SUPPLIES DELIVERED TO SPACE STATION BY DRAGON CARGO CRAFT - A Dragon cargo craft closed in on the International Space Station on Tuesday after a two-day pursuit following Sunday's launch from Cape Canaveral, delivering more than 2.5 tons of supplies for scientists and the lab's residents. A habitat with 20 mice, a commercially-made 3D printer, and a $26 million NASA instrument to aid hurricane research -- plus gear for more than 250 other experiments -- arrived inside the Dragon supply ship.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst took control of the space station's Canadian-built robotic arm to grapple the 12-foot-diameter gumdrop-shaped cargo capsule at 6:52 a.m. EDT (1052 GMT) Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 23)
SPACEX SUPPLY SHIP TAKES OFF WITH ANIMALS, CRITICAL CARGO - SpaceX launched a Dragon supply ship packed with mice, an experimental 3D printer, a hurricane research instrument, and a bundle of crew provisions on a two-day pursuit of the International Space Station with a thunderous middle-of-the-night sendoff from Cape Canaveral on Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket booster. Running a day late after Cape Canaveral was inundated with rain showers early Saturday, the experiment-laden Dragon spaceship lifted off at 1:52 a.m. EDT (0552 GMT) after late night clouds dissipated, clearing a route for the 208-foot-tall Falcon 9 launcher to fly into orbit.
A nine-engine first stage powered the Falcon 9 into a starry sky, generating 1.3 million pounds of ground-shaking thrust and an orange plume of rocket exhaust as the booster disappeared from view of spectators. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 21)
SPACEX FALCON 9 LAUNCH SET FOR EARLY SUNDAY -
A second attempt to launch the Falcon 9 is set for 1:52 a.m. Sunday, but weather stands at 40 percent favorable, according to the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron.
There is a chance of violating the thick cloud rule and flight through precipitation rule.
If Sunday's early-morning launch is also scrubbed, there's another opportunity to launch the Falcon 9 rocket at 1:04 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23. More
(Source: News 13 Orland - Sep 20)
LOCKHEED MARTIN SUCCESSFULLY MATES NOAA GOES-R SATELLITE MODULES - A team of technicians and engineers at Lockheed Martin has successfully mated together the large system and propulsion modules of the first GOES-R series weather satellite at the company's Space Systems facilities near Denver, Colorado. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R) is NOAA's next-generation geostationary weather satellites.The system module of the A2100-based satellite houses more than 70 electronics boxes that comprise the three major electrical subsystems; command and data handling, communication, and electrical power. The propulsion core contains the integrated propulsion system and serves as the structural backbone of the satellite.
(Source: Phys.Org - Sep 20)
FCC GREENLIGHTS IRIDIUM PLAN FOR DEORBITING ITS 1ST-GENERATION CONSTELLATION - Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications' request that U.S. regulators loosen requirements for deorbiting the current Iridium satellite constellation will still permit the company to bring down all of its satellites within a few years of their retirement, company officials said.
And for most of the satellites, the post-retirement deorbit plan remains what it was from the start: They will be lowered to an elliptical orbit low enough to force them into the atmosphere to burn up within months, not years.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which licenses Iridium's operations, approved part of the company's deorbit modification request for as many as 10 satellites, and rejected the request for similar dispensation for the entire 66-satellite constellation. Company officials said they have no problem with the FCC decision. More
(Source: SpaceNews.com - Sep 19)
EXPERTS SAY FIREBALL ABOVE ROCKIES WAS RUSSIAN SPY SATELLITE - A fireball that broke apart in the sky above the Rocky Mountains on Sept. 2 was not a meteor, as witnesses first believed. It was likely a Russian spy satellite.
What was originally described as three "rocks" glowing red and orange as they moved slowly northward across the night sky between New Mexico and Montana was in fact Russia's Cosmos 2495 reconnaissance satellite, experts told the Associated Press. A meteor would have burned too rapidly and couldn't have been seen over such a wide swath of the United States, said the American Meteor Society's operations manager Mike Hankey. More
(Source: TIME - Sep 18)
MYSTERIOUS SATELLITE LAUNCHED FROM FLORIDA BY ATLAS 5 ROCKET - Rocketing through gloomy skies with a payload clouded in a veil of secrecy, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket fired away from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday to deploy a satellite thousands of miles above Earth.The 189-foot-tall booster, glistening in frost from tens of thousands of gallons of super-cold cryogenic propellant, lit its Russian-made RD-180 engine and lifted off at 8:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0010 GMT Wednesday).
Riding a plume of rocket exhaust, the Atlas 5 rocket climbed through clouds left over from a series of evening thunderstorms that forced a two-hour, 26-minute weather delay. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 17)
BOEING, SPACEX SHARE $6.8 BILLION CREW CONTRACT - Aerospace giant Boeing and newcomer SpaceX will share $6.8 billion in NASA contracts to build commercial space taxis to fly astronauts to and from the space station starting in 2017, ending reliance on Russia for access to low-Earth orbit and kick starting a new era of commercial space transportation, agency officials said Tuesday. Boeing will receive a $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCAP) contract to continue development of the company's CST-100 capsule while SpaceX will receive $2.6 billion to press ahead with work to perfect its futuristic Dragon crew craft. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 16)
THE LITTLE-KNOWN SOVIET MISSION TO RESCUE A DEAD SPACE STATION - The following story happened in 1985 but subsequently vanished into obscurity. Over the years, many details have been twisted, others created. Even the original storytellers got some things just plain wrong. After extensive research, writer Nickolai Belakovski is able to present, for the first time to an English-speaking audience, the complete story of Soyuz T-13's mission to save Salyut 7, a fascinating piece of in-space repair history. More
(Source: Ars Technica - Sep 16)
NEXT ANTARES SET TO LAUNCH FROM WALLOPS TO ISS IN MID-OCTOBER - Orbital Sciences Corp. is scheduled to launch its third operational mission, called Orb-3, from Wallops Island to the International Space Station on the evening of Oct. 18.
An Antares rocket is expected to blast off no earlier than 10:14 p.m. from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore, spokesman Keith Koehler said Monday. The unmanned rocket will carry a Cygnus space freighter filled with cargo for the space station crew.
Because the Antares is a medium-lift booster, its launch is visible from throughout Hampton Roads as well as the mid-Atlantic region, weather permitting. More
(Source: Daily Press - Sep 15)