NASA BOOKS EARLY SEATS ON COMMERCIAL SPACE FLIGHTS - Two years before planned commercial space taxis are scheduled to make their initial manned test flights, NASA already is in the midst of contracting for operational missions to carry working astronauts into orbit.
A senior National Aeronautics and Space Administration official said the U.S. agency has formally ordered one such flight for Boeing Co. 's CST-100 capsule to transport crew members to the international space station, and is talking with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, about contracting for a similar flight.
Kathryn Lueders, the agency's program manager for commercial crew, also told a space conference here this week that by looking to contract for multiple flights, NASA is "laying the groundwork for the service and the crew rotation missions" that will be needed past the end of the decade. More
(Source: Wall Street Journal - Sep 5)
INDIA TO LAUNCH INDONESIAN SATELLITE ON SEPTEMBER 27 - Indonesia is set to launch a domestically-made satellite from India on September 27, a media report said on Thursday.
The LAPAN A2/Orari satellite was produced entirely in Indonesia by the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) in 2012. It is a successor to LAPAN A1/Tubsat, which was launched in India in 2007, The Jakarta Post reported.
"Today, I'm officially sending off the LAPAN A2/Orari satellite," said President Joko Widodo during the launch ceremony on Thursday.
The satellite will be shipped to India on Friday. It will be launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. More
(Source: NDTV - Sep 4)
CROWDED HOUSE! INTERNATIONAL CREW ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - Three new crewmembers arrived at the International Space Station early Friday morning, boosting the orbiting lab's population to a level not seen since late 2013.
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, the European Space Agency's Andreas Mogensen and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov docked with the space station's Poisk module at 3:39 a.m. EDT (0739 GMT) Friday (Sept. 4), two days after blasting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The hatches separating the two spacecraft are scheduled to open at 6:15 a.m. ET (1015 GMT) Friday, NASA officials said. When that happens, the Soyuz travelers will float aboard the $100 billion orbiting complex, joining the six crewmembers already there - cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka; NASA astronauts Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren; and Japanese spaceflyer Kimiya Yui. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Sep 4)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET BOOSTS NAVY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE INTO SPACE - In a spectacular dawn climb to space, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a high-power Navy communications satellite into orbit Wednesday, the fourth of five planned relay stations providing high-speed smartphone-like capabilities to troops around the world. Running two days late because of concerns about then-Tropical Storm Erika, the Atlas 5's Russian-built RD-180 first stage engine roared to life at 6:18 a.m. EDT (GMT-4) followed by ignition of five solid-fuel strap-on boosters that quickly pushed the rocket away from pad 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. More
(Source: CBS News - Sep 3)
SOYUZ TMA-18M LAUNCHES ON TWO DAY TRIP TO ISS - A Russian Soyuz FG rocket has launched the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft on the latest mission to the International Space Station at 04:37 GMT (00:37 EDT) on Wednesday. Soyuz TMA-18M is delivering one new Expedition crewmember to ISS while the two TMA-18M Flight Engineers will return to Earth with Soyuz TMA-16M on 11 September. Soyuz TMA-18M is an unusual flight to the ISS in that two of the three crewmembers launching aboard the Soyuz will not be staying at the Space Station for an extended duration mission. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Sep 2)
FALCON 9 ROCKET TO BE GROUNDED LONGER THAN EXPECTED - The beginning of November will be the earliest SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket can resume launching after a June 28 failure blamed on a deficient structural support brace inside the the vehicle's second stage, a SpaceX executive said Monday.
The next launch will be the 20th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket and the first with up-rated engines operating at higher thrust levels than previous missions, according to Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer.
"Obviously, we've got a return-to-flight sitting in front of us here coupled with the latest upgrade to the Falcon 9 launch vehicle," Shotwell said Monday at a conference in California sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. More
(Source: SpaceFlignt Now - Sep 2)
FALLING RUSSIAN SATELLITE CREATES MYSTERY LIGHTS IN HAWAII SKIES - A falling Russian satellite created mysterious lights in the sky seen over Diamond Head in Waikiki and across the state Sunday night.
NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office at the Johnson Space Center and the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base believe the Cosmos 1315 satellite fell out of orbit and broke up over Hawaii at 11:02 p.m. local time.
"I was walking the beach in front of Duke's. I looked up and saw this awesome sight," said Gary Cobb, of Arizona, who snapped a smartphone picture of the satellite breaking up over Waikiki. More
(Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser - Sep 1)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET TRAVELS TO LAUNCH PAD FOR WEDNESDAY FLIGHT - Delivering two-and-a-half million pounds of ground-shaking thrust at takeoff, more than any rocket flying from Cape Canaveral these days, the mighty vehicle was rolled from its assembly building to the launch pad Monday for Wednesday's early morning blastoff.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, equipped with five strap-on solid-propellant boosters for added performance, will launch the Navy's MUOS 4 mobile communications satellite at 5:59 a.m. EDT (0959 GMT). The available launch window extends to 6:43 a.m. EDT.
The booster was wheeled out aboard a mobile launcher platform, emerging from the hangar where the rocket's two stages and the payload were integrated over the past few weeks. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 1)
NEXT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CREW LAUNCH SET FOR SEPTEMBER 2 FROM KAZAKHSTAN - Sergei Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (10:37 a.m. Baikonur time).
Mogensen and Aimbetov are short duration crew members while Volkov will spend six months on the orbital complex.
The trio will travel in a Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock two days later to the Poisk module at 3:42 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Sep 1)