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RUSSIA FORMALLY COMMITS TO STATION THROUGH 2024 RUSSIA FORMALLY COMMITS TO STATION THROUGH 2024 - Russia has formally notified its International Space Station partners that it will continue in the partnership at least to 2024, ending several months of doubts that were fueled by the current poor state of Russia's relations with the West. The 22-nation European Space Agency confirmed that the Russia space agency, Roscosmos, had notified ESA and the other partners of its commitment to 2024, a decision that followed similar guarantees by NASA - the station's general contractor - and the Canadian Space Agency.   More
(Source: Space News - Jul 30)

INDIA'S ADVANCED WEATHER SATELLITE INSAT-3D COMPLETES TWO YEARS IN ORBIT INDIA'S ADVANCED WEATHER SATELLITE INSAT-3D COMPLETES TWO YEARS IN ORBIT - INSAT-3D is an exclusive mission designed for enhanced meteorological observations and monitoring of land and ocean surfaces for weather forecasting and disaster warning, ISRO said. The satellite was launched by European rocket Ariane VA214 flight from French Guyana on July 26, 2013. INSAT-3D is the first Indian geostationary satellite, equipped with sounder instrument that provides frequent good quality atmospheric profiles (temperature, humidity) over the Indian land mass and adjoining areas, it added. The main objective of the INSAT-3D mission is to provide high quality observations for monitoring and prediction of weather events as well as for the study of climate.   More
(Source: Zee News - Jul 29)

SKYNET 5A SATELLITE STARTS MOVE EASTWARDS SKYNET 5A SATELLITE STARTS MOVE EASTWARDS - Airbus Defence and Space has announced that the planned 67,000 km move of the Skynet 5A satellite over the Asia Pacific region is on track. The move from 6 degrees East to 94.8 degrees East will expand Airbus Defence and Space's capability to provide protected and secure military satcom services to allied governments in the Asia-Pacific region. The satellite will be on station at its new location in the autumn this year. Airbus Defence and Space announced the planned move of Skynet 5A military communications satellite at the Satellite 2015 Conference in March 2015.    More
(Source: Space Daily - Jul 29)

DMSP SATELLITE'S BREAK-UP LINKED TO BATTERY FAILURE DMSP SATELLITE'S BREAK-UP LINKED TO BATTERY FAILURE - Investigators have traced the cause of an in-space disintegration of a U.S. Air Force weather satellite in February to a battery fault and identified six other spacecraft in orbit prone to the same failure. Engineers originally suspected the polar-orbiting satellite's power system was to blame for the Feb. 3 explosion, which littered low Earth orbit with 147 objects ranging from the size of a baseball to the size of a basketball, according to an Air Force press release. A report from engineers investigating the break-up of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 13, or DMSP F13, spacecraft revealed the probable cause of the failure was a compromised wiring harness inside a battery charger aboard the satellite.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 28)

SENTINEL 5P: SATELLITE TO TACKLE POLLUTION SENTINEL 5P: SATELLITE TO TACKLE POLLUTION - A small satellite spacecraft, made in the UK is set to go into space next April. It will monitor pollution in the atmosphere to help work out which countries are causing the biggest problems to planet earth. It's taken 6 months to build and a year to test. Now Sentinel 5P as the satellite is called, is off for it's final four months of testing in France They'll make sure the satellite can survive it's take off and up to 5 years in space. The satellite will operate 824 kilometres up in orbit and take readings from the around the world every hour and a half. It'll give a global picture of where pollution is the worst with special instruments which measure levels of certain chemicals and pollutants.    More
(Source: BBC News - Jul 27)

CHINA LAUNCHES 2 SATELLITES AS IT BUILDS GPS RIVAL CHINA LAUNCHES 2 SATELLITES AS IT BUILDS GPS RIVAL - China launched two new satellites into space Saturday, state media reported, as it builds a homegrown satellite navigation system to rival the US's Global Positioning System. A rocket carrying the satellites was launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province at 8:29 pm (1229 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said. The satellites are the 18th and 19th launched by China as it develops its domestic navigation system Beidou, or Compass. They take the total number launched this year to three.   More
(Source: NDTV - Jul 26)

CHINA'S SPACE PROGRAM: 2016 SATELLITE LAUNCH TO SUPPORT MANNED MISSIONS, RESEARCHERS SAY CHINA'S SPACE PROGRAM: 2016 SATELLITE LAUNCH TO SUPPORT MANNED MISSIONS, RESEARCHERS SAY - China's space program and research ambitions have continued to reach new heights Thursday, when Chinese researchers announced plans to launch a retrievable scientific research satellite in the first half of 2016. The SJ-10 satellite was set to run a series of tests that would aid scientists back on Earth conducting research in microgravity and space life science, project chief Hu Wenrui said according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. The data collected from the tests were expected to eventually be implemented to support manned space missions, as well. The satellite would specifically administer 19 experiments in 6 different scientific disciplines: microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material science, space radiation effect, microgravity biological effect and space biological techniques. The satellite would return to Earth after 12 days of orbit in a re-entry capsule. The program was also reportedly planning to launch a satellite for quantum science experiments and an X-ray telescope to study black holes within the next two years.   More
(Source: International Business Times - Jul 25)

MOSCOW COULD BE PREPPING FOR SPACE WAR WITH AGGRESSIVE NEW SATELLITES MOSCOW COULD BE PREPPING FOR SPACE WAR WITH AGGRESSIVE NEW SATELLITES - The Kremlin says its nimble new satellites are just for communications. But they look-and act-an awful lot like prototype weapons. On Christmas Day in 2013, a rocket blasted off from the Russian Federal Space Agency's Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow. The 95-foot-tall, 118-ton Rokot booster-an unarmed version of a Cold War nuclear-tipped missile-lanced into low orbit, shedding spent stages as it climbed. Seventy-five miles above the Earth's surface, the Rokot's nose cracked open and its payload spilled out. The rocket carried Rodnik communications satellites, according to Russian officials.   More
(Source: Daily Beast - Jul 24)

NEW NOAA SATELLITE TAKES PICTURE OF EARTH 1 MILLION MILES AWAY NEW NOAA SATELLITE TAKES PICTURE OF EARTH 1 MILLION MILES AWAY - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's newest satellite has reached orbit and it serves a purpose different from the typical weather satellite. Launched back in February, the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, will be used primarily for solar wind measurements. The satellite will also send back pictures of earth on a frequent basis. Satellite pictures shown in First Alert weather forecasts are taken by different satellites that are part of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system, known simply as GOES. These satellites orbit the earth 22,500 miles above the ground and provide resolution up to one kilometer.   More
(Source: NBC Connecticut - Jul 24)

ROCKET LAUNCHES MILITARY SATELLITE FROM CAPE CANAVERAL ROCKET LAUNCHES MILITARY SATELLITE FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - A satellite that will add to the "backbone" of military communications is on its way to orbit after a Thursday night blastoff atop a powerful Delta IV rocket. Launching just before sunset, the 217-foot United Launch Alliance rocket roared from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 37 with 1.6 million pounds of thrust, assisted by four solid rocket motors. The rocket punched through a layer of low, darkening clouds, then into sunlight that captured its exhaust plume in a brilliant white glow as it arced on a southeasterly trajectory. The solid motors could be seen twinkling as they tumbled from the rocket as planned less than two minutes into flight.   More
(Source: USA Today - Jul 24)

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