IMPROVED H2A TO LAUNCH SATELLITE - Japan's H2A rocket No. 29 carrying a Canadian communications satellite will be launched from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on Tuesday afternoon.
The plan is for the improved H2A to send a satellite into stationary orbit. If the operation is successful, it will be the first time for a Japanese rocket to put a commercial satellite into orbit.
For the No. 29 rocket, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for the first time made major changes to the H2A's engineering design in the hopes of attracting more orders for commercial satellite launches. More
(Source: The Japan News - Nov 23)
NASA ORDERS FIRST COMMERCIAL CREW MISSION TO SPACE STATION FROM SPACEX - Restoring America's ability to once again launch US astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from US soil on US rockets took another significant step forward when NASA ordered the first the agency's first commercial crew rotation mission from the Hawthorne, California based-company SpaceX. NASA and SpaceX hope that the blastoff with a crew of up to four astronauts will take place by late 2017.
The new Nov. 20 award from NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP) office to launch the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule follows up on an earlier commercial crew rotation mission award this past May to the Boeing Company of Houston to launch its CST-100 Starliner astronaut crew capsule to the ISS. More
(Source: Universe Today - Nov 23)
CONTACT LOST WITH ISRAELI COMMUNICATION SATELLITE AMOS 5 - Contact has been lost with communications satellite Amos 5, starting at 6: 45 AM Saturday, its operator, Spacecom, announced in a statement Saturday evening. "The Company wishes to clarify, based on the preliminary examinations it carried out, that even if there will be a ‘total loss' (complete failure) of the satellite, this would have a negligible effect on the equity of the company," Spacecom stated.
The Amos 5 satellite was built by Russian manufacturer NPO PM. The four earlier satellites in the Amos series were built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). More
(Source: The Jewish Press - Nov 22)
RUSSIA'S GLONASS-M NAVIGATION SATELLITE PLANNED FOR LAUNCH IN LATE DECEMBER - The Russian navigation satellite Glonass-M is planned for launch from the Plesetsk space center in north Russia in late December, the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems, the satellite developer, told TASS on Friday.
The satellite will be orbited by a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket with the Fregat booster. The Glonass-M satellite, which has No. 51, will replace the satellite that has operated for three years above the warranty term in the Russian navigational orbital grouping, the company said. More
(Source: TASS - Nov 21)
EUROPE TO DEVELOP SATELLITE TO MAP PLANT FLUORESCENCE - The European Space Agency has selected a satellite mission to monitor the health of global vegetation over an atmospheric research project to track carbon in Earth's atmosphere, officials announced Thursday.
The competition pitted the Fluorescence Explorer, or FLEX, against CarbonSat to be the eighth satellite in ESA's Explorer mission line for a launch in 2022.
Scientists recommended ESA proceed with the FLEX mission in September, and the space agency's Earth observation management board approved the selection this month, according to a press release Thursday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 21)
ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE HONOR PARIS ATTACK VICTIMS - The crew of the International Space Station and flight controllers worldwide held a moment of silence this week for the victims of the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks, and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared some remarks in a new video.
The space station personnel joined a stunned and grieving world in the wake of Friday's attacks in Paris, which killed 129 people and injured 352. The space station's six-man crew took part in the tribute on Monday (Nov. 16), NASA officials said. A NASA video chronicling the moment shows American astronaut Kjell Lindgren floating in weightlessness as he paused his science work to observe the moment of silence. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 21)
LAOSAT-1: CHINA LAUNCHES FIRST SATELLITE FOR LAOS ON LONG MARCH 3B - China has launched the first satellite for the Southeast Asian country of Laos on a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.
Laosat-1, which was designed, developed and delivered on-orbit by China, blasted off from Xichang in Sichuan Province at 16:07 UTC Friday (00:07 Beijing time on Saturday, November 21).
29 minutes after lifttoff the satellite had separated from the rocket upper stage and deployed its solar panels. The launch was declared successful at 16:44. More
(Source: gbtimes? - Nov 20)
OA-4 CYGNUS ENCAPSULATED IN PLF IN PREPARATION FOR FLIGHT - Orbital ATK's Cygnus advanced maneuvering spacecraft has been encapsulated into its Payload Fairing (PLF) and is scheduled to launch Dec. 3 on an International Space Station (ISS) resupply run. The mission, called OA-4, will launch from Cape Canaveral's SLC-41 and will be boosted into orbit aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket. The cargo freighter is scheduled to rendezvous with the space station two days later.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Nov 20)
30 SATELLITE LANDMAPPER CONSTELLATION PREPS FOR NEAR TERM LAUNCH - Two Silicon Valley companies, Aquila Space and Astro Digital, are readying for the launch of a two-part, 30-satellite Earth observation constellation next year. The companies are designing a constellation known as Landmapper, comprised of 10 Broad Coverage (BC) satellites and 20 High Definition (HD) satellites to increase the supply of imagery available to customers that are currently users of Landsat data.
The Aquila Space-Astro Digital project is based on the exact spectral properties of Landsat, the joint NASA-United States Geological Survey (USGS) satellite program. More
(Source: Satellite Today - Nov 20)
FLEX SATELLITE WILL MAP EARTH'S PLANT GLOW - The European Space Agency is going to build a spacecraft to map the red glow emitted by Earth's plants.
Known as Flex, the mission was approved by member states on Thursday and will likely launch by 2022.
The satellite will carry a spectrometer to catch the subtle but telltale fluorescence that organisms produce when they engage in photosynthesis.
Scientists say this signal can be used to monitor the condition of croplands and forests.
Changes in the light emission, which is detected in the red and far-red part of the electromagnetic spectrum, will reveal, for example, if vegetation is being stressed, perhaps because of overheating, drought or disease. More
(Source: BBC News - Nov 20)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT MAY NEED TO USE SPACEX FOR ITS NEXT SATELLITE LAUNCH - The key to private space delivery may be terrible geopolitics. SpaceX, the rocket startup from Elon Musk, might soon get to carry its first military payload to space thanks in part to poor relations between the United States and Russia. SpaceX's main competitor, the United Launch Alliance of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, repurposes old Russian rockets to carry cargo into space. More
(Source: Popular Science - Nov 20)
EXPLAINED: WHY ATLAS 5 WILL HAVE LONGER WINDOWS FOR STATION FLIGHTS - Expanding a single instant in time to 30 minutes, the upcoming United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rockets with Cygnus cargo-delivery freighters bound for the International Space Station will have an unprecedented opportunity available to launch each day.
The first of two such launches in a 100-day span from Cape Canaveral, known as the OA-4 mission for Orbital ATK, is scheduled for Dec. 3. The pair of flights will deliver over 15,000 pounds of supplies to the outpost.
The timing for a launch to the station, flying 250 miles above the Earth, is dictated by getting into the orbital plane of the complex for a rendezvous. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 19)
AO-85 COMMISSIONED - AO-85 has been formally commissioned and turned over to AMSAT-NA Operations, who are now responsible for the scheduling and modes.
The following guidelines are provided for users:
Uplink power should be on the order of minimum 200 W EIRP for full quieting at lower antenna elevation angles. Your mileage may vary. With an Arrow, 5 W has been used successfully to make contacts.
Polarity is important. The satellite antennas are linear. So, if you are using linearly polarized antennas, you will need to adjust throughout the pass. Full duplex operation facilitates these adjustments while transmitting and is highly recommended. More
(Source: AMSAT UK - Nov 19)
FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCHED FOR RUSSIA'S NEW MISSILE WARNING NETWORK - Russia launched an early warning satellite Tuesday, deploying the first in a new fleet of military satellites to detect missile launches heading for Russian territory.
The secretive payload blasted off at 0634 GMT (1:34 a.m. EST) aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a military facility in northern Russia's Arkhangelsk region, according to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry.
The launcher flew in the modernized Soyuz-2.1b configuration with an upgraded third stage engine and a digital flight control system. A Fregat upper stage was programmed to fire multiple times to guide the mission's satellite payload, believed to be the first EKS-class missile warning platform, into an elliptical Tundra-type orbit positioned over high latitudes. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 18)
SPACEX WILL LAUNCH THE NEXT GPS SATELLITE, THANKS IN PART TO VLADIMIR PUTIN - It took SpaceX several years of rigorous inspections and a lawsuit to earn the right to bid for US military satellite launches. Now the company looks set to win its first competitive bid-but only after the sole opposing bidder bowed out, citing a US ban on business with Russia. Bidding closed yesterday on a contract to launch a next generation GPS satellite for the Air Force, which will be used for both government and private purposes. More
(Source: Quartz - Nov 18)
RUSSIAN SOYUZ 2.1B TO LAUNCH FIRST SATELLITE FOR EKS EARLY WARNING SYSTEM - Russia is readying a Soyuz-2.1b rocket to launch the first satellite of its newest early warning system called EKS (meaning Unified Space System). The spacecraft, named Tundra, is scheduled to lift off at 2:00 a.m. EST (7:00 GMT) on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from Site 43/4 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, located in Northern Russia.
The satellite will be delivered into a highly-elliptical geosynchronous orbit, called a Tundra orbit. It is a high inclination orbit, usually near 63.4 degrees, and an orbital period of about four minutes less than a solar day. A satellite placed in this orbit spends most of its time over a chosen area of the Earth. Tundra provides higher elevation angles than can be offered by a geostationary orbit.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Nov 17)
SPACE STATION SUFFERS SHORT CIRCUIT, POWER SYSTEM DEGRADED - The International Space Station has taken a power hit, and spacewalking repairs may be needed. First, though, a replacement part must be delivered via rocket.
NASA said Monday the six astronauts were left with one less power channel Friday. A short circuit in equipment on the station's framework is to blame. The short apparently tripped a current-switching device, resulting in the loss of one of eight channels used to power the orbiting lab. The affected systems were switched to alternate lines.
NASA spokesman Dan Huot said the crew has been operating normally and is in no danger.
A similar failure in 2014 required spacewalking repairs. More
(Source: ABC News - Nov 17)
CHINA TO LAUNCH DARK MATTER SATELLITE IN DECEMBER - China is planning to launch its Dark Matter Particle Explorer Satellite, developed to study dark matter and high-energy particles in space, in mid-December after it left Shanghai today for the launch centre in the country's northwest Gansu Province.
Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite left Shanghai with its carrier Long March 2-D rocket and is expected to be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. More
(Source: IBNLive - Nov 16)
UPCOMING ARISS CONTACT WITH KILUUTAQ SCHOOL - An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Kiluutaq School, Umiujaq, Nunavik Quebec, Canada on 17 Nov.
The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 16:47 UTC.
It is recommended that you start listening approximately 10 minutes before this time.The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds.
The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and W6SRJ. The contact should be audible over the west coast of the U.S. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English. More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Nov 15)