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SATELLITE NEWS

ARIANESPACE TO LAUNCH TWO INTELSAT COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES INTO ORBIT ARIANESPACE TO LAUNCH TWO INTELSAT COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES INTO ORBIT - Arianespace is in the final stage of preparations to conduct its sixth mission of the year by launching two Intelsat communications satellites into orbit on Wednesday, Aug. 24. The spacecraft, designated Intelsat 33e and Intelsat 36, will take to the skies from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA 3) in Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 booster. The launch window starts at 5:55 p.m. EDT (21:55 GMT) and extends for 45 minutes. The launch campaign started in mid-July with the arrival of the satellites in French Guiana. Intelsat 33e was shipped to the Guiana Space Center on July 21, while Intelsat 36 arrived at the center four days later.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Aug 23)


GOES-R WEATHER SATELLITE ARRIVES FOR NOVEMBER LAUNCH GOES-R WEATHER SATELLITE ARRIVES FOR NOVEMBER LAUNCH - The first in a new generation of national weather satellites arrived Monday on the Space Coast in preparation for a November launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. An Air Force C-5 transport plane touched down at 3:16 p.m. on Kennedy Space Center's three-mile shuttle runway with GOES-R, the latest satellite in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites program. The first in a four-spacecraft series projected to cost nearly $11 billion through 2035, NOAA says GOES-R represents "a giant leap forward in technology" compared to predecessors, promising to improve forecasting of hurricanes and other weather.   More
(Source: Florida Today - Aug 23)


HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY TO FO-29! HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY TO FO-29! - FO-29, known as JAS-2 (Japan Amateur Satellite #2) prior to launch, was built by the Japan Amateur Radio League and launched on August 17, 1996 from Tanegashima Space Center on an H-II launch vehicle into a 1,323 km x 800 km orbit with an inclination of 98.5 degrees. In addition to a 100 kHz wide analog Mode V/u (JA) transponder, the satellite also includes a packet BBS and digitalker. While the packet BBS and digitalker are non-functional, the analog transponder continues to provide excellent service to the present day.   More
(Source: South Gate - Aug 22)


ISRO TO LAUNCH FOUR KEY SATELLITES IN NEXT THREE MONTHS; ALSO REVEALS PLANS FOR 2020 MISSION TO SUN! ISRO TO LAUNCH FOUR KEY SATELLITES IN NEXT THREE MONTHS; ALSO REVEALS PLANS FOR 2020 MISSION TO SUN! - There seems to be no limit to space investigations, it seems. Director of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) satellite centre, Mylswamy Annadurai, has revealed that the space organisation is planning to launch four more key satellites in the coming three months. Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a private college function here on Saturday, Mr Annadurai said that India has launched 10 satellites between August 2015 and August 2016, adding, four more launches-INSAT-3DR and SCATSAT-1 on September this year, GSAT-18 in October and ResourceSat-2A in November 2016, have been planned by the space body that is working for a tight schedule of 70 satellite launches in the next three years, Deccan Chronicle reported.   More
(Source: Zee News - Aug 22)


SCIENTISTS MAKE INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY USING SATELLITE IMAGES SCIENTISTS MAKE INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY USING SATELLITE IMAGES - It’s one of the most vexing problems on this planet, and a new discovery by scientists could have a huge impact on millions of people suffering from poverty in the world. Researchers have created an algorithm that uses satellite imagery to provide detailed breakdowns of where impoverished people are in the world, allowing us to better figure out how to allocate resources where they are most needed. Researchers at Stanford University have created a deep-learning algorithm that allows computers to spot signs of poverty just by using satellite images — for example, by checking the condition of roads to see if the infrastructure is in disrepair, according to a statement. Up until now, such technology had been used to track crop conditions and deforestation, but now it could help us avoid wasting precious resources in the fight against poverty.   More
(Source: BABW News - Aug 22)


SPACE VIRTUAL REALITY WILL SOON LET YOU EXPERIENCE ORBITING EARTH SPACE VIRTUAL REALITY WILL SOON LET YOU EXPERIENCE ORBITING EARTH - If you’ve ever wondered how it actually feels to fly above Earth and look down at the amazing planet we call home, you’ll soon be able to do that from the comfort of your living room. Overview 1, the world’s first virtual reality cube satellite, plans to beam high-definition live images of Earth and space to a VR headset near you next year. “We’re going to offer virtual reality content, live to people from space. Anyone will have the opportunity to sit down and put on any VR headset and be immediately immersed in the majestic beauty of space,” said SpaceVR founder and CEO Ryan Holmes. “You’ll be able to see the Earth against the stars, and I’m sure that will give it a depth to the experience.”   More
(Source: Huffington Post - Aug 21)


SPACE STATION CREW INSTALLS A NEW FRONT DOOR FOR SPACEX AND BOEING SPACESHIPS SPACE STATION CREW INSTALLS A NEW FRONT DOOR FOR SPACEX AND BOEING SPACESHIPS - The International Space Station now has a door that will let crews float in from the commercial space taxis that SpaceX and Boeing are building, thanks to a nearly six-hour spacewalk. NASA spacewalkers Jeff Williams and Kate Rubins installed the Boeing-built door, known as an International Docking Adapter or IDA, with an assist from the station’s robotic arm. This was the fourth spacewalk for Williams, and the first for Rubins. The 5-foot-wide IDA was hooked up to one of the ports on the station’s Harmony module – a port that was originally designed for use by the now-retired space shuttle fleet. Analogous to an electrical-plug adapter, the IDA fits over the port to provide a standard interface...   More
(Source: GeekWire - Aug 21)


GARBAGE ORBITING EARTH CAN PULVERIZE SATELLITES. HOW TO CLEAN UP? HERE ARE SOME IDEAS GARBAGE ORBITING EARTH CAN PULVERIZE SATELLITES. HOW TO CLEAN UP? HERE ARE SOME IDEAS - Space junk is getting worse. Could the answer be smart plastic wrap? That concept, being investigated by Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo, involves blasting thousands of tiny, flat spacecraft into orbit. There they would find and hug the bits and pieces of failed satellites and rockets, dragging them into the atmosphere to burn up. There are more than 7,000 metric tons of material in the near-Earth space environment, said J.C. Liou, NASA chief scientist for orbital debris. It can slam into a operating satellite or spacecraft at about six miles per second — faster than a speeding bullet — which means that even debris the size of a sand grain could prove catastrophic.   More
(Source: Los Angeles Times - Aug 20)


DELTA 4 SUCCESSFULLY SOARS TO THE HIGH GROUND TO DEPLOY TWO PATROL SATELLITES DELTA 4 SUCCESSFULLY SOARS TO THE HIGH GROUND TO DEPLOY TWO PATROL SATELLITES - The 375th Delta rocket doubled the size of the Air Force’s “neighborhood watch” program today with the successful launch and deployment of two surveillance satellites into the vast geosynchronous belt of spacecraft around the planet. Evolved from its humble beginnings 56 years ago to today’s modern Delta 4 rockets, the 206-foot-tall vehicle produced 1.1 million pounds of thrust to launch at 12:52 a.m. EDT (0452 GMT) from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37. The mission: Carry twin Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites 22,000 miles above the Earth in a complex ascent that required three firings by the upper stage and lasted more than six hours.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 20)


ASTRONAUTS TAKING SPACEWALK TO INSTALL NEW SPACE STATION DOCKING PORT TODAY: WATCH LIVE ASTRONAUTS TAKING SPACEWALK TO INSTALL NEW SPACE STATION DOCKING PORT TODAY: WATCH LIVE - First-time flier Kate Rubins and veteran spacewalker Jeff Williams will venture outside the International Space Station this morning (Aug. 19) to install a massive, crucial piece of machinery: a vital new docking port that will allow private space taxis to link up with the station on future missions. The spacewalk is slated to begin at 8:05 a.m. EDT (1205 GMT), NASA officials said during a news briefing. You can watch the spacewalk live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. This spacewalk marks a first for Rubins, and the fourth of Williams' career. The two astronauts plan to spend about 6.5 hours outside the station installing this new heavy piece of machinery, known as an International Docking Adapter (IDA), which arrived at the station on July 20 aboard a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft.   More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 20)


AIR FORCE SENT GSSAP SATELLITE TO CHECK ON STALLED MUOS-5 AIR FORCE SENT GSSAP SATELLITE TO CHECK ON STALLED MUOS-5 - The U.S. Air Force said Aug. 18 it sent one of its high-orbiting space surveillance satellites to check on a Navy communications satellite that ran into propulsion problems about halfway to geosynchronous orbit. Following a June 24 launch, the fifth satellite in the Navy’s next-generation narrowband communications constellation, known as the Mobile User Objective System, had been expected to reach geosynchronous orbit and a test location about 35,400 kilometers above Hawaii by July 3. But the Navy said the satellite “experienced a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system,” five days into a 10-day climb, halting the transfer maneuver that would push the satellite from its initial elliptical launch orbit to geosynchronous orbit.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Aug 19)


NASA HOPES TO HAND THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TO A COMMERCIAL OWNER BY MID 2020S NASA HOPES TO HAND THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TO A COMMERCIAL OWNER BY MID 2020S - NASA is giving us some more insight into its plans to get humans to Mars, under the blanket mission called ‘Journey to Mars,’ and during the press conference, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Development Bill Hill revealed that the current hope is to hand off control of the International Space Station to a commercial owner by sometime around the mid 2020s. “NASA’s trying to develop economic development in low-earth orbit,” Hill said, speaking on a panel of NASA staff assembled to discuss the upcoming Mars mission.    More
(Source: TechCrunch - Aug 19)


CO COMPANY TO LAUNCH YET ANOTHER SATELLITE CO COMPANY TO LAUNCH YET ANOTHER SATELLITE - Westminster-based company DigitalGlobe will expand its fleet of high resolution satellites with the addition of WorldView-4 in September. The new satellite, which is expected to launch on Sept. 15, will be able to take high-resolution pictures of Earth from more than 380 miles above the earth. With the other network of satellites already in place, photographs of locations can be taken on average of 4.5 times per day. Several Colorado companies are behind the effort. WorldView-4 will be launched by Centennial based United Launch Alliance. It was built by Lockheed Martin which has several ties to the state.   More
(Source: The Denver Channel - Aug 17)


WALLOPS LAUNCH NOW PLANNED FOR WEDNESDAY WALLOPS LAUNCH NOW PLANNED FOR WEDNESDAY - A Terrier Improved-Malemute suborbital sounding rocket is now scheduled to launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wednesday morning after Tuesday’s scheduled launch was scrubbed due to boats being present in the hazard area off the coast, reported WTKR. The launch window is from 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. with backup launch dates planned for August 18 and 19. The rocket will carry experiments developed by college students participating in the RockSat-X program in conjunction with the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.   More
(Source: wtvr.com - Aug 17)


WHY SMALL SATELLITES ARE BIG FOR STARTUPS WHY SMALL SATELLITES ARE BIG FOR STARTUPS - Small satellites, and the startups that make them, are becoming a big deal – and there’s a fresh flurry of industry reports that explain why. The bottom line is that new types of satellite data can give earthbound businesses an edge. For example, a hedge-fund manager can estimate how much revenue Walmart will report by counting the cars in the stores’ parking lots. Farmers can use custom-delivered, hyperspectral imaging to monitor how their crops are doing. Petroleum companies can get a quick alert on potential pipeline leaks.   More
(Source: GeekWire - Aug 16)


CHINA LAUNCHES 'HACK-PROOF' QUANTUM COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CHINA LAUNCHES 'HACK-PROOF' QUANTUM COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE - China on Tuesday launched the world's first quantum satellite, which will help it establish "hack-proof" communications between space and the ground, state media said, the latest advance in an ambitious space programme. The programme is a priority as Xi Jinping, the president, has urged China to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, it has tested anti-satellite missiles. The Quantum Experiments at Space Scale, or QUESS, satellite, was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in the remote northwestern province of Gansu in the early hours of Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency said.   More
(Source: Telegraph.co.uk - Aug 16)


GOLD-MEDAL VIEWS! INCREDIBLE IMAGES SHOW RIO SUMMER OLYMPICS FROM SPACE GOLD-MEDAL VIEWS! INCREDIBLE IMAGES SHOW RIO SUMMER OLYMPICS FROM SPACE - Multiple satellites orbiting high above Earth have captured spectacular images of Rio de Janeiro, the city hosting this summer's Olympic Games. The streets of Rio and the massive structures built to house the games are visible in snapshots of Rio from orbit taken by Earth-observing sensors named Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) and Deimos-2, operated by the Vancouver-based UrtheCast, an Earth imagery company that operates satellites and two HD cameras on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). The Maracanã Stadium, which housed the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 and will host the closing ceremony on Aug. 21, is one structure that is clearly visible in a video that brings together multiple images taken by the UrtheCast sensors.    More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 16)


NASA VIDEO SHOWS METEOR SHOWER… FROM ABOVE! NASA VIDEO SHOWS METEOR SHOWER… FROM ABOVE! - Late last week marked the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower, generally one of the most dependable shooting star shows of the year. You can usually spot about a meteor per minute streaking across the sky, leaving behind a momentary trail of vaporized rock that fades rapidly as it cools in the upper atmosphere. Meteors burn up about 90 - 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. So what happens if you happen to be 400 km up, orbiting the Earth? What would it look like if you were looking down, toward the Earth, during a meteor shower? That video was made on Aug. 10, 2016 using a camera on the International Space Station, specifically designed to look for meteors from above.   More
(Source: Slate Magazine - Aug 15)


SPACEX LAUNCHES SECOND JCSAT MISSION VIA FALCON 9 SPACEX LAUNCHES SECOND JCSAT MISSION VIA FALCON 9 - SpaceX launched Japan’s JCSAT-16 communications satellite in the early hours of Sunday via a Falcon 9 rocket, with lift off occurring from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral at the start of a two-hour launch window that opened at 01:26 local time (05:26 UTC). Once again, a return of the first stage to SpaceX’s drone ship was successful. Making its eighth launch of the year, the Falcon 9 delivered JCSAT-16 into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. It is the second mission that SpaceX have flown for JCSAT-16’s operator, Sky Perfect JSAT Corporation, following the successful launch of JCSAT-14 in May.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight - Aug 14)


WATCH SPACEX COUNT DOWN TO LAUNCH OF JCSAT-16 SATELLITE AND A ROCKET LANDING WATCH SPACEX COUNT DOWN TO LAUNCH OF JCSAT-16 SATELLITE AND A ROCKET LANDING - SpaceX is due to launch a second satellite for a Japanese communication company tonight, followed by another rocket landing attempt in the Atlantic Ocean. The JCSAT-16 satellite is to be launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida atop SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket, during a roughly two-hour window that opens at 1:26 a.m. ET Sunday (10:26 p.m. PT Saturday). SpaceX is scheduled to live-stream the countdown via its website and YouTube, beginning about 20 minutes before liftoff. This mission comes a little more than three months after the California-based company put JCSAT-14 into orbit for SKY Perfect JSAT, one of the Asia-Pacific region’s leading satellite operators. JCSAT-16 will serve as an in-orbit backup for SKY Perfect JSAT’s fleet, which provides video distribution and other data services in Asia, Russia, Oceania, the Middle East and North America.   More
(Source: GeekWire - Aug 14)