NROL-61 SATELLITE LAUNCHED THURSDAY SPOTTED IN SPACE BY SKY-WATCHERS - Sky-watchers with a passion for looking up and tracking satellites with remarkable precision have made quick work of locating the spacecraft launched atop an Atlas 5 rocket on Thursday.
The NROL-61 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office was successfully deployed into space by the United Launch Alliance rocket following an 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT) liftoff from Cape Canaveral.
The vehicle headed eastward on 1.5 million pounds of thrust toward a geosynchronous transfer orbit to release the satellite about a half-hour later. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 31)
CHINA TO LAUNCH THE WORLD'S FIRST QUANTUM SATELLITE - China is planning to bring quantum physics to space. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Sciences are collaborating to build a satellite that will perform the first ever quantum experiments in orbit. The experiments could have applications in future telescopes and communication technology.
The Chinese satellite will be launched sometime in August, where it will test the limits of quantum communication. Onboard the satellite will be a special crystal that generates pairs of entangled photons, which will be fired at two laboratories in Beijing and Vienna. These photons will be used to test the range of quantum entanglement and the feasibility of quantum communications. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Jul 31)
ISRO ALL SET TO LAUNCH INDIGENOUS WEATHER SATELLITE ON AUGUST 28 - Preparations for the launch of weather satellite INSAT-3DR with the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-MkII) next month are progressing at Sriharikota, officials said on Friday.
"The weather satellite INSAT-3DR will be put into orbit by a GSLV rocket August end. Preparations for the launch are going on," P. Kunhi Krishnan, Director of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), told IANS.
India's rocket port is located in SDSC in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.
It is learnt that the launch is tentatively slated for August 28.
A senior official of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told IANS that the satellite is yet to reach the rocket port. More
(Source: The News Minute - Jul 30)
NASA'S NEW SATELLITE WILL LOOK FOR EARTH-SIZED PLANETS NEARBY -
The Kepler mission scopes out stars and galaxies thousands of light-years away to find exoplanets. NASA's upcoming planet hunter, however, will keep an eye on solar systems closer to home. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS will find planets by observing stars and looking out for shadows cast by transiting planets. It will be programmed to compute for a planet's size and the time it takes to orbit its star, because those are the information astronomers need to determine if it's habitable. Since Earth- and even super-Earth-sized planets are tiny, though, TESS will observe small bright dwarf stars only hundreds of light-years away.
The satellite is slated to blast off to space in 2017 or 2018 and is expected to observe 200,000 stars within its two-year lifespan. I More
(Source: Engadget - Jul 30)
NASA'S NEW SPACE PLANE IS GETTING READY TO TAKE FLIGHT - NASA's next cargo delivery vehicle - a spunky little space plane that looks like it could be an offspring of the space shuttle - is getting ready to fly.
The svelte and snub nosed Dream Chaser will soon be shipped to the Mojave desert in California where it would begin a series of ground tests that would eventually culminate with a flight from an altitude of 2.5 miles high. To get to this point, however, has been a long road for its manufacturer, the Sierra Nevada Corp. The company had originally pursued a NASA contract to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. More
(Source: Chicago Tribune - Jul 30)
SPY SATELLITE INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORTED BY SUCCESSFUL ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCH - A clandestine satellite for the U.S. reconnaissance program was successfully launched by an Atlas 5 rocket today, riding a ferocious torrent of fire and smoke off the pad before disappearing behind a curtain of secrecy.
The 194-foot-tall United Launch Alliance rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT) to cap a flawless early morning countdown.
A combined 1.5 million pounds of thrust sent the vehicle to the east, along a 99-degree flight azimuth, carrying the NROL-61 payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office that runs the country’s spy satellite network.
The twin solid boosters burned out 90 seconds into flight, then separated about 40 seconds later when dynamic pressure conditions were apt. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 30)
YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT IT TAKES TO MOVE A 2-TON SATELLITE ACROSS CALIFORNIA - You may not have heard of DigitalGlobe, but you've definitely seen its work in action.
For over two decades, the company has been capturing high-resolution pictures of the Earth and selling them to organizations you're familiar with. Much of Google Earth, Google Maps, Apple Maps imagery and surveying systems used by the U.S. government is provided by DigitalGlobe. Its photography has been used for everything from disaster relief to city planning to simply helping your Uber driver figure out where he's taking you.
On September 15th, the company is launching a brand-new satellite, the WorldView-4, into orbit. More
(Source: Fast Company - Jul 29)
JAPAN’S SIXTH HTV CARGO MISSION SLATED FOR SEPT. 30 LAUNCH - Japan’s space agency has set Sept. 30 as the target launch date for the country’s sixth resupply mission to the International Space Station, carrying cargo, experiments and six lithium-ion batteries to kick off a major upgrade of the lab’s electrical system.
The cylinder-shaped cargo craft is set for liftoff at 1716 GMT (1:16 p.m. EDT) Sept. 30 from the Tanegashima Space Center, a facility nestled on the southern coast of Tanegashima Island in southern Japan, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 29)
CHINESE ROCKET BURNS UP OVER WESTERN U.S. - Pieces of China's newest rocket could be seen burning up in the skies over the western U.S. last night as the spacecraft re-entered the earth's atmosphere.
What was first described as a freak meteor shower or space junk appears to have been an experimental Chinese rocket called Long March 7, according to experts who tweeted on social media.
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, says it's a notable event.
"So far in 2016 there have been 25 reentries of objects massing 1 ton or more. But objects of 5 ton+ class like this are rare." More
(Source: TWC News - Jul 28)
CHINESE SATELLITE IS ONE GIANT STEP FOR THE QUANTUM INTERNET - China is poised to launch the world’s first satellite designed to do quantum experiments. A fleet of quantum-enabled craft is likely to follow.
First up could be more Chinese satellites, which will together create a super-secure communications network, potentially linking people anywhere in the world. But groups from Canada, Japan, Italy and Singapore also have plans for quantum space experiments.
“Definitely, I think there will be a race,” says Chaoyang Lu, a physicist at the -University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, who works with the team behind the Chinese satellite. The 600-kilogram craft, the latest in a string of Chinese space-science satellites, will launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in August. The Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Austrian Academy of Sciences are collaborators on the US$100-million mission. More
(Source: Nature - Jul 28)
CHINA TO LAUNCH 1ST HIGH-CAPACITY BROADBAND SATELLITE - China is scheduled to launch its first high-capacity broadband satellite by the end of 2018, and to begin satellite communications services by 2019, according to the satellite system's blueprint. The blueprint was revealed as part of a contract signed between the Shenzhen government and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) on July 23, according to CASC's official WeChat platform. A new company, APT Mobile SatCom Limited (APSTAR), co-founded by the two bodies, was also unveiled. More
(Source: China.org.cn - Jul 27)
NEW SATELLITE FOR SPY AGENCY AWAITS LAUNCH INTO SPACE THURSDAY - An Atlas 5 rocket carrying a classified national security satellite was rolled to the launch pad this morning for Thursday’s flight to bolster the U.S. intelligence-gathering space architecture.
Liftoff will occur at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT). The duration of the day’s usable launch window remains classified.
Weather forecasters expect favorable conditions for liftoff, placing 80 percent odds on launching. The only concern is a stray coastal shower impeding the rules.
United Launch Alliance will perform the satellite-delivery mission using a 421-configured Atlas 5 rocket that is distinguished by a nose cone 14 feet in diameter and two solid-fuel boosters for added takeoff thrust. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 27)
UK ASTRONAUT TIM PEAKE, KG5BVI/GB1SS, HEADS HAM CONTINGENT TO 10 DOWNING STREET - UK Astronaut Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS — just back from a duty tour on the International Space Station — headed a contingent of radio amateurs and youngsters invited to visit new British Prime Minister Theresa May at 10 Downing Street earlier this month. The July 18 reception at the PM’s official residence celebrated the success of Peake’s “Principia Mission” and his time in space. Sandringham School student Jessica Leigh, M6LPJ, and her head teacher Alan Gray, G4DJX, were among those also on hand, along with students from the Principia Mission schools.
Jessica, then a brand-new ham, was the first student in the UK to speak with Peake during an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) ham radio contact with the ISS. Peake inaugurated the use of the ISS Ham TV system when he spoke on January 8 with Jessica and other students at Sandringham School in Hertfordshire, England. More
(Source: ARRL - Jul 27)
US MILITARY CREATES 'SPACE MISSION FORCE' TO WAGE SATELLITE WAR -
If a major war ever happens, low-Earth orbit could turn into a combat zone. To that end, the US Air Force Space Command has created the "Space Mission Force" to train soldiers to operate military satellites in response to threats. "Adversaries have developed and fielded capabilities to disrupt and deny the space systems we operate on behalf of the United States and our allies," writes US General John Hyten. "Consequently, [we] must organize, train and equip our space forces in a way that maintains our vigilance."
The Air Force already has Space Command squadrons to defend and attack military satellites, but wants to jack up the number of personnel. More
(Source: Engadget - Jul 26)
MALFUNCTIONING WEATHER SATELLITE CAN'T BE RECOVERED, AIR FORCE FINDS - “At this time, there is no impact to the Department of Defense core weather sensing mission, and the DMSP constellation remains able to support mission requirements through resilient systems and processes,” the Air Force stated.
The Flight 19 satellite will remain in space and will be able to gather data for as long as it remains pointed toward the Earth’s surface. Eventually, however, the accuracy of that data will degrade as it begins to point away from the Earth. At that point, the Air Force will continue tracking the satellite for situational awareness and collision avoidance purposes, the service said. Still unknown is whether the Air Force will opt to launch its completed DSMP Flight 20 satellite — which is currently being stored at manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, Calif.-facility — as a replacement capability. More
(Source: DefenseNews.com - Jul 26)
LAUNCH OF SECOND NBN SATELLITE TO ADDRESS AUSTRALIA’S DIGITAL DIVIDE - The National Broadband Network is getting set to launch its second satellite into orbit as the company continues its mission to address what’s been dubbed as the digital divide in Australia.
NBN Co. will launch its second Sky Muster satellite from French Guiana Space Centre in South America on October 5.
Joining the company’s first satellite, the huge spacecraft is set to orbit 36,000km above Earth and will provide improved internet access to Australians in rural areas.
The two NBN satellites will have a combined capacity of 135 gigabits per second and provide services to some 400,000 homes and businesses in regional and remote Australia. More
(Source: NEWS.com.au - Jul 25)
ISRO TO USE RADAR IMAGING SATELLITE TO LOCATE MISSING IAF PLANE AN-32 - The Indian space agency will be using its Radar Imaging Satellite (RISAT) that can see through the clouds to locate the missing Indian Air Force (IAF) plane+ that went missing on Friday morning with 29 people on board, said its chief on Saturday.
"We will be using RISAT to locate the missing aircraft. The satellite can take pictures both during the day and night. It can see through the clouds," Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) Chairman AS Kiran Kumar told IANS.
He said Isro's satellites could be tilted to some extent to look at a different place in times of need. More
(Source: Times of India - Jul 24)
ISRO TO LAUNCH INSAT-3DR WEATHER SATELLITE IN AUGUST - India will launch a weather satellite next month with its heavy rocket, the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-Mk II), Indian space agency chief A.S. Kiran Kumar said in Chennai on Friday.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) will launch INSAT-3DR next month with its GSLV rocket, said Kiran Kumar at the Madras Institute of Technology Alumni Association meeting in Chennai.
He also said Isro is targeting to increase the number of its satellite and rocket launches from the current six-eight per year to 12-18 per year. More
(Source: NDTV - Jul 23)
NASA PREPARES FOR FIRST-EVER IN-SPACE DNA SEQUENCING EXPERIMENT - With the arrival of the SpaceX CRS-9 mission to the Space Station Wednesday morning, the first-ever in-space DNA sequencer experiment has arrived at the international orbiting lab. The experiment is designed to test the feasibility of DNA sequencing in a non-Earth environment as well as serve as a pathfinder for sequencing initiatives on long-duration human missions in the inner solar system and on Mars. NASASpaceflight.com’s Chris Gebhardt recently sat down with two members of the Biomolecule Sequencer Project – Aaron Burton, the Principal Investigator and astrobiologist, and Kristen John, Deputy Project Manager and engineer – for an interview about the potentially revolutionary project. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jul 23)