CHINA LAUNCHES EXPERIMENTAL SHIYAN SATELLITE - China launched the third in a series of experimental Shiyan 6 satellites April 8 aboard a Long March 4B rocket, beginning a mission to test new space technologies, including a new super-black coating to absorb stray light and improve the sensitivity of on-board optics. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 14)
FROM YURI GAGARIN'S LAUNCH TO TODAY, HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT HAS ALWAYS BEEN POLITICAL - When cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly in space, he also became an instant celebrity, a diplomatic icon of the Soviet Union around the world.
Gagarin blasted off Earth 60 years ago on Monday (April 12), kicking off the era of human spaceflight. Rooted in the Cold War, human spaceflight was, at the time, inherently about the perception of power and prestige — and it remains so today, although the nuances of international relationships at play have changed just as much as the technological ones. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 13)
LEESBURG GIRL SCOUT SENDS EXPERIMENT TO SPACE STATION - Marissa Incatasciato, a 15-year-old Girl Scout and student at Heritage High School in Leesburg, will send a science experiment aboard a SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station later this year.
She is one of a handful of winners of the “Making Space for Girls Challenge,” which is sponsored by SpaceKids Global in conjunction with the Girl Scouts Citrus Council in Central Florida. More
(Source: Loudoun Now - Apr 13)
CANADA'S TELESAT TAKES ON MUSK AND BEZOS IN SPACE RACE TO PROVIDE FAST BROADBAND - Canada’s Telesat is racing to launch a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to provide high-speed global broadband from space, pitting the satellite communications firm founded in 1969 against two trailblazing billionaires, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Musk, the Tesla Inc CEO who was only a year old when Telesat launched its first satellite, is putting the so-called Starlink LEO into orbit with his company SpaceX, and Amazon.com Inc, which Bezos founded, is planning a LEO called Project Kuiper. Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which builds rockets. More
(Source: Reuters - Apr 12)
SPACE-BASED SOLAR POWER GETTING KEY TEST ABOARD US MILITARY'S MYSTERIOUS X-37B SPACE PLANE - A U.S. military space plane is being used to flight-validate the best ways to gather the sun's energy for power beaming from Earth orbit.
In mid-March, the latest classified mission of the U.S. Space Force's X-37B robotic space plane winged past 300 days in Earth orbit.
Most of the robotic space drone's duties on this mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle-6 (OTV-6), are a tightly held secret. However, one known bit of research that the craft carries is the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment, or PRAM-FX. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 10)
ONEWEB, SPACEX SATELLITES DODGED A POTENTIAL COLLISION IN ORBIT - Two satellites from the fast-growing constellations of OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink dodged a dangerously close approach with one another in orbit last weekend, representatives from the US Space Force and OneWeb said. It’s the first known collision avoidance event for the two rival companies as they race to expand their new broadband-beaming networks in space.
On March 30th, five days after OneWeb launched its latest batch of 36 satellites from Russia, the company received several “red alerts” from the US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron warning of a possible collision with a Starlink satellite. More
(Source: The Verge - Apr 10)
SOYUZ CREW WELCOMED ABOARD INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two cosmonauts blasted off from Kazakhstan Friday and docked with the International Space Station after a two-orbit chase, the first step in a record crew rotation requiring two launches and two landings with four different spacecraft in just three weeks.
The launching came three days before the 60th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight on April 12, 1961, to become the first man in space. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 10)
NASA ASTRONAUT, TWO COSMONAUTS SET FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts will ride a Soyuz ferry ship to the International Space Station early Friday, the first step in a record crew rotation requiring two launches and two landings with four different spacecraft in just three weeks.
The launching comes just three days before the 60th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight on April 12, 1961, to become the first man in space. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 9)
SPACEX LAUNCHES STARLINK V1.0 L23 MISSION - SpaceX has launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites on the Starlink v1.0 L23 mission. Liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station occurred on time on April 7 at 12:34 PM EDT (16:34 UTC).
This was the third time a Falcon 9 first stage flew a seventh mission, the tenth Falcon 9 flight of the year, and the first in April. This flight is likely be the last SpaceX mission prior to the Crew-2 launch later this month. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Apr 8)
SPACEX SET FOR LUNCHTIME STARLINK LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - After a spate of late-night and early morning Florida launches, the Space Coast is finally scheduled to see a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lift off at a reasonable time on Wednesday.
The 230-foot rocket will take the company's 24th batch of Starlink internet satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station during an instantaneous window that opens at 12:34 p.m. Launch Complex 40 will host the attempt. More
(Source: Florida Today - Apr 7)
L3HARRIS TO DEVELOP NEXT-GENERATION WEATHER SATELLITE CONCEPT - Aerospace and defence technology manufacturer L3Harris Technologies has won a contract to develop a next-generation geostationary weather imagers concept.
Under this contract awarded by Nasa, L3Harris will design the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary and Extended Orbits (GEO-XO) satellite system imager.
The GEO-XO imager will be equipped with additional spectral bands, advanced spatial resolution, and enhanced data compression algorithms. More
(Source: Aerospace Technology - Apr 7)
WATCH NEXT SPACE STATION CREW LAUNCH LIVE ON NASA TV, NASA APP - Three space travelers, including NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, are poised to launch Friday, April 9, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will provide comprehensive prelaunch and launch-to-docking coverage. More
(Source: NASA - Apr 6)
SPACEX’S CREW DRAGON CAPSULE SWAPS DOCKING PORTS ON SPACE STATION - In the home stretch of nearly a half-year on the International Space Station, four astronauts suited up and rode their SpaceX-owned Crew Dragon “Resilience” spaceship to a new docking port outside the orbiting research lab Monday, a first-of-its kind maneuver for the new generation of commercial crew spaceships.
The maneuver clears the way for arrival of the next SpaceX Crew Dragon mission at the space station later this month, and sets up for the docking of a Dragon cargo freighter in June carrying a new pair of solar arrays to upgrade the outpost’s power system. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 6)
PARAGUAY’S FIRST SATELLITE DEPLOYED FROM SPACE STATION – WILL HELP TRACK A TINY, LIFE-THREATENING PARASITE - On March 14, the Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP) deployed a satellite from the International Space Station to help track a tiny parasite that causes Chagas disease. The satellite, Guaranisat-1, is the first developed and put into orbit by Paraguay. An estimated 8 million people in Mexico, Central America, and South America have Chagas disease, which if untreated can be life-threatening. Large-scale population movements from rural to urban areas of Latin America and other parts of the world have increased the geographic distribution of the disease. More
(Source: SciTechDaily - Apr 5)
ONEWEB, A NEW SATELLITE COMPANY FROM THE UK, IS GOING HEAD-TO-HEAD WITH SPACEX'S STARLINK TO PROVIDE A GLOBAL SPACE BROADBAND SERVICE - Space internet provider OneWeb recently blasted 36 satellites into orbit, steadily expanding its constellation in the face of Elon Musk's Starlink.
The British-owned satellite broadband operator, which was rescued from bankruptcy by the UK government in November, wants to beam internet down to households and businesses across the world from satellites in orbit.
(Source: Yahoo News - Apr 4)
BUSY MONTH OF CREW ROTATIONS ON TAP AT INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Seven astronauts and cosmonauts are gearing up for launches April 9 and April 22 to the International Space Station, replacing seven outgoing crew members set to land in Kazakhstan and off the coast of Florida on April 17 and April 28. The back-to-back crew rotations will make for a busy month on the orbiting research complex. Preparations for the arrival of the fresh crew members are already underway on the space station. More
(Source: Spaceflight Now - Apr 3)
WITH 1ST SPACE STATION LAUNCH THIS SPRING, CHINESE ASTRONAUTS ARE TRAINING FOR FLIGHT - Chinese astronauts are undergoing intense training for the first crewed missions to construct the nation's new space station, work that is expected to begin in the next few months.
At Wenchang, China's coastal launch center, teams are preparing a huge Long March 5 rocket to launch the first of three modules for the Chinese Space Station (CSS). More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 3)
NEW REPORTS DETAIL ONGOING SPACE THREATS, AND RUSSIA IS RAISING CONCERNS - Security experts say that when it comes to threats in space, Russia is raising more concerns than China.
These findings come from two annual reports published by nongovernmental organizations that provide open-source information about global developments in counterspace weapons and other space threats. Counterspace missions are defensive or offensive operations in space. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 3)
SPACEX ROCKET DEBRIS LANDS ON MAN’S FARM IN WASHINGTON - A pressure vessel from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stage fell on a man’s farm in Washington State last week, leaving a “4-inch dent in the soil,” the local sheriff’s office said Friday.
The black Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel, or COPV, was a remnant from the alien invasion-looking breakup of a Falcon 9 second stage over Oregon and Washington on March 26, local officials said. The stage reentered the atmosphere in an unusual spot in the sky after sending a payload of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites to orbit. More
(Source: The Verge - Apr 2)