ROCKET LAB’S 10TH LAUNCH TESTS BOOSTER RECOVERY TECHNOLOGY - Rocket Lab closed out its 2019 launch schedule Friday with the 10th flight of the company’s Electron small satellite launcher, successfully deploying seven payloads in orbit while demonstrating new re-entry guidance and control technology to move closer to recovering and reusing future boosters.
The 10th launch of an Electron rocket — and the sixth this year — lifted off from Launch Complex 1 at Rocket Lab’s privately-run space base on New Zealand’s North Island at 3:18 a.m. EST (0818 GMT) Friday. The 55-foot-tall (17-meter) launcher took off at 9:18 p.m. local time in New Zealand and soared into a clear evening sky against a fading twilight sky. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 7)
DRAGON SOARS ON RESEARCH AND RESUPPLY FLIGHT TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - A commercial Dragon supply freighter built and owned by SpaceX rocketed into a clear blue sky over Florida’s Space Coast Thursday with a menagerie of research experiments and holiday surprises heading for the International Space Station.
Scientists loaded 40 genetically-engineered into the Dragon capsule to help gauge the effectiveness of an experimental drug to combat muscle and bone atrophy. There’s also an experiment sponsored by Anheuser-Busch to study the malting of barley in microgravity, which could lead to the brewing of beer in space, the company says. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 6)
FALCON 9 SCRUBS LAUNCH OF CRS-19 DRAGON TO THE ISS - SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will have to watch until Thursday afternoon to launch the company’s Dragon spacecraft on a resupply flight to the International Space Station. Falcon was set to lift off from Cape Canaveral at 12:51:58 local time (17:51 UTC), deploying Dragon a little over nine and a half minutes later to begin its mission. However, unacceptable upper level winds – and wind strength for recovery of the booster – scrubbed the launch ahead of prop loading. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Dec 5)
MEXICAN STUDENTS LAUNCH A SMALL SATELLITE TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The first satellite built by students in Mexico for launch from the International Space Station is smaller than a shoebox but represents a big step for its builders.
The project is part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative, which offers universities, high schools and non-profit organizations the opportunity to fly small satellites. Innovative technology partnerships keep down the cost, providing students a way to obtain hands-on experience developing flight hardware. More
(Source: Space Daily - Dec 4)
NASA TELEVISION TO AIR SPACE STATION CARGO SHIP LAUNCH, DOCKING - NASA Television will provide live coverage of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft delivering almost three tons of food, fuel and supplies to the International Space Station beginning at 4:15 a.m. EST Friday, Dec. 6. The Russian Progress 74 is scheduled to launch on a Soyuz rocket at 4:34 a.m. (2:34 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. More
(Source: WFMJ - Dec 4)
SPACEFLIGHT’S SEOPS-2 MISSION TO LAUNCH MULTIPLE SPACECRAFT FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Spaceflight, the leading provider of mission management and rideshare integration services, announced that together with Hypergiant SEOPS, it will be launching three CubeSats from the International Space Station (ISS) and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft in early January. The payloads will travel to the ISS through a NASA Commercial Resupply (CRS) mission aboard a SpaceX Dragon scheduled to launch atop a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on December 4. More
(Source: Business Wire - Dec 4)
SCIENCE AROUND THE PLANET USES IMAGES OF EARTH FROM THE SPACE STATION - Artificial lighting at night affects the behavior of urban wildlife, according to a recent study published in Nature Scientific Reports, which examined animals in the laboratory and the field. The researchers mapped light levels in the city of Chicago using publicly available images of Earth taken by astronauts from the International Space Station. The study is only one example of the wide variety of scientific research based on images taken by crew members from space using the Crew Earth Observations (CEO) facility. More
(Source: Phys.org - Dec 4)
ISS SSTV DECEMBER 4-6 - Russian cosmonauts are expected to activate Slow Scan Television (SSTV) image transmissions on 145.800 MHz FM from the International Space Station on Wednesday to Friday, December 4, 5 and 6.
This is the schedule for the planned activation of the MAI-75 SSTV activity from the ISS. More
(Source: Southgatearc.org - Dec 4)
ASTRONAUTS REPAIR COSMIC RAY DETECTOR OUTSIDE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Spacewalking astronauts attached new pumps to a cosmic ray detector outside the International Space Station on Monday in a bid to extend its scientific life.
It was the third spacewalk in nearly three weeks for Italy’s Luca Parmitano and NASA’s Andrew Morgan. And it marked the culmination of years of work to repair the $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. More
(Source: MarketWatch - Dec 3)
TWO CARGO FREIGHTERS SET FOR LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION THIS WEEK - Fresh off a series of three complex spacewalks to repair a $2 billion cosmic ray detector, the International Space Station’s crew is set to receive two robotic resupply freighters in the next week after launches from Florida’s Space Coast and the steppes of Kazakhstan.
A SpaceX Dragon supply ship and Russian Progress cargo craft will deliver more than five tons of supplies, experiments and other equipment to the space station. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 3)
PREPARING THE NEXT GENERATION OF GPS - Thanks to GPS, your car, your phone, even your watch knows exactly where you are on the planet, by listening to a satellite signal from 12,000 miles over your head. GPS is always on, you don't pay anything to use it, and you never need to know how it works.
But don't you kind of wonder?
The U.S. Air Force runs the American Global Positioning System. More
(Source: CBS News - Dec 2)
LAUNCH DELAYED OF SATELLITE FROM NEW ZEALAND THAT CREATES ARTIFICIAL SHOOTING STARS - Officials on Friday scrubbed launch of a satellite from New Zealand that spits out artificial shooting stars for expensive light shows in the sky.
The satellite, built by Japan-based Astro Live Experiences, or ALE Co. Ltd., was packed on board an Electron rocket made by a new space company, Rocket Lab. More
(Source: Space Daily - Dec 1)
RUSSIAN ROSCOSMOS SAYS PROGRESS MS-12 BURNS UP IN ATMOSPHERE AFTER UNDOCKING - Russia's Progress MS-12 cargo spacecraft, which undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) earlier on Friday, burned up as scheduled during reentry into the Earth's atmosphere, with its debris landing in the Pacific Ocean, a representative of the main research arm of the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos said.
"The elements of the Progress MS-12 spacecraft that did not burn fell in a non-navigable area of the South Pacific", the representative of the Central Research Institute for Machine Building said. More
(Source: Space Daily - Dec 1)
CAN HUNDREDS OF UNRELATED SATELLITES CREATE A GPS BACKUP? - The head of the Space Development Agency wants to use proliferated low-Earth orbit satellites for navigation when GPS is unavailable.
As adversaries develop tools that can jam or spoof Global Positioning System signals, the military has prioritized the development of alternative sources of positioning, navigation and timing data for the war fighter. Solutions range from using real-time drone imagery to chip-scale atomic clocks, but at the Association of the United States Army conference Oct. 16, Acting Director Derek Tournear threw out another idea: using the positioning and timing data of the hundreds of satellites his agency plans to put in orbit for navigation.
(Source: C4ISRNet - Nov 30)
INMARSAT LAUNCHES FIFTH SATELLITE IN GLOBAL XPRESS FLEET - Global mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat has successfully launched the company’s fifth satellite in its Global Xpress (GX) fleet.
Named GX5, the satellite was on-board the Ariane 5 launch vehicle that took off from the Ariane Launch Complex No. 3 (ELA-3) in Kourou, French Guiana.
Designed to provide additional, focused broadband capacity over Europe and the Middle East, the GX5 will enter commercial service early next year. More
(Source: Aerospace Technology - Nov 30)
CHINA'S BIG AMBITIONS FOR SPACE ARE RIDING ON A DECEMBER LAUNCH - China's space program recently staged a show test of its first Mars lander on a nearly 460 feet (140-meter) tower at a site near Beijing, looking ahead to the program's launch next summer. But an equally crucial mission component faces a different kind of test in December.
That's when the country's largest rocket will resume to flight, blasting off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan island in southern China. The Long March 5, with a length of 184 feet (56 meters) and a mass at liftoff of nearly 2 million lbs. (867,000 kilograms)... More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 30)
ASTRONAUT SNOOPY FLOATS ON SPACE STATION, FLIES IN MACY'S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE - Snoopy, "the world famous astronaut," has reached new heights — above the streets of New York City and aboard the International Space Station.
The Peanuts comic strip beagle took flight in real life on Thursday (Nov. 28), as a new, NASA-inspired giant balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and as a plush doll floating aboard the orbiting laboratory. NASA crew members Jessica Meir and Christina Koch from on board the space station revealed the Astronaut Snoopy doll in a video shown as part of NBC's television coverage of the holiday celebration. More
(Source: Space.com - Nov 29)
CHINA LAUNCHES RADAR OBSERVATION SATELLITE - A new all-weather radar imaging satellite for China’s civilian-oriented fleet of Gaofen Earth observatories launched Wednesday aboard a Long March 4C rocket, according to Chinese state media.
The Gaofen 12 radar surveillance payload lifted off from the Taiyuan space center, located in northern China’s Shanxi province southwest of Beijing, at 2352 GMT (6:52 p.m. EST) Wednesday, China’s government-run Xinhua news agency reported. Liftoff occurred at 7:52 a.m. Beijing time Thursday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 29)
JAPANESE COMPANY TO LAUNCH ARTIFICIAL METEOR SHOWER SATELLITE - A small Japanese satellite scheduled for launch Friday on a Rocket Lab Electron booster will release hundreds of colorful sky pellets to fall into the atmosphere next year, creating an artificial meteor shower that could be visible to millions.
The satellite, built and owned by Tokyo-based Astro Live Experiences, will launch into a 250-mile-high (400-kilometer) polar orbit to prepare for next year’s sky spectacle. On-board thrusters will help target re-entry over a specific region for the artificial shooting stars. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 29)