ATLAS V ROCKET LAUNCH FROM VANDENBERG AFB DELAYED - A glitch has delayed Thursday night’s departure of an Atlas V rocket and its top-secret spacecraft at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 on South Base will not occur before Saturday, officials said Thursday afternoon.
"The delay allows the team time to replace a faulty battery on the Atlas V booster," ULA officials said in a written statement. "The vehicle and spacecraft remain stable." More
(Source: Noozhawk - Sep 22)
BT GLOBAL SERVICES: LEO, HTS BOOSTING PERCEPTION OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS - Satellites have been the option of last resort for telecommunication companies and their customers in the past decades, according to Renato Goodfellow, head of global satellite at BT Global Services. However, thanks to the development of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite mega-constellations and high-throughput satellites, the technology has a chance to become a less frowned upon element in the larger telecommunications ecosystem.
“Our customers generally loath satellites,” Goodfellow said Sept. 11 at the VSAT Global conference here. “Unless they go to a location in the middle of nowhere, unless they are on the move or in a country whose government might be turning off its telecoms.” More
(Source: SpaceNews - Sep 22)
RUSSIA WILL TEAM UP WITH NASA TO BUILD A LUNAR SPACE STATION - In a major space policy decision, Russia will promise to join a NASA-led effort to build an international human outpost in the vicinity of the Moon. Russian industry sources told Popular Mechanics that the head of Roscosmos State Corporation, Igor Komarov, is expected to announce the news next week during a meeting with other space agencies at the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
NASA and its partner agencies plan to begin the construction of the modular habitat known as the Deep-Space Gateway in orbit around the Moon in the early 2020s. It will become the main destination for astronauts for at least a decade, extending human presence beyond the Earth's orbit for the first time since the end of the Apollo program in 1972. More
(Source: Popular Mechanics - Sep 22)
ECHOSTAR 105/SES-11 SPACECRAFT SHIPS TO FLORIDA FOR UPCOMING SPACEX LAUNCH - It's a good thing that Hurricane Irma is in the past and that Cape Canaveral, Florida is ready to receive this satellite to arrive from Europe. The EchoStar 105/SES-11 spacecraft, built by Airbus Defence and Space for EchoStar, has been shipped from the Airbus facilities in Toulouse, France, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for its forthcoming launch by SpaceX in October. More
(Source: SatNews Publishers - Sep 21)
SPACEX RELEASES BLOOPER VIDEO OF ROCKET FAILURES - The private American company SpaceX has been called a pioneer in the space industry.
SpaceX was the idea of businessman Elon Musk. He wanted to reduce the cost of space travel by reusing rockets over and over again.
At the time, this was a completely new idea. For years, booster rockets that lifted spacecraft into the skies returned to Earth and were discarded at sea.
At first, many scientists and people in the aerospace industry did not take Elon Musk and SpaceX seriously. There were many rocket failures in the company’s early days of testing. More
(Source: Voice of America - Sep 21)
ARISS INVITES PROPOSALS TO HOST AMATEUR RADIO CONTACTS WITH SPACE STATION CREW - The Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program is seeking proposals from US schools, museums, science centers, and community youth organizations to host Amateur Radio contacts in 2018 with a crew member aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The deadline to submit proposals is November 15. Contacts would be scheduled between July 1 and December 31, 2018.
Each year, ARISS provides tens of thousands of students with opportunities to learn about space technologies and space communication via Amateur Radio. The program provides learning opportunities by connecting students to astronauts aboard the ISS through a partnership that includes NASA, ARRL, AMSAT, and worldwide space agencies. More
(Source: ARRL - Sep 21)
NASA SMALL SATELLITE PROMISES BIG DISCOVERIES - Small satellites provide a cheap, responsive alternative to larger, more expensive satellites. As demand grows, engineers must adapt these "nanosatellites" to provide greater data returns. NASA, in collaboration with educational partners, targets 2021 for the launch of an innovative CubeSat that addresses these challenges.
CubeSats consist of standardized cubed units, or U's, typically up to 12U. A 1U CubeSat is 10 cubic centimeters and can weigh as little as three pounds. They launch as auxiliary payloads on existing missions, providing a cost-effective opportunity for small-scale research projects.
(Source: Phys.org - Sep 20)
SATELLITE PHOTOS REVEAL HIDDEN ALPHABET ON EARTH'S SURFACE -
It started with a plume of smoke in the shape of a ‘V’ on an image of Earth taken by one of NASA’s satellites. Soon it grew into an addictive hunt for more letters, made out of glaciers, storms, lakes and craters.
For years, NASA science writer Adam Voiland has been on the lookout for letter-shaped natural phenomena, combing through thousands of satellite images slowly collecting the entire alphabet and chronicling it in an online gallery. It was a hit, and soon Voiland was back for a second round, collecting another entire alphabet, this one all capitals, for a new children’s book, ABCs from Space. More
(Source: National Geographic - Sep 20)
SATELLITES TRACKING POWERFUL HURRICANE MARIA FROM SPACE - A number of satellites are keeping tabs on Hurricane Maria as the dangerous storm churns its way through the Caribbean.
Imagery captured over the past four days by the GOES East satellite, for example, shows Maria strengthening to a Category 5 hurricane — the most powerful type — and slamming into the island of Dominica last night (Sept. 18). Maria is currently a "potentially catastrophic hurricane" moving west-northwest with maximum sustained wind speeds of 160 mph (260 km/h), according to the latest update from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC). More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 20)
DRAGON CAPSULE SPLASHES DOWN IN PACIFIC WITH SPACE STATION CARGO
- Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
Wrapping up the 12th successful round-trip Dragon mission in 13 tries, the automated spaceship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean southwest of Los Angeles around 10:15 a.m. EDT (7:15 a.m. PDT; 1415 GMT) after a final descent under three main parachutes.
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 19)
CHINESE SPACE STATION FREIGHTER CONCLUDES REFUELING DEMO MISSION - China’s Tianzhou 1 freighter, a pathfinder for regular resupply and refueling trips to the country’s planned space station, wrapped up a series of successful propellant transfer tests with the orbiting Tiangong 2 space lab Saturday and detached from the module for more standalone experiments and a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
Chinese space officials said in a statement that the Tianzhou 1 refueling and resupply craft completed its third transfer of propellant to the Tiangong 2 mini-space station in orbit at 0817 GMT (4:17 a.m. EDT) Saturday... More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 19)
CHINA’S OUT-OF-CONTROL TIANGONG-1 SPACE STATION TO CRASH BACK TO EARTH EARLY 2018 - An out-of-control spacecraft will come crashing down to Earth sometime in January or February 2018, a new calculation predicts.
China announced it had lost control of the Tiangong-1 space station in September 2016 and initially thought the spacecraft would fall back to Earth in “late 2017.” Since then, refined estimates have put the date of re-entry at some point between December 2017 and March 2018. More
(Source: Newsweek - Sep 19)
NORTHROP GRUMMAN TO ACQUIRE ORBITAL ATK - Northrop Grumman will acquire Orbital ATK in a $9.2 billion deal announced Sept. 18 that will give the combined company complementary capabilities in space and defense systems.
Under the terms of the deal, Northrop Grumman will pay $7.8 billion in cash and assume $1.4 billion in debt to acquire Orbital ATK. Northrop Grumman is paying $134.50 per share of Orbital ATK stock, a premium of more than 20 percent over the stock’s price of $110 per share at the close of trading Sept. 15. News of the deal was first reported Sept. 17 by the Wall Street Journal. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Sep 19)
CHINA TO LAUNCH FOUR BEIDOU-3 SATELLITES BY THE END OF 2017 -
China-based Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) vice chief designer Ran Chengqi on Saturday said that four Beidou-3 satellites will be launched by late 2017 and a complete global satellites navigation system will be in place around 2020.
The BDS was independently developed and operated by China with a vision to meet the needs of the country's national security and economic and social development. As a space infrastructure of national significance, the BDS provides all-time, all-weather and high-accuracy positioning, navigation and timing services to global users. More
(Source: Doordarshan - Sep 18)
IRAN RELAUNCHES SPACE AMBITIONS AFTER UPROAR OVER SATELLITES - Iran's on-off space programme has received a boost after a recent satellite launch was seen to annoy Washington, with Tehran dusting off plans for a manned mission, perhaps with Moscow's assistance.
"Ten skilled pilots are currently undergoing difficult and intensive training so that two of them... can be selected for the space launch," the head of the science ministry's aerospace research centre, Fathollah Omi, told the state broadcaster last week.
He said the plan was to put humans into suborbital space "in less than eight years". More
(Source: Geo News, Pakistan - Sep 17)
INDIA TO RESUME SATELLITE LAUNCHES BY DECEMBER - India will resume launching satellites in November or December, unfazed by the failure of its rocket in deploying a spare navigation satellite in the Earth's lower orbit on August 31, said a top official on Friday.
"We will resume the launches by November or December, with one of the remote sensing satellites though we are yet to finalise with which," said A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). More
(Source: Times Now - Sep 17)
NASA TV BROADCASTS DRAGON RELEASE EARLY SUNDAY - NASA Television coverage of the departure of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the International Space Station is set to begin early Sunday morning, Sept. 17 at 4:30 a.m. EDT. Watch the spacecraft departure live at http://www.nasa.gov/live
Dragon has been loaded with more than 3,800 pounds of cargo and research to be returned to Earth and its internal hatch closed. The spacecraft is targeted for release at 4:40 a.m. More
(Source: NASA - Sep 17)
NASA'S ROBOTIC 'SNIFFER' CONFIRMS SPACE STATION LEAK, REPAIR - In recent operations on the International Space Station, robotic operators were twice able to test and confirm the ability of the Robotic External Leak Locator (RELL) to "smell" in space.
Using the RELL instruments, operators successfully located a small leak from the station's ammonia coolant loop, and confirmed that it was not a safety concern. Later they were able to return and more precisely characterize the leak. This valuable data helped station operators vent and isolate the leaking line from the coolant loop and successfully stop the leak.
(Source: Phys.org - Sep 16)
THIS ULTRATHIN CRAFT COULD SOON ENVELOP AND DESTROY SPACE JUNK - Think of the latest idea of collecting space junk as something akin to a hungry tiger pouncing on its prey. Aerospace Corporation says its Brane Craft will wrap itself around debris orbiting Earth and drag it back down through the atmosphere, causing it to burn up and never again threaten satellites or astronauts.
The project recently received a second round of funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, which funds far-out ideas that remain years away from launch — if they get there at all. More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 15)