SOYUZ LANDS IN KAZAKHSTAN WITH INTERNATIONAL CREW - A Russian cosmonaut, his Canadian co-pilot and a NASA flight engineer boarded their Soyuz spacecraft, undocked from the International Space Station and plunged back to Earth Monday evening, landing on the balmy steppe of Kazakhstan to close out an action-packed 204-day mission.
With commander Oleg Kononenko at the controls, flanked on the left by Canadian David Saint-Jacques and on the right by veteran Army helicopter pilot Anne McClain, the Soyuz MS-11/57S spacecraft separated from the station’s upper Poisk module at 7:25 p.m. EDT Monday, setting up landing three hours and 22 minutes later. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 26)
SPACEX FALCON HEAVY: ELON MUSK'S ROCKET COMPANY LAUNCHES ITS 'MOST DIFFICULT' MISSION TO DATE - A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, the most powerful launch vehicle in the world, roared into the sky overnight for what CEO Elon Musk called the "most difficult launch" his rocket company has ever attempted.
Lift off occurred at 2:30 am ET Tuesday from a launch pad in Florida. The rocket carried an eclectic batch of 24 experimental satellites into space. Getting the devices to their intended orbits was expected to take hours and require some complicated maneuvering. More
(Source: CNN - Jun 25)
CHINA LAUNCHES LATEST BEIDOU SATELLITE FOR GLOBAL NAVIGATION SYSTEM - A Long March 3B lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China at 2:09 p.m. Eastern Monday, sending a Beidou satellite toward an inclined geosynchronous orbit.
The launch occurred within a window indicated by the issuance of an airspace closure notice days earlier. Spectator footage provided the first indication of liftoff, with mission success announced by a media arm of the People’s Liberation Army just over an hour after launch.
The mission involved the 21st satellite of the Beidou-3 rollout and the second to be placed in an inclined geosynchronous orbit. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 25)
NEW SATELLITE SYSTEM AIMS TO IMPROVE HURRICANE FORECASTING - A system of new weather satellites is due to launch into space as early as late Monday night, and if all goes to plan, it should lead to even greater reliability when it comes to predicting hurricanes and other potentially deadly storms. COSMIC 2 (Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate) is a system of six satellites that’s part of a joint program between NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, and Taiwan. More
(Source: WTOP - Jun 24)
NASA'S ASTROBEE CUBE ROBOT FLIES IN SPACE FOR THE FIRST TIME - NASA's Astrobee cube robots are finally earning their space wings... in a manner of speaking. The agency has confirmed that one of the bots, Bumble, flew on its own for the first time aboard the International Space Station on June 14th. While the trip involved only basic movements like flying forward and rotating, it was proof machine could work in its intended microgravity environment. More
(Source: Engadget - Jun 24)
NEXT ATLAS 5 LAUNCH DELAYED BY BATTERY FAILURE - The next launch of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, previously scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed to no earlier than July 9 to replace a failed battery on the vehicle. In a statement Sunday, ULA said the launch was delayed “due to a vehicle battery failure discovered during final processing.” More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 24)
SPACEX IS ABOUT TO LAUNCH 152 DEAD PEOPLE'S REMAINS INTO ORBIT ABOARD A FALCON HEAVY ROCKET - SpaceX is gearing up for the third-ever launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket: the world's most powerful operational launch system.
The mission, called Space Test Program-2 (STP-2), is slated to lift off between 11:30 p.m. ET on June 24 and 2:30 a.m. ET on June 25, weather permitting. The launch of cremated remains is facilitated by a company called Celestis Memorial Spaceflights, which purchases available room on spacecraft, installs a container, then packs it with small metal capsules filled with ashes. It refers to these as " participants." More
(Source: Business Insider - Jun 24)
NASA ASTRONAUT ANNE MCCLAIN TO DEPART THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MONDAY AFTER 204-DAY MISSION - NASA astronaut Anne McClain and two crewmates on the International Space Station are scheduled to conclude their stay aboard the orbiting laboratory Monday, June 24. Live coverage of their return will begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website. McClain, a flight engineer for Expedition 59, expedition and Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Flight Engineer David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, will close the hatch to their Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft Monday afternoon and undock from the station. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Jun 24)
TWO COMMERCIAL BROADCAST SATELLITES LAUNCHED ON ARIANE 5 ROCKET - A pair of television broadcast satellites for AT&T and Eutelsat rocketed into orbit Thursday evening, riding a European Ariane 5 launcher into space in a spectacular sunset launch from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern coast South America.
After a smooth 11-hour countdown, the Ariane 5’s Vulcain 2 main engine flashed to life at 2143 GMT (5:43 p.m. EDT; 6:43 p.m. French Guiana time) Thursday, followed by ignition of the launcher’s twin solid rocket boosters seven seconds later to force the heavy-lift vehicle into the sky. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 22)
BOEING TO LAUNCH ASTRONAUTS TO THE INT'L SPACE STATION IN NEW CAPSULE - Boeing is expanding its business of travel Opens a New Window. beyond 30,000 feet.
In a partnership with NASA, the airline company is working to help the agency get American astronauts destined for the International Space Station safely into the thermosphere with its new CST-100 Starliner - which is a capsule.
Launchpad testing is expected to begin by August. More
(Source: Fox Business - Jun 22)
CHINA’S MOON, MARS AND SPACE STATION MISSIONS MAY BE FACING DELAYS - China’s major space missions including a lunar sample return, Mars orbiter and rover and a modular space station could be facing delays due to an apparent issue affecting rockets required for launches.
The Long March 5 heavy-lift rocket is China’s most powerful launch vehicle and was designed to launch large spacecraft to geosynchronous orbits and planetary bodies. It was being prepared for a third flight in July, Yang Baohua, vice president of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China’s main space contractor and developer of the Long March 5, announced in a Jan. 29 news conference in Beijing. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 22)
STATION MISSION PLANNING REVEALS NEW TARGET COMMERCIAL CREW LAUNCH DATES - As part of standard planning among the international partners, NASA has revised its Visiting Vehicle plan for all upcoming and long-range missions to the International Space Station.
The update includes new planning dates for the first Commercial Crew launches on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner vehicles, when U.S. crew rotation flights are slated to begin, when Japan’s newest version of the HTV cargo craft will take flight, and when Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser cargo resupply vehicle will make its first trip to the outpost. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jun 21)
DISPOSABLE $100 IOT SATELLITES COULD SWARM EARTH'S ORBIT - Tiny cheap satellites, self-organizing and communicating as a group, could shift the internet of things (IoT) to space. The postage-stamp-sized devices, acting as sensors, just like the ones we see in traditional IoT networks could perform tasks such as mapping or studying Earth, say scientists involved in a recent successful launch of the disposable nanosatellites.
The test satellites, essentially just sensors, were deployed in a batch in March. They captured data, communicated with one another, and then after a couple of days in orbit, as was planned, burned up as they reentered the atmosphere. More
(Source: Network World - Jun 21)
RUSSIA TO LAUNCH SCIENCE MISSION PROBING DARK ENERGY - A Russian-built satellite hosting an array of X-ray telescopes is awaiting launch Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission to measure the mass and distance of colossal clusters of galaxies throughout the universe.
The X-ray observatory, designated Spektr-RG, is scheduled to blast into space on top of a Russian Proton rocket at 1217:14 GMT (8:17:14 a.m. EDT; 5:17:14 p.m. Baikonur time) Friday to kick off Russia’s most prominent space science mission in seven years. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 21)
THE SATELLITE WITH X-RAY VISION - In the early hours of October 23, 2011, ROSAT was engulfed in the waves of the Indian Ocean. This was the end of a success story that is unparalleled in German space exploration research. The satellite, developed and built by a team led by Joachim Trümper from the Garchingbased Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, not only found more than 150,000 new cosmic X-ray sources, it also revolutionized astronomy. More
(Source: Phys.org - Jun 20)
THIS IS WHAT 2 DOZEN SATELLITES LOOK LIKE PACKED FOR LAUNCH ON A SPACEX FALCON HEAVY - SpaceX is gearing up for its busiest Falcon Heavy megarocket launch yet and now, thanks to the U.S. Air Force, we know what the epic rideshare looks like.
When the next SpaceX Falcon Heavy launches on Monday (June 24) from NASA's historic Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the heavy-lift rocket will be carrying 24 different satellites for the Air Force's Space Test Program-2 mission. If you're wondering what two dozen satellites look like inside a Falcon Heavy nose cone, wonder no more. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 20)
NOAA READIES FOR COSMIC-2 SATELLITE LAUNCH - COSMIC-2, a mission of six satellites designed to improve weather forecasts and space weather monitoring, is set to launch no earlier than June 24 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket.
The satellites, flying on the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission, are known as the Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere and Climate (COSMIC-2). This mission is a partnership between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) with NOAA and the Taiwan National Space Organization (NSPO), as designated representatives. More
(Source: WeatherNation - Jun 19)
WATCH A CHUNK OF SATELLITE MELT LIKE A MARSHMALLOW ON FIRE - Space junk is a worrisome problem, especially when wayward bits of technology survive reentry and land back on Earth as angry hunks of debris. European Space Agency researchers wanted to learn more about how satellites burn up during reentry, so they fried a satellite chunk in a plasma wind tunnel to see what happens. The footage is impressive. More
(Source: CNET - Jun 19)
FIREFLY OFFERING FREE LAUNCH FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PAYLOADS - Firefly Aerospace is asking academic institutions, startup companies and the public to submit ideas for payloads to launch, free of charge, on the inaugural orbital flight of the company’s Alpha rocket next year from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The Texas-based launch company said the initiative to host academic and educational payloads on the first Alpha launch will promote education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math disciplines. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 19)