VEGA MISSION ORBITS TURKISH EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITE - Arianespace lofted Turkey’s Göktürk-1 Earth observation satellite into a sun-synchronous orbit Dec. 5 aboard a Vega rocket, marking the eighth success for the European light-lift vehicle.
Göktürk-1 prime contractor Telespazio reported signal acquisition 68 minutes after its 8:51 a.m. EST liftoff from Europe’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana. The satellite separated from Vega’s upper stage 57 minutes into the launch.
Göktürk-1 is the bigger brother of Turkey’s Göktürk-2, which despite the name ordering, launched in December 2012 aboard a Chinese Long March 2D. Compared to its 400-kilogram, medium-resolution predecessor, Göktürk-1 weighs in at 1,060 kilograms and sports a sharper, sub-meter camera with an onboard digital imaging storage system.
(Source: SpaceNews - Dec 6)
GOOGLE'S SATELLITE TIMELAPSES SHOW THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH ABOUT OUR PLANET - The image of the Earth from space is so seared into human consciousness that it is hard to conceive what it was like to live without the picture of our planet as a blue sphere that we all now carry in our minds.
The first photographs of the Earth’s surface seen from 100 miles were taken in 1947. By 1968, the famous Earthrise image photographed by the crew of Apollo 8 framed our planet as a beautiful oasis in black space. More
(Source: The Guardian - Dec 6)
FAVORABLE WEATHER FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY’S DELTA 4 LAUNCH FROM FLORIDA - Air Force meteorologists are expecting good weather to launch the Delta 4 rocket with a military communications satellite Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral.
Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance booster carrying the Wideband Global SATCOM 8 spacecraft is scheduled to occur at 6:53 p.m. EST (2353 GMT). The launch window will remain open for 49 minutes.
The chances of allowable weather stand at 80 percent, with only a slight concern for cloud thickness during the launch opportunity. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 5)
ISRO TO LAUNCH RESOURCESAT-2A ON DEC 7 - Indian Space Research Organisation will launch Earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A on board a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C36) on December 7.
PSLV-C36 carrying the 1235kg Resourcesat-2A will lift off from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, situated around 100km from Chennai, at 10.24am. It will be PSLV's 38th flight.
Eighteen minutes later, the satellite will be placed in an 817km polar sun-synchronous orbit.
Resourcesat-2A is a remote sensing satellite intended for resource monitoring. It is a follow-on mission to Resourcesat-1 and Resourcesat-2, which were launched in 2003 and 2012 respectively. More
(Source: Times of India - Dec 5)
PICTURE THIS... CANON ELECTRONICS GETS SPACEY - Engineers from Canon Electronics, which is a unit of the Japanese imaging devices maker, have joined a team led by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that is building what will be the world's smallest satellite launch vehicle, about the size of a utility pole—the company decided to assist Japan in manufacturing a low-cost "mini-rocket" for future satellite launches—a number of private companies in Japan are working to help build the nation's space industry to greater prominence.
A JAXA SS-520 research rocket launch.
The company's experience designing and manufacturing devices, such as digital cameras, should help the JAXA team select the best rocket parts as well as make key control instruments smaller and lighter. More
(Source: SatNews Publishers - Dec 4)
NEW SATELLITE PHOTOS WILL DETAIL YOUR WORLD VIEW - Your view of the world through Google Maps is about to get a little better as a new satellite starts beaming down imagery of our planet.
DigitalGlobe, which supplies imagery to Google Maps and several other customers, has begun gathering data from the new WorldView-4 satellite the company launched on November 11. Its first public image, taken on November 26, is of Japan's Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Satellite imagery, once only affordable to military and intelligence agencies with huge budgets and a powerful desire to peer at world affairs, now has become a relatively routine part of industry. More
(Source: CNET - Dec 3)
INCREDIBLE FOOTAGE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION REVEALS LIFE INSIDE PYONGYANG THAT IS SO CLE - EERIE video filmed from Earth’s orbit has provided a rare peek into secretive and paranoid North Korea – showing weirdly empty streets.
Filmed using an Iris camera from the International Space Station (ISS), it lifts the lid from above on the peculiar capital city, Pyongyang. The video was released by UrtheCast.
For a large city - apparently home to 3.2million - hardly anyone seems to be walking or driving about. More
(Source: The Sun - Dec 3)
RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP FAILURE WON'T ENDANGER SPACE STATION CREW, NASA SAYS - The six astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) will be OK despite a Russian cargo ship's failure to make it to orbit Thursday (Dec. 1), NASA officials said.
The uncrewed Progress 65 freighter fell back to Earth shortly after liftoff Thursday, apparently doomed by a problem with the third stage of its Soyuz rocket. The spacecraft and its 2.6 tons (2.36 metric tons) of food, equipment and other supplies burned up in the atmosphere over southern Russia, Russian space officials said.
But there's no danger that crewmembers of the station's current Expedition 50 will go hungry or thirsty, according to NASA officials. More
(Source: Space.com - Dec 3)
TURKEY TO LAUNCH INTELLIGENCE SATELLITE GöKTüRK-1 SATELLITE NEXT WEEK - The Göktürk-1 satellite, which will provide target intelligence satellite imagery for the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), will be launched at 4:51 p.m. on Dec. 5.
The assembly and integration activities for the satellite, designed to meet the satellite imagery needs for the TSK with regards to target intelligence, are being carried out by the project's main contractor Telespazio (Italy) along with Thales Alenia Space (France) in their facilities located in Cannes.
The satellite was subjected to environmental tests at Turkey's first Space Systems Integration and Testing Center (USET) located at the Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI) Akıncı Air Base and was later sent to the Kourou Launch Center in French Guiana in preparation for orbit. More
(Source: Daily Sabah - Dec 2)
SPACEX COULD RETURN TO FLIGHT DEC. 16, SATELLITE LAUNCH CUSTOMER SAYS - SpaceX could return to flight in about two weeks, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval, after an explosion that destroyed one of its rockets, satellite launch customer Iridium Communications Inc. said Thursday.
The tentative date comes three months after one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets exploded on a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, destroying a commercial communications satellite that was to be managed by Israeli satellite operator Spacecom.
The fiery failure caused delays in SpaceX’s launch schedule and led to criticism from some members of Congress of the company’s role in leading the investigation. More
(Source: Los Angeles Times - Dec 2)
RUSSIA CONFIRMS ISS-BOUND PROGRESS SPACESHIP LOST AFTER LAUNCH - Russia’s space agency has confirmed that an unmanned cargo ship launched on Thursday to take supplies to the International Space Station has been lost.
Roscosmos said on Twitter that the ship had been destroyed during its launch. It is said to have mainly burnt up in the atmosphere, 190 kilometres above Siberia.
Earlier, the space agency said that data transmissions had been cut off nearly six and a half minutes after the launch. More
(Source: Euronews - Dec 2)
WHAT CHINA’S LATEST X-RAY POSITIONING SATELLITE MEANS FOR DEEP-SPACE EXPLORATION - ONovember 10, aboard a Long March 11 rocket, China launched a suite of satellites into space. Among them was the innovative X-ray Pulsar Navigation 1 (XPNAV 1) satellite which is equipped with a world’s first instrument that offers X-ray-based navigation. Unlike classical satellites and spacecraft that rely on GPS-like features, the XPNAV 1 uses X-ray sources from space like those emitted by pulsars to triangulate its position. In other words, this tiny satellite is paving the way for a new class of spacecraft that will not only breach the final frontier but also find its way around it. More
(Source: ZME Science - Dec 1)
NASA IS OFFERING $30K TO THE PERSON WHO SOLVES ITS SPACE POOP PROBLEM - Space travel presents scientists with seemingly infinite challenges. Aside from the technological feat of getting astronauts off the planet, scientists have to figure out how to keep them healthy with no-gravity exercise, clean air, and nutrition once they’re up in space.
But there’s one much-less-glamorous problem space scientists have to solve: How to get rid of astronaut poop on long missions in spacesuits.
The question has NASA scientists stumped, and so they’re taking suggestions from the public. More
(Source: Quartz - Dec 1)
WAR IN SPACE: KAMIKAZES, KIDNAPPER SATELLITES AND LASERS - It was May 2014 when a small team of American airmen monitoring a Russian satellite launch saw something they had never seen before. An object the team thought was a piece of debris from the launch suddenly came to life. "The one object that we assumed was a piece of debris started to maneuver in close proximity to the (rocket) booster," recalled Lt. Gen. David Buck, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Buck, who oversees US military space forces, said the deliberate maneuvers the mystery object made close to the rocket's booster were a red flag. More
(Source: CNN - Nov 30)
JAPAN TO LAUNCH FIRST MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE ON JANUARY 24 - The Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to launch the Kirameki-2 satellite that will be one of three military satellites, which will replace the civil analogues that are currently used for communication between Japan's military units.TOKYO (Sputnik) - The Japanese Ministry of Defense plans to launch its first satellite into orbit on January 24, 2017, to improve military communications infrastructure amid North Korea nuclear and military threats, media reported on Friday, citing a military source.
According to the Kyodo news agency, the Kirameki-2 satellite will be one of three military satellites, which will replace the civil analogues that are currently used for communication between Japan's military units. More
(Source: Space Daily - Nov 30)
ADVANCED WEATHER SATELLITE REACHES PLANNED ORBIT - A powerful new weather satellite, the first of four at the heart of a nearly $11 billion upgrade to the nation’s forecasting infrastructure, completed a fifth and final main engine rocket firing Tuesday, the last step in a 10-day climb to its operational orbit 22,300 miles above the equator.
Greg Mandt, the GOES-R program director with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the agency hopes to downlink the first pictures from the satellite’s camera, the Advanced Baseline Imager, or ABI, in early January, after allowing trapped gases and contaminants to escape in the vacuum of space. More
(Source: CBS News - Nov 30)
NASA ENDS EFFORTS TO REPAIR SPACE STATION EARTH SCIENCE INSTRUMENT - NASA announced Nov. 28 it was formally ending a mission of an instrument on the International Space Station that malfunctioned earlier this year, a setback in the agency’s efforts to use the station as an Earth sciences platform.
NASA said it was terminating the ISS Rapid Scatterometer, or RapidScat, instrument, that had been operating on the station since October 2014. The instrument collected wind speed and direction data over the oceans by measuring the scattering of radar waves it transmitted and then received. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Nov 30)
RUSSIA'S SOYUZ SPACECRAFT MARKS 50 YEARS SINCE FIRST FLIGHT - It launched under a different name and was not officially disclosed until almost two decades later, but Russia's first Soyuz spacecraft lifted off into history 50 years ago Monday (Nov. 28).
The Soyuz, which became the former Soviet Union's third class of crewed transport spacecraft and is still used today to take cosmonaut and astronaut crews to the International Space Station, first flew under the intentionally nondescript title "Kosmos 133" on Nov. 28, 1966.
The less-than-successful, 34-orbit uncrewed maiden mission ended with the Soyuz's descent capsule self-destructing, instead of landing off-course in China. But that was only the last of its problems. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 29)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET TO FINISH YEAR WITH COMMERCIAL BROADBAND SATELLITE LAUNCH - Preparing for its eighth launch of the year, the Atlas 5 rocket program has begun stacking the vehicle that will deploy a commercial satellite to provide Internet connectivity to rural America.
The United Launch Alliance rocket will haul the EchoStar 19 spacecraft into a geosynchronous transfer orbit from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 on Dec. 16. The two-hour launch window opens at 1:22 p.m. EST (1822 GMT).
Stacking started today at the Vertical Integration Facility as the first stage was erected aboard the mobile launch platform. Three side-mounded solid rocket boosters and Centaur upper stage will be added in the coming days before the payload is attached next week. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 29)