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LIGHTSAIL 2 CAPTURES STUNNING PHOTOS OF EARTH FROM SPACE - LightSail 2 has been orbiting Earth for eight months now, and it has captured some stunning shots of our home planet during that time. The Planetary Society built the spacecraft, which launched in June 2019 on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, to prove the potential of solar sailing. Rather than relying on conventional fuel, LightSail 2 uses a massive sail to catch photons (light particles) from the sun to power the spacecraft's orbit.
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SATELLITE NEWS

CHINA WANTS TO BUILD A NEW SPACE STATION. A PLANNED LAUNCH IN APRIL WILL SET THE STAGE CHINA WANTS TO BUILD A NEW SPACE STATION. A PLANNED LAUNCH IN APRIL WILL SET THE STAGE - China's space program is planning a launch in April to prepare for building the country's next space station. A Long March 5B rocket will carry a "trial version" of China's new spaceship, which is designed to carry crews of up to six people, state media source Xinhua said. Previous Chinese spaceships carried up to three taikonauts, the term used to describe Chinese astronauts.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 23)


NASA SATELLITE CAPTURES ANTARCTICA MELTING DURING HEAT WAVE NASA SATELLITE CAPTURES ANTARCTICA MELTING DURING HEAT WAVE - Antarctica, home to the coldest place on Earth, experienced a worrying heat wave earlier in February, possibly even setting a record high temperature for the normally frigid continent. A NASA satellite has taken stock of what that heat meant to the local ice cap and glaciers. NASA's Earth Observatory released two images from the agency's Landsat 8 satellite. They highlight dramatic changes in the ice and snow along the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula.    More
(Source: CNET - Feb 22)


GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE ORDERS BOUNCING BACK GEOSTATIONARY SATELLITE ORDERS BOUNCING BACK - Manufacturers are hopeful that 2019 marked the beginning of a turnaround for geostationary satellite orders, even though their market remains fraught with uncertainty. After booking just 14 orders in 2017 and 2018 combined, satellite manufacturers reported 2019 orders for 15 commercially competed geostationary communications spacecraft and two military comsats awarded without open bidding.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 22)


CONSTRUCTION OF CHINA'S SPACE STATION ABOUT TO START CONSTRUCTION OF CHINA'S SPACE STATION ABOUT TO START - The maiden flight of the Long March-5B rocket carrying a trial version of China's new-generation manned spaceship is expected to take place in April, indicating the imminent start of construction of China's space station. The rocket, the prototype core capsule of the space station and the experimental manned spaceship are undergoing tests at the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the coast of south China's island province of Hainan.   More
(Source: Space Daily - Feb 21)


SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCHES RUSSIAN MILITARY SATELLITE AFTER ONE-MONTH DELAY SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCHES RUSSIAN MILITARY SATELLITE AFTER ONE-MONTH DELAY - A Russian military communications satellite rode a Soyuz rocket and Fregat upper stage Thursday into an orbit stretching nearly 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) above Earth, successfully launching after a one-month delay to replace a suspect third stage on the Soyuz booster. The Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifted off with a Meridian M communications satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 0824:54 GMT (3:24:54 a.m. EST) Thursday, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 21)


LONG MARCH-2D CONDUCTS MAIDEN LAUNCH FROM XICHANG WITH FOUR SATELLITES LONG MARCH-2D CONDUCTS MAIDEN LAUNCH FROM XICHANG WITH FOUR SATELLITES - Taking precautions with the coronavirus outbreak in all orbital and space launch centers, China returned to its launch activities after the Chinese New Year festivities with a new launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. This was the first use of a Long March-2D (Chang Zheng-2D) launch vehicle from Xichang. The mission orbited four satellites that will be used to carry out inter-satellite link networking and new ground observation technology tests in orbit. The launch took place from the LC3 Launch Complex at 21:07UTC.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Feb 20)


A SATELLITE MADE IN ST. LOUIS WILL BE LAUNCHED FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION WEDNESDAY A SATELLITE MADE IN ST. LOUIS WILL BE LAUNCHED FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION WEDNESDAY - A six-pound satellite built right here in St. Louis will be launched from the International Space Station Wednesday. The Argus-2 satellite was built by students at Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering and sent to the International Space Station in November. The spacecraft will be launched into orbit at 10 a.m.    More
(Source: KSDK.com - Feb 20)


AZTECHSAT-1 SOON TO DEPLOY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION AZTECHSAT-1 SOON TO DEPLOY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The launch of one very small spacecraft marks a big success for the first collaboration between NASA and the Mexican Space Agency on a spaceflight project. It's also important for the team of students in Mexico who designed and built the satellite. Called AzTechSat-1, it will demonstrate satellite-to-satellite communications for applications in space and on Earth. Specifically, it will "talk to" a network of telecommunications satellites already orbiting the Earth and contribute new data about this transmission strategy to developers of small satellites called CubeSats.   More
(Source: Space Daily - Feb 20)


IMAGE: INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TRANSITS THE MOON IMAGE: INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TRANSITS THE MOON - Say cheese. Amateur astrophotographer Javier Manteca captured the International Space Station as flew in front of the moon on 5 February. While most eyes were on the change of command ceremony taking place inside the Space Station ahead of ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano's return to Earth, Javier set up his gear to track the Station from the small town of Campo Real in Madrid, Spain.   More
(Source: Phys.org - Feb 20)


ARIANE 5 DEPLOYS COMMUNICATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING SATELLITES ARIANE 5 DEPLOYS COMMUNICATIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING SATELLITES - A Japanese-owned communications satellite built in Colorado and a South Korean environmental monitoring observatory shared an Ariane 5 rocket ride into orbit Tuesday from the South American jungle. The heavyweight duo rocketed away from a launch pad in French Guiana at 5:18 p.m. EST (2218 GMT; 7:18 p.m. French Guiana time) Tuesday after a smooth countdown, beginning Arianespace’s third mission of the year.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 19)


2 RUSSIAN SATELLITES TAILING US SPY SATELLITE: WASHINGTON 2 RUSSIAN SATELLITES TAILING US SPY SATELLITE: WASHINGTON - Washington has accused two Russian satellites of tailing a US spy satellite in what it called "disturbing behavior", prompting a guarded response from Moscow on Tuesday. Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed that he had received a message from Washington regarding the satellites, adding that "Moscow will respond after studying it."   More
(Source: Voice of America - Feb 19)


COULD HACKERS TURN SATELLITES INTO WEAPONS? COULD HACKERS TURN SATELLITES INTO WEAPONS? - Hackers could shut down satellites and potentially turn them into weapons, an expert warns. According to William Akoto, a scholar who studies cyber conflict, hackers taking control of the satellites orbiting Earth could have dire consequences. “On the mundane end of scale, hackers could simply shut satellites down, denying access to their services. Hackers could also jam or spoof the signals from satellites, creating havoc for critical infrastructure,” Akoto wrote for Space.com.    More
(Source: New York Post - Feb 19)


SPACEX WILL FLY SPACE TOURISTS ON CREW DRAGON FOR SPACE ADVENTURES SPACEX WILL FLY SPACE TOURISTS ON CREW DRAGON FOR SPACE ADVENTURES - SpaceX just inked its first deal to launch space tourists into orbit on a Crew Dragon spacecraft. The private spaceflight company founded by billionaire Elon Musk has signed an agreement with the U.S. space tourism company Space Adventures to launch up to four passengers on an orbital trip aboard a Crew Dragon space capsule. The mission would last up to five days and could launch as early as late 2021, Space Adventures representatives told Space.com.   More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 19)


CYGNUS FREIGHTER DELIVERS NEW BRITISH-MADE ANTENNA TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION CYGNUS FREIGHTER DELIVERS NEW BRITISH-MADE ANTENNA TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A commercial Cygnus cargo freighter arrived at the International Space Station Tuesday two-and-a-half days after launching from Virginia’s Eastern Shore, delivering a new British-made high-speed communications antenna and more than 7,000 pounds of other experiments and equipment. Astronaut Drew Morgan, working at a control station aboard the space station, used the research outposts’s Canadian-built robotic arm to capture the Cygnus spacecraft at 4:05 a.m. EST (0905 GMT) Tuesday while the cargo freighter hovered less than 40 feet (12 meters) below the complex.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 19)


NEW SATELLITE MADE FROM CORK COULD HELP SMALLER SPACECRAFT RE-ENTER EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE INTACT BY DIRECTING HEAT TOWARD PARTS OF THE HULL DESIGNED TO BURN UP AND FLAKE AWAY NEW SATELLITE MADE FROM CORK COULD HELP SMALLER SPACECRAFT RE-ENTER EARTH’S ATMOSPHERE INTACT BY DIRECTING HEAT TOWARD PARTS OF THE HULL DESIGNED TO BURN UP AND FLAKE AWAY - This week the European Space Agency will begin testing a new kind of spacecraft partially made from cork in the hopes of finding a safer way to re-enter the atmosphere. Called ‘QubeSat for Aerothermodynamic Research and Measurements on Ablation,’ the vessel is made up of a series of cubes stacked on top of each other and measures around a foot in height.   More
(Source: Daily Mail - Feb 18)


SPACE COMPANIES ARE RACING TO BEAM WEB ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE PLANET. BUT ‘SPACE JUNK’ IS A BIG WORRY SPACE COMPANIES ARE RACING TO BEAM WEB ACCESS TO THE ENTIRE PLANET. BUT ‘SPACE JUNK’ IS A BIG WORRY - Space companies, from Elon Musk’s SpaceX to start-up OneWeb, are racing to launch satellites into space with the aim of creating global internet coverage on Earth. But there’s one big problem, experts say — the creation and threat from so-called “space junk.” This debris floating in space could interfere with future space missions and satellite launches — and even send objects hurtling back to Earth.   More
(Source: CNBC - Feb 18)


SPACEX LAUNCHES 60 STARLINK SATELLITES FOR NEW MEGACONSTELLATION, MISSES ROCKET LANDING SPACEX LAUNCHES 60 STARLINK SATELLITES FOR NEW MEGACONSTELLATION, MISSES ROCKET LANDING - SpaceX successfully launched another batch of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit Monday (Feb. 17), but missed a milestone rocket landing on what was the company's fourth flight of the year. Smoked billowed and flames erupted as the sooty Falcon 9 roared to life at 10:05 a.m. EST (1505 GMT), lifting off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station here in Florida.    More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 17)


COULD DRONES LAUNCH SATELLITES INTO SPACE BY CRACKING ONE GIANT WHIP? COULD DRONES LAUNCH SATELLITES INTO SPACE BY CRACKING ONE GIANT WHIP? - Of all the ways we’ve found to sling stuff into space, a patented method that combines cutting-edge drone technology with good old-fashioned physics — the kind that even Indiana Jones would probably admire — may be the wildest one we’ve seen yet. As first reported by GeekWire, Amazon has patented a satellite-launching process that, while untested at full scale, aims to summon the power of wave motion to catapult a payload into orbit...    More
(Source: SYFY WIRE - Feb 17)


CHINA QUIETLY ROLLS OUT NEW ROCKET TO LAUNCH MYSTERY SATELLITE CHINA QUIETLY ROLLS OUT NEW ROCKET TO LAUNCH MYSTERY SATELLITE - China has quietly rolled out a new Long March 7A rocket at a coastal launch site in preparation for launch of a ‘technology verification satellite’. Official acknowledgement of an mission involving the new launcher came on Feb. 12 (Chinese), but with no indication of its timeline. However images shared by Chinese space program watchers in China suggest the Long March 7A has already been rolled out to its launch pad at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 17)


NEXT GPS SATELLITE LANDS IN FLORIDA FOR APRIL LAUNCH NEXT GPS SATELLITE LANDS IN FLORIDA FOR APRIL LAUNCH - The U.S. Space Force’s third new-generation GPS 3-series navigation satellite has arrived in Florida for final processing and fueling ahead of a launch currently targeted for April 29 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The GPS 3 SV03 spacecraft landed Feb. 5 at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, after a ride aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 cargo plane from Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado, near the satellite’s Denver-area Lockheed Martin factory.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 17)

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