INDIA TO LAUNCH 6 MORE SATELLITES BY NEXT YEAR END - India will launch six more satellites during 2015-16 of which two would be communication satellites, three navigation satellites and one space science satellite ASTROSAT, parliament was told on Thursday.
In a written reply, Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the prime minister's office, told the Rajya Sabha: "Six more satellites are planned to be launched during 2015-16. These are two communication satellites GSAT-6 and GSAT-15; three navigation satellites IRNSS-1E, IRNSS-1F & IRNSS-1G; and one space science satellite ASTROSAT." More
(Source: NDTV - May 1)
U.S. AIR FORCE PLANS TO LAUNCH 1990S-BUILT WEATHER SATELLITE - The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday said it plans to launch an aging weather satellite at an expected cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent a gap in forecasting capability and provide another competitive launch opportunity for privately held Space Exploration Technologies Inc, or SpaceX.
General John Hyten, who heads Air Force Space Command, and Air Force Secretary Deborah James, said a decision had been made to launch the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) Flight 20 satellite, which was built in the 1990s. More
(Source: Reuters - Apr 30)
RUSSIA GIVES UP ON PROGRESS SUPPLY SHIP DOCKING - Russian flight controllers have given up attempting to salvage a Progress cargo ship loaded with 3 tons of supplies and equipment intended for the International Space Station. Astronaut Scott Kelly, on board the lab for a year-long mission, said Wednesday the Progress will not be docking and instead will plunge back into the atmosphere.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Kelly said the crew was told the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos had determined "the Progress will not be docking and will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere here some days in the future, to be determined. But this Progress is not coming to the space station." More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 30)
MEXICAN SATELLITE LAUNCH GROUNDED FOR ENGINEERING REVIEW - The launch of a Boeing-built Mexican communications satellite on a Proton rocket has been postponed after engineers discovered an anomaly on a similar spacecraft.
The Proton rocket was supposed to blast off Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Centenario satellite, also known as Mexsat 1, remains safely perched atop the 19-story rocket at the launch pad, according to International Launch Services, the U.S.-based firm which manages commercial Proton missions.
ILS said in a statement Monday that the launch was "postponed in order to investigate an anomalous condition discovered on another spacecraft and to re-confirm the flight worthiness of the Centenario satellite." More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 29)
A RESUPPLY MISSION TO THE SPACE STATION IS IN TROUBLE. WHAT WILL THE ASTRONAUTS DO? - The six astronauts aboard the International Space Station are having a little trouble getting new supplies.
An uncrewed Russian cargo capsule carrying 6,000 pounds of food and other supplies for the space station is currently spinning out of control in orbit. The problem? Two of its five antennas haven't unfolded, which has prevented Roscosmos (the Russian space agency) from fully taking control. Right now the craft, which was launched Tuesday and is named Progress, is stuck in a lower orbit than planned - and could get dragged downward by Earth's atmosphere and burn up in a few days. More
(Source: Vox - Apr 29)
U.N. SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW NEPAL BEFORE AND AFTER EARTHQUAKE - As rescue crews in Nepal expanded their rescue and search operations on Monday, the U.N. released before and after satellite images that show how the city of Kathmandu and other areas were devastated by the earthquake. As The Post's Annie Gowen and Rama Lakshmi reported, at least 4,200 people lost their lives in the disaster. More
(Source: Washington Post - Apr 28)
THAT'S NO MOON! SPACECRAFT MISTAKEN FOR NEW NATURAL SATELLITE - For 13 hours today, Earth had a new moon - or so we thought. Now astronomers have realised that an apparent small asteroid orbiting our planet is actually the European Space Agency's Gaia space telescope.
The International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Centre (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, keeps records of all the tiny space rocks in the sky and publishes new observations from around the world. This morning, MPC's Gareth Williams posted a description of 2015 HP116, seemingly an asteroid about a metre across that was spotted in a geocentric orbit by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Maui, Hawaii, last week. More
(Source: New Scientist - Apr 28)
FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCHES, CARRYING TURKMENISTAN SATELLITE - A Falcon 9 rocket is now heading to space, carrying the first satellite for Turkmenistan.
Skies over Cape Canaveral Air Force Station have been overcast all day Monday, and there was only a 60 percent chance of favortable conditions during the 90-minute launch window. It was almost an hour before the weather cleared enough for the rocket to launch.
On board the Falcon 9 rocket is a nearly 10,000-pound communications satellite built by Thales Alenia Space for the country of Turkmenistan, in central Asia. It's that country's first national satellite telecommunications system. More
(Source: News 13 Orlando - Apr 28)
ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES SICRAL 2 AND THOR 7 TELECOMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES - Europe's Ariane 5 heavy-lift rocket on April 26 successfully placed two telecommunications satellites - one military, one commercial - into geostationary transfer orbit, the Arianespace launch consortium said.
The launch, which had been delayed from mid-April for two unrelated anomalies relating to the rocket, is the first of what Arianespace hopes will be at least six, and perhaps seven, Ariane 5 flights in 2015 as the company juggles launch manifests for the Soyuz medium-lift and the Vega small-satellite launcher in addition to Ariane 5. More
(Source: Space News - Apr 27)