ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND DEVELOPS METHANE-HUNTING SATELLITE - Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a U.S.-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group, intends to launch a new satellite designed to measure methane emissions worldwide. The spacecraft, named MethaneSAT, could offer a substantial help for countries and companies in combating global warming.
MethaneSAT project was unveiled by EDF President Fred Krupp on April 11, 2018. He presented the plan of developing a methane-hunting satellite during a TED Talk in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. MethaneSAT was described by Krupp as the newest chapter in EDF's ongoing effort to advance peer-reviewed science focused on oil and gas methane emissions.
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 16)
SOYUZ FAILURE PROBE NARROWS FOCUS ON COLLISION AT BOOSTER SEPARATION - Russian investigators believe a malfunction during separation of the Soyuz rocket’s four liquid-fueled first stage boosters two minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan led to an emergency landing of a two-man crew heading for the International Space Station, officials said Friday. Speaking to reporters Friday in Moscow, veteran cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, head of the Russian space agency’s human spaceflight program, said the investigation into Thursday’s launch failure has narrowed on a collision between part of the Soyuz rocket’s first stage and the launcher’s second stage. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 15)
RUSSIA PUTS OFF MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCH OVER SOYUZ BOOSTER INCIDENT
- The next launch of a Lotos-S radar reconnaissance satellite aboard a Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport in north Russia has been postponed over the incident with the Soyuz booster at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on October 11, a source in the space industry told TASS on Saturday.
"Due to the incident at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the nearest launch of the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with the military satellite from the Plesetsk spaceport scheduled for October 19 has been put off indefinitely," the source said.
(Source: TASS - Oct 14)
SATELLITE PHOTOS SHOW HOMES, FORESTS, AND A MILITARY BASE DESTROYED BY HURRICANE MICHAEL - Hurricane Michael — the fourth Category 4 storm to pummel the United States in 14 months — snapped pine trees like toothpicks, washed neighborhoods into the sea, and shredded the hangars of an Air Force base.
Before the storm's 155 mph winds struck the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10, storm scientists predicted Michael would be an extremely intense storm, in large part because it passed through ocean waters that were 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit above normal — and hurricanes thrive on warm water.
The devastation, seen by satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above, is ghastly. More
(Source: Mashable - Oct 14)
EMPTY SPACE STATION? NASA PREPARES FOR THE WORST (BUT HOPES FOR THE BEST) AFTER SOYUZ ABORT - A few months from now, the International Space Station (ISS) could be unoccupied for the first time in nearly two decades.
Russia's workhorse Soyuz rocket suffered a serious anomaly just minutes after launching two astronauts toward the ISS today (Oct. 11), forcing the spaceflyers' crew craft to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
Those two explorers — NASA's Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin — made it through the bumpy touchdown just fine and are in good condition, NASA officials said. But the Soyuz will be grounded while Russian investigators try to figure out exactly what happened today, and how to prevent it from occurring again. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 14)
TWO SATELLITES WITH SECRETIVE MISSIONS LAUNCHED BY CHINA - Two Chinese Yaogan military reconnaissance satellites launched this week, riding a Long March 2C booster into orbit on a mission that inaugurated the use of a new restartable upper stage to increase the rocket’s carrying capacity. The two Yaogan 32 satellites, designated Yaogan 32-01 and 32-02, lifted off from the Jiuquan space center in remote northwestern China at 0243 GMT Tuesday (10:43 p.m. EDT Monday), according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The launch occurred at 10:43 a.m. Beijing time Tuesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)
HERE'S WHAT TODAY'S SOYUZ LAUNCH FAILURE MEANS FOR SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS - The three astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station were supposed to welcome two new roommates today, but an anomaly a few minutes after launch sent those crewmembers speeding back to Earth in an emergency landing.
Both crewmembers (NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovichin) are safe, but the launch failure means that much more than just today's space station schedule will need to be reshuffled. NASA, the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and the International Space Station control team still have a whole lot of decisions to make about what to do next — not to mention an investigation to conduct into what went wrong. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 12)
NASA’S TERRA SATELLITE CELEBRATES 100,000 ORBITS - More than 400 miles above Earth, a satellite the size of a school bus is earning its frequent flyer miles. On Oct. 6, NASA’s Terra completed 100,000 orbits around Earth. Terra joins a handful of satellites to mark this orbital milestone, including the International Space Station, Earth’s Radiation Budget Satellite (ERBS), Landsat 5 and Landsat 7. Terra, which launched Dec. 18, 1999, is projected to continue operation into the 2020s. More
(Source: ECNmag.com - Oct 12)
ASTRONAUTS ESCAPE MALFUNCTIONING SOYUZ ROCKET - A US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut were forced to make an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned en route to the International Space Station (ISS).
Shortly after taking off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin reported a problem with the rocket's booster.
The men were forced into a "ballistic descent", with their capsule landing a few hundred miles north of Baikonur.
They have been picked up by rescuers. More
(Source: BBC News - Oct 11)
HURRICANE MICHAEL LOOMS OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO IN NASA VIDEO - Hurricane Michael is growing stronger, expected to make landfall on Wednesday as a Category 3 hurricane.
And there's no better view than from the quiet safety of space.
While the storm loomed over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, cameras aboard the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Michael at 12:13pm and 12:50pm ET.
A short new video from the space station shows a swirling Michael moving northwest at 12 miles an hour. More
(Source: Mashable - Oct 11)
RUSSIANS PLAN THURSDAY LAUNCH OF TWO TO SPACE STATION - One week after a Russian Soyuz spacecraft departed the International Space Station and brought three crew members back to Earth, another Soyuz carrying a veteran cosmonaut and a first-time NASA flight engineer is ready for launch Thursday on a quick four-orbit flight to the orbiting lab complex. Commander Alexey Ovchinin and flight engineer Tyler “Nick” Hague are scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40:15 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 2:40 p.m. local time), roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carries the Soyuz MS-10/56S spacecraft into the plane of the space station’s orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 11)
SPACE AGENCIES WELCOME NEW ENTRANTS DEVELOPING SATELLITES FOR TRACKING GREENHOUSE GASES - As a growing number of organizations propose satellites to monitor greenhouse gases, national space agencies who already operate such spacecraft welcome those new entrants — as long as they’re willing to share their results.
Missions to track emissions of such gases by human activities, once solely in the realm of major space agencies, are now being considered by state governments, non-profit organizations and companies, seeking to leverage advances in small satellites to fill perceived gaps in what data is already available. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 10)
GYROSCOPE MALFUNCTION FORCES HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPES INTO SAFE MODE - The Hubble Space telescope is currently in safe mode. Engineers were forced to suspend the telescopes' scientific activities over the weekend after one of its gyroscope's failed.
In a series of tweets, Rachel Osten, deputy mission head for the Hubble Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute, confirmed the problem.
"Right now HST is in safe mode while we figure out what to do," Osten wrote. "Another gyro failed. First step is try to bring back the last gyro, which had been off, and is being problematic." More
(Source: UPI - Oct 10)
SPACEX SATELLITE LAUNCH LIGHTS UP NIGHT SKY, SOCIAL MEDIA - When SpaceX launched a rocket carrying an Argentine Earth-observation satellite from California’s Central Coast, both the night sky and social media lit up.
People as far away as San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix and Reno, Nevada, posted photos of the Falcon 9 rocket’s launch and return on Sunday night. It was the first time SpaceX landed a first-stage booster back at its launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
The Air Force warned residents on the Central Coast that they might see multiple engine burns by the first stage and hear one or more sonic booms as it returned. More
(Source: Washington Post - Oct 9)
SPACEX ACES FIRST-EVER ROCKET LANDING IN CALIFORNIA AFTER SPECTACULAR SATELLITE LAUNCH - A Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base tonight (Oct. 7) at 10:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 p.m. local time; 0221 GMT on Oct. 8), successfully delivering Argentina's SAOCOM-1A Earth-observation satellite to orbit. And, less than 8 minutes after liftoff, the booster's first stage came back to Earth for a pinpoint touchdown at SpaceX's Vandenberg landing zone, just a quarter-mile (400 meters) from its launch pad. [SpaceX's Epic Fly-Back Reusable Rocket Landings Explained]
"This is great news for everyone here at SpaceX," Tom Praderio, a SpaceX firmware engineer, said during live launch commentary tonight. "We're all very excited." More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 8)
USED SPACEX ROCKET TO LAUNCH SATELLITE, TRY HISTORIC LANDING TONIGHT: WATCH LIVE - SpaceX will loft an Earth-observation satellite and attempt its first-ever rocket landing on California soil tonight (Oct. 7), and you can watch all the action live.
A two-stage SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket topped by Argentina's SAOCOM-1A satellite is scheduled to launch from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 10:21 p.m. EDT (7:21 p.m. local California time; 0221 GMT on Oct. 8). If all goes according to plan, less than 9 minutes after liftoff, the Falcon 9's first stage will come back to Earth safely at SpaceX's "Landing Zone 4" facility at Vandenberg. You can watch the launch live here at Space.com, courtesy of SpaceX, or directly via SpaceX. Coverage will start about 20 minutes before liftoff. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 8)
NO COMMERCIAL CREW TEST FLIGHTS EXPECTED THIS YEAR - NASA has released new target dates for test flights of commercial crew capsules in development by SpaceX and Boeing, with unpiloted demo missions by SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spaceships now scheduled for January and March, followed by crewed orbital missions in mid-2019. The new schedule for the commercial crew test flights was released Thursday by NASA, which promised more timely updates as the Crew Dragon and CST-100 Starliner near their first space missions. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 7)
SEE A GLORIOUS ORBITAL SUNRISE GLOW FROM THE SPACE STATION - Even though the crew of the International Space Station sees 16 sunrises over the course of a day, it never gets old.
European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst captured an outstanding sequence of orbital sunrise photos and posted them to social media on Friday. They show a molten sun emerging from a bright horizon of orange, yellow and blue stripes. More
(Source: CNET - Oct 6)
RAYTHEON’S SEEME SATELLITE SUCCESSFULLY DELIVERED TO DARPA - Raytheon delivered the first Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe), satellite to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Assembled on the company’s missile production lines, the new SeeMe satellite aims to provide greater situational awareness to soldiers on the ground.
DARPA’s SeeMe program is designed to show that small satellites can be built affordably to give small squads timely tactical imagery directly from a small satellite. A future constellation of small satellites could deliver high-resolution images of precise locations of interest to the soldier’s handheld device. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Oct 5)