UNIVERSITY TO LAUNCH WEST VIRGINIA'S FIRST SATELLITE - Within a year's time, West Virginia will join an exclusive club when West Virginia University launches the state's first satellite into orbit.
The small satellite, which is still in the first stage of development, will collect data on weather, radiation and other space conditions for use by university researchers. It is scheduled to launch as a secondary payload on a rocket next year as part of the National Aeronautic Space Administration's CubeSat Launch Initiative.
In launching the satellite, West Virginia University will collaborate with NASA's Independent Verification and Validation program, the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and Fairmont-based TMC Technologies. More
(Source: Government Technology - Apr 25)
NEW DETAILS: SECRETIVE AIR FORCE SPACE PLANE'S NEXT MISSION - Official word from the Pentagon today: The U.S. Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office is scheduled to launch the fourth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) in May 2015.
"We are excited about our fourth X-37B mission," said Randy Walden, the director of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.
"With the demonstrated success of the first three missions, we're able to shift our focus from initial checkouts of the vehicle to testing of experimental payloads," Walden said. More
(Source: Leonard David's INSIDE OUTER SPACE - Apr 24)
NEW EYES ON THE ISS - How quickly we get spoiled. For years I've happily watched NASA spacewalks, marveling at the fact that we get to see live, astronaut's-eye views of the action through "helmetcams" worn by spacewalkers since the STS-97 shuttle mission in 2000. Now I see what we've been missing.
Last week NASA posted raw video taken by a GoPro camera fixed to Terry Virts' suit when he and Butch Wilmore ventured outside the space station last February.
(Source: Air & Space Magazine - Apr 24)
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE MARKS 25 YEARS IN ORBIT - What do the "Fast and Furious" movies and the Hubble Space Telescope have in common?
They both require the willing suspension of disbelief.
That's to be expected for a movie like "Furious 7," with cars and drivers falling from airplanes and flying through buildings. But the Hubble Space Telescope? The most powerful - and expensive - observatory ever built?
Yes, suspension of disbelief has been called for time and again throughout Hubble's history, starting with its launch 25 years ago April 24... More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 22)
HOW LASERS COULD BE THE FUTURE OF SPACE CLEANUP - Lasers may be the future of garbage disposal - in space, at least.
In a paper published in the latest issue of Acta Astronautica, researchers at the Riken research institute in Tokyo proposed a way to end the growing problem of space debris by shooting them down with lasers.
The method would track space debris using the Extreme Universe Space Observatory's (EUSO) super-wide-field telescope, mounted on the International Space Station. The telescope, which is based aboard the space station's Japanese Experiment Module, was designed to detect high-energy cosmic rays. More
(Source: Christian Science Monitor - Apr 20)
CONSTRUCTION OF TURKEY'S FIRST HOMEMADE SATELLITE BEGINS - The construction of TURKSAT 6A, which is Turkey's first homemade telecommunications satellite, has started, the country's only communications operator announced Sunday.
"The satellite is developed and manufactured by 354 specialists under the leadership of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) in cooperation with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Military Electronic Industries (ASELSAN) and CTech," TURKSAT's chief executive officer Ensar Gul told The Anadolu Agency.
"The construction period will take five years and the launch of the spacecraft is planned for 2020," Gul said. More
(Source: Anadolu Agency - Apr 20)
SPACE EXPERTS ENDORSE SHARING MILITARY SATELLITE DATA - Air Force Space Command leaders are working on plans to share data from satellites controlled by the military, bringing new opportunities that could allow firefighters to get images on their smartphones to help stamp out wildfires, and allow nonmilitary organizations to keep a better eye on the weather.
The civilian world is working on how infrared pictures could be used, with Colorado Springs software firm Braxton Technologies leading the pack.
"It will be a game-changer," said James Flemer, who is working on a Braxton infrared project.
(Source: Washington Times - Apr 19)
SPACE X, HUBBLE, COFFEE: THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN SPACE - Space is expensive, dangerous, and easy to get wrong. This week, news about Space X, the upcoming Hubble anniversary, and the price of astronaut coffee shows why we should think hard about future projects. As they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
In space flight, close means a violent explosion and a return to the drawing board. So it went with Space X's CRS-6's attempt to land a reusable rocket on a platform in the ocean. More
(Source: InformationWeek - Apr 19)
ORBITAL ATK DELIVERS DIRECTV'S SKYM-1 COMMERCIAL SATELLITE TO LAUNCH SITE - Orbital ATK, Inc., a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it delivered the SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1) satellite to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana for its DIRECTV customer. The SKYM-1 satellite, due to launch in late May, will provide direct-to-home television broadcast services to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for DIRECTV. More
(Source: Business Wire - Apr 19)
SPACEX'S DRAGON CARGO CAPSULE ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spacecraft has rendezvoused with the International Space Station to deliver vital supplies, bringing a three-day orbital chase to an end.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti grappled the Dragon capsule with the space station's huge robotic arm at 6:55 a.m. EDT (1055 GMT) Friday (April 17), securing the commercial capsule to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
Cristoforetti and the other five crewmembers aboard the orbiting lab will soon begin offloading the 4,300 lbs. (1,950 kilograms) of food, scientific experiments and other supplies that Dragon brought up from Earth. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 17)