NASA TV LIVE BROADCASTS TUESDAY SPACEWALK - Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA will venture outside the International Space Station for a 2.5-hour contingency spacewalk Tuesday, May 23. The spacewalk will begin about 8 a.m. EDT, with complete coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at 6:30 a.m.
Whitson and Fischer will replace a critical computer relay box that failed on Saturday, May 20. The relay box, known as a multiplexer-demultiplexer (MDM), is one of two units that regulate the operation of radiators, solar arrays and cooling loops. They also will route commands to other vital station systems and install a pair of antennas to enhance wireless communication. More
(Source: NASA - May 23)
INDIAN ROCKET THAT US ONCE ‘GROUNDED’ WILL PUT ISRO-NASA SATELLITE IN SPACE - In 1992, the US under President George Bush had slapped sanctions on Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and prevented Russia from sharing cryogenic engine technology with the Indian space agency so as to check India from making missiles.
Two decades later, US space agency Nasa has joined hands with Isro to co-develop the world's most expensive earth imaging satellite that will cost the two countries over $1.5 billion. The irony is GSLV, which is likely to place this Nasa-Isro Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite into orbit in 2021, is the same rocket for whose cryogenic engine the US put sanctions on India.
(Source: Times of India - May 22)
SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCHER SET FOR FIRST ORBITAL TEST FLIGHT THIS WEEK - The first test flight of Rocket Lab’s commercially-developed Electron launcher was held up by weather Sunday, but conditions could improve for a launch attempt Monday from New Zealand to place an instrumented rocket stage into Earth orbit in a demonstration of the company’s low-cost delivery system for lightweight satellites.
The two-stage rocket’s launch window opens at 2100 GMT (5 p.m. EDT) Sunday, or 9 a.m. Monday in New Zealand, but officials caution the test flight could blast off any time through June 1. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 22)
NASA PLANS EMERGENCY SPACEWALK ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A pair of astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Tuesday for an emergency spacewalk to replace a failed computer, one of two that control major U.S. systems aboard the orbiting outpost, NASA said on Sunday.
The primary device failed on Saturday, leaving the $100 billion orbiting laboratory to depend on a backup system to route commands to its solar power system, radiators, cooling loops and other equipment. More
(Source: Reuters - May 22)
RUSSIA JUST REACTIVATED 3 MYSTERY SATELLITES - AND WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHY THEY EXIST - Three Russian satellites that were sent into low orbit in 2013 are on the move again, and no one knows what they are for, The Daily Beast reports.
Having been idle for more than a year, one of the satellites went hundreds of metres off its orbit last month to within 1,200 metres of a piece of a Chinese weather satellite that China smashed in a 2007 anti-satellite rocket test. The manoeuvre, which is pretty impressive for such a small spacecraft, is also rather close by orbital standards. More
(Source: ScienceAlert.com - May 22)
INDIA TO ENTER HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ERA WITH ISRO'S NEW SATELLITES - Despite overtaking the US last year to become the world's second largest internet user base after China, India is still behind many Asian countries when it comes to internet speed. But things are set to change in the next 18 months when Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to usher in an age of high-speed internet in the country with the launch of three communication satellites.
Speaking to TOI, Isro chairman Kiran Kumar said, "We will launch three communication satellites. More
(Source: Times of India - May 21)
WISH UPON AN ARTIFICIAL STAR: JAPANESE STUDENTS TO SEND LED SATELLITE INTO ORBIT - Students from Japan’s Aichi University are planning to launch “an artificial star” into space, a device they say will be visible from Earth. The ultra-small cube-shaped satellite will be sent into orbit onboard the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) H-2A rocket, Asahi.com reports. The satellite, which weighs around 1.65kgs (3.6lbs) and measures 10cm (0.3ft) on each side, will and will be fitted with eight beam-type LEDs and 24 wide-angle LEDs that can be activated using an amateur radio. More
(Source: RT - May 21)
CQ MAGAZINE HONOURS BRITONS INVOLVED IN ASTRO PI PROJECT - Radio amateurs David Honess, M6DNT, and Tim Peake, KG5BVI / GB1SS, have been inducted into the prestigious CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame
The CQ Amateur Radio Hall of Fame honours those individuals, whether licenced hams or not, who have made significant contributions to amateur radio; and those amateurs who have made significant contributions either to amateur radio, to their professional careers or to some other aspect of life on our planet.
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - May 21)
SPACE DEBRIS AND THE PRICE OF BEING A PIONEER - Scientists will tell you, "Space debris is an urgent issue. We've got novel technology to deal with it. But we can't get the funding." It's a lot like climate change. But do we really want to wait until it's too late? Pioneers carry a heavy burden. Everything is new and you're the first to try them out. If you fail, it's moon dust on your face. And those who follow will follow you with the benefit of being able to learn from your mistakes. More
(Source: Deutsche Welle - May 20)
SOYUZ ROCKET ORBITS SATELLITE FOR AIRBORNE NAVIGATION AND CONNECTIVITY - A commercial SES communications satellite on the way to an operating post over the Americas rode into orbit from French Guiana aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket Thursday, embarking on a mission to help airline travelers stay connected and improve air navigation over the United States.
Powered exclusively by xenon-fed electric thrusters, the SES 15 satellite could last up to 18 years, beaming in-flight wifi to airline passengers, giving pilots and air traffic controllers more accurate GPS navigation data, and supplying capacity to television broadcasters. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 19)
WEEK’S LAST CUBESATS DEPLOYED AS CREW STUDIES SPACE HEALTH - The week’s final set of CubeSats were deployed today from outside the Japanese Kibo lab module’s airlock. Inside the International Space Station, the Expedition 51 crew continued exploring microgravity’s effects on muscles, bone cells and vision.
Over a dozen CubeSats were ejected into Earth orbit this week outside the Kibo module to study Earth and space phenomena for the next one to two years. Today’s constellation of tiny satellites will explore a variety of subjects including hybrid, low temperature energy stowage systems and the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere known as the thermosphere. More
(Source: NASA - May 19)
HOW BUILDING SATELLITES IN ORBIT WILL CHANGE OUR FUTURE IN SPACE - Satellites lead a double life.
Our sats are designed to survive in two very different environments: the microgravity of orbit and the intense forces of a rocket launch. But the extensive support structures they need to endure the brutal trip off-planet are useless once the launch is over. And what's more, having to build satellites this way limits their effectiveness in orbit because it restricts the size of components like transmitters and solar arrays, as well as the choice of materials that can be used in construction. More
(Source: Popular Mechanics - May 18)
INDIAN TEEN BUILDS WORLD'S 'LIGHTEST SATELLITE' - An Indian teenager has built what is thought could be the world's lightest satellite, which will be launched at a Nasa facility in the US in June.
Rifath Shaarook's 64-gram (0.14 lb) device was selected as the winner in a youth design competition.
The 18-year-old says its main purpose was to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre.
Rifath told local media his invention will go on a four-hour mission for a sub-orbital flight. More
(Source: BBC News - May 18)
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION’S ORBIT RAISED BY 350 METERS - The Mission Control Center has carried out a maneuver to increase the average altitude of the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS), the center’s press service told TASS.
"The maneuver has been completed," the press service said. The correction maneuver began at 00.35 Moscow Time and lasted for 13 seconds. It was carried out with the help of engines of the Zvezda service module.
(Source: TASS - May 18)
RUSSIA PLANS TO END DEPENDENCE ON U.S. SATELLITES FOR COMMUNICATION WITH ISS - - Russia plans to end its dependence on U.S. satellites for communications with the International Space Station.
Currently, the Russian segment of the station is in direct contact with Russian controllers only when the station is passing over Russian ground stations, relying the rest of the time on NASA satellite links.
The head of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems company said that Ku-band links between the Russian segment and the Luch family of relay satellites should be in place by the end of this year.
(Source: SpaceNews - May 17)
JAPAN MULLS SEVEN-SATELLITE QZSS SYSTEM AS A GPS BACKUP - SEE MORE AT: - The Japanese government is considering adding an additional three satellites to the country’s domestic navigation system in order to ensure that it would work with or without the U.S.’s GPS system.
Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System, or QZSS, currently calls for four satellites, of which only one is in orbit.
Colonel Shinichiro Tsui, a counsellor in Japan’s Cabinet Office, said here that the next three QZSS satellites are all scheduled to launch this year, followed by service activation in 2018. Those satellites, provided by manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric, would augment GPS signals, Tsui said, honing their positioning accuracy from sub-meter to centimeters. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 16)
SPACEX LAUNCHES SATELLITE ATOP FALCON 9 ROCKET -
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“We’ve had good orbits, good separation, all you can ask for today,” SpaceX engineer John Insprucker said on the company’s launch webcast.
The mission completed Inmarsat’s $1.6 billion, four-satellite Global Xpress constellation, designed to provide high-speed, global broadband service to mobile users from airplanes and ships to the U.S. military. SpaceX did not try to land the rocket's first stage, reserving all its performance to deliver the heavy satellite on its way to an orbit more than 22,300 miles over the equator. More
(Source: USA Today - May 16)
NASA LAUNCHED SPY SATELLITES ON THE SPACE SHUTTLE, BUT THAT SHOULDN'T BE A SHOCK - NASA and the U.S. military weave a tangled web.
Ostensibly, NASA is run by civilians. Its astronauts aren't active duty service members and NASA officials aren't military either. However, if you examine the history of the space agency, it becomes clear that the reality is more complicated. More
(Source: Mashable - May 15)
SSL SATELLITE BUILT FOR BULGARIA SAT ARRIVES AT CAPE CANAVERAL FOR FOR FALCON 9 LAUNCH - Space Systems Loral (SSL),a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, has announced that the BulgariaSat-1 satellite, designed and built for Bulgaria Sat, an affiliate of Bulsatcom, which is a leading telecommunications company and the largest provider of pay-TV services in Bulgaria, has arrived at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it will be launched aboard a space-proven Falcon 9 vehicle provided by SpaceX.
BulgariaSat-1 will be Bulgaria's first satellite. SSL is a subsidiary of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates, Ltd., a global communications and information company. More
(Source: Space Daily - May 15)