SPACEX'S DRAGON CARGO CAPSULE ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - SpaceX's robotic Dragon cargo spacecraft has rendezvoused with the International Space Station to deliver vital supplies, bringing a three-day orbital chase to an end.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti grappled the Dragon capsule with the space station's huge robotic arm at 6:55 a.m. EDT (1055 GMT) Friday (April 17), securing the commercial capsule to the Earth-facing port of the Harmony module.
Cristoforetti and the other five crewmembers aboard the orbiting lab will soon begin offloading the 4,300 lbs. (1,950 kilograms) of food, scientific experiments and other supplies that Dragon brought up from Earth. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 17)
RUSSIA TO BUILD OWN SPACE STATION BY 2023, SAYS - Russia plans to build its own orbiting space station by 2023, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a marathon call-in session with the nation.
"By 2023, we plan to create our own national space station in orbit," Putin said.
"This is something far-off in the future, but also necessary for us from the point of view of our national economy."
Russia and NASA recently agreed to keep operating and financing the International Space Station at least until 2024, but future joint space projects remain in doubt, as relations between Russia and the US have plunged to post-Cold War lows over the Ukraine conflict.
(Source: Phys.org - Apr 17)
CHINESE ASAT TEST WAS "SUCCESSFUL": LT. GEN. RAYMOND - We've known for some time that China conducted an anti-satellite test July 23 last year, but we learned today that that test was "successful" even if it didn't destroy anything.
China has successfully placed low earth orbit satellites at risk, Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond told an overflow audience at the annual Warfighters Lunch at the Space Symposium here. "Soon every satellite in every orbit will be able to be held at risk," the head of the 14th Air Force said.
China has claimed the test was for missile defense and noted that nothing was destroyed in the test. Raymond clearly wanted to dispel that impression and make certain everyone in the space community knew that China had executed another ASAT test and that it had worked. More
(Source: Breaking Defense - Apr 16)
U.S. SATELLITE LAUNCHER GETS FIRST VULCAN ROCKET REQUEST: CHANGE THE NAME - Hours after unveiling its next-generation "Vulcan" rocket, the company that launches most of America's satellites, United Launch Alliance (ULA), ran into its first problem - the rocket's name.
"Vulcan is a trademark of Vulcan Inc. and we have informed ULA of our trademark rights," Chuck Beames, president of the Paul Allen-backed Vulcan Aerospace, told Reuters.
"Paul Allen and Vulcan were early leaders within space exploration with the launch of SpaceShipOne more than a decade ago. We are flattered by ULA's tribute to our legacy by naming their new rocket 'Vulcan'," Beames said. More
(Source: Reuters - Apr 15)
SPACEX'S DRAGON SPACE CAPSULE NOW VISIBLE IN NIGHT SKY: HOW TO SEE IT - Skywatchers across parts of the United States and southern Canada have a chance to see a Dragon capsule built by the private spaceflight company SpaceX "chase" the International Space Station across the sky this week ahead of a Friday morning rendezvous. SpaceX launched the Dragon cargo ship into orbit on Tuesday (April 14) during its sixth commercial cargo mission for NASA. The spacecraft blasted off at 4:10 p.m. EDT (2016 GMT) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is carrying more than 2 tons of supplies for the space station's six-person crew. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 15)
SPACEX LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL BUT HISTORIC BOOSTER ROCKET LANDING FAILS AGAIN - SpaceX on Tuesday launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying an uncrewed cargo spacecraft called Dragon on a flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to the International Space Station.
That was the easy part. In a difficult bid to land a rocket stage on a floating barge for the first time, the private space exploration company was unsuccessful. More
(Source: CNN - Apr 14)
SPACEX FALCON 9 SCRUBS CRS-6 DRAGON LAUNCH DUE TO WEATHER - SpaceX will make a second attempt to launch its seventh Dragon resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, with the cargo craft lifting off from Cape Canaveral's SLC-40 atop a Falcon 9 rocket, following a weather scrub on Monday. Bound for a five-week visit to the ISS, the CRS-6 Dragon will depart the Cape at 16:10 local time (20:10 UTC).
The sixth of fifteen Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) flights SpaceX has been contracted to perform on behalf of NASA, the launch will carry hardware, supplies and scientific equipment to the space station's crew. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Apr 13)
OFFICIAL: RUSSIA 'BUSTS SATELLITE SPY RING' - Russia has uncovered a group of spy satellites, the head of its space command said in a film broadcast Sunday, which warned of "enemy" satellites that could masquerade as space junk.
"Very recently, specialists of the department of space intelligence center uncovered a newly created group of space satellites ... made for radio-technical reconnaissance of equipment on Russian territory," said the commander of Russian Space Command, Oleg Maidanovich.
Space Command is a division of the military responsible for warning of missile and air strikes and controlling Russia's defense satellites. More
(Source: DefenseNews.com - Apr 13)
SPACEX 'GO' FOR DRAGON LAUNCH, ROCKET LANDING TRY ON MONDAY - All systems are go for the Monday launch of a SpaceX Dragon space capsule carrying NASA cargo the International Space Station on Monday (April 13), a mission that will also include a novel reusable rocket landing attempt.
SpaceX is slated to launch an unmanned Dragon spacecraft atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket at 4:33 p.m. EDT on Monday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will be SpaceX's sixth of 12 delivery missions for NASA under a $1.6 billion contract for resupply flights. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 13)
FISHING FOR SPACE JUNK: NEW NETS CAPTURE OLD SATELLITES - The European Space Agency has gone fishin' - for space junk.
Scientists hoping to remove old hardware from orbit around Earth have gone on a "fishing" trip unlike any other: Instead of lining riverbanks with fishing poles in hand, the scientists are free-falling through the air, shooting nets at a miniature model satellite. You can watch a video of the space fishing attempt here on Space.com.
The trip took place aboard an airplane that flies in a parabolic shape, causing passengers to experience brief periods of weightlessness. The flight was meant to test the ability of a net (not unlike a traditional fishing net) to capture and remove dead satellites, rocket parts and other man-made debris floating in space. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 11)