SPACEX TARGETS JUNE 1 LAUNCH OF SPACE STATION CARGO DELIVERY MISSION FOR NASA - SpaceX is targeting a June 1 blastoff for the firms next cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for NASA following today’s (May 28) successful test firing of the Falcon 9 booster’s main engines on the Florida Space Coast under sunny skies.
Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the unmanned Dragon cargo freighter from seaside pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is slated for 5:55 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 1.
“Static fire test of Falcon 9 complete,” SpaceX confirmed via Twitter soon after completion of the test at noon today 12 p.m. EDT More
(Source: Universe Today - May 30)
MICHIBIKI SATELLITES AIM TO PROVIDE ‘JAPANESE GPS’ - Billed as a domestically developed version of the Global Positioning System, the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) Michibiki No. 2 satellite will be launched on Thursday from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture.
The government plans to launch Michibiki satellites Nos. 3 and 4 within the year to establish a global positioning system with world-class accuracy. It hopes that the satellites will be utilized in a wide range of areas, including transport navigation during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Michibiki is a type of satellite developed to transmit radio waves toward the ground to supply accurate positioning data. It flies in a quasi-zenith orbit above the nation and its radio waves can be received even in mountainous areas or between tall buildings. More
(Source: The Japan News - May 29)
CHINA LAUNCHES SATELLITE NAVIGATION POSITIONING SYSTEM - China on Sunday launched a national satellite navigation and positioning system which will provide positioning service to transportation, emergency medical rescue and city planning and management. It is the largest in the country and boasts the widest coverage, officials said. Li Weisen, deputy director of the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation, said that the system consists of 2,700 base stations, a national database centre and 30 provincial level database centres. More
(Source: Indian Express - May 28)
EX-ALTA 1, A SATELLITE MADE IN ALBERTA, IS NOW ORBITING EARTH - The first satellite designed and built in Alberta is now officially orbiting the Earth.
Early Friday morning, Ex-Alta 1 deployed from the International Space Station into orbit. The satellite was built and designed by students at the University of Alberta. The cube satellite was sent into space along with others as part of the QB50 ("cube 50") Mission to create an international network of small satellites that will gather data on the lower thermosphere and space weather. Ex-Alta 1 is the only Canadian satellite in the project. More
(Source: Huffington Post Canada - May 28)
LAUNCH OF SPACE-DEBRIS-REMOVAL EXPERIMENT DELAYED DUE TO SAFETY REVIEWS - RemoveDebris, a space-junk-wrangling spacecraft once slated to hitch a ride to the International Space Station with SpaceX in June, won’t launch until the end of 2017 or early 2018 to allow additional NASA safety reviews, according to the European project’s manager.
The 100-kilogram spacecraft, developed by a consortium of 10 European companies including Airbus Defense and Space and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., would be the largest and heaviest satellite deployed from the ISS. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 27)
WHO WILL BUILD THE WORLD’S FIRST COMMERCIAL SPACE STATION? - Michael Suffredini has big business plans for low Earth orbit. After a decade as NASA’s program manager for the International Space Station (ISS) he retired from the agency in September 2015 to pursue opportunities in the private sector, convinced that a golden age of commercial spaceflight was dawning. Partnering with Kam Ghaffarian, CEO of SGT, the company that operates the ISS for NASA and also trains America’s astronauts, Suffredini co-founded Axiom Space in early 2016.
As Axiom’s president, Suffredini’s goal is simple: to build and fly the world’s first private space station, using the ISS as a springboard. More
(Source: Scientific American - May 27)
HISPASAT 36W 1 SATELLITE NOW OPERATIONAL IN ORBIT - The Hispasat 36W 1 satellite is now located at its final orbital position at 36 degrees west, and over the next few days will begin to offer its telecommunications services after having successfully completed in-orbit testing. This new satellite offers coverage over South America and Europe, including the Canary Islands, and has 20 Ku-band transponders as well as additional Ka-band capacity. More
(Source: Satellite Today - May 27)
AUSTRALIAN SATELLITE IN ORBIT - The first Australian satellite in 15 years, UNSW-EC0, was successfully deployed from the International Space Station, and UNSW engineers are working to make contact when it next passes above Sydney.
The first Australian satellite in 15 years, UNSW-EC0, was successfully deployed from the International Space Station, but the UNSW engineers who built it were unable to establish contact when it made its first pass above Sydney.
However, engineers say there could be many reasons for the silence and they are not overly concerned.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-australian-satellite-orbit.html#jCp More
(Source: Phys.org - May 27)
A NASA SATELLITE JUST CAUGHT THIS AWESOME SOLAR ECLIPSE FROM SPACE - There’s a satellite hovering over the tropical Pacific near South America whose only job is to monitor the sun. It sounds simple, but its mission is complex: to investigate how the sun’s magnetic field is generated, how it’s structured and what happens when it burps magnetic energy out into space — sometimes straight toward Earth.
Our star is active, complex and sometimes threatening, and the Solar Dynamics Observatory is one of just a few ways scientists are able to monitor it.
On Thursday afternoon, the SDO saw something much more simple than solar irradiance fluctuations or extreme ultraviolet variability — the moon blocking out the sun in a solar eclipse only visible from the satellite. More
(Source: Washington Post - May 27)
MAIDEN FLIGHT OF ROCKET LAB’S SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCHER REACHES SPACE - The debut launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from a privately-operated base in New Zealand made it to space Thursday, proving the performance of major parts of the booster before faltering short of the velocity it needed to enter orbit, the company said in a statement.
The U.S.-New Zealand company said data from the test flight will help refine the Electron launcher for future demonstrations before it enters commercial service hauling small satellites to orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 26)
SOYUZ ROCKET SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERS EKS-2 EARLY-WARNING SATELLITE TO RARE ORBIT - Shortly after 2:34 a.m. EDT (06:34 GMT), May 25, 2017, a Russian Soyuz 2.1b rocket lifted off from site No. 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome and delivered the second of the EKS series of early-warning satellites to a rare Tundra orbit.
EKS-2, designed to detect the infrared and optical signatures of a ballistic missile launch, soared into space atop a Soyuz-2.1b to join its EKS-1 sibling, which was launched 18 months before and will help strengthen the Russian military’s defensive capabilities.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 26)
NOAA’S NEWEST GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE WILL BE POSITIONED AS GOES-EAST THIS FALL - GOES-16, the most advanced weather satellite NOAA has ever developed, will be moved to the GOES-East position at 75 degrees west longitude, once it is declared operational in November. Top officials from NOAA announced the long-awaited decision at today’s 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook news conference in College Park, Maryland.
“As a Florida resident, I am particularly proud of the important work NOAA does in weather forecasting and hurricane prediction,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “GOES-16’s unmatched detail in observations and other data will improve forecasts, provide considerable benefits to the economy, and help improve public safety. More
(Source: whnt.com - May 26)
LILACSAT-1 CUBESAT DEPLOYED FROM ISS - The student built LilacSat-1 carries an amateur radio 145/436 MHz FM to Codec2-BPSK digital voice transponder, APRS Digipeater and camera. The satellite was developed at the Harbin Institute of Technology and is part of the QB50 mission which aims to study the lower thermosphere. It was deployed from the International Space Station at 0845 GMT on Thursday, May 25, 2017. More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - May 25)
ISRAEL’S FIRST ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH SATELLITE TO SOON LAUNCH - Venus, the first Israeli-built satellite meant for environmental research and monitoring, is being sent to French Guiana, from where it will soon be launched.
Workers at Israel Aircraft Industries, together with those from Elbit and Rafael -- who built it -- will bid farewell on Thursday to the satellite before transferring it to the Israel Space Agency in the Science and Technology Ministry. Its partner in the project is the French Space Agency CNES. Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis will be on hand at the ceremony in Yahud.
(Source: The Jerusalem Post - May 25)
THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST SLOVAK SATELLITE SET - The first Slovak satellite skCUBE is expected to be sent into orbit in early June, said representatives of the Slovak Organisation for Space Activities (SOSA), which is in charge of the project.
The launch has been repeatedly postponed due to problems with the American Falcon 9 rocket. This time it is planned to take place at India’s Sriharikota spaceport. More
(Source: The Slovak Spectator - May 24)
FIRST IRISH SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN SPACE - Ireland is boldly going where it has never gone before by preparing to launch its very first satellite in space, writes Pádraig Hoare.
Led by University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast, in partnership with five Irish companies, the EIRSAT-1 satellite will be launched from the International Space Station and will orbit for 12 months if it passes the stringent testing of the European Space Agency (ESA).
EIRSAT-1 will gather data on Gamma Ray Bursts and will test innovative Irish space technologies. More
(Source: Irish Examiner - May 24)
SHORT SPACEWALK COMPLETE AFTER SUCCESSFUL INSTALLATION WORK - Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA concluded their spacewalk at 10:06 p.m. EDT. During the spacewalk, which lasted two hours and 46 minutes, the two astronauts successfully replaced a computer relay box, and installed a pair of antennas on station to enhance wireless communication for future spacewalks. More
(Source: NASA - May 24)
HOW MUCH EACH COMPANY WILL CHARGE TO TAKE YOU TO SPACE - The first issue of Airbnbmag, which hits newsstands today, will help you find a place to stay off-planet, too. Here are the companies competing to take us to the heavens, and how much we'll have to pay (and how long we'll have to wait) for the ride of a lifetime.
Worldview Express: $75,000
Float 100,000 feet to the edge of the atmosphere via a helium-balloon-powered space capsule. There's no training required for the four- to six-hour World View Voyager trip. More
(Source: Popular Mechanics - May 24)
PT TELKOM COLLOCATES SATELLITE WITH INTELSAT WHILE PLANNING TWO HTS SATELLITES - In the midst of a continuing fleet expansion, Indonesia’s state-owned telecommunications company PT Telkom is collocating one of its satellites with an Intelsat satellite over the Asia-Pacific region.
Speaking at the APSAT 2017 conference in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta on May 17, PT Telkom’s Chief Strategy Officer David Bangun said the company is in the early stages of developing two high throughput satellites (HTS) for its constellation, which currently consists of three satellites: Telkom-1, Telkom-2 and Telkom-3S.
(Source: SpaceNews - May 23)