ISS GETS A NEW DOCKING PORT FOR FUTURE SPACESHIPS - Commercial crew vehicles now have a second parking spot at the International Space Station (ISS). Two NASA astronauts successfully installed a new docking adapter Wednesday for incoming SpaceX and Boeing vehicles that may arrive with crew as early as this year. More
(Source: Astronomy Magazine - Aug 23)
RUSSIA LAUNCHES HUMANOID ROBOT 'FYODOR' TO SPACE STATION ON RARE SOYUZ TEST FLIGHT - Call it one giant leap for a robot. Russia has launched a humanoid robot named "Fyodor" to the International Space Station on the first uncrewed Soyuz spacecraft ever to visit the orbiting laboratory.
The Soyuz capsule — which typically carries a crew of three into space — lifted off with food, supplies and the Skybot F-850 robot from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan late Wednesday (Aug. 21) at 11:38 p.m. EDT (0338 Aug. 22 GMT) It was 8:38 a.m. Thursday local time at the launch site. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 22)
ULA SET TO LAUNCH 2ND GPS III SATELLITE FOR US AIR FORCE - A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket is in final preparations to launch the second Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite, nicknamed Magellan, for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The launch is planned for Aug. 22 at Space Launch Complex-37 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Aug 22)
50 YEARS AFTER HURRICANE CAMILLE, GOES SATELLITES IMPROVE FORECASTS - In the late evening hours of August 17, 1969, a catastrophic storm named Hurricane Camille slammed into the Gulf Coast. A Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds of 175 mph and a storm surge of more than 24 feet, Camille devastated much of coastal Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. More than 250 people lost their lives and damage was estimated at about $10 billion in 2019 dollars. More
(Source: WeatherNation - Aug 21)
NASA TV COVERAGE OF UNCREWED SOYUZ MISSION TO SPACE STATION - An uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft is set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) on a test flight to validate the spacecraft’s compatibility with a revamped Soyuz booster rocket. The booster will be used to transport crews to the International Space Station beginning in spring 2020. Live coverage of the launch, docking and undocking of the spacecraft will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Aug 21)
IMAGES SUGGEST TEHRAN PREPARING SATELLITE LAUNCH - Iran appears to be preparing another satellite launch after twice failing this year to put one in orbit, despite U.S. accusations that the Islamic Republic’s program helps it develop ballistic missiles.
Satellite images of the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan Province this month show increased activity at the site, as heightened tensions persist between Washington and Tehran over its collapsing nuclear deal with world powers. More
(Source: The Japan News - Aug 20)
CHINA JUST LAUNCHED A COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE. IS IT IN TROUBLE? - A Chinese Long March 3B rocket launched a new communications satellite into orbit today (Aug. 19) — but its days might be numbered.
After lifting off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 8:03 p.m. local time (8:03 a.m. EDT; 1203 GMT), the rocket should have deployed the Zhongxing-18 satellite, also known as Chinasat-18, into orbit about 25 minutes into the mission, according to NASAspaceflight.com.
However, more than half a day later, officials have yet to provide an update on the condition of the satellite or whether it separated from the rocket as planned. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 20)
ROCKET LAB ELECTRON BOOSTER LAUNCHES 4 SATELLITES INTO ORBIT - The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab launched four new satellites into orbit in a dazzling predawn liftoff for the U.S Air Force Space Command and companies in Seattle and France on Monday (Aug. 19).
Rocket Lab's two-stage Electron booster soared into space at 8:12 a.m. EDT (1212 GMT) from the company's Māhia Peninsula launch site in New Zealand, where the local time was 12:12 a.m. Tuesday. The launch was delayed three days due to unacceptably high winds at the launchpad. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 19)
SPACEWALKERS NICK HAGUE AND ANDREW MORGAN GET READY FOR FIFTH ISS SPACEWALK OF YEAR ON AUG. 21 - Three NASA astronauts remain focused on preparations for next week’s spacewalk at the International Space Station. The rest of the Expedition 60 focused on biology research and a pair of docked spaceships. Flight Engineer Christina Koch has been supporting spacewalkers Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan, as they get ready for the fifth spacewalk of the year on Aug. 21. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Aug 19)
NASA’S SATELLITE PROJECTS WILL STUDY THE SUN USING SOLAR SAILING - Small satellites can be used for anything from collecting images and videos of Earth to exploring the Solar System, and as the technology improves, more and more uses will become possible. NASA has been searching for ideas to push ahead the capabilities of the hardware, and the agency has just announced two new projects to demonstrate the potential of small satellites. More
(Source: Digital Trends - Aug 19)
ROBOTIC TOOL OPERATIONS BRING IN-SPACE REFUELING CLOSER TO REALITY - NASA's Robotic Refueling Mission 3 (RRM3) completed an initial set of tool operations, bringing the idea of using water ice or methane from other worlds as fuel for spacecraft one step closer to reality.
The ability to store and transfer cryogens (super-cold hydrogen, oxygen and methane) will help spacecraft journey father into our solar system and beyond. More
(Source: Space Daily - Aug 18)
CHINA SUCCESSFULLY CONDUCTS FIRST LAUNCH OF SMART DRAGON-1 SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCH VEHICLE - For the fourth time in less than 10 months – and the second one to claim a successful flight – China has debuted a new small satellite launch vehicle based on solid rocket motors with a payload of less than one tonne to Low Earth Orbit. The Smart Dragon-1 (SD-1) rocket, also known by its Chinese name Jielong-1, lifted off from the mobile launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China today at 04:11 UTC. Chinese media has later declared the launch a success. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Aug 18)
AIR FORCE SOLICITING BIDS FOR SMALL, MEDIUM SATELLITE LAUNCH PROGRAM - The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Launch Enterprise is requesting industry bids for the Orbital Services Program-4.
Proposals are due Aug. 29. OSP-4 is managed by the Rocket Systems Launch Program Office, which plans to award a multi-vendor indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract by the end of the year with an opportunity to on-ramp new providers in future years, the Air Force said in a news release. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Aug 17)
ROCKET LAB DELAYS ELECTRON LAUNCH DUE TO HIGH WINDS - The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab postponed the launch of an Electron rocket carrying four small satellites Friday (Aug. 16) due to high winds at the booster's New Zealand launch site.
Rocket Lab initially hoped to launch the Electron's mission, called "Look Ma, No Hands," from the Māhia Peninsula during a 100-minute window that opened at 8:57 a.m. EDT (1257 GMT), but ground winds were just too strong. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 17)
YOU CAN WATCH ROCKET LAB LAUNCH 4 SATELLITES INTO ORBIT FRIDAY. HERE'S HOW. - A Rocket Lab Electron booster will launch a quartet of satellites into orbit Friday (Aug. 16) and you can watch it all live online.
The Electron rocket is scheduled to loft the four satellites at 8:57 a.m. EDT (1257 GMT) from Rocket Lab's launch site on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand, where the local time at liftoff will be 12:57 a.m. on Saturday. More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 16)
SPAIN’S FIRST OPEN SOURCE SATELLITE - [Fossa Systems], a non-profit youth association based out of Madrid, is developing an open-source satellite set to launch in October 2019. The FossaSat-1 is sized at 5x5x5 cm, weighs 250g, and will provide free IoT connectivity by communicating LoRa RTTY signals through low-power RF-based LoRa modules. The satellite is powered by 28% efficient gallium arsenide TrisolX triple junction solar cells. More
(Source: Hackaday - Aug 16)
WHY LOW-EARTH ORBIT SATELLITES ARE THE NEW SPACE RACE - Elon Musk made headlines in 2018 when he launched his old car toward Mars aboard one of his Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rockets. He got less attention in May for his first step toward a potentially far more lucrative venture, when SpaceX launched the first 60 of a planned 12,000 satellites into low-Earth orbit (LEO). And Musk isn’t the only one pouring money into the sector: Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is one of several competitors with plans to send thousands of their own devices into the space just above our atmosphere. Nonetheless, doubts remain over whether these new satellite constellations will provide returns on their substantial initial investments -- and even whether there’s space in our sky for so many new devices. More
(Source: Washington Post - Aug 16)
NASA TV TO AIR US SPACEWALK, BRIEFING ON SPACE STATION DOCKING PORT INSTALL - Experts from NASA will preview an upcoming spacewalk with two American astronauts outside the International Space Station to complete the outfitting of docking ports during a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 16, at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Live coverage of the briefing will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website. More
(Source: Southgate Amateur Radio Club - Aug 16)
SPACEPLANE GETS A RIDE FOR SPACE STATION TRIPS - The Dream Chaser spaceplane, which will ferry cargo to the International Space Station (ISS), now has a rocket to launch on.
Sierra Nevada, the private company that builds the spaceplane, has chosen the Vulcan rocket as its ride into orbit.
The company hopes to start launching missions by 2021, to deliver supplies to astronauts on the ISS.
Neither the Dream Chaser vehicle, nor the Vulcan rocket, has yet flown to space.
Sierra Nevada was recently awarded the contract by Nasa to re-supply the ISS. More
(Source: BBC News - Aug 15)