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'UPHILL BATTLE': SPACEX OVERCAME OBSTACLES ON ROAD TO HISTORIC 1ST CREW LAUNCH - The plan was always to have private spacecraft such as SpaceX's Crew Dragon fill the space shuttle's shoes, but it was far from clear that everything would work out.
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SATELLITE NEWS

TWO PAYLOADS QUALIFIED FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE EARLY WARNING SATELLITES TWO PAYLOADS QUALIFIED FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE EARLY WARNING SATELLITES - Two sensor payloads for the U.S. Space Force’s new missile warning satellites have passed a key design review. One of them will be selected for the first Next-Generation Overhead Infrared satellite scheduled to launch in 2025. Raytheon and a Northrop Grumman/Ball Aerospace team designed competing sensor payloads for the Next-Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellites that Lockheed Martin is developing for the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. Both payloads completed preliminary design reviews last week, SMC said on May 22.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 26)


SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCHER VIRGIN ORBIT FAILS TO LAUNCH ROCKET TO SPACE DURING FIRST TEST FLIGHT SMALL SATELLITE LAUNCHER VIRGIN ORBIT FAILS TO LAUNCH ROCKET TO SPACE DURING FIRST TEST FLIGHT - Virgin Orbit’s test flight ended in failure shortly after LauncherOne dropped from under the company’s carrier 747 airplane. Virgin Orbit confirmed that the drop was successful and that the rocket’s main engine ignited. But then it quickly suffered some kind of anomaly at the beginning of the flight. The company says no one was hurt during the test and the team will be digging into the data to learn what went wrong.   More
(Source: The Verge - May 26)


ASK AN ASTRONOMER: SPACE DEBRIS AND THREAT THEY POSE TO SATELLITES, SPACE MISSIONS ASK AN ASTRONOMER: SPACE DEBRIS AND THREAT THEY POSE TO SATELLITES, SPACE MISSIONS - Thousands of satellites orbit the Earth to study the planet, support communication and several other purposes. However, once these satellites reach their expiry time, they become space junk or space debris and can turn into a major hazard for other multi-million dollar satellites. Recently, China’s mission Long March 5B fell into Earth in an uncontrollable manner—this event once again raised a major alarm related to the space junk floating around in space.   More
(Source: The Weather Channel - May 26)


SPACEX'S HISTORIC DEMO-2 CREW DRAGON ASTRONAUT LAUNCH: FULL COVERAGE SPACEX'S HISTORIC DEMO-2 CREW DRAGON ASTRONAUT LAUNCH: FULL COVERAGE - SpaceX is set to make history on May 27, 2020. On that date, Elon Musk's company is scheduled to launch its first crewed mission, a test flight called Demo-2 that will send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon capsule. If all goes well with Demo-2, Crew Dragon and SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket will be validated for operational crewed missions, the first of which is expected to launch later this year.    More
(Source: Space.com - May 26)


NASA INVITES PUBLIC TO BE ITS GUESTS TO CELEBRATE HISTORIC ‘LAUNCH AMERICA’ NASA INVITES PUBLIC TO BE ITS GUESTS TO CELEBRATE HISTORIC ‘LAUNCH AMERICA’ - NASA is inviting the public to help celebrate a historic milestone in human spaceflight as it prepares for #LaunchAmerica – the first flight into orbit of American astronauts on American rockets from American soil since the end of the space shuttle era in 2011. Known as NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 test flight, which is targeted for lift off at 4:33 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 27...   More
(Source: NASA - May 25)


CHINA'S LOW-ORBIT BROADBAND COMMUNICATION SATELLITE BEARS FRUITFUL RESULTS CHINA'S LOW-ORBIT BROADBAND COMMUNICATION SATELLITE BEARS FRUITFUL RESULTS - China's first technology experiment satellite for low-orbit broadband communication has completed more than 180 communication tests and generated fruitful results, according to its developer Friday. As the first satellite of the Hongyun Project, a low-orbit broadband communication satellite system developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), it has worked stably for more than 8,800 hours...   More
(Source: Space Daily - May 25)


NASA SPACE STATION ON-ORBIT STATUS 21 MAY, 2020 - SPACEX CREW PREPS FOR LAUNCH NASA SPACE STATION ON-ORBIT STATUS 21 MAY, 2020 - SPACEX CREW PREPS FOR LAUNCH - The International Space Station will welcome a pair of different spaceships next week. Japan's space freighter will arrive first on Monday followed by the first crewed mission from SpaceX on Thursday. The H-II Transfer Vehicle-9 (HTV-9) is in space racing toward the orbiting lab following its launch from Japan on Wednesday. The HTV-9, nicknamed Kounotori, or "white stork", will arrive at the station Monday packed with over four tons of crew supplies, space experiments and new lithium-ion batteries to upgrade station power systems.   More
(Source: Space Ref - May 24)


VENERABLE AO-7 SATELLITE CONTINUES TO DELIVER VENERABLE AO-7 SATELLITE CONTINUES TO DELIVER - The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.   More
(Source: ARRL - May 24)


MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS OVER AUSTRALIA MAY HAVE COME FROM RUSSIAN SATELLITE MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS OVER AUSTRALIA MAY HAVE COME FROM RUSSIAN SATELLITE - Earth has been spared yet again — from asteroids, at least. Australians in central Victoria were shocked to see streaks of fire passing through the night sky on Friday, sparking theories of meteors and aliens on social media. Sky-watchers in parts of Tasmania also reported witnessing the mysterious light show, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).   More
(Source: New York Post - May 24)


RUSSIA’S SOYUZ-2-1B LAUNCHES MISSILE DETECTION SATELLITE RUSSIA’S SOYUZ-2-1B LAUNCHES MISSILE DETECTION SATELLITE - Russia’s Aerospace Forces launched a Soyuz-2-1b rocket Friday, carrying a satellite designed to give the Kremlin advance warning of missile attacks. Soyuz lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome at about 10:31 Moscow Time (07:31 UTC), beginning a multi-hour mission to deliver the Tundra No.4 satellite into an elliptical Molniya orbit. A successful mission was declared at around 13:00 UTC.    More
(Source: NASASpaceflight.com - May 23)


THE US IS PLANNING TO BUILD A SATELLITE NETWORK TO TRACK HYPERSONIC WEAPONS FROM RUSSIA AND CHINA THE US IS PLANNING TO BUILD A SATELLITE NETWORK TO TRACK HYPERSONIC WEAPONS FROM RUSSIA AND CHINA - The United States plans to launch 150 satellites that can track hypersonic weapons in orbit in 2024, a move observers say is aimed at helping the Pentagon control assets in space and keep a close watch on Chinese activities. According to a draft request for proposals released by the Space Development Agency (SDA) last week, it is seeking a contractor to design and build eight satellites with infrared sensors to track hypersonic weapons, US online military tech publication C4ISRNET reported.   More
(Source: Business Insider - May 23)


SATELLITE MANUFACTURING FACES CHANGES, UNCERTAINTY IN COMING YEARS SATELLITE MANUFACTURING FACES CHANGES, UNCERTAINTY IN COMING YEARS - Commercial satellite operators are experiencing significant changes that are part of a shift from a legacy Geostationary (GEO) communications satellite broadcasting business to more data-centric use cases. The commercial GEO communications satellite industry declined sharply in 2017 with a record low of only seven satellite orders. The previous industry low was seven units 15 years ago when the industry was in crisis in the early 2000s. With ten commercial orders, 2019 showed early signs of recovery but also a growing diversity of GEO comsat.   More
(Source: Via Satellite - May 22)


ONCE LAUNCHED, KLEOS SPACE WILL PROVIDE DATA TO MICRO-SATELLITE MILITARY UTILITY PROJECT ONCE LAUNCHED, KLEOS SPACE WILL PROVIDE DATA TO MICRO-SATELLITE MILITARY UTILITY PROJECT - Luxembourg-based data-as-a-service company Kleos Space has been contracted to provide Radio Frequency (RF) geolocation intelligence data to the Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory‘s (SDL) Micro-Satellite Military Utility (MSMU) project in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). “Our satellites and our data will enhance defense capabilities when fused with other data sets in the Government environment, as well as providing timely monitoring of illegal fishing, oil embargoes and other illicit action that both damages our environment and hurts our economies,” Kleos Space Project Director Karyn Hayes-Ryan said in a statement issued May 19.   More
(Source: Via Satellite - May 22)


ASTRONAUTS LAND IN FLORIDA AHEAD OF HISTORIC LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS LAND IN FLORIDA AHEAD OF HISTORIC LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION - NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday to prepare for the historic return of crewed launches from U.S. soil. Their space agency jet from Houston arrived shortly before 4 p.m. EDT. Behnken and Hurley, who both flew two previous space shuttle missions, are scheduled for a May 27 launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station.   More
(Source: UPI - May 22)


NEW MILITARY WEATHER SATELLITE PASSES KEY MILESTONES NEW MILITARY WEATHER SATELLITE PASSES KEY MILESTONES - A satellite designed to rapidly provide space-based environmental monitoring for the war fighter has achieved two major milestones, passing a critical design review and receiving Milestone B certification, the U.S. Space Force announced May 19. The next-generation Weather System Follow-on—Microwave (WSF-M) program will provide essential weather data to the U.S. military and its allies.    More
(Source: C4ISRNet - May 21)


JAPAN LAUNCHES ITS LAST ‘WHITE STORK’ TO THE ISS JAPAN LAUNCHES ITS LAST ‘WHITE STORK’ TO THE ISS - Lifting off from its seaside launchpad, Japan’s final H-2B rocket sent the final Kounotori cargo ship into orbit to service the International Space Station. Kounotori 9, also called HTV-9, was launched at 1:31 p.m. EDT (17:31 UTC) May 20, 2020, from Tanegashima Space Center, which is located on the Japanese island of Tanegashima, about 40 kilometers south of Kyushu, the southwesternmost of the main islands of the Japanese archipelago.    More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - May 20)


JAPAN’S HTV READY FOR LAUNCH WITH LAST SET OF NEW SPACE STATION SOLAR BATTERIES JAPAN’S HTV READY FOR LAUNCH WITH LAST SET OF NEW SPACE STATION SOLAR BATTERIES - A Japanese HTV cargo freighter is ready for launch Wednesday with the last set of six lithium-ion batteries to upgrade the International Space Station’s solar power truss. Japan’s ninth automated H-2 Transfer Vehicle, or HTV, is scheduled for liftoff from the Tanegashima Space Center in southern Japan at 1731 GMT (1:31 p.m. EDT) Wednesday aboard an H-2B rocket. Launch is scheduled for 2:31 a.m. Japan Standard Time on Thursday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 20)


NAVY’S SOLAR POWER SATELLITE HARDWARE TO BE TESTED IN ORBIT NAVY’S SOLAR POWER SATELLITE HARDWARE TO BE TESTED IN ORBIT - A U.S. Naval Research Laboratory experiment to capture solar power in space for use on Earth is now in orbit and ready to be tested. The experiment flew to orbit on May 17 aboard the U.S. Air Force X-37B spaceplane. The technology aboard the plane is a “photovoltaic radio-frequency antenna module” to be tested as part of a comprehensive investigation into terrestrial use of solar energy captured in space, program manager Chris Depuma said May 18 in a news release.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 20)


NASA HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT CHIEF DOUG LOVERRO RESIGNS ON EVE OF HISTORIC SPACEX LAUNCH NASA HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT CHIEF DOUG LOVERRO RESIGNS ON EVE OF HISTORIC SPACEX LAUNCH - Doug Loverro, NASA's chief of human spaceflight, resigned from his post Monday (May 18) after less than a year on the job, the agency announced today (May 19). Loverro's resignation as Associate Administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate is a stunning development, as the agency counts down to the first orbital crew launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, which will take place on May 27.    More
(Source: Space.com - May 20)


SPACEX DELAYS NEXT STARLINK MISSION AFTER CREW LAUNCH SPACEX DELAYS NEXT STARLINK MISSION AFTER CREW LAUNCH - Citing a tropical storm in the downrange booster recovery zone, SpaceX said Monday that a launch of up to 60 more Starlink Internet satellites previously planned this week from Cape Canaveral has been delayed until after the launch of the company’s first crewed flight. A Falcon 9 rocket was scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 GMT) Tuesday, but SpaceX said Monday it is standing down from the mission until after the Crew Dragon’s first launch with astronauts later this month.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 20)

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