THE AMBITIOUS PROPOSAL TO CREATE A SPACE 'MUSEUM' IN ORBIT - On 18 May 2009, 570km (350 miles) above the Earth, astronaut John Grunsfeld became the last human to touch the Hubble Space Telescope. Before re-entering Space Shuttle Atlantis’ airlock at the end of the final and gruelling servicing mission, he recalled a quote from science fiction legend, Arthur C Clarke.
“The only way of finding the limits of the possible, is by going beyond them into the impossible,” he said over the intercom to the VIPs gathered in mission control. “On this mission, we tried some things that many people said were impossible… we wish Hubble the very best.” More
(Source: BBC News - Apr 13)
THE SNEAKY WAYS CHINA AND RUSSIA COULD THREATEN US SATELLITES - Major global powers, such as China and Russia, are focusing more on space weapons that neutralize others’ satellites rather than those that destroy payloads on orbit, a new report has found.
The study by the Secure World Foundation, released Wednesday morning and previewed exclusively with Defense News, is a comprehensive collection of public-source information about the counterspace capabilities of China, Russia, North Korea and other world powers that could threaten American dominance in space.
(Source: DefenseNews.com - Apr 13)
SOYUZ ROCKET: RUSSIA'S RELIABLE BOOSTER - The Soyuz rocket – not to be confused with the Soyuz spacecraft – is a line of Russian boosters that have seen variants fly since the mid-1960s. It is used for both cargo and astronaut transportation.
The Soyuz rocket is best known today for being the main form of transportation to the International Space Station. NASA bought astronaut seats on Soyuz spacecraft (which the rocket carries into space) starting in 2011, after the space shuttle program retired. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 12)
ISRO LAUNCHES FOR SECOND TIME IN TWO WEEKS - Riding a column of red-hot rocket exhaust, an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle fired into orbit Wednesday with a replacement satellite for the country’s home-grown navigation network. The PSLV took off at 2234 GMT (6:34 p.m. EDT) with a rush of flame from a solid-fueled core motor and four strap-on solid rocket boosters. Two more augmentation rockets ignited around 25 seconds after liftoff to give the 145-foot-tall (44-meter) launcher another boost into a predawn sky over India’s spaceport on Sriharikota Island, a piece of land on the country’s eastern coastline. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 12)
CHINESE LONG MARCH 4C ROCKET DEPLOYS FOUR SATELLITES IN ORBIT - Three Chinese military surveillance spacecraft and an experimental nanosatellite rode a Long March 4C rocket into orbit Tuesday. The Long March 4C rocket took off at 0425 GMT (12:25 a.m. EDT; 12:25 p.m. Beijing time) from the Jiuquan space center located in the Inner Mongolia region of northwestern China, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 11)
THERE'S A LOT OF SPERM ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION RIGHT NOW - For the first time, err, officially, NASA will set loose human sperm in outer space.
The Micro-11 mission, which made its way to space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket's Dragon resupply capsule, amounts to a bunch of containers of frozen human and bull sperm. Aboard the International Space Station (ISS), scientists will thaw the sperm, according to a NASA statement, and then study it to see how weightlessness affects its ability to move and prepare to fuse with an egg. More
(Source: Live Science - Apr 10)
ISRO'S PSLV-C41 TO LAUNCH IRNSS-1I NAVIGATION SATELLITE ON THURSDAY - India's space agency ISRO on Saturday said it will launch a navigation satellite from its spaceport in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.
"The 43rd flight of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41) will launch the Indian Remote Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS-1I) from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on April 12 at 4.04am," the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement on its official website. More
(Source: NDTV - Apr 10)
WSJ: SPACEX NOT TO BLAME FOR 'ZUMA' SPY SATELLITE DISASTER - All eyes were on SpaceX back in January, when a Falcon 9 rocket launched a mysterious payload called Zuma into orbit. But soon after its supposed deployment, reports started coming in that Zuma hadn't fared well and the satellite had failed. Because the payload, from contractor Northrop Grumman, was classified, there wasn't much additional information, though many grumbled that SpaceX was at fault. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that government and industry experts are of the opinion that the failure was the fault of Northrop Grumman, not SpaceX. More
(Source: Engadget - Apr 10)
RUSSIAN ISS SSTV EVENT TO CELEBRATE COSMONAUTICS DAY - ARISS Russia is planning a special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) event April 11-14 from the International Space Station in celebration of Cosmonautics Day.
The transmissions are to begin on April 11 at 11:30 UT and run through April 14 ending at 18:20 UT.
Supporting this event is a computer on the ISS Russian Segment, which stores images that are then transmitted to Earth using amateur radio, specifically the onboard Kenwood TM-D710E transceiver. More
(Source: AMSAT UK - Apr 10)