CHINA’S LARGEST ROCKET LONG MARCH 5 CONCLUDES TESTING, READY FOR LAUNCH IN SEPTEMBER - As China continues to claim more land for itself in Southeast Asia, its rocket program also continues to progress forward for future missions into space.
The country's first mass-produced rocket, the Long March 5 (LM 5), will officially take off in September this year after completing a final round of tests.
True to its namesake, the LM 5 measures nearly 187 feet tall and is about 16.4 feet in diameter. Currently, it is China's most technologically advanced rocket and it even uses a non-toxic and pollution-free propellant. More
(Source: Tech Times - Feb 11)
BLACK MOLD DELAYS SPACE STATION CARGO LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - NASA is investigating the source of black mold that contaminated cargo bags bound for the International Space Station, delaying the next launch of supplies from Florida's Space Coast.
News 6 partner Florida Today reported that an Orbital ATK Cygnus craft, which had been scheduled to launch March 10 atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, now is targeting a liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station no earlier than March 22.
NASA said microbial analysis during a routine inspection of cargo bags at Kennedy Space Center found evidence of common black mold on two bags. The space agency decided to disinfect all bags, which required removing cargo that had been packed in the Cygnus. More
(Source: WKMG Orlando - Feb 11)
JAPANESE SATELLITES CARRYING AMATEUR RADIO PAYLOADS TO LAUNCH ON FEBRUARY 12 - Three Japanese satellites - ChubuSat-2, ChubuSat-3, and Horyu-4 - carrying Amateur Radio payloads are expected to launch between 0845-0930 UTC on Friday, February 12 into a 575 kilometer, 31° inclination orbit. ChubuSat-2 and ChubSat-3 are message store-and-forward Amateur Radio payloads. Horyu-4 will transmit a telemetry in the 70 centimeter band.
According to Yasutaka Narusawa, JR2XEA, Nagoya University and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries cooperated in developing the 50 kg ChubuSat-2 (JJ2YPN) and ChubuSat-3 (JJ2YPO) microsatellites. More
(Source: ARRL - Feb 11)
DELTA 4 GOES AGAINST THE GRAIN TO BACKWARDS ORBIT FOR SPY BIRD - Soaring in fine fashion before daybreak, a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket maneuvered a new spy satellite into a unique retrograde orbit this morning to join an expanding constellation of radar-imaging spacecraft.
The 217-foot-tall orange and white vehicle used its hydrogen-fueled main engine and a pair of side-mounted solid rocket boosters to fire away from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 3:40:32 a.m. local time (6:40:32 a.m. EST; 1140:32 GMT), an exacting moment required by the clandestine payload. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 10)
SPACEX TARGETING FEB. 24 FALCON 9 LAUNCH OF SATELLITE - SpaceX is targeting a Feb. 24 launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a European communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Luxembourg-based SES, the owner of the SES-9 satellite, on Monday announced the launch plans, which include a backup opportunity on Feb. 25. The launch window will open around 6:45 p.m. ET.
The mission has been delayed since December while SpaceX readies an upgraded version of the Falcon 9 that will be launching for the second time. More
(Source: First Coast News - Feb 10)
WATCH: TIME LAPSE OF SPACE STATION ORBITING EARTH SHOWCASES OUR DAZZLING PLANET - Providing further proof that living in space is amazing, British astronaut Tim Peake shared a time lapse of Earth as seen from his office: the International Space Station.
The beautiful video shows the thin veil of our atmosphere protecting us from the harshness of outer space.
As the orbiting laboratory passes across North Africa over Turkey and towards Russia, bright flashes of light illuminate the planet below as a series of thunderstorms pass over the region. More
(Source: Globalnews.ca - Feb 10)
NORTH KOREAN SATELLITE TUMBLING IN ORBIT, RENDERING IT USELESS - The North Korean satellite launched this weekend is tumbling in orbit, rendering it useless, just like another one of the country's satellites launched in December, 2012.
A U.S. official told ABC News that while the Unha 3 rocket was able to get its payload into orbit, it has been tumbling ever since. While the North Korean satellite may not work, the U.S. official said North Korea considers the launch to have been a success because the payload reached orbit. That is of most concern, said the official, since the same technology used to get a payload into orbit is the same needed for a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile to reach the continental United States. More
(Source: ABC News - Feb 9)
NORTH KOREA'S NEW SATELLITE FLEW OVER SUPER BOWL 50 - Here's a bit of Super Bowl trivia: North Korea's newest satellite passed almost right over the stadium just an hour after it ended.
Whatever motives Pyongyang may have about using its rocket launches to develop nuclear-tipped long-range missiles, it now has two satellites circling the Earth, according to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Command, which monitors all satellites in orbit.
Both of the Kwangmyongsong, or "Shining Star," satellites complete their orbits in about 94 minutes and based on data released by international organizations tracking them, the new one passed almost right over Levi's Stadium about an hour after the Super Bowl ended. More
(Source: NBC News - Feb 9)
RUSSIAN COSMONAUT FINDS TIME FOR SELFIE WHILE ON SPACEWALK - Serious experiments are all well and good, but while on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station, you shouldn't miss the opportunity to take a spectacular selfie - and this Russian cosmonaut certainly didn't.
Flight Engineer Sergey Volkov posted the astonishing cosmic views after a spacewalk he undertook on Wednesday with colleague Yuri Malenchenko. The 4 hour and 45 minute jaunt in open space was the sixth for Malenchenko and the fourth for Volkov. More
(Source: RT - Feb 9)
JAPANESE HAM RADIO SATELLITE LAUNCH - ChubuSat-2, ChubuSat-3 and Horyu-4 are expected to launch between 0845-0930 UT on Friday, February 12 into a 575 km, 31 degree inclination orbit.
Yasutaka Narusawa JR2XEA provides the following information on ChubuSat-2/3:
Nagoya University(NU) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries(MHI) developed 50kg microsatellite ChubuSat-2(NU) and ChubuSat-3(MHI). These satellites have amateur VHF receiver and amateur UHF transmitter, and will be launched on Feb. 12 2016 from Tanegashima, Japan. Komaki Amateur SATCOM Club operates these satellites from Komaki, Japan. More
(Source: QRZ Now - Feb 9)
RUSSIA LAUNCHES ITS LATEST GLONASS-M NAVIGATION SATELLITE INTO ORBIT - A Russian Soyuz-2.1b rocket thundered into space from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region of Russia. Its payload was the latest GLONASS-M satellite for the country’s homegrown GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS). Liftoff took place at 7:21 p.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 6 (0:21 GMT on Sunday, Feb. 7).
“All the pre-launch operations and the rocket launch were normal. Ground-based automatic control aids monitored the space vehicle launch and flight,” Russian Defense Ministry said.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Feb 8)
NORTH KOREAN ROCKET PUTS OBJECT INTO SPACE, ANGERS NEIGHBORS, U.S. - North Korea launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, drawing renewed international condemnation just weeks after it carried out a nuclear bomb test.
Critics of the rocket program say it is being used to test technology for a long-range missile.
South Korea and the United States said they would explore whether to deploy an advanced missile defense system in South Korea "at the earliest possible date."
The U.S. Strategic Command said it had detected a missile entering space, and South Korea's military said the rocket had put an object into orbit. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Feb 8)
NORTH KOREA LAUNCHES ‘SATELLITE,’ SPARKS FEARS ABOUT LONG-RANGE MISSILE PROGRAM - In defiance of international warnings, North Korea launched a long-range rocket Sunday morning, a move widely seen as another step toward mastering the technology for making a missile capable of striking the mainland United States.
Both the South Korean defense minister and the Pentagon said that the rocket appeared to have successfully reached space.
The rocket launch was expected - Pyongyang had given warnings to maritime and airspace authorities, and analysts had detected movement at its launch site - but coming just a month after a nuclear test, it nevertheless showed Kim Jong Un’s continued willingness to defy the international community. More
(Source: Washington Post - Feb 7)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET BOOSTS GPS SATELLITE INTO SPACE - A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket thundered into space Friday, boosting the 12th and final member in a series of upgraded Global Positioning System satellites into space, the eighth navigation beacon launched in less than two years.
After overnight concerns about high winds, the Atlas 5, making the first of up to 15 flights planned by ULA in 2016, thundered to life at 8:38 a.m. EST (GMT-5) and majestically climbed away from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
With its Russian-built RD-180 first-stage engine generating more than 860,000 pounds of thrust, the 700,000-pound rocket quickly accelerated as it consumed its kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants, breaking through the sound barrier just 78 seconds after liftoff and arcing away to the east. More
(Source: CBS News - Feb 6)
STAR WARS COULD BE FILMED ON REAL SPACE STATION - Star Wars director Colin Trevorrow has submitted a request to film sequences for the movie onboard the International Space Station.
The Jurassic World director has signed up to take charge of the ninth film in the franchise, Episode IX, which is due for release in 2019, and he is plotting an ambitious scheme to shoot real space sequences for the blockbuster.
Trevorrow reveals he's submitted the request to officials in charge of the International Space Station, but he is yet to receive a response. More
(Source: New Zealand Herald - Feb 5)
LAUNCH SET FOR US-EUROPEAN OCEAN-MONITORING SATELLITE - The latest in a series of U.S.-European satellites designed to detect and measure ocean phenomena like El Nino is scheduled for launch this weekend aboard a SpaceX rocket that will attempt to land its discarded first stage on a floating barge.
If the launch is successful, the Jason-3 satellite would continue an unbroken record of more than two decades of sea level measurements from orbit. Liftoff from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Los Angeles, was planned for a 30-second window at 10:42 a.m. PST Sunday, with a backup opportunity on Monday.
Air Force meteorologists predicted 100 percent favorable weather for the launch, NASA said. More
(Source: Fox 13 - Feb 5)
SPACEWALKING RUSSIAN COSMONAUTS BEGIN WORK OUTSIDE SPACE STATION - Two veteran Russian cosmonauts floated outside the International Space Station on Wednesday to replace experimental equipment that is testing how materials and biological samples fare in the harsh environment of space.
Station flight engineers Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov left the station's airlock at 7:55 a.m. EST for what was expected to be a 5-1/2-hour spacewalk, a live broadcast on NASA Television showed. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Feb 4)
NORTH KOREA PLANS SATELLITE LAUNCH THIS MONTH - The declaration, which is meant to warn civilians, shipping and aircraft in the area about the rocket and falling debris, follows North Korea’s claim last month to have tested a hydrogen bomb, the country’s fourth nuclear test. It will be seen as a snub by North Korea of its only major ally, China, whose representative for Korean affairs landed in Pyongyang for talks on Tuesday.
The International Telecommunication Union said North Korea also informed its Geneva office of its intention to launch a Kwangmyongsong (Bright Star) -type Earth observation satellite with a four-year operational life. But the ITU’s U.N. representative, Gary Fowlie, said not enough technical information had been supplied to register the planned launch in its Master International Frequency Register. More
(Source: USA Today - Feb 3)
COSMONAUTS PERFORM SPACEWALK WEDNESDAY MORNING: WATCH IT LIVE - Two cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station for a 5.5-hour spacewalk Wednesday morning, and you can watch all the action live.
Yuri Malenchenko and Sergey Volkov of the Russian federal space agency, which is called Roscosmos, will exit the orbiting lab at around 8:10 a.m. EST (1310 GMT) Wednesday (Feb. 3). You can watch the extravehicular activity (EVA) live here at Space.com beginning at 7:30 a.m. EST (1230 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV. More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 3)