NASA INSTALLS A SWEET NEW HD CAMERA ON THE SPACE STATION - The International Space Station has been in orbit since 1998. Camera technology has come a long way since then. Astronauts out on a spacewalk on Friday just installed a new enhanced HD camera and NASA posted a first look at its eye-catching capabilities. It gives viewers a much crisper look at exterior activities like Friday's spacewalk. More
(Source: CNET - Oct 21)
HOW TO SEE A SPACE STATION FALL FROM THE SKY -
Six years after it launched, a truck-sized space station is flying out of control on a collision course with Earth—and it could come crashing down almost anytime between now and next April.
The 8.5-ton spacecraft is China’s first space station, named Tiangong-1, which translates to “Heavenly Palace.” Placed in orbit in September 2011, the station was designed to be a test-bed for robotic technologies, and it has seen multiple vehicle rendezvous, dockings, and taikonaut visits during its operational lifetime. The activity lays the groundwork for a more permanent space station the Chinese plan to launch in the near future. More
(Source: National Geographic - Oct 21)
RADFXSAT (FOX-1B) FM SATELLITE SET TO LAUNCH IN NOVEMBER - The next AMSAT Fox-1 satellite, RadFxSat (Fox-1B), is scheduled to launch on November 10 at 0947 UTC. RadFxSat (Fox-1B), which will carry a 435/145 MHz FM transponder, is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) mission. JPSS-1 will launch on a Delta II vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
RadFxSat is a partnership with Vanderbilt University Institute for Space and Defense Electronics (ISDE) and hosts four payloads for the study of radiation effects on commercial off-the-shelf components. More
(Source: ARRL - Oct 21)
SPACEX GIVES FREE RIDE TO REPLACEMENT FOR FACEBOOK'S FRIED SATELLITE - Spacecom and SpaceX have settled their differences over a burned satellite. The Israeli company has once again signed Elon Musk's company for launch services.
Spacecom has told the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange it expects to use SpaceX for a launch in 2019, and possibly a further launch in 2020.
Their relationship looked doomed after a spectacular Falcon 9 launch failure in 2016 destroyed a Spacecom satellite built to help Facebook take over those parts of the world not yet under Mark Zuckerberg's loving gaze. More
(Source: The Register - Oct 20)
JAPANESE START-UP TAPS INTO SPACE BOOM WITH AN AIRBNB SERVICE FOR SATELLITES - The small satellite revolution sparked by Elon Musk and others has created a need for more viable options for sending massive amounts of data back to Earth.
An industry now estimated at $260.5 billion, this niche satellite market is set for more rapid growth as SpaceX, Boeing and Oneweb all plan huge constellations. Thousands of cube- and microsatellite launches are also scheduled over the next six years. Recognizing the trend, a Japanese start-up called Infostellar has plans to disrupt the status quo. More
(Source: CNBC - Oct 20)
CHINESE CAS-4A AND CAS-4B AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITE TRANSPONDERS ACTIVATED - The Amateur Radio linear (SSB/CW) inverting transponders on the CAS-4A and CAS-4B satellites were activated on October 18. CAMSAT’s Amateur Radio payloads piggybacked on the optical remote-sensing micro-satellites OVS-1A (CAS-4A) and OVS-1B (CAS-4B), launched on June 15.
CAS-4A (call sign BJ1SK) has a CW telemetry beacon on 145.855 MHz, and 4.8 kB GMSK telemetry on 145.835 MHz. The uplink is 435.220 MHz, the downlink is 145.870 MHz (20-kHz passband). More
(Source: ARRL - Oct 19)
ICON SATELLITE EXPLORES THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN EARTH AND SPACE - On Dec. 8, 2017, NASA launches the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, a low-Earth orbiting satellite that will give us new information about how Earth's atmosphere interacts with near-Earth space—a give-and-take that plays a major role in the safety of our satellites and reliability of communications signals.
Specifically, ICON investigates the connections between the neutral atmosphere—which extends from here near the surface to far above us, at the edge of space—and the electrically charged part of the atmosphere, called the ionosphere.
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 19)
NORTH KOREA PLANS TO LAUNCH MORE SATELLITES, SAYS US TRYING TO BLOCK SPACE EFFORTS - North Korea’s deputy UN ambassador said Tuesday the country plans to launch many more satellites and accused the United States of trying to block its efforts to help peacefully develop outer space.
Kim In Ryong told a UN General Assembly committee meeting on “International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” that the country’s five-year plan for 2016-2020 includes development of “practical satellites that can contribute to the economic development and improvement of the people’s living.” More
(Source: New York Post - Oct 19)
PARTS OF UNMANNED RUSSIAN SPACESHIP BURN UP OVER DUBAI - Parts of an unmanned Russian cargo spaceship burned across the night sky of the Arabian Peninsula, drawing gasps from Dubai to Riyadh before breaking up in the Earth's atmosphere and scattering in the Indian Ocean.
The fiery end Monday night to parts of Progress MS-07 came as planned after it delivered 2.5 metric tons (2.75 tons) of water, food and scientific equipment to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. More
(Source: ABC News - Oct 18)
CHINA’S FIRST SPACE LAB WILL SOON CRASH TO EARTH. NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT’LL HIT. - Sometime within the next few months, the heavens will come crashing down.
Tiangong 1, which translates to "Heavenly Palace," is China's first space laboratory, launched in September 2011, serving as a prototype for a permanent space station that it aims to eventually build and launch. But six years after it first went into orbit, the 8½-ton laboratory is soon expected to meet a fiery and uncontrolled end, hurtling down to Earth and crashing somewhere — anywhere — on the planet.
In September 2016, Chinese officials confirmed that they had lost control of the space lab and that it would crash into Earth sometime in the latter half of 2017. In May, China told the United Nations that the lab would reenter Earth between October and April 2018. More
(Source: Washington Post - Oct 17)
RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP DOCKS AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - An uncrewed Russian cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station early Monday (Oct. 16) to deliver nearly 3 tons of fresh food, fuel and other supplies. The Progress 68 resupply ship linked up with the space station at 7:04 a.m. EDT (1104 GMT) as the two spacecraft sailed 252 miles (405 kilometers) over eastern China. The docking came two days after a Soyuz rocket launched the cargo craft Saturday (Oct. 14) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)
ATLAS 5 PIERCES THE NIGHT TO BOOST NATIONAL SECURITY SATELLITE INTO SPACE - A covert communications relay station to route spy satellite data directly to users was successfully launched by a million-pound Atlas 5 rocket overnight.
The United Launch Alliance rocket left Cape Canaveral under the cover of darkness at 3:28 a.m. EDT (0728 GMT), dodging rain showers while speeding through decks of clouds, for a trek to geosynchronous transfer orbit to deploy the NROL-52 spacecraft.
The fifth launch attempt proved to be the charm for NROL-52 after four thwarted tries over the past week, mainly due to bad weather.
The last Atlas variant of any kind with this many scrubs was AC-167, the final Atlas 2AS in 2004, that experienced four scrubs and launched on the fifth try. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 16)
CAN TINY SATELLITES HELP THE COAST GUARD DO ITS JOB? - Satellites, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, are driving a new Space Age, researchers say, and the U.S. Coast Guard wants in.
In 2018, two so-called cube satellites will be launched into low Earth orbit from a SpaceX rocket, part of a project to test whether the satellites can detect emergency distress beacons in the Arctic. The mission, dubbed "Polar Scout," is also a way for the Coast Guard to look at potential uses for these satellites in its day-to-day work. More
(Source: theday.com - Oct 15)
WATCH ASTRONAUTS FLIP WHEN THEY GET TO PLAY WITH A FIDGET SPINNER ON THE SPACE STATION - We’re not entirely sure if fidget spinners are still a thing on Earth. But judging by a new video from NASA, they’re still cool on the International Space Station.
The video uploaded on Friday by the Johnson Space Center YouTube account was trending Saturday on the social platform.
“How long does it spin? I’m not sure, but it’s a great way to experiment with Newton’s laws of motion!” the description on the video reads. More
(Source: GeekWire - Oct 15)
PROGRESS CARGO FREIGHTER BEGINS TWO-DAY TREK TO SPACE STATION - A Russian Progress freighter carrying nearly three tons of fuel, cargo and supplies for the International Space Station took off from Kazakhstan Saturday, two days after an uncommon last-minute abort for its Soyuz booster.
The unpiloted Progress MS-07 supply ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0846:53 GMT (4:46:53 a.m. EDT; 2:46:53 p.m. Baikonur time) Saturday to kick off a two-day pursuit of the orbiting research laboratory flying 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the planet. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 15)
SEE BACK-TO-BACK ROCKET LAUNCHES EARLY SATURDAY: HOW TO WATCH THEM ONLINE - Calling all early-bird space fans! Two rockets — one Russian and the other American — will launch on two very different missions early Saturday (Oct. 14). You can watch both launches online, but you'll have to wake up in the wee hours to do it.
The space action starts at 3:31 a.m. EDT (0731 GMT) with the launch of a classified U.S. spy satellite on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)
AMERICANS WILL HEAD TO SPACE AGAIN, WITHOUT A RUSSIAN TAXI - Since the Space Shuttle’s retirement six years ago, NASA has been buying spots aboard Russian Soyuz craft to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. It’s a politically awkward arrangement, to say the least, given more than a decade of strained relations, Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the dented American pride in having to ask in the first place.
The situation has understandably increased pressure on NASA, which hired Boeing Co. and Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a new generation of vessels to shuttle U.S. astronauts to the station. Both companies are scheduled to fly two test flights next year for NASA’s commercial crew program, including one each that will carry two crew members—an ambitious schedule that could slip into 2019. More
(Source: Bloomberg - Oct 14)
TIANGONG-1: CHINESE SPACE STATION WILL CRASH TO EARTH WITHIN MONTHS - An 8.5-tonne Chinese space station has accelerated its out-of-control descent towards Earth and is expected to crash to the surface within a few months.
The Tiangong-1 or “Heavenly Palace” lab was launched in 2011 and described as a “potent political symbol” of China, part of an ambitious scientific push to turn China into a space superpower.
It was used for both manned and unmanned missions and visited by China’s first female astronaut, Liu Yang, in 2012. More
(Source: The Guardian - Oct 14)
MODIFIED RUSSIAN MISSILE BOOSTS EUROPE’S NEWEST ENVIRONMENTAL SENTINEL TO SPACE - A European satellite that will collect daily air quality measurements over every major city on Earth rode an uprated Russian ballistic missile into orbit Friday.
Assembled in Britain with a significant Dutch contribution, the Sentinel 5 Precursor satellite will measure greenhouse gases with unrivaled precision, mapping atmospheric chemistry in city-sized blocks to help tell policymakers and scientists how air pollution changes day-to-day. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)