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SATELLITE NEWS

RUSSIA DELAYS SPACE CREW'S RETURN TO EARTH RUSSIA DELAYS SPACE CREW'S RETURN TO EARTH - Russia's space agency on Friday announced that the return to Earth of three astronauts currently on the International Space Station will be delayed by nearly two weeks in June. "The landing of the... Soyuz TMA-19M is scheduled for June 18, 2016," the Roscosmos space agency said in a statement, after it was initially planned for June 5.   More
(Source: Space Daily - May 1)


FIRST BATCH OF IRIDIUM NEXT SATELLITES GOOD TO GO FOR JULY SPACEX LAUNCH FIRST BATCH OF IRIDIUM NEXT SATELLITES GOOD TO GO FOR JULY SPACEX LAUNCH - Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on April 28 said the contracting team for its second-generation Iridium Next constellation had put past delays behind it and would be ready for a first launch of 10 satellites in late July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. McLean, Virginia-based Iridium said the launch date could slip by a few weeks, depending on SpaceX’s management of its busy manifest. But satellite prime contractor Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, and Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, which is handling the satellites’ assembly, integration and test, will have 10 satellites ready for the July rendezvous.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 30)


PH SATELLITE DIWATA-1 NOW IN SPACE PH SATELLITE DIWATA-1 NOW IN SPACE - The long wait is over as the Diwata-1 is finally sent out to space to begin her 20-month-long journey. Diwata-1, officially named the Philippine Earth Observation Microsatellite, was released into orbit at exactly 7:45 p.m., Wednesday(Manila time), from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), nicknamed “Kibo,” where it was housed since it reached the International Space Station on March 26. The release of Diwata-1 into space was met with much jubilation by the Philippine delegation in Japan, led by Science Undersecretary for Research and Development Amelia Guevarra.    More
(Source: Inquirer.net - Apr 28)


RUSSIA’S BRAND NEW COSMODROME LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER ROCKET RUSSIA’S BRAND NEW COSMODROME LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER ROCKET - Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome has conducted its first space launch on Thursday. A Soyuz rocket boosted three scientific and distance viewing satellites into orbit. The lift-off took place at 5:01am Moscow time (2:01am GMT) and some 8 minutes 44 seconds into the flight the Volga upper stage carrying three satellites successfully separated from the Soyuz rocket. All three satellites launched on the Soyuz rocket have been successfully deployed to their specified orbits.    More
(Source: RT - Apr 28)


INDIAN LAUNCH ROUNDS OUT DOMESTIC NAVIGATION NETWORK INDIAN LAUNCH ROUNDS OUT DOMESTIC NAVIGATION NETWORK - India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off Thursday with the seventh and final spacecraft for a regional navigation network to provide position data to users across the subcontinent independent of foreign satellite systems. The PSLV took off from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast at 0720 GMT (3:20 a.m. EDT), or 12:50 p.m. local time, Thursday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 28)


INDIA'S NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCH: COUNTDOWN PROGRESSING SMOOTHLY INDIA'S NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCH: COUNTDOWN PROGRESSING SMOOTHLY - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an Indian rocket with the country's seventh navigation satellite and the countdown has already begun on Tuesday morning The 51 hour, 30 minute countdown for the launch of 44.4 metre, 320 tonne Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-IRNSS-1G is scheduled for Thursday is progressing smoothly, ISRO said on Wednesday. According to the ISRO, the progressing status of the countdown for the launch of India's navigation satellite is expected to blast off at 12.50 pm on Thursday.   More
(Source: Zee News - Apr 28)


SPACEX WINS ITS FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH FOR THE US AIR FORCE SPACEX WINS ITS FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH FOR THE US AIR FORCE - SpaceX has been awarded an $87.2 million contract from the US Air Force to launch a military GPS satellite in May 2018, Space News reports. It will be the first national security launch SpaceX performs for the Air Force, since the company was authorized to launch military satellites in May 2015. "It was practically guaranteed that SpaceX would win" It was practically guaranteed that SpaceX would win the contract because the company was bidding unopposed. The only other spaceflight company authorized to launch military satellites is the United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.   More
(Source: The Verge - Apr 28)


NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY COMMERCIAL TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY COMMERCIAL TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Five years after the lastNASA astronauts flew from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station, a new group is preparing for a trip, this time on a private spacecraft. On Tuesday, veteran astronauts Eric Boe and Sunita Williams used touch-screen simulators to practice docking Boeing Co.'s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft with the space station during a training session near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The simulator, called the Crew Part-Task Trainer, helps prepare astronauts and flight controllers for missions, flight conditions and situations including the rendezvous and docking with the space station.   More
(Source: CBS News - Apr 28)


NEW ‘MICROSCOPE’ SATELLITE TO TEST EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY IN ORBIT NEW ‘MICROSCOPE’ SATELLITE TO TEST EINSTEIN’S THEORY OF RELATIVITY IN ORBIT - Einstein’s theory of general relativity is to be put to the test by a newly launched satellite in an experiment that could upend our understanding of physics. The French “Microscope” orbiter will try to poke a hole in one of Einstein’s most famous theories, which provides the basis for our modern understanding of gravity. Scientists will use the kit to measure how two different pieces of metal — one titanium and the other a platinum-rhodium alloy — behave in orbit.   More
(Source: Raw Story - Apr 27)


WE JUST LOST ANOTHER CRITICAL CLIMATE SATELLITE WE JUST LOST ANOTHER CRITICAL CLIMATE SATELLITE - One of climate change’s most important biographers — a 2,700-pound satellite orbiting 450 miles above the surface of the Earth — just recorded its last data point. Earlier this month, the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced that, after nine years and five months in orbit, the satellite known as F17 had stopped transmitting sea ice measurements. That’s not unusual — satellites in F17’s series, all named sequentially, are normally expected to last about five years, though some make it much longer. But F17’s failure could preempt the end of the series entirely. Walter Meier, a sea ice researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, called the satellite program “one of the longest, most iconic datasets” illustrating climate change, particularly in the Arctic and Antarctic.   More
(Source: Grist - Apr 27)


 CHINA TO LAUNCH SPACE STATION IN 2018, AIMS TO BECOME NEXT 'SPACE GIANT' CHINA TO LAUNCH SPACE STATION IN 2018, AIMS TO BECOME NEXT 'SPACE GIANT' - The Chinese recently celebrated Space Day with the proclamation of their mission to Mars. But they set their eyes for more than that. China wanted to become the next space giant and in order to make that happen, they are developing their own Space Station which is scheduled to be launched in 2018. During the recent Space Day celebration, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire to make China a "space giant".    More
(Source: Nature World News - Apr 27)


ÑUSAT-1 TO CARRY AMSAT ARGENTINA LINEAR TRANSPONDER – LAUNCH SCHEDULED FOR MAY 30, 2016 ÑUSAT-1 TO CARRY AMSAT ARGENTINA LINEAR TRANSPONDER – LAUNCH SCHEDULED FOR MAY 30, 2016 - The Argentinian earth observation satellite ÑuSat-1 will carry a linear transponder built by AMSAT Argentina. The satellite is scheduled to launch on a CZ-4B rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in China on May 30, 2016 into a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit with an inclination of 97.5 degrees and a Local Time of the Ascending Node (LTAN) of 10:30. The AMSAT Argentina U/v inverting transponder, named LUSEX, wiil have an uplink of 435.935 MHz to 435.965 MHz and a downlink of 145.935 MHz to 145.965 MHz. Total power output is 250 mW. There will also be a CW beacon at 145.900 MHz with a power output of 70 mW.   More
(Source: AMSAT - Apr 27)


THREE NEW CUBESATS NOW IN ORBIT THREE NEW CUBESATS NOW IN ORBIT - Signals have been received from the three CubeSats launched April 25 on Soyuz flight VS14 from the Kourou spaceport in South America. The three CubeSats were developed by student teams under the European Space Agency (ESA) Education Office “Fly Your Satellite!” program, which is aimed at training the next generation of aerospace professionals. The satellites are OUFTI-1, Université of Liège, Belgium; e-st@r-II, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy; AAUSAT-4, University of Aalborg, Denmark.   More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - Apr 27)


SECOND EU RADAR SENTINEL SATELLITE LAUNCHES SECOND EU RADAR SENTINEL SATELLITE LAUNCHES - The European Space Agency has launched a second radar satellite into the EU's new Sentinel constellation. Sentinel-1b was carried into orbit by a Soyuz rocket that flew out of Sinamary in French Guiana. The new platform will monitor shipping lanes for pollution and icebergs, and survey land surfaces for evidence of subsidence - to name just three of the myriad applications for radar imagery. Sentinel-1b will work alongside the 1a spacecraft, which was launched in 2014. Operating in the same orbit but separated by 180 degrees, the pair will be able to map the entire Earth every six days.   More
(Source: BBC News - Apr 25)


WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION GOES KAPUT IN 2024, WHAT COMES NEXT? WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION GOES KAPUT IN 2024, WHAT COMES NEXT? - Moving day is fast approaching. Sometime in 2023 or 2024, the Russians have said they will abandon the International Space Station. Assuming they carry through on this plan, detaching their modules from ISS and using them to build an all-Russian station, the station could soon become uninhabitable. That's then, however. For now, the International Space Station is still growing -- thanks to Bigelow Aerospace. Last week, a SpaceX rocket (yes, the same one that just landed on a boat) delivered to ISS its first-ever Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).   More
(Source: Motley Fool - Apr 25)


SOYUZ LAUNCH DELAYED FOR THIRD DAY IN A ROW SOYUZ LAUNCH DELAYED FOR THIRD DAY IN A ROW - Liftoff of a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana was delayed again Sunday due to a technical problem with the booster discovered in the countdown sequence. The Soyuz is supposed to launch with five satellites, including the next spacecraft for Europe’s multibillion-dollar Earth observing network and a French experiment to probe the validity of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 24)


SUITSAT MIGHT BE THE CREEPIEST SATELLITE EVER SUITSAT MIGHT BE THE CREEPIEST SATELLITE EVER - On February 3, 2006, commander Bill McArthur and flight engineer Valery Tokarev stepped outside the ISS for a spacewalk. Cameras gave audiences watching the live feed on NASA TV a view of the men working, half obscured by solar panels. Then the cameras showed a body floating off into space. Tokarev nonchalantly bid adieu to his untethered colleague with an unceremonious “Goodbye, Mr. Smith.” The figure might have looked like a man, but it wasn’t. It was Suitsat, which is perhaps the creepiest satellite of all time. The story of Suitsat can’t be told without the story of the Orlan spacesuit.   More
(Source: Popular Science - Apr 24)


BE THE FIRST TO CATCH A SIGNAL FROM FLY YOUR SATELLITE! FROM SPACE BE THE FIRST TO CATCH A SIGNAL FROM FLY YOUR SATELLITE! FROM SPACE - It is time to start listening to space. To celebrate the upcoming launch of the three Fly Your Satellite! student-built CubeSats into low Earth orbit, ESA’s Education office challenges the amateur radio community to listen out for the tiny satellites. The first three radio amateurs to send a recorded signal from either AAUSAT4, E-st@r-II or OUFTI-1 will receive a prize from ESA's Education Office. The satellites will be launched on 24 April onboard the Soyuz VS-14 flight from the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.    More
(Source: ESA - Apr 24)


BAD WEATHER DELAYS SOYUZ LAUNCH FROM FRENCH GUIANA TO SUNDAY BAD WEATHER DELAYS SOYUZ LAUNCH FROM FRENCH GUIANA TO SUNDAY - Unfavorable high-altitude winds over the Soyuz launch pad in French Guiana have again forced officials to delay liftoff of five European satellites. The launch is now set for 2102:13 GMT (5:02:13 p.m. EDT) Sunday, assuming the conditions improve. High-altitude winds already delayed the launch from Friday. Launch managers from Russia and Arianespace want to avoid filling the Soyuz rocket with kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants if weather conditions are predicted to by iffy at launch time.    More
(Source: SpaceFlightNow.com - Apr 23)


SOYUZ ST-A LAUNCH WITH SENTINEL-1B MOVED TO SATURDAY SOYUZ ST-A LAUNCH WITH SENTINEL-1B MOVED TO SATURDAY - Russia’s Soyuz ST-A rocket launch with the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1B spacecraft and four small satellites has been moved to Saturday due to unacceptable weather for Friday’s attempt. In what will be the rocket’s first launch of the year from its South American launch site. Liftoff is scheduled for 18:02:13 local time (21:02 UTC). Soyuz operates from the Centre Spatial Guyanais, in Kourou, French Guiana as part of a trio of rockets operated by Arianespace – alongside the smaller Vega and the larger Ariane 5.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Apr 22)