VENERABLE AO-7 SATELLITE CONTINUES TO DELIVER - The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon. More
(Source: ARRL - May 24)
MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS OVER AUSTRALIA MAY HAVE COME FROM RUSSIAN SATELLITE - Earth has been spared yet again — from asteroids, at least.
Australians in central Victoria were shocked to see streaks of fire passing through the night sky on Friday, sparking theories of meteors and aliens on social media. Sky-watchers in parts of Tasmania also reported witnessing the mysterious light show, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). More
(Source: New York Post - May 24)
RUSSIA’S SOYUZ-2-1B LAUNCHES MISSILE DETECTION SATELLITE - Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched a Soyuz-2-1b rocket Friday, carrying a satellite designed to give the Kremlin advance warning of missile attacks. Soyuz lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at about 10:31 Moscow Time (07:31 UTC), beginning a multi-hour mission to deliver the Tundra No.4 satellite into an elliptical Molniya orbit. A successful mission was declared at around 13:00 UTC.
(Source: NASASpaceflight.com - May 23)
THE US IS PLANNING TO BUILD A SATELLITE NETWORK TO TRACK HYPERSONIC WEAPONS FROM RUSSIA AND CHINA - The United States plans to launch 150 satellites that can track hypersonic weapons in orbit in 2024, a move observers say is aimed at helping the Pentagon control assets in space and keep a close watch on Chinese activities.
According to a draft request for proposals released by the Space Development Agency (SDA) last week, it is seeking a contractor to design and build eight satellites with infrared sensors to track hypersonic weapons, US online military tech publication C4ISRNET reported. More
(Source: Business Insider - May 23)
SATELLITE MANUFACTURING FACES CHANGES, UNCERTAINTY IN COMING YEARS - Commercial satellite operators are experiencing significant changes that are part of a shift from a legacy Geostationary (GEO) communications satellite broadcasting business to more data-centric use cases. The commercial GEO communications satellite industry declined sharply in 2017 with a record low of only seven satellite orders. The previous industry low was seven units 15 years ago when the industry was in crisis in the early 2000s. With ten commercial orders, 2019 showed early signs of recovery but also a growing diversity of GEO comsat. More
(Source: Via Satellite - May 22)
ONCE LAUNCHED, KLEOS SPACE WILL PROVIDE DATA TO MICRO-SATELLITE MILITARY UTILITY PROJECT - Luxembourg-based data-as-a-service company Kleos Space has been contracted to provide Radio Frequency (RF) geolocation intelligence data to the Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory‘s (SDL) Micro-Satellite Military Utility (MSMU) project in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).
“Our satellites and our data will enhance defense capabilities when fused with other data sets in the Government environment, as well as providing timely monitoring of illegal fishing, oil embargoes and other illicit action that both damages our environment and hurts our economies,” Kleos Space Project Director Karyn Hayes-Ryan said in a statement issued May 19. More
(Source: Via Satellite - May 22)
ASTRONAUTS LAND IN FLORIDA AHEAD OF HISTORIC LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday to prepare for the historic return of crewed launches from U.S. soil.
Their space agency jet from Houston arrived shortly before 4 p.m. EDT. Behnken and Hurley, who both flew two previous space shuttle missions, are scheduled for a May 27 launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station. More
(Source: UPI - May 22)
NEW MILITARY WEATHER SATELLITE PASSES KEY MILESTONES - A satellite designed to rapidly provide space-based environmental monitoring for the war fighter has achieved two major milestones, passing a critical design review and receiving Milestone B certification, the U.S. Space Force announced May 19.
The next-generation Weather System Follow-on—Microwave (WSF-M) program will provide essential weather data to the U.S. military and its allies. More
(Source: C4ISRNet - May 21)
JAPAN LAUNCHES ITS LAST ‘WHITE STORK’ TO THE ISS - Lifting off from its seaside launchpad, Japan’s final H-2B rocket sent the final Kounotori cargo ship into orbit to service the International Space Station.
Kounotori 9, also called HTV-9, was launched at 1:31 p.m. EDT (17:31 UTC) May 20, 2020, from Tanegashima Space Center, which is located on the Japanese island of Tanegashima, about 40 kilometers south of Kyushu, the southwesternmost of the main islands of the Japanese archipelago. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 20)
JAPAN’S HTV READY FOR LAUNCH WITH LAST SET OF NEW SPACE STATION SOLAR BATTERIES - A Japanese HTV cargo freighter is ready for launch Wednesday with the last set of six lithium-ion batteries to upgrade the International Space Station’s solar power truss. Japan’s ninth automated H-2 Transfer Vehicle, or HTV, is scheduled for liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1731 GMT (1:31 p.m. EDT) Wednesday aboard an H-2B rocket. Launch is scheduled for 2:31 a.m. Japan Standard Time on Thursday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 20)
NAVY’S SOLAR POWER SATELLITE HARDWARE TO BE TESTED IN ORBIT - A U.S. Naval Research Laboratory experiment to capture solar power in space for use on Earth is now in orbit and ready to be tested.
The experiment flew to orbit on May 17 aboard the U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane. The technology aboard the plane is a “photovoltaic radio-frequency antenna module” to be tested as part of a comprehensive investigation into terrestrial use of solar energy captured in space, program manager Chris Depuma said May 18 in a news release. More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 20)
NASA HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT CHIEF DOUG LOVERRO RESIGNS ON EVE OF HISTORIC SPACEX LAUNCH - Doug Loverro, NASA's chief of human spaceflight, resigned from his post Monday (May 18) after less than a year on the job, the agency announced today (May 19).
Loverro's resignation as Associate Administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate is a stunning development, as the agency counts down to the first orbital crew launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, which will take place on May 27. More
(Source: Space.com - May 20)
SPACEX DELAYS NEXT STARLINK MISSION AFTER CREW LAUNCH - Citing a tropical storm in the downrange booster recovery zone, SpaceX said Monday that a launch of up to 60 more Starlink Internet satellites previously planned this week from Cape Canaveral has been delayed until after the launch of the company’s first crewed flight.
A Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 GMT) Tuesday, but SpaceX said Monday it is standing down from the mission until after the Crew Dragon’s first launch with astronauts later this month. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 20)
CHINA FOCUS: MORE DETAILS OF CHINA'S SPACE STATION UNVEILED - After the successful maiden flight of the Long March-5B large rocket and the testing of China's new-generation manned spaceship, more details of China's space station have been unveiled.
The space station, expected to be completed around 2022, will operate in the low-Earth orbit at an altitude from 340 km to 450 km for more than 10 years... More
(Source: Xinhua - May 20)
FINAL BEIDOU SATELLITE READY TO BE LAUNCHED NEXT MONTH - China plans to launch the final satellite in the Beidou Navigation Satellite System's third-generation network next month, the China Satellite Navigation Office said.
The launch will mark the completion of the domestically developed Beidou network, the country's largest space-based system and one of four global navigation networks, along with the United States' GPS, Russia's GLONASS and the European Union's Galileo. More
(Source: China Daily - May 19)
SPACEX TO LAUNCH FIRST STARLINK SATELLITES TESTING 'VISORSAT' TO BLOCK SUN - It's been nearly a year since SpaceX launched its first batch of Starlink broadband satellites, igniting a controversy over the surprising brightness of the orbiting routers that threatens to interfere with the observations of astronomers and other scientists. More
(Source: CNET - May 18)
NASA AND 'KERBAL SPACE PROGRAM' CHALLENGE GAMERS TO RECREATE HISTORIC SPACEX LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - It's safe to say NASA is pumped up for SpaceX's historic Crew Dragon launch. After all, the planned May 27 liftoff will mark the first time American astronauts will launch to the International Space Station from U.S. soil on an American spacecraft since 2011.
To mark that event, NASA and Private Division — folks behind the upcoming space game "Kerbal Space Program 2" — are looking for gamers with the right stuff. More
(Source: Space.com - May 18)
SPACE FORCE LAUNCHES ROBOTIC X-37B SPACE PLANE ON NEW MYSTERY MISSION - The U.S. Space Force's mysterious X-37B space plane successfully launched on its sixth mystery mission from Florida today (May 17).
Riding atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, the clandestine craft blasted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here at 9:14 a.m. EDT (1314 GMT). The on-time liftoff occurred just 24-hours after poor weather conditions at the Florida launch site forced ULA to scrub its original launch attempt, Saturday morning. More
(Source: Space.com - May 17)
SPACE FORCE LAUNCH OF X-37B SPACE PLANE DELAYED BY BAD WEATHER - The U.S. Space Force's next secret mission of a robotic X-37B space plane has been delayed at least 24 hours after bad weather thwarted a launch attempt today (May 16).
An Atlas V rocket was scheduled to launch the X-37B from a pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida during a two-hour window this morning. But high winds, thick clouds and rain made liftoff impossible, according to launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA). More
(Source: Space.com - May 17)