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SATELLITE NEWS

CHINA ON SCHEDULE FOR LAUNCH THIS YEAR OF 2ND SPACE STATION CHINA ON SCHEDULE FOR LAUNCH THIS YEAR OF 2ND SPACE STATION - China on Sunday recovered an experimental probe launched aboard a new generation rocket, marking another milestone in its increasingly ambitious space program that envisions a mission to Mars by the end of the decade. Space program authorities said the spaceship’s landing of the on the vast Inner Mongolian steppe keeps China on schedule to place its second space station into orbit later this year. The launch of the spaceship aboard the newly developed Long March 7 rocket on Saturday was hailed as a breakthrough in the use of safer, more environmentally friendly fuels.   More
(Source: NBC4i.com - Jun 27)


NASA TV TO AIR RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP MOVEMENT AT SPACE STATION NASA TV TO AIR RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP MOVEMENT AT SPACE STATION - A Russian cargo ship currently docked to the International Space Station will undock for a short test flight on Friday, July 1. NASA Television coverage will begin at 1:15 a.m. EDT. The Progress 62 cargo ship will automatically undock from the Pirs Docking Compartment of the space station and manually be guided in to re-dock. The maneuver will begin with undocking at 1:36 a.m. and take approximately 30 minutes, with re-docking planned for 2:10 a.m.    More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Jun 26)


CHINA’S NEW LONG MARCH 7 ROCKET SUCCESSFUL ON FIRST FLIGHT CHINA’S NEW LONG MARCH 7 ROCKET SUCCESSFUL ON FIRST FLIGHT - The new kerosene-fueled Long March 7 rocket rocket, developed to become a workhorse for a planned Chinese space station and the country’s clandestine military space program, flew into orbit Saturday on its inaugural flight from a launch base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. Burning a combination of rocket-grade kerosene and liquid oxygen, six YF-100 engines on the Long March 7’s core stage and boosters lit with a flash of orange light and climbed away from a new launch pad at 1200 GMT (8 a.m. EDT; 8 p.m. Beijing time) Saturday, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., or CASC, the Chinese space program’s state-owned prime contractor.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 26)


INDIA LAUNCHES AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITES INDIA LAUNCHES AMATEUR RADIO SATELLITES - The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has successfully launched several satellites carrying Amateur Radio payloads. Satellites put into orbit include Swayam-1, a 1U CubeSat that carries a digital store-and-forward messaging system for use by the Amateur Radio community. “We are eagerly waiting for your reception report of the CW beacon at 437.025 MHz. You can also get the decoded beacon data by entering ‘beacon’ in Swayam beacon signal decoder available on our website,” said Rupesh Lad, VU2LRD/VU2COE of the College of Engineering Pune CSAT team.   More
(Source: ARRL - Jun 26)


HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO LAUNCH A SATELLITE? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO LAUNCH A SATELLITE? - Over the past several months, we've spent a lot of time running down the list of the several space companies that send satellites into orbit: Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), SpaceX and Blue Origin, Arianespace in Europe, and even tiny Vector Space Systems here at home. Perhaps the most striking thing about this industry, though, is that while all of these companies are going to the same place, and they use similar vehicles to get there, the prices they charge for the trip are very different indeed. Why is this important? Look at it from your own perspective. Say you want to travel from Point A to Point B today.    More
(Source: Motley Fool - Jun 25)


NASA UPGRADES THE INTERNET CONNECTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NASA UPGRADES THE INTERNET CONNECTION ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - It is no secret that NASA is ahead in most developments in the field of science, most especially when it involves enhancements in outer space. This time, the space agency has made significant steps forward in establishing a Solar System Internet. This system is meant to make the gathering of information between stations, whether ground or space, more efficient. Science World Report shares that NASA is doing so by setting up an operational Disruption Tolerant Networking (DTN) service on the International Space Station (ISS).   More
(Source: iTech Post - Jun 25)


NAVY SATELLITE SAILS TO ORBIT ATOP ATLAS 5 ROCKET FOR COMMUNICATIONS GRID NAVY SATELLITE SAILS TO ORBIT ATOP ATLAS 5 ROCKET FOR COMMUNICATIONS GRID - The constellation-building Atlas 5 rocket from United Launch Alliance successfully deployed the fifth communications spacecraft for the Navy’s Mobile User Objective System today to form a new rugged smartphone network for the U.S. military. “MUOS is a revolutionary system in its infancy,” said Navy Commander Peter Sheehy, principal assistant program manager of MUOS. “Five years from now, we’ll be wondering how we ever operated without it.” The Atlas 5 heaved the massive payload into the proper orbit to complete the launch series, flying straight and true just like the four previous MUOS missions since 2012.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 25)


ATLAS V READY TO LAUNCH NAVY SATELLITE ATLAS V READY TO LAUNCH NAVY SATELLITE - United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket returns to action Friday after a close call three months ago, when its main engine quit firing six seconds too soon. The early shutdown imperiled a launch of International Space Station supplies that reached orbit safely thanks to an extra minute of work by the rocket’s upper stage, News 6 partner Florida Today reported. ULA says it has fixed a valve problem that restricted fuel flow on that March 22 flight, leaving a significant amount unused. Now the most powerful version of the Atlas V is poised for a 10:30 a.m. blastoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 41 with a large, military communications satellite.   More
(Source: WKMG Orlando - Jun 24)


CRS-9 PUSHED BACK TWO DAYS; PORT CANAVERAL MULLS NEW WHARFAGE FEES CRS-9 PUSHED BACK TWO DAYS; PORT CANAVERAL MULLS NEW WHARFAGE FEES - The next launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has been pushed back by two days to July 18. The mission is set to launch the next Dragon cargo ship to the International Space Station (ISS). Also this week, Port Canaveral recently proposed a new wharfage fee for large aerospace item moving across the Canaveral docks. Scheduled to rise spaceward at 12:45 a.m. EDT (4:45 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40, a Dragon capsule will carry much-needed equipment to the orbiting laboratory. SpaceX’s ninth mission under the Commercial Resupply Services contract, CRS-9, will carry nearly 4,900 pounds (2,200 kilograms) of science research, food, and more.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Jun 24)


SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP GIVES ITS ALL FOR SCIENCE SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP GIVES ITS ALL FOR SCIENCE - With one last task to carry out, a space station Cygnus cargo ship loaded with trash and no-longer-needed equipment fell back to Earth Wednesday, hitting the discernible atmosphere 60 miles or so above the Pacific Ocean at nearly 5 miles per second. Based on past experience, the doomed supply ship was expected to quickly fall victim to the enormous temperatures generated by atmospheric friction, heating up, melting and breaking apart at an altitude of around 45 miles. But as it transitioned from pristine spacecraft to blazing inferno, a heavily protected data recorder was programmed to collect readings from wireless sensors mounted throughout the vehicle.   More
(Source: CBS News - Jun 23)


INDIA’S PSLV BLASTS OFF WITH 20 SATELLITES INDIA’S PSLV BLASTS OFF WITH 20 SATELLITES - A Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off early Wednesday with an assortment of payloads for the Indian government, domestic universities, and institutions and companies from Indonesia, Canada, Germany and the United States, including a pathfinder satellite for Google’s Terra Bella Earth observation division. The PSLV launched at 0356 GMT Wednesday (11:56 p.m. EDT Tuesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, India’s primary spaceport situated on Sriharikota Island on the country’s eastern coastline. Launch occurred at 9:26 a.m. local time in India.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 23)


COUNTDOWN FOR LAUNCH OF CARTOSAT-2 ROCKET WITH 19 SATELLITES BEGINS COUNTDOWN FOR LAUNCH OF CARTOSAT-2 ROCKET WITH 19 SATELLITES BEGINS - The countdown for the launch of Cartosat-2 series and 19 other satellites on Wednesday morning is progressing smoothly, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said. The satellites' health is being checked and the preparations for the filling of the fuel for the second rocket's second stage/engine is under progress, the ISRO said on Tuesday. "The countdown is progressing normally," it said. On Wednesday at 9.26 a.m., Indian rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will lift off from the rocket port at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh with 20 satellites.    More
(Source: Economic Times - Jun 22)


UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE SET FOR SATELLITE LAUNCH UNITED LAUNCH ALLIANCE SET FOR SATELLITE LAUNCH - A satellite launch from Florida's Space Coast on Friday will complete a constellation meant to improve communications for U.S. soldiers. The satellite will be sent up on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, marking the fifth and final piece of the U.S. Navy's Mobile Unit Objective System. The Boeing-Lockheed Martin partnership is scheduled to launch at 10:29 a.m. and will essentially create a global cellular network that improves ground communications. The MUOS is a network of satellites, ground stations and software that improves communication for U.S. forces around the world.   More
(Source: Orlando Sentinel - Jun 22)


WEATHER FORECAST LOOKS GOOD FOR FRIDAY’S ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCH WEATHER FORECAST LOOKS GOOD FOR FRIDAY’S ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCH - Air Force meteorologists are giving good odds of acceptable weather conditions for the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket to fly Friday morning from Cape Canaveral to put a Navy mobile communications satellite into orbit. Liftoff from Complex 41 is scheduled during a 44-minute window stretching from 10:30 to 11:14 a.m. EDT (1430-1514 GMT). In their initial launch weather outlook issued this morning, forecasters are concerned only about cumulus clouds. They say thunderstorms won’t fire up until after the launch window ends.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 21)


IN ISRO'S RECORD SPACE LAUNCH, GOOGLE-MADE SATELLITE FINDS A PLACE IN ISRO'S RECORD SPACE LAUNCH, GOOGLE-MADE SATELLITE FINDS A PLACE - In a first, Indian space agency ISRO is set to place into Earth's orbit a hi-tech satellite made by a Google company as part of a record-making 20-satellite launch scheduled for Wednesday from Sriharikota. On its 36th launch, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle will fly 20 satellites into space at a cost about 10 times less than other space agencies. As a mark of the India-US friendship, ISRO or the Indian Space Research Organisation will launch 13 American-made small satellites into space.    More
(Source: NDTV - Jun 21)


CHINA PREPARES ASSEMBLY OF ITS SPACE STATION, INVITES COLLABORATION THROUGH U.N. CHINA PREPARES ASSEMBLY OF ITS SPACE STATION, INVITES COLLABORATION THROUGH U.N. - The Chinese government has agreed to help finance non-Chinese payloads and experiments to be operated from China’s future space station through the United Nations as part of its attempt to internationalize the program, a senior Chinese space official told the U.N. The official said China is on track to inaugurate its fourth spaceport, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island, in the coming weeks with the launch of the first Long March 7 rocket. Wenchang is located at 9 degrees north latitude, which is the southernmost point on Chinese territory. Under the current schedule, a TianGong-2 orbiting laboratory module would be launched in September aboard a Long March 5B rocket to test technologies that will be needed for the space station.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 21)


PHASE 4B RIDESHARE PAYLOAD FINISHES PRELIMINARY DESIGN REVIEW PHASE 4B RIDESHARE PAYLOAD FINISHES PRELIMINARY DESIGN REVIEW - The GEO project at Virginia Tech being done jointly with AMSAT and using RINCON Research’s AstroSDR has completed our preliminary design review (PDR). Please visit out web site at We are able to provide much more information to donors if you need it including a sanitized version of our PDR slides giving much greater detail on the internal to the spacecraft project. Your donations are needed to make this project fly. The bottom line is we have a design, an air interface document, a ground terminal project plan. We have permission from the US government to put our payload on board their spacecraft.    More
(Source: AMSAT - Jun 20)


SKYGAZERS HAVE ALREADY FOUND THE US GOVERNMENT'S NEW SPY SATELLITE SKYGAZERS HAVE ALREADY FOUND THE US GOVERNMENT'S NEW SPY SATELLITE - Last week, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched NROL-37, carrying its latest spy satellite into geosynchronous orbit via Delta IV-Heavy rocket. But it only took amateur space enthusiasts a few days to locate the mysterious new craft in the skies near Malaysia, over the Strait of Malacca. While the contents and capabilities of the NROL-37 mission's payload are classified (the satellite is innocuously labeled US-268), its need to hitch a ride on the world's biggest rocket strongly suggests it is the seventh member of the Mentor/Orion family, an extra-large class of signals intelligence (SIGINT) satellites which help provide eavesdropping capability to US intelligence agencies.   More
(Source: Motherboard - Jun 20)


ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES ECHOSTAR 18 AND BRISAT ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES ECHOSTAR 18 AND BRISAT - Ariane 5 has returned to launch action for the third time this year with the lofting of the Echostar 18 and BRISAT satellites on Saturday. BRIsat is the first satellite dedicated to serving a bank. The launch – from the European Spaceport in Kourou – was realigned to Saturday, following a scrub on Friday due to high altitude wind constraints. The launch was set to take place on June 8. However, during the preparations for the roll-out of the Ariane 5 ECA launcher, an anomaly occurred with a fluid connector between the cryogenic upper stage and the launch table.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jun 19)


A GOOGLE SATELLITE: TWO AMONG 19 SMALL SATELLITES TO BE LAUNCHED FROM US A GOOGLE SATELLITE: TWO AMONG 19 SMALL SATELLITES TO BE LAUNCHED FROM US - Two among the 19 small satellites being launched on June 22 are from United States. One of them, SkySat Gen1-1, is a small, Earth-imaging satellite weighing about 110 kg and it has been designed and built by Terra Bella, a Google firm based out of Mountain View, California, in the Unite States. The second one, the Planet Labs Dove Satellites (FLock-2P) are Earth-imaging satellites. A total of 12 Dove Satellites weighing 4.7kg each are being carried in this mission inside three QuadPack dispensers. SATHYABAMASAT, which is one among the two satellites of Indian Academic Institutes, has been developed by the Sathyabama University, Chennai.   More
(Source: Deccan Chronicle - Jun 19)