SPACEX SUBMITS PAPERWORK FOR 30,000 MORE STARLINK SATELLITES - SpaceX has asked the International Telecommunication Union to arrange spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites.
SpaceX, which is already planning the world’s largest low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation by far, filed paperwork in recent weeks for up to 30,000 additional Starlink satellites on top of the 12,000 already approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 16)
ROCKET LAB PREPS FOR COMMERCIAL SATELLITE LAUNCH THIS WEEK - Rocket Lab’s fifth flight of the year is set for liftoff as soon as Wednesday (U.S. time) carrying a small experimental satellite to orbit for Astro Digital, a Silicon Valley company aiming to demonstrate technologies in space after an earlier focus on Earth observation.
The mission was delayed two days because of stormy weather at Rocket Lab’s launch site, located on Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 16)
JAPANESE SATELLITE RE-ENTERS ATMOSPHERE AFTER EXPERIMENTS IN ULTRA-LOW ORBIT - An experimental Japanese satellite has ended its mission after proving it could operate at super-low altitudes, testing an Earth-imaging camera and using ion propulsion to fight against aerodynamic drag at an altitude of 112 miles (181 kilometers).
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Tsubame satellite, named for the Japanese word for barn swallow, re-entered the atmosphere Oct. 2 after a nearly three-year mission. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 16)
UC BERKELEY WAS ABOUT TO LAUNCH A SATELLITE. THEN PG&E SAID IT WAS CUTTING POWER - Last Monday, just as the workday was winding down, Paula Milano received a phone call that threw her week into chaos. Milano, who helps run the Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley, had been gearing up for a satellite launch. But on the phone now was a friend of hers, with bad news: PG&E, the power company, was warning the school that its electricity could be cut Wednesday—making the campus one of more than 700,000 customers that would suffer the same fate.
The outage was a precautionary measure to keep forecasted high winds from jostling electrical equipment and starting the next massive wildfire. More
(Source: WIRED - Oct 16)
SCIENTISTS PROPOSE NEW SATELLITE TECH TO DODGE SPACE JUNK FROM MEGACONSTELLATIONS - If a disastrous space junk chain reaction ends up surrounding Earth with a belt of destructive shrapnel, state-of-the-art infrared cameras and gel-based rockets just might help future satellites dodge such debris, a new study finds.
Space debris might not sound dangerous until one realizes that in low Earth orbit — up to about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) in altitude — such debris collides with an average speed of about 22,370 mph (36,000 km/h), according to NASA. At such speeds, even tiny pieces of space debris can inflict devastating damage. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 15)
NEXT YEAR, NEW SPACE MISSIONS WILL TEST TECHNOLOGIES TO FIX BUSTED SATELLITES IN ORBIT - Next year, the long-held dream of repairing satellites already in orbit around Earth will come a little closer to reality. Two new missions — from military contractor Northrop Grumman and a startup called Astroscale — will send spacecraft into orbit to rendezvous with other vehicles zooming around Earth to see if it’s possible for two satellites to delicately meet up with each other in space. If successful, these missions could mark a big first step toward cleaning up Earth orbit and making it a more sustainable place. More
(Source: The Verge - Oct 15)
TINY MINNESOTA HIGH SCHOOL AIMS TO PUT A WASHING MACHINE IN OUTER SPACE - A tiny high school in east central Minnesota with barely 200 students is turning out some of the world’s most advanced technology.
An ethanol-fueled car that gets more than 500 miles per gallon? They’ve built that.
A prosthetic foot that’s been used by the world’s top paralympic skiers? Built that, too. Now the tech students in this town of 1,800 some 60 miles north of the Twin Cities are working on a new project that’s out of this world — literally. More
(Source: - Oct 15)
A SOVIET SATELLITE FALLS TO EARTH IN 'THE WALKING DEAD' SEASON 10. HOW REALISTIC IS IT? - AMC's "The Walking Dead" launched its tenth season last week to the delight of zombie fans everywhere, but the premiere also contained a space junk easter egg that just might be a major plot point for series: a Soviet satellite crashing to Earth.
The episode "Lines We Cross" ends with an old Soviet satellite crashing to Earth as a brilliant daytime fireball. It looses unmistakable sonic booms and a sparks wildfire in enemy territory (watch out for Whisperers!) that the show's heroes must battle to save their hunting grounds. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)
BOEING AIMS TO LAUNCH UNPILOTED STARLINER TEST FLIGHT TO SPACE STATION IN DECEMBER - Boeing has set a new launch date for the first orbital flight of its new commercial crew vehicle that will soon begin ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
The unpiloted CST-100 Starliner capsule is now scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Dec. 17, said John Mulholland, Boeing's vice president of commercial programs, here at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS). More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)
ALEXEI LEONOV, WORLD’S FIRST SPACEWALKER, DIES - Legendary cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first human to walk in space — an experience that almost killed him — and later the commander of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that docked with a NASA Apollo capsule, symbolizing a historic thaw in the Cold War, has died after a long illness, the Russian space agency confirmed Friday. He was 85. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 12)
DECOMMISSIONED EARTH SCIENCE SATELLITE TO REMAIN IN ORBIT FOR CENTURIES - A U.S.-European satellite that completed its mission earlier this month has been decommissioned but will remain in orbit for as long as 1,000 years, far beyond existing orbital debris mitigation guidelines.
Jason-2, a joint mission of NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the French space agency CNES and European weather agency Eumetsat, ended its mission to study sea-level height Oct. 1. The spacecraft, also known as Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM), launched in June 2008 for a mission originally expected to last three years. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 11)
NASA LAUNCHES LONG-DELAYED ICON SPACE WEATHER SATELLITE TO STUDY EARTH'S IONOSPHERE - A long-awaited NASA mission designed to probe Earth's upper atmosphere has finally taken off after years of delays.
The Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft launched tonight (Oct. 10) at 10:00 p.m. EDT (0200 GMT on Oct. 11) aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, which was released in midair from its carrier plane, a Stargazer L-1011. The aircraft had taken off about an hour and a half earlier from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 11)
SPACEX COMPETITOR CREATING ‘CELL TOWER’ IN SPACE - Hot off the success of co-founding a company to commercialize the space station, Charles Miller's next frontier is going head-to-head with SpaceX’s quest to provide constant cell connectivity in orbit.
Miller is best known for the success of NanoRacks, a one-stop-shopping company for firms looking to make money in microgravity on the International Space Station. Working closely with NASA, NanoRacks runs experiments on the U.S. Harmony module and manages tiny satellites launched into space using a robotic Japanese arm. More
(Source: Forbes - Oct 11)
NORTHROP GRUMMAN CARGO SHIP LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION DELAYED TO NOVEMBER - A Northrop Grumman Innovations Systems launch of a commercial cargo ship to the International Space Station for NASA on Oct. 21 will now liftoff on Nov. 2, NASA officials said.
The NG-12 Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station aboard an Antares rocket (also built by Northrop Grumman) on Nov. 2 at 9:59 a.m. EDT (1359 GMT) from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia, according to a NASA update. The mission, called CRS-12, will fly under Northrop Grumman's Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 11)
LAUNCH OF SATELLITE ABOARD AIRBORNE ROCKET PUSHED BACK - The launch of a satellite from a rocket dropped from the underbelly of an airplane off the coast of Florida has been delayed a day. Northrop Grumman had planned to launch the rocket Wednesday night but pushed it back to Thursday night because of poor weather conditions.
The company says it will try again at 9:30 p.m. ET Thursday. More
(Source: News 13 - Oct 10)
ROCKET LAB SWAPS SATELLITE CUSTOMERS FOR ELECTRON LAUNCH NEXT WEEK - The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab will loft a small satellite for the California-based firm Astro Digital from New Zealand next week in a last-minute mission swap for the commercial launch company
A Rocket Lab Electron booster will launch no earlier than Monday (Oct. 14, October 15 NZDT) from the company's Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula. The flight, Rocket Lab's fifth of 2019, will carry a satellite for Astro Digital's Corvus Platform. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 10)
NORTHROP GRUMMAN’S SATELLITE SERVICER MEV-1, EUTELSAT SATELLITE, LAUNCH ON ILS PROTON - An International Launch Services Proton rocket carried Northrop Grumman’s first satellite-servicing spacecraft and a Eutelsat communications satellite to orbit Oct. 9.
Proton lifted off at 6:18 a.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Its two passengers are scheduled to separate from the rocket almost 16 hours later in a supersynchronous transfer orbit.
The launch is ILS’s first mission since 2017 and the first time the company has carried two commercial satellite on a single Proton. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 9)
NASA SMALL SATELLITES CAN AID HURRICANE FORECASTS WITH GPS - Eight briefcase-size satellites flying in a row may be key to improving forecasts of a hurricane's wind speed—detecting whether it will make landfall as a Category 1 or a Category 5. NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) fleet, launched in 2016, was designed to show whether the same GPS signals your phone uses for navigation can be used to measure winds deep within a hurricane or typhoon. The answer appears to be a resounding yes. More
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 9)
NASA’S ICON SATELLITE TO LAUNCH ON WEDNESDAY - NASA will launch its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) satellite on Wednesday, October 9, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:30 p.m. EDT.
The new satellite will orbit Earth, studying what happens when space weather and Earth weather interact in Earth’s ionosphere, the atmosphere level populated by ions and free electrons. More
(Source: Astronomy Magazine - Oct 9)