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JAPAN LAUNCHES METEOR-SPAWNING MINISATELLITE, 6 OTHER SPACECRAFT TO ORBIT - Japan launched seven spacecraft to Earth orbit today (Jan. 17), including a little satellite designed to create dazzling artificial meteor showers.
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SATELLITE NEWS

LONG MARCH 11 LAUNCHES WITH FOUR SATELLITES LONG MARCH 11 LAUNCHES WITH FOUR SATELLITES - China conducted its second orbital launch of 2019 using a Long March 11 rocket – this time carrying four satellites into orbit. The launch took place from a mobile launch platform at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 05:42 UTC on Monday, per one of the payload customers – later confirmed by Chinese State media. Onboard the LM-11 (Y6) rocket were two Jilin commercial remote sensing satellites for hyperspectral observation. The two satellites arrived at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center later on January 3 ahead of Monday’s launch.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jan 22)


IRIDIUM COMPLETES HISTORIC SATELLITE LAUNCH PROJECT IRIDIUM COMPLETES HISTORIC SATELLITE LAUNCH PROJECT - Iridium Communications, in partnership with SpaceX, has deployed 75 new satellites into low earth orbit in under two years. The last 10 were launched in early January. "There are few words to describe what it feels like to complete a vision started many years ago," said Iridium CEO Matt Desch. "We're not quite across the finish line yet, as there is still some work to do to put these satellites into operation. Once that's complete, our future will be in place."   More
(Source: Engineering.com - Jan 22)


RUSSIA TO LAUNCH FIRST-EVER ARCTIC WEATHER SATELLITE - SOURCE RUSSIA TO LAUNCH FIRST-EVER ARCTIC WEATHER SATELLITE - SOURCE - The first Russian satellite for weather forecasting and monitoring climate and environment in the Arctic region, Arktika-M, is planned to be sent to near-earth orbit in June 2019, a source in the Russian space industry told Sputnik on Sunday. "The launch of the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome with Fregat booster and the first hydrometeorological satellite Arktika-M is scheduled for June 2019", the source said.   More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 21)


THE LONGSTANDING NASA-RUSSIAN PARTNERSHIP IN SPACE MAY BE UNRAVELING THE LONGSTANDING NASA-RUSSIAN PARTNERSHIP IN SPACE MAY BE UNRAVELING - After an American Apollo and Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked in orbit during the height of the Cold War, in 1975, the two leading space powers gradually worked more and more together on civil space activities. Over time, they forged a successful and, among astronauts and engineers at least, even a comfortable bond. But of late, that bond is fraying, and long-term it may unravel entirely. The most immediate issue involves Dmitry Rogozin, appointed to lead the Russian space corporation Roscosmos in May 2018. Overtly political, Rogozin shares Vladimir Putin's antipathy toward the West.    More
(Source: Ars Technica - Jan 20)


THIS RUSSIAN STARTUP WANTS TO PUT HUGE ADS IN SPACE. NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THE IDEA. THIS RUSSIAN STARTUP WANTS TO PUT HUGE ADS IN SPACE. NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THE IDEA. - If it sometimes feels as if the world is awash in advertisements, just wait. A Russian startup just revealed plans to use swarms of tiny, light-reflecting satellites to create sprawling billboards in space. The first of StartRocket's space-based ads, shown in a new concept video released by the company last week, could go up by 2021. The ads — a bit like skytyping, only in low-Earth orbit rather than in the atmosphere — would be visible only at night but could be seen from just about anywhere on the planet.   More
(Source: NBC News - Jan 20)


NEW US SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHES ON SECRET MISSION AT LAST AFTER DELAYS NEW US SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHES ON SECRET MISSION AT LAST AFTER DELAYS - The NROL-71 spy satellite streaked to orbit today (Jan. 19) atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket, which lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:10 p.m. EST (11:10 a.m. local California time; 1910 GMT). NROL-71 will be operated by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is in charge of the country's fleet of spy satellites. NRO missions are generally classified, and this one is no different; very little is known about NROL-71 or what exactly it will do.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 19)


RUSSIA CONDUCTED ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TEST OF AN ANTI-SATELLITE MISSILE RUSSIA CONDUCTED ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TEST OF AN ANTI-SATELLITE MISSILE - Russia conducted another successful flight test of its new anti-satellite missile system last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of a classified U.S. intelligence report. The anti-satellite missile flew for 17 minutes and 1,864 miles before successfully splashing down in its target area. The latest revelation comes on the heels of the Pentagon’s 108-page missile defense review, which marks the first overhaul of America’s missile defense doctrine in nearly a decade.   More
(Source: CNBC - Jan 19)


US TO LAUNCH SECRET SPY SATELLITE SATURDAY US TO LAUNCH SECRET SPY SATELLITE SATURDAY - The United States' newest spy satellite will finally get off the ground this weekend, if all goes according to plan. The NROL-71 spacecraft is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT; 11:05 a.m. local California time), ULA representatives announced yesterday (Jan. 15). You can watch the launch at Space.com, courtesy of ULA, or directly via the company.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 18)


SATELLOGIC SELECTS CHINA GREAT WALL TO LAUNCH SATELLITE CONSTELLATION SATELLOGIC SELECTS CHINA GREAT WALL TO LAUNCH SATELLITE CONSTELLATION - Satellogic, a company developing a constellation of Earth imaging satellites with hyperspectral capabilities, announced Jan. 15 that it will launch its fleet of spacecraft on Chinese rockets. Buenos Aires-based Satellogic said that it plans to launch 90 of its remote sensing smallsats on as many as six Long March 6 rockets under a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. In an interview, Emiliano Kargieman, founder and chief executive of the company, said the first of the launches, carrying 13 satellites, is planned for September or October of this year.    More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 17)


RUSSIA TO COMPLETE MILITARY SATELLITE CONSTELLATION BLAGOVEST IN APRIL - SOURCE RUSSIA TO COMPLETE MILITARY SATELLITE CONSTELLATION BLAGOVEST IN APRIL - SOURCE - The communications satellites will be spread out evenly to provide seamless global coverage. They are equipped with modern Ka and Q-band transponders and support high-speed Internet, telephony and other broadcasting services. The launch of the fourth and last military communications satellite of Russia’s Blagovest constellation is tentatively planned for April, a source in the space industry told Sputnik.   More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 16)


RUSSIA HAS LOST CONTROL OF ITS SPEKTR-R RADIO SATELLITE AFTER COSMIC RADIATION FRIED ITS ELECTRONICS RUSSIA HAS LOST CONTROL OF ITS SPEKTR-R RADIO SATELLITE AFTER COSMIC RADIATION FRIED ITS ELECTRONICS - Russia has lost control of its only space radio telescope Spektr-R. The 33-foot satellite, which was launched in 2011, stopped responding to commands on January 10. Experts with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos say cosmic radiation accumulated in the satellite’s electronics has caused problems with the communications system. A source from the agency told TASS attempts to regain control of Spektr-R over the weekend had failed and they would be trying again Monday.   More
(Source: NewsWeek - Jan 16)


DESPITE US WARNING, IRAN LAUNCHES SATELLITE AND FAILS DESPITE US WARNING, IRAN LAUNCHES SATELLITE AND FAILS - Iran launched a satellite on Tuesday that failed to reach orbit, after the US warned against the launch earlier this month. The satellite "did not reach enough speed in the third stage and was not put into orbit," Mohammad Jahromi, the country's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told the official IRNA news agency after a ceremony was held for the launch at Imam Khomeini Spaceport early Tuesday. The minister said Iran would launch another satellite soon.   More
(Source: CNN - Jan 16)


DRAGON CARGO CRAFT RETURNS TO EARTH DRAGON CARGO CRAFT RETURNS TO EARTH - A SpaceX-owned commercial cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California late Sunday, closing out a 39-day mission that delivered 2.8 tons of supplies, experiments and holiday treats to the International Space Station, and returned home with research specimens and no-longer-needed hardware. The unpiloted supply ship, loaded with about 2 tons of gear and experiment specimens, departed the space station at 6:33 p.m. EST (2333 GMT) Sunday with a ground-commanded release from the orbiting research lab’s 58-foot (17.7-meter) Canadian-built robotic arm. The Dragon capsule fired its thrusters for a series of departure burns to fly away from the station’s vicinity, setting up for a deorbit burn at 11:19 p.m. EST (0419 GMT) to slow the craft’s velocity enough to drop out of orbit and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 15)


DRAGON CARGO SPACECRAFT UNDOCKED FROM ISS, RETURNS TO EARTH DRAGON CARGO SPACECRAFT UNDOCKED FROM ISS, RETURNS TO EARTH - US cargo spacecraft Dragon left the International Space Station (ISS) after a month in the orbit and is expected to land in the Pacific later on Monday, the spacecraft's manufacturer SpaceX reported late on Sunday.NASA broadcast the undocking of the ship, but due to the temporary suspension of the agency’s work caused by the lack of a budget, the broadcast is not commented.   More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 14)


JAPAN SPACE AGENCY TO MONITOR DETERIORATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE VIA SATELLITE JAPAN SPACE AGENCY TO MONITOR DETERIORATION OF INFRASTRUCTURE VIA SATELLITE - The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has developed a system to efficiently monitor the deterioration of infrastructure — such as river embankments, airports and harbors — using the Advanced Land Observing Satellite Daichi-2. According to JAXA, it can monitor a wide area at once, which is expected to significantly reduce the amount of labor needed for inspections. The system will be available for a fee to the central government, local governments and private companies, to improve their disaster prevention measures.   More
(Source: The Japan News - Jan 14)


CHINA LAUNCHES ZHONGXING-2D BROADCASTING SATELLITE — MEDIA
CHINA LAUNCHES ZHONGXING-2D BROADCASTING SATELLITE — MEDIA - China has successfully put into orbit the Zhongxing 2D telecommunications and broadcasting satellite, the Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. The Long March-3B carrier rocket blasted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southern province of Sichuan at 01:11 local time on Friday (10:11 Moscow time on Thursday). It was China’s first space launch this year. The satellite will provide transmission services for the country's radio, television stations and cable television networks. It will also be used for a wide range of telecommunications services for data transmission and broadband internet connection.    More
(Source: TASS - Jan 12)


SPACEX BEGINS 2019 WITH EIGHTH AND FINAL FOR UPGRADED IRIDIUM NETWORK SPACEX BEGINS 2019 WITH EIGHTH AND FINAL FOR UPGRADED IRIDIUM NETWORK - Ten Iridium communications satellites rode a Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Friday from California in the eighth and final launch for Iridium’s upgraded network over the last two years, and the first of around 18 predicted SpaceX missions planned in 2019. The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket lit its nine Merlin 1D main engines and climbed away from Space Launch Complex 4-East at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 7:31:33 a.m. PST (10:31:33 a.m. EST; 1531:33 GMT) Friday.   More
(Source: SpacewFlight Now - Jan 12)


SPACEX, NASA PUSH 1ST CREW DRAGON TEST FLIGHT TO FEBRUARY SPACEX, NASA PUSH 1ST CREW DRAGON TEST FLIGHT TO FEBRUARY - The first uncrewed test flight of SpaceX's new Dragon spacecraft for astronauts will now launch no earlier than February, NASA officials said today (Jan. 10). The Crew Dragon test flight, called Demo-1, was scheduled to launch on Jan. 17 after already being pushed back once from a Jan. 7 target. NASA announced the new schedule slip, which delays the launch by at least two weeks, in a written status update.    More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 11)


WORLD-FIRST CHAMELEON SATELLITE LEAVING NATIVE BRITISH SHORES WORLD-FIRST CHAMELEON SATELLITE LEAVING NATIVE BRITISH SHORES - The last component of British-built chameleon satellite, Eutelsat Quantum, is getting ready to leave home for good. The final piece of equipment is part of the new SSTL platform; the chassis that provides a payload with structure, power and the ability to propel itself through space. Representing a major first for the company, the platform weighs in at just over 1 tonne, which is an order of magnitude bigger than any other satellite they have built in the past. Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2019-01-world-first-chameleon-satellite-native-british.html#jCp   More
(Source: Phys.org - Jan 11)


FIXING BROKEN SATELLITES IN SPACE COULD SAVE COMPANIES BIG MONEY FIXING BROKEN SATELLITES IN SPACE COULD SAVE COMPANIES BIG MONEY - When your satellite breaks in space, as DigitalGlobe’s did on Monday, there isn’t an easy way to repair it. Technology that’s currently on the horizon may change that, however, allowing satellite providers to staunch their financial losses and get more out of their investments. For DigitalGlobe, the loss was brutal: an Earth-imaging satellite called WorldView-4, which had clients that include Google Maps. A critical instrument needed to stabilize the spacecraft has stopped working properly. Now, the satellite can’t take decent pictures of Earth for DigitalGlobe’s customers, and there seems to be no way to fix the damage.    More
(Source: The Verge - Jan 11)

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