SOLAR SUPERSTORMS OF THE PAST HELP NASA SCIENTISTS UNDERSTAND RISKS FOR SATELLITES - At the edge of space, the ever-growing fleet of satellites in low-Earth orbit are locked in a constant, precarious battle with friction.
These satellites orbit in a normally quiet region hundreds of miles above the surface, at the edge of Earth’s atmosphere. Usually, the satellites only feel a gentle push due to the headwinds of the rarified air there, but extreme storms from the Sun can change Earth’s atmosphere enough to pull a satellite farther off orbit in one day than they’d normally experience in a year. More
(Source: NASA - Dec 2)
SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCHES EMIRATI MILITARY SATELLITE AFTER LENGTHY DELAY - After months of delays caused by launch vehicle issues and the coronavirus pandemic, a Russian Soyuz rocket and Fregat upper stage took off from South America and delivered the French-built Falcon Eye 2 military observation satellite to an on-target orbit Tuesday night for the United Arab Emirates.
The kerosene-fueled Soyuz ST-A launcher lifted off from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern coast of South America at 8:33:28 p.m. EST Tuesday (0133:28 GMT Wednesday) with the UAE military’s Falcon Eye 2 reconnaissance satellite... More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 2)
RUSSIA MAY COMMENCE DEPLOYMENT OF ITS ORBITAL STATION AFTER 2024 - Russia may deploy its own service orbital station, manned by two to four cosmonauts, after 2024, said Vladimir Solovyov, the first deputy CEO of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, according to the Scientific Russia website. "[Vladimir Solovyov] also presented the project of a Russian Orbital Service Station (ROSS), currently in development by RSC Energia," the website reads. "According to Solovyov, its deployment is planned after 2024." More
(Source: TASS - Dec 2)
EUROPE AND RUSSIA SCRUB EMIRATI MILITARY/CIVILIAN EARTH IMAGING SATELLITE FOR SECOND TIME - Arianespace was to use — with Russia’s support — a Soyuz ST-A rocket to launch a joint military and civilian Earth imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces from the Guiana Space Centre near Kourou, French Guiana.
Liftoff of the Falcon Eye 2 satellite was to occur at 20:33:28 EST on Monday, 30 November (01:33:28 UTC on Tuesday, 1 December) to ensure the satellite reaches the proper sun-synchronous orbit. This was scrubbed with less than 2 minutes to go when a telemetry transmission issue happened. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Dec 1)
JAPANESE DATA RELAY SATELLITE LAUNCHES ON H-2A ROCKET - A Japanese satellite designed to relay data and imagery from civilian and military Earth observation spacecraft launched Sunday aboard an H-2A rocket.
The dual-use communications satellite rode an H-2A rocket into orbit at 2:25 a.m. EST (0725 GMT; 4:25 p.m. Japan Standard Time) from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan.
A live video feed from media spectators at Tanegashima showed the 174-foot-tall (53-meter) H-2A rocket soaring into broken clouds over the spaceport. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 1)
AN INSIDER’S LOOK AT ISRAEL’S NEXT SATELLITE: A ‘SMARTPHONE IN SPACE’ - Work is on track to develop and build Israel’s next-generation communications satellite, ensuring that Israel will retain its independence in the critical domain of space-based communications, executives from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which is building the satellite, told JNS.
IAI announced on Jan. 3 that it had signed an agreement with the Israeli government for the development and construction of Israel’s next communications satellite, dubbed Dror 1 (Hebrew for “freedom”). More
(Source: JNS.org - Nov 27)
ROCKET LAB TO LAUNCH SATELLITE FOR JAPANESE COMPANY SYNSPECTIVE - Satellite launch provider Rocket Lab has announced Japanese earth-imaging company Synspective as the customer for its 17th Electron launch, and its seventh mission of the year.
The dedicated mission for Synspective is scheduled for lift-off during a 14-day launch window opening on December 12 and will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula to a targetted 500km circular low earth orbit. More
(Source: SatelliteProME.com - Nov 26)
CHINA TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION OF ITS SPACE STATION NEXT YEAR - China is set to begin construction of its orbital space station next year, deputy head of the Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5) launch vehicle project of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), Qu Yiguang, told reporters.
"Since the appearance of the Chang Zheng 5 launch vehicle, it has been determined that it will carry out the mission of launching China's largest spacecraft," Qu said. More
(Source: Space Daily - Nov 26)
NASA TV COVERAGE SET FOR NEXT SPACE STATION RESUPPLY MISSION WITH SPACEX - NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting 11:39 a.m. EST Saturday, Dec. 5, for the launch of its 21st commercial resupply services (CRS-21) mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. CRS-21 will deliver science investigations, supplies, and equipment for NASA and is the first mission under the company’s second Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA. Live coverage will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5. More
(Source: NASA - Nov 25)
ARECIBO RADIO TELESCOPE, DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR, SEEN FROM SPACE - Satellites spotted gashes in the damaged Arecibo Observatory, which is set to be decommissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).
The 57-year-old radio telescope has sustained two cable failures which has made its massive dish too unstable to safely repair, according to the NSF. The cable failures have also damaged the massive dish, which spans a whopping 1,000 feet (305 meters) across, gouging holes in its delicate metal panels. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 25)
SPACEX LAUNCHES 60 MORE STARLINK SATELLITES ON 100TH FALCON 9 FLIGHT - The 100th flight of a Falcon 9 rocket delivered 60 satellites to orbit for SpaceX’s Starlink network Tuesday night, adding another building block to a planned fleet of thousands of solar-powered space-based relay stations to beam broadband connectivity around the world.
The successful mission late Tuesday also set a new record for SpaceX’s rocket reuse program — one that could be broken again within months if SpaceX maintains its feverish launch cadence. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 25)
SPACE STATION 20TH: THANKSGIVING CELEBRATIONS IN SPACE - The Thanksgiving holiday typically brings families and friends together in a celebration of common gratitude for all the good things that have happened during the previous year. People celebrate the holiday in various ways, with parades, football marathons, and attending religious services, but food remains the over-arching theme. More
(Source: NASA - Nov 24)
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)