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VIETNAMESE BUILT NANO-SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2016 VIETNAMESE BUILT NANO-SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED IN 2016 - Vietnam plans to send a nano-satellite weighing 10kg to orbit in 2016, Vietnma News Agency (VNA) reported. Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Anh Tuan, director of Vietnam National Satellite Centre (VNSC), said the NanoDragon satellite will be entirely designed and manufactured by Vietnamese experts. Last year, VNSC successfully launched a micro satellite called Pico Dragon weighing 1kg. Once VNSC's infrastructure system in Hanoi's Hoa Lac area is completed, a 50kg satellite known as MicroDragon will be developed and is expected to be launched in 2018.   More
(Source: malaysiandigest.com - Sep 14)

RUSSIA: SATELLITE DID NOT EXPLODE OVER U.S. RUSSIA: SATELLITE DID NOT EXPLODE OVER U.S. - Incident confirmed by U.S. Strategic Command represents growing threat of aging satellites dropping down from space. Russia insists one of its reconnaissance satellites is fully operational and still circling the Earth, despite U.S. assertions it fell out of orbit and burned up in the skies over the U.S. mainland last week. The Russian Defense Ministry denied on Tuesday a series of then-unconfirmed reports from the American Meteor Society that the Kosmos-2495 imaging reconnaissance satellite had, as its state news service stated, "exploded above the United States."    More
(Source: U.S. News & World Report - Sep 13)

CHINA EYES FIRST SPACE STATION BY AROUND 2022 - China expects to establish its first space station by around 2022, building upon the experience of an experimental module already in orbit, state media said on Wednesday. China's leaders have set a priority on advancing its space program, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power. In China's manned space mission last year, three astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1.   More
(Source: Reuters - Sep 11)

THREE-MAN SPACE STATION CREW RETURNS TO EARTH THREE-MAN SPACE STATION CREW RETURNS TO EARTH - The final minutes of the return to Earth were seen on live television provided by recovery crews near the landing zone, showing the capsule descending through a cloudless, slightly hazy sky under a big orange-and-white parachute. The descent module landed just out of view over the horizon, its solid-fuel "soft landing" rockets kicking up billowing clouds of dust as they ignited an instant before touchdown. "Touchdown confirmed," said NASA mission control commentator Rob Navias at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Touchdown right on the button ... on the steppe of Kazakhstan.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 11)

ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES WITH OPTUS 10 AND MEASAT-3B ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES WITH OPTUS 10 AND MEASAT-3B - An Ariane 5 ECA has successfully launched two telecommunication satellites on Thursday. Optus 10 and MEASAT-3b both rode uphill on the Arianespace workhorse out of the European Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, following lift off late in the launch window - due to two technical holds - at 22:05 GMT. The Ariane 5 ECA (Cryogenic Evolution type A) - the most powerful version in the Ariane 5 range - is being used for this flight. The Ariane 5 ECA is an improved Ariane 5 Generic launcher. Although it has the same general architecture, a number of major changes were made to the basic structure of the Ariane 5 Generic version to increase thrust and enable it to carry heavier payloads into orbit.    More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Sep 11)

RUSSIA'S DEFENSE MINISTRY REFUTES ALLEGATIONS ABOUT MILITARY SATELLITE'S EXPLOSION OVER US RUSSIA'S DEFENSE MINISTRY REFUTES ALLEGATIONS ABOUT MILITARY SATELLITE'S EXPLOSION OVER US - Russia's ministry of defense has refuted allegations about an explosion of a Russian military satellite over the United States that were circulated in the American and Russian media. "Russia's orbiting cluster is operating a regular regime and is permanently monitored by space control facilities of the aerospace defense," Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told journalists on Tuesday. "One can only guess about the condition representatives of the so-called American Meteor Society were in when they identified a luminescent phenomenon high up in the sky as a Russian military satellite." He said that most probably such reports could be explained by the US security services' attempts to find whereabouts of a space object they had lost.   More
(Source: ITAR-TASS - Sep 10)

SPACEX, LORAL WIN BULGARIAN BROADCAST SATELLITE DEAL SPACEX, LORAL WIN BULGARIAN BROADCAST SATELLITE DEAL - Bulgaria's first communications satellite will be built and launched in the United States with financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank, officials said Monday. Space Systems/Loral will manufacture the television broadcasting spacecraft in Palo Alto, Calif., and a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the satellite in 2016. The satellite will broadcast direct-to-home television signals in the Balkans and other European regions for Bulgaria Sat, an affiliate of Bulgarian television and mobile operator Bulsatcom, Space Systems/Loral said in a press release Monday.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 10)

MILITARY WANTS HELP TO LAUNCH SATELLITE-FIXING ROBOTS INTO SPACE MILITARY WANTS HELP TO LAUNCH SATELLITE-FIXING ROBOTS INTO SPACE - The U.S. military and commercial companies alike maintain many space satellites in geostationary orbit, meaning they stay over the same point on the Earth's surface. But there's a catch: While the satellites help with everything from telecommunications to tracking the weather, it is very difficult to maintain them because they are stationed about 22,300 miles high. "Satellites in GEO are essentially unreachable with current technology," said officials with the Pentagon's Defense Advance Research Projects Agency. "As a result, these satellites are designed to operate without any upgrades or repairs for their entire lifespan-a methodology that demands increased size, complexity and cost."   More
(Source: Washington Post - Sep 9)

CLANDESTINE SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHED BY CHINA CLANDESTINE SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHED BY CHINA - A clandestine satellite launched on top of a Long March 4B rocket Monday to collect intelligence for the Chinese government. The Yaogan 21 satellite lifted off at 0322 GMT Monday (11:22 p.m. EDT Sunday) from the Taiyuan space center in northern China's Shanxi province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Liftoff was at 11:22 a.m. Beijing time. The Long March 4B launcher also carried a secondary payload named Tiantuo 2 designed and built by the National University of Defense, Xinhua reported. Monday's liftoff marked the fourth space launch by China in a month after a lull in launches in the first half of the year.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 8)

SPACEX ACHIEVES BACK-TO-BACK SUCCESSES FOR ASIASAT SPACEX ACHIEVES BACK-TO-BACK SUCCESSES FOR ASIASAT - Putting on a late summer sky show along Florida's Space Coast, a Falcon 9 rocket climbed into space after midnight Sunday with a commercial communications satellite to connect growing markets in China and Southeast Asia. The mission began at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT) Sunday with the fiery ignition of the 224-foot-tall launcher's nine Merlin first stage engines. Once the kerosene-burning engines ramped up to full power, the Falcon 9 rocket soared away from Cape Canaveral atop a flickering pillar of red-hot exhaust, piercing through clouds before arcing east over the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket's booster stage gave way to a single-engine upper stage about three minutes after liftoff, beginning the first of a pair of burns to propel the nearly five-ton AsiaSat 6 communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit, a waypoint on its way to a permanent operating post fixed 22,300 miles over the equator.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 7)

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