ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES ATV-5 EN ROUTE TO THE ISS - Europe's ATV-5 cargo ship has set sail on a 14 day journey to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday. The final ATV mission began when the vehicle's Ariane 5 ES carrier rocket launched the "Georges Lemaître" from the Guiana Space Centre, in Kourou, French Guiana at 23:47 UTC. Arianespace's latest ATV mission in support of International Space Station operations was designated as Flight VA219 in the company's numbering system, and utilized an Ariane 5 ES version of the heavy-lift workhorse. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jul 29)
RUSSIA REGAINS CONTROL OF LIZARD SEX SATELLITE - The Russian space agency has managed to re-establish communication with the Photon-M4 satellite, having lost contact for three days.
The spacecraft was carrying a number of research experiments looking at the effects of microgravity on plants, insects and gecko mating activities. Mission control lost the ability to control the satellite after it had made the first few orbits around Earth, although the team was still receiving telemetry data back from the satellite. More
(Source: Wired.co.uk - Jul 29)
ESA GEORGE LEMAITRE SPACECRAFT SET TO LAUNCH JULY 29 ON ISS TRIP - The European Space Agency (ESA) will launch its fifth and final ATV cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).
The launch is scheduled to occur at 7:44 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Tuesday, July 29; 8:44 p.m. local time in Kourou, French Guiana; 23:44 UTC; 1:44 a.m. in Paris, France; and 3:44 a.m. in Moscow, Russia (on July 30).
The ATV-5 spacecraft will be launched by an Ariane 5 ES rocket, sending over 7 tons of supplies and cargo to the Expedition crew onboard the International Space Station. The Ariannespace mission is called Flight VA219. More
(Source: ITWire.com - Jul 28)
US SAYS CHINA TESTED ANTI-SATELLITE MISSILE - The U.S. says China has tested a missile designed to destroy satellites and is urging Beijing to refrain from destabilizing actions.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the "non-destructive" test occurred Wednesday. She said a previous destructive test of the system in 2007 created thousands of pieces of dangerous debris in space.
Harf said Friday that the continued development and testing of destructive anti-satellite systems threaten the long-term security and sustainability of the outer-space environment that all nations depend upon. More
(Source: Newsday - Jul 26)
GEOSYNCHRONOUS ORBIT SURVEILLANCE SET TO LAUNCH - Twin inspector spacecraft and a microsatellite testbed will share a Delta 4 rocket ride into space Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral. The 205-foot-tall United Launch Alliance booster rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 7:03 p.m. EDT (2303 GMT) from Complex 37.
The countdown begins with final preparations to retract the 33-story mobile service gantry away from the Delta 4 rocket. Once the tower is pulled back around 11 a.m. EDT, pad configuration steps will be completed before the site is cleared of all workers. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 25)
RUSSIAN SATELLITE FAIL LEAVES GECKOS AND FRUIT FLIES LOST IN SPACE - Russia's mission control center has lost communications with a research satellite carrying five geckos, fruit flies and plant seeds less than a week after its launch.
The Photon-M craft - which was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on July 19- continues to transmit "telemetry," or details on the spacecraft's location and performance of its systems, but is not responding to mission control commands, a press release from the Federal Space Agency, or Roscosmos, said Thursday. More
(Source: The Moscow Times - Jul 25)
RUSSIAN CARGO CARRIER BEGINS JOURNEY TO SPACE STATION - A Russian Progress supply ship blasted off on top of a Soyuz rocket Wednesday, kicking off an expedited chase of the International Space Station with 5,700 pounds of food, fuel and supplies. Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan occurred at 5:44:44 p.m. EDT (2144:44 GMT) Wednesday, or 3:44 a.m. local time at the Central Asia spaceport.
The Progress M-24M spaceship's Soyuz rocket fired its kerosene-fueled engines and ramped up to full thrust before four hold-down clamps opened to release the powerful launcher, which climbed into a starry sky and turned northeast from Baikonur to begin its high-speed pursuit of the 450-ton research complex.
The space station was flying 260 miles over northeast Kazakhstan at the time of launch, shortening the trip for the Progress resupply ship. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 23)
NEW LAUNCH DATE SET FOR INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION'S DELIVERY VESSEL - A robot ship will be launched from Kourou, French Guiana, after a five-day delay on July 29 to deliver provisions to the International Space Station, space transport firm Arianespace said Tuesday.
The new date follows "the completion of complimentary verifications and control measures" of the Ariane 5 ES launcher that will bear the vessel aloft, it said in a statement.
The launch will take place at 8:44 pm Kourou time (2344 GMT). The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) dubbed ..
(Source: Economic Times - Jul 22)
INDIA'S VO-52 SATELLITE GOES DARK - Despite efforts to keep the flagging VUSat OSCAR-52 (VO-52) Amateur Radio satellite in operation for a while longer, ground controllers have yielded to the nearly decade-old spacecraft's failing technology and have permanently taken it out of service. Launched into low Earth orbit in 2005, the VO-52 microsatellite carried two Amateur Radio transponders for SSB and CW. B.A. "Mani" Subramani, VU2WMY/KJ6LRS, of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that VO-52's lithium-ion batteries had failed, and the satellite was officially decommissioned on July 21.
"We all here in ISRO do definitely hope that HAMSAT VO-52 worked tirelessly and was a good friend to the Amateur Radio fraternity around the world," he said. "We are sure that HAMSAT was loved by all who worked through her. Though, we are deeply saddened by the loss of HAMSAT VO-52, she will never be forgotten." More
(Source: ARRL - Jul 22)
GEOSYNCHRONOUS ORBIT SURVEILLANCE SET TO LAUNCH - win inspector spacecraft and a microsatellite testbed will share a Delta 4 rocket ride into space Wednesday evening from Cape Canaveral. The 205-foot-tall United Launch Alliance booster rocket is scheduled for liftoff at 7:03 p.m. EDT (2303 GMT) from Complex 37.
The countdown begins with final preparations to retract the 33-story mobile service gantry away from the Delta 4 rocket. Once the tower is pulled back around 11 a.m. EDT, pad configuration steps will be completed before the site is cleared of all workers.
Fueling, which begins in the early afternoon, is a multi-hour process will load the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks on both stages of the rocket. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 20)