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SATELLITE NEWS

RADIO CONTACT LOST WITH SAMSAT SATELLITE LAUNCHED FROM VOSTOCHNY SPACEPORT RADIO CONTACT LOST WITH SAMSAT SATELLITE LAUNCHED FROM VOSTOCHNY SPACEPORT - The nanosatellite SamSat-218 that was placed into orbit during the first launch from Russia’s new Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur region has failed to establish radio contact with the mission control, a source in the Russian rocket and space industry told TASS on Wednesday. "No radio contact with the satellite has been available since the launch time, most probably, because it failed to switch on after orbiting," the source said. According to him, a joint meeting of representatives of the Samara State Aerospace University and the Samara-based JSC Progress State Research and Production Space Rocket Center that created the spacecraft will be held on Wednesday.    More
(Source: TASS - May 5)


SPACEX PUSHES BACK JAPANESE SATELLITE LAUNCH BY A DAY SPACEX PUSHES BACK JAPANESE SATELLITE LAUNCH BY A DAY - SpaceX has delayed the launch of a Japanese communication satellite by a day because it anticipates inclement weather. The JCSAT-14 satellite was built in California and transported to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was scheduled to launch early Thursday, May 5. The new launch window begins at 1:21 a.m. EDT Friday. The satellite will provide broadcast, data and Internet service for Asia, Russia, Oceania and the Pacific Islands. The Falcon 9 completed a static fire test this past weekend, ensuring the rocket is ready for launch from Space Launch Complex 40.   More
(Source: Central Florida News 13 - May 5)


PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES THE ISS LOOKING LIKE THE USS ENTERPRISE PHOTOGRAPHER CAPTURES THE ISS LOOKING LIKE THE USS ENTERPRISE - Dumitrana, Romania-based astrophotographer Maximilian Teodorescu recently got his hands on an 1800mm f/12 Maksutov telescope and decided to put it through its paces this past weekend. He decided to test out the imaging quality by using it to photograph the International Space Station passing in front of the moon in broad daylight. The beautiful photograph above is what he ended up capturing. In the past Teodorescu had captured a number of photographs of the ISS’ silhouette passing on front of the Sun or the Moon...   More
(Source: Petapixel.com - May 4)


SCIENTISTS SCRAMBLING TO TRACK ARCTIC SEA ICE AFTER KEY SATELLITE SENSOR DIES SCIENTISTS SCRAMBLING TO TRACK ARCTIC SEA ICE AFTER KEY SATELLITE SENSOR DIES - The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on the planet, driving sea ice to record lows and threatening iconic species from polar bears to walruses and harp seals. Demonstrating the increased precariousness of America's Earth observing satellite capabilities, the malfunctioning of a single sensor on a Defense Department spacecraft is forcing scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado, to scramble to put a backup system in place.    More
(Source: Mashable - May 4)


UK WINS SATELLITE CONTRACT TO 'WEIGH' EARTH'S FORESTS UK WINS SATELLITE CONTRACT TO 'WEIGH' EARTH'S FORESTS - British industry is to lead the construction of a satellite that will weigh all the world's trees. The Biomass mission's novel space radar will make 3D maps of forests, improving our understanding of how carbon is cycled through the Earth system. Its data will be important for climate research, and will create a baseline for treaties that seek to monitor the status of global forest resources. The spacecraft is to be assembled by the UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space. It signed a contract with the European Space Agency (Esa) on Friday last week valued at €229m (£179m).   More
(Source: BBC News - May 4)


THIS SATELLITE USES SPECIAL GLUE TO STICK TO SPACE DEBRIS LIKE FLYPAPER THIS SATELLITE USES SPECIAL GLUE TO STICK TO SPACE DEBRIS LIKE FLYPAPER - Space debris—fragments of old satellites and rockets that remain in space—poses an epic threat to satellites and spacecrafts currently in orbit. Proposals to eliminate it have so far included everything from harpoons to lasers. Singapore-based startup Astroscale has a different idea. It reckons it could use a satellite equipped with a specially configured adhesive—whose chemical structure the company is keeping secret—to trap and destroy rogue bits of space waste. The contraption would basically work a bit like flypaper. As well as working on grabbing space debris, the startup is also working on tracking space waste. “In March, after a series of tests, we finally made a glue that manages to trap bits of space debris while withstanding harsh space environments,” said Miki Ito...   More
(Source: Motherboard - May 3)


3 WEATHER OBSTACLES THAT SPACEX FACES WHEN LAUNCHING ROCKETS INTO SPACE 3 WEATHER OBSTACLES THAT SPACEX FACES WHEN LAUNCHING ROCKETS INTO SPACE - SpaceX is preparing to launch another rocket into space, and as they do so, they will be monitoring the weather carefully to make sure that it does not interfere. The launch is slated for Thursday, May 5. The weather can be one of the most unpredictable factors when it comes to sending rockets into space as launch dates are set weeks in advance, too far out for meteorologists to predict exact conditions at the moment of takeoff accurately. If any aspect of the weather is unfavorable, SpaceX will postpone the launch and wait until the weather improves. In most cases, this means pushing the launch back one or two days.   More
(Source: Accuweather.com - May 3)


PATRIARCH KIRILL CONGRATULATES RUSSIAN COSMONAUTS ON EASTER PATRIARCH KIRILL CONGRATULATES RUSSIAN COSMONAUTS ON EASTER - Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has contacted with the International Space Station (ISS) to congratulate Russian cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko, Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka on Easter. "For me the conversation with cosmonauts is always a joyful and inspiring event. Twice a year I have such a possibility - with the use of technical means to see you in a working atmosphere," the Patriarch said, noting that the work of the cosmonauts is "very important for all people of the Earth." The well-coordinated work of the multi-national team of the International Space Station is an example of cooperation in achieving goals and repelling threats, Patriarch said.    More
(Source: TASS - May 2)


AIST-2D AND SAMSAT-218 SATELLITES AIST-2D AND SAMSAT-218 SATELLITES - Two Russian satellites AIST-2D and SamSat-218 operating in the Amateur bands were launched on April 28, 2016 at 02:01 UT on a Soyuz 2-1A launch vehicle from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome located in the Amur Oblast. The satellites were placed into a 471 km × 485 km orbit with a 97.3° inclination. AIST-2D weighs 500 kg and is a technology demonstration and scientific research satellite developed at Samara Aerospace University. The 3U CubeSat SamSat-218 was developed by students at the Samara State University and weighs just 4 kg.   More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - May 1)


TOMSK-TPU-120 CUBESAT CELEBRATES UNIVERSITY ANNIVERSARY TOMSK-TPU-120 CUBESAT CELEBRATES UNIVERSITY ANNIVERSARY - The Russian Tomsk-TPU-120 CubeSat is different from other CubeSats – it has a handle! The 3U CubeSat was launched from Baikonur to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel. It will be deployed by hand during a future Russian spacewalk (EVA), which is why it has a handle. The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University to test new space materials technology and will be the world’s first space vehicle with a 3D-printed structure. In May 2016 Tomsk Polytechnic University celebrates its 120th anniversary. As part of the celebrations on May 10-11 Tomsk-TPU-120 will be activated in the ISS and will transmit a greeting to Earth inhabitants, recorded by students of the university in 10 languages.   More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - May 1)


JAPAN ABANDONS COSTLY X-RAY SATELLITE LOST IN SPACE JAPAN ABANDONS COSTLY X-RAY SATELLITE LOST IN SPACE - Japan's space agency has abandoned its efforts to restore the operations of a multimillion-dollar satellite that was to probe the mysteries of black holes using X-ray telescopes. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency announced Thursday that it would stop trying to fix the satellite after determining that it was "highly likely" that its two solar arrays had broken off at their bases. Contact was lost with the satellite on March 26, more than a month after its launch from southern Japan on Feb. 17.   More
(Source: SFGate - May 1)


SPACEX ROCKET PREPARING FOR LATE-NIGHT SATELLITE LAUNCH SPACEX ROCKET PREPARING FOR LATE-NIGHT SATELLITE LAUNCH - paceX this week is preparing for a late-night launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Japanese communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. As of late Saturday, liftoff with the JCSAT-14 satellite owned by SKY Perfect JSAT, Asia’s largest satellite operator, was planned around 1 a.m. Thursday, at the opening of a two-hour window at Launch Complex 40. The mission aims to send the spacecraft built by Space Systems Loral to an orbit 22,300 miles above the equator, where it will deliver TV programming, broadband connections and mobile phone service in Japan, Asia, Oceania, Russia and the Pacific region for at least 15 years.   More
(Source: Florida Today - May 1)


RUSSIA DELAYS SPACE CREW'S RETURN TO EARTH RUSSIA DELAYS SPACE CREW'S RETURN TO EARTH - Russia's space agency on Friday announced that the return to Earth of three astronauts currently on the International Space Station will be delayed by nearly two weeks in June. "The landing of the... Soyuz TMA-19M is scheduled for June 18, 2016," the Roscosmos space agency said in a statement, after it was initially planned for June 5.   More
(Source: Space Daily - May 1)


FIRST BATCH OF IRIDIUM NEXT SATELLITES GOOD TO GO FOR JULY SPACEX LAUNCH FIRST BATCH OF IRIDIUM NEXT SATELLITES GOOD TO GO FOR JULY SPACEX LAUNCH - Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on April 28 said the contracting team for its second-generation Iridium Next constellation had put past delays behind it and would be ready for a first launch of 10 satellites in late July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. McLean, Virginia-based Iridium said the launch date could slip by a few weeks, depending on SpaceX’s management of its busy manifest. But satellite prime contractor Thales Alenia Space of France and Italy, and Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia, which is handling the satellites’ assembly, integration and test, will have 10 satellites ready for the July rendezvous.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 30)


PH SATELLITE DIWATA-1 NOW IN SPACE PH SATELLITE DIWATA-1 NOW IN SPACE - The long wait is over as the Diwata-1 is finally sent out to space to begin her 20-month-long journey. Diwata-1, officially named the Philippine Earth Observation Microsatellite, was released into orbit at exactly 7:45 p.m., Wednesday(Manila time), from the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM), nicknamed “Kibo,” where it was housed since it reached the International Space Station on March 26. The release of Diwata-1 into space was met with much jubilation by the Philippine delegation in Japan, led by Science Undersecretary for Research and Development Amelia Guevarra.    More
(Source: Inquirer.net - Apr 28)


RUSSIA’S BRAND NEW COSMODROME LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER ROCKET RUSSIA’S BRAND NEW COSMODROME LAUNCHES FIRST-EVER ROCKET - Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome has conducted its first space launch on Thursday. A Soyuz rocket boosted three scientific and distance viewing satellites into orbit. The lift-off took place at 5:01am Moscow time (2:01am GMT) and some 8 minutes 44 seconds into the flight the Volga upper stage carrying three satellites successfully separated from the Soyuz rocket. All three satellites launched on the Soyuz rocket have been successfully deployed to their specified orbits.    More
(Source: RT - Apr 28)


INDIAN LAUNCH ROUNDS OUT DOMESTIC NAVIGATION NETWORK INDIAN LAUNCH ROUNDS OUT DOMESTIC NAVIGATION NETWORK - India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle blasted off Thursday with the seventh and final spacecraft for a regional navigation network to provide position data to users across the subcontinent independent of foreign satellite systems. The PSLV took off from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India’s east coast at 0720 GMT (3:20 a.m. EDT), or 12:50 p.m. local time, Thursday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 28)


INDIA'S NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCH: COUNTDOWN PROGRESSING SMOOTHLY INDIA'S NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCH: COUNTDOWN PROGRESSING SMOOTHLY - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to launch an Indian rocket with the country's seventh navigation satellite and the countdown has already begun on Tuesday morning The 51 hour, 30 minute countdown for the launch of 44.4 metre, 320 tonne Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System-IRNSS-1G is scheduled for Thursday is progressing smoothly, ISRO said on Wednesday. According to the ISRO, the progressing status of the countdown for the launch of India's navigation satellite is expected to blast off at 12.50 pm on Thursday.   More
(Source: Zee News - Apr 28)


SPACEX WINS ITS FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH FOR THE US AIR FORCE SPACEX WINS ITS FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH FOR THE US AIR FORCE - SpaceX has been awarded an $87.2 million contract from the US Air Force to launch a military GPS satellite in May 2018, Space News reports. It will be the first national security launch SpaceX performs for the Air Force, since the company was authorized to launch military satellites in May 2015. "It was practically guaranteed that SpaceX would win" It was practically guaranteed that SpaceX would win the contract because the company was bidding unopposed. The only other spaceflight company authorized to launch military satellites is the United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed Martin.   More
(Source: The Verge - Apr 28)


NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY COMMERCIAL TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY COMMERCIAL TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Five years after the lastNASA astronauts flew from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station, a new group is preparing for a trip, this time on a private spacecraft. On Tuesday, veteran astronauts Eric Boe and Sunita Williams used touch-screen simulators to practice docking Boeing Co.'s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft with the space station during a training session near Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The simulator, called the Crew Part-Task Trainer, helps prepare astronauts and flight controllers for missions, flight conditions and situations including the rendezvous and docking with the space station.   More
(Source: CBS News - Apr 28)