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SPACEX STARSHIP PROTOTYPE EXPLODED, BUT IT'S STILL A GIANT LEAP TOWARD MARS - Private company SpaceX launched SN8, a prototype of its Starship spacecraft, designed to go to the Moon and Mars, on December 10. Its short flight attracted a great deal of attention for it's final few seconds before landing – when it exploded.
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SATELLITE NEWS

ANOTHER ONE LEAVES THE CRUST BEGINS BUSY YEAR FOR ROCKET LAB 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 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'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 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.    More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jan 20)


NASA PICKS UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA TEAM TO BUILD SMALL SATELLITE WITH BIG MISSION 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.    More
(Source: Arizona Daily Star - Jan 20)


BOEING MAKING PROGRESS ON STARLINER SOFTWARE FOR TEST FLIGHT IN MARCH BOEING MAKING PROGRESS ON STARLINER SOFTWARE FOR TEST FLIGHT IN MARCH - Boeing said Monday it has re-qualified software for the company’s Starliner crew capsule after programming errors cut short the spacecraft’s first orbital test flight in 2019, and technicians at the Kennedy Space Center have connected the crew and service modules for the next unpiloted Starliner test flight to the International Space Station in March. NASA and Boeing officials are officially targeting March 29 for the second Starliner Orbital Flight Test, a repeat of the first test flight in 2019, when software problems prevented the capsule from docking with the space station.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 19)


SPACEX WILL LAUNCH ITS 1ST STARLINK SATELLITES OF 2021 ON MONDAY. HERE'S HOW TO WATCH. SPACEX WILL LAUNCH ITS 1ST STARLINK SATELLITES OF 2021 ON MONDAY. HERE'S HOW TO WATCH. - SpaceX will launch its first batch of Starlink satellites in 2021 on Monday (Jan. 18) to expand the company's growing megaconstellation and you can watch the action live online. The Hawthorne, California-based company will loft 60 Starlink internet satellites on its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's historic Pad 39A here at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:45 a.m. EDT (1422 GMT).    More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 18)


VIRGIN’S SATELLITE LAUNCHER REACHES ORBIT FOR FIRST TIME VIRGIN’S SATELLITE LAUNCHER REACHES ORBIT FOR FIRST TIME - An air-launched rocket built by Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reached orbit Sunday for the first time, delivering 10 experimental CubeSats for NASA and positioning the company for the start of commercial operations. The success adds another company to the growing club of private space companies capable of launching satellites. Virgin Orbit is second in a new wave of commercial small launch companies — after Rocket Lab — to accomplish the task of putting payloads in orbit.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 18)


RECENTLY LAUNCHED COMMUNICATION SATELLITE CMS-01 PLACED IN FINAL ORBIT RECENTLY LAUNCHED COMMUNICATION SATELLITE CMS-01 PLACED IN FINAL ORBIT - CMS-01 is India’s 42nd communication satellite that will replace the functions of GSAT-12 launched in 2011. It will remain in orbit for over seven years providing connectivity for e-learning, tele-health, and disaster management services. The satellite was placed in an elliptical Geostationary Transfer Orbit by India’s workhorse PSLV-C50 on December 20 after 20 minutes 11 seconds of a launch from India’s only spaceport at Sriharikota.   More
(Source: Hindustan Times - Jan 17)


SATELLITE BUILT BY BROWN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENDS A SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY SATELLITE BUILT BY BROWN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS ENDS A SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY - An amazing journey, made possible by Brown University students, has come to an end. On Dec. 26, EQUiSat, a satellite built by students, burned upon re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. But despite the loss, the project is still considered a success, since the satellite lasted much longer than the designers initially anticipated. The first estimates had the satellite orbiting the earth up for about six months, but it ended up surviving for more than two-and-a-half years.   More
(Source: WPRI.com - Jan 17)


ROCKET LAB CALLS OFF MICROSATELLITE LAUNCH DUE TO SENSOR ISSUE ROCKET LAB CALLS OFF MICROSATELLITE LAUNCH DUE TO SENSOR ISSUE - The small-satellite launch company Rocket Lab called off its first launch of 2021 from New Zealand Saturday (Jan. 16) due to strange sensor readings ahead of liftoff. A Rocket Lab Electron booster was scheduled to launch a microsatellite for the European space technology company OHB Group from New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula at 2:38 a.m. EST (8:38 p.m. New Zealand time; 0738 GMT), but unexpected data from an inclinometer on the booster prompted a delay.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 17)


EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY TO BUILD MODULE FOR GATEWAY SPACE STATION EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY TO BUILD MODULE FOR GATEWAY SPACE STATION - The European Space Agency (Esa) has signed a contract to begin building the module to supply communications and refuelling for the international lunar Gateway space station. The European System Providing Refuelling, Infrastructure and Telecommunications (Esprit) will consist of two separate units. The communications system will be used by astronauts to provide data, voice and video links to and from the lunar surface. It will be mounted on the Nasa Habitation and Logistics Outpost (Halo) module, which is scheduled for launch in 2024.   More
(Source: The Guardian - Jan 15)


BLUE ORIGIN TESTS PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS ON SUBORBITAL LAUNCH BLUE ORIGIN TESTS PASSENGER ACCOMMODATIONS ON SUBORBITAL LAUNCH - Blue Origin says it is “very, very close” to flying humans on suborbital launches to the edge of space after a successful test flight of a human-capable rocket and capsule Thursday. The company’s New Shepard rocket and crew capsule took off at 12:17 p.m. EST (11:17 a.m. CST; 1717 GMT) Thursday from Blue Origin’s private launch site north of Van Horn, Texas, east of El Paso.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 15)


METHANESAT PICKS SPACEX FOR SATELLITE LAUNCH TO TRACK METHANE LEVELS IN EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE METHANESAT PICKS SPACEX FOR SATELLITE LAUNCH TO TRACK METHANE LEVELS IN EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE - A SpaceX rocket will launch a new satellite to track the amount of methane in Earth's atmosphere in 2022. Called MethaneSAT, the small satellite is designed specifically to locate, quantify and track global methane emissions. SpaceX has signed on to launch the satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket during a launch window that opens Oct. 1, 2022.    More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 14)


FRENCH WINE, LIVE RODENTS AMONG 2 TONS OF CARGO RETURNED FROM SPACE STATION FRENCH WINE, LIVE RODENTS AMONG 2 TONS OF CARGO RETURNED FROM SPACE STATION - A SpaceX Cargo Dragon capsule parachuted to an on-target splashdown Wednesday night west of Tampa, returning more than two tons of experiment specimens from the International Space Station, including live rodents and a dozen bottles of space-aged French wine. The commercial supply ship, flying on autopilot, dropped out of orbit and re-entered the atmosphere over the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 14)


NASA TO UPGRADE SPACE STATION SOLAR ARRAYS NASA TO UPGRADE SPACE STATION SOLAR ARRAYS - NASA will start an upgrade this year of the solar arrays of the International Space Station to ensure the station has sufficient power to continue operating at least through the end of the decade. The agency announced Jan. 11 it would fly the first pair of upgraded solar arrays to the station later this year on a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, stored in the spacecraft’s unpressurized trunk section. Two other pairs of the arrays will fly on later Dragon cargo missions, but NASA did not disclose a schedule for them.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 13)


INTELSAT ORDERS TWO SATELLITES FROM AIRBUS INTELSAT ORDERS TWO SATELLITES FROM AIRBUS - Intelsat has ordered two geostationary communications satellites from Airbus Defence and Space that will support the satellite operator’s aviation connectivity business. The companies announced Jan. 8 the order of two spacecraft from Airbus’ OneSat family of fully reconfigurable geostationary satellites. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal beyond starting the satellites will be delivered in 2023.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 13)


DREAM CHASER SPACE PLANE'S FIRST FLIGHT SLIPS TO 2022 DUE TO PANDEMIC-RELATED DELAYS DREAM CHASER SPACE PLANE'S FIRST FLIGHT SLIPS TO 2022 DUE TO PANDEMIC-RELATED DELAYS - Delays related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have pushed back the anticipated flight date of Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser space plane to 2022. Dream Chaser is one of the NASA-selected cargo vehicles that, once it begins to fly, will resupply the International Space Station (ISS), along with SpaceX's Dragon and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus capsules. But even as the space plane's launch is delayed, its parent company continues to aim towards sending humans to the moon and, eventually, Mars.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 13)


VIRGIN ORBIT DELAYS FLIGHT TEST TO SUNDAY VIRGIN ORBIT DELAYS FLIGHT TEST TO SUNDAY - Virgin Orbit has delayed the flight test of its LauncherOne booster originally scheduled for Wednesday until Sunday, Jan. 17. Operations are expected to take place between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST (1800-2200 UTC). Your local time may vary; please adjust accordingly. Virgin Orbit’s modified Boeing 747 named Cosmic Girl will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. It will release LauncherOne over the Pacific Ocean west of San Nicolas Island. The rocket’s first stage will fire once the booster is clear of the aircraft.   More
(Source: Parabolic Arc - Jan 13)


CARGO DRAGON HEADS FOR SPLASHDOWN OFF FLORIDA’S WEST COAST CARGO DRAGON HEADS FOR SPLASHDOWN OFF FLORIDA’S WEST COAST - SpaceX’s first upgraded Cargo Dragon spaceship departed the International Space Station Tuesday morning with more than 4,400 pounds of research specimens and other equipment, heading for splashdown Wednesday night in the Gulf of Mexico off the west coast of Florida. Poor weather in the recovery zone prevented the Cargo Dragon from undocking and returning to Earth Monday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 12)

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