KLEOS SPACE SATELLITES READY TO LAUNCH - Kleos Space, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data provider, completed all acceptance reviews and the satellites are mission-ready awaiting transport to RocketLab’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.
The satellites in the Kleos’ Scouting Mission are now secured in their protective Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) boxes – designed to prevent damage to the hardware in the event of a discharge of static electricity. The multi-satellite Scouting Mission system aims to form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a global picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when Automatic Identification System (AIS) is defeated, imagery is unclear, or targets are out of patrol range. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Jul 17)
NASA ASTRONAUTS CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MOON LANDING ON BOARD THE SPACE STATION - NASA Astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague join the world in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing — only, they do it from around 250 miles (~400 km) above the Earth's surface on board the International Space Station. More
(Source: Lincoln Journal Star - Jul 17)
EU'S GPS SATELLITES HAVE BEEN DOWN FOR FOUR DAYS IN MYSTERIOUS OUTAGE - Galileo, the EU's global navigation satellite system, has been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing.
According to a service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as "not usable," while the other two are listing a status of "testing," which also means they're not ready for real-world usage. More
(Source: ZDNet - Jul 15)
CHANDRAYAAN-2: INDIA SPACE LAUNCH DELAYED BY TECHNICAL PROBLEM - The launch of India's second lunar mission has been halted less than an hour before the scheduled blast-off, due to a technical problem.
The countdown stopped 56 minutes before the launch after a "technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system," India's space agency said.
The satellite had been scheduled for launch at 02:51 local time on Monday (21:21 GMT Sunday) from Sriharikota space station on India's eastern coast.
A new launch date will follow soon. More
(Source: BBC News - Jul 15)
RUSSIA LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL X-RAY ASTRONOMY MISSION - A Proton rocket and Block DM upper stage climbed into space Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Spektr-RG, an astronomical observatory with dual X-ray telescopes developed by Russian and German scientists on the hunt for the signature of dark energy.
The new observatory will detect X-ray emissions from across the sky, including those from huge clusters of galaxies. By measuring the mass, luminosity and distance of distant galaxies, Spektr-RG could help astronomers better understand dark energy, the mysterious force driving the accelerating expansion of the universe. More
(Source: SpaceFLight Now - Jul 14)
ARCHINAUT, A CONSTRUCTION ROBOT FOR SPACE, COULD LAUNCH A TEST FLIGHT IN 2022 - ff-Earth manufacturing is set to take a giant leap a few years from now.
NASA has awarded California startup Made In Space $73.7 million to give the company's "Archinaut" spacecraft-assembly technology an orbital test.
The "Archinaut One" demonstration craft will launch to low Earth orbit aboard a Rocket Lab Electron booster no earlier than 2022, NASA officials announced Friday (July 12). Once aloft, Archinaut One will 3D print two 32-foot-long (10 meters) beams, which will extend from each side of the spacecraft. More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 14)
CHINA SET TO CARRY OUT CONTROLLED DEORBITING OF TIANGONG-2 SPACE LAB - China appears set to deorbit its Tiangong-2 space lab in the near future, according to a social media release from the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).
CMSEO announced a quiz competition (Chinese) Friday through its WeChat social media platform account, testing knowledge of launch times and mission details, to mark the ‘return of Tiangong-2’. No date for the planned re-entry was stated by CMSEO, which manages China’s human spaceflight endeavors. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 13)
NASA TO BROADCAST LAUNCH, ARRIVAL OF ASTRONAUT ANDREW MORGAN AT SPACE STATION - A multinational crew of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday, July 20 – the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's historic landing on the Moon. NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of the crew's launch and arrival. Morgan, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan... More
(Source: PRNewswire - Jul 13)
CRASHED UAE MILITARY SPY SATELLITE RAISES POSSIBILITY OF ENEMY CYBERATTACK - An investigation has been launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and French aerospace group Arianespace into the failed launch of a rocket carrying a military spy satellite into space for the United Arab Emirates. Two minutes after take-off, a "major anomaly" sent the expensive, high-tech payload into the Atlantic—the first failure for Arianespace's Vega rockets after 14 successful missions.
The two French-built Falcon Eye satellites, of which this was the first, were designed "to provide a wholly new capability to [the UAE's] military," according to defense analysts, "representing the most advanced optics France had ever sold to another country." More
(Source: Forbes - Jul 13)
DROP TEST MOVES VIRGIN ORBIT CLOSER TO FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH - A full-scale model of Virgin Orbit’s air-dropped small satellite launcher, filled with water and antifreeze instead of rocket fuel, fell away from the wing of a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet Wednesday and impacted on a test range at Edwards Air Force Base in California, a key test that paves the way for the company’s first space mission later this year.
Backed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit aims to carve out a slice of the growing small satellite launch market alongside Rocket Lab and other companies. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 12)
MILITARY SPY SATELLITE TARGETING IRAN CRASHES TO EARTH AFTER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE - A military spy satellite has come crashing down to earth after the failure of its launch rocket, sending the expensive payload into the Atlantic. The UAE-owned satellite was intended for dual-use, meaning both military and civilian reconnaissance applications—and on the military side, a UAE satellite would have been charged with monitoring Iran.
For the UAE, monitoring Iranian movements in the Gulf is critical to national security. Iran views the UAE as part of the axis lined up against it, alongside the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia. More
(Source: Forbes - Jul 12)
CAN WE USE SPECIAL SAILS TO BRING OLD SATELLITES BACK DOWN TO EARTH? - The growing problem of space debris in LEO (Low-Earth Orbit) is garnering more and more attention. With thousands of satellites in orbit, and thousands more on the way, our appetite for satellites seems boundless. But every satellite has a shelf-life. What do we do with them when they’ve outlived their usefulness and devolve into simple, troublesome space debris?
In the next five years alone, it’s expected that we will launch up to 2600 more nanosatellites and cubesats. More
(Source: Universe Today - Jul 11)
ROBOTIC SPACEX CARGO MISSION COULD AID SPACE SETTLEMENT - SpaceX's Dragon capsule will launch toward the ISS on July 21 with lots of intriguing experiments aboard. The next SpaceX mission to the International Space Station (ISS) may be uncrewed, but it could nonetheless eventually help humanity extend its footprint far beyond low Earth orbit.
The company's robotic Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to launch toward the ISS atop a Falcon 9 rocket on July 21 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 11)
ARIANESPACE VEGA LAUNCH FAILS, EMIRATI SATELLITE LOST - The fifteenth launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates.
The Vega rocket, built by Italian manufacturer Avio, lifted off at 9:53 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on the northern coast of South America.
Telemetry data indicated a deviation from the rocket’s intended course around its second minute of flight. The rocket left its intended course during its second-stage burn. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 11)
POLISH SPACE STARTUP PUTS FIRST NANOSATS INTO ORBIT, EYES SATELLITE CONSTELLATION.. - Polish space startup SatRevolution successfully deployed its first two nanosats, the Swiatowid and the KRAKsat, into orbit from the International Space Station July 3.
The company says the deployment, carried out by NanoRacks, marks the beginning of its initiative to place some 1,024 nanosats into orbit as part of its Real-time Earth-observation Constellation (REC) project.
Grzegorz Zwolinski, the president of SatRevolution’s management board, told SpaceNews that, under the project, the business aims to place 16 nanosats into orbit by 2022. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 10)
EMERGING SMALL SATS COULD COMPLICATE SPECTRUM - Federal agencies ranging from the Federal Communications Commission to the National Institute of Standards and Technology are pushing advances in small satellite technologies, but there is a downside for spectrum holders, according to experts.
Small satellite technology is a revolution the FCC can't ignore, Chairman Ajit Pai told a group of satellite industry executives at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event on July 9. More
(Source: FCW - Jul 10)
LIGHTSAIL 2 BEAMS 1ST PHOTOS HOME FROM ORBIT! HOW TO TRACK THE LITTLE SATELLITE. - The Planetary Society's solar-sailing spacecraft LightSail 2 beamed back its first views of Earth on Sunday (July 7).
The images feature Earth's silhouette as the spacecraft floats into an orbital sunset. Sunlight scattering around the onboard cameras creates epic lens flares that would make the likes of action directors J.J. Abrams and Michael Bay proud. More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 9)
SPACEX WINS NASA CONTRACT TO LAUNCH X-RAY TELESCOPE ON REUSED ROCKET - NASA has selected a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket — flying with a reused first stage booster — to launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer mission from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 2021, bypassing Northrop Grumman’s air-launched Pegasus rocket for the task. The $50.3 million contract with SpaceX announced Monday covers “the launch service and other mission-related costs,” NASA said in a press release. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 9)
NOW YOU CAN CHECK IN ON BILL NYE’S SOLAR SAIL AS IT ORBITS EARTH - A new dashboard will let people track the progress of one of Earth’s most unique satellites from anywhere in the world. The Planetary Society just announced a new website that will constantly display the status of the crowdfunded satellite as it orbits the planet.
LightSail 2 is the successor to LightSail, a spacecraft that launched in 2015 and whose primary mission was to show that a sail could unfurl in space. The team lost communication with the first LightSail a week after it made it to space, then got communication back, then lost it again, then, finally, got a gorgeous picture of the sail unfurled. More
(Source: The Verge - Jul 8)