LEOLABS INDICATES NO COLLISION OF SOVIET SATELLITE AND CHINESE ROCKET STAGE - Most of the aerospace world watched the skies over Antarctica and New Zealand for portions of Thursday night/Friday morning.
Earlier this week, LeoLabs Inc, a company that tracks objects in Low Earth Orbit, issued a statement regarding two large objects which posed a “high risk” of collision at 00:56:40 UTC on 16 October 2020 (8:56:40 pm EDT on 15 October).
Roughly one hour after the time of possible collision, LeoLabs confirmed “No indication of collision” via a statement on Twitter. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 18)
SPACEX LAUNCHES ANOTHER BATCH OF STARLINK SATELLITES - SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink internet relay platforms into orbit Sunday as the company ramps up network testing in Washington state and touts a streak of nearly 300 satellites launched since June without a spacecraft failure.
Nine Merlin 1D engines fired up and powered the Falcon 9 rocket off pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:25:57 a.m. EDT (1225:57 GMT) Sunday, marking the 14th Falcon 9 mission dedicated to deploying satellites for SpaceX’s Starlink broadband network. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 18)
COSMONAUTS PATCH SMALL AIR LEAK ON INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: REPORTS - Cosmonauts are making progress in the fight against the small air leak that has beleaguered the International Space Station for months, according to Russian reports.
The leak was first detected in September 2019 but was too low a priority for NASA and Roscosmos to address until August of this year given the short staffing and high activity rates at the orbiting laboratory, according to a previous statement from the U.S. space agency. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)
TWO OLD SPACECRAFT JUST AVOIDED CATASTROPHICALLY COLLIDING IN ORBIT - About 1000 kilometres above Earth’s surface, two old spacecraft have narrowly avoided a collision. If they had hit one another, the smash-up could have created a spray of debris that would be extremely dangerous for other satellites and could set off a chain reaction of collisions.
The two objects are a Soviet Parus navigation satellite launched in 1989 and a Chinese rocket booster launched in 2009. Neither has any method of propulsion onboard, so there is no way to steer them away from one another.
(Source: New Scientist - Oct 17)
ASTRONAUTS SET TO LAUNCH SECURITY SATELLITE FROM SPACE STATION - Spire Global is a startup that is pivoting so quickly that in the past 18 months, it’s added specialties such as weather tracking and data services to its initial work on tracking ships and aircraft from orbit.
Now the company has a contract with the Australian Office of National Intelligence to experiment with commercial satellite technologies, including “machine learning” — an application of artificial intelligence that allows a system to learn and improve classification from an initial dataset. More
(Source: Forbes - Oct 17)
U.S.-EUROPEAN SEA LEVEL SATELLITE GEARS UP FOR LAUNCH - The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will soon be heading into orbit to monitor the height of the ocean for nearly the entire globe.
Preparations are ramping up for the Nov. 10 launch of the world's latest sea level satellite. Since arriving in a giant cargo plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California last month, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich has been undergoing final checks, including visual inspections, to make sure it's fit to head into orbit. More
(Source: NASA - Oct 17)
SWEDEN TO LAUNCH SATELLITES FROM SPACE CENTER INSIDE THE ARCTIC CIRCLE - The space center in northern Sweden is mostly known for launching sounding rockets and research balloons. Now, the Swedish Space Corporation wants to be the first location north of the Arctic Circle to provide facilities for launching satellites into orbit.
90 million kronor (€8,6 million) was this week granted by the government and comes in addition to previous investment in creating a test facility at Esrange.
(Source: The Independent Barents Observer - Oct 16)
SPACEX TO LAUNCH SATELLITE TRACKING RISING SEA LEVELS - A new payload that Elon Musk’s SpaceX will deliver into orbit next month will play a pivotal role in measuring sea level increases, potentially helping to spare economies from billions of euros in damages by the end of this century. The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite lifts off Nov. 10 aboard a Falcon 9 rocket that will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its mission will be to track how the accelerating rise of sea levels are changing coastlines, threatening the habitat of more than a third of the world’s population. The European Space Agency will provide details about the mission on Friday at 4 p.m. in Paris.
(Source: BloombergQuint - Oct 16)
SOYUZ CREW DOCKS WITH INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - In a mission marking the end of an era, NASA astronaut and former virus hunter Kate Rubins, using NASA’s last currently contracted seat on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, rocketed into orbit Wednesday with two cosmonaut crewmates on a record-setting flight to the International Space Station.
Celebrating her 42nd birthday, Rubins’ launch came just two weeks before 20th anniversary of the arrival of the station’s first crew on Nov. 2, 2000. Since then, the lab complex has been continuously staffed by rotating crews, or expeditions, of American, Russian, Japanese, European and Canadian fliers along with a handful of space tourists. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 15)
US SPACE FORCE’S NEXT COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE CLEARS MILESTONE - The U.S. Space Force has completed preliminary design review of its new Wideband Global SATCOM satellites, bringing the program one step closer to beginning production.
“This engineering design review is a key milestone because it means we are one step closer to delivering this groundbreaking satellite to the wa rfighter in record timing, significantly improving capacity and coverage to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines.” said Col. John Dukes, chief of the Geosynchronous/Polar Division, which falls under the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Production Corps. More
(Source: C4ISRNet - Oct 15)
SPACE STATION’S SOLAR PANELS, WINDOWS HAVE MARKS OF MICRO METEOR DAMAGE — COSMONAUT - The solar panels and windows of the International Space Station (ISS) have marks of minor damage from micrometeorite hits but they are smaller than the projected degradation, Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Ryzhikov said at a pre-flight press conference on Tuesday. More
(Source: TASS - Oct 15)
NASA ASTRONAUT KATE RUBINS IS READY FOR A 2ND 'BUCKET LIST' TRIP TO THE SPACE STATION - Just a few weeks ahead of the 20th anniversary of a continuous human presence in space, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are scheduled to launch for a stay on the International Space Station.
The launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan is scheduled for 1:45 am ET on Wednesday and will be broadcast live on NASA's website. More
(Source: CNN - Oct 15)
SOYUZ CREW LAUNCHES ON 'ULTRAFAST' TWO-ORBIT FLIGHT TO SPACE STATION - An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts have launched to the International Space Station just ahead of and to extend 20 years of a continuous human presence in Earth orbit.
Kate Rubins of NASA, together with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, lifted off on Russia's Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday (Oct. 14). Their launch, atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket, began at 1:45 a.m. EDT (0545 GMT; 10:45 a.m. local Kazakh time). More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 15)
SOYUZ MS-17 PREPARES FOR ULTRAFAST, 3 HOUR JOURNEY TO ISS - The three space travelers of the Soyuz MS-17 mission are making their final preparations ahead of a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station.
The flight is scheduled to lift off on a Soyuz 2.1a booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Site No. 31/6, in Kazakhstan at 05:45:04 UTC on 14 October (01:45:04 EDT), lofting its international crew to space for a very fast, two orbit, three hour rendezvous with Station. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 14)
STARLINK ALREADY THREATENS OPTICAL ASTRONOMY. NOW, RADIO ASTRONOMERS ARE WORRIED - The 197 radio astronomy dishes of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa will sit within a radio-quiet zone the size of Pennsylvania where even a cellphone is forbidden, to preserve the array’s views of the heavens. Yet that precaution won’t save the telescope, due to be completed in the late 2020s, from what may soon be overhead: tens of thousands of communications satellites beaming down radio signals straight from the heavens. “The sky will be full of these things,” says SKA Director General Phil Diamond. More
(Source: ScienceMag.org - Oct 14)
NASA ADVANCES PLAN TO COMMERCIALIZE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The planned launch of a private commercial airlock to the International Space Station in November will accelerate NASA's plan to turn the station into a hub of private industry, space agency officials said.
The commercialization plan also includes the launch of a private habitat and laboratory by 2024 and a project NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter in May in which actor Tom Cruise will film a movie in space. More
(Source: UPI.com - Oct 13)
NASA TO LAUNCH KARUR STUDENTS’ SATELLITE - An experimental satellite developed by three students of Karur has been selected for launch in sub-orbital space by NASA.
It took more than two years of research and development for M. Adnaan of Thanthonrimalai, M. Kesavan of Nagampalli village near Malaikovilur and V. Arun of Thennilai to design and develop the satellite that outsmarted a number of satellites developed by aspiring space scientists to win the global competition conducted by the Cubes in Space, a programme of Idoodledu Inc in association with NASA. More
(Source: The Hindu - Oct 13)
A SECOND LIFE FOR A DEFUNCT BILLION-DOLLAR WEATHER SATELLITE - The GOES series of weather satellites (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) were first launched in 1974 with GOES-1.
In addition to pictures of the clouds, they provide critical inputs into the computer weather models that help forecast the weather around the globe. These variables include snow cover, water vapor, sunspot activity, even upper-air wind data to help hurricane forecasts. More
(Source: Bay News 9 - Oct 13)
RUSSIAN ROCKET FOR NEXT SPACE STATION CREW TRANSFERRED TO LAUNCH PAD - A Russian Soyuz booster arrived at its launch pad on the Kazakh steppe Sunday, the last stop before liftoff Wednesday with a three-person crew bound for the International Space Station.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket emerged from its assembly building at sunrise Sunday for the railroad trek to pad 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After the Soyuz reached the pad, hydraulic cylinders raised the three-stage rocket vertical and gantry arms folded into position around the launcher. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)