SPACEX LAUNCHES ROBOTIC CARGO MISSION TO SPACE STATION - SpaceX launched a robotic capsule into orbit today (April 18), kicking off the company's third contracted cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA, along with an ambitious rocket reusability test.
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft blasted off at 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT) today from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, riding into space atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket. Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the orbiting lab on Sunday (April 20), when it will offload nearly 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kilograms) of food, scientific experiments and supplies. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 18)
SPACEX WILL TRY AGAIN FRIDAY TO LAUNCH CARGO TO ISS - SpaceX is shooting for another launch attempt Friday to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
NASA confirmed the launch date Wednesday, two days after a last-minute rocket leak delayed the mission. Stormy weather, however, is forecast for Friday. Saturday is the backup launch date.
Mission Control has rescheduled urgent spacewalking repairs because of the new launch time. Two U.S. astronauts, Rick Mastracchio and Steven Swanson, had been aiming for a Tuesday spacewalk to replace a backup computer that failed late last week. More
(Source: Fox News - Apr 18)
EGYPTIAN RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE LAUNCHED BY SOYUZ - A Russian-built imaging satellite launched Wednesday aboard a Soyuz rocket to supply Egyptian authorities with high-resolution views of Earth for environmental, scientific and military applications. EgyptSat 2 is owned by Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, a government agency tasked with gathering and studying satellite imagery of the Earth.
Fitted with an Earth-viewing telescope and camera capable to spotting surface features as small as one meter, or 3.3 feet, the satellite lifted off at 1620 GMT (12:20 p.m. EDT) on top of a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 17)
MEASAT-3B SATELLITE READY TO LAUNCH - BERNAMA - The Measat-3b satellite is expected to launch soon as Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Airbus group, has completed the final integration and testing of the satellite.
Designed with 48 Ku-band transponders, Measat-3b will be used to support data and video services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia, Airbus Defence and Space said in a statement today.
The satellite left the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in Toulouse, France, and has been transported by air to Kourou, French Guiana. More
(Source: The Malaysian Insider - Apr 16)
SPACEX RESUPPLY LAUNCH SCRUBBED BY HELIUM LEAK - The launch of a SpaceX's Dragon supply ship from Cape Canaveral was scrubbed Monday due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. The next launch attempt will be no earlier than Friday. SpaceX launch director Ricky Lim informed the Falcon 9 launch team of the scrub at 3:39 p.m. EDT (1939 GMT), soon after crews finished loading kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant into the two-stage rocket.
"As folks heard on the anomaly net, we have encountered an issue that will result in a scrub of today's 4/14 launch attempt," Lim said. "The team here will start to safe the vehicle and offload propellants." More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 15)
NASA CLEARS SPACEX FOR MONDAY CARGO LAUNCH - NASA managers Sunday cleared SpaceX to press ahead with launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship Monday on a two-day flight to the International Space Station, concluding the lab can be safely operated until a faulty computer can be replaced during a contingency spacewalk next week. With forecasters predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather, the SpaceX Falcon 9 version 1.1 rocket is scheduled for blastoff from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:58 p.m. EDT (GMT-4). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 14)
TURKMENISTAN TO LAUNCH TELECOMMUNICATION SATELLITE INTO ORBIT IN NOV. - Turkmenistan will launch its first communication satellite 'TurkmenAlem 520E' into orbit
in November 2014, the country's media reported on April 12 referring to Alladurdy Atayev, the chairman of the National Space Agency under Turkmen President.
"It is planned to launch the Turkmen first communication satellite into orbit with the help of "Falkon 9" rocket-carrier in November, the Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary news agency reported. More
(Source: Trend.az - Apr 14)
ISS COMPUTER OUTAGE COULD DELAY MONDAY'S SPACEX ROCKET LAUNCH - A computer outage at the International Space Station may require a spacewalk by astronauts and threatens to delay next week's launch of a commercial supply ship for NASA.
NASA said Friday night that a backup computer on the outside of the orbiting lab is not responding to commands.
The main computer, called an MDM or multiplexer-demultiplexer, is working fine, and the six-man crew is in no danger, officials said. But these computers control some robotic functions that would be needed for the upcoming supply run by SpaceX, one of two U.S. companies contracted by NASA to keep the space station well stocked. More
(Source: Bay News 9 - Apr 12)
NEXT ANTARES LAUNCH FROM WALLOPS COULD BE DELAYED - Orbital Science Corp.'s next cargo mission from Wallops Island to the International Space Station is officially May 6 - but that launch might be postponed a month or more because of a wide range of issues, officials say. First, a fire at Cape Canaveral in Florida knocked out some of its radar tracking ability, said Orbital spokesman Barron "Barry" Beneski from his Dulles office.
Then, in a sort of domino effect, that radar loss delayed two launches from the Cape, including one by SpaceX, the other company that makes commercial resupply runs to the space station for NASA. More
(Source: Daily Press - Apr 12)
HUSH-HUSH PAYLOAD RIDES ATLAS 5 ROCKET INTO ORBIT - Setting sail at mid-day on a marathon trip to orbit, an Atlas 5 rocket launched a classified spacecraft for the National Reconnaissance Office on Thursday. Igniting its main engine and four strap-on boosters at 1:45 p.m. EDT, the 20-story-tall rocket bolted skyward and arced over the Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The liftoff continued a string of fuel-and-launches for the Atlas, marking the 12th mission in a row to launch on the first countdown attempt. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 11)