NANORACKS LAUNCHES 15 CUBESATS, NEW COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS, ON LATEST ISS CARGO RESUPPLY LAUNCH - Early this week Cygnus, the spacecraft from the ninth contracted resupply mission for Orbital ATK, berthed with the International Space Station carrying another satellite-filled NanoRacks mission. NanoRacks is pleased to bring two new commercial customers to the low-Earth orbit ecosystem, Analytical Space Inc. and EnduroSat, with each of the startups' first-ever CubeSats.
This is the fifth mission in which NanoRacks is providing opportunities for CubeSat deployment from Cygnus after the vehicle departs from the station. More
(Source: Space Daily - May 26)
ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE WILL BE WORKING THIS MEMORIAL DAY. HERE'S WHY - This year for Memorial Day, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station are celebrating and remembering those who've served the same way they do every year — by working.
That's right — astronauts have to work on Memorial Day. The Expedition 55 crew — Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Cmdr. Anton Shkaplerov; Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai; and U.S. astronauts Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Scott Tingle — will not be taking any days off this weekend, NASA spokesperson Dan Huot told Space.com. More
(Source: Space.com - May 26)
UK WILL BUILD OWN SATELLITE SYSTEM IF FROZEN OUT OF EU'S GALILEO – CHANCELLOR - The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has warned that the UK will build its own satellite navigation system to rival the European Union’s €10bn (£9bn) Galileo project if Brussels carries out its threat to block access.
The European commission has cited legal issues about sharing sensitive information with a non-member state to justify its decision to shut British firms out of the project. The EU has also said it will restrict access to encrypted signals from Galileo. More
(Source: The Guardian - May 26)
ROCKET LAB UPDATES LAUNCH WINDOW FOR FIRST COMMERCIAL MISSION - After a two-month delay to resolve a technical concern, Rocket Lab plans to launch its first commercial mission as soon as June 22, U.S. time, from the company’s rocket base in New Zealand, the company announced Friday.
Rocket Lab has four-hour launch windows available during a 14-day period extending from June 22 through July 5, U.S. time, with the daily window opening at 8:30 p.m. EDT. That translates to 0030 GMT or 12:30 p.m. New Zealand time the following day. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 26)
ORBITAL ATK CYGNUS CARGO SHIP DELIVERS SCIENCE GEAR (AND GOODIES) TO SPACE STATION - An Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station early Thursday (May 24) to deliver more than 3 tons of science gear and supplies — and some goodies for astronauts, too.
NASA astronaut Scott Tingle captured the uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft using the space station's robotic arm at 5:26 a.m. EDT (0926 GMT). It was attached to the an Earth-facing port on the station's Unity module about 3 hours later. The spacecraft is packed with 7,385 lbs. (3,350 kilograms) of science experiments, equipment and basic supplies, like clothing and food, for the station's Expedition 55 crew. But it contained some extra treats for the astronauts, too. More
(Source: Space.com - May 25)
HOW LONG SHOULD A SATELLITE LAST: FIVE YEARS, TEN YEARS, 15, 30? - Satellite manufacturers and operators attending the Space Tech Expo here offered contrasting views on how long satellites should continue to work in orbit.
For years, government and commercial operators sought to extend the life of satellites by sending them into orbit with plenty of fuel and components designed to withstand 15 years of harsh radiation. Now, the market is diversifying. Customers want everything from cubesats built for six-month missions to geostationary communications satellites designed to last decades. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 25)
NEWEST NOAA WEATHER SATELLITE SUFFERS CRITICAL MALFUNCTION - The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released some bad news today: the GOES-17 weather satellite that launched almost two months ago has a cooling problem that could endanger the majority of the satellite’s value.
GOES-17 is the second of a new generation of weather satellite to join NOAA’s orbital fleet. More
(Source: Ars Technica - May 24)
AMATEUR RADIO TRANSPONDERS ON PLANNED CHINESE SATELLITES TO INCLUDE HF - China’s Amateur Radio Satellite organization, CAMSAT, has released some details of three new Amateur Radio satellites that could be launched as early as September. Two of the satellites, CAS-5A and CAS-6, will carry transponders, and one of them will have HF capability.
CAS-5A is a 6U CubeSat. It will an HF/HF (21/29 MHz) mode linear transponder; an HF/UHF (21/435 MHz) mode linear transponder; an HF CW telemetry beacon; VHF/UHF mode linear transponder; a VHF/UHF mode FM transponder; a UHF CW telemetry beacon, and UHF AX.25 4,000/9,600-baud GMSK Telemetry. More
(Source: ARRL - May 23)
RUSSIA TO CREATE ORBITAL INTERNET SATELLITE CLUSTER BY 2025
- Russian Space Systems Company (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) plans to implement a project to create a global satellite communications network, which will require 288 satellites operating in the 870 km orbit by 2025, Company representative and project Head Yuri Mishin said on Tuesday.
"The Efir project envisages an aerospace infocommunications network. This is the project of creating orbital Internet. We plan 288 satellites in the 870km obit. They will form a system expected to start operating in 2025," Mishin said at the presentation titled: "Space Services for the Digital Economy" in Moscow.
(Source: TASS - May 23)
RIDESHARE LAUNCH BY SPACEX SERVES COMMERCIAL AND SCIENTIFIC CUSTOMERS - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket powered by a reused first stage climbed into orbit Tuesday from California’s Central Coast, carrying five satellites to upgrade Iridium’s global messaging service and two research craft to study Earth’s water cycle.
The rideshare mission, arranged between SpaceX, Iridium, and the German research center in charge of launching the Earth science satellites, took off at 12:47:58 p.m. PDT (3:47:58 p.m. EDT; 1947:58 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket climbed through a mostly sunny midday sky, and a marine cloud layer that threatened to obscure viewing of the launch stayed offshore over the Pacific Ocean. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 23)
CHINA'S SPACE AMBITIONS CONTINUE WITH REPORTED LAUNCH OF SATELLITE TO EXPLORE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON - China launched a relay satellite early on Monday designed to establish a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Citing the China National Space Administration, Xinhua said the satellite was launched at 5:28 a.m. (21:28 GMT Sunday) on a Long March-4C rocket from the Xichang launch centre in the southwest of the country. More
(Source: CNBC - May 22)
THIS IS WHAT AMERICA’S NEW SPACE SHUTTLES LOOK LIKE - US astronauts haven’t had their own ride into orbit since the space shuttle was retired in 2011. Two private companies are racing to replace it and become the first to fly astronauts for NASA.
Boeing and SpaceX are being paid billions of dollars to build and operate crewed space capsules that will take humans to the International Space Station. NASA and the two companies recently shared new pictures of the astronauts and their custom spacesuits training for their flights with simulated missions in mock-up capsules. More
(Source: Quartz - May 22)
ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES NASA CARGO TO SPACE STATION IN DAZZLING PREDAWN LIFTOFF - An Orbital ATK Antares rocket pierced the clouds in the predawn sky over Virginia this morning (May 21) with a dazzling predawn launch to deliver more than 3 tons of vital supplies to the International Space Station.
The Antares rocket launched an uncrewed Cygnus cargo ship at 4:44 a.m. EDT (0844 GMT) from Pad-0A of NASA's Wallops Flight Facility here, and successfully reached orbit 9 minutes later. The Cygnus, also built by Orbital ATK, is expected to arrive at the space station on Thursday (May 24). More
(Source: Space.com - May 22)
ORBITAL ATK READIES CARGO SHIP FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - Orbital ATK readied an upgraded Antares rocket for launch Monday from Wallops Island, Va., to deliver more than 3 tons of crew supplies, science gear, spare parts and three small satellites to the International Space Station to test miniaturized, low-cost technologies for Earth observation applications.
The experiments headed for orbit include a quantum physics study that will attempt to cool atoms to a billionth of a degree above absolute zero, another to test a novel technique for separating liquids and one devoted to learning more about how concrete sets up in the absence of gravity. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 21)
QUEQIAO RELAY SATELLITE LAUNCHED AHEAD OF CHANG’E-4 LUNAR MISSION - A Chinese Long March 4C has launched the Queqiao spacecraft – a relay satellite for the upcoming Chang’e-4 lunar mission. Launch occurred from the LC-3 pad at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre (XSLC) at 21:25 UTC.
This latest launch is part of China’s growing ambitions for lunar exploration, which has already achieved numerous successes. Chang’e-1 was launched in 2007 and and Chang’e-2 in 2010.
The previous mission involved the Chang’e-3 probe and Yutu lunar rover. Chang’e is the name of the Chinese moon goddess. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - May 21)
CHINA’S FIRST PRIVATE ROCKET LAUNCH KICKS OFF THE COUNTRY’S COMMERCIAL SPACE RACE - China celebrated the country’s first rocket launch by a private spaceflight company this week. OneSpace Technologies, based out of Beijing, launched its OS-X rocket from an undisclosed location on a suborbital trajectory on Wednesday, reaching a reported altitude of 25 miles and traveling about 170 miles before falling back to Earth. It’s the first demonstration of what the company says will become a scalable business built around sending small satellites into space. More
(Source: The Verge - May 20)
ANTARES ROCKET ROLLS TO VIRGINIA LAUNCH PAD, LIFTOFF DELAYED TO MONDAY - Orbital ATK transferred an Antares rocket and Cygnus supply ship to their launch pad on Virginia’s Eastern Shore late Thursday for a liftoff now targeted for Monday with more than 7,200 pounds of cargo heading for the International Space Station. Riding a self-propelled transporter, the two-stage booster rolled out of Orbital ATK’s Horizontal Integration Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, after nightfall Thursday for the mile-long journey south to pad 0A, where crews planned to hoist the 139-foot-tall (42.5-meter) launcher vertical for final preflight checkouts. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 20)
SPACEX LAUNCH OF NASA AND IRIDIUM SATELLITES DELAYED UNTIL MAY 22 - Two NASA Earth-observation satellites will have to wait a bit longer to get off the ground.
NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission and five Iridium Next commercial communications satellites were scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday (May 19) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. But the seven-satellite liftoff has now been delayed to next Tuesday (May 22). More
(Source: Space.com - May 19)
RUSSIA TO LAUNCH UNMANNED SPACECRAFT TO SPACE STATION FOR FIRST TIME IN AUGUST 2019 - The launch of a Soyuz MS unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) is planned for August 2019, Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, the spaceship’s developer, said on Friday.
This will be the first launch of an unmanned spacecraft to the ISS: previously all Soyuz space vehicles were manned and were used to deliver the crews of new expeditions to the world’s sole orbiter.
Limescale behind yellow water surfacing on International Space Station
"The launch of the Soyuz MS resupply ship aboard a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket is planned for August 2019.
(Source: TASS - May 19)