CHINESE SPACE LAB DEPLOYS COMPACT SATELLITE FOR EXTERNAL SURVEYS - A companion satellite ejected from China’s orbiting Tiangong 2 research module has snapped unique views of the space lab as two astronauts inside press on with experiments and other tasks in their second week aboard the mini-space station.
The cubical craft deployed from Tiangong 2 on Sunday is about the size of a printer, and it took sharp black-and-white pictures of the space lab and the Shenzhou 11 crew transport craft docked together around 235 miles (380 kilometers) above Earth. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 28)
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PASSES BY VENUS AND SATURN - Look west in the evening sky and Venus is almost impossible to miss, shining with a brilliant steady light. In fact, it is so bright it's often mistaken for a plane.
On the evening of Friday October 28, Venus is going to pair up with the planet Saturn and in a rare treat, the International Space Station (ISS) will be seen gliding right past the two planets.
But heads up Darwin, you'll catch a preview of the show on Thursday October 27.
From Darwin on Thursday, and from Sydney and Perth on Friday, the ISS will pass just below Saturn and just above Venus.
(Source: Phys.Org - Oct 28)
EXPEDITION 49 CREW MEMBERS TO RETURN TO EARTH FROM SPACE STATION! - According to NASA, Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will undock their Soyuz spacecraft from the space station at 8:37 p.m. EDT on Saturday and land in Kazakhstan at 11:59 p.m. (9:59 a.m. October 30, Kazakhstan time).
The three astronauts have done hundreds of experiments together in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the space station.
NASA Television will air coverage the departure and landing activities of the three astronauts. More
(Source: Zee News - Oct 27)
THOSE FACEBOOK LIVES FROM SPACE ARE FAKE AF - A Facebook Live video allegedly showing a live feed of the International Space Station (ISS) is going viral on social media though there are several doubts on its authenticity.
The alleged live footage was posted by several media outlets and pages, including UNILAD, Viral USA and INTERESTINATE, gathering an insane amount of views and likes. The video on Viral USA's Facebook page has been going on for three hours and has got more than 2 million likes, 400k shares and 280k views. High figures were also recorded by UNILAD, which tagged the International Space Station in the caption. More
(Source: Mashable - Oct 27)
PICTURE THIS: STARTUP SATELLITE FLEET WILL IMAGE PLANET DAILY - A satellite-imaging startup wants to make global change transparent, by capturing every part of the planet every day and sharing those images with the world.
The company, known as Planet, is aiming to make global change visible, accessible, and actionable for everyone, Will Marshall, the startup's co-founder and CEO, said during an address to the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Sept. 27, 2015. The company has deployed large fleets of small, inexpensive satellites designed solely to capture images of the planet. More
(Source: Live Science - Oct 26)
NEW ‘SELFIE’ MICROSATELLITE CAPTURES IMAGES OF CHINESE SPACE STATION - Here’s a great new view of China’s Tiangong II space station, taken by a new ‘selfie’ satellite. The Banxing-2 satellite is about the size of a desktop printer and was released from the station on Sunday. It has been nicknamed the “Selfie Stick” by Chinese officials and is taking pictures of the station and the docked Shenzhou XI spacecraft. The Chinese astronauts who boarded the station last week aren’t just joining the selfie craze; the 25 megapixel camera with wide-angle and infrared imagers has a specific job.
“The companion satellite monitors the conditions of Tiangong II and Shenzhou XI all the time, which is helpful in detecting failures,” said Chen Hongyu, chief engineer of the satellite program and a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Micro-satellite Innovation Institute. More
(Source: Universe Today - Oct 26)
CHINA’S SPACE LAB LAUNCHES MICRO-SATELLITE - China’s experimental space lab Tiangong-2 orbiting the Earth with two astronauts on board has successfully launched a micro-satellite, roughly the size of a desktop printer. Weighing 47 kilogrammes, the micro satellite has a series of visible light cameras, including a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers. Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong II and the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which docked with the lab on Wednesday.
The Tiangong II space laboratory released its companion satellite, Banxing-2, at 7:31 am local time Sunday. The satellite, which the media has nicknamed “Selfie Stick”, also has an infrared camera that is temperature-sensitive, said Chen Hongyu, chief engineer of the satellite programme and a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Micro-satellite Innovation Institute. More
(Source: The Indian Express - Oct 25)
ANOTHER U.S. AIR FORCE WEATHER SATELLITE JUST BROKE UP IN ORBIT - A third U.S. Air Force weather satellite that launched more than 20 years ago has broken up in orbit, Air Force Space Command disclosed Monday evening.
Air Force officials confirmed the breakup of the long-retired Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 12 satellite (DMSP F-12) after the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, detected an additional object orbiting alongside the 22-year-old satellite.
DMSP F-12, which the Air Force retired from service in 2008, had the same battery assembly that was implicated in the February 2015 breakup of DMSP F-13. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 25)
A STARTUP’S CONSTELLATION OF TINY SATELLITES IS NOW PHOTOGRAPHING A THIRD OF EARTH’S LANDMASS EVERY - Are you ready for the coming era of global transparency?
After two years in operation, the satellite-imaging startup Planet tells Quartz that it is now photographing more than 50 million square kilometers of the earth every single day. That’s about a tenth of the world’s surface area, or more than a third of its 149 million square kilometers of land. Indeed, in September 2016 alone, the company says it imaged 91% of earth’s land mass. Planet’s plan is to make that imagery available to the public, with free basic access and premium accounts for higher quantity and quality data. It’s likely to impact everything from finance and farming to environmental protection and human rights. More
(Source: Quartz - Oct 25)
SPACE STATION ACCEPTS 1ST VIRGINIA DELIVERY IN 2 YEARS - The International Space Station received its first shipment from Virginia in more than two years Sunday following a sensational nighttime launch observed 250 miles up and down the East Coast.
Orbital ATK's cargo ship pulled up at the space station bearing 5,000 pounds of food, equipment and research.
"What a beautiful vehicle," said Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi, who used the station's big robot arm to grab the vessel. The capture occurred as the spacecraft soared 250 miles above Kyrgyzstan; Onishi likened it to the last 195 meters of a marathon.
Last Monday's liftoff from Wallops Island was the first by an Antares rocket since a 2014 launch explosion. More
(Source: ABC News - Oct 24)
GLASGOW FIRM ALBA ORBITAL READY TO LAUNCH TINY SATELLITE INTO OUTER SPACE - A Small Scots start-up company is about to launch its own satellite into space – which is the size of a drinks can.
Alba Orbital, based in Glasgow, has created the cuboid shaped satellite to be used to monitor aeroplanes.
And after a year’s development, they are ready to see it launched into space on the back of a Russian rocket early next year.
The satellite – which is no bigger than a can of Coke – is the smallest of its kind made in the UK, and will be deployed in a pod, before blasting out into the darkness of the solar system. More
(Source: Glasgow Evening Times - Oct 23)
WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCES SMALL SATELLITE INITIATIVE - The White House announced a new initiative Oct. 21 to promote the development of small satellites, collecting under one roof a number of efforts, some of which started months ago.
The “Harnessing the Small Satellite Revolution” initiative, announced in a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy statement, highlights several ongoing efforts by NASA, the Pentagon and other federal government agencies to help develop smallsats or make use of images or other data they provide.
Some elements of the initiative were announced weeks or months ago. The OSTP announcement highlighted a $20 million award the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency made to Planet, the San Francisco-based company developing a constellation of Earth imaging satellites. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 22)
CURRENT AMATEUR RADIO STATUS ON BOARD THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The VHF handheld radio model that has been used by the ARISS program to connect students worldwide with astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) for over 16 years has given an error message and is unusable at this time.
While the ARISS technical team evaluates the best path to restore operation from the Columbus module, ARISS contacts will be supported using the Kenwood radio in the Russian Service Module.
During this period, the packet digipeater will be unavailable. More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Oct 22)
NEW US-RUSSIAN CREW ARRIVES AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko docked with the International Space Station at 5:52 a.m. EDT (0952 GMT) this morning (Oct. 21) after a smooth two-day trip aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. The trio launched into orbit early Wednesday, nearly a month later than their initial Sept. 23 liftoff target due to a technical issue with their spacecraft.
The Soyuz linked up with the space station as as both spacecraft sailed 251 miles (403 kilomters) over southern Russia. Ryzhikov, who piloted the spacecraft, is experiencing spaceflight for the first time; both Kimbrough and Borisenko have been to space once before. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 22)
NORTH KOREA PROMISES MORE SATELLITE LAUNCHES AFTER FAILED MISSILE TEST - North Korea vowed to launch more earth-observation satellites after its second ballistic missile test launch of the week ended in failure.
A spokesman for Pyongyang's National Aerospace Development Administration said Thursday that South Korea had unjustly criticized its past satellite launches and that the country is unfazed by the condemnations. "Even on the international stage, [South Korean President] Park Geun-hye's faction has been shamefully disparaging our peaceful use of space and satellite launches, and in turn becoming a target of criticism and disgrace for indecent behavior," the North Korean spokesman said.
The remark was referring to South Korea's statement at the 71st United Nations General Assembly, according to South Korean news service Newsis. More
(Source: UPI - Oct 21)
DARPA JUST GAVE THE AIR FORCE A TELESCOPE TO WATCH FOR SATELLITE SABOTAGE - When we look up at the stars at night, we are staring into an infinitely deep ocean, a void filled with endless layers of deeper, farther lights. Most telescopes seek the outer limits of our universe, or document celestial phenomena on the edges of human comprehension. DARPA's Space Surveillance Telescope, which the agency handed over to Air Force Space Command yesterday, is all about mapping the objects close to Earth. Its job is to plot the closest layer of space by discerning which bright objects are moving in geosynchronous orbit, and filtering out everything else.
The Space Surveillance Telescope, or SST as everyone referred to it yesterday, is one of DARPA's longest-running projects. More
(Source: Popular Science - Oct 20)
SOYUZ CREW BLASTS OFF FROM KAZAKHSTAN - A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and a NASA shuttle veteran blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday and set off after the International Space Station.
Running nearly a month late because or difficult work to repair a damaged cable in the Soyuz MS-02/48S command module, the workhorse Soyuz FG booster roared to life and shot away from its firing stand at 4:05 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 2:05 p.m. local time), climbing straight into the plane of the space station’s orbit.
At the controls, strapped into the central command module’s middle seat, was vehicle commander Sergey Rizhikov, flanked on his left by flight engineer Andrey Borisenko and on the right by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 20)
DELTA 4 ROCKET ON THE PAD FOR MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCH IN DECEMBER - The Delta 4 rocket that will launch the U.S. military’s highest capacity communications satellite ever built was rolled to the pad this week.
The two-stage booster moved from the Horizontal Integration Facility to the Complex 37B pad and erected on the launch table to begin preparations for flight.
Liftoff is scheduled on or about Dec. 7 during a window of 6:53 to 7:42 p.m. EST (2353-0042 GMT), a duration of 49 minutes.
Over the next two months, using the classic launch pad design with a mobile service gantry, the rocket will undergo installation of four strap-on solid-fuel boosters, a rigorous checkout and testing campaign and mating of the satellite cargo. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 19)
GOES-R, OUR NEXT-GEN WEATHER SATELLITE, IS DELAYED BY A HURRICANE. OF COURSE. - The weather satellite we’ve been anticipating for years has been delayed by a hurricane. This is why we can’t have nice things.
GOES-R is NOAA’s next satellite. It really needs to get into space. The satellites that currently look down at our hurricanes and severe weather are at the end of their life spans. Plus, GOES-R has a lot of fancy new features that meteorologists are pretty excited about.
The launch of GOES-R, which had been scheduled for Nov. 4, has been delayed. No new date was announced in NOAA’s statement, except to say it won’t happen before Nov. 16. United Launch Alliance says that the new date is Nov. 16, pending Air Force approval. More
(Source: Washington Post - Oct 19)