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JAPANESE SPY SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED BY POOR WEATHER FORECAST JAPANESE SPY SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED BY POOR WEATHER FORECAST - A bad weather forecast has prompted Japanese space officials to delay the launch of an H-2A rocket with a high-resolution government-owned reconnaissance satellite by at least 48 hours until Monday night, U.S. time. Ground crews at the Tanegashima Space Center, Japan’s primary spaceport in the southwestern part of the country, will keep the H-2A rocket protected inside a vertical assembly building before rollout to the launch pad around a half-day before liftoff.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 25)


SPACEX POSTPONES FALCON 9 LAUNCH OVER PAYLOAD FAIRING CONCERNS SPACEX POSTPONES FALCON 9 LAUNCH OVER PAYLOAD FAIRING CONCERNS - SpaceX officials have postponed the launch of a Spanish-owned telecommunications satellite from Cape Canaveral planned for this weekend to conduct additional testing on the Falcon 9’s payload fairing pressurization system, the company announced Saturday. SpaceX did not set a new launch date, but the mission was expected to be pushed back multiple days from its previous Sunday launch target. “Standing down from this weekend’s launch attempt to conduct additional testing on the fairing’s pressurization system,” SpaceX said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Once complete, and pending range availability, we will confirm a new targeted launch date.”   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 25)


ASTRONAUT: TRUMP'S PLAN FOR THE SPACE STATION A HUGE MISTAKE ASTRONAUT: TRUMP'S PLAN FOR THE SPACE STATION A HUGE MISTAKE - Donald Trump's administration is floating a proposal to return to the moon -- and to shut down the International Space Station to help pay for it. The first part of this idea is good. The second is horrible. If enacted, it could well spell the end of NASA's human spaceflight for the foreseeable future. There is a wild card here, too: I refer to the commercial spaceflight efforts of companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin. For the first time, visionary leaders of commercial companies are striving to build space infrastructure and exploration programs funded by commercial activities. Yes, there is the possibility of NASA partnering with them, but that is not the pressing question in my view now; the continuation of ISS is.    More
(Source: CNN - Feb 23)


LOCKHEED MARTIN COMPLETES ASSEMBLY ON ARABSAT'S NEWEST COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LOCKHEED MARTIN COMPLETES ASSEMBLY ON ARABSAT'S NEWEST COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE - A new, high-capacity communications satellite that will deliver TV, internet and mobile phone services to the Middle East, Africa and Europe is one step closer to launch. Lockheed Martin has completed assembly on the Arabsat-6A satellite, which was recently shipped to its Sunnyvale, California facility to begin a comprehensive series of tests to ensure the satellite is ready for operations in orbit. "This new satellite will strengthen our existing fleet that offers millions of people mobile and landline communications service across the region," said Khalid Balkheyour, CEO of Arabsat. "We look forward to completing and launching this state-of-the-art new satellite to offer even greater internet, television and radio services to our customers."   More
(Source: Space Daily - Feb 23)


THE LOW-COST MINI SATELLITES BRINGING MOBILE TO THE WORLD THE LOW-COST MINI SATELLITES BRINGING MOBILE TO THE WORLD - Large chunks of the planet are still of out of reach of mobile phone signals - that's about four billion people without access to digital communications. But this could change thanks to shrinking satellite sizes and costs. Lower-cost, space-based mobile phone services will soon be a reality thanks to one firm's fleet of nano-satellites that will bounce your voice or text signal from one spacecraft to the next and finally down to the person you're calling.    More
(Source: BBN News - Feb 23)


RECYCLED SPACEX ROCKET BOOSTS PAZ RADAR SATELLITE, FIRST STARLINK TESTBEDS INTO ORBIT RECYCLED SPACEX ROCKET BOOSTS PAZ RADAR SATELLITE, FIRST STARLINK TESTBEDS INTO ORBIT - Launching with a Spanish radar observation craft and the first two experimental satellites for SpaceX’s planned global broadband network, a Falcon 9 rocket fired away from California’s Central Coast shortly before sunrise Thursday after several days of delays. The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 launcher climbed into a clear sky from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, riding a column of orange exhaust from nine kerosene-burning Merlin main engines.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 22)


ARMY’S IMAGING SATELLITE UP AND RUNNING, BUT ITS FUTURE IS TBD ARMY’S IMAGING SATELLITE UP AND RUNNING, BUT ITS FUTURE IS TBD - How valuable is it for troops in the field to have their own dedicated source of satellite imagery and other space-based intelligence? That is a question officials hope to answer in upcoming military exercises where commanders will have an opportunity to test the Army’s newly deployed Kestrel Eye microsatellite. The Kestrel Eye Block IIM was sent into orbit in October from the International Space Station. “It is now operational,” said Dan Harkins, marketing manager at Adcole Maryland Aerospace, the satellite manufacturer.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 22)


SPACEX DELAYS FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCH DUE TO HIGH-ALTITUDE WINDS SPACEX DELAYS FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCH DUE TO HIGH-ALTITUDE WINDS - SpaceX called off an attempted launch of its Falcon 9 rocket in California today (Feb. 21) due to strong high-altitude winds, according to the company's CEO, Elon Musk. The Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to lift off at 9:17 a.m. EST (1417 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 4E at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. But about 10 minutes before liftoff, SpaceX announced it was standing down from the launch try.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 22)


GOODBYE, ISS. HELLO, PRIVATE SPACE STATIONS? GOODBYE, ISS. HELLO, PRIVATE SPACE STATIONS? - Have you heard? The ISS might go away in 2025. Yep, that ISS—our big, honking space laboratory in the sky, one of the most successful international partnership stories of all time. Continually staffed since 2000. Off the Earth, for the Earth. One of the most expensive public projects ever, second possibly only to America’s Interstate Highway System. Unofficially, 2025 has been the station’s retirement year since 2014, when NASA and its international partners agreed to keep it flying through 2024. But there’s always been an assumption that end date could stretch to 2028, a point cited as when degrading hardware might start making life aboard the station a little dicey.   More
(Source: The Planetary Society - Feb 21)


GOES-S TO LAUNCH NEXT WEEK JOINING GOES-16 IN NOAA’S NEW GENERATION OF WEATHER SATELLITES GOES-S TO LAUNCH NEXT WEEK JOINING GOES-16 IN NOAA’S NEW GENERATION OF WEATHER SATELLITES - America’s fleet of weather satellites will grow this March as NASA and NOAA launch GOES-S, the newest satellite that will help meteorologists to improve forecast accuracy. GOES-S will be the second member of a new generation of geostationary weather satellites, joining GOES-16, formerly known as GOES-R, which launched on Nov. 19, 2016 “The GOES-S satellite will join GOES-16 as NOAA continues to upgrade its satellite fleet,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.    More
(Source: Accuweather - Feb 21)

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