CURRENT AMATEUR RADIO STATUS ON BOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The VHF handheld radio model that has been used by the ARISS program to connect students worldwide with astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) for over 16 years has given an error message and is unusable at this time.
While the ARISS technical team evaluates the best path to restore operation from the Columbus module, ARISS contacts will be supported using the Kenwood radio in the Russian Service Module.
During this period, the packet digipeater will be unavailable. More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Oct 22)
NEW US-RUSSIAN CREW ARRIVES AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko docked with the International Space Station at 5:52 a.m. EDT (0952 GMT) this morning (Oct. 21) after a smooth two-day trip aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The trio launched into orbit early Wednesday, nearly a month later than their initial Sept. 23 liftoff target due to a technical issue with their spacecraft.
The Soyuz linked up with the space station as as both spacecraft sailed 251 miles (403 kilomters) over southern Russia. Ryzhikov, who piloted the spacecraft, is experiencing spaceflight for the first time; both Kimbrough and Borisenko have been to space once before. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 22)
NORTH KOREA PROMISES MORE SATELLITE LAUNCHES AFTER FAILED MISSILE TEST - North Korea vowed to launch more earth-observation satellites after its second ballistic missile test launch of the week ended in failure.
A spokesman for Pyongyang's National Aerospace Development Administration said Thursday that South Korea had unjustly criticized its past satellite launches and that the country is unfazed by the condemnations. "Even on the international stage, [South Korean President] Park Geun-hye's faction has been shamefully disparaging our peaceful use of space and satellite launches, and in turn becoming a target of criticism and disgrace for indecent behavior," the North Korean spokesman said.
The remark was referring to South Korea's statement at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, according to South Korean news service Newsis. More
(Source: UPI - Oct 21)
DARPA JUST GAVE THE AIR FORCE A TELESCOPE TO WATCH FOR SATELLITE SABOTAGE - When we look up at the stars at night, we are staring into an infinitely deep ocean, a void filled with endless layers of deeper, farther lights. Most telescopes seek the outer limits of our universe, or document celestial phenomena on the edges of human comprehension. DARPA's Space Surveillance Telescope, which the agency handed over to Air Force Space Command yesterday, is all about mapping the objects close to Earth. Its job is to plot the closest layer of space by discerning which bright objects are moving in geosynchronous orbit, and filtering out everything else.
The Space Surveillance Telescope, or SST as everyone referred to it yesterday, is one of DARPA's longest-running projects. More
(Source: Popular Science - Oct 20)
SOYUZ CREW BLASTS OFF FROM KAZAKHSTAN - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and a NASA shuttle veteran blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday and set off after the International Space Station.
Running nearly a month late because or difficult work to repair a damaged cable in the Soyuz MS-02/48S command module, the workhorse Soyuz FG booster roared to life and shot away from its firing stand at 4:05 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 2:05 p.m. local time), climbing straight into the plane of the space station’s orbit.
At the controls, strapped into the central command module’s middle seat, was vehicle commander Sergey Rizhikov, flanked on his left by flight engineer Andrey Borisenko and on the right by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 20)
DELTA 4 ROCKET ON THE PAD FOR MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCH IN DECEMBER - The Delta 4 rocket that will launch the U.S. military’s highest capacity communications satellite ever built was rolled to the pad this week.
The two-stage booster moved from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the Complex 37B pad and erected on the launch table to begin preparations for flight.
Liftoff is scheduled on or about Dec. 7 during a window of 6:53 to 7:42 p.m. EST (2353-0042 GMT), a duration of 49 minutes.
Over the next two months, using the classic launch pad design with a mobile service gantry, the rocket will undergo installation of four strap-on solid-fuel boosters, a rigorous checkout and testing campaign and mating of the satellite cargo. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 19)
GOES-R, OUR NEXT-GEN WEATHER SATELLITE, IS DELAYED BY A HURRICANE. OF COURSE. - The weather satellite we’ve been anticipating for years has been delayed by a hurricane. This is why we can’t have nice things.
GOES-R is NOAA’s next satellite. It really needs to get into space. The satellites that currently look down at our hurricanes and severe weather are at the end of their life spans. Plus, GOES-R has a lot of fancy new features that meteorologists are pretty excited about.
The launch of GOES-R, which had been scheduled for Nov. 4, has been delayed. No new date was announced in NOAA’s statement, except to say it won’t happen before Nov. 16. United Launch Alliance says that the new date is Nov. 16, pending Air Force approval. More
(Source: Washington Post - Oct 19)
SHENZHOU 11 GLIDES TO ORBITAL LINK-UP WITH CHINESE SPACE LAB - Two days after blasting off on a Long March rocket, a Shenzhou spaceship carrying two Chinese astronauts linked up with China’s Tiangong 2 space lab nearly 250 miles above Earth Tuesday to begin a one-month stay inside the mini-station.
Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong were strapped into their seats for the automated docking Tuesday, and the crew open hatches leading into the Tiangong 2 module within a few hours of arriving.
Following cues from a suite of rendezvous sensors mounted on the forward end of the craft, Shenzhou 11’s guidance computer steered the capsule toward the docking port on Tiangong 2 and made contact around 1924 GMT (3:24 p.m. EDT) during a nighttime orbital pass. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 19)
EUROPE’S METOP A SATELLITE OUTLIVES LIFE EXPECTANCY BY FIVE YEARS - Europe´s first polar orbiting weather satellite, MetOp A, has survived double its specified lifetime of five years, manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space announced today. Launched Oct. 19, 2006, the satellite will soon accomplish 10 years in space for the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).
MetOp A has orbited Earth almost 52,000 times and delivered more than 100 terabytes of weather and climate data. Orbiting at approximately 830 kilometers the spacecraft was Europe’s first Low Earth Orbit (LEO) meteorological satellite. More
(Source: Satellite Today - Oct 18)
CHINA LAUNCHES ITS LONGEST CREWED SPACE MISSION YET - wo Chinese astronauts began the country's longest crewed space mission yet on Monday, blasting off on a spacecraft for a 30-day stay on an experimental space station as China steadfastly navigates its way to becoming a space superpower.
Ahead of the launch, one astronaut shouted: "We are ready! Please give instructions!" in front of dozens of people dressed in colorful dress representing China's ethnic minorities, in footage shown prominently on Chinese TV. The commander-in-chief of the manned space program, Gen. Zhang Youxia, replied: "Proceed!" followed by blaring marching music as the astronauts boarded a bus to take them to the launch pad. More
(Source: Fox News - Oct 18)
ANTARES 230 SUCCESSFULLY RETURNS WITH LAUNCH OF OA-5 CYGNUS - Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket returned to flight in a new configuration on Monday, two years after its previous mission ended in an explosion seconds after liftoff. Monday’s launch took place from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia – at the end of a five-minute window at 19:45 EDT (23:45 UTC).
The launch was the sixth flight of the Antares, but it was first to use the Antares-230 configuration, differing from previous rockets by the use of RD-181 first stage engines in place of the AJ-26-62 motors used in the 110, 120 and 130 configurations. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 18)
IN SPACE, THE LOOMING THREAT OF A NEW ARMS RACE - Killer satellites, blinding lasers, sophisticated jammers: the world's military powers are quietly readying for a war in outer space -- at the risk of fueling a dangerous new arms race.
US military officials have in recent years sounded growing alarm about the potential vulnerabilities of their satellites, which underpin US military power.
Initially, the reserve of the United States and the Soviet Union, space has now become accessible to an ever-expanding multitude of nations and private firms.
And Moscow and Beijing are keen to show off their space-attack capabilities, a deep worry for US strategists.
"We are changing the culture in our space enterprise because we need to get our heads around... what happens if a conflict on Earth extends to space. How will we defend our assets?" Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said at an event last month. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Oct 17)
CHINA'S LONGEST SPACE MISSION LAUNCHES - China's Shenzhou 11 "heavenly vessel" launched Monday (7:30 p.m. Sunday ET) from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert. The launch was shown on state broadcaster CCTV.
This is China'a longest-ever crewed space mission. On board are two astronauts -- Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong. They will dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab, which was launched last month.
Jing and Chen will remain in space for a total of 33 days, with 30 of those spent conducting experiments related to medicine, physics and biology in the space lab.
Since October 2003, China has completed five manned space flight missions -- the last one took place in 2013 and lasted 15 days. More
(Source: CNN - Oct 17)
FAULTY CABLE DELAYS ANTARES LAUNCH 24 HOURS - Orbital ATK launch managers have pushed back liftoff of an Antares rocket until Monday to replace a faulty cable on the booster’s launch pad in Virginia.
The delay means the International Space Station crew will not receive the Cygnus supply ship mounted atop the Antares rocket until Sunday, after three new residents dock with the orbiting laboratory Friday aboard the Soyuz MS-02 spaceship.
Orbital ATK announced the one-day delay Sunday just before the Antares launch team was scheduled to formally start the six-hour countdown.
“Today’s launch of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket is postponed 24 hours due to a ground support equipment (GSE) cable that did not perform as expected during the pre-launch check out,” Orbital ATK said in a statement. “We have spares on hand and rework procedures are in process.” More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 16)
CANON'S EOS 5D MICRO-SATELLITE PREPS FOR MARCH 2017 LAUNCH - It’s not unusual for large companies such as Canon to diversify their business, in fact, last year Canon itself decided it wanted to get into the micro-satellite game, specifically ones armed with Canon’s own photography gear. Those plans have now come to fruition, with the company preparing for a test launch in March.
As Nikkei reports, the satellite is quite the technological marvel — not only is the device small and lightweight at 65kg and 85x50x50cm, it’s equipped with a telescope with hardware similar to that of Canon’s 5D DSLR. More
(Source: Gizmodo Australia - Oct 16)
WHY IS THE US AIR FORCE'S SECRET SPACE PLANE ORBITING THE EARTH IN 500 DAYS? - he mysterious U.S. Air Force space plane known as X-37B is on its fourth secretive mission. It has spent 500 days in space orbiting the planet Earth for unknown reasons.
Space reports that the robotic X-37B space plane was launched on May 20, 2015, wherein the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket-propelled the spacecraft from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It is on the secretive mission known as OTV-4 mission or Orbital Test Vehicle-4. In its third mission, it orbited the Earth in 674 days and landed on October 17, 2014. It was constructed with the aid of Boeing. So, what is this strange and enigmatic space plane doing up there? More
(Source: Science World Report - Oct 16)
HOW TO WATCH SUNDAY'S ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCH IN THE NIGHT SKY - Cygnus, NASA’s cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, will finally be lifting off on an Antares rocket on Sunday evening, and if you live anywhere on the northeastern coast of the U.S., you should be able to see it blaze its way into space.
Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket is set to launch at 8:03 p.m. ET from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on the Virginia coast, provided that Hurricane Nicole doesn’t interfere any more. You don’t have to be in Virginia for a decent view, though. The skies are expected to be clear, so if you’re on the East Coast between South Carolina and New Hampshire, you can see the rocket’s launch. More
(Source: Inverse - Oct 16)
HEAVENLY VESSEL: CHINA’S SHENZHOU-11 READY FOR LIFTOFF - At approximately 07:50 Beijing time Sunday, China’s Shenzhou-11 spacecraft will liftoff from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the Gobi Desert. A Long March 2F rocket will send the vessel and its two astronauts into orbit where it will dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab, launched last month.
This will be the sixth manned mission for China’s rapidly expanding space program. If all goes according to plan, the 30 day stay aboard the Tiangong-2 will more than double the national record for longest time in space for its astronauts.
While the previous two Shenzhou missions in 2012 and 2013 carried three astronauts, the crew size for this mission was reduced to extend duration upon the Tiangong-2. The identities of the two astronauts will most likely be revealed just before launch. More
(Source: CCTV-America - Oct 16)
METEOR SIGHTING WAS LIKELY SPACE STATION TRASH, SAYS MUN INSTRUCTOR - Stargazers in eastern Newfoundland got a treat Thursday night: clear skies, the faint glow of the Aurora Borealis, and what one instructor suspects was a load of space garbage.
The American Meteor Society recorded four reports of a suspected "fireball" — a bright meteor — in the sky at around 7 p.m. The object was spotted over Gander, Holyrood, St. John's and Conception Bay South.
Callers to CBC Newfoundland and Labrador also reported they say a bright meteor-like object in the sky — but Chris Stevenson, an Astronomy instructor at Memorial University, said the object was most likely a trash capsule from the International Space Station. More
(Source: CBC.ca - Oct 15)