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TROPICAL WEATHER THREATENS MONDAY'S SCHEDULED ATLAS 5 LAUNCH TROPICAL WEATHER THREATENS MONDAY'S SCHEDULED ATLAS 5 LAUNCH - Plans to launch a Navy communications satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket early Monday could be interrupted by Tropical Storm Erika, expected to strengthen into a hurricane, as the cyclone puts its sights on Florida. Officials could decide during the Launch Readiness Review on Friday, or perhaps as late as early Saturday, whether to proceed with rollout of the rocket from its assembly building to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 around mid-morning Saturday. An on-time rollout Saturday would preserve the chance of trying to launch as planned Monday. But officials could, instead, choose to leave the 206-foot-tall booster in the safe confines of the hangar until the storm passes.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 28)

LONG MARCH 4C LOFTS LATEST YAOGAN WEIXING SATELLITE LONG MARCH 4C LOFTS LATEST YAOGAN WEIXING SATELLITE - Confirming the rumors that have circulated over recent days, China has launched another new satellite in the military's Yaogan Weixing series via the use of a Long March-4C (Chang Zheng-4C) rocket. The mission began with liftoff at 02:31 UTC on Thursday, from the LC9 launch complex at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. As per usual, Chinese media is referring to the new satellite as "a new remote sensing bird that will be used for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring". However, as was the case in the last launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, western analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.   More
(Source: - Aug 28)

INDIAN SPACE PROGRAM BUOYED BY BACK-TO-BACK GSLV SUCCESSES INDIAN SPACE PROGRAM BUOYED BY BACK-TO-BACK GSLV SUCCESSES - India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle soared into orbit Thursday and deployed a 2.3-ton communications payload into an on-target orbit, tallying its second consecutive success with an Indian cryogenic upper stage as officials prepare to declare the once-troubled launcher operational. The 161-foot-tall rocket launched at 1122 GMT (7:22 a.m. EDT) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India's east coastline, turning east over the Bay of Bengal powered by 1.7 million pounds of thrust from a core solid-fueled motor and four auxiliary boosters burning liquid hydrazine. With its nose cone emblazoned with the Indian flag, the GSLV flew with an Indian-built third stage fueled by super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 27)

NASA TELEVISION TO AIR LAUNCH OF NEXT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CREW NASA TELEVISION TO AIR LAUNCH OF NEXT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CREW - The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are set to launch to the orbital outpost Wednesday, Sept. 2. NASA Television launch coverage will begin at 11:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 1. Sergei Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (10:34 a.m. Baikonur time). Mogensen and Aimbetov are short duration crew members while Volkov will spend six months on the orbital complex. The trio will travel in a Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock two days later to the Poisk module at 3:42 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m.   More
(Source: PR Newswire - Aug 27)

LAUNCH DATE SET FOR AMSAT FOX-1A LAUNCH DATE SET FOR AMSAT FOX-1A - Vice President of Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY, has announced that the Fox-1A CubeSat will launch on October 8 from California. It initially had been set to launch in August. Fox-1A will include an FM transponder with an uplink frequency of 435.180 MHz, and a downlink frequency of 145.980 MHz. The first phase of the Fox series 1-Unit CubeSats will allow simple ground stations using hand-held transceiver and simple dual-band antennas to make contacts.    More
(Source: ARRL - Aug 26)

BOOZE MAKES ITS WAY TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION BOOZE MAKES ITS WAY TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Japanese liquor company is boldly going where no distiller has gone before: outer space. A case of the hard stuff was part of Japan's 10-thousand pound cargo shipment that arrived Monday to the International Space Station. But it's not for any party. Suntory, the Japanese spirits company that owns whiskey brands Jim Beam and Maker's Mark, want to find out if the alcohol aging process occurs faster in space. The stash will be stored on the Space Station for a year and later brought back to Earth for comparison to its ‘earthling' brand.   More
(Source: WGNO - Aug 26)

JAPANESE HTV SUPPLY CARRIER REACHES SPACE STATION JAPANESE HTV SUPPLY CARRIER REACHES SPACE STATION - Japan's fifth HTV cargo freighter completed a five-day flight to the International Space Station on Wednesday, making a glacial laser-guided approach to the complex with a 9,500-pound package of food, spare parts and experiments. The experiments are devoted to studying how the human body changes in space, a prime objective of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly's nearly one-year stay aboard the outpost. Other investigations delivered by the H-2 Transfer Vehicle include a cosmic ray telescope designed to probe exotic dark matter in the universe and a commercially-funded experiment devised to examine how Japanese spirits age in zero gravity. Astronauts will not consume the samples, which were provided by Japanese distiller Suntory, but the spirits will be stored aboard the space station and returned to Earth for analysis.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 25)

INMARSAT AWAITS SATELLITE LAUNCH THAT IS HOPED WILL SEND REVENUES ROCKETING INMARSAT AWAITS SATELLITE LAUNCH THAT IS HOPED WILL SEND REVENUES ROCKETING - Inmarsat will launch its third Global Xpress satellite on Friday, completing a network that the company hopes will deliver a $500m (£320m) boost to its annual revenues by 2020. Due to blast off aboard a Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12.44pm UK time on Friday, the F3 satellite will mean communications group Inmarsat's Global Xpress (GX) network will have global coverage. As well as bringing high speed data to even the most remote regions, it paves the way to internet connectivity on flights worldwide.    More
(Source: - Aug 24)

RUSSIA'S SPACE PROGRAM IN CRISIS AFTER DECADES OF BRAIN DRAIN, NEGLECT RUSSIA'S SPACE PROGRAM IN CRISIS AFTER DECADES OF BRAIN DRAIN, NEGLECT - It might be the only country that can rocket humans into space, but Russia's once-great space program is being dragged back to Earth by decades of brain drain and financial hardship. "The Russian space industry is in an obvious state of crisis," said Asif Siddiqi, a professor at Fordham University in New York and an expert on Russia's space program. The latest sign that that the Kremlin's space program was creaking came on May 7, when a Progress M-27M unmanned spacecraft burned on re-entry over the Pacific. The incident put the International Space Station (ISS) at risk of being cut-off from Earth. The failure was not the worst in recent years: Russia has lost 15 spacecraft since 2010, with assembly mistakes blamed in most cases.    More
(Source: NBC News - Aug 24)

NASA TO BUILD HURRICANE-PROBING MICRO-SATELLITE FLEET NASA TO BUILD HURRICANE-PROBING MICRO-SATELLITE FLEET - When Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on the Gulf Coast 10 years ago, forecasters had a good idea of where the storm would hit and how intense it would be. What was unexpected was how much flooding the hurricane would cause when it reached southeast Louisiana. Play Video The Difference Between a Typhoon and a Hurricane It's among the strongest storms ever recorded on the planet. Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines with winds touching 235 miles per hour. Scientists now know that in the 24 hours between the last Hurricane Hunters reconnaissance flights and the time the storm made landfall, an upper-level shear knocked the eyewall over, causing winds to spread out horizontally and setting the stage for a huge spike in water levels. More than 1,800 people died in the storm and flooding.   More
(Source: Discovery News - Aug 22)

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