WHO WILL BUY THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION? - As early as 2023, and by 2024 at the latest, Russia intends to abandon the International Space Station. And not only that, they're taking their half of the station when they go.
That leaves America and its astronauts in somewhat of a bind because, as Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin recently pointed out, "the Russian segment [of the ISS] can exist independently from the American one, but the American segment cannot exist without the Russian."
So, what will America do when its most important roommate moves out of the space apartment next decade? More
(Source: Motley Fool - Aug 29)
DRAGON SPACECRAFT SPLASHES DOWN WITH STATION RESEARCH SPECIMENS - A SpaceX-owned Dragon cargo craft left the International Space Station on Friday and flew back to Earth for a parachute-assisted splashdown in the Pacific Ocean with a dozen mice and more than 3,000 pounds of experiment specimens and space hardware.
The homecoming concluded a 37-day stay by the Dragon spacecraft at the orbiting research lab. The unpiloted supply ship launched from Cape Canaveral on July 18 and arrived at the station two days later.
Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi took control of the space station’s robotic arm to release the Dragon cargo capsule at 6:11 a.m. EDT (1011 GMT) as the complex sailed 251 miles over the Timor Sea north of Australia. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 26)
CIA WANTS TO TRAIN A.I. TO UNDERSTAND SATELLITE PHOTOS - On a clear day, the sky hides nothing from space.
For more than half a century, spy satellites have circled the globe, taking pictures of the world below. First launched by the United States and the Soviet Union as ways to keep tabs on each other, satellite photography progressed from a state secret to a common mapping tool, with public photos taken from space available to anyone with an internet connection. But what if satellites did more? What if, instead of just showing us what the world looks like from above, they interpreted those images to identify buildings and other objects? More
(Source: Popular Science - Aug 26)
SPACEX DRAGON SPACECRAFT LEAVING SPACE STATION FRIDAY: WATCH IT LIVE - Early Friday morning (Aug. 26), SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spaceship will separate from the International Space Station, ferrying essential science specimens on a nearly 6-hour journey back to Earth.
You can watch the spacecraft leave the station live online on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. NASA's coverage begins at 5:45 a.m. EDT (0945 GMT), and astronauts are scheduled to release the spacecraft from the station's robotic arm at 6:10 a.m. EDT (1010 GMT).
Afterward, in a deorbit burn and landing process that will not be aired on NASA TV, the uncrewed Dragon will move a safe distance away from the station... More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 26)
INTELSAT CELEBRATES DOUBLE SUCCESS WITH ARIANE 5 LAUNCH - Two U.S.-built Intelsat communications satellites destined for different missions fired into space from French Guiana just after sunset Wednesday, vaulting due east over the Atlantic Ocean before separating from their Ariane 5 launcher right on target in geostationary transfer orbit.
Running 21 minutes late after a boat ventured into restricted waters in the Atlantic Ocean, the dual-payload mission took off at 2216:08 GMT (6:16 p.m. EDT; 7:16 p.m. French Guiana time) from the ELA-3 launch pad at the French-run Guiana Space Center quickly climbed into the sky atop 2.9 million pounds of thrust, then steered eastward and picked up speed. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 25)
ESA’S PROBA-3 SATELLITE TO CREATE ITS OWN SOLAR ECLIPSE - A new satellite will launch to form a solar eclipse on its own. The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced its plan to launch the Proba-3, a double satellite that would allow them to induce solar eclipses. The satellite will be launched in 2019 with the goal of studying the Sun's corona.
According to ESA officials, the Proba-3 will be composed of an "occulter" satellite will fly 150 m ahead of a second" coronagraph satellite, which will cast a precise shadow to reveal the "ghostly tendrils" of the corona - the sun's outer atmosphere - down to a measurement of 1.2 solar radii. More
(Source: Nature World News - Aug 25)
TINY STELLENBOSCH SATELLITE READY FOR LAUNCH FROM ISS - Cape Town - It is ready, set, go for a nanosatellite developed in Stellenbosch that will be launched along with 49 others from the International Space Station (ISS) early in 2017.
Weighing just 2kg, the ZA-Aerosat was developed by at Stellenbosch University's electronic systems laboratory by the university's engineers and incubation company CubeSpace.
It was the only satellite to form part of the international QB50 project.
The project involves launching 50 satellites, each smaller than a shoebox, from the space station to gather research on the largely unexplored lower thermosphere, between 200km and 400km above Earth. More
(Source: News 24 - Aug 25)
FACEBOOK’S INTERNET SATELLITE SET TO BLAST INTO ORBIT SEPT. 3 - Facebook’s first satellite, which would beam Internet service from space to unconnected residents of Africa, is scheduled to blast off Sept. 3 aboard a rocket launched by SpaceX, billionaire Elon Musk’s commercial space company.
French satellite operator Eutelsat confirmed the launch date Wednesday, tweeting that the satellite would deliver a “powerful new broadband platform for Eutelsat and #Facebook in Africa.”
Facebook representatives declined to comment, instead citing CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s October post announcing the Menlo Park company’s deal with Eutelsat and its plans to beam Internet access from space to “large parts of West, East and Southern Africa.” More
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 25)
ARIANESPACE TO LAUNCH TWO INTELSAT COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES INTO ORBIT - Arianespace is in the final stage of preparations to conduct its sixth mission of the year by launching two Intelsat communications satellites into orbit on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The spacecraft, designated Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36, will take to the skies from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 booster. The launch window starts at 5:55 p.m. EDT (21:55 GMT) and extends for 45 minutes.
The launch campaign started in mid-July with the arrival of the satellites in French Guiana. Intelsat 33e was shipped to the Guiana Space Center on July 21, while Intelsat 36 arrived at the center four days later.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Aug 23)
GOES-R WEATHER SATELLITE ARRIVES FOR NOVEMBER LAUNCH - The first in a new generation of national weather satellites arrived Monday on the Space Coast in preparation for a November launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
An Air Force C-5 transport plane touched down at 3:16 p.m. on Kennedy Space Center's three-mile shuttle runway with GOES-R, the latest satellite in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites program.
The first in a four-spacecraft series projected to cost nearly $11 billion through 2035, NOAA says GOES-R represents "a giant leap forward in technology" compared to predecessors, promising to improve forecasting of hurricanes and other weather. More
(Source: Florida Today - Aug 23)
HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY TO FO-29! - FO-29, known as JAS-2 (Japan Amateur Satellite #2) prior to launch, was built by the Japan Amateur Radio League and launched on August 17, 1996 from Tanegashima Space Center on an H-II launch vehicle into a 1,323 km x 800 km orbit with an inclination of 98.5 degrees.
In addition to a 100 kHz wide analog Mode V/u (JA) transponder, the satellite also includes a packet BBS and digitalker. While the packet BBS and digitalker are non-functional, the analog transponder continues to
provide excellent service to the present day. More
(Source: South Gate - Aug 22)
ISRO TO LAUNCH FOUR KEY SATELLITES IN NEXT THREE MONTHS; ALSO REVEALS PLANS FOR 2020 MISSION TO SUN! - There seems to be no limit to space investigations, it seems. Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellite centre, Mylswamy Annadurai, has revealed that the space organisation is planning to launch four more key satellites in the coming three months.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a private college function here on Saturday, Mr Annadurai said that India has launched 10 satellites between August 2015 and August 2016, adding, four more launches-INSAT-3DR and SCATSAT-1 on September this year, GSAT-18 in October and ResourceSat-2A in November 2016, have been planned by the space body that is working for a tight schedule of 70 satellite launches in the next three years, Deccan Chronicle reported. More
(Source: Zee News - Aug 22)
SCIENTISTS MAKE INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY USING SATELLITE IMAGES - It’s one of the most vexing problems on this planet, and a new discovery by scientists could have a huge impact on millions of people suffering from poverty in the world. Researchers have created an algorithm that uses satellite imagery to provide detailed breakdowns of where impoverished people are in the world, allowing us to better figure out how to allocate resources where they are most needed.
Researchers at Stanford University have created a deep-learning algorithm that allows computers to spot signs of poverty just by using satellite images — for example, by checking the condition of roads to see if the infrastructure is in disrepair, according to a statement. Up until now, such technology had been used to track crop conditions and deforestation, but now it could help us avoid wasting precious resources in the fight against poverty. More
(Source: BABW News - Aug 22)
SPACE VIRTUAL REALITY WILL SOON LET YOU EXPERIENCE ORBITING EARTH - If you’ve ever wondered how it actually feels to fly above Earth and look down at the amazing planet we call home, you’ll soon be able to do that from the comfort of your living room.
Overview 1, the world’s first virtual reality cube satellite, plans to beam high-definition live images of Earth and space to a VR headset near you next year.
“We’re going to offer virtual reality content, live to people from space. Anyone will have the opportunity to sit down and put on any VR headset and be immediately immersed in the majestic beauty of space,” said SpaceVR founder and CEO Ryan Holmes. “You’ll be able to see the Earth against the stars, and I’m sure that will give it a depth to the experience.” More
(Source: Huffington Post - Aug 21)
SPACE STATION CREW INSTALLS A NEW FRONT DOOR FOR SPACEX AND BOEING SPACESHIPS - The International Space Station now has a door that will let crews float in from the commercial space taxis that SpaceX and Boeing are building, thanks to a nearly six-hour spacewalk.
NASA spacewalkers Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins installed the Boeing-built door, known as an International Docking Adapter or IDA, with an assist from the station’s robotic arm. This was the fourth spacewalk for Williams, and the first for Rubins.
The 5-foot-wide IDA was hooked up to one of the ports on the station’s Harmony module – a port that was originally designed for use by the now-retired space shuttle fleet. Analogous to an electrical-plug adapter, the IDA fits over the port to provide a standard interface... More
(Source: GeekWire - Aug 21)
GARBAGE ORBITING EARTH CAN PULVERIZE SATELLITES. HOW TO CLEAN UP? HERE ARE SOME IDEAS - Space junk is getting worse. Could the answer be smart plastic wrap?
That concept, being investigated by Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo, involves blasting thousands of tiny, flat spacecraft into orbit. There they would find and hug the bits and pieces of failed satellites and rockets, dragging them into the atmosphere to burn up.
There are more than 7,000 metric tons of material in the near-Earth space environment, said J.C. Liou, NASA chief scientist for orbital debris. It can slam into a operating satellite or spacecraft at about six miles per second — faster than a speeding bullet — which means that even debris the size of a sand grain could prove catastrophic. More
(Source: Los Angeles Times - Aug 20)
DELTA 4 SUCCESSFULLY SOARS TO THE HIGH GROUND TO DEPLOY TWO PATROL SATELLITES - The 375th Delta rocket doubled the size of the Air Force’s “neighborhood watch” program today with the successful launch and deployment of two surveillance satellites into the vast geosynchronous belt of spacecraft around the planet.
Evolved from its humble beginnings 56 years ago to today’s modern Delta 4 rockets, the 206-foot-tall vehicle produced 1.1 million pounds of thrust to launch at 12:52 a.m. EDT (0452 GMT) from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37.
The mission: Carry twin Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites 22,000 miles above the Earth in a complex ascent that required three firings by the upper stage and lasted more than six hours. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 20)
ASTRONAUTS TAKING SPACEWALK TO INSTALL NEW SPACE STATION DOCKING PORT TODAY: WATCH LIVE - First-time flier Kate Rubins and veteran spacewalker Jeff Williams will venture outside the International Space Station this morning (Aug. 19) to install a massive, crucial piece of machinery: a vital new docking port that will allow private space taxis to link up with the station on future missions.
The spacewalk is slated to begin at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT), NASA officials said during a news briefing. You can watch the spacewalk live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
This spacewalk marks a first for Rubins, and the fourth of Williams' career. The two astronauts plan to spend about 6.5 hours outside the station installing this new heavy piece of machinery, known as an International Docking Adapter (IDA), which arrived at the station on July 20 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 20)
AIR FORCE SENT GSSAP SATELLITE TO CHECK ON STALLED MUOS-5 - The U.S. Air Force said Aug. 18 it sent one of its high-orbiting space surveillance satellites to check on a Navy communications satellite that ran into propulsion problems about halfway to geosynchronous orbit.
Following a June 24 launch, the fifth satellite in the Navy’s next-generation narrowband communications constellation, known as the Mobile User Objective System, had been expected to reach geosynchronous orbit and a test location about 35,400 kilometers above Hawaii by July 3.
But the Navy said the satellite “experienced a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system,” five days into a 10-day climb, halting the transfer maneuver that would push the satellite from its initial elliptical launch orbit to geosynchronous orbit. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Aug 19)