ELON MUSK AND JEFF BEZOS IN THE RACE FOR SATELLITE INTERNET - The two richest men in the world are in dispute. Elon Musk criticized Amazon through his Twitter and SpaceX accused the company led by Jeff Bezos of making "misleading claims" referring to what the ecommerce giant's spokespersons said regarding new Starlink strategies.
SpaceX is seeking an affirmative response from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to its request to place the satellites of Starlink, its satellite internet system, at lower altitudes than planned. More
(Source: Entrepreneur - Jan 28)
NASA ASTRONAUTS VICTOR GLOVER, MIKE HOPKINS CONDUCT SPACEWALK WEDNESDAY - Astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover Jr. are conducting a spacewalk Wednesday to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station.
It is the first spacewalk experience for Glover, who is a few months into his first spaceflight on the station.
This is the third spacewalk for Hopkins, who previously completed two spacewalks during his first six-month venture to the space station from September 25, 2013, to March 10, 2014. More
(Source: FOX Carolina - Jan 28)
NASA TV BROADCASTS SCIENCE UPGRADE SPACEWALK ON WEDNESDAY - NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins and Victor Glover are scheduled to depart the International Space Station’s Quest airlock Wednesday for the first in a series of spacewalks to upgrade station hardware and systems.
The duo will set their spacesuits to battery power about 7:05 a.m. EST tomorrow, signifying the start of their spacewalk. NASA will begin its live coverage on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 5:30 a.m. More
(Source: NASA - Jan 27)
BOEING TARGETS A MARCH 25 LAUNCH FOR NEXT STARLINER TEST FLIGHT FOR NASA - Boeing is planning to launch its CST-100 Starliner astronaut taxi on a second test flight on March 25, company officials announced Monday (Jan. 25).
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the uncrewed spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, after which Starliner will attempt to rendezvous and dock with the International Space Station (ISS) — something the spacecraft failed to do during its first test flight, called Orbital Flight Test-1 (OFT-1), in December 2019. More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 27)
AXIOM SPACE NAMES FIRST PRIVATE CREW TO VISIT SPACE STATION - The crew of the first entirely-private orbital space mission will include the second oldest person to launch into space, the second Israeli in space, the 11th Canadian to fly into space and the first former NASA astronaut to return to the International Space Station, the company organizing the history-making flight has announced.
Axiom Space on Tuesday (Jan. 26) revealed its clients for its first privately-funded and operated mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) flight is being arranged under a commercial agreement with NASA. More
(Source: Scientific American - Jan 27)
SATELLITES BEAT BALLOONS IN RACE FOR FLYING INTERNET - Satellites - once the poor relation of broadband providers, considered the slowest, most expensive option and a real last resort - have become the hot favourite in the race to connect the world in places land-based internet does not reach.
Ambitious alternatives have bitten the dust.
Last week, Google scrapped its Loon company, set up nine years ago to beam the internet down to rural areas via a network of large balloons but unable to "build a long-term, sustainable business". More
(Source: BBC News - Jan 26)
IODINE THRUSTER USED TO CHANGE THE ORBIT OF A SATELLITE FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER - For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.
The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up. More
(Source: SciTechDaily - Jan 26)
VIRGIN ORBIT WILL LAUNCH FIRST DUTCH DEFENSE SATELLITE IN MISSION THAT WILL DEMO RAPID RESPONSE CAPABILITIES - Virgin Orbit isn’t slowing down after joining the exclusive club of small launch companies that have made it to orbit — the company just announced that it’s flying a payload on behalf of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNAF). This is the first-ever satellite being put up by the Dutch Ministry of Defense, and it’s a small satellite that will act as a test platform for a number of different communications experiments.
(Source: TechCrunch - Jan 26)
HAM RADIO’S SUITSAT RETURNS IN SHORT HORROR FILM - SuitSat loses its innocence in a new video short sci-fi thriller Decommissioned. “Inspired by true events,” the video short resurrects the 2006 spacesuit/satellite that transmitted messages on 2 meters as it circled Earth. The original SuitSat-1 project, conceived by an Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) team, repurposed a decommissioned Russian Orlan spacesuit to function as a free-floating amateur radio transmit-only satellite. More
(Source: ARRL - Jan 26)
SPACEX LAUNCHES 134 SATELLITES INTO ORBIT, MOST EVER - At the opening of its launch window, a Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida on Sunday morning and made a flawless ascent into space. After dropping off the second stage in a parking orbit, the first stage returned to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the 73rd time a Falcon 9 rocket first stage has been recovered.
Meanwhile, the second stage began to circularize its orbit before it was scheduled to begin a satellite deployment sequence at 59 minutes into flight. More
(Source: Ars Technica - Jan 24)
SPACEX FALCON 9 ROCKET WITH 143 SATELLITES GROUNDED BY WEATHER - Bad weather forced SpaceX to call off plans for launching a record 143 small satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday.
The team was told to recycle for another attempt Sunday at 10 a.m. EST when forecasters predicted a 70% chance of acceptable conditions. The scores of satellites atop the Falcon 9 are the most ever scheduled for launch by a single rocket, eclipsing the previous 104-satellite mark set by India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in February 2017. More
(Source: CBS News - Jan 23)
SPACEX SURPASSES 1,000-SATELLITE MARK IN LATEST STARLINK LAUNCH - SpaceX launched its latest set of Starlink satellites Jan. 20, bringing the total number of spacecraft launched so far for that broadband constellation to more than 1,000.
The Falcon 9 lifted off at 8:02 a.m. Eastern from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The rocket’s upper stage deployed the payload of 60 Starlink satellites 65 minutes after liftoff. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 23)
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPACEWALKS WILL COMPLETE LONG-TERM BATTERY UPGRADE - Two NASA astronauts are scheduled to venture outside the International Space Station Wednesday, Jan. 27, and Monday, Feb. 1, for a pair of spacewalks to finish installing a European science platform and complete long-term battery upgrade work. The spacewalks will begin about 7 a.m. and will last about six and a half hours. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Jan 23)
CHINA’S FIRST LAUNCH OF 2021 ORBITS COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE - A Chinese Long March 3B rocket deployed the Tiantong 1-03 satellite to provide mobile communications services after a successful launch Tuesday, the first of more than 40 Chinese space missions set for liftoff in 2021.
The 184-foot-tall (56-meter) Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang launch base at 11:25 a.m. EST (1625 GMT) Tuesday with the third satellite in the Tiantong 1 communications network, joining two others launched in 2016 and 2020... More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 22)
ANOTHER ONE LEAVES THE CRUST BEGINS BUSY YEAR FOR ROCKET LAB - Rocket Lab started its busiest year with the dedicated launch of a micro-satellite aboard their Electron rocket for OHB Group on Wednesday.
Named “Another One Leaves The Crust,” the mission launch at 02:26 EST (06:26 UTC) on Wednesday, January 20 from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1A on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.
This was the 18th launch of the Electron rocket overall, the first of at least nine announced missions for this year, and the first mission for the company demonstrating a rapid contract to launch period. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jan 21)
SPACEX SETS NEW ROCKET REUSE RECORDS WITH SUCCESSFUL STARLINK LAUNCH - SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites Wednesday into a sunny sky over Florida’s Space Coast, adding more capacity and coverage to the company’s commercial broadband network while setting new records for the pace it is reusing Falcon 9 rocket boosters.
The two-stage launcher fired its nine Merlin 1D main engines and climbed away from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at 8:02 a.m. EST (1302 GMT) Wednesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 21)
ROCKET LAB'S FIRST LAUNCH IN 2021: WATCH LIVE AS 'ANOTHER ONE LEAVES THE CRUST' - Rocket Lab, one of the spunkiest newcomers to the commercial space game, says it's ready for its first mission of 2021. You can watch the mission launch live, right here.
The spaceflight startup, with facilities in the US and New Zealand, will launch one of its Electron rockets to orbit zTuesday night, Pacific time. The company had initially aimed to launch Friday night but opted to postpone after receiving some unusual sensor data from the rocket. More
(Source: CNET - Jan 20)
SPACEX SET TO LAUNCH FIRST STARLINK MISSION OF 2021 - As the second SpaceX launch of the year, and the first of many Starlink missions scheduled to launch in 2021, the company is set to launch the Starlink v1.0 L16 mission — the 16th launch of operational satellites and 17th Starlink flight overall.
Liftoff is currently scheduled for January 20th at 8:02 EST (13:02 UTC) from LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center.
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jan 20)
NASA PICKS UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA TEAM TO BUILD SMALL SATELLITE WITH BIG MISSION - While others train their telescopes on stars and galaxies, astronomer Carlos Vargas cannot stop searching for the stuff in between.
The University of Arizona researcher studies the invisible “oceans of gas” that surround galaxies and make up one of the universe’s largest and least understood reservoirs of matter.
(Source: Arizona Daily Star - Jan 20)