INDIAN PSLV LAUNCHES RISAT-2BR1 MILITARY SATELLITE - ISRO launched the fiftieth PSLV mission Wednesday, with its workhorse rocket flying for the second time in barely a fortnight to deploy a radar imaging spy satellite for India’s military. The RISAT-2BR1 satellite was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 15:25 local time (09:55 UTC), with deployment into low Earth orbit expected sixteen and a half minutes later.
RISAT-2BR1 is an all-weather radar reconnaissance satellite, able to image the Earth in both daylight and at night, regardless of any clouds obscuring the surface. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Dec 12)
REFUELING SATELLITES IN SPACE WITH THE HELP OF A ROBOT - Many technologies that are essential for daily life—from communications to GPS navigation to weather forecasting—rely on the thousands of satellites that are orbiting Earth. When those satellites run out of gas and stop working, there's not much that can currently be done to fix them.
"When a satellite runs out of fuel, and you don't have a way to refuel it, that satellite stops working," said John Wen, professor and head of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. More
(Source: Phys.org - Dec 12)
ISRO BEGINS COUNTDOWN FOR 50TH PSLV LAUNCH, ROCKET TO CARRY SPY SATELLITE - The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) began the countdown for another satellite launch Tuesday evening. The countdown, which began 4.40 pm Tuesday, is for the launch of the RISAT-2BR1 Earth imaging satellite. The "spy satellite" will be carried onboard Isro's workhorse -- the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. The PSLV rocket's launch is scheduled to take place from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 3.25 pm Wednesday. This will be the rocket's 50th mission. More
(Source: India Today - Dec 11)
BOEING AWARDED $21.2 MILLION MODIFICATION TO MAINTAIN SURVEILLANCE SATELLITE - Boeing has been awarded a $21.2 million contract modification for sustainment and development for the Air Force's space based surveillance system , the Department of Defense announced Tuesday.
The modification funds systems engineering, operations, operations support and contractor logistics support for the Space Based Space Surveillance Block 10. More
(Source: UPI - Dec 11)
SATELLITE SWARMS PUSH UPDATE OF SPACE JUNK GUIDELINES - As SpaceX prepares to launch its next tranche of Starlink satellites in late December, the rise of satellite constellations in general prompted the federal government to update its space junk guidelines.
Simply put, space junk can be dangerous. There are numerous instances of satellite pieces colliding with operational satellites, and every so often the International Space Station needs to dodge debris for the safety of its astronauts. More
(Source: Forbes - Dec 11)
RUSSIAN SUPPLY SHIP DOCKS WITH INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - An unmanned Russian ship carrying tons of supplies successfully docked Monday with the International Space Station.
The Progress MS-13 cargo ship had lifted off on Friday atop a Soyuz rocket from the Russian space complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
It successfully docked with the space outpost on Monday at 1035 GMT. More
(Source: Phys.org - Dec 10)
MYRADAR LAUNCHES AIRCRAFT TRACKING SATELLITE - Acme AtronOmatic, the makers of the MyRadar Weather Radar app, have launched a non-commercial, experimental communications satellite aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket with launch provider Alba Orbital. The launch event, dubbed “Running out of Fingers,” lifted off on Dec. 6.
The cubesat will monitor aircraft tracking signals from orbit and relay the data to the ground. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Dec 10)
CHINA LAUNCHES TWO KUAIZHOU ROCKETS IN SIX HOURS - Two solid-fueled Kuaizhou 1A rockets fired into orbit from the same spaceport in northern China Saturday, demonstrating a further advance in China’s aim for a quick-response, on-call satellite launch capability.
The back-to-back Kuaizhou 1A missions both lifted off from the Taiyuan space center in northern China’s Shanxi province, using separate road-mobile transporters as launch pads. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 9)
SPACEX DRAGON SUCCESSFULLY DOCKS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - SpaceX made an early holiday delivery to the International Space Station on Sunday, dropping off super muscular “mighty mice,” pest-killing worms and a smart, empathetic robot. The station commander, Italy’s Luca Parmitano, used a large robot arm to grab onto the Dragon three days after its launch from Cape Canaveral. The two spacecraft soared 260 miles (420 kilometers) above the South Pacific at the time of capture. More
(Source: CNBC - Dec 9)
CHINA LAUNCHES NEW OPTICAL REMOTE SENSING SATELLITE - China sent a new optical remote sensing satellite into space from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China's Shanxi Province at 10:55 a.m. Saturday (Beijing Time).
The Jilin-1 Gaofen 02B satellite, which belongs to the Jilin-1 satellite family, was launched by Kuaizhou-1A (KZ-1A) and entered the planned orbit successfully.
The satellite was independently developed by the Chang Guang Satellite Technology Co., Ltd., featuring high resolution, wide width and high-speed data transmission. More
(Source: Xinhua - Dec 8)
SATELLITE MEGA-CONSTELLATIONS STIR A DEBATE OVER AVOIDING CATASTROPHIC ORBITAL CRASHES - The retired commander of the U.S. Strategic Command says the tens of thousands of satellites that SpaceX, OneWeb and Amazon are planning to put into orbit over the next few years will require a new automated system for space traffic management — and perhaps new satellite hardware requirements as well.
Retired Gen. Kevin Chilton laid out his ideas for dealing with potentially catastrophic orbital traffic jams at the University of Washington on Friday, during the inaugural symposium presented by UW’s Space Policy and Research Center. More
(Source: GeekWire - Dec 8)
RUSSIAN PROGRESS CARGO SHIP FOLLOWS SPACEX DRAGON TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Soyuz booster propelled a Russian Progress cargo ship into orbit early Friday, kicking off a three-day flight to deliver 2.7 tons of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. The flight came less than 24 hours after SpaceX launched a station-bound Dragon cargo ship from Cape Canaveral on Thursday.
The Progress MS-13/74P spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:34 a.m. EST (12:34 p.m. local time), the moment Earth's rotation carried the launch pad into the plane of the space station's orbit — a requirement for spacecraft attempting to rendezvous with a target moving at nearly five miles per second. More
(Source: CBS News - Dec 7)
ROCKET LAB’S 10TH LAUNCH TESTS BOOSTER RECOVERY TECHNOLOGY - Rocket Lab closed out its 2019 launch schedule Friday with the 10th flight of the company’s Electron small satellite launcher, successfully deploying seven payloads in orbit while demonstrating new re-entry guidance and control technology to move closer to recovering and reusing future boosters.
The 10th launch of an Electron rocket — and the sixth this year — lifted off from Launch Complex 1 at Rocket Lab’s privately-run space base on New Zealand’s North Island at 3:18 a.m. EST (0818 GMT) Friday. The 55-foot-tall (17-meter) launcher took off at 9:18 p.m. local time in New Zealand and soared into a clear evening sky against a fading twilight sky. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 7)
DRAGON SOARS ON RESEARCH AND RESUPPLY FLIGHT TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A commercial Dragon supply freighter built and owned by SpaceX rocketed into a clear blue sky over Florida’s Space Coast Thursday with a menagerie of research experiments and holiday surprises heading for the International Space Station.
Scientists loaded 40 genetically-engineered into the Dragon capsule to help gauge the effectiveness of an experimental drug to combat muscle and bone atrophy. There’s also an experiment sponsored by Anheuser-Busch to study the malting of barley in microgravity, which could lead to the brewing of beer in space, the company says. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 6)
FALCON 9 SCRUBS LAUNCH OF CRS-19 DRAGON TO THE ISS - SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will have to watch until Thursday afternoon to launch the company’s Dragon spacecraft on a resupply flight to the International Space Station. Falcon was set to lift off from Cape Canaveral at 12:51:58 local time (17:51 UTC), deploying Dragon a little over nine and a half minutes later to begin its mission. However, unacceptable upper level winds – and wind strength for recovery of the booster – scrubbed the launch ahead of prop loading. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Dec 5)
MEXICAN STUDENTS LAUNCH A SMALL SATELLITE TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The first satellite built by students in Mexico for launch from the International Space Station is smaller than a shoebox but represents a big step for its builders.
The project is part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which offers universities, high schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to fly small satellites. Innovative technology partnerships keep down the cost, providing students a way to obtain hands-on experience developing flight hardware. More
(Source: Space Daily - Dec 4)
NASA TELEVISION TO AIR SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP LAUNCH, DOCKING - NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station beginning at 4:15 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 6. The Russian Progress 74 is scheduled to launch on a Soyuz rocket at 4:34 a.m. (2:34 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. More
(Source: WFMJ - Dec 4)
SPACEFLIGHT’S SEOPS-2 MISSION TO LAUNCH MULTIPLE SPACECRAFT FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Spaceflight, the leading provider of mission management and rideshare integration services, announced that together with Hypergiant SEOPS, it will be launching three CubeSats from the International Space Station (ISS) and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft in early January. The payloads will travel to the ISS through a NASA Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on December 4. More
(Source: Business Wire - Dec 4)
SCIENCE AROUND THE PLANET USES IMAGES OF EARTH FROM THE SPACE STATION - Artificial lighting at night affects the behavior of urban wildlife, according to a recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports, which examined animals in the laboratory and the field. The researchers mapped light levels in the city of Chicago using publicly available images of Earth taken by astronauts from the International Space Station. The study is only one example of the wide variety of scientific research based on images taken by crew members from space using the Crew Earth Observations (CEO) facility. More
(Source: Phys.org - Dec 4)