LONG MARCH 3C ROCKET LAUNCHES BEIDOU SATELLITE TOWARD GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT - China launched a Beidou navigation satellite Friday using a Long March 3C rocket, adding another node to a growing space-based network that Chinese officials say will broadcast positioning and timing signals around the world next year.
The Long March 3C launcher, fitted with a pair of liquid-fueled strap-on boosters, fired away from the Xichang space center at 1548 GMT (11:48 a.m. EDT) Friday, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, or CALT, the state-owned contractor that builds most Chinese satellite launchers. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 19)
SATELLITE DATA CAN HELP MONITOR SHIFTING AND SINKING GROUNDS - Land subsidence is the shifting and sinking of the ground, and it can be disastrous for low lying countries. Subsidence can be caused by several factors, including erosion, earthquakes, mining, and even rapid urbanization.
Because of the risks that subsidence poses to urban areas and agriculture, it is crucial to find ways to monitor and map subsidence in regions where city infrastructure, buildings, homes, and crop yields are under threat. More
(Source: Earth.com - May 19)
SPACEX DELAYS LAUNCH OF 60 STARLINK SATELLITES AGAIN, THIS TIME FOR SOFTWARE CHECKS - The first big batch of SpaceX internet satellites will have to wait at least another week to get aloft.
Elon Musk's company scrubbed the launch of 60 Starlink spacecraft tonight (May 16) about two hours before their planned 10:30 p.m. EDT (0230 GMT on May 17) liftoff, citing a desire to update software and perform some more checks. More
(Source: Space.com - May 17)
FIRST HAM SATELLITE — OSCAR 1 — WILL JOIN AMSAT’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AT DAYTON - A working prototype of OSCAR 1, Amateur Radio’s first satellite, will be on display at AMSAT’s Dayton Hamvention® booth. AMSAT’s exhibit will be in Building 1 (Maxim Hall) at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. OSCAR 1 (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) was launched into orbit in 1961, at the dawn of the Space Age. Built by a group of California-based radio amateurs for about $60, OSCAR 1 was the first nongovernmental satellite. It transmitted a simple “HI” in CW for nearly 20 days and was heard in 28 different countries. More
(Source: ARRL - May 17)
WATCH INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FLYBYS ALL NIGHT LONG - The annual International Space Station marathon viewing season begins later this week, when skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere can watch up to five ISS passes in one night. I've seen the International Space Station (ISS) pass over my house a hundred times yet never tire of the sight. Inside that bright light, a crew of several astronauts looks earthward with the same sense of wonder. Now in its 21st year in orbit, the ISS is the brightest, most recognizable satellite in the sky. Few naked-eye sky sights elicit more wows at public star parties than the Venus-bright "star" speeding through the constellations. More
(Source: Sky & Telescope - May 16)
SPACEX DELAYS LAUNCH OF 60 STARLINK INTERNET SATELLITES OVER HIGH WINDS - SpaceX will have to wait at least one more day to start setting up its internet-satellite megaconstellation.
A Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to launch the first 60 of SpaceX's Starlink satellites tonight (May 15) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, but Mother Nature didn't cooperate: Strong high-altitude winds forced the company to push the attempt by 24 hours.
SpaceX made that call just seconds before beginning its launch livestream at 10:45 p.m. EDT (0245 GMT). More
(Source: Space.com - May 16)
SPACEX KICKS OFF ITS SPACE-BASED INTERNET SERVICE TOMORROW WITH 60-SATELLITE STARLINK LAUNCH - As wild as it sounds, the race is on to build a functioning space internet — and SpaceX is taking its biggest step yet with the launch of 60 (!) satellites tomorrow that will form the first wave of its Starlink constellation. It’s a hugely important and incredibly complex launch for the company — and should be well worth launching.
A Falcon 9 loaded to the gills with the flat Starlink test satellites (they’re “production design” but not final hardware) is vertical at launchpad 40 in Cape Canaveral. It has completed its static fire test and should have a window for launch tomorrow, weather permitting. More
(Source: TechCrunch - May 15)
SPACEX IS ABOUT TO TAKE THE LEAD IN THE SATELLITE INTERNET RACE - Elon Musk’s space company is planning to launch 60 of its own satellites in a single launch this week, the first of more than 4,000 spacecraft planned for the Starlink network.
If successful, the flight will make SpaceX the frontrunner in a tight race to be the first operator of an internet satellite network. Why? SpaceX is the only competitor with its own rockets. More
(Source: Quartz - May 15)
LAUNCH OF FOURTH BLAGOVEST SATELLITE PLANNED FOR JULY 16 — SOURCE - The space system of military communications Blagovest will be completed in mid-July when the fourth satellite is launched, a source in the space rocket industry told TASS on Tuesday.
Glonass satellites will be launched with Angara rocket for the first time in 2024
"The Blagovest satellite will be launched on July 16 even though the launch was initially planned for the end of May. After the satellite is delivered to the orbit, the orbital group of military communications satellites Blagovest will be completed," the source said.
(Source: TASS - May 14)
DOZENS OF SATELLITES COULD FEED NOAA’S FUTURE WEATHER MODELS - The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s future satellite constellations are likely to look far different from the current ones, particularly in low Earth orbit where small satellites of various sizes could gather targeted observations.
That is one of the conclusions leaders of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service have reached since releasing the NOAA Satellite Observing System Architecture study in early 2018. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 14)
SPACEX'S STARLINK COULD CAUSE CASCADES OF SPACE JUNK - This Wednesday SpaceX will launch its first batch of Starlink satellites—a “mega constellation” of thousands of spacecraft to provide high-speed Internet access to billions of people at any location on the planet. Starlink is only the first of many such projects; there are at least eight more mega constellations in the works from other companies. Although they promise to revolutionize global telecommunications, these efforts are not free of peril: as the number of satellites inexorably grows, so, too, does the risk of creating dangerous debris that could threaten the continued safe use of Earth orbit. “This is something we need to pay attention to,” says Glenn Peterson, a senior engineering specialist at the Aerospace Corporation, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. “We have to be proactive.” More
(Source: Scientific American - May 14)
NASA, ULA FIND LAUNCH OPPORTUNITY FOR INFLATABLE HEAT SHIELD DEMONSTRATOR - A flight demonstration of an inflatable heat shield that could be used to retrieve reusable engines from United Launch Alliance’s next-generation Vulcan rocket, and for the delivery of heavier cargo to the surface of Mars, is planned for launch in late 2021 or early 2022 as a piggyback payload on an Atlas 5 rocket with a NOAA weather satellite. The inflatable re-entry decelerator will launch as a joint project between NASA and ULA, which foresee different uses for the technology. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 14)
SMALL SATELLITES: BREAKING THE MONOPOLY OF POWERFUL NATIONS IN SPACE INDUSTRY – ANALYSIS - In 2017, India launched a record 104 satellites into space. Barring one, the rest of the satellites that were launched were small satellites. Small satellites are miniaturised satellites that weigh under 500 kilograms. Evolution of the technology for building small satellites is making it accessible to a wide range of users, from university students to engineers and scientists all over the world. Small satellites have several advantages over large satellites namely cost effective ways to test newer technologies, opportunities for local industry, bigger basket of potential users and thus a large variety of mission possibilities. More
(Source: Eurasia Review - May 13)
ELON MUSK SHOWS SPACEX’S FIRST 60 STARLINK INTERNET SATELLITES PACKED FOR LAUNCH - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk shared a first look on Saturday of his company’s internet satellites packed and ready for launch in a few days.
These satellites represent SpaceX’s ambitious plan to build an internet satellite network, known as Starlink. The company is one of several, including Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, which are building these so called “constellations” of interconnected satellites to deliver high speed internet from space.
“These are production design, unlike our earlier TinTin demo sats,” Musk said in a thread of tweets, adding that it’s a “tight fit” to get all 60 on top of a single SpaceX rocket. More
(Source: CNBC - May 13)
BEANIE BABIES, THE INVENTION OF CUBESAT AND STUDENT-DESIGNED AND BUILT SATELLITES - The democratization of space began 20 years ago with Beanie Babies – or, more accurately, the clear acrylic box that brought them home. These 4-inch (10-cm) cubes inspired space engineer Bob Twiggs to create CubeSat, the first satellite with a standard design.
From 1957 when the first human-made satellite, Sputnik-1, was launched until 1999 when Twiggs proposed CubeSat, satellites came in all shapes and sizes. And almost all satellites were designed from scratch. CubeSat provided the first universally accepted satellite standard – a cube with 4-inch sides and weighing about 3 pounds (1.3 kilograms). More
(Source: Space.com - May 12)
RUSSIA, US EXTEND AGREEMENT ON ASTRONAUTS’ TRAVELS TO SPACE STATION ON BOARD OF SOYUZ
- Russia and the United States have agreed on two additional places on board of Soyuz carrier rockets for journeys of NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Executive Director for Manned Programs Sergei Krikalyov told TASS.
"The documents have been approved," Krikalyov said adding that it the procedure to sign the papers took place before a recently reported incident with Crew Dragon spacecraft.
(Source: TASS - May 11)
X-RAY COMMUNICATIONS EXPERIMENT DELIVERED TO SPACE STATION - A novel communications experiment developed by NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory has arrived at the International Space Station to prove data can be transmitted in space using X-ray signals, a breakthrough that could have uses in deep space exploration and military technology on Earth.
The X-ray communications experiment, known as XCOM, is one of several scientific and tech demo payloads inside a U.S. military instrument named STP-H6, which arrived at the space station Monday in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 11)
AIR FORCE GAINS INCREASED CAPACITY WITH NEW ANTI-JAMMING SATELLITE - The Air Force took control of the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite on May 3, marking a step forward in the service’s efforts to provide jam-resistant communications for the military.
The AEHF system replaces the Milstar constellation to offer highly protected communication for high priority military assets and national leaders. AEHF also serves the United States’ international partners of Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
(Source: C4ISRNet - May 11)
ROCKET LAB ANNOUNCES DATE, PAYLOADS FOR SATELLITE RIDESHARE LAUNCH - Space launch startup Rocket Lab has announced a launch date for several spacecraft on behalf of Spaceflight, a satellite rideshare company. Rocket Lab has also specified which satellite payloads will be hitching a ride.
The mission is nicknamed "Make It Rain" due to the amount of rainfall in both Seattle (Spaceflight's headquarters) and New Zealand (where the launch site is located), according to a statement from Rocket Lab. More
(Source: Space.com - May 11)