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SATELLITE NEWS

RADFXSAT (FOX-1B) LAUNCH MOVED TO LATE AUGUST RADFXSAT (FOX-1B) LAUNCH MOVED TO LATE AUGUST - AMSAT reports that the launch date for RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has been moved to August 29, 2017. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System JPSS-1 mission. RadFxSat features the Fox-1 style Amateur Radio FM U/V repeater, with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the “DUV” subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software.   More
(Source: ARRL - Jan 18)


EUGENE CERNAN, LAST MAN ON THE MOON, DIES EUGENE CERNAN, LAST MAN ON THE MOON, DIES - Eugene A. Cernan, the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, has died, NASA said Monday. He was 82. "We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon," the US space agency said on Twitter. Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He served as as spacecraft commander of Apollo 17, the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States.    More
(Source: CNN - Jan 16)


ATLAS V ROCKET SET FOR THURSDAY NIGHT LAUNCH ATLAS V ROCKET SET FOR THURSDAY NIGHT LAUNCH - Mission managers will gather Tuesday to review their readiness for Cape Canaveral's first rocket launch of 2017, a planned 7:46 p.m. Thursday blastoff by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and a U.S. missile warning satellite. Teams last Thursday hoisted the roughly 10,000-pound spacecraft worth $1.2 billion atop the Atlas V at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41. The Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System satellite is equipped with infrared sensors to provide early detection and tracking of ballistic missiles.   More
(Source: Florida Today - Jan 16)


SIX CUBESATS TO DEPLOY FROM ISS SIX CUBESATS TO DEPLOY FROM ISS - Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reports that six CubeSats delivered to the International Space Station by the HTV-6 will deploy from the ISS using the new JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) on Monday, January 16. The new J-SSOD has four satellite install cases. One satellite install case has 3U space, so the new J-SSOD could deploy twelve 1U CubeSats at a time.   More
(Source: AMSAT UK - Jan 15)


JAXA FAILS IN BID TO LAUNCH WORLD’S SMALLEST SATELLITE-CARRYING ROCKET JAXA FAILS IN BID TO LAUNCH WORLD’S SMALLEST SATELLITE-CARRYING ROCKET - JAXA terminated a satellite launch in mid-flight Sunday after a communications malfunction forced the space agency to abort ignition of the host rocket’s second stage. The No. 4 vehicle of the SS-520 rocket series lifted off at 8:33 a.m. from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture carrying a miniature Earth observation satellite, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The rocket was touted as the smallest one capable of launching a satellite. But the agency aborted ignition of the second stage three minutes into the launch after discovering a glitch in the communications system. The rocket and its tiny payload then tumbled into the sea.   More
(Source: The Japan Times - Jan 15)


SPACEX LAUNCHES ROCKET, ITS FIRST SINCE EXPLOSION ON LAUNCHPAD SPACEX LAUNCHES ROCKET, ITS FIRST SINCE EXPLOSION ON LAUNCHPAD - A Falcon 9 rocket roared into the sky on Saturday carrying 10 communications satellites — a return by SpaceX and its billionaire leader, Elon Musk, to the business of launching satellites to orbit. But financial details disclosed this past week about the company overshadowed the successful liftoff, raising questions about the viability of Mr. Musk’s long-range plans for SpaceX and his vision of sending people to Mars. SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., has been set back since September, when a different Falcon 9 caught fire and exploded on a launchpad in Florida, destroying the rocket and its payload, a $200 million Israeli satellite that Facebook had planned to lease to expand global internet services.   More
(Source: New York Times - Jan 14)


SAFETY PANEL CITES CONCERNS OVER SPACEX FUELING PROCESS FOR COMMERCIAL CREW SAFETY PANEL CITES CONCERNS OVER SPACEX FUELING PROCESS FOR COMMERCIAL CREW - A NASA safety board recommended in its annual report that the agency closely study the safety issues associated with SpaceX’s fueling plans for Falcon 9 commercial crew missions. The annual report by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), released Jan. 11, raised the issue of what it calls the “load and go” approach planned by SpaceX to fuel the Falcon 9 rocket with liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants only after astronauts have boarded the Dragon spacecraft. Traditionally, launch vehicles are fueled hours before launch, and only afterwards do crews board the spacecraft.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 14)


IRIDIUM SATELLITE LOADED ON FALCON 9 ROCKET AHEAD OF PLANNED JANUARY 14 LAUNCH IRIDIUM SATELLITE LOADED ON FALCON 9 ROCKET AHEAD OF PLANNED JANUARY 14 LAUNCH - SpaceX’s first return to active launch status could be only a few days away, as the payload from Iridium has been loaded on to the Falcon 9 rocket that’s set to take it to space on January 14 if all goes well. The launch was postponed from a planned January 9 date on Sunday this week, due to prevailing weather conditions at the Vandenberg Air Force base launchpad. The new window will provide an opportunity for SpaceX to perform its first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a launchpad during preflight fueling on September 1, 2016.    More
(Source: TechCrunch - Jan 13)


MINOTAUR ROCKET LAUNCH FOR NRO EXPECTED AT WALLOPS BY END OF 2018 MINOTAUR ROCKET LAUNCH FOR NRO EXPECTED AT WALLOPS BY END OF 2018 - A classified National Reconnaissance Office satellite mission assigned last month to launch on an Orbital ATK Minotaur 1 rocket will take off from Wallops Island in Virginia by the end of 2018, a U.S. Air Force spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. No information about the mission’s purpose or its launch site were disclosed in an Air Force press release announcing the $29.2 million contract award last month. The mission is known as NROL-111. The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center responded Wednesday to questions about the contract submitted by Spaceflight Now on Dec. 8, the same day as the center’s announcement.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 13)


U.S. AIR FORCE PREPARES SBIRS SATELLITE FOR LAUNCH U.S. AIR FORCE PREPARES SBIRS SATELLITE FOR LAUNCH - The U.S. Air Force has encapsulated its Space Based Infrared System satellite in preparation for the craft's planned launch. The satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Jan. 19. The system will be sealed in a protective cone, the last step satellites must undergo before launch. The Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Satellite, known as SBIRS GEO, will be used to transmit surveillance information, detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense and intelligence-gathering operations.   More
(Source: Space Daily - Jan 13)


MISSILE WARNING SATELLITE PLACED ON ATLAS V ROCKET MISSILE WARNING SATELLITE PLACED ON ATLAS V ROCKET - A week before its planned launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a U.S. missile warning satellite on Thursday was hoisted atop an Atlas V rocket at Launch Complex 41. The roughly 10,000-pound spacecraft worth $1.2 billion is equipped with infrared sensors to provide early detection and tracking of ballistic missiles. The Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System satellite, known as SBIRS GEO-3, will be the third placed in a geosynchronous orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator, where it will appear to hold a fixed position in the sky. A fourth satellite is expected to launch late this year to complete the operational constellation.   More
(Source: Florida Today - Jan 13)


ASTRONAUT'S VIEW OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FROM SPACE IS JUST AMAZING ASTRONAUT'S VIEW OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS FROM SPACE IS JUST AMAZING - 9 16 0 2 0 MORE Partner Series Astronaut's View of the Rocky Mountains from Space Is Just Amazing European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet captured this photo of the Rocky Mountains from the International Space Station on Dec. 25, 2016. Credit: ESA/NASA French astronaut Thomas Pesquet just took "Rocky Mountain High" to a whole new level. The European Space Agency astronaut took this incredible photo of the Rocky Mountains from 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth at his post aboard the International Space Station. With snow-capped peaks as tall as 2.7 miles (4.4 km), the massive North American mountain range slices straight through a blanket of clouds. "The Rocky Mountains are a step too high – even for the clouds to cross," Pesquet tweeted about the photo.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 13)


U.S. AIR FORCE PREPARES SBIRS SATELLITE FOR LAUNCH U.S. AIR FORCE PREPARES SBIRS SATELLITE FOR LAUNCH - The U.S. Air Force has encapsulated its Space Based Infrared System satellite in preparation for the craft's planned launch. The satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is scheduled to be launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Jan. 19. The system will be sealed in a protective cone, the last step satellites must undergo before launch. The Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Satellite, known as SBIRS GEO, will be used to transmit surveillance information, detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense and intelligence-gathering operations.   More
(Source: UPI - Jan 12)


NEWLY PROPOSED REFERENCE DATASETS IMPROVE WEATHER SATELLITE DATA QUALITY NEWLY PROPOSED REFERENCE DATASETS IMPROVE WEATHER SATELLITE DATA QUALITY - "Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of satellites whizzing around Earth collecting mountains of data makes such constant and wide-ranging access to accurate weather forecasts possible. Just one satellite, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R that launched in 2016, can collect 3.5 terabytes of weather data per day. But how do scientists ensure satellite-measured weather data is good?   More
(Source: Science Daily - Jan 12)


RUSSIAN ASTRONAUTS TO HOLD TERMINATOR EXPERIMENT IN SPACE RUSSIAN ASTRONAUTS TO HOLD TERMINATOR EXPERIMENT IN SPACE - Russian astronauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazansky are now undergoing training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to be able to conduct the Terminator experiment onboard the ISS, a representative of the training center told journalists. The main goal of the experiment is to study wave flows rising from the lower to upper atmosphere. It will become the first step to work out a scientific and methodological basis for a new generation of space monitoring technologies that will provide useful information for building up climate models and predicting environmental conditions with their help.    More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 11)


THIS IS HOW HAWAII'S MAUNA-LOA VOLCANO LOOKS LIKE FROM SPACE STATION! THIS IS HOW HAWAII'S MAUNA-LOA VOLCANO LOOKS LIKE FROM SPACE STATION! - Have you wondered how a volcano would look like from space? Well, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, who is currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS), has shared a photograph of Hawaii's Mauna-Loa volcano from space station. He has shared the image with his social media followers and space enthusiast on January 8, 2017, captioned as, ''Ever looked straight into a volcano… from space?    More
(Source: Zee News - Jan 11)


THE DAY THE NIMBUS WEATHER SATELLITE EXPLODED THE DAY THE NIMBUS WEATHER SATELLITE EXPLODED - Growing up, my grandfather was largely a stranger to me. He quietly puttered on various projects, playing the supporting role to my grandmother’s vibrant presence. But then her Alzheimer's came, disassembling her brain as easily as taking apart a puzzle, erasing her memory and then her personality—until we lost her entirely. Her death had an unexpected effect. It brought my now 96-year-old grandfather, Isaiah Sheldon Haas, out of his shell.    More
(Source: Smithsonian - Jan 10)


KUAIZHOU ROCKET LIFTS OFF ON FIRST COMMERCIAL MISSION KUAIZHOU ROCKET LIFTS OFF ON FIRST COMMERCIAL MISSION - A solid-fueled Chinese Kuaizhou launcher positioned to compete for worldwide business took off Monday on its first commercial mission with three small satellites to collect high-definition video and test communications technologies. The Kuaizhou 1A booster launched at 0411 GMT Monday (11:11 p.m. EST Sunday) from the Jiuquan space center in northwest China’s Gobi Desert, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. Developed as a low-cost, quick-response launch option, the Kuaizhou rocket flew on orbital missions two times before Monday’s launch, both times with secretive Chinese government payloads. The Kuaizhou 1A version debuted with the latest launch features upgrades to support the launch of multiple spacecraft on the same rocket, with the ability to deploy the satellites once in orbit.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 10)


NEXT SPACEX LAUNCH SLIPPED TO AVOID STORMY WEATHER, RANGE CONFLICT NEXT SPACEX LAUNCH SLIPPED TO AVOID STORMY WEATHER, RANGE CONFLICT - Forecasters predict a rainy, breezy week along California’s Central Coast, and the poor weather will keep SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket grounded until at least Jan. 14, officials said Sunday. Ground crews were connecting the Falcon 9 rocket with a package of 10 Iridium voice and data relay satellites Friday, aiming for a launch opportunity as soon as Monday on SpaceX’s first mission since a rocket exploded on its launch pad in Florida in September. Iridium officials early Sunday confirmed reports that the flight would be delayed to at least Jan. 14 — next Saturday — with an instantaneous launch opportunity at 9:54:34 a.m. PST (12:54:34 p.m. EST; 1754:34 GMT).   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 9)


THERE’S ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH SATELLITE IMAGERY, AND A SPACE STARTUP HAS FOUND A SOLUTION FOR IT THERE’S ONE BIG PROBLEM WITH SATELLITE IMAGERY, AND A SPACE STARTUP HAS FOUND A SOLUTION FOR IT - Many space startups are vying to take the place of the world’s governments as the pre-eminent operators of imaging satellites, but this one has a unique scheme to take advantage of orbital radar. Capella Space, which will launch its first satellite this year, aims to take advantage of a gap in current commercial satellite coverage. Most imaging satellites rely on daylight and the absence of clouds for the clearest imagery. At night or when the weather isn’t cooperating, there’s not too much to see. That big image above of the Juan Fernandez islands is beautiful, but it would be difficult to count how many boats, for example, are in the vicinity.   More
(Source: Quartz - Jan 8)



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