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EXPERTS SAY FIREBALL ABOVE ROCKIES WAS RUSSIAN SPY SATELLITE EXPERTS SAY FIREBALL ABOVE ROCKIES WAS RUSSIAN SPY SATELLITE - A fireball that broke apart in the sky above the Rocky Mountains on Sept. 2 was not a meteor, as witnesses first believed. It was likely a Russian spy satellite. What was originally described as three "rocks" glowing red and orange as they moved slowly northward across the night sky between New Mexico and Montana was in fact Russia's Cosmos 2495 reconnaissance satellite, experts told the Associated Press. A meteor would have burned too rapidly and couldn't have been seen over such a wide swath of the United States, said the American Meteor Society's operations manager Mike Hankey.   More
(Source: TIME - Sep 18)

 	 MYSTERIOUS SATELLITE LAUNCHED FROM FLORIDA BY ATLAS 5 ROCKET MYSTERIOUS SATELLITE LAUNCHED FROM FLORIDA BY ATLAS 5 ROCKET - Rocketing through gloomy skies with a payload clouded in a veil of secrecy, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket fired away from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday to deploy a satellite thousands of miles above Earth.The 189-foot-tall booster, glistening in frost from tens of thousands of gallons of super-cold cryogenic propellant, lit its Russian-made RD-180 engine and lifted off at 8:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0010 GMT Wednesday). Riding a plume of rocket exhaust, the Atlas 5 rocket climbed through clouds left over from a series of evening thunderstorms that forced a two-hour, 26-minute weather delay.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 17)

BOEING, SPACEX SHARE $6.8 BILLION CREW CONTRACT BOEING, SPACEX SHARE $6.8 BILLION CREW CONTRACT - Aerospace giant Boeing and newcomer SpaceX will share $6.8 billion in NASA contracts to build commercial space taxis to fly astronauts to and from the space station starting in 2017, ending reliance on Russia for access to low-Earth orbit and kick starting a new era of commercial space transportation, agency officials said Tuesday. Boeing will receive a $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCAP) contract to continue development of the company's CST-100 capsule while SpaceX will receive $2.6 billion to press ahead with work to perfect its futuristic Dragon crew craft.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 16)

THE LITTLE-KNOWN SOVIET MISSION TO RESCUE A DEAD SPACE STATION THE LITTLE-KNOWN SOVIET MISSION TO RESCUE A DEAD SPACE STATION - The following story happened in 1985 but subsequently vanished into obscurity. Over the years, many details have been twisted, others created. Even the original storytellers got some things just plain wrong. After extensive research, writer Nickolai Belakovski is able to present, for the first time to an English-speaking audience, the complete story of Soyuz T-13's mission to save Salyut 7, a fascinating piece of in-space repair history.    More
(Source: Ars Technica - Sep 16)

NEXT ANTARES SET TO LAUNCH FROM WALLOPS TO ISS IN MID-OCTOBER NEXT ANTARES SET TO LAUNCH FROM WALLOPS TO ISS IN MID-OCTOBER - Orbital Sciences Corp. is scheduled to launch its third operational mission, called Orb-3, from Wallops Island to the International Space Station on the evening of Oct. 18. An Antares rocket is expected to blast off no earlier than 10:14 p.m. from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore, spokesman Keith Koehler said Monday. The unmanned rocket will carry a Cygnus space freighter filled with cargo for the space station crew. Because the Antares is a medium-lift booster, its launch is visible from throughout Hampton Roads as well as the mid-Atlantic region, weather permitting.   More
(Source: Daily Press - Sep 15)

SPACEX DITCHES LANDING LEGS ON NEXT FALCON 9 FLIGHT SPACEX DITCHES LANDING LEGS ON NEXT FALCON 9 FLIGHT - SpaceX's next resupply mission to the International Space Station is set for takeoff as soon as Saturday after a rapid rebound from the company's last flight from Cape Canaveral, but the company does not plan to use the launch as another chance to practice rocket recovery procedures. Liftoff of a 208-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for Saturday at 2:16 a.m. EDT (0616 GMT), a day later than previously planned to accommodate flight preparations after SpaceX's Sept. 7 launch of the AsiaSat 6 commercial communications satellite. If ground crews pull it off, it will bust SpaceX's record turnaround time between Falcon 9 missions as the launch company ramps up its mission cadence to accomplish a jam-packed manifest.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 15)

SECRET SATELLITE SET TO LIFT OFF FROM CAPE TUESDAY SECRET SATELLITE SET TO LIFT OFF FROM CAPE TUESDAY - United Launch Alliance is scheduled to launch the CLIO satellite via the Atlas V 401 rocket on Tuesday from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window will open at 5:44 p.m. and close at 8:10 p.m. The CLIO satellite was built by Lockheed Martin for an unnamed U.S. government agency and the satellite's purpose is a secret. Weather conditions could cause a delay for the launch as the forecast for Tuesday predicts a 40 percent chance of favorable conditions. The outlook for Wednesday only shows a 30 percent chance of favorable weather.   More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Sep 15)

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)

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