SWARM A STEP CLOSER TO IOT SATELLITE NET AFTER NZ LAUNCH - US nano-satellite company Swarm Technologies has launched its latest 24 satellites, using a launchpad on New Zealand’s Māhia peninsula operated by Rocket Lab.
Swarm, based in California, now has 36 satellites in orbit, said the company after the launch.
Rocket Lab had a number of other customers on its launch, including Valve, a gaming software company, providing another six satellites between them. More
(Source: Capacity Media - Nov 24)
ONEWEB TO RESUME SATELLITE LAUNCHES AFTER BILLION-POUND TAKEOVER - British-based satellite broadband firm OneWeb says it plans to resume satellite launches after a successful £1 billion takeover by the UK government and Indian telco Bharti Airtel.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has invested £400 million in OneWeb which, despite most of its management and manufacturing being American, is headquartered in London and regulated by Ofcom. More
(Source: TechRadar - Nov 24)
CHINA LAUNCHES CHANG’E-5 MOON SAMPLE RETURN MISSION - A Long March 5 rocket launched China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft Monday to kick off a 23-day mission to deliver the first lunar samples to Earth since the 1970s.
The heavy-lift Long March 5 lifted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The Chang’e-5 spacecraft was announced to have successfully entered its predetermined orbit around 4:45 p.m., following deployment of solar arrays. The 8.2-ton Chang’e-5 spacecraft is to begin an estimated 112-hour journey to the moon. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Nov 24)
WILL SPACEX’S STARLINK SATELLITES RUIN STARGAZING? - I walk outside my rural Saskatchewan house before dawn and look up, expecting to have my breath taken away by the sheer number of stars overhead. I’m a professional astronomer, but I still appreciate unaided-eye stargazing as much as an eager child. This is the first place I’ve lived that’s dark enough to easily see the Milky Way, and I’m stunned and awed every time I look up.
This time though, I curse softly. There’s a bright satellite. And another following behind. And another. And another. More
(Source: EarthSky - Nov 23)
SPACEX SCRUBS STARLINK SATELLITE LAUNCH ON RECORD 7TH FLIGHT OF A FALCON 9 ROCKET - SpaceX called off the launch of its next Starlink satellite fleet late Sunday (Nov. 22), delaying a potentially record-setting flight for the mission's Falcon 9 rocket.
A Falcon 9 rocket was poised to make its seventh launch (a record for the reusable booster) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida when SpaceX scrubbed the mission. The liftoff was scheduled for 9:56 p.m. EST (0256 GMT) to deliver 60 Starlink internet satellites to orbit. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 23)
ROCKET LAB HAS SUCCESSFULLY RECOVERED A BOOSTER FOR THE FIRST TIME - New Zealand company Rocket Lab has hit a key milestone with the successful launch and recovery of its flagship Electron rocket. The mission, the firm’s 16th so far, included a soft parachute landing of the first-stage booster to the ocean for the first time.
The mission: Electron was launched around 1:46 a.m. local time this morning from the company’s launch site on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island. The mission successfully deployed 30 satellites into low Earth orbit. More
(Source: MIT Technology Review - Nov 22)
INTERNATIONAL SATELLITE LAUNCHES TO EXTEND MEASUREMENTS OF SEA LEVEL RISE - A European-built satellite with the unusual shape of a house launched into orbit Saturday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Central Coast, carrying a sophisticated radar altimeter to measure rising sea levels on our home planet.
The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich observation satellite lifted off at 9:17:08 a.m. PST (12:17:08 p.m. EST; 1717:08 GMT) Saturday from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base around 140 miles (225 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 22)
JOINT NASA-ESA SATELLITE WHICH WILL MONITOR SEA LEVELS TO LAUNCH SATURDAY - The U.S. space agency, NASA, in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), is set to launch a satellite Saturday designed to monitor rising sea levels, the latest in a series of orbiting spacecraft monitoring the status of the world’s oceans.
NASA says the satellite, called the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California early Saturday. More
(Source: Voice of Ameriuca - Nov 21)
SPACEX LINING UP 2 LAUNCHES FROM CA AND FL ON SAME DAY - A week after it sent four astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time, SpaceX is shooting for a bicoastal doubleheader: Launching a NASA Earth observation satellite Saturday morning from California and another batch of Starlink satellites from Florida that night, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.
SpaceX is slated to launch NASA’s Sentinel 6-Michael Freilich oceanography satellite from Vandenberg Air Force base at 9:17 a.m. PST. The satellite is named in honor of the late director of NASA’s Earth science division. More
(Source: WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando - Nov 21)
BOEING SUBSIDIARY READY TO LAUNCH SATELLITE DEORBITING EXPERIMENT - Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing subsidiary, built two small satellites awaiting launch Thursday night on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket on a mission to test the effectiveness of a drag-inducing device that could help remove spacecraft from orbit.
The two small satellites are part of the DragRacer mission, which is set to launch with a cluster of payloads on a Rocket Lab Electron vehicle during a window opening at 8:46 p.m. EST Thursday (0146 GMT) and closing at 11:34 p.m. EST (0434 GMT). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 20)
NASA, ESA ARE PREPARING TO LAUNCH THE LARGEST EARTH-OBSERVING SATELLITE EVER - The world's largest Earth-observing satellite is getting ready for liftoff.
On November 21, the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA will launch the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft into Earth's orbit where it will keep a watchful eye on a dangerous side effect of climate change — rising sea levels. Viewing the Earth from space, it has an unparalleled view of this deadly trend on a global scale — and could help us here on Earth tackle it. More
(Source: Inverse - Nov 19)
JAPAN’S ASTROSCALE TO LAUNCH SATELLITE FOR SPACE DEBRIS REMOVAL IN MARCH - Japanese startup Astroscale is scheduled to launch a satellite into orbit next March on a test mission to remove space debris, according to the company’s officials.
The satellite will be carried into space by a Russian Soyuz rocket lifting off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome. More
(Source: SatelliteProME.com - Nov 19)
SPACEWALKERS PREP FOR ARRIVAL OF NEW RUSSIAN MODULE - Two Russian cosmonauts used the International Space Station’s Poisk docking compartment as an airlock for the first time Wednesday in a six-hour 48-minute spacewalk to begin preparing the nearly identical Pirs module for removal next year. A new laboratory module will be parked in its place later.
Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov began the year’s eighth spacewalk at 10:12 a.m. EST. The excursion, the first for both cosmonauts, came just two days after arrival of four astronauts aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon commercial ferry ship. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 19)
ARIANESPACE TRACES CAUSE OF VEGA LAUNCH FAILURE TO ‘HUMAN ERROR’ - Inverted cables on the Vega rocket’s upper stage control system apparently caused the launcher to tumble minutes after liftoff Monday night, a failure that resulted in the loss of a Spanish Earth observation satellite and a French research probe, Arianespace officials said Tuesday.
Officials from Arianespace — the French company that manages Vega rocket launches — said Tuesday engineers reviewed telemetry data and documentation overnight, and found the most likely cause of the launch failure was a case of human error. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 18)
VEGA ANOMALY DURING LAUNCH OF EUROPEAN EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITES - Arianespace suffered another issue with its Vega rocket during the launch two Earth observation satellites named SEOSAT-Ingenio and TARANIS for Spain and France, respectively.
Liftoff from the Guiana Space Center near Kourou, French Guiana, was on time at 01:52:20 UTC on Tuesday, 17 November — which is 20:52:20 EST on Monday, 16 November). Vega was aiming place the two satellites into sun-synchronous orbits at slightly different orbital inclinations and altitudes. The status of the mission remains unknown. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Nov 17)
SPACEX CREW DRAGON CAPSULE DOCKS AT SPACE STATION WITH ITS 1ST CREW OF 4 - SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule has successfully delivered a crew of four astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time.
After a 27-hour orbital chase, the Crew-1 mission arrived at the space station Monday night (Nov. 16) with four Expedition 64 crewmembers — NASA astronauts Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA. Also on board was a small "Baby Yoda" plush, which serves as a "zero-g indicator" during the ride. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 17)
SPACEX CREW DRAGON LAUNCHES 4 ASTRONAUTS TO SPACE STATION IN 1ST OPERATIONAL FLIGHT FOR NASA - SpaceX successfully launched its first operational space taxi flight for NASA Sunday (Nov. 15), as a shiny white Falcon 9 rocket took to the skies above Kennedy Space Center here in Florida.
The rocket lifted off from NASA's historic Pad 39 here at 7:27 p.m. EDT (0027 GMT on Nov. 16) carrying four astronauts in a Crew Dragon capsule to orbit, and then returned to Earth for a drone-ship landing in the Atlantic Ocean. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 16)
CHINA LAUNCHES MOBILE TELECOM SATELLITE - A new Chinese mobile communications satellite launched Thursday on top of a Long March 3B rocket, joining a similar spacecraft launched four years ago to provide voice and data services to users on the go.
The Tiantong 1-02 mobile communications satellite lifted off at 1559 GMT (10:59 a.m. EST) Thursday from the Xichang satellite launch center in Sichuan province of southwestern China, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 15)
WEATHER DELAY MOVES SPACEX-NASA ASTRONAUT LAUNCH TO SUNDAY - Four astronauts are slated to ride into orbit aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule this weekend, kicking off what NASA hopes will be years of SpaceX conducting routine trips to keep the International Space Station fully staffed.
Liftoff was originally slated for Saturday night, but NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said Friday afternoon that rough winds at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, the launch site, prompted SpaceX and NASA to push their target launch time to Sunday at 7:27 pm ET. More
(Source: CNN - Nov 14)