IT’S BEEN OVER 60 YEARS SINCE GAGARIN'S ORBIT, SO WHY AREN'T WE VACATIONING IN SPACE YET? - Mankind’s hunger to experience outer space was ignited with Yuri Gagarin’s pioneering orbit in 1961. Neil Armstrong’s moon walk further fueled the idea we'd soon be vacationing there. So what happened to the space tourism dream?
Of the seven space tourists to date, Dennis Tito was first in 2001 and Guy Laiberte the last, less than a decade later. More
(Source: RT - May 7)
BANGABANDHU SATELLITE-1 LAUNCH SCHEDULE AFTER TEST RESULTS - Though the test results of Bangladesh's first satellite, Bangabandhu-1 was expected to be in hand by Saturday evening, the SpaceX authorities are yet to provide its results, said Chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Dr Shahjahan Mahmood today.
Talking to UNB, he said, "We did not receive the results of the test yet as SpaceX was still analyzing the data. After they provide us the certificate of evaluation, we will seek date for launching." More
(Source: The Daily Star - May 7)
SPACEX DRAGON CAPSULE RETURNS TO EARTH FROM SPACE STATION - A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship is returning to Earth today (May 5) with more than 2 tons of NASA gear from the International Space Station. The capsule's splashdown capped a busy day for NASA, which began its weekend with a launch to Mars.
The Dragon capsule left the space station this morning at 9:23 a.m. EDT (1323 GMT) when it was released by the orbiting laboratory's robotic arm. The spacecraft is packed with over 4,000 lbs. (1,800 kilograms) of experiment samples and other gear to Earth for NASA, and is returning to Earth two days late. More
(Source: Space.com - May 6)
AFTER FOGGY DEPARTURE, IT’S CLEAR SAILING TO MARS FOR INSIGHT LANDER - Making a fiery climb into a foggy sky Saturday over California’s Central Coast, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket dispatched NASA’s InSight lander on a 301-million-mile voyage to Mars with a package of European-built instruments to probe the inside of the Red Planet. The billion-dollar robotic mission took off at 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT; 1105 GMT) Saturday from Space Launch Complex 3-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, a secure military post northwest of Los Angeles that had never before hosted a launch to another planet. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 6)
FOURTH US AIR FORCE SBIRS SATELLITE SENDS FIRST IMAGES BACK TO EARTH - The U.S. Air Force's fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite transmitted its first images back to Earth. The milestone, known as "first light," occurred in February when the SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, turned on its powerful sensors for the first time during space vehicle checkout.
SBIRS GEO Flight-4 is the latest satellite to join the Air Force's orbiting missile warning constellation. More
(Source: Space Daily - May 5)
SPACE POLICY EDITION: A COMMERCIAL FUTURE FOR THE SPACE STATION? - After announcing it intends to divest from the International Space Station in 2025, NASA quietly released a new report on its transition plans, laying out a series of principles that will set the future of U.S. astronauts in low-Earth orbit. Can a private entity really take over the space station? Where did this idea come from anyway? Will there be new commercial space stations in the near future, and will they serve NASA's needs? Also, the confirmation of Jim Bridenstine as NASA Administrator. More
(Source: The Planetary Society - May 5)
PAIR OF UPCOMING NASA SPACEWALKS SET FOR INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN MAY - Two NASA astronauts are scheduled to venture outside the International Space Station for a pair of six-and-a-half-hour spacewalks May 16 and 30.
Experts from NASA will preview the work to be done during the spacewalks in a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 8, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Live coverage of the briefing and spacewalks will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - May 4)
IS FACEBOOK SECRETLY BUILDING AN INTERNET SATELLITE? SIGNS POINT TO YES - Facebook may be secretly working on its own satellite broadband service.
The possible move comes just a few months after SpaceX launched its first two prototype satellites for an internet constellation it hopes may one day be over 11,000 strong.
A partially redacted FCC application obtained by IEEE Spectrum outlines a plan for an experimental satellite from a mysterious company called PointView Tech LLC, which IEEE goes on to connect to Facebook. More
(Source: CNET - May 4)
LONG MARCH ROCKET LAUNCHES APSTAR-6C COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE FROM CHINA - China on Thursday launched the Apstar-6C communications satellite, successfully inserting the 5-metric-ton spacecraft into a geostationary-transfer orbit.
The Long March 3B launch vehicle lifted off from Launch Complex 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 12:06 p.m. Eastern, in accordance with airspace closure notices published days in advance.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced success of the launch just over an hour after liftoff. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 4)