MOUNT ETNA'S FIERY ERUPTIONS SEEN FROM SPACE (SATELLITE PHOTOS) - Mount Etna has been spewing lava across Sicily for weeks during a series of eruptions captured by a slew of Earth-orbiting satellites.
Etna, the most active volcano in all of Europe, has been in a state of eruption since 2011. The latest series began on Feb. 16. The volcano erupted that day, again on Feb. 18 and then again between Feb. 20 and 23. During these eruptions, fountains of lava shot high into the night sky, reaching 0.4 miles (0.7 kilometers) high earlier in the month and getting 0.9 miles (1.5 km) over the volcano's summit later in the month. More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 6)
RUBINS AND NOGUCHI ASSEMBLE SOLAR ARRAY SUPPORT FIXTURES OUTSIDE SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Soichi Noguchi, a Japanese astronaut who last walked in space more than 15 years ago, ventured outside the International Space Station Friday and completed assembly of two solar array support fixtures, part of a $100 million power system upgrade.
After handling multiple struts and bolts, Rubins reported a small pin-prick “hole” in one of her gloves and while there was no leakage and no emergency, she expressed concern about moving too far from Noguchi for additional work. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 6)
DELAYED INDONESIAN BROADBAND SATELLITE SATRIA FULLY FUNDED - Indonesia’s government has secured financing to continue manufacturing the SATRIA broadband satellite, although its intended orbital slot remains up in the air.
Thales Alenia Space started developing the Ka-band spacecraft in September after receiving partial financing, which spokesperson Sandrine Bielecki told SpaceNews covered work up until this point.
Bielecki said the program can continue uninterrupted now the project has secured about $545 million in funding, partly backed by France’s Bpifrance export-credit agency. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 5)
SPACEX STICKS 75TH FALCON ROCKET LANDING AFTER LAUNCHING 60 MORE STARLINK SATELLITES - Launching through a blanket of low-hanging clouds and light mist, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket thundered into the sky over Florida’s Space Coast early Thursday and delivered 60 more Starlink internet satellites to orbit. The rocket’s first stage touched down on SpaceX’s floating landing platform in the Atlantic Ocean to complete its eighth trip to space and back.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket flashed to life and lifted off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 3:24:54 a.m. EST (0824:54 GMT). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 4)
SPACEX TO TRY AGAIN TO LAUNCH LONG-DELAYED STARLINK MISSION - SpaceX is targeting Thursday, March 4 for the launch of the Starlink v1.0 L17 mission with a new batch of Starlink satellites from historic LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center aboard a flight proven Falcon 9 booster. The previous launch attempt on Sunday, February 28 ended in a scrub at T-1 minute 24 seconds.
SpaceX is now targeting 03:24 EST (08:24 UTC) Thursday for the launch of the oft-delayed mission that originally had its launch date set for January 27. An additional launch window on Thursday morning is available at 05:42 EST, or 10:42 UTC. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Mar 4)
SPACEX'S SN10 STARSHIP PROTOTYPE LANDS AFTER EPIC TEST LAUNCH — BUT THEN EXPLODES - SpaceX's latest Starship prototype went out in a blaze of glory.
The Starship SN10 spacecraft touched down successfully after a high-altitude test flight today (March 3), a major milestone for the company and its crewed Mars ambitions. But the vehicle didn't manage to hold itself together, exploding about eight minutes after landing. More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 4)
SPACEX IS READY TO LAUNCH MORE ASTRONAUTS WITH CREW-2 NEXT MONTH - SpaceX's second fully-crewed astronaut flight, Crew-2, is prepared for launch, mission team members said Monday (March 1) during a news briefing.
Crew-2, which is set to launch April 20, follows the company's Demo-2 launch in May 2020, the first crewed test flight for SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft, and Crew-1 launch in November 2020, which saw the company's first fully crewed mission to space. Like Crew-2, these missions took place as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 3)
INDIAN PSLV ROCKET LAUNCHES BRAZILIAN AMAZONIA-1 SATELLITE - India launched its first mission of the year late Saturday, sending Brazil’s Amazonia-1 Earth observation satellite and 18 smaller payloads into orbit.
The 44-meter-high PSLV-C51 rocket with two solid side boosters lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on the Indian island of Sriharikota at 11:54 p.m. Eastern Feb. 28. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 2)
CHINA PREPARING TO BUILD TIANGONG STATION IN 2021, COMPLETE BY 2022 - China is gearing up for its next big leap in space exploration: the construction of its modular crewed space station, the Tiangong.
Starting in 2021, the construction of the Tiangong orbital space station is expected to be complete in 2022 after eleven missions, including three launches of different modules, four launches of cargo vehicles and four crewed launches.
This step comes after a phased approach to human spaceflight development, beginning with the uncrewed test flights of a crewed space vehicle... More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Mar 2)
FIRST EVER SPACE HOTEL SLATED TO BE OPERATIONAL BY 2027 - An out-of-this-world hotel is just a few years away from becoming a reality.
This decade will see the start and completion of construction on humanity’s first ever hotel in outer space, according to the group behind it, Orbital Assembly.
The 3-year-old company plans to begin building Voyager Station in low Earth orbit in 2025, and believes its interstellar resort may be operational as soon as 2027, the Daily Mail reported. More
(Source: New York Post - Mar 2)
SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY EXPERIMENT TO FLY ON NORTHROP GRUMMAN’S CAPSULE TO SPACE STATION - Northrop Grumman’s next cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station will carry a Space Development Agency payload to collect data for the development of missile-tracking sensors.
The experiment known as Persistent Infrared Payload is scheduled to launch in July on the NG-16 Cygnus cargo mission on a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia.
Northrop Grumman received a $13.8 million contract in June from the Space Development Agency for this experiment. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 2)
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 - 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 - 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 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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)