SATELLITE THAT WILL FLY ON USED SPACEX FALCON 9 MOVED TO CAPE - The satellite expected to be the first to fly on a used — or “flight proven” — Falcon 9 rocket was transported from France to Cape Canaveral last week.
Manufacturer Airbus Defense and Space shipped the SES-10 communications satellite for Luxembourg-based SES.
SES has entrusted SpaceX with challenging missions before. In December 2013, an SES satellite was the first flown by a Falcon 9 to a geosynchronous orbit high over the equator. More
(Source: Florida Today - Jan 22)
ATLAS 5 ROCKET SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERS VITAL NATIONAL ASSET INTO SPACE - A new infrared reconnaissance satellite for one of the United States’ highest priority space programs — making early detection of enemy missile launches — was successfully delivered into orbit Friday by an Atlas 5 rocket.
The United Launch Alliance booster, flying its its basic two-stage varient, gracefully climbed from Complex 41 at 7:42 p.m. EST (0042 GMT) with the third Space Base Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite, or SBIRS GEO Flight 3.
It capped the fastest-ever launch campaign for the Atlas 5 at just 13 days from the start of stacking until rollout. And, after a one-day delay by a sensor problem and aircraft wandering into restricted airspace, Friday’s seven-hour countdown progressed flawlessly throughout final testing and cryogenic fueling. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 21)
FROM SCHOOL TO SPACE: SATELLITE BUILT BY BRAZILIAN STUDENTS LAUNCHED IN ORBIT - A satellite built by students of a Brazilian middle school was launched into space from aboard the International Space Station on Monday, January 16.
The Tancredo-1 satellite, developed by the students of Tancredo de Almeida Neves Municipal School in the city of Ubatuba, measures only 13 centimeters in diameter and weighs about 700 grams.
Launched into orbit about 400 kilometers above the Earth, the satellite will help study how plasma forms in the atmosphere. More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 20)
‘MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED’: CHINESE ‘HACK-PROOF’ QUANTUM COMMUNICATION SATELLITE PUT INTO SERVICE - The world’s first quantum communication satellite is now officially operational following months of in-orbit testing, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced, saying that performance of the device is “much better” than was initially expected.
The 600+kg Quantum Experiments at Space Scale (QUESS), nicknamed Micius after the ancient Chinese philosopher and scientist, was sent into orbit by China in August, in a bid to develop “hack-proof” communications in an age of ever-increasing cyber espionage. More
(Source: RT - Jan 20)
ATLAS V LAUNCH OF A MISSILE WARNING SATELLITE DELAYED UNTIL FRIDAY - The number of ballistic missiles increased by more than 1,200 over the past five years, according to the Missile Defense Agency, and more than 5,900 are based outside the United States, North Atlantic Treaty Organization member nations, Russia and China.
United Launch Alliance’s 194-foot Atlas V rocket rolled to its Launch Complex 41 pad Wednesday morning with the third satellite in the Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS.
The system is modernizing and replacing the legacy Defense Support Program, which began launching in 1970. More
(Source: USA Today - Jan 20)
SINGAPORE'S FIRST ISS SATELLITE CAN STAY IN ORBIT FOR TWICE AS LONG AS USUAL - Singapore's Nanyang Technological University has successfully launched a satellite from the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time.
The Aoba-Velox III was delivered to ISS by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on a resupply rocket from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex at Tanegashima Space Centre. It's a nanosatellite that deserves special attention for its new thruster technology.
These new micro-thrusters allow the satellite to remain in for space twice as long as other similar satellites, according to the university. More
(Source: CNET - Jan 20)
GEOSCIENTIST-RICH CREW SLATED FOR SPACE STATION NEXT YEAR - In spring 2018, an extraordinary crew for the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to assemble far above our planet, according to a NASA announcement earlier this month. The crew will include two geophysicists, which will make the group exceptional, said Drew Feustel, a seasoned astronaut with a Ph.D. in geological sciences who will serve as a flight engineer for the station’s Expedition 55 and commander for its Expedition 56.
Two geophysicists on one space station crew is hardly the norm. “I believe this will be the first time in history that two geophysicists will be in space together,” Feustel told Eos. More
(Source: Eos - Jan 20)
TELKOM TO LAUNCH US$199.7M SATELLITE IN FEBRUARY - After a delay last year, the country’s largest telecommunication firm, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), plans to launch a new satellite worth US$199.7 million in February.
Called Telkom-3S, the new satellite will be launched from French Guiana in the northern mainland of South America, Telkom chief technology officer Abdus Somad Arief said.
"This satellite will be our third and it will support our voice and data services," he said during the 2017 Internet Retailing Expo Jakarta on Wednesday. More
(Source: Jakarta Post - Jan 19)
NEXT SBIRS MISSILE DETECTION SATELLITE SET FOR LAUNCH - United Launch Alliance (ULA) is set to send the third Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO-3) into space for the U.S. military. The $1.2 billion satellite will be part of a system designed to spot missiles threatening the United States or its allies.
SBIRS GEO-3 encapsulation
SBIRS GEO-3 being encapsulated prior to launch. Photo Credit: Lockheed Martin
The Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft will ride to space atop an Atlas V 401 rocket, the most basic version of ULA’s workhorse rocket, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Liftoff will be during a 40-minute window that opens at 7:46 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2017 (00:46 GMT on Jan. 20, 2017).
The 45th Weather Squadron at the Cape is predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable launch conditions with the only concern being cumulus clouds.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Jan 19)
SPACE-WEATHER FORECAST TO IMPROVE WITH EUROPEAN SATELLITE - Excitement is building over European plans to launch a new space-weather satellite that would drastically improve forecasts of how solar storms will affect Earth.
The European Space Agency (ESA) hopes to send the probe to a gravitationally stable point in space known as Lagrange point 5 (L5) by around 2023, where it would provide a unique, side-on view of streams of charged particles heading towards Earth. The strongest of such eruptions, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), can knock out navigation and communications satellites, interfere with aeroplane navigation systems and disrupt power grids. More
(Source: Nature.com - Jan 19)
NASA LOOKS INTO BUYING MORE RUSSIAN SOYUZ TRIPS TO ORBIT … THROUGH BOEING - NASA is considering a convoluted arrangement to reserve five more seats on Russian Soyuz capsules heading to and from the International Space Station, with the Boeing Co. as the middleman.
The plan to reserve more trips to orbit would give NASA additional breathing room as it waits for Boeing and SpaceX to complete the development of their commercial space taxis.
The first crewed test flights of those space taxis aren’t scheduled to occur until 2018. And in a procurement notice issued today, NASA acknowledged that they are “not expected to begin fully operational flights to the ISS until 2019.” More
(Source: Yahoo News - Jan 19)
RADFXSAT (FOX-1B) LAUNCH MOVED TO LATE AUGUST - AMSAT reports that the launch date for RadFxSat (Fox-1B) has been moved to August 29, 2017. RadFxSat is one of four CubeSats making up the NASA ELaNa XIV mission, riding as secondary payloads aboard the Joint Polar Satellite System JPSS-1 mission.
RadFxSat features the Fox-1 style Amateur Radio FM U/V repeater, with an uplink on 435.250 MHz (67.0 Hz CTCSS) and a downlink on 145.960 MHz. Satellite and experiment telemetry will be downlinked via the “DUV” subaudible telemetry stream and can be decoded with the FoxTelem software. More
(Source: ARRL - Jan 18)
EUGENE CERNAN, LAST MAN ON THE MOON, DIES - Eugene A. Cernan, the last astronaut to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon, has died, NASA said Monday.
He was 82.
"We are saddened by the loss of retired NASA astronaut Gene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon," the US space agency said on Twitter. Cernan was one of fourteen astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He served as as spacecraft commander of Apollo 17, the last scheduled manned mission to the moon for the United States. More
(Source: CNN - Jan 16)
ATLAS V ROCKET SET FOR THURSDAY NIGHT LAUNCH - Mission managers will gather Tuesday to review their readiness for Cape Canaveral's first rocket launch of 2017, a planned 7:46 p.m. Thursday blastoff by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and a U.S. missile warning satellite.
Teams last Thursday hoisted the roughly 10,000-pound spacecraft worth $1.2 billion atop the Atlas V at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41.
The Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System satellite is equipped with infrared sensors to provide early detection and tracking of ballistic missiles. More
(Source: Florida Today - Jan 16)
SIX CUBESATS TO DEPLOY FROM ISS - Masahiro Arai JN1GKZ reports that six CubeSats delivered to the International Space Station by the HTV-6 will deploy from the ISS using the new JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD) on Monday, January 16. The new J-SSOD has four satellite install cases. One satellite install case has 3U space, so the new J-SSOD could deploy twelve 1U CubeSats at a time. More
(Source: AMSAT UK - Jan 15)
JAXA FAILS IN BID TO LAUNCH WORLD’S SMALLEST SATELLITE-CARRYING ROCKET - JAXA terminated a satellite launch in mid-flight Sunday after a communications malfunction forced the space agency to abort ignition of the host rocket’s second stage.
The No. 4 vehicle of the SS-520 rocket series lifted off at 8:33 a.m. from Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture carrying a miniature Earth observation satellite, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said. The rocket was touted as the smallest one capable of launching a satellite.
But the agency aborted ignition of the second stage three minutes into the launch after discovering a glitch in the communications system. The rocket and its tiny payload then tumbled into the sea. More
(Source: The Japan Times - Jan 15)
SPACEX LAUNCHES ROCKET, ITS FIRST SINCE EXPLOSION ON LAUNCHPAD - A Falcon 9 rocket roared into the sky on Saturday carrying 10 communications satellites — a return by SpaceX and its billionaire leader, Elon Musk, to the business of launching satellites to orbit.
But financial details disclosed this past week about the company overshadowed the successful liftoff, raising questions about the viability of Mr. Musk’s long-range plans for SpaceX and his vision of sending people to Mars.
SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, Calif., has been set back since September, when a different Falcon 9 caught fire and exploded on a launchpad in Florida, destroying the rocket and its payload, a $200 million Israeli satellite that Facebook had planned to lease to expand global internet services. More
(Source: New York Times - Jan 14)
SAFETY PANEL CITES CONCERNS OVER SPACEX FUELING PROCESS FOR COMMERCIAL CREW - A NASA safety board recommended in its annual report that the agency closely study the safety issues associated with SpaceX’s fueling plans for Falcon 9 commercial crew missions.
The annual report by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), released Jan. 11, raised the issue of what it calls the “load and go” approach planned by SpaceX to fuel the Falcon 9 rocket with liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants only after astronauts have boarded the Dragon spacecraft.
Traditionally, launch vehicles are fueled hours before launch, and only afterwards do crews board the spacecraft. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 14)
IRIDIUM SATELLITE LOADED ON FALCON 9 ROCKET AHEAD OF PLANNED JANUARY 14 LAUNCH - SpaceX’s first return to active launch status could be only a few days away, as the payload from Iridium has been loaded on to the Falcon 9 rocket that’s set to take it to space on January 14 if all goes well. The launch was postponed from a planned January 9 date on Sunday this week, due to prevailing weather conditions at the Vandenberg Air Force base launchpad.
The new window will provide an opportunity for SpaceX to perform its first launch since a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on a launchpad during preflight fueling on September 1, 2016. More
(Source: TechCrunch - Jan 13)