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GOING UP? WAITING FOR THE SPACE ELEVATOR - A space-elevator experiment is now at the International Space Station. The technology it's testing, if implemented on a large scale, could revolutionize spaceflight, advocates say.
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SATELLITE NEWS

CHINA PLANS TO LAUNCH AN 'ARTIFICIAL MOON' TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKIES CHINA PLANS TO LAUNCH AN 'ARTIFICIAL MOON' TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKIES - The night skies might soon have company: Chinese scientists are planning to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020 to illuminate city streets after dark. Scientists are hoping to hang the man-made moon above the city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, according to a report in Chinese state media. The imitation celestial body — essentially an illuminated satellite — will bear a reflective coating to cast sunlight back to Earth, where it will supplement streetlights at night.   More
(Source: TIME - Oct 20)


NASA AND ROSCOSMOS TRYING TO AVOID AN EMPTY SPACE STATION NASA AND ROSCOSMOS TRYING TO AVOID AN EMPTY SPACE STATION - Following the failure of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft to deliver Aleksey Nikolayevich Ovchinin and Nick Hague to the International Space Station last week, the orbital outpost is now left with two fewer crew members than planned. NASA now must assess their options for keeping the station occupied, pending Roscosmos’ updated launch schedule once the investigation into the Soyuz-FG failure has been completed. Roscosmos immediately created a State Commission to determine the cause of the MS-10 abort and their investigation is already progressing.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 20)


ROCKET LAB PICKS VIRGINIA SPACEPORT AS US LAUNCH SITE FOR SMALL SATELLITES ROCKET LAB PICKS VIRGINIA SPACEPORT AS US LAUNCH SITE FOR SMALL SATELLITES - The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab has a new spaceport, and it's in Virginia. The California-based startup Rocket Lab, which aims to corner the small-satellite launch market with its Electron boosters, unveiled plans to launch missions from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport overseen by Virginia Space. The first mission could fly as early as next year. The spaceport, which is located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, has long been used by the space agency to launch small, suborbital sounding rockets.    More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 19)


RUSSIA TO DELIVER 3D-BIOPRINTER TO ORBITAL OUTPOST IN NEXT SPACE LAUNCH
RUSSIA TO DELIVER 3D-BIOPRINTER TO ORBITAL OUTPOST IN NEXT SPACE LAUNCH - A copy of the Organ-Avt bioprinter devised to grow living tissue will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) during the next launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the press office of Invitro, the project’s investor, told TASS on Wednesday. The plans to deliver the bioprinter’s first copy failed after the aborted launch of the Soyuz-FG booster from the Baikonur spaceport on October 11. The magnetic 3D-bioprinter is devised to grow living tissues and eventually organs and it can also be used to study the influence of outer space conditions on living organisms during lengthy flights.    More
(Source: TASS - Oct 19)


WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE ABOARD THE FAILED ROCKET LAUNCH TO THE SPACE STATION WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE ABOARD THE FAILED ROCKET LAUNCH TO THE SPACE STATION - Everything was going smoothly — until NASA astronaut Nick Hague felt a sudden tremor. "The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side," he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on Oct. 11. The rocket was meant to carry Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to the International Space Station in what would have been the American's first trip to space. Instead, the pair's emergency rescue system kicked into action after a problem during booster separation.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 19)


COUNTDOWN TO EUROPE'S 'NAIL-BITING' FIRST MISSION TO MERCURY COUNTDOWN TO EUROPE'S 'NAIL-BITING' FIRST MISSION TO MERCURY - Engineers are carrying out final checks on the Ariane 5 rocket before it launches Europe's most ambitious spacecraft. Flight VA245 is due to lift off from the European Space Agency's (ESA) base in Kourou, French Guiana, in the early hours of Saturday. It will take the BepiColombo spacecraft into orbit around Earth, the first stage of a five billion mile journey to Mercury. The joint European and Japanese mission will study the structure and evolution of the closest planet to the Sun.   More
(Source: Sky News - Oct 19)


UK-FRANCE SPACE AGREEMENT DELIVERS DEVICE TO OCEAN SATELLITE UK-FRANCE SPACE AGREEMENT DELIVERS DEVICE TO OCEAN SATELLITE - A device built in the UK by Honeywell, which will form a vital part of the mission to make the first global survey of the world’s surface waters and oceans, has been delivered to Thales Alenia Space in France. The Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, mission is led by CNES (the French Space Agency) and NASA with support from the UK Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The UK Space Agency and CNES signed a joint statement in January 2018 during the UK-France Summit in Sandhurst to step up co-operation in space, building on 2014’s Brize-Norton framework arrangement.   More
(Source: GOV.UK - Oct 18)


JAM-RESISTANT US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LIFTS OFF IN MIDNIGHT-HOUR LAUNCH JAM-RESISTANT US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LIFTS OFF IN MIDNIGHT-HOUR LAUNCH - An advanced U.S. military communications satellite soared into space in the midnight hour Wednesday (Oct. 17), lighting up the sky over Florida as it launched into orbit. A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launched the satellite, known as Advanced Extremely High Frequency 4 (AEHF-4), at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 GMT) from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. AEHF-4 is an advanced jam-resistant and nuclear-hardened satellite designed "to provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military forces," according to a U.S. Air force mission description.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)


EYEWITNESS OBSERVER OF DRAMATIC SOYUZ LAUNCH ABORT DESCRIBES WHAT HE SAW EYEWITNESS OBSERVER OF DRAMATIC SOYUZ LAUNCH ABORT DESCRIBES WHAT HE SAW - An eyewitness at the aborted Soyuz launch to the International Space Station Oct. 11 saw an odd smoke trail emerging from the rocket crew members' craft separated to make a daring landing back on Earth. Philip Grossman, an urban explorer and contributor to the Science Channel, was in the viewing area for the Expedition 57 launch in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The viewing area includes a large platform on which people can watch the launch, roughly 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers) away.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)


45TH SPACE WING GEARS UP FOR SURGE IN LAUNCH ACTIVITY 45TH SPACE WING GEARS UP FOR SURGE IN LAUNCH ACTIVITY - The launch early Wednesday of a U.S. Air Force $1.8 billion communications satellite will be Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess’ first mission as launch decision authority. Schiess was sworn in Aug. 23 as commander of the 45th Space Wing and director of the Eastern Range, headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base. Since then, SpaceX launched a commercial satellite from the range, but the Advanced EHF satellite known as AEHF-4 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will be his first national security mission as the commander of the world’s busiest spaceport. The wing is responsible to ensure public safety during every launch from Cape Canaveral or Kennedy Space Center.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 17)


CHINA’S TWO NEW SATELLITES ARE A STEP TOWARDS COMPLETION OF ITS SPACE SILK ROAD CHINA’S TWO NEW SATELLITES ARE A STEP TOWARDS COMPLETION OF ITS SPACE SILK ROAD - China has successfully launched another two satellites that will be part of its native BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) – the country’s competitor to the American GPS system. The satellites will bolster China’s ambitious Space Silk Road project – the country’s programme to boost its global revenue from positioning and navigation systems. The launch was significant for multiple reasons. First, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was built with China’s requirements for national security, and socioeconomic development in mind.   More
(Source: TNW - Oct 16)


ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND DEVELOPS METHANE-HUNTING SATELLITE ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND DEVELOPS METHANE-HUNTING SATELLITE - Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a U.S.-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group, intends to launch a new satellite designed to measure methane emissions worldwide. The spacecraft, named MethaneSAT, could offer a substantial help for countries and companies in combating global warming. MethaneSAT project was unveiled by EDF President Fred Krupp on April 11, 2018. He presented the plan of developing a methane-hunting satellite during a TED Talk in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. MethaneSAT was described by Krupp as the newest chapter in EDF's ongoing effort to advance peer-reviewed science focused on oil and gas methane emissions.    More
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 16)


SOYUZ FAILURE PROBE NARROWS FOCUS ON COLLISION AT BOOSTER SEPARATION SOYUZ FAILURE PROBE NARROWS FOCUS ON COLLISION AT BOOSTER SEPARATION - Russian investigators believe a malfunction during separation of the Soyuz rocket’s four liquid-fueled first stage boosters two minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan led to an emergency landing of a two-man crew heading for the International Space Station, officials said Friday. Speaking to reporters Friday in Moscow, veteran cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, head of the Russian space agency’s human spaceflight program, said the investigation into Thursday’s launch failure has narrowed on a collision between part of the Soyuz rocket’s first stage and the launcher’s second stage.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 15)


RUSSIA PUTS OFF MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCH OVER SOYUZ BOOSTER INCIDENT
RUSSIA PUTS OFF MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCH OVER SOYUZ BOOSTER INCIDENT - The next launch of a Lotos-S radar reconnaissance satellite aboard a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport in north Russia has been postponed over the incident with the Soyuz booster at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 11, a source in the space industry told TASS on Saturday. "Due to the incident at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the nearest launch of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the military satellite from the Plesetsk spaceport scheduled for October 19 has been put off indefinitely," the source said.    More
(Source: TASS - Oct 14)


SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW HOMES, FORESTS, AND A MILITARY BASE DESTROYED BY HURRICANE MICHAEL SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW HOMES, FORESTS, AND A MILITARY BASE DESTROYED BY HURRICANE MICHAEL - Hurricane Michael — the fourth Category 4 storm to pummel the United States in 14 months — snapped pine trees like toothpicks, washed neighborhoods into the sea, and shredded the hangars of an Air Force base. Before the storm's 155 mph winds struck the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, storm scientists predicted Michael would be an extremely intense storm, in large part because it passed through ocean waters that were 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal — and hurricanes thrive on warm water. The devastation, seen by satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above, is ghastly.    More
(Source: Mashable - Oct 14)


EMPTY SPACE STATION? NASA PREPARES FOR THE WORST (BUT HOPES FOR THE BEST) AFTER SOYUZ ABORT EMPTY SPACE STATION? NASA PREPARES FOR THE WORST (BUT HOPES FOR THE BEST) AFTER SOYUZ ABORT - A few months from now, the International Space Station (ISS) could be unoccupied for the first time in nearly two decades. Russia's workhorse Soyuz rocket suffered a serious anomaly just minutes after launching two astronauts toward the ISS today (Oct. 11), forcing the spaceflyers' crew craft to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan. Those two explorers — NASA's Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin — made it through the bumpy touchdown just fine and are in good condition, NASA officials said. But the Soyuz will be grounded while Russian investigators try to figure out exactly what happened today, and how to prevent it from occurring again.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)


TWO SATELLITES WITH SECRETIVE MISSIONS LAUNCHED BY CHINA TWO SATELLITES WITH SECRETIVE MISSIONS LAUNCHED BY CHINA - Two Chinese Yaogan military reconnaissance satellites launched this week, riding a Long March 2C booster into orbit on a mission that inaugurated the use of a new restartable upper stage to increase the rocket’s carrying capacity. The two Yaogan 32 satellites, designated Yaogan 32-01 and 32-02, lifted off from the Jiuquan space center in remote northwestern China at 0243 GMT Tuesday (10:43 p.m. EDT Monday), according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. The launch occurred at 10:43 a.m. Beijing time Tuesday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)


HERE'S WHAT TODAY'S SOYUZ LAUNCH FAILURE MEANS FOR SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS HERE'S WHAT TODAY'S SOYUZ LAUNCH FAILURE MEANS FOR SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS - The three astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station were supposed to welcome two new roommates today, but an anomaly a few minutes after launch sent those crewmembers speeding back to Earth in an emergency landing. Both crewmembers (NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovichin) are safe, but the launch failure means that much more than just today's space station schedule will need to be reshuffled. NASA, the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and the International Space Station control team still have a whole lot of decisions to make about what to do next — not to mention an investigation to conduct into what went wrong.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 12)


NASA’S TERRA SATELLITE CELEBRATES 100,000 ORBITS NASA’S TERRA SATELLITE CELEBRATES 100,000 ORBITS - More than 400 miles above Earth, a satellite the size of a school bus is earning its frequent flyer miles. On Oct. 6, NASA’s Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth. Terra joins a handful of satellites to mark this orbital milestone, including the International Space Station, Earth’s Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), Landsat 5 and Landsat 7. Terra, which launched Dec. 18, 1999, is projected to continue operation into the 2020s.   More
(Source: ECNmag.com - Oct 12)


ASTRONAUTS ESCAPE MALFUNCTIONING SOYUZ ROCKET ASTRONAUTS ESCAPE MALFUNCTIONING SOYUZ ROCKET - A US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut were forced to make an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Shortly after taking off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin reported a problem with the rocket's booster. The men were forced into a "ballistic descent", with their capsule landing a few hundred miles north of Baikonur. They have been picked up by rescuers.   More
(Source: BBC News - Oct 11)

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