HOW LASERS COULD BE THE FUTURE OF SPACE CLEANUP - Lasers may be the future of garbage disposal - in space, at least.
In a paper published in the latest issue of Acta Astronautica, researchers at the Riken research institute in Tokyo proposed a way to end the growing problem of space debris by shooting them down with lasers.
The method would track space debris using the Extreme Universe Space Observatory's (EUSO) super-wide-field telescope, mounted on the International Space Station. The telescope, which is based aboard the space station's Japanese Experiment Module, was designed to detect high-energy cosmic rays. More
(Source: Christian Science Monitor - Apr 20)
CONSTRUCTION OF TURKEY'S FIRST HOMEMADE SATELLITE BEGINS - The construction of TURKSAT 6A, which is Turkey's first homemade telecommunications satellite, has started, the country's only communications operator announced Sunday.
"The satellite is developed and manufactured by 354 specialists under the leadership of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) in cooperation with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI), Military Electronic Industries (ASELSAN) and CTech," TURKSAT's chief executive officer Ensar Gul told The Anadolu Agency.
"The construction period will take five years and the launch of the spacecraft is planned for 2020," Gul said. More
(Source: Anadolu Agency - Apr 20)
SPACE EXPERTS ENDORSE SHARING MILITARY SATELLITE DATA - Air Force Space Command leaders are working on plans to share data from satellites controlled by the military, bringing new opportunities that could allow firefighters to get images on their smartphones to help stamp out wildfires, and allow nonmilitary organizations to keep a better eye on the weather.
The civilian world is working on how infrared pictures could be used, with Colorado Springs software firm Braxton Technologies leading the pack.
"It will be a game-changer," said James Flemer, who is working on a Braxton infrared project.
(Source: Washington Times - Apr 19)
SPACE X, HUBBLE, COFFEE: THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN SPACE - Space is expensive, dangerous, and easy to get wrong. This week, news about Space X, the upcoming Hubble anniversary, and the price of astronaut coffee shows why we should think hard about future projects. As they say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
In space flight, close means a violent explosion and a return to the drawing board. So it went with Space X's CRS-6's attempt to land a reusable rocket on a platform in the ocean. More
(Source: InformationWeek - Apr 19)
ORBITAL ATK DELIVERS DIRECTV'S SKYM-1 COMMERCIAL SATELLITE TO LAUNCH SITE - Orbital ATK, Inc., a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced it delivered the SKY MEXICO-1 (SKYM-1) satellite to the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana for its DIRECTV customer. The SKYM-1 satellite, due to launch in late May, will provide direct-to-home television broadcast services to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean for DIRECTV. More
(Source: Business Wire - Apr 19)
SPACEX'S DRAGON CARGO CAPSULE ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spacecraft has rendezvoused with the International Space Station to deliver vital supplies, bringing a three-day orbital chase to an end.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti grappled the Dragon capsule with the space station's huge robotic arm at 6:55 a.m. EDT (1055 GMT) Friday (April 17), securing the commercial capsule to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
Cristoforetti and the other five crewmembers aboard the orbiting lab will soon begin offloading the 4,300 lbs. (1,950 kilograms) of food, scientific experiments and other supplies that Dragon brought up from Earth. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 17)
RUSSIA TO BUILD OWN SPACE STATION BY 2023, SAYS - Russia plans to build its own orbiting space station by 2023, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a marathon call-in session with the nation.
"By 2023, we plan to create our own national space station in orbit," Putin said.
"This is something far-off in the future, but also necessary for us from the point of view of our national economy."
Russia and NASA recently agreed to keep operating and financing the International Space Station at least until 2024, but future joint space projects remain in doubt, as relations between Russia and the US have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukraine conflict.
(Source: Phys.org - Apr 17)
CHINESE ASAT TEST WAS "SUCCESSFUL": LT. GEN. RAYMOND - We've known for some time that China conducted an anti-satellite test July 23 last year, but we learned today that that test was "successful" even if it didn't destroy anything.
China has successfully placed low earth orbit satellites at risk, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond told an overflow audience at the annual Warfighters Lunch at the Space Symposium here. "Soon every satellite in every orbit will be able to be held at risk," the head of the 14th Air Force said.
China has claimed the test was for missile defense and noted that nothing was destroyed in the test. Raymond clearly wanted to dispel that impression and make certain everyone in the space community knew that China had executed another ASAT test and that it had worked. More
(Source: Breaking Defense - Apr 16)
U.S. SATELLITE LAUNCHER GETS FIRST VULCAN ROCKET REQUEST: CHANGE THE NAME - Hours after unveiling its next-generation "Vulcan" rocket, the company that launches most of America's satellites, United Launch Alliance (ULA), ran into its first problem - the rocket's name.
"Vulcan is a trademark of Vulcan Inc. and we have informed ULA of our trademark rights," Chuck Beames, president of the Paul Allen-backed Vulcan Aerospace, told Reuters.
"Paul Allen and Vulcan were early leaders within space exploration with the launch of SpaceShipOne more than a decade ago. We are flattered by ULA's tribute to our legacy by naming their new rocket 'Vulcan'," Beames said. More
(Source: Reuters - Apr 15)
SPACEX'S DRAGON SPACE CAPSULE NOW VISIBLE IN NIGHT SKY: HOW TO SEE IT - Skywatchers across parts of the United States and southern Canada have a chance to see a Dragon capsule built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX "chase" the International Space Station across the sky this week ahead of a Friday morning rendezvous. SpaceX launched the Dragon cargo ship into orbit on Tuesday (April 14) during its sixth commercial cargo mission for NASA. The spacecraft blasted off at 4:10 p.m. EDT (2016 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is carrying more than 2 tons of supplies for the space station's six-person crew. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 15)