NASA TV TO AIR U.S. CARGO SHIP DEPARTURE FROM SPACE STATION - Filled with more than 4,000 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo, a SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is set to leave the International Space Station Monday, April 6. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT.
Robotic flight controllers at mission control in Houston will issue commands at 9:52 a.m. to release Dragon using the station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. More
(Source: NASA - Apr 3)
CHINA TO LAUNCH COMMUNICATION SATELLITE FOR INDONESIA - China is preparing to launch a communication satellite, Palapa-N1, for Indonesia at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province.
The satellite was developed under a contract signed between the China Great Wall Industry Corp under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) and the Palapa Satelit Nusantara Sejahtera of Indonesia in May 2017. More
(Source: The Star Online - Apr 2)
US MILITARY MAY START MOVING TOWARDS LAUNCHING FLEETS OF TINY SATELLITES - With much of the commercial space industry focused on putting small satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), how quickly will the U.S. military follow?
Companies are shifting away from traditional large satellites towards small satellites. cubesats in LEO have been increasingly used in space since the 1990s. In recent years, advances in camera technology and computer miniaturization have allowed companies to do optical imaging or radar observations using smaller and smaller satellites. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 2)
SEE HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS CHANGED SOCIETY IN THIS VIDEO OF BEFORE-AND-AFTER SATELLITE VIEWS - The coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, satellites in space are revealing a radical shift in human behavior.
Countries including the United States, Italy and China have advised against nonessential travel and many people around the world are either quarantined or self-isolated to reduce the spread of the disease, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. This has led to a drastic reduction in crowds at normally populated areas. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 1)
NASA SELECTS SPACE SCIENCE CUBESAT MISSION - NASA announced March 30 it will fund the development of a cluster of six cubesats that will fly in formation above geostationary orbit to study solar storms.
NASA said it selected for development the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) mission as a “mission of opportunity” for its heliophysics program. The mission, with a total cost of $62.6 million, will launch by July 2023. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 31)
HOLIDAY IN SPACE, ANYONE? SPACE X TO SEND TOURISTS TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Spacex recently announced a partnership to send three tourists to the International Space Station (ISS), the first private trip in more than a decade.
Elon Musk’s company has signed a deal with Axiom Space to transport the tourists along with a commander on one of its Crew Dragon capsules in the second half of 2021.
Axiom CEO Michael Suffredini said the flight “will represent a watershed moment in the march toward universal and routine access to space”. He did not reveal a price tag. More
(Source: The Star Online - Mar 31)
CHINA'S NEW CREW SPACECRAFT LOOKS LIKE IT COULD DOCK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A next-generation crew spacecraft that China is preparing for a flight test this spring appears to be capable of docking with the International Space Station (ISS).
An image posted by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST) shows the new spacecraft’s docking system, which appears compatible with the International Docking System Standard (IDSS). More
(Source: Space.com - Mar 31)
FIVE MIT PAYLOADS DEPLOYED ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Five research payloads from the MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative were recently deployed on the International Space Station for a 30-day research mission. Scientists, designers, and artists will be able to study the effects of prolonged microgravity, on-station radiation, and launch loads on experiments ranging from self-assembling architecture to biological pigments. The payloads launched on the SpaceX CRS-20 via the Dragon cargo ship atop a Falcon 9 rocket on March 6. More
(Source: MIT News - Mar 29)
VENEZUELA'S ONLY TELECOMS SATELLITE IS LOST IN SPACE - Venezuela’s only telecommunications satellite has veered off its orbit and stopped working, creating a logistical headache for the cash-strapped nation.
The Chinese-built satellite was launched among much fanfare in 2008 under the watch of former President Hugo Chavez, who said the 6-ton machine would help to “construct 21st-century socialism” and contribute to Venezuela’s “independence and sovereignty.” More
(Source: The Japan Times - Mar 29)
THE US ECONOMY HAS COME TO A STANDSTILL, SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS - The coronavirus crisis is bringing the United States economy to a screeching halt, with every sector feeling the effects of most of the country’s workforce staying home.
Satellite imagery combined with other photographic evidence and alternative data sources give a stark look at the U.S. situation: Airplanes are parked on unused runways, the busiest highways are empty during rush hour times, resorts have become ghost towns, ports are seeing sharp drops in shipping activity and more. More
(Source: CNBC - Mar 29)
ONEWEB COLLAPSES AFTER SOFTBANK FUNDING TALKS FALL THROUGH - OneWeb, the satellite internet start-up, filed for bankruptcy and axed most of its staff on Friday, after failing to secure new funding from investors including its biggest backer SoftBank.
The company said it would seek a sale after filing for Chapter 11 relief in New York, noting that financial market turbulence related to coronavirus had sunk negotiations over an investment that would have funded its commercial launch.
(Source: Financial Times - Mar 28)
ULA’S ATLAS 5 LAUNCHES AEHF-6 COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN ITS FIRST MISSION FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE - A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off on March 26 at 4:18 PM EST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying a $1.4 billion Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force.
This was the sixth and final satellite of the AEHF constellation that provides secure, jam-proof voice and data communications for U.S. national leadership, military forces and international partners Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Australia. All six were manufactured by Lockheed Martin. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 27)
AMID CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK, SPACEX LAUNCH OF ARGENTINIAN SATELLITE POSTPONED - A SpaceX satellite launch that had been scheduled for later this month has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The SAOCOM1B satellite is being launched for Argentina’s Space Agency, the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE). The launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket had originally been scheduled for March 30 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. More
(Source: Fox News - Mar 26)
CHINA TO LAUNCH EXPERIMENTAL SPACECRAFT NEXT MONTH - China aims to launch an experimental spacecraft without a crew in April, as part of a broader spaceflight programme to shuttle astronauts to its future space station, state media reported on Tuesday.
The new-generation spacecraft is scheduled to launch on the maiden flight of the Long March-5B carrier rocket, China's largest carrier rocket, from the southern island province of Hainan, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The launch is set for mid- to late April. More
(Source: India Today - Mar 26)
SPACEX PUSHES FOR FIRST CREW LAUNCH AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - Even in the midst of the pandemic, SpaceX and NASA are moving ahead with their plans to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time in mid-to-late May.
Why it matters: The launch marks the culmination of years of work for SpaceX and NASA to get Americans flying to orbit from U.S. soil for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. More
(Source: Axios - Mar 26)
CHINA LAUNCHES THREE MILITARY SATELLITES - Three Chinese military satellites with undisclosed missions rocketed into a 370-mile-high (600-kilometer) orbit Tuesday on a Long March 2C launcher.
The classified payloads lifted off at 0343 GMT Tuesday (11:43 p.m. EDT Monday) from the Xichang space center in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Xinhua said the three “remote sensing satellites” will be used for “electromagnetic environment detection and related technological tests.”
Liftoff occurred at 11:43 a.m. Beijing time Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 25)
VERY HIGH RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY FROM CLOUDFERRO - Satellite images in quality, which until now were only available for the military sector, are already available for all organizations. Very high resolution satellite images (VHR) are available on the CREODIAS.EU platform, where you can search and process Earth observation data.
The Polish company CloudFerro, specializing in providing cloud computing services, which is also the operator of cloud platforms providing Earth observation satellite images... More
(Source: Space Daily - Mar 25)
ULA TARGETING THURSDAY FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE SATELLITE LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - Even during a global pandemic U.S. national security launches must go on. On Thursday, United Launch Alliance plans to launch its first communications satellite for the now U.S. Space Force designed to help troops around the world.
An Atlas V rocket will blast off Thursday at 2:57 p.m. with the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. The rocket is at Space Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station awaiting lift off. More
(Source: WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando - Mar 25)
MILITARY OFFICIALS COMMITTED TO KEEPING CAPE CANAVERAL OPEN FOR LAUNCHES - The military-run Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral remains ready to support upcoming launches — including an Atlas 5 flight Thursday — amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Tuesday.
The next launch scheduled from Cape Canaveral is set to take off Thursday, when a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carries a U.S. Space Force communications satellite into orbit. Preparations for that mission are on schedule, officials said Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 25)