SPACEX LAUNCH OF NASA AND IRIDIUM SATELLITES DELAYED UNTIL MAY 22 - Two NASA Earth-observation satellites will have to wait a bit longer to get off the ground.
NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission and five Iridium Next commercial communications satellites were scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Saturday (May 19) from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California. But the seven-satellite liftoff has now been delayed to next Tuesday (May 22). More
(Source: Space.com - May 19)
RUSSIA TO LAUNCH UNMANNED SPACECRAFT TO SPACE STATION FOR FIRST TIME IN AUGUST 2019 - The launch of a Soyuz MS unmanned spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) is planned for August 2019, Russia’s Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, the spaceship’s developer, said on Friday.
This will be the first launch of an unmanned spacecraft to the ISS: previously all Soyuz space vehicles were manned and were used to deliver the crews of new expeditions to the world’s sole orbiter.
Limescale behind yellow water surfacing on International Space Station
"The launch of the Soyuz MS resupply ship aboard a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket is planned for August 2019.
(Source: TASS - May 19)
STUDY OFFERS PESSIMISTIC OUTLOOK FOR COMMERCIAL SPACE STATIONS - As NASA formally requests proposals for studies on the commercialization of low Earth orbit, another study presented at a congressional hearing May 17 concludes commercial space stations are unlikely to be financially viable in the mid-2020s.
In testimony at a House Science Committee hearing on America’s future in low Earth orbit, Bhavya Lal of the Institute for Defense Analysis’ Science and Technology Policy Institute said a study performed by her organization found it unlikely that a commercial space station could generate a profit in 2025, the year NASA plans to end federal funding of the International Space Station. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 19)
HERE'S THE WEIRD SCIENCE LAUNCHING TO THE SPACE STATION ON MONDAY - On Monday, a cargo delivery to the International Space Station will carry old-fashioned sextants, E. colibacteria and lasers that will create a temperature 10 billion times colder than the vacuum of space.
These unusual science experiments are scheduled to launch Monday morning (May 21) at 4:39 a.m. EDT (0839 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. They will launch on the commercial spaceflight company Orbital ATK's Antares rocket, packed in the company's Cygnus spacecraft as part of 7,385 lbs. (3,350 kilograms) of scientific equipment, food, clothing and other supplies for the Expedition 55 space station crew. More
(Source: Space.com - May 19)
NEXT FLORIDA LAUNCH: SPACEX TO PUT SES 12 SATELLITE INTO ORBIT - Nothing’s ever 100 percent certain about launch schedules, but the next launch on the horizon for Florida is another SpaceX rocket carrying a satellite for one of the world’s biggest satellite companies.
It will be a previously flown first-stage rocket booster, according to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex launch page. SES, Luxembourg’s biggest public company, plans to mount its SES 12 satellite SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to reach orbit. Launch could happen on May 31, according to SpaceFlightNow.com. More
(Source: Orlando Sentinel - May 18)
SENATORS OPPOSE CUTTING FEDERAL FUNDING FOR SPACE STATION - Senators Ted Cruz and Bill Nelson say a timetable to transition the station to commercial operations in 2025 is premature, arbitrary, and political. The top Republican and Democratic senators on a key congressional subcommittee forcefully opposed on Wednesday a Trump administration proposal to end direct federal funding for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025. More
(Source: Eos - May 18)
OHIO STATE’S FIRST SATELLITE PREPARES FOR LAUNCH - Its name may playfully give homage to a 1980s video arcade game, but the technology on board The Ohio State University’s first satellite -- the CubeRRT -- could be vital for Earth science missions into the future. It is scheduled for launch on May 20.
Project leader Joel Johnson, professor and chair of electrical and computer engineering (ECE) at Ohio State, said the CubeSat Radiometer Radio Frequency Interference Technology Validation mission (CubeRRT) contains advanced sensors for observing Earth’s environment from space. More
(Source: The Ohio State University News - May 17)
ASTRONAUTS ARE TAKING A SPACEWALK OUTSIDE THE SPACE STATION TODAY: WATCH LIVE - Two NASA astronauts will work in space today (May 16) outside the International Space Station (ISS), and you can watch their 6.5-hour spacewalk, or extra-vehicular activity (EVA), live online.
Expedition 55 flight engineers Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold will exit the station through the Quest airlock at around 8:10 a.m. EDT (1210 GMT). NASA will provide live coverage starting at 6:30 a.m. EDT (1030 GMT), when the astronauts are getting ready for their work and putting on their spacesuits. You can watch it live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA TV. More
(Source: Space.com - May 17)
A PIONEERING NASA SATELLITE JUST FELL TO EARTH AFTER 2 DECADES IN SPACE - On April 30, after more than 20 years in space, NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) satellite re-entered and burned up in Earth's atmosphere. Decommissioned in 2012, the instrument spent its lifetime probing the environments of black holes and neutron stars in X-ray wavelengths, revealing new insight into these dense gravitational objects.
"Observing these X-ray phenomena with precise high-resolution timing was RXTE's specialty," Jean Swank, an astrophysicist emeritus at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who served as the mission's project scientist until 2010, said in a statement. "During RXTE's run, no other observatory could provide these measurements." More
(Source: Space.com - May 16)