ISRAEL AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES UNVEILS LIGHTWEIGHT SATELLITE - Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) today unveiled the development program of the new AMOS E communications satellite, which is powered by an electrical propulsion system. AMOS E will provide a broad range of communications services including TV broadcasts and broadband Internet. The new satellite weighs only 1.5-2 tons, less than half a regular communications satellite, and is designed to operate for 15 years. IAI announced today that development of the AMOS E has been completed but that the date of its launch into space has yet to be set. More
(Source: Globes - Oct 13)
THIS HUMANOID ROBOT MIGHT TRAVEL TO SPACE TO HELP ASTRONAUTS - German researchers are creating a humanoid robot designed to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
Named AILA, the robot is designed to assist with not-so-complicated, day-to-day tasks so that astronauts can spend their time doing projects requiring more thought.
Like any new hire, AILA will first need to be taught how to perform assignments. After watching a human demonstrate a task, AILA will be able to perform the job herself. More
(Source: Tech Insider - Oct 13)
ATLAS V TO LAUNCH GPS SATELLITE FOR U.S. AIR FORCE FROM CAPE CANAVERAL OCT. 30 - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 will launch the GPS IIF-11 mission for the U.S. Air Force. Date/Site/Launch Time: Friday, Oct. 30, 2015, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Mission Description: GPS satellites serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air. Civilian users around the world also use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location, and velocity information. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Oct 11)
CHINA SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES SATELLITE MADE BY STUDENTS - China has launched a satellite developed by a group of students which is used for global maritime automatic identification and demonstrating information exchanges between satellites in-orbit, state-run media reported today.
The satellite "Nanligong-1", developed by Students in Nanjing University of Technology and Engineering independently has already started transmitting data.
The satellite - carried by a Long March-11 rocket - was successfully launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, state-run People's Daily reported. More
(Source: Economic Times - Oct 11)
INTERNATIONAL DOCKING STANDARD RECEIVES UPDATE - A major update to the station docking system standard has been approved by the International Space Station Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), allowing for multiple types of spacecraft to dock with the orbiting lab.
The International Docking Standard System (IDSS) was first released in 2010 by the MCB. It established a common station-to-spacecraft equipment interface, enabling many types of spacecraft to dock together. It describes the physical features and design parameters of a standard interface without dictating a particular design.
(Source: Space Flight Insider - Oct 11)
AO-85 OSCAR NUMBER ASSIGNED FOR FOX-1A - Willian (Bill) Tynan, W3XO, AMSAT-NA OSCAR Number Administrator has issued the following statement:
I have been informed of the successful launch today, October 8, 2015 of the AMSAT-NA-built Fox-1A CubeSat. I am also informed that the satellite has been heard by several amateurs in various countries.
This successful launch comes after years of diligent and dedicated work on the part of AMSAT-NA volunteers including Tony Momteiro, AA2TX, who became a silent key in March, 2014. It was Tony who spearheaded and guided the work on all AMSAT-NA CubeSats until his untimely passing. Thus, it is only fitting that this spacecraft be dedicated to his memory. More
(Source: Southgate - Oct 9)
US SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHES INTO SPACE ALONG WITH 13 TINY CUBESATS - An American spy satellite and 13 tiny "cubesats" shared a rocket ride to orbit this morning, lighting up the predawn sky over their California launchpad.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket blasted off today (Oct. 8) from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 5:49 a.m. EDT (0949 GMT; 8:49 a.m. local California time), lofting the secret NROL-55 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that operates the United States' spy satellites. You can watch a video replay of the dazzling rocket launch here.
The 13 cubesats tagged along as part of the NRO's GRACE (Government Rideshare Advanced Concepts Experiment) secondary payload. Nine of the tiny spacecraft were sponsored by the NRO, while NASA sponsored the other four. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 9)
INDIA'S GREAT WALL CAN BE SEEN FROM SPACE - A nighttime picture taken from the International Space Station of the boundary between India and Pakistan-visible because of a string of Indian floodlights erected in an effort to prevent militants from crossing into its territory-went viral this week.
The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the frontier was one of only a few visible from space at night. Among the others are the dividing lines between South Africa and Zimbabwe and North and South Korea - both marked by sharp differences in the prevalence of electric lighting on the two sides.
In the case of estranged neighbors India and Pakistan, the Indian floodlights, which extend for more than 1,900 kilometers, limn a boundary that is disputed in places. Fences extend along much of the 3,323-kilometerfrontier as well. More
(Source: Wall Street Journal - Oct 9)
ULA LAUNCHES ATLAS V ROCKET IN CALIFORNIA - The 19-story-tall Atlas V rocket carried a National Reconnasiance Office spacecraft for a mission labeled NROL-55. The miniature spacecraft, sponsored by the NRO and NASA, will test assorted technology and is in support of national defense, ULA officials said.
Thirteen CubeSats also launched aboard the Atlas V rocket aboard the NRO's Government Rideshare Advanced Concepts Experience auxiliary payload. Nine of the CubeSats are sponsored by the NRO, and four are sponsored by NASA. More
(Source: Central Florida News 13 - Oct 8)
CHINA LAUNCHES JILIN-1 MISSION VIA LONG MARCH 2D - China launched four satellites to provide photographs to commercial clients while helping with harvest assessment, geological disaster prevention and resource surveys. The launch of the Jilin-1 mission took place at 04:13 UTC on Wednesday, using a Long March-2D launch vehicle from the 603 Launch Pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center's LC43. The Jilin-1 mission was developed on the China's Jilin Province and is the country's first self-developed remote sensing satellite for commercial use. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 8)
INDIA LAUNCHES FIRST ASTRONOMY SATELLITE - Indian astrophysics got a boost recently when an Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) PSLV rocket launched from Satish Dhawan Space Center on September 28th, placing Astrosat in a low-Earth orbit inclined 6° to the equator. The multi-purpose observatory is equipped to observe the Universe across the X-ray spectrum, accompanied by simultaneous visible and ultraviolet light observations.
Previously, India has lofted X-ray detectors aboard high-altitude balloons and sub-orbital sounding rockets, but this is India's first astronomical satellite. Data from AstroSat will be available to the Indian astronomy community via proposals for observations. More
(Source: SkyandTelescope.com - Oct 7)
EXPERTS: NORTH KOREA'S NOT PREPARING FOR A SATELLITE LAUNCH - Despite recent rumors, North Korea is not preparing for a satellite launch on October 10, when Pyongyang will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its Korean Workers' Party. Recent satellite imagery does not show any launch preparations underway at the Sohae launch facility, said analysts with 38 North, a website providing analysis of North Korean affairs and a program of the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Internationals Studies.
A bit of background first: the idea that North Korea would conduct a satellite launch - regarded by the United States and South Korea as an excuse to test ballistic missile technology - on October 10 emerged in the aftermath of North-South tensions this August. More
(Source: The Diplomat - Oct 6)
FACEBOOK PLANS TO LAUNCH AN INTERNET-BEAMING SATELLITE NEXT YEAR - Facebook plans to launch an Internet beaming satellite into space next year that will bring online access to people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam internet access down into communities from the sky. To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies," CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. Facebook and Eutelsat, a satellite operator, announced their collaboration today on a new satellite called the Amos-6, which will launch into a geostationary orbit next year, beaming Internet into communities that do not otherwise have access. More
(Source: ABC News - Oct 6)
SPACEX PROPOSING COST-EFFECTIVE REUSABLE ROCKETS - As India launches its first observatory in space and Europe places a probe on a comet, SpaceX is hoping to help the U.S. lead the space race with reusable rockets and the kind of raw power not seen since the glory days of the Saturn V.
Earlier this year California-based enterprise SpaceX launched the Dragon, a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying unmanned cargo to the International Space Station. The company has hoped to land the rocket on a floating barge in the ocean but has yet to succeed. Aerospace sources told The Washington Times that SpaceX is aiming to launch again in November, but a representative for the company declined to comment. More
(Source: Washington Times - Oct 6)
REMEMBERING SPUTNIK - THE SATELLITE THAT BEGAN THE SPACE RACE - 58 years ago a tiny satellite was successfully lofted into orbit, firing the opening salvo in what would become the Space Race. Sputnik-1 became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth, a trailblazer for thousands of spacecraft that have since ridden uphill while providing the initiator of technological advances that allowed humans to leave the confines of our planet.
The plan of chief Soviet rocket scientist Sergei Korolev, the concept for Sputnik-1 was presented in 1954, a year prior to President Eisenhower's plans for the United States to launch an artificial satellite during the International Geophysical Year (IGY). More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 5)
AMSAT-NA VP-ENGINEERING ON NASA TV WEDNESDAY - VP-Engineering Jerry Buxton, N0JY will be on the panel at a NASA prelaunch briefing on Wednesday, October 7 at 1800 UT. The briefing will be shown live on NASA TV.
The amateur radio FM transponder CubeSat, AMSAT Fox-1A, will be among 13 CubeSats flying as secondary payloads on the NROL-55 mission which should launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Thursday, October 8, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
NASA will be holding two briefings about the launch. The first on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 1700 UT (1pm EDT) will highlight the growing importance of CubeSats in exploration and technology development. The second at 1800 UT (2pm EDT) will discuss five of the CubeSats. More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - Oct 4)
HURRICANE JOAQUIN EYED FROM SPACE STATION - Astronauts on the International Space Station spied powerful Hurricane Joaquin spinning in the Bahamas in a spectacular photo showing the eye of the storm Friday.
The cyclone was a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph when the picture was taken early Friday, according to NASA. As of 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT) Saturday, the storm is forecast to move northeast from the Bahamas and pass near Bermuda in the next few days. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 4)
ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES MEXICOS MORELOS-3 L-BAND SATELLITE - A U.S. Atlas 5 rocket on Oct. 2 successfully placed Mexico's Morelos-3 mobile communications satellite into geostationary transfer orbit, a launch that will enable Mexico to deploy its MexSat system despite the loss of an identical satellite in May's failure of a Russian Proton rocket.
Operating from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, launch service provider United Launch Alliance notched its 100th mission since its 2006 founding from a merger of rocket operations of its two shareholders, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp.
Morelos-3 builder Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, said the satellite was healthy in orbit and sending signals. More
(Source: Space News - Oct 3)
RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - A robotic Russian cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station this evening (Oct. 1), ending a brief orbital chase.
Russia's uncrewed Progress 61 freighter, also known as 61P, docked with the space station's Zvezda service module at 6:52 p.m. EDT (2252 GMT), while the two craft were zooming together over the North Atlantic Ocean. The cargo vessel, which is stocked with more than 3 tons of food and supplies for the astronauts aboard the orbiting lab, had launched atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just 6 hours earlier. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 3)