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SPACE CALENDAR 2021: ROCKET LAUNCHES, SKY EVENTS, MISSIONS & MORE! - Here's a guide to all the rocket launches and astronomical events in 2021, as well as milestones for space missions, anniversaries and conferences.
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SATELLITE NEWS

GALILEO ELLIPTICAL AUXILIARY SATELLITES REMOVED FROM SERVICE GALILEO ELLIPTICAL AUXILIARY SATELLITES REMOVED FROM SERVICE - Two Galileo satellites launched in 2014 by a Soyuz rocket into erroneous orbits, which had been briefly set healthy late last year, have now been removed from service. The change stems from the discovery that, while the vast majority of users obtained an improved positioning, some commercial receivers had difficulty with the satellites’ highly elliptical orbits, created by the malfunction in the Russian launch vehicle. The European GNSS Agency (GSA) issued a Service Notice to Galileo Users (SNGU) on February 16...   More
(Source: Inside GNSS - Feb 24)


SPACE STARTUP PIXXEL’S SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED AGAIN
SPACE STARTUP PIXXEL’S SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED AGAIN - Space technology startup Pixxel said on Tuesday that it will not launch its first satellite ‘Anand’ on the upcoming PSLV C51 mission, scheduled for February 28, owing to technical issues. The Bengaluru-based firm said that the decision to pull out of the launch five days before lift-off was due to software glitches detected during the final stages of the satellite’s testing. Had the launch proceeded as scheduled, Pixxel would have been the first private Indian company to have launched a ..    More
(Source: Economic Times - Feb 24)


REDWIRE ACQUIRES DEPLOYABLE SPACE SYSTEMS REDWIRE ACQUIRES DEPLOYABLE SPACE SYSTEMS - Redwire has acquired Deployable Space Systems (DSS) Inc., the rapidly growing Goleta, California, company that manufactures various structures and mechanisms including the Roll-Out Solar Array (ROSA). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The DSS acquisition announced Feb. 23 was the seventh acquisition by Jacksonville, Florida-based Redwire, which private equity firm AE Industrial Partners established in 2020 to create a pure-play space company.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 24)


THESE 2 NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY ON SPACEX'S CREW-4 MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN 2022 THESE 2 NASA ASTRONAUTS WILL FLY ON SPACEX'S CREW-4 MISSION TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION IN 2022 - Two NASA astronauts will fly to the International Space Station on the fourth-ever commercial crew mission on SpaceX in 2022 — and you can follow their adventures on social media in the next year. Kjell Lindgren — a potential moonbound astronaut for the Artemis program who spoke with "The Martian" stars from orbit in 2015 — will return to space for his second mission. Joining him will be Bob Hines, a research test pilot (much like the famed moonwalker Neil Armstrong) who just graduated to full astronaut status last year after his selection in 2017.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 24)


ELON MUSK: SPACEX WILL DOUBLE STARLINK'S SATELLITE INTERNET SPEEDS IN 2021 ELON MUSK: SPACEX WILL DOUBLE STARLINK'S SATELLITE INTERNET SPEEDS IN 2021 - SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Monday that his company's satellite internet service, Starlink, will offer speeds close to 300 Mbps later in 2021. That's roughly twice as fast as currently advertised, and would represent a significant step forward for the service as it seeks to deliver high-speed internet to underserved regions across the globe. The tweet came in reply to a customer posting their at-home speed test results with a newly installed Starlink connection.   More
(Source: CNET - Feb 23)


35 YEARS AGO: LAUNCH OF MIR SPACE STATION’S FIRST MODULE 35 YEARS AGO: LAUNCH OF MIR SPACE STATION’S FIRST MODULE - On Feb. 19, 1986, the Soviet Union launched the first module of the Mir space station. Called the Mir base block or core module, this first element provided living accommodations, life support, command and control, and communications systems. During its 15-year lifetime, the Soviets added five research modules, including two partially outfitted with science equipment provided by the United States, to expand its capabilities and habitable volume.   More
(Source: NASA - Feb 23)


NORTHROP GRUMMAN SUPPLY CARRIER DELIVERS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NORTHROP GRUMMAN SUPPLY CARRIER DELIVERS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Monday with more than 8,000 pounds of cargo, including new astronaut sleeping quarters, parts for the station’s toilet, and numerous biomedical and technology experiments. The space station’s Canadian-built robotic arm, under the control of Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, captured the Cygnus spacecraft at 4:38 a.m. EST (0938 GMT) Monday as the supply ship held position less than 40 feet, or about 10 meters, below the orbiting research outpost.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 23)


SPACE ENTHUSIASTS IN JAPAN READY TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN SATELLITE SPACE ENTHUSIASTS IN JAPAN READY TO LAUNCH THEIR OWN SATELLITE - Interest in commercial aerospace is growing among amateurs in Japan, with enthusiasts assembling rockets and satellites by trial and error. As the space business grows around the world, amateur builders and launchers, including office workers and students, are challenging the idea that outer space is the sole domain of professionals. "Let's disassemble it and replace the component," says a voice at a small workshop in Tokyo's Edogawa Ward.    More
(Source: Nikkei Asia - Feb 22)


ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES HEAVY CARGO LOAD TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES HEAVY CARGO LOAD TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - An Antares launcher rocketed into orbit Saturday from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, deploying a Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship carrying nearly 8,400 pounds of cargo to the International Space Station, the the most massive collection of payloads ever flown to the research outpost on a U.S. commercial freighter. The Antares rocket lit its two Russian-made RD-181 engines and took off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, at 12:36:50 p.m. EST (1736:50 GMT) Saturday.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 21)


NASA RESUPPLY MISSION PREPARES FOR SATURDAY LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION NASA RESUPPLY MISSION PREPARES FOR SATURDAY LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - NASA and Northrop Grumman are set to launch a Cygnus cargo capsule chock-full of research and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, Feb. 20. The flight will blast off from Pad 09A at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during a planned five-minute window that opens at 12:36 p.m. EST (1736 GMT). A two-stage Antares rocket, standing 139 feet (42.5 meters) tall, will haul the Cygnus spacecraft into orbit, kicking off a two-day voyage to the ISS.https://www.space.com/ng-15-cygnus-supply-mission-ready-launch   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 19)


CHINA ASSEMBLING ROCKET TO LAUNCH FIRST SPACE STATION MODULE CHINA ASSEMBLING ROCKET TO LAUNCH FIRST SPACE STATION MODULE - The Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket to launch China’s first space station module is soon to be assembled at Wenchang for launch in April. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) stated Thursday that the Long March 5B was headed for Wenchang, citing a Feb. 16 press release from the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO). The 849-metric-ton Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket will launch the roughly 22-metric-ton Tianhe core module from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center following delivery, assembly, integration and testing.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 19)


EOS DATA ANALYTICS TO LAUNCH THE FIRST AGRICULTURE-FOCUSED SATELLITE CONSTELLATION BY 2024 EOS DATA ANALYTICS TO LAUNCH THE FIRST AGRICULTURE-FOCUSED SATELLITE CONSTELLATION BY 2024 - EOS Data Analytics (EOSDA), a satellite imagery analytics provider, announced plans to launch seven optical EOS SAT satellites into a LEO (Low Earth orbit) by the year 2024. By launching its own satellite imaging constellation, the company aims to establish a full satellite data production vertical – from direct imagery collection to processing, analysis and delivery. One of the key objectives of the new satellite constellation will be monitoring of farmlands, making this project the first of its kind oriented towards agriculture.   More
(Source: PRNewswire - Feb 19)


BEFORE AND AFTER: SATELLITE CAPTURES TEXAS POWER OUTAGE FROM SPACE BEFORE AND AFTER: SATELLITE CAPTURES TEXAS POWER OUTAGE FROM SPACE - Stunning images from above the Earth show the effect of power outages across Texas this week, which at one point left more than 4 million people without power. In the wake of multiple rounds of winter storms, demand for energy increased in Texas. The company that manages the power grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, was forced to shed some of the load, which caused blackouts after ERCOT had ordered utility companies to cut power usage.   More
(Source: KXAN.com - Feb 19)


SPACEFLIGHT SETS LAUNCH DATE FOR ITS LARGEST SATELLITE PASSENGER SPACEFLIGHT SETS LAUNCH DATE FOR ITS LARGEST SATELLITE PASSENGER - Spaceflight Inc. will launch its largest satellite to date at the end of the month, the company confirmed Wednesday. The rideshare company, which is famous for booking entire rockets for large payloads of small satellites, selected NewSpace India to send Brazil’s 700-kilogram Amazonia-1 spacecraft into orbit on a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket. NewSpace India, the commercial arm of India’s ISRO space agency, scheduled the Amazonia-1 mission to take off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center, in Sriharikota, India, on Feb. 28th.   More
(Source: Via Satellite - Feb 18)


RUSSIA'S PROGRESS 77 CARGO SHIP DOCKS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION RUSSIA'S PROGRESS 77 CARGO SHIP DOCKS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A Russian space vessel carrying an algae experiment, long-duration medical examinations and thousands of pounds of other cargo and supplies docked safely at the International Space Station Wednesday (Feb. 17) after a cosmonaut took manual control of the craft during its approach. The uncrewed cargo ship Russian Progress MS-16 cargo ship (also known as Progress 77) met up with the orbiting complex at 1:27 a.m. EST (0627 GMT), when it latched onto the station's Pirs docking component, according to an update from NASA.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 18)


HOW A SHOEBOX-SIZE WEATHER SATELLITE DEFIED EXPECTATIONS BEFORE CRASHING TO EARTH HOW A SHOEBOX-SIZE WEATHER SATELLITE DEFIED EXPECTATIONS BEFORE CRASHING TO EARTH - A tiny weather satellite’s life ended in a fiery blaze as it descended into a predestined plunge into the Earth’s atmosphere. But all was not lost. The two-and-a-half-year mission for RainCube was a success for a shoebox-size weather satellite that was designed to showcase how tiny satellites, called CubeSats, could be less expensive while still providing robust weather information.   More
(Source: WJXT News4JAX - Feb 17)


NASA UPDATES COVERAGE OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP DOCKING NASA UPDATES COVERAGE OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP DOCKING - In response to a winter storm currently affecting NASA personnel and broadcast capabilities in Texas, NASA is adjusting coverage of the arrival and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station. Updates previously planned for NASA Television will be available only on NASA’s space station Twitter and other social media accounts and the space station blog. No live broadcast or NASA Television coverage of the docking is planned.   More
(Source: NASA - Feb 17)


CAPE-3 CUBESAT LAUNCHED CAPE-3 CUBESAT LAUNCHED - The University of Louisiana (UL) at Lafayette student-built CAPE-3 satellite was launched on January 17. A 1-U CubeSat, CAPE-3 includes a “digipeater and experimental UHF adaptive radio.” An AX-25 telemetry downlink has been coordinated on 145.825 MHz and a 1k2 frequency-shift keying (FSK) downlink has been coordinated on 435.325 MHz, “which may burst to 100 kHz bandwidth,” according to the IARU Amateur Satellite Coordination page. CAPE-3 is the third cube satellite in the CAPE series.    More
(Source: ARRL - Feb 16)


SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYS 60 STARLINK SATELLITES, BUT LOSES BOOSTER ON DESCENT SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYS 60 STARLINK SATELLITES, BUT LOSES BOOSTER ON DESCENT - SpaceX successfully launched 60 more Starlink internet satellites Monday night from Cape Canaveral, but lost the Falcon 9 rocket’s reusable first stage booster during a landing attempt on a drone ship parked in the Atlantic Ocean. The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket blasted off at 10:59:37 p.m. EST Monday (0359:37 GMT Tuesday) from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, a day after weather kept the mission on Earth.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 16)


SPACE IS GETTING VERY MESSY WITH SATELLITES AND ROCKETS. THIS COMPANY AIMS TO FIX IT. SPACE IS GETTING VERY MESSY WITH SATELLITES AND ROCKETS. THIS COMPANY AIMS TO FIX IT. - Astroscale is a space sustainability company headquartered in Tokyo that is committed to creating solutions for removing potentially dangerous space junk. As space tourism missions to the ISS (International Space Station) become more prevalent, even more attention will have to be paid to orbital highways to ensure their maintenance and cleanliness. It’s more than a courtesy, it’s a matter of space safety. “If the space tourism industry does take off, more people having the chance to visit space will help to underscore the urgency of the danger posed by orbital debris,”...   More
(Source: Observer - Feb 16)

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