MARK ZUCKERBERG TO CONNECT WITH SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS LIVE VIA FACEBOOK - Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and chief executive officer, will speak with three astronauts currently living and working aboard the International Space Station at 12:55 p.m. EDT Wednesday, June 1.
The Earth-to-space call will be seen live on NASA’s Facebook page.
During the 20-minute Facebook Live video call with NASA astronauts Tim Kopra, KE5UDN and Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, and ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Tim Peake, KG5BVI, Zuckerberg will ask questions submitted on NASA’s Facebook page. More
(Source: Southgate - May 31)
RUSSIA’S GLONASS-M SATELLITE DELIVERED INTO INTERIM ORBIT - A Fregat booster with a Glonass-M satellite separated from the third stage of a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket at the designated time in a normal regime, the press office of the Russian Defense Ministry reported on Sunday.
The carrier rocket was launched at 11:45 a.m. Moscow time (08:45 GMT) from site No. 43 of the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk Region in north Russia by an operational crew of the Russian Aerospace Force’s space troops.
"It will take several hours for the Fregat booster to bring the Glonass-M satellite into the designated orbit," the press office said.
(Source: TASS - May 30)
ISRO TO LAUNCH RECORD 22 SATELLITES IN SINGLE MISSION IN JUNE - ISRO today said it will launch a record 22 satellites in a single mission next month.
“After the current reusable launch vehicle, the next experiment what we have to do we have to worry about that. Other than that, next month we have a launch where we will be launching about 22 satellites. Also one of a cartographic series satellite will be launched,” ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event organised by Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI), he said that of the 22 satellites, three are Indian and the rest all commercial.
“The launch is scheduled during the end of next month,” he added. More
(Source: The Hindu - May 29)
ORBITAL ATK'S THAICOM 8 SATELLITE ENJOYS A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH - The THAICOM 8 commercial communications satellite, built Orbital ATK for Thaicom PLC, was successfully delivered to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and the satellite is operating as planned.
THAICOM 8 will support Thailand’s growing broadcast industry by providing broadcast and data services to customers in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket occurred on May 27 at 5:39 p.m. (EDT) from the launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. More
(Source: SatNews Publishers - May 29)
RUSSIA TO LAUNCH ITS LATEST GLONASS-M NAVIGATION SATELLITE ON SUNDAY - A Soyuz-2.1b rocket is all set to launch the newest satellite for Russia’s homegrown GLObal NAvigation Satellite System (GLONASS). The spacecraft will blast off at 4:44 a.m. EDT (8:44 GMT) Sunday, May 29, from the Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.
The launch of the mission was initially scheduled for May 21, but it was postponed for one week. However, the cause of delay wasn’t revealed by the authorities.
Soyuz 2.1b launch
An archive photo of a Soyuz 2.1b rocket launching in Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Photo Credit: Roscosmos
The spacecraft, designated GLONASS-M No. 53, was delivered to the launch site on April 22. It was transported to the Plesetsk Cosmodrome aboard a cargo aircraft IL-76.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 29)
SPACEX LANDS THIRD CONSECUTIVE ROCKET, AND THE VIDEO IS BREATHTAKING - On Friday evening, SpaceX successfully landed another Falcon 9 rocket (or more precisely, its reusable first stage) back on Earth after a mission. These landings are a huge technical achievement, with big implications for spaceflight.
But the video SpaceX released yesterday makes the equally important point t hat they’re just really, really cool. The footage is sped up (SpaceX SPACEX 0.00% doesn’t say by how much), which is a bit frustrating. But what’s on display here is nonetheless mind-boggling. We see the rocket approaching Earth at an oblique angle, firing directional thrusters as it lines itself up, then a larger blast to slow down as it approaches a drone barge off the coast of Florida. More
(Source: Fortune - May 29)
NASA SUCCESSFULLY INFLATES NEW SPACE STATION ROOM - NASA successfully inflated a new experimental room at the International Space Station on Saturday, producing the world's first pump-it-up compartment for astronauts.
The operation took much longer than expected, stretching over three days in all. But victory, when it came, was sweet.
"A significant milestone has been accomplished," Bigelow Aerospace, the inflatable chamber's creator, cheered via Twitter.
Astronaut Jeffrey Williams spent seven hours Saturday opening and closing an air valve to expand the compartment More
(Source: U.S. News & World Report - May 29)
NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO SPOT THE SPACE STATION - Step outside on a clear night over the next few days, and you’ve got a great chance of seeing the International Space Station (ISS) as it glides across the heavens. Pick the right night, and you may even see it zoom by multiple times in a row. The ISS is about the size of an American football field and is covered with shiny metal surfaces and lots of highly reflective solar panels. That makes the station easily visible with the naked eye, even from light-polluted city centers. Its brilliance is so impressive that sometimes it’s the second brightest object in the night sky, after the moon. More
(Source: National Geographic - May 27)
SPACE STATION CREW RUNS INTO GLITCH INFLATING "BEAM" MODULE - The International Space Station crew began the process Thursday of inflating an innovative expandable space module developed by a Las Vegas billionaire, but the inflation stalled and NASA called off efforts for the day.
The Bigelow Expandable Crew Activity Module, or BEAM, was supposed to grow six feet in length and three feet in diameter when it was expanded using internal tanks and station-supplied air. But in a blog post Thursday morning, NASA said that after several hours of attempts to introduce air into the module, BEAM had only expanded a few inches in both length and diameter. "Engineers are meeting to determine a forward course of action, with the possibility that another attempt could be made as early as Friday morning," the statement said. More
(Source: CBS News - May 27)
SPACEX SCRUBS FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCH ATTEMPT FROM CAPE - SpaceX scrubbed a planned Falcon 9 rocket launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today due to technical problems, according to CEO Elon Musk.
The next attempt has tentatively been scheduled for a 24-hour delay, potentially giving it the same 5:40 p.m. to 7:40 p.m. launch window as Thursday. A glitch with an upper stage engine actuator scrubbed Thursday's attempt to launch Falcon 9 and Thaicom 8. SpaceX hopes to try again Friday, Two-hour window opens around 5:40 p.m. Weather 70% "go." More
(Source: Florida Today - May 27)
WATCH THE FIRST EXPANDABLE HABITAT INFLATE ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TODAY - The International Space Station is ready to deploy its first expandable habitat. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which was delivered last month by one of Space X's rockets, will finally be inflated to its full size starting at 5:30AM ET tomorrow, according to NASA. The event will be streamed live on NASA TV.
Astronauts on the space station won't enter the habitat for another week. The module, which will inflate up to four times its size, is expected to stay attached to the ISS for two years. More
(Source: The Verge - May 26)
SOYUZ LAUNCH ADDS TWO MORE SATELLITES TO GALILEO NAVIGATION FLEET - wo more Galileo satellites successfully catapulted into space from the French Guiana jungle aboard a Soyuz rocket Tuesday, putting Europe’s multibillion-dollar navigation system on track to begin limited global service later this year.
Nearly five years into Galileo’s operational deployment, the navigation system has hit a stride in satellite production and rocket launches long sought by European politicians and engineers who have worked on the ambitious project since its inception.
“We are now at cruising speed as far as deployment is concerned,” said Paul Verhoef, director of the Galileo program and navigation-related activities at the European Space Agency, a senior partner on the space-based positioning project, which is led by the European Commission. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 25)
MIR PLUNGED INTO OCEAN BEFORE TIME - The Mir space station could have been kept aloft a little longer, although this would hardly be viable financially, a Russian space agency Roscosmos executive in charge of manned missions said.
The Soviet Union began putting parts of the modular space station into low orbit in 1986. Mir was deorbited and fell into the Pacific in 2001 after 15 years in space.
"It could have been maintained, although the question is whether this would have been practical," Sergei Krikalev, a former cosmonaut, told RIA Novosti. More
(Source: Space Daily - May 25)
SPACEX WILL TRY TO LAND ON SOLID GROUND AGAIN IN JULY - SpaceX's ninth cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station will take place no earlier than 1:32AM ET on Saturday, July 16th, NASA announced today. A representative for SpaceX has confirmed to The Verge that the company will attempt to land the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral. This will be the first time that SpaceX has attempted a landing on solid ground since the initial attempt last December, which was also the company's first successful landing.
SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 rocket to launch the uncrewed version of its Dragon spacecraft to the ISS. More
(Source: The Verge - May 25)
CHINA TO LAUNCH WORLD'S FIRST QUANTUM SPACE SATELLITE IN JULY - According to the physicist, cited by the People's Daily Online, the quantum network will connect Beijing, Jinan, Hefei and Shanghai among other cities spanning a 2,000-kilometer (1,243 miles) area.
Earthrise as seen from the Moon
Space Cowboys: China Plans Manned Moon Landing by 2036
Chinese physicists reportedly inaugurated the quantum satellite development program in 2011. In 2013, quantum optical fiber communication was introduced across the Beijing-Shanghai line.
(Source: Sputnik International - May 24)
INDIA PERFORMS SUCCESSFUL SPACE SHUTTLE TEST LAUNCH - India performed a successful space shuttle test launch late on Sunday, marking the latest milestone for the country’s space program.
The Reusable Launch Vehicle –Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) mini-shuttle is the country’s first space plane. NASA ended its 30-year space shuttle program in 2011.
India’s unmanned shuttle was launched on a HS9 booster rocket from Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Sriharikota, an island off India’s Bay of Bengal coast. The booster burnt out after a “successful flight” of 91.1 seconds, according to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). More
(Source: Fox News - May 24)
SPACE STATION INFLATABLE HABITAT WILL GET BLOWN UP ON THURSDAY - An expandable habitat that might eventually help humankind colonize the Moon and Mars will begin testing on the International Space Station this week. Astronauts will start pumping air into the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module at 5:30 AM on Thursday. At its full size, the puffed-up habitat will be about the size of a small bedroom. For the next two years, sensors will measure how well the structure maintains safe temperature, pressure, and radiation levels. Astronauts will go inside it occasionally, too. More
(Source: Popular Science - May 24)
WATCH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MARATHON - It's the surefire highlight of any public star party, and you won't find it at the eyepiece.
Folks are always amazed to see the International Space Station pass by overhead. There it is: humanity at its best, cooperating in space. And the good news is, the International Space Station (ISS) will be putting on its best performance of 2016 starting this week, as it reaches a stretch of full illumination throughout the length of its orbit. This means we're in for multiple visible passes of the ISS worldwide. More
(Source: Sky & Telescope - May 24)
SOYUZ ST-B TO LAUNCH GALILEO SATELLITE DUO ON TUESDAY - A Soyuz ST-B rocket is set to take to the skies on Tuesday, May 24. Its mission is to orbit a duo of European Galileo navigation satellites. The spacecraft, designated Galileo 13 and 14, are slated to lift off at 4:48 a.m. EDT (08:48 GMT) from the Soyuz Launch Complex (ELS) in Sinnamary, French Guiana.
The mission, designated VS15, will be the fourth flight carried out by Arianespace this year. The mission is slated to last for about three hours and 47 minutes, ending in the deployment of the satellites into a circular medium-Earth orbit (MEO) at an altitude of 14,616 miles (23,522 kilometers), inclined 57.4 degrees.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 23)