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)
SATELLITE INDUSTRY’S FIRST ROBOTIC SERVICING MISSION READY FOR LAUNCH - A pioneering Northrop Grumman-built satellite designed to dock with an aging spacecraft more than 22,000 miles above Earth, then extend its life with the aid of solar-electric thrusters, is set for launch Wednesday from Kazakhstan aboard a Proton rocket.
The first Mission Extension Vehicle, or MEV 1, will link up with an 18-year-old Intelsat communications satellite early next year. Once docked, the MEV 1 spacecraft will take over propulsion for the Intelsat 901 satellite, which is running low on fuel. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 9)
ASTRONAUTS WILL SPEND MUCH OF OCTOBER OUTSIDE THE SPACE STATION - October is spacewalk month for astronauts aboard the space station. By the end of the month, crew members will have completed a total of five spacewalks. Most of their time outside will be spent making upgrades to the space station's power system.
The first of the five trips occurred over the weekend. Expedition 61 flight engineers Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan spent more than seven hours outside the International Space Station on Sunday. More
(Source: Space Daily - Oct 9)
KEPLER BOOKS SOYUZ FOR FIRST TWO OPERATIONAL SATELLITES - As it explores changes to its constellation orbit and spacecraft design, Kepler Communications on Oct. 7 said it nonetheless secured launch slots for its first two fully commercial satellites.
Kepler will launch the two six-unit cubesats on a Russian Soyuz rocket operated by GK Launch Services in mid-2020. Kepler arranged the launch through Innovative Space Logistics, the Dutch launch broker that arranged for Keplers first two prototypes to launch in 2018 on a Chinese Long March 11 and Indian PSLV. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 8)
THE PENTAGON WANTS TO LAUNCH SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS TO TRACK MISSILES - The Pentagon wants to develop and deploy constellations of satellites that would bolster missile defense systems and other military applications in low Earth orbit.
The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (SDA), created in March to oversee space-related projects pursued across the US military, is proposing the establishment of a “National Defense Space Architecture,” according to Bloomberg News. The system, which would consist of as many as 1,200 satellites, would create several layers of satellite constellations. More
(Source: MIT Technology Review - Oct 8)
NASA MAY ASK SPACEX TO EXTEND DURATION OF CREW DRAGON TEST FLIGHT - NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley may spend more time on the International Space Station than originally planned when they ride SpaceX’s new human-rated Dragon spacecraft into orbit on its first crewed test flight, a space agency official said Friday.
A decision to extend the duration of the Crew Dragon test flight with Behnken and Hurley, designated Demo-2, is one of several options under consideration to ensure the space station remains staffed with U.S. astronauts after NASA’s agreement to procure seats on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft expires next year. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 8)
SPACE STATION CREW STAGES FIRST OF 5 BATTERY SWAP SPACEWALKS - Astronauts Christina Koch and Drew Morgan floated outside the International Space Station on Sunday, removed three aging batteries from the lab's solar power truss and installed two more powerful replacements. It was the first of five planned spacewalks to upgrade the complex electrical system and extend the station's life through the 2020s. More
(Source: CBS News - Oct 7)
VIRGIN ORBIT PLANS FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH IN 2 MONTHS - Good news, space fans!
Virgin Orbit, the rocket-launching sibling to Sir Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic, is now just two months and two flights away from putting its first satellite in orbit.
Announcing the advent of its newest "LauncherOne" test rocket late last month, Virgin laid out its plans to officially entering the space race. More
(Source: Motley Fool - Oct 7)
NORTHROP'S SATELLITE REFUELING SPACECRAFT LAUNCHES ON OCTOBER 9TH - Space junk is hard to completely avoid when satellites can only carry so much fuel, but that might not be a problem for much longer. Northrop Grumman and NASA are launching a "first-of-its-kind" refueling vessel, the Mission Extension Vehicle, aboard a Russian rocket on October 9th. The inaugural MEV-1 will dock with an Intelsat satellite in three months' time and provide life-extending services over five years. After that, it should be free to help other satellites -- it'll still have 10 years' worth of fuel. More
(Source: Engadget - Oct 7)
REQUIEM FOR A CLIMATE CHANGE SATELLITE, DECOMMISSIONED AFTER 11 YEARS - After 11 straight years of success, the U.S.-European Jason-2/Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM) has come to an end. A joint mission combining the forces of NASA, the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), OSMT has studied Earth's changing oceans at a critical time in the planet's history.
(Source: Popular Mechanics - Oct 7)
CHINA LAUNCHES HD OBSERVATION SATELLITE
- China has successfully launched a high definition microwave remote sensing satellite capable of providing photographs with a resolution of less than a metre, official media reported.
PTI PTI, Beijing, Oct 05 2019, 17:25pm ist updated: Oct 05 2019, 17:44pm ist Image for RepresentationImage for Representation China has successfully launched a high definition microwave remote sensing satellite capable of providing pho...
(Source: Deccan Herald - Oct 6)