SPACE JUNK FROM 2007 CHINA SATELLITE ATTACK STILL POSES RISK - Space debris from a Chinese experiment 14 years ago in which Beijing destroyed one of its own satellites continues to orbit Earth, a senior U.S. military commander has told Congress.
"In 2007, we saw the Chinese conduct a very irresponsible test. We continue to have about 3,000 pieces of debris on orbit that we continue to track," Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting, the commander of Space Operations Command at the U.S. Space Force said in testimony to subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday. "That's about 10% of the total amount of objects that we track on orbit." More
(Source: Nikkei Asia - May 7)
ROCKET DEBRIS FROM CHINA'S SPACE STATION LAUNCH IS HURTLING BACK TO EARTH — AND SCIENTISTS AREN'T SURE WHERE IT WILL LAND - A huge piece of space junk is about to make an uncontrolled re-entry back into Earth's atmosphere, threatening to drop debris on a number of cities around the world in the coming days. It's leftover from China's first module for its new Tianhe space station — and no one knows where it will land.
The 46,000-pound Chinese rocket Long March-5B recently launched the first module for the country's new space station into orbit. After the core separated from the rest of the rocket, it should have followed a predetermined flight path into the ocean. More
(Source: CBS News - May 7)
NASA'S NEW FLEET OF SATELLITES WILL OFFER INSIGHTS INTO THE WILD CARDS OF CLIMATE CHANGE - NASA is about to announce its next generation of Earth-observing satellites. As soon as this month, it will lay out preliminary plans for a multibillion-dollar set of missions that will launch later this decade. This “Earth system observatory,” as NASA calls it, will offer insights into two long-standing wild cards of climate change—clouds and aerosols—while providing new details about the temperatures and chemistry of the planet’s changing surface. The satellite fleets also mark a revival for NASA’s earth science, which has languished over the past decade compared with exploration of Mars and other planets. More
(Source: Science Magazine - May 6)
EUROPE PROPOSES ORBITING SATELLITE TELESCOPE THAT WILL KEEP AN EYE ON SPACE DEBRIS - The European Space Agency (ESA) has proposed a plan to build and launch a satellite with a telescope that can monitor space debris. If the member nations approved the funding, the space agency hopes to complete the project by 2025, reported Space.com. It will be the first of its kind space junk monitoring satellite.ESA is an intergovernmental organization made up of 22 member states. More
(Source: Firstpost - May 6)
SPACEX CARGO LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION SET FOR JUNE 3 FROM LAUNCH COMPLEX 39A AT KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - SpaceX’s 22nd Commercial Resupply Services mission – the second cargo resupply mission on the company’s upgraded version of its Dragon spacecraft – is targeted to launch Thursday, June 3, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Among the investigations arriving inside the Dragon’s pressurized capsule will be a variety of research experiments... More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - May 5)
STARLINK LAUNCH MARKS 100 MISSIONS SINCE AN IN-FLIGHT FALCON ROCKET FAILURE - The oldest Falcon 9 booster in SpaceX’s operational rocket fleet sent 60 more Starlink internet satellites into space Tuesday with a launch from historic pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
With the 60 satellites launched Tuesday, SpaceX has sent 1,565 Starlink spacecraft into orbit to beam broadband signals around the world, nearly nine times as many satellites in any other company’s constellation. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 5)
ROCKET DEBRIS FROM CHINA'S SPACE STATION LAUNCH IS FALLING BACK TO EARTH — BUT WHERE? - A large Chinese rocket is set to make an uncontrolled reentry back into Earth's atmosphere, but it is not yet clear exactly where or when the debris will hit our planet.
China's Long March 5B rocket is "unpredictably" falling back to Earth after launching a part of the new T-shaped Chinese space station on Thursday local time in Wenchang, according to SpaceNews. The 22.5-metric-ton Tianhe space station module is in its correct orbit after separating as planned from the core stage of the rocket, which is now expected to re-enter in a few days or about a week. More
(Source: Space.com - May 4)
ROSCOSMOS DISCUSSES ISS WITHDRAWAL STRATEGY AND NEW SPACE STATION FOR MID-2020S - Recently, Russian authorities began talking about a potential withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) project in 2025. In place of ISS, the Russian space industry would gain ROSS – a new orbital station that’s name stands for Russian Orbital Service Station.
According to Roscosmos representatives, the withdrawal from the ISS will be gradual, which means that for some time the ISS and ROSS will work in space in parallel. At the same time, Russia and China have plans to build a lunar space station together. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - May 4)
FIRST PLEIADES NEO SATELLITE PLACED INTO ORBIT - The first of four Pleiades Neo earth-monitoring satellites was placed into orbit on April 28 aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket launched from French Guiana.
The first-image milestone is expected this week, followed by a period of in-orbit calibration.
The Pleiades Neo constellation is funded, designed, manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus, and is a follow-on to the current first-generation Pleiades satellites. More
(Source: Spatial Source - May 3)
SPACEX CREW DRAGON MAKES 1ST NIGHTTIME SPLASHDOWN WITH US ASTRONAUTS SINCE APOLLO ERA - A SpaceX Dragon capsule carrying four astronauts returned to Earth early Sunday (May 2) with an ocean splashdown off the Florida coast, successfully completing the company's first full-fledged crewed mission to the International Space Station.
The astronauts of SpaceX's Crew-1 mission for NASA splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City at 2:56 a.m. EDT (0656 GMT), with a recovery ship swiftly retrieving their Crew Dragon capsule from the sea. More
(Source: Space.com - May 2)
CHINESE LONG MARCH 6 ROCKET DELIVERS NINE SMALL SATELLITES TO SPACE - Nine small Chinese satellites, including a technology experiment to test out ways to capture space debris, rode a Long March 6 rocket into orbit April 27 on a rideshare mission managed by China Great Wall Industry Corp., the government-owned enterprise charged with selling Chinese launch services on the commercial market. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 1)
ARIANESPACE LAUNCHES AIRBUS PLéIADES NEO SATELLITE IN VEGA LAUNCH - Arianespace’s Vega rocket returned to flight on Wednesday evening, launching a next-generation Earth Observation (EO) Pléiades Neo satellite for Airbus, along with five rideshare small satellites. The launch from French Guiana was the second Arianespace launch in less than 72 hours, after Arianespace launched a batch of OneWeb satellites from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on April 25.
The light lift Vega vehicle took off from the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana at 10:50 p.m. local time on April 28. Airbus confirmed after the launch that the first telemetry signals were received from Pléiades Neo. More
(Source: Aerospace Technology - May 1)
AIR FORCE NTS-3 NAVIGATION SATELLITE TO LAUNCH IN 2023 - The Air Force Research Laboratory is planning a 2023 launch of the NTS-3 experimental satellite the U.S. military will use for positioning, navigation and timing.
AFRL previously announced the launch would be in 2022 but the mission will slip into 2023, AFRL Commander Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle told reporters April 28. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 30)
VEGA ROCKET RETURNS TO FLIGHT WITH EUROPE'S MOST ADVANCED EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITE YET - Europe's Vega rocket returned to flight late Wednesday (April 28), delivering to orbit Europe's most advanced Earth observation satellite to date.
The mission by the European launch provider Arianespace lifted off from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, at 9:50 p.m EDT (0150 April 29 GMT), carrying the Pléiades Neo 3 Earth observation satellite and five small "rideshare" payloads. It was the first Vega launch since November, when a failure of its Avum upper stage resulted in a loss of two Earth observation satellites. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 30)
RECORD-BREAKING PROGRESS MS-14 UNDOCKS FROM SPACE STATION - The autonomous Russian cargo ship Progress MS-14 undocked from the International Space Station after spending a record one year at the orbiting outpost.
Launched April 25, 2020, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the automated cargo freighter docked with the aft port of the Zvezda module ISS just 3 hours, 20 minutes later — a little over two orbits after liftoff. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Apr 29)
GLONASS TO LAUNCH FIRST NEW-GENERATION K2 SATELLITE LATE THIS YEAR - The launch of the first next-generation GLONASS K2 satellite is set for late 2021, according to a statement by Nikolai Testoyedov, CEO of the Reshetnev Information Satellite Systems Company, the satellites’ producer. The satellite will begin the next modernization phase of Russia’s GNSS.
“We are launching our first GLONASS-K2 satellite this year,” Testoyedov stated to the Russian TASS news agency. “This launch is planned for the fourth quarter of the year.” More
(Source: Inside GNSS - Apr 29)
LAUNCH OF EXPERIMENTAL MILITARY NAVIGATION SATELLITE PUSHED BACK TO 2023 - A rideshare delay has pushed back the launch of the U.S. military’s new experimental navigation satellite to 2023, but the Air Force Research Laboratory says it can use the extra time to reduce risks and conduct more ground testing.
Navigation Technology Satellite 3, originally set for launch in 2022, will help guide future GPS satellites, a priority area for the military as the technology has become easier to spoof and jam. More
(Source: C4ISRNet - Apr 29)
SPACEX AND ONEWEB SATELLITES DIDN'T HAVE A CLOSE CALL IN SPACE AFTER ALL: REPORT - It turns out that the recent "near miss" collision between two SpaceX and OneWeb internet satellites in orbit wasn't a "close call" at all, and the satellites weren't actually in danger of crashing, SpaceX has revealed.
On March 30, OneWeb reported several "red alerts" from the 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) of the U.S. Space Force, indicating a 1.3%change that a OneWeb satellite might collide with one of SpaceX's Starlink satellites. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 29)
STARLINK V1.0 L24 LAUNCHES AS SPACEX RECEIVES PERMISSION FOR STARLINK MODIFICATIONS - SpaceX launched the Starlink v1.0 L24 mission with another 60 satellites for the Starlink internet constellation late on Wednesday, April 28 at 11:44 PM EDT (03:44 UTC on April 29) from SLC-40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Just Read the Instructions, one of the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ships (ASDS) that SpaceX uses to land their boosters at sea, was positioned about 600 kilometers downrange in the Atlantic Ocean. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Apr 29)