip across the narrow strip of water separating Alaska and Siberia.
The image was captured on March 26 and shared online on April 28.
The Sentinel-3A is an Earth observation satellite launched as part of the Copernicus mission by the European Space Agency. The satellite was carried into orbit on January 16, 2016, and is dedicated to the study of oceanography.
In the bottom half of the image, clouds can be seen swirling across the strait. At the top of the image, sea ice extends southward. More
(Source: UPI - Apr 29)
CHINA TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION OF MANNED SPACE STATION IN 2019 - China will begin construction of a permanent manned space station in 2019 after carrying out a successful in-orbit refueling from its Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft, officials leading the project said on Friday.
The Tianzhou-1, China's first cargo spacecraft, launched on April 20 and completed the first of three planned docking attempts with the orbiting Tiangong-2 spacelab two days later, state media reported.
The successful five-day refueling, directed from technicians on Earth and completed on Thursday, is a key milestone toward China's plans to begin sending crews to a permanent space station by 2022.
(Source: U.S. News & World Report - Apr 29)
WEATHER LOOKS GOOD FOR FALCON 9 LAUNCH SUNDAY, BUT PAYLOAD STILL A MYSTERY - An official weather outlook issued by U.S. Air Force meteorologists Thursday calls for partly cloudy skies on Florida’s Space Coast for liftoff of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket just after sunrise Sunday with a clandestine payload for the U.S. government’s intelligence agencies.
Forecasters predict the only concerns at launch time Sunday will be liftoff winds and cumulus clouds associated with isolated rain showers around launch pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. There is an 80 percent chance of acceptable conditions. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 28)
TIANZHOU-1 COMPLETES FIRST TIANGONG-2 REFUELLING, CLEARING WAY TO SPACE STATION - China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, has successfully completed its first refuelling of the Tiangong-2 space lab in orbit, marking a huge step forward in the country's plans for a large, modular space station.
The transfer of propellant in microgravity to Tiangong-2 was the primary objective for the Tianzhou-1 mission, with the first steps of the refuelling initiated on Sunday.
Success of the 29-step, five-day process was declared by Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China's manned space programme, shortly after 7 pm in Beijing on Thursday. More
(Source: gbtimes - Apr 28)
THE FIRST SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM FLIGHT WILL PROBABLY BE DELAYED - It's looking likely that the first flight of NASA's new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System, will slip beyond its November 2018 launch date.
The space agency has yet to announce any official schedule changes. But a recent report by NASA's Office of Inspector General, along with dates provided by internal sources, an agency-wide schedule review currently in progress, and welding challenges involving the core stage liquid oxygen tank, all point to a probable delay. More
(Source: The Planetary Society - Apr 27)
CHINA'S CARGO CRAFT DOCKS WITH SPACE LAB - China's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft performed an automated docking with the country's orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab Saturday (April 22), according to the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center.
The robotic Tianzhou-1 was lofted atop a Long March-7 Y2 rocket Thursday evening (April 20) from Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan province. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 26)
TRUMP CONGRATULATES RECORD-BREAKING ASTRONAUT ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - President Donald Trump called the International Space Station on Monday to congratulate astronaut Peggy Whitson for staying in space longer than any other American.
Whitson, who has been at the ISS for 534 days and counting, is scheduled to stay there for at least another five months.
Her record surpasses that of fellow American astronaut Jeff Williams.
"That is an incredible record to break, and on behalf of our nation," Trump said during a call to the ISS on Monday morning, "and frankly on behalf of the world, I would like to congratulate you." More
(Source: CNBC - Apr 25)
2 SOPS SAYS GOODBYE TO GPS SATELLITE - At 25-years old, Global Positioning System Satellite Vehicle Number 27 completed its time in orbit before the 2nd Space Operations Squadron said goodbye via final command and disposal here April 18.
SVN 27 was launched in 1992, meaning it performed more than triple its design life of 7.5 years.
“The most interesting thing about this process for me, was the ability to do some experimentation and advance training prior to the disposal,” said 1st Lt. Cameron Smith, 2 SOPS bus subsystem analyst. “Experimentation started in mid-March which consisted of advance training opportunities and vehicle component validation. This was very exciting and new to a lot of people in 2 SOPS.” More
(Source: Schriever Air Force Base - Apr 25)
ISRAELI HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS LAUNCH NANO-SATELLITE INTO SPACE - A nano-satellite built by Israeli high school students was launched to the International Space Station on April 18. Named for Israel’s national bird, the Duchifat-2 (in English, Hoopoe-2) nano-satellite was one of 28 student-built nano-satellites sent into space, to be released from the space station in about six weeks’ time. More than 80 Israeli teenagers from around the country – in grades 9-12 – came to Herzliya Science Center to help build the tiny 1.8 kilogram (4-pound) CubeSat satellite, a type of miniaturized satellite for space research. More
(Source: ISRAEL21c - Apr 24)
CHINA’S FIRST UNMANNED SPACE CARGO SHIP DOCKS WITH CHINESE SPACE STATION - China’s first unmanned space cargo ship Tianzhou 1, which was launched Thursday, successfully docked with the country’s orbiting Tiangong 2 space station on Saturday, China national central television reported.
The cargo spacecraft was built to carry fuel, materials and other supplies for the construction of the Chinese space station due for completion around 2020. More
(Source: The Japan Times - Apr 24)
FIRST BULGARIAN COMMUNICATION SATELLITE IS READY TO BE LAUNCHED IN SPACE - The first Bulgarian communication satellite by the Geostationary orbit BulgariaSat-1 finished all main procedures for montage and tests by the company Space Systems/Loral (SSL) in Palo Alto, California successfully, Dnevnik announced.
The installation is being currently prepared for transportation to the platform for launching in Cape Canaveral, Florida, said the company “Bulgaria Sat”.
(Source: Novinite.com - Apr 23)
TWO NEW CREW MEMBERS ARRIVE AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - After a six-hour flight, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, KG5FYH, and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, of the Russian space agency Roscosmos arrived at the International Space Station at 9:18 a.m. EDT Thursday where they will continue important scientific research.
The two launched aboard a Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. (1:13 p.m. Baikonur time), orbited Earth four times, and docked at the space station. More
(Source: Southgate - Apr 22)
HERE’S WHY THE RESOLUTION OF SATELLITE IMAGES NEVER SEEMS TO IMPROVE - We take for granted that, from phones in our pockets, we can summon up street-level views of places we’ve never visited or see entire cities as viewed from miles above. The revamped Google Earth, released this month, brings that remarkable ability to tour the globe into your browser. If you view the White House, the most recent update shows the inauguration reviewing stand on the North Lawn, with people milling about nearby. It’s an intriguing snapshot. Recently, another group of people milling around in a satellite photo attracted international headlines. More
(Source: Washington Post - Apr 22)
LIVE COVERAGE: CYGNUS RENDEZVOUS AND ARRIVAL JOURNAL AND WEBCAST - The orbital rendezvous of the commercially-operated Cygnus cargo ship with the International Space Station is set for early Saturday morning, completing a four-day trek to the laboratory from the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
The trip took a bit longer than needed, giving space for the Soyuz crew launch and docking that successfully occurred on Thursday.
Orbital ATK's Cygnus, approaching the station from behind and below, it will use Global Positioning navigation and rendezvous laser sensors to arrive at a point within 40 feet of the lab complex. That's when the vessel will be grappled by the station's robotic arm, expected around 6:05 a.m. EDT (1005 GMT). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 22)
ASTRONAUT, COSMONAUT AND STUFFED DOG ARRIVE AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - In case you ever find yourself hurtling into space, know this: When the little stuffed dog starts to float, that's when you've reached Earth's orbit.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin lifted off from Kazakhstan on Thursday, bound for the International Space Station. About nine minutes into their voyage, the stuffed dog leaped into the air, then began to drift at the end of the string around its neck. (The dog is the latest in an adorable tradition of stuffed animals in space.) There was a rare extra seat in the Soyuz capsule; Reuters reports that Russia is scaling back its space station staffing as it prepares to prepares to send a laboratory to the ISS next year. More
(Source: NPR - Apr 21)
AALTO-2 SATELLITE LAUNCHED INTO SPACE - In the evening on Tuesday 18 April, Aalto-2, the satellite designed and built by students in Otaniemi was launched on the Atlas V booster rocket towards the International Space Station orbiting the Earth. It will take the cargo spacecraft Cygnus about three days to reach the International Space Station.
'We have been preparing for the launch of either Aalto-1 or Aalto-2 for a long time. There was a big crowd of us looking forward to and celebrating this historic event in Otaniemi,' says Professor Jaan Praks, the director of the project.
(Source: Phys.org - Apr 20)
TRUMP TO CALL COMMANDER OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - President Donald Trump will speak next week to the commander of the orbiting International Space Station.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday the call with Peggy Whitson — and fellow astronaut Jack Fischer — will take place April 24.
On that date, Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station, will have spent 535 days in space, the most time spent in space of any American astronaut.
Astronaut Jeffrey Williams currently holds the record. More
(Source: ABC News - Apr 20)
SOYUZ SPACE CAPSULE WITH AMERICAN, RUSSIAN ONBOARD ARRIVES AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Soyuz space capsule delivered an American astronaut making his first space flight and a veteran Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station on Thursday.
NASA's Jack Fischer and Russia's Fyodor Yurchikhin lifted off from the Russia-leased launch facility in Kazakhstan at 1:13 p.m. Thursday. They reached orbit about nine minutes later, a moment illustrated when a small white stuffed dog hanging from a string in the capsule began to float. More
(Source: Chicago Tribune - Apr 20)
ASTRONAUT AND COSMONAUT LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION ON RUSSIAN SOYUZ - MORE
An astronaut and a cosmonaut launched on the first two-person spaceflight in 14 years, bound for a 5-month stay on the International Space Station.
Astronaut Jack Fischer with NASA and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos lifted off on Russia's Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft, atop a Soyuz-FG rocket, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:13 a.m. EDT (0713 GMT; 1:13 p.m. local time) Thursday (April 20). Launched on a "fast-track," six-orbit rendezvous. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 20)