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SATELLITE NEWS

NASA LAUNCHES METIS RESEARCH SATELLITE AS PART OF CUBESAT INITIATIVE NASA LAUNCHES METIS RESEARCH SATELLITE AS PART OF CUBESAT INITIATIVE - With help from Nasa, a small research satellite to test technology for in-space solar propulsion has been launched into space. As part of Nasa's CubeSat Launch Initiative, the research satellite was sent aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Wednesday. Called the Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space (METIS), the probe will expose about 100 different materials samples to the space environment for more than 200 days. The beauty of CubeSats is their versatility.   More
(Source: NDTV - May 22)


INDIA TO LAUNCH COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE FOR STRATEGIC APPLICATIONS SOON INDIA TO LAUNCH COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE FOR STRATEGIC APPLICATIONS SOON - India will launch an advanced communications satellite (GSAT-6) in July or August for strategic applications, its space agency chief said on Wednesday. "We will launch GSAT-6 for strategic applications in July-end or August beginning, with a special antenna that will have a capability to use a handheld device to communicate from anywhere," Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar told reporters in Bengaluru. Isro will use a heavy rocket - geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLVA Mark II) to launch the 2-tonne GSAT-6 with 10 special transponders from its spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.   More
(Source: NDTV - May 22)


WATCH THE SPACEX DRAGON LEAVE THE SPACE STATION WATCH THE SPACEX DRAGON LEAVE THE SPACE STATION - Nothing, absolutely nothing, is easy in space, and that includes leaving it, as the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) will be reminded on Thursday morning, May 21, when the Dragon cargo vessel undocks and heads home-a maneuver TIME will live-stream via NASA beginning at 6:45 a.m. ET. Dragon, the 24-ft. (7.3 m) cargo vehicle built by SpaceX, arrived at the ISS on April 17 carrying 5,200 lbs (2,360 kg) of cargo. It is returning after a five-week stay, bringing home 3,100 (1,400 kg) different lbs. of stuff-some of it trash, but a lot of it scientific samples that are part of the extensive biomedical studies being conducted on astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Misha Kornienko as they spend a marathon year in space.   More
(Source: TIME - May 22)


'THE SCIENCE GUY' TALKS ABOUT HIS SPACE SAIL 'THE SCIENCE GUY' TALKS ABOUT HIS SPACE SAIL - In 1976, renowned astrophysicist Carl Sagan brought a weird, reflective prop with him to the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The toy was a mockup of a solar sail-a revolutionary idea for space travel propulsion that eschews fuel. "[It] travels on the radiation and particles that come out of the Sun-the wind from the Sun," Sagan explained to Carson, comparing the technology to how an ordinary sail boat moves through the ocean. Fast forward to today, and Sagan's vision for fuel-less, solar-powered space propulsion is turning into a reality. The Planetary Society, headed by Bill Nye "The Science Guy," is launching its very own version of the solar sail concept, the LightSail, atop an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral.    More
(Source: Popular Science - May 21)


BLASTOFF! X-37B SPACE PLANE AND LIGHTSAIL SOLAR SAIL GO INTO ORBIT BLASTOFF! X-37B SPACE PLANE AND LIGHTSAIL SOLAR SAIL GO INTO ORBIT - A hush-hush military space plane and a widely publicized solar-sail experiment shared a ride into orbit on Wednesday aboard an Atlas 5 rocket launched from Florida. The United Launch Alliance rocket rose from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:05 a.m. ET, carrying an X-37B mini-shuttle for the U.S. Air Force as well as 10 CubeSat nanosatellites that are taking a piggyback ride into space. The spacecraft are to be deployed within hours after launch. One of the satellites, known as LightSail, contains a 32-square-meter (344-square-foot) spread of highly reflective Mylar plastic that will be unfurled within a month to test solar sailing technology.    More
(Source: NBC News - May 20)


WHAT WILL THE X-37B MILITARY SPACE PLANE DO ON ITS NEXT MYSTERY MISSION? WHAT WILL THE X-37B MILITARY SPACE PLANE DO ON ITS NEXT MYSTERY MISSION? - On Wednesday, the United States Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office is set to launch the fourth mission of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle - the military's secretive robotic space plane. The reusable, unmanned X-37B spacecraft will blast off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V booster tomorrow (May 20) at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. You can see a video of how the X-37B will launch. Since April 2010, two X-37B vehicles have chalked up a total of 1,367 days in space on three different missions. On the last flight, which launched in December 2012 and landed this past October, the X-37B set the record for longest mission of a reusable space vehicle: 674 days.    More
(Source: Space.com - May 20)


BILL NYE PREPARES FOR HIS BOLDEST EXPERIMENT YET BILL NYE PREPARES FOR HIS BOLDEST EXPERIMENT YET - The countdown is set for tomorrow's launch of the prototype LightSail satellite, which scientist and television personality Bill Nye hopes will make history by being the first crowdfunded satellite propelled by beams of light to reach orbit. It turns out that Nye, who is also the chief executive officer of the non-profit Planetary Society, learned quite a bit about how to accomplish the monumental task while teaching kids about science on his morning TV show, "Bill Nye the Science Guy," which ran on PBS for five years in the 1990s.   More
(Source: Upstart - May 20)


ALLEGED PLANE HACKER SAID HE 'MESSED WITH' SPACE STATION, SATELLITES ALLEGED PLANE HACKER SAID HE 'MESSED WITH' SPACE STATION, SATELLITES - A computer expert under scrutiny for allegedly hacking a commercial plane bragged in 2012 that he and his colleagues "messed around with" the International Space Station via cyberspace. Chris Roberts, a security professional with One World Labs, told an audience that he "got into trouble for playing with" the Space Station eight or nine years prior. "We adjusted the temperature on it," he told the GrrCON Hacker Conference in response to a question from an audience member. "It was quite fun. We got yelled at by NASA."    More
(Source: The Hill - May 20)


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ORBIT ADJUSTMENT WORKS AFTER FIRST FAILED ATTEMPT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ORBIT ADJUSTMENT WORKS AFTER FIRST FAILED ATTEMPT - For three astronauts aboard the International Space Station, coming back to earth just got a little easier. A second attempt to adjust the ISS orbit was completed Sunday, following a failed attempt Saturday by Russia's space agency, Sputnik International reported. The earlier try to correct the orbit sputtered after the engines on a cargo spacecraft docked to the ISS failed to start. The Russian news agency Tass reported the procedure took 32 minutes and boosted the orbit 2.8 kilometers (1.7 miles).   More
(Source: International Business Times - May 19)


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MAY GET LASER CANNON TO VAPORIZE ORBITAL DEBRIS INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MAY GET LASER CANNON TO VAPORIZE ORBITAL DEBRIS - The International Space Station (ISS) has been forced to alter trajectory numerous times over the years, but not for any scientific of logistical reason - it was necessary to avoid collisions with space junk. The day of simply stepping out of the way could be coming to an end, though. Researchers from Japan's Riken Computational Astrophysics Laboratory have proposed a system that could blast dangerous space debris out of the sky before it comes close to the ISS. Scientists estimate there are nearly 3,000 tons of space junk in orbit of the Earth. These are pieces of rocket boosters, decoupling rings, and smaller objects like screws or paint chips.    More
(Source: ExtremeTech - May 19)



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