ATLAS 5 ROCKET TRAVELS TO LAUNCH PAD FOR WEDNESDAY FLIGHT - Delivering two-and-a-half million pounds of ground-shaking thrust at takeoff, more than any rocket flying from Cape Canaveral these days, the mighty vehicle was rolled from its assembly building to the launch pad Monday for Wednesday's early morning blastoff.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, equipped with five strap-on solid-propellant boosters for added performance, will launch the Navy's MUOS 4 mobile communications satellite at 5:59 a.m. EDT (0959 GMT). The available launch window extends to 6:43 a.m. EDT.
The booster was wheeled out aboard a mobile launcher platform, emerging from the hangar where the rocket's two stages and the payload were integrated over the past few weeks. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 1)
NEXT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CREW LAUNCH SET FOR SEPTEMBER 2 FROM KAZAKHSTAN - Sergei Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (10:37 a.m. Baikonur time).
Mogensen and Aimbetov are short duration crew members while Volkov will spend six months on the orbital complex.
The trio will travel in a Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock two days later to the Poisk module at 3:42 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Sep 1)
TROPICAL WEATHER POSTPONES MONDAY'S ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCH - Plans to launch a Navy communications satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket early Monday have been interrupted by Tropical Storm Erika, an unpredictable cyclone with its sights on Florida.
"We've been Erika'ed," United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno tweeted.
Officials made the decision Friday night to postpone the scheduled Saturday rollout of the rocket from its assembly building to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41, choosing instead to leave the 206-foot-tall booster in the safe confines of the hangar for now.
That, in turn, has delayed the Monday liftoff attempt until the storm passes.
"The launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the MUOS 4 mission has been postponed to due uncertainty in the weather conditions associated with Tropical Storm Erika," officials said in announcing the delay. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 31)
KEY INMARSAT ROCKET FLIGHT UNDER WAY - A rocket has launched from Kazakhstan carrying a hugely important spacecraft for London-based Inmarsat.
The new satellite is needed to complete the roll-out of the company's £1bn ($1.6bn), next-generation, global telecommunications network.
The Proton rocket lifted away from the Baikonur spaceport at 17:44 local time (12:44 BST).
Separation of the satellite in orbit is expected early on Saturday.
The new network, known as Global Xpress, will enable Inmarsat to offer its customers substantially faster connections at a lower cost. Having the third spacecraft in orbit means those customers can have coverage right around the world.
Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat's CEO, told BBC News: "We launched our first satellite over Europe, the Middle East and Africa about a year ago; our Americas satellite comes into operation in about a week; and this third satellite, which will go operational by the end of the year, completes a global seamless network." More
(Source: BBC News - Aug 29)
SOYUZ RELOCATION CLEARS WAY FOR LAUNCH OF NEW STATION CREW - Three space station crewmen strapped inside a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and relocated the landing capsule Friday, clearing a docking port for the arrival of a new crew next week.
Under the command of veteran Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft undocked from the space station's Poisk module at 0712 GMT (3:12 a.m. EDT) as the complex sailed 249 miles above Nigeria.
Joined by flight engineer Mikhail Kornienko and NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, Padalka flew Soyuz ferry craft about 150 feet (45 meters) from Poisk docking module. The Soyuz fired rocket thrusters to swing toward the aft docking port of the station's Zvezda service module, then it lined up to park at the new location. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 29)
WHY DO NASA ASTRONAUTS DRINK RUSSIAN PEE ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION? - Think you could drink recycled wee if it meant you would stay alive?
That's the question astronauts have to answer before they go onto the International Space Station for a tour of duty.
But while Nasa's people are happily gulping back wee-that-once-was, cosmonauts have chosen to go another way.
Long-term space travel will always be dependent on water and food and its availability.
But on the ISS, where personnel are expected to stay for months at a time, the ways of accessing water for drinking are from condensation and excretion as urine. Both US and Russian of the space station harvest their water out of the air, which is known as condensate, and comes from breath and sweat. More
(Source: Mirror.co.uk - Aug 29)
TROPICAL WEATHER THREATENS MONDAY'S SCHEDULED ATLAS 5 LAUNCH - Plans to launch a Navy communications satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket early Monday could be interrupted by Tropical Storm Erika, expected to strengthen into a hurricane, as the cyclone puts its sights on Florida.
Officials could decide during the Launch Readiness Review on Friday, or perhaps as late as early Saturday, whether to proceed with rollout of the rocket from its assembly building to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 around mid-morning Saturday.
An on-time rollout Saturday would preserve the chance of trying to launch as planned Monday. But officials could, instead, choose to leave the 206-foot-tall booster in the safe confines of the hangar until the storm passes. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 28)
LONG MARCH 4C LOFTS LATEST YAOGAN WEIXING SATELLITE - Confirming the rumors that have circulated over recent days, China has launched another new satellite in the military's Yaogan Weixing series via the use of a Long March-4C (Chang Zheng-4C) rocket. The mission began with liftoff at 02:31 UTC on Thursday, from the LC9 launch complex at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.
As per usual, Chinese media is referring to the new satellite as "a new remote sensing bird that will be used for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring".
However, as was the case in the last launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, western analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Aug 28)
INDIAN SPACE PROGRAM BUOYED BY BACK-TO-BACK GSLV SUCCESSES - India's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle soared into orbit Thursday and deployed a 2.3-ton communications payload into an on-target orbit, tallying its second consecutive success with an Indian cryogenic upper stage as officials prepare to declare the once-troubled launcher operational.
The 161-foot-tall rocket launched at 1122 GMT (7:22 a.m. EDT) from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on India's east coastline, turning east over the Bay of Bengal powered by 1.7 million pounds of thrust from a core solid-fueled motor and four auxiliary boosters burning liquid hydrazine.
With its nose cone emblazoned with the Indian flag, the GSLV flew with an Indian-built third stage fueled by super-cold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 27)