RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP DOCKS AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - An unmanned Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the International Space Station, delivering a fresh batch of supplies for the crew.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos said the Progress spacecraft moored at the station Thursday in automatic mode, bringing 2.7 metric tons (3 tons) of food, fuel and instruments. It was launched Tuesday from the Russian space complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. More
(Source: ABC News - Feb 16)
NASA GEARS UP FOR BRISK LAUNCH PACE, STARTING WITH WEATHER SATELLITE - Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center tasked with overseeing launches of scientific satellites and interplanetary probes will be responsible later this year for ensuring six major missions safely get into space over a span of a little more than six months, beginning with the launch of NOAA’s new GOES-S weather observatory on an Atlas 5 rocket March 1.
After overseeing the launch of NOAA’s latest weather satellite, NASA plans to put up a spacecraft to search for planets circling other stars, a lander that will travel to Mars, a small satellite to study the interaction between solar activity and Earth’s atmosphere, a probe to travel closer to the sun than any previous mission, and a mission to measure Earth’s thinning polar ice sheets and glaciers. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 15)
SPACEX GETS U.S. REGULATOR TO BACK SATELLITE INTERNET PLAN - Elon Musk’s SpaceX, fresh off the successful launch this month of the world’s most powerful rocket, won an endorsement on Wednesday from the top U.S. communications regulator to build a broadband network using satellites. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed the approval of an application by SpaceX to provide broadband services using satellites in the United States and worldwide.
“Satellite technology can help reach Americans who live in rural or hard-to-serve places where fiber optic cables and cell towers do not reach,” Pai said in a statement. More
(Source: Reuters - Feb 15)
SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCHES CARGO FREIGHTER TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Running two days later after a last-minute abort Sunday, a Russian Progress resupply and refueling freighter lifted off in a blanket of fog Tuesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to deliver three tons of cargo, propellant and water to the International Space Station.
The Progress MS-08 supply ship blasted off atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket at 0813:33 GMT (3:13:33 a.m. EST; 2:13:33 p.m. Baikonur time) Tuesday from the historic Russian-run spaceport on the steppe of Kazakhstan. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 14)
WHO'S GOING TO BUY THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION? - For sale: orbiting space station. Room for eight. Fantastic views of Earth. Commercial opportunities for zero-g manufacturing, research lab, or floating hotel. Cost: $3 to 4 billion a year. Any takers?
President Trump’s new budget request, released Monday, directs NASA to leave behind the International Space Station and explore the moon as a first step toward reaching Mars. The spending plan ends funding of the International Space Station by 2025, replacing taxpayers’ money with revenue from private firms. It proposes $150 million to help get companies to transition to this brave new industrial park. More
(Source: WIRED - Feb 13)
CHINA ADDS TWO MORE SATELLITES TO HOME-GROWN NAVIGATION NETWORK - Two more Chinese Beidou navigation satellites successfully lifted off aboard a Long March 3B rocket Monday on China’s seventh space launch in five weeks.
The Long March 3B rocket and a restartable Yuanzheng upper stage deployed the two Beidou navigation satellites — the 28th and 29th to join China’s navigation network — nearly four hours after launch from the Xichang space base in Sichuan province, according to Chinese state media reports.
Propelled by 1.3 million pounds of thrust, the Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang launch base at 0503 GMT (12:03 a.m. EST) Monday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 13)
ESA’S WIND SENSING SATELLITE ... THE ANSWER IS BLOWING IN THE WIND ... TO UNDERGO FINAL TESTS - European Space Agency’s wind sensing spacecraft, Aeolus, wind sensing satellite, has left Liège in Belgium having successfully completed an extensive thermal and functional performance test campaign under in-orbit conditions. It will now undergo final checks at InteSpace test center in Toulouse, France, before being shipped to French Guiana in the summer ready for launch on a Vega launcher.
How the process works is as follows: Aladin fires a powerful ultraviolet laser pulse down through the atmosphere and collects backscattered light, using a large 1.5m diameter telescope... More
(Source: SatNews Publishers - Feb 13)
SPACEX SET TO LAUNCH FIRST PROTOTYPE STARLINK SATELLITES FOR GLOBAL INTERNET - The first test satellites for SpaceX’s global internet constellation are being prepped for launch as early as this week — three years after SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the project in Seattle.
The prototype spacecraft, known as Microsat 2a and 2b, are reportedly to be included as secondary payloads on a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, due for launch on Saturday. The primary payload is a 3,000-pound Spanish radar observation satellite called Paz. More
(Source: GeekWire - Feb 12)
RESUPPLY LAUNCH SCRUBBED, THWARTING FAST-TRACK RENDEZVOUS WITH SPACE STATION - The launch of a Russian Progress cargo ship aboard a Soyuz rocket was aborted in the final minute of the countdown Sunday, forcing a delay of at least two days in the start of a resupply and refueling mission to the International Space Station.
The two-day slip will prevent the Progress MS-08 supply ship from conducting an expedited trip to the space station. The unpiloted cargo freighter was set to fly a record-fast express rendezvous profile, with docking just three-and-a-half hours after liftoff Sunday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 12)