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SATELLITE NEWS

FLIGHT-PROVEN’ FALCON 9 SET TO LAUNCH SES-10 SATELLITE FLIGHT-PROVEN’ FALCON 9 SET TO LAUNCH SES-10 SATELLITE - SpaceX is about to fly a milestone mission with the first launch of a “flight-proven” Falcon 9 rocket. After a successful static fire test, the company is targeting a liftoff at the opening of a 2.5-hour window at 6:27 p.m. EDT (22:27 GMT) Thursday, March 30, 2017. This flight will send the SES-10 communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. It will be the third time SES, a Luxembourg-based company, has entrusted SpaceX to send one of its spacecraft to orbit. In fact, the SES-8 mission in December 2013 was the first commercial satellite launched by a Falcon 9.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Mar 30)


SPACE EXPERTS WARN THREATS TO SATELLITES COULD HURT EMERGENCY RESPONSE SPACE EXPERTS WARN THREATS TO SATELLITES COULD HURT EMERGENCY RESPONSE - When tornadoes and severe storms struck Texas and Louisiana this week, emergency responders were prepared thanks to weather satellite information that gave them a three-day warning. That information might seem routine given the number and sophistication of data-collecting spacecraft orbiting the Earth. But government experts are warning that satellites predicting natural disasters, providing geographic coordinates and allowing cell phone communications are just as vulnerable to foreign threats as military ones.   More
(Source: USA Today - Mar 30)


LASER WILL SPEED UP COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EARTH AND ISS LASER WILL SPEED UP COMMUNICATION BETWEEN EARTH AND ISS - The LCRD will beam data between modems on Earth and the satellite in geosynchronous orbit at speeds 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency. Credit: NASA To speed up communication between Earth and the International Space Station (ISS), NASA plans to use powerful laser technology that will relay messages between 10 and 100 times faster than broadband does on Earth. Also known as optical communication, laser communication encodes data into light beams, which are then transmitted from Earth to the ISS and back.   More
(Source: The Space Reporter - Mar 27)


'WE'VE LEFT JUNK EVERYWHERE': WHY SPACE POLLUTION COULD BE HUMANITY'S NEXT BIG PROBLEM 'WE'VE LEFT JUNK EVERYWHERE': WHY SPACE POLLUTION COULD BE HUMANITY'S NEXT BIG PROBLEM - Jason Held rekindled his love for space while lying in a ditch in Bosnia in 1996, where he was one of 16,500 US troops deployed on a peacekeeping mission at the end of the Bosnian War. Then a lieutenant, he says he had “nothing to do but to watch the two armies put their guns away”. So he signed up for a class in undergraduate biology through an army education program, taking the books to the ditch and passing the hours by studying.   More
(Source: The Guardian - Mar 26)


SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS PREP SPACE STATION TO DOCK WITH COMMERCIAL SPACESHIPS SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS PREP SPACE STATION TO DOCK WITH COMMERCIAL SPACESHIPS - Two astronauts wandered outside the confines of the International Space Station today (March 24), embarking on the first of three spacewalks scheduled to take place over the next few weeks. European Space Agency astronaut and flight engineer Thomas Pesquet led the way when he emerged from the station's Quest Airlock at 7:22 a.m. EDT (1122 GMT). NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, commander of the station's Expedition 50 crew, popped out of the airlock shortly after, and the two spacewalkers parted ways to carry out separate tasks around the orbiting lab. While Kimbrough breezed through his to-do list with enough time left for a "get-ahead" task, Pesquet's tasks kept him busy the entire time.   More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 26)


FIRST MADE-IN-ALBERTA SATELLITE GETS GROUNDED — AGAIN FIRST MADE-IN-ALBERTA SATELLITE GETS GROUNDED — AGAIN - The fate of a University of Alberta satellite is up in the air, but not in the way students involved in the project would like. The launch of the AlbertaSat team's Ex-Alta 1 satellite had originally been scheduled for March 16, then March 19, and then March 24. Now it's been delayed indefinitely. "Right now the satellite is sitting inside of a capsule on top of the Atlas V rocket in Florida at Cape Canaveral, waiting to launch to the International Space Station," said project manager Charles Nokes.   More
(Source: CBC.ca - Mar 25)


THE JOURNEY OF NASA’S SMARTEST SATELLITE FINALLY COMES TO AN END THE JOURNEY OF NASA’S SMARTEST SATELLITE FINALLY COMES TO AN END - NASA’s highly experimental Earth Observing-1 satellite mission was supposed to last just a year. It did that, and then survived 16 more—all the while testing NASA’s riskiest, oddball ideas. It’s been a proving ground for everything from multi- and hyperspectral imagers, to a self-piloting AI. But EO-1 is finally out of fuel, and at the end of the month the craft’s operating team will close up shop. Already out of fuel, EO-1 itself will continue to slowly shuffle off its orbital coil until it burns up in Earth’s atmosphere.    More
(Source: Wired - Mar 25)


CYGNUS SPACECRAFT LAUNCH TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION DELAYED AGAIN CYGNUS SPACECRAFT LAUNCH TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION DELAYED AGAIN - The launch of the OA-7 Cygnus cargo spacecraft carrying new supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) has been postponed again, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) has announced. Earlier this week, ULA said that the launch was planned for March 27. Previously, it was set for March 24, after having been postponed from the original scheduled date of March 19. One of the previous delays was caused by booster hydraulic issues discovered during pre-launch testing. Last week, ULA said that its team needed additional time to replace and retest a first stage hudraulic component.   More
(Source: Sputnik International - Mar 24)


THREE SPACEWALKS, CARGO LAUNCH ON TAP FOR SPACE STATION THREE SPACEWALKS, CARGO LAUNCH ON TAP FOR SPACE STATION - NASA is gearing up for an intense few weeks of work aboard the International Space Station, staging three spacewalks, moving a docking port from one module to another to support commercial crew ferry ships and capturing an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship carrying nearly 4 tons of equipment and supplies. Launch of the Cygnus spacecraft atop an Atlas 5 rocket had been planned for Monday, but late in the day Wednesday, United Launch Alliance announced a delay pending resolution of an unspecified problem with the booster’s hydraulic system.   More
(Source: CBS News - Mar 24)


CONGRESS MULLS OPTIONS FOR SPACE STATION BEYOND 2024 CONGRESS MULLS OPTIONS FOR SPACE STATION BEYOND 2024 - The United States' ability to send astronauts to Mars in the mid-2030s depends in part on cutting back or ending government funding for the International Space Station (ISS) after 2024, the head of a congressional subcommittee that oversees NASA said Wednesday (March 22). "We ought to be aware that remaining on the ISS [after 2024] will come at a cost," U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, a Texas Republican who chairs the House Science and Technology's Subcommittee on Space, said during a hearing about options and impacts for station operations beyond 2024.    More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 24)


INSIDE THE NANOSAT LAB - TINY SATELLITES, BIG AMBITIONS INSIDE THE NANOSAT LAB - TINY SATELLITES, BIG AMBITIONS - The Nanosat Lab at the State University of New York at Buffalo is thrumming like a beehive. More than 100 excited, exhausted undergraduates are very hard at work on a volunteer project: building three tiny satellites. The students are nervously anticipating the arrival of their customers—the U.S. Air Force and NASA—whose reviewers will judge their progress and the quality of their work. One of the satellites—the Glint Analyzing Data Observation Satellite, or GLADOS—is about to undergo what’s called a pre-integration review. “It’s kind of our pass/fail,” says junior Maura Sutherland, the lab’s chief of public relations. If the students pass, the satellite will move one step closer to launch. If not, well, pass/fail offers only one other option.    More
(Source: Air & Space Magazine - Mar 23)


PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS NASA AUTHORIZATION BILL PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS NASA AUTHORIZATION BILL - President Donald Trump has signed the NASA Transition Authorization Act of 2017, which sets a $19.5 billion budget for the agency for fiscal year 2017. The bill — S.442 — is the first NASA authorization bill to reach a U.S. president's desk since 2010. Trump signed the bill into law today (March 21) during a televised ceremony in the Oval Office. He was joined by NASA astronauts Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Chris Cassidy, who presented the commander in chief with a NASA flight jacket. Following the signing, Vice President Mike Pence announced that the White House will re-establish a National Space Council.   More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 23)


ATLAS 5 ROCKET AIMS FOR FRIDAY NIGHT LAUNCH TO SEND SUPPLIES TO SPACE STATION ATLAS 5 ROCKET AIMS FOR FRIDAY NIGHT LAUNCH TO SEND SUPPLIES TO SPACE STATION - Officials have accepted a Friday launch date for a commercial cargo ship to the International Space Station after Range availability scuttled notions of moving up the Atlas 5 flight by a day. The United Launch Alliance booster will haul Orbital ATK’s Cygnus automated resupply freighter into low-Earth orbit from Cape Canaveral. A Thursday launch had been considered, but the Eastern Range was unavailable that day due to unrelated SpaceX mission testing on the Space Coast.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 22)


CAN SPACEX MAKE SATELLITE-BASED INTERNET A REALITY? CAN SPACEX MAKE SATELLITE-BASED INTERNET A REALITY? - Never one to shy away from ambitious projects, SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk has been working on a new project that would use satellites to bring low-cost broadband Internet service to the world for years, but could he actually be close to accomplishing that mission? According to The Verge, recent filings have revealed that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) representatives have met with SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell twice within the last month: a wireless advisor met with her on February 28, and Chairman Ajit Varadaraj Pai himself discussed regulatory and licensing issues with Shotwell on March 10.    More
(Source: RedOrbit - Mar 21)


MOUNT ETNA GLOWS HOT IN NEW SATELLITE IMAGE MOUNT ETNA GLOWS HOT IN NEW SATELLITE IMAGE - Sicily sparkles with city lights in a new satellite image, but what’s that lighting up Mount Etna? Hot lava. A new image taken by an instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite shows the nighttime glow of lava during a recent active period at the volcano, which towers 10,922 feet over the island. Mount Etna has been belching ash and lava in the past few weeks. On March 16, 10 people were injured in an explosion of hot rock on the mountain, an incident captured by a BBC film crew.   More
(Source: CBS News - Mar 21)


SPACEX’S DRAGON SUPPLY CARRIER WRAPS UP 10TH MISSION TO SPACE STATION SPACEX’S DRAGON SUPPLY CARRIER WRAPS UP 10TH MISSION TO SPACE STATION - SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft ended a four-week mission Sunday with a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, returning from the International Space Station with more than 3,600 pounds of cargo, blood and urine samples, and specimens from a rodent research experiment aimed at helping patients with catastrophic bone injuries and osteoporosis. Flying northwest to southeast over the Pacific Ocean, the 12-foot-wide (3.7-meter) automated spaceship streaked through the upper atmosphere, its carbon ablative heat shield weathering temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,650 degrees Celsius).   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 21)


SPACEX DRAGON SPACECRAFT DEPARTS SPACE STATION SPACEX DRAGON SPACECRAFT DEPARTS SPACE STATION - Expedition 50 astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA released the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft from the International Space Station‘s robotic arm at 5:11 a.m. EDT. With the spacecraft a safe distance from the station, SpaceX flight controllers in Hawthorne, California, will command its deorbit burn around 10 a.m. The capsule will splash down at about 10:54 a.m. in the Pacific Ocean, where recovery forces will retrieve the capsule and its more than 5,400 pounds of cargo. The cargo includes science samples from human and animal research, external payloads, biology and biotechnology studies, physical science investigations and education activities.   More
(Source: NASA - Mar 20)


INTERNATIONALLY-BACKED MILITARY SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED ATOP DELTA 4 ROCKET INTERNATIONALLY-BACKED MILITARY SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED ATOP DELTA 4 ROCKET - With an international flair for collaboration, a military communications satellite jointly purchased by five allies was rocketed in space Saturday to further expand the U.S.-operated network that serves battlefield forces anywhere on Earth. The Wideband Global SATCOM satellite No. 9, which will act like an information router in space, was successfully propelled into orbit by a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral. The 8:18 p.m. EDT (0018 GMT) liftoff occurred from Complex 37 following an afternoon loading of 170,000 gallons of cryogenic propellant into the two-stage rocket.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 19)


NEW US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE TO LAUNCH SATURDAY NEW US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE TO LAUNCH SATURDAY - A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket is poised to lift off this Saturday (March 18) to deliver a multipurpose communications satellite into orbit for the U.S. military. Blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is scheduled for 7:44 p.m. EDT (2344 GMT), and will be the second launch this week from the Eastern Range. The launch window closes at 8:59 p.m. EDT (0059 GMT on March 19). Perched atop the rocket is the ninth member of the $442 million Boeing-built Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) network, which collects and routes real-time data through thousands of terminals worldwide and supports the military's Global Broadcast Service.    More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 18)


NASA SAYS GOODBYE TO EARTH OBSERVING-1 (EO-1) SATELLITE AFTER 17 YEARS NASA SAYS GOODBYE TO EARTH OBSERVING-1 (EO-1) SATELLITE AFTER 17 YEARS - The first to map active lava flows from space. The first to measure a facility's methane leak from space. The first to track re-growth in a partially logged Amazon forest from space. After 17 years in orbit, one of NASA's pathfinder Earth satellites for testing new satellite technologies and concepts comes to an end on March 30, 2017. The Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite will be powered off on that date but will not enter Earth's atmosphere until 2056. Launched on Nov. 21, 2000, EO-1 was designed as a technology validation mission focused on testing cutting-edge satellite and instrument technologies that could be incorporated into future missions.    More
(Source: Phys.org - Mar 18)



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