SPACE STARTUP MOMENTUS PROVIDES ‘LAST MILE DELIVERY’ FOR SATELLITES LAUNCHED ON ANY ROCKET - A space startup offering a “last mile delivery” service for spacecraft is continuing its deal spree this year, becoming an increasingly important player in the growing small satellite market.
Momentus, a Santa Clara, California-based company, has so far struck $40 million worth of customer contracts this year and announced on Thursday its latest deal with Dutch small satellite specialist ISILaunch. Its the eighth such deal Momentus has unveiled in 2020, with the company providing its orbit transfer services for ISILaunch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch in December. More
(Source: CNBC - Jul 3)
AFTER WEATHER DELAYS, ARIANESPACE DELAYS VEGA LAUNCH TO RECHARGE BATTERIES - After an unusual stretch of excessive high-altitude winds prevented launch from French Guiana of 53 small satellites on a Vega rocket in June — and no sign of a letup in winds in the coming days — Arianespace said Wednesday that the mission will be delayed to Aug. 17 to allow time for teams to recharge launcher and payload batteries.
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 3)
SPACEWALKERS COMPLETE PENULTIMATE SET OF BATTERY UPGRADES FOR SPACE STATION - Two NASA astronauts have completed the second-to-last set of battery replacements outside of the International Space Station, advancing a multi-year project to upgrade the power system for the orbiting laboratory.
Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken, who launched on SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft in late May, conducted their second spacewalk together on Wednesday (July 1), five days after beginning the battery swap work for one of two power channels on the station's far starboard (S6) truss still needing to be upgraded. More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 2)
FINAL BEIDOU-3 SATELLITE REACHES OPERATIONAL ORBIT, CHINA’S LAUNCH SITES GEAR UP FOR JULY MISSIONS - China’s final Beidou-3 satellite has reached its intended geostationary orbit and passed systems checks, a week after launch from Xichang.
The satellite’s frequency synthesizers, atomic clock, navigation processors and inter-satellite payloads and other systems are working normally, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation stated in a June 30 release. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 1)
NASA TV GOES LIVE WEDNESDAY TO BROADCAST SPACEWALK - NASA astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for a spacewalk to complete battery replacement activities to upgrade one of two power channels on the station’s far starboard truss (S6 Truss). The upgrade includes removing six aging nickel-hydrogen batteries and replacing them with three new lithium-ion batteries and the adapter plates that complete the power circuit to the new batteries. More
(Source: NASA - Jul 1)
SPACEX LAUNCHES ADVANCED GPS SATELLITE FOR US SPACE FORCE, STICKS ROCKET LANDING - SpaceX successfully launched its 11th mission of the year, lofting a next-generation global positioning satellite into space for the U.S. Space Force.
A shiny, white Falcon 9 rocket took to the skies today (June 30) at 4:10 p.m. EDT (2010 GMT), taking off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 30)
WATCH: SPACEX SET FOR GPS SATELLITE LAUNCH FROM CAPE TODAY - On board the rocket will be the U.S. Air Force’s third-generation satellite called the GPS III Space Vehicle 03. The GPS III constellation of satellites, made by Lockheed Martin, supports U.S. and allied operations.
The launch window opens at 3:55 p.m. ET and ends at 4:10 p.m. ET at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40. More
(Source: Bay News 9 - Jun 30)
VEGA’S RETURN TO FLIGHT MISSION SCRUBBED AGAIN - After a lengthy grounding following a failed launch in July 2019, the closure of the Guiana Space Centre due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and a further postponement because of high-altitude winds, Arianespace’s small-lift Vega rocket was set to launch on its Return To Flight (RTF) mission on Sunday night/Monday morning.
Yet another weather delay has now pushed the mission’s launch to “indefinite” as Arianespace works to determine a new launch date. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jun 29)
SPECTACULAR NEW IMAGES CAPTURE THE SPACE STATION CRUISE ACROSS THE SUN - Moving at eight kilometers (five miles) per second, the International Space Station (ISS) circles our planet every 90 minutes. In a 24-hour period, crew members on the ISS experience 16 sunrises and sunsets. Despite how often the station passes directly between Earth and the Sun, capturing an image of the ISS transiting our nearest star is rare. More
(Source: SciTechDaily - Jun 29)
ASTRONAUTS COMPLETE SPACEWALK OUTSIDE SPACE STATION - Two NASA astronauts conducted a spacewalk to replace lithium ion batteries outside of the International Space Station on Friday with only a minor snafu -- the loss of a mirror.
Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Robert Behnken began the spacewalk at 7:32 a.m. EDT and were back safely inside the ISS just over 6 hours later. More
(Source: UPI.com - Jun 27)
TINY SATELLITES COULD DISTRIBUTE QUANTUM KEYS - Unbreakable quantum keys that use the laws of physics to protect their secrets could be transmitted from orbiting devices a person could lift with one hand, according to experiments conducted from the International Space Station.
Researchers launched a tiny, experimental satellite loaded with optics that could emit entangled pairs of photons. More
(Source: IEEE Spectrum - Jun 27)
SPACEX DELAYS LAUNCH OF STARLINK AND BLACKSKY SATELLITES FOR MORE ROCKET CHECKS - SpaceX is standing down from the launch of its next batch of Starlink satellites to allow time for additional preflight checks of the Falcon 9.
The California-based spaceflight company was scheduled to launch another batch of its Starlink internet-beaming satellites and two satellites for BlackSky on a previously flown Falcon 9 rocket at 4:18 p.m. EST (2018 GMT) today from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. However, the company chose to delay the launch attempt, and a new date has not yet been set. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 26)
SPACEX'S 1ST CREW DRAGON FOR ASTRONAUTS ACES TESTS IN SPACE, COULD LAND AUG. 2 - SpaceX's first Crew Dragon spacecraft to carry astronauts, now parked at the International Space Station, has passed all its tests so far and could return to Earth on in early August, according to NASA.
SpaceX successfully launched the crew capsule, called Endeavour, to the International Space Station on May 30 with veteran astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board. Its Demo-2 mission is a test flight for NASA to prove SpaceX's Crew Dragon is ready for regular astronaut flights to the station. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 26)
ROSCOSMOS SAYS IT WILL SEND TWO TOURISTS TO THE SPACE STATION IN 2023 — AND ONE OF THEM WILL SPACEWALK - After taking a decade-long break from space tourism, Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos plans to send two paying tourists to the International Space Station in 2023 on a short flight of the country’s Soyuz spacecraft. While they’re up there, one of the tourists will perform a spacewalk with an experienced Russian cosmonaut — a first for any private citizen visiting the ISS. More
(Source: The Verge - Jun 26)
SPACEX DELAYS ITS 10TH LAUNCH OF STARLINK SATELLITES - The SpaceX launch has been delayed until Friday 4:18 p.m. This story has been updated.
SpaceX is set to launch its 10th batch of Starlink satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on Friday afternoon, delayed twice this week, as part of a long-term mission to send up to orbit thousands of satellites around Earth that can power high-speed, affordable internet for even remote areas of the globe.
(Source: Orlando Sentinel - Jun 26)
SPACEX GEARING UP FOR ANOTHER LAUNCH OF STARLINK BROADBAND SATELLITES THIS WEEK - For the third time in three weeks, SpaceX is preparing to launch a batch of satellites for the company’s Starlink Internet network from Florida’s Space Coast. Liftoff of a Falcon 9 rocket is set for Thursday afternoon from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, weather permitting.
Liftoff of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled for Thursday at 4:39 p.m. EDT (2039 GMT), and two commercial Earth-imaging microsatellites owned by BlackSky will accompany the Starlink payloads into orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 25)
AFTER NEARLY A MONTH IN SPACE, NASA SEEMS REALLY HAPPY WITH CREW DRAGON - After a flawless launch from Florida, the Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken docked with the International Space Station a little more than three weeks ago.
Before this flight of Dragonship Endeavour, one of the biggest questions from engineers at NASA and SpaceX concerned the durability of the spacecraft. The first Crew Dragon spacecraft launched on an uncrewed test flight in 2019 and spent less than a week attached to the space station. NASA hoped this Dragon could last a few months in space. More
(Source: Ars Technica - Jun 25)
NASA AGREES TO FLY ASTRONAUTS ON REUSED CREW DRAGON SPACECRAFT - NASA has agreed to allow its astronauts to fly on reused Crew Dragon spaceships and Falcon 9 boosters beginning as soon as SpaceX’s third launch of a crew to the International Space Station, a mission expected to launch next year.
The space agency has modified its $2.7 billion commercial crew contract with SpaceX to permit reuse of spacecraft and rocket hardware. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 24)
CHINA LAUNCHES FINAL BEIDOU NAVIGATION SATELLITE - China launched the capstone satellite for the Beidou navigation constellation Tuesday, adding the final piece to a global network to rival the U.S. military’s GPS fleet providing positioning, timing, and search and rescue services.
The final Beidou satellite took off at 0143 GMT Tuesday (9:43 p.m. EDT Monday) aboard a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang launch center. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 23)