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SPACE CALENDAR 2021: ROCKET LAUNCHES, SKY EVENTS, MISSIONS & MORE! - Here's a guide to all the rocket launches and astronomical events in 2021, as well as milestones for space missions, anniversaries and conferences.
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SATELLITE NEWS

SPACEX ABORTS LAUNCH OF FALCON 9 ROCKET CARRYING STARLINK SATELLITES SPACEX ABORTS LAUNCH OF FALCON 9 ROCKET CARRYING STARLINK SATELLITES - A veteran SpaceX rocket suffered a launch abort just minutes before liftoff Sunday night (Feb. 28) while attempting to launch a new fleet of the company's Starlink internet satellites. The Falcon 9 rocket was less than 90 seconds away from launching 60 Starlink satellites into orbit from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida when it experienced the automatic abort, SpaceX said.   More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 1)


ANOTHER TRIO OF CHINESE MILITARY SATELLITES SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED ANOTHER TRIO OF CHINESE MILITARY SATELLITES SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYED - Weeks after the launch of an earlier trio of Chinese military satellites, another spacecraft triplet successfully took off Feb. 24 aboard a Long March 4C rocket on a clandestine mission that analysts believe may involve spying on foreign naval forces. The Yaogan 31 triplet launched at 0222 GMT on Feb. 24 (9:22 p.m. EST on Feb. 23) from the Jiuquan space base on the Gobi Desert of northwestern China. Liftoff occurred at 10:22 a.m. Beijing time.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 1)


SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS PREPARE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FOR NEW SOLAR ARRAYS SPACEWALKING ASTRONAUTS PREPARE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION FOR NEW SOLAR ARRAYS - Two spacewalking astronauts began preparing the International Space Station (ISS) for new solar arrays on Sunday (Feb. 28), battling tough bolts to kick off a major power upgrade for the orbiting lab. Expedition 64 flight engineers Kate Rubins and Victor Glover — both NASA astronauts — spent more than seven hours working outside the station during the spacewalk to install modification kits for the new solar arrays. They worked on the station's portside edge to install a bracket and support struts on two mast canisters at the base of the outpost's current solar wings there, but were only able to install one of the kits while assembling a second and storing it for later.    More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 1)


RUSSIA’S SOYUZ-2-1B LAUNCHES ARKTIKA-M NO.1 WEATHER SATELLITE RUSSIA’S SOYUZ-2-1B LAUNCHES ARKTIKA-M NO.1 WEATHER SATELLITE - Russia launched the first in a new series of weather satellites to aid forecasting over its high-latitude regions. The Arktika-M No.1 satellite, aboard a Soyuz-2-1b/Fregat rocket, lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 12:55 local time (06:55 UTC) on Sunday bound for an elliptical Molniya orbit. The Arktika (Арктика, meaning “Arctic“) satellites will carry out a variety of missions to compliment other satellite constellations with additional coverage of Russia’s most northern regions.    More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Feb 28)


INDIAN ROCKET LAUNCHES BRAZILIAN SATELLITE TO TRACK AMAZON DEFORESTATION INDIAN ROCKET LAUNCHES BRAZILIAN SATELLITE TO TRACK AMAZON DEFORESTATION - An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle placed Brazil’s Amazonia 1 satellite into orbit Sunday to begin a mission monitoring deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, then released 18 smaller spacecraft at a lower altitude, marking a successful start to India’s 2021 launch schedule that could see as many as seven orbital-class rocket missions. The 144-foot-tall (44.4-meter) launch vehicle lifted off from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center at 11:54 p.m. EST Saturday (0454 GMT; 10:24 a.m. local time Sunday) and headed southeast from the spaceport on India’s east coast.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 28)


WATCH ISS SPACEWALK FEBRUARY 28 WATCH ISS SPACEWALK FEBRUARY 28 - Three International Space Station (ISS) crew members will conduct the first of a pair of spacewalks on Sunday, February 28, 2021, to ready the station for solar array upgrades. Live coverage will air on NASA TV, beginning at 4:30 a.m.EST (09:30 UTC; translate UTC to your time), with the astronauts scheduled to exit the station’s Quest airlock about 6:00 a.m. EST (11:00 UTC) The spacewalk will last approximately 6 1/2 hours. Watch here. The second spacewalk is scheduled for Friday, March 5.   More
(Source: EarthSky - Feb 27)


NASA ASTRONAUTS 'VERY BUSY' AHEAD OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPACEWALK SUNDAY NASA ASTRONAUTS 'VERY BUSY' AHEAD OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPACEWALK SUNDAY - Sometimes the people looking after a building get a little behind on maintenance. Sometimes the same thing happens to the people looking after the International Space Station. Two astronauts are preparing for a spacewalk this weekend to prepare for the upcoming replacement of the solar arrays designed to last 15 years and were installed on the ISS more than 20 years ago, according to NASA.   More
(Source: Fox News - Feb 26)


EGYPT TO LAUNCH SATELLITE AT END OF 2021 EGYPT TO LAUNCH SATELLITE AT END OF 2021 - Mohammed El-Qousi, head of the Egyptian Space Agency, said that Egypt is preparing to launch a satellite in December 2021, in addition to other projects to establish space science in the country. He said that Egypt had an ambitious plan to build space systems and infrastructure, as well as strengthen international space relations, explore space and establish Egyptian space law, according to the Al-Youm Al-Sabea newspaper.   More
(Source: Arab News - Feb 26)


SIZE OF CRACK ABOARD SPACE STATION UNCHANGED, SAYS RUSSIAN COSMONAUT SIZE OF CRACK ABOARD SPACE STATION UNCHANGED, SAYS RUSSIAN COSMONAUT - The size of a crack in the intermediate chamber of the Russian Zvezda module aboard the International Space Station (ISS) remains unchanged, cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov reported to Russia’s Flight Control Center on Wednesday. "It [the length] has not changed. As in the previous measurements, I do not see any changes," Ryzhikov said during his talks with Mission Control broadcast on NASA’s website.   More
(Source: TASS - Feb 25)


LONG MARCH 4C LAUNCHES LATEST BATCH OF YAOGAN- 31 SATELLITES LONG MARCH 4C LAUNCHES LATEST BATCH OF YAOGAN- 31 SATELLITES - Three new satellites were launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Wednesday. The new satellites form part of the Group-3 of the Yaogan Weixing-31 mission. The launch took place at 02:22 UTC from Launch Pad 94 of the LC43 launch complex using the Long March-4C (Y32) rocket. Yaogan Weixing-31 Group-03 is composed of three satellites, with Chinese media referring to the new satellites to be used “for electromagnetic environment surveys and other related technology tests.”   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Feb 25)


GALILEO ELLIPTICAL AUXILIARY SATELLITES REMOVED FROM SERVICE GALILEO ELLIPTICAL AUXILIARY SATELLITES REMOVED FROM SERVICE - Two Galileo satellites launched in 2014 by a Soyuz rocket into erroneous orbits, which had been briefly set healthy late last year, have now been removed from service. The change stems from the discovery that, while the vast majority of users obtained an improved positioning, some commercial receivers had difficulty with the satellites’ highly elliptical orbits, created by the malfunction in the Russian launch vehicle. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) issued a Service Notice to Galileo Users (SNGU) on February 16...   More
(Source: Inside GNSS - Feb 24)


SPACE STARTUP PIXXEL’S SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED AGAIN
SPACE STARTUP PIXXEL’S SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED AGAIN - Space technology startup Pixxel said on Tuesday that it will not launch its first satellite ‘Anand’ on the upcoming PSLV C51 mission, scheduled for February 28, owing to technical issues. The Bengaluru-based firm said that the decision to pull out of the launch five days before lift-off was due to software glitches detected during the final stages of the satellite’s testing. Had the launch proceeded as scheduled, Pixxel would have been the first private Indian company to have launched a ..    More
(Source: Economic Times - Feb 24)


REDWIRE ACQUIRES DEPLOYABLE SPACE SYSTEMS REDWIRE ACQUIRES DEPLOYABLE SPACE SYSTEMS - Redwire has acquired Deployable Space Systems (DSS) Inc., the rapidly growing Goleta, California, company that manufactures various structures and mechanisms including the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The DSS acquisition announced Feb. 23 was the seventh acquisition by Jacksonville, Florida-based Redwire, which private equity firm AE Industrial Partners established in 2020 to create a pure-play space company.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 24)


THESE 2 NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY ON SPACEX'S CREW-4 MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN 2022 THESE 2 NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY ON SPACEX'S CREW-4 MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN 2022 - Two NASA astronauts will fly to the International Space Station on the fourth-ever commercial crew mission on SpaceX in 2022 — and you can follow their adventures on social media in the next year. Kjell Lindgren — a potential moonbound astronaut for the Artemis program who spoke with "The Martian" stars from orbit in 2015 — will return to space for his second mission. Joining him will be Bob Hines, a research test pilot (much like the famed moonwalker Neil Armstrong) who just graduated to full astronaut status last year after his selection in 2017.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 24)


ELON MUSK: SPACEX WILL DOUBLE STARLINK'S SATELLITE INTERNET SPEEDS IN 2021 ELON MUSK: SPACEX WILL DOUBLE STARLINK'S SATELLITE INTERNET SPEEDS IN 2021 - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday that his company's satellite internet service, Starlink, will offer speeds close to 300 Mbps later in 2021. That's roughly twice as fast as currently advertised, and would represent a significant step forward for the service as it seeks to deliver high-speed internet to underserved regions across the globe. The tweet came in reply to a customer posting their at-home speed test results with a newly installed Starlink connection.   More
(Source: CNET - Feb 23)


35 YEARS AGO: LAUNCH OF MIR SPACE STATION’S FIRST MODULE 35 YEARS AGO: LAUNCH OF MIR SPACE STATION’S FIRST MODULE - On Feb. 19, 1986, the Soviet Union launched the first module of the Mir space station. Called the Mir base block or core module, this first element provided living accommodations, life support, command and control, and communications systems. During its 15-year lifetime, the Soviets added five research modules, including two partially outfitted with science equipment provided by the United States, to expand its capabilities and habitable volume.   More
(Source: NASA - Feb 23)


NORTHROP GRUMMAN SUPPLY CARRIER DELIVERS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NORTHROP GRUMMAN SUPPLY CARRIER DELIVERS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Monday with more than 8,000 pounds of cargo, including new astronaut sleeping quarters, parts for the station’s toilet, and numerous biomedical and technology experiments. The space station’s Canadian-built robotic arm, under the control of Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, captured the Cygnus spacecraft at 4:38 a.m. EST (0938 GMT) Monday as the supply ship held position less than 40 feet, or about 10 meters, below the orbiting research outpost.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 23)


SPACE ENTHUSIASTS IN JAPAN READY TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN SATELLITE SPACE ENTHUSIASTS IN JAPAN READY TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN SATELLITE - Interest in commercial aerospace is growing among amateurs in Japan, with enthusiasts assembling rockets and satellites by trial and error. As the space business grows around the world, amateur builders and launchers, including office workers and students, are challenging the idea that outer space is the sole domain of professionals. "Let's disassemble it and replace the component," says a voice at a small workshop in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward.    More
(Source: Nikkei Asia - Feb 22)


ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES HEAVY CARGO LOAD TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES HEAVY CARGO LOAD TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - An Antares launcher rocketed into orbit Saturday from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, deploying a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship carrying nearly 8,400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, the the most massive collection of payloads ever flown to the research outpost on a U.S. commercial freighter. The Antares rocket lit its two Russian-made RD-181 engines and took off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, at 12:36:50 p.m. EST (1736:50 GMT) Saturday.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 21)


NASA RESUPPLY MISSION PREPARES FOR SATURDAY LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION NASA RESUPPLY MISSION PREPARES FOR SATURDAY LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - NASA and Northrop Grumman are set to launch a Cygnus cargo capsule chock-full of research and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, Feb. 20. The flight will blast off from Pad 09A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during a planned five-minute window that opens at 12:36 p.m. EST (1736 GMT). A two-stage Antares rocket, standing 139 feet (42.5 meters) tall, will haul the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit, kicking off a two-day voyage to the ISS.https://www.space.com/ng-15-cygnus-supply-mission-ready-launch   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 19)

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