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LOW EARTH ORBIT: DEFINITION, THEORY AND FACTS - In very simple terms, low Earth orbit (LEO) is exactly what it sounds like: An orbit around the Earth with an altitude that lies towards the lower end of the range of possible orbits. This is around 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) or less. The majority of satellites are to be found in LEO, as is the International Space Station (ISS).
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SATELLITE NEWS

SATELLITE BILLED AS THE ‘FUTURE GPS’ BEGINS KEY TESTS SATELLITE BILLED AS THE ‘FUTURE GPS’ BEGINS KEY TESTS - L3Harris announced Jan. 26 it delivered the Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) to the U.S. Air Force and the spacecraft is now undergoing final tests in preparation for a planned launch in late 2023. NTS-3 is an experiment funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory that will broadcast pos...   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 28)


CHINA WANTS TO LAUNCH OVER 200 SPACECRAFT IN 2023 CHINA WANTS TO LAUNCH OVER 200 SPACECRAFT IN 2023 - China last year performed 64 orbital rocket launches and finished building its own space station, but the country is planning an even busier year for 2023. China's main space contractor and Long March rocket maker, CASC, announced (opens in new tab)on Jan. 18 that it is planning more than 60 laun...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 28)


SPACEX LAUNCHES HEAVIEST PAYLOAD ON REUSED ROCKET'S 9TH FLIGHT SPACEX LAUNCHES HEAVIEST PAYLOAD ON REUSED ROCKET'S 9TH FLIGHT - SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket lifted its heaviest payload ever into low Earth orbit on Thursday morning (Jan. 26), launching 56 new Starlink internet-beaming satellites. The Falcon 9 first-stage booster that propelled the mission during its ascent through Earth's atmosphere had been used ei...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 27)


ASTEROID 2023 BU: SPACE ROCK PASSES CLOSER THAN SOME SATELLITES ASTEROID 2023 BU: SPACE ROCK PASSES CLOSER THAN SOME SATELLITES - Now it's over, we can say it: a biggish asteroid passed by Earth a short while ago. About the size of a minibus, the space rock, known as 2023 BU, whipped over the southern tip of South America just before 00:30am GMT. With a closest approach of 3,600km (2,200 miles), it counts as a close shav...   More
(Source: BBC News - Jan 27)


JAPAN LAUNCHES INTELLIGENCE SATELLITE TO MONITOR WEATHER, NORTH KOREA JAPAN LAUNCHES INTELLIGENCE SATELLITE TO MONITOR WEATHER, NORTH KOREA - Japan successfully launched Thursday a rocket carrying a government intelligence-gathering radar satellite to improve disaster response and monitor developments at North Korean military sites. The No. 46 H2A rocket, operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., lifted off from the Tanegashima Spa...   More
(Source: Kyodo News - Jan 26)


ROCKET LAB SATELLITE MISSION BLASTS OFF SUCCESSFULLY IN FIRST LAUNCH FROM U.S. SOIL ROCKET LAB SATELLITE MISSION BLASTS OFF SUCCESSFULLY IN FIRST LAUNCH FROM U.S. SOIL - Rocket Lab's launch vehicle successfully delivered three commercial radio satellites into orbit around the Earth, 24 hours after its original scheduled launch was aborted due to bad weather. The company's Electron booster blasted off from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 6 p.m. EST T...   More
(Source: UPI - Jan 26)


ESA IS NO LONGER PLANNING TO SEND ASTRONAUTS TO CHINA’S TIANGONG SPACE STATION ESA IS NO LONGER PLANNING TO SEND ASTRONAUTS TO CHINA’S TIANGONG SPACE STATION - ESA’s director general says the agency does not have the budgetary capacity nor the political intention to send its astronauts to China’s space station. “We are very busy supporting and ensuring our commitments and activities on the International Space Station where we have a number of int...   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 26)


U.S. TO TEST NUCLEAR-POWERED SPACECRAFT BY 2027 U.S. TO TEST NUCLEAR-POWERED SPACECRAFT BY 2027 - The United States plans to test a spacecraft engine powered by nuclear fission by 2027 as part of a long-term NASA effort to demonstrate more efficient methods of propelling astronauts to Mars in the future, the space agency’s chief said on Tuesday. NASA will partner with the U.S. military's re...   More
(Source: Reuters - Jan 25)


PERSISTENT COOPERATION ON THE SPACE STATION PERSISTENT COOPERATION ON THE SPACE STATION - Ever since Russia started an all-out invasion of Ukraine last February, the space community has wondered what it would mean for the future of the International Space Station. Russia is an essential partner on the station, but at the same time Russia and the West were rapidly unwinding cooperation el...   More
(Source: The Space Review - Jan 25)


CLASSIFIED CHINESE SATELLITE RELEASES SMALL OBJECT IN ORBIT CLASSIFIED CHINESE SATELLITE RELEASES SMALL OBJECT IN ORBIT - A classified Chinese technology verification satellite that launched earlier this month has apparently released an object into orbit alongside it. China launched (opens in new tab) Shijian 23 on a Long March 7A rocket on Jan. 8, sending the satellite into an initial transfer orbit to reach its i...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 25)


SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS COULD INTERFERE WITH METEOROLOGICAL SPECTRUM SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS COULD INTERFERE WITH METEOROLOGICAL SPECTRUM - Satellite megaconstellations could pose a threat to the spectrum that meteorologists are eager to protect from radio frequency interference. At the American Meteorological Society annual meeting in Denver, meteorologists and spectrum experts expressed concern about proposals for SpaceX’s second...   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 24)


ASTRONAUTS RING IN CHINESE NEW YEAR ON TIANGONG SPACE STATION ASTRONAUTS RING IN CHINESE NEW YEAR ON TIANGONG SPACE STATION - A Chinese astronaut crew decked their space station in red to celebrate the new year. The Shenzhou 15 crew carried lucky red signs and strung red banners around the Tiangong space station to welcome the Chinese New Year on Sunday (Jan. 22), which will be the Year of the Rabbit. "As we welcome ...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 24)


ASTRONAUTS COMPLETE SPACEWALK TO PREP FOR NEW ISS SOLAR ARRAYS ASTRONAUTS COMPLETE SPACEWALK TO PREP FOR NEW ISS SOLAR ARRAYS - Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and NASA astronaut Nicole Mann suited up and floated outside the International Space Station Friday for a spacewalk to prepare the lab for arrival of another pair of new solar arrays later this year. The astronauts switched their spacesuits to internal battery pow...   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 23)


WATCH 2 ASTRONAUTS PERFORM 1ST SPACEWALK OF 2023 AT SPACE STATION TODAY WATCH 2 ASTRONAUTS PERFORM 1ST SPACEWALK OF 2023 AT SPACE STATION TODAY - Two astronauts will conduct the first spacewalk of 2023 on Friday morning (Jan. 20), and you can watch the action live. NASA's Nicole Mann and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency are scheduled to step outside the International Space Station (ISS) at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT) on...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 22)


CHINA LAUNCHES 14 COMMERCIAL SATELLITES INTO ORBIT ATOP LONG MARCH 2D ROCKET CHINA LAUNCHES 14 COMMERCIAL SATELLITES INTO ORBIT ATOP LONG MARCH 2D ROCKET - China has 14 new satellites in orbit following its fifth launch of 2023. A Long March 2D rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China on Saturday (Jan. 14) at 10:14 p.m. EST (0314 GMT or 11:14 a.m. Beijing time on Jan. 15). Insulation tiles fell from the rocket as ...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 21)


CREW READY FOR SPACEWALK AND CONDUCTS BIOLOGY, PHYSICS RESEARCH CREW READY FOR SPACEWALK AND CONDUCTS BIOLOGY, PHYSICS RESEARCH - The first spacewalk of 2023 will begin on Friday to continue upgrading the International Space Station’s power generation system. The Expedition 68 crew members finalized preparations today for the excursion while continuing advanced space research and orbital lab maintenance. Astronauts Koichi...   More
(Source: NASA - Jan 20)


NASA SCALES BACK PROJECT TO SEND SCIENTISTS TO ISS NASA SCALES BACK PROJECT TO SEND SCIENTISTS TO ISS - A budget shortfall has caused NASA to scale back plans for a project that would support sending scientists to the International Space Station to conduct research. NASA sought funding in fiscal year 2023 for Commercially Enabled Rapid Space Science, or CERISS, intended ultimately to allow scientis...   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 20)


SPACEX'S FALCON HEAVY ROCKET LAUNCH LOOKED TOTALLY MAGICAL FROM THE ISS SPACEX'S FALCON HEAVY ROCKET LAUNCH LOOKED TOTALLY MAGICAL FROM THE ISS - What does a rocket launch look like? It depends where you see it from. Nearby, it looks like a fiery, roaring beast as the rocket and spacecraft ascend. If you're on the International Space Station orbiting above Earth, you might see an ethereal, wispy ghost formation in the distance. On Wednesda...   More
(Source: CNET - Jan 20)


SPACEX DRAGON CAPSULE TO BE 5-PERSON 'LIFEBOAT' IN EVENT OF ISS EMERGENCY SPACEX DRAGON CAPSULE TO BE 5-PERSON 'LIFEBOAT' IN EVENT OF ISS EMERGENCY - A SpaceX Dragon capsule is being modified on orbit to carry an extra astronaut home to Earth if need be. On Wednesday (Jan. 18), NASA plans to start moving agency astronaut Frank Rubio's seat liner from a Russian Soyuz spacecraft over to Endurance, the Dragon spacecraft that's flying SpaceX's ong...   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 19)


SPACEX DELIVERS GPS SATELLITE TO 12,000-MILE-HIGH ORBIT SPACEX DELIVERS GPS SATELLITE TO 12,000-MILE-HIGH ORBIT - SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket just after sunrise Wednesday from Cape Canaveral, hauling a GPS navigation satellite into orbit to replace an aging 16-year-old spacecraft in the global positioning network trusted to guide everything from military weapons to civilian commuters. The mission was t...   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 19)

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