CHINA LAUNCHES 2 SATELLITES AS IT BUILDS GPS RIVAL - China launched two new satellites into space Saturday, state media reported, as it builds a homegrown satellite navigation system to rival the US's Global Positioning System.
A rocket carrying the satellites was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province at 8:29 pm (1229 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said.
The satellites are the 18th and 19th launched by China as it develops its domestic navigation system Beidou, or Compass. They take the total number launched this year to three. More
(Source: NDTV - Jul 26)
CHINA'S SPACE PROGRAM: 2016 SATELLITE LAUNCH TO SUPPORT MANNED MISSIONS, RESEARCHERS SAY - China's space program and research ambitions have continued to reach new heights Thursday, when Chinese researchers announced plans to launch a retrievable scientific research satellite in the first half of 2016. The SJ-10 satellite was set to run a series of tests that would aid scientists back on Earth conducting research in microgravity and space life science, project chief Hu Wenrui said according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. The data collected from the tests were expected to eventually be implemented to support manned space missions, as well. The satellite would specifically administer 19 experiments in 6 different scientific disciplines: microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material science, space radiation effect, microgravity biological effect and space biological techniques. The satellite would return to Earth after 12 days of orbit in a re-entry capsule. The program was also reportedly planning to launch a satellite for quantum science experiments and an X-ray telescope to study black holes within the next two years. More
(Source: International Business Times - Jul 25)
MOSCOW COULD BE PREPPING FOR SPACE WAR WITH AGGRESSIVE NEW SATELLITES - The Kremlin says its nimble new satellites are just for communications. But they look-and act-an awful lot like prototype weapons.
On Christmas Day in 2013, a rocket blasted off from the Russian Federal Space Agency's Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. The 95-foot-tall, 118-ton Rokot booster-an unarmed version of a Cold War nuclear-tipped missile-lanced into low orbit, shedding spent stages as it climbed.
Seventy-five miles above the Earth's surface, the Rokot's nose cracked open and its payload spilled out. The rocket carried Rodnik communications satellites, according to Russian officials. More
(Source: Daily Beast - Jul 24)
NEW NOAA SATELLITE TAKES PICTURE OF EARTH 1 MILLION MILES AWAY - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's newest satellite has reached orbit and it serves a purpose different from the typical weather satellite.
Launched back in February, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will be used primarily for solar wind measurements. The satellite will also send back pictures of earth on a frequent basis. Satellite pictures shown in First Alert weather forecasts are taken by different satellites that are part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system, known simply as GOES. These satellites orbit the earth 22,500 miles above the ground and provide resolution up to one kilometer. More
(Source: NBC Connecticut - Jul 24)
ROCKET LAUNCHES MILITARY SATELLITE FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - A satellite that will add to the "backbone" of military communications is on its way to orbit after a Thursday night blastoff atop a powerful Delta IV rocket.
Launching just before sunset, the 217-foot United Launch Alliance rocket roared from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 37 with 1.6 million pounds of thrust, assisted by four solid rocket motors.
The rocket punched through a layer of low, darkening clouds, then into sunlight that captured its exhaust plume in a brilliant white glow as it arced on a southeasterly trajectory.
The solid motors could be seen twinkling as they tumbled from the rocket as planned less than two minutes into flight. More
(Source: USA Today - Jul 24)
FROM FAIRFAX SCHOOLS TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION — AN ASTRONAUT REALIZES HIS DREAMS - At 5:02 p.m. Wednesday, the dream Kjell Lindgren has had since he was an 11-year-old reading science fiction novels came true. He launched into outer space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station, achieving his boyhood ambition and a goal he'd worked toward since his days at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County.
"I am attracted to the thrill of exploration, the promise of discovery, and I'm just plain excited about riding a rocket into space," Lindgren said in a NASA interview.
He became at least the sixth Fairfax County public schools graduate to head to space and the first from Robinson, where he was a standout on the wrestling team in the 171-pound weight class and graduated at the top of his class in 1991. More
(Source: Washington Post - Jul 23)
NEW CREW ARRIVES AT STATION AFTER SHORT SOYUZ TRIP - The Soyuz TMA-17M vehicle docked to the International Space Station at 10:45 p.m. EDT, over the ocean near Ecuador.
Aboard the space station, Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will welcome Soyuz crew members Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened. More
(Source: NASA - Jul 23)
RUSSIAN SOYUZ ROCKET LIFTS OFF FOR SPACE STATION AFTER TWO-MONTH DELAY - A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a three-man crew bound for the International Space Station blasted off on Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a Nasa TV broadcast showed.
The 16-story rocket lifted off at 5.02pm ET (2102 GMT) to deliver veteran Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and rookie astronauts Kjell Lindgren with Nasa and Japan's Kimiya Yui into orbit. They are due to reach the station, a $100bn research laboratory that flies about 260 miles (418 km) above Earth, at 10.46pm EDT (0246 GMT). More
(Source: The Guardian - Jul 23)
WEATHER SCRUBS DELTA IV ROCKET LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - A Delta IV rocket launch has been scrubbed due to potentially poor weather conditions, officials said.
The rocket was scheduled to lift off Wednesday night from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, taking a new military communications satellite into orbit.
"The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying the WGS-7 mission has been postponed to Thursday, July 23 due to predicted weather conditions and the potential for high winds during the launch countdown," United Launch Alliance said in a statement. More
(Source: ClickOrlando.com - Jul 22)