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)
FIRST SUPPLY SHIP FOR CHINESE SPACE STATION LIFTS OFF ON TEST FLIGHT - A Long March 7 rocket lifted off Thursday with Tianzhou 1, an unpiloted refueling freighter heading for China’s Tiangong 2 mini-space station to conduct several months of robotic demonstrations, practicing for the assembly and maintenance of a future permanently-staffed orbital research complex.
The 174-foot-tall (53-meter) kerosene-fueled launcher blasted off from the Wenchang space center, a tropical facility on Hainan Island at China’s southern frontier, at 1141:35 GMT (7:41:35 a.m. EDT; 7:41:35 p.m. Beijing time), shortly after sunset at launch site. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 20)
SATELLITE SWARMS COULD EAT THEMSELVES - What goes up, may come down in pieces—and cause some trouble in the process. As hardware prices and launch costs fall, there’s an increasing trend to launch swarms of satellites into space to monitor our planet and transmit data. But some academics are concerned that the rising numbers may make an existing space junk problem far worse.
At the end of 2016, it was estimated that 1,459 operating satellites were in orbit around Earth. But that number looks set to rise quickly, as companies continue to launch swarms of smaller spacecraft. Earlier this year, for instance, Planet Labs popped 88 of its tiny satellites into space to photograph the planet below. More
(Source: MIT Technology Review - Apr 19)
CHINA’S FIRST ROBOTIC RESUPPLY FREIGHTER TRANSFERRED TO LAUNCH PAD - Chinese engineers rolled out a Long March 7 rocket to a seaside launch complex on Hainan Island in the South China Sea on Monday, aiming to fire a robotic refueling freighter into orbit as soon as Thursday to test technology for China’s future space station.
The Tianzhou 1 spacecraft mounted on top of the 174-foot-tall (53-meter) Long March 7 launcher will dock with the Tiangong 2 space lab around two days after liftoff, the first of three linkups planned during the cargo carrier’s mission.
Chinese officials said the automated mission is due to launch some time between Thursday and next Monday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 19)
HAM ASTRONAUTS SWAP PLACES ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - With US Astronaut and ISS Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough, KE5HOD, now back on Earth, two more radio amateurs will head into space this week from Kazakhstan to join the ISS crew members that Kimbrough and Russian crewmates Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko left behind on the ISS. The three touched down safely in Kazakhstan on April 10 after spending 173 days on board the orbiting laboratory. More
(Source: ARRL - Apr 19)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET SUCCESSFULLY BOOSTS CYGNUS CARGO SHIP ON TREK TO SPACE STATION - Loaded with supplies to keep the International Space Station’s crew fed, clothed and busy with new science projects, a Cygnus cargo vessel sped into orbit today atop an Atlas 5 rocket.
The 194-foot-tall United Launch Alliance rocket was activated and tested during a seven-hour countdown at its Complex 41 pad, leading to cryogenic fueling with 66,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen.
With the final status check confirming readiness at T-minus 25 seconds — “Go Atlas,” “Go Centaur,” “Go OA-7” — the computer-controlled countdown proceeded flawlessly and the main engine roared to life at 11:11:26 a.m. EDT (1511:26 GMT). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 19)
SATELLITE CRASHES 'TO SOAR BY 50%' BECAUSE CHEAPER COST OF PRODUCING CRAFT WILL LEAD TO THOUSANDS BE - The launch of 'mega-constellations' of thousands of communication satellites could lead to a rise in collisions and build-up of space junk in Earth's orbit, scientists have warned.
A decrease in the cost of the manufacture of satellites is set to lead to the deployment of hundreds or thousands into space from next year, creating a massive rise in the number of active satellites from the 1,300 currently in use.
But Dr Hugh Lewis, senior lecture in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, has warned a 200-year computer simulation has shown the creation of a mega-constellation could create a 50% increase in the number of 'catastrophic collisions' between satellites.
(Source: Daily Mail - Apr 18)
CHINA READIES FIRST SPACE STATION CARGO MISSION - China is getting ready to launch its first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, to its Tiangong-2 space station later this week. China's Xinhua news services says the launch will take place between April 20 and 24. This is a test of robotic in-orbit refueling. No one is aboard the space station or the cargo spacecraft. Tiangong-2 was launched last year and occupied by a two-man crew for 30 days. It has been empty since then. More
(Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com - Apr 18)
NASA WILL WEBCAST 360-DEGREE VIEW OF CARGO SHIP LAUNCH TUESDAY: WATCH IT LIVE - You can watch the first-ever 360-degree livestream of a rocket launch on Tuesday (April 18).
Orbital ATK's robotic Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) Tuesday atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 11:11 a.m. EDT (1511 GMT) from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. You can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly at the space agency's YouTube channel.
Cygnus has flown a number of such resupply runs in the past, but this liftoff will be special, from a viewer's perspective at least: You'll be able to get a pad's-eye view, in 360 degrees. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 18)
NO, RUSSIA ISN’T SENDING A TERMINATOR ROBOT TO THE SPACE STATION - The reports this weekend were breathless. Mashable said Russia was sending a "death dealing" robot with the power to shoot guns to the International Space Station. Pravda reported that the Russian cyborg, Fyodor, had frightened the West. It was like the Terminator, only in space, and only for reals.
In reality, probably not. The stories were written after the Russian deputy prime minister overseeing military and space activities, Dmitry Rogozin, posted on Facebook and Twitter about the country's humanoid robot, Fyodor. More
(Source: Ars Technica - Apr 18)