SATELLITES EQUIPPED WITH A TETHER WOULD BE ABLE TO DE-ORBIT THEMSELVES AT THE END OF THEIR LIFE - There’s no denying it, we are facing an orbital debris problem! As of January 2019, the ESA’s Space Debris Office estimates that there are at least 34,000 pieces of large debris in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – a combination of dead satellites, spent rocket stages, and other assorted bits of space junk. And with thousands of satellites scheduled to be launched in the next decade, that problem is only going to get worse.
This is a situation that cries out for solutions, especially when you consider the plans to commercialize LEO and start sending crewed missions to deep space in the coming years. More
(Source: Universe Today - Jun 16)
HAM RADIO SATELLITES TO DEPLOY FROM ISS - Three BIRDS-3 satellites with Amateur Radio payloads are scheduled to be deployed from the International Space Station on Monday, June 17. The BIRDS-3 constellation includes CubeSats from three countries: They are Nepal’s first satellite, NepaliSat-1; Uguisu from Japan, and Sri Lanka’s first satellite, Raavana-1. More
(Source: ARRL - Jun 15)
SPACE IS POLLUTED BY JUNK…AND IT’S GETTING WORSE - The major shift from state to commercial space programs, as well as a sharp rise in the number of upcoming launches, raises concerns about our efforts to manage the problem. n 2016, the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Copernicus Sentinel-1A satellite experienced a sudden dip in power and a physical jolt while orbiting 700 kilometers above Earth.The culprit turned out to be a millimeter-sized speck of space debris that hit one of the solar panels. It left a 40-centimeter dent. More
(Source: EOS - Jun 14)
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIMENTS SELECTED TO FLY ON CHINESE SPACE STATION - Six experiments have been granted a place aboard to the future Chinese Space Station through a joint international cooperation initiative, with three more receiving conditional acceptance.
The results of the selection process were announced jointly Wednesday by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on the sidelines of the 62nd session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 14)
INDIA PLANS TO HAVE ITS OWN SPACE STATION - India plans to have its own space station in the future and conduct separate missions to study the Sun and Venus, it said on Thursday, as the nation moves to bolster its status as a leader in space technologies and inspire the young minds to take an interest in scientific fields.
India’s space agency said today that it will begin working on its space station following its first manned mission to space, called Gaganyaan (which means “space vehicle” in Sanskrit), in 2022 — just in time to commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence from Britain. More
(Source: TechCrunch - Jun 14)
NEPAL’S FIRST SATELLITE ‘NEPALISAT-1’ TO TRAVEL AROUND EARTH FROM JUNE 17 - The NepaliSat-1, the Nepal’s first satellite launched into space by Japan’s Kyushu Institute of Technology on April 17 is to go through the Earth’s orbit from June 17.
The nano-satellite weighing 1.3 kilos was launched from the Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in the United States. It has been in the International Space Station since one and half month and will be released into the Earth’s orbit on June 17. More
(Source: Nepal 24 hours - Jun 14)
WORLD CUP 2019: ASTRONAUT CHEERS ON US WOMEN'S SOCCER TEAM FROM SPACE - Talk about nosebleed seats. A U.S. astronaut had the perfect view of the French stadium hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup — although the action may be a little bit hard to see from about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above Earth's surface.
"Finally made it to a @FIFAWWC in person," Anne McClain, a member of Expedition 59, tweeted on Tuesday (June 11), along with two pictures showing the cloudy view beneath the International Space Station. Red circles carefully mark Reims, France, the location of the epic match. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 13)
DANGLING TAPE COULD BE USED TO DE-ORBIT OLD SATELLITES - In order to at least begin addressing the growing problem of space debris, numerous groups are now looking into methods of de-orbiting satellites once their operational lives have ended. One of the latest approaches involves getting the spacecraft to dispense a long strip of sunlight-catching tape, instead of using their own propellant. The technology is being developed via the three-year European Union E.T.PACK project, led by Spain's Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. More
(Source: New Atlas - Jun 13)
SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED AND LANDED ITS FALCON 9 ROCKET ON THE CALIFORNIA COAST THIS MORNING - Update June 12th, 11:20AM ET: Despite heavy fog obscuring the view of the launchpad, SpaceX successfully launched and deployed all three RADARSAT spacecraft into orbit this morning. After takeoff, the company also landed the Falcon 9 on the California coast amid the heavy fog.
Original story: This morning, SpaceX is set to launch its sixth Falcon 9 mission of 2019 out of southern California, sending three identical Canadian satellites into orbit. After takeoff, SpaceX will attempt to land its rocket on a landing pad next to the vehicle’s launch site. If successful, it will be the second time SpaceX has landed its vehicle on the California coast. More
(Source: The Verge - Jun 13)
NASA'S SET MISSION TO STUDY SATELLITE PROTECTION IS READY FOR LAUNCH - NASA's Space Environment Testbeds, or SET, will launch in June 2019 on its mission to study how to better protect satellites in space. SET will get a ride to space on a U.S. Air Force Research Lab spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
SET studies the very nature of space itself—which isn't completely empty, but brimming with radiation—and how it affects spacecraft and electronics in orbit. More
(Source: Phys.org - Jun 12)
NASA HAS ‘SPACE GRAVEYARD’ HIDDEN UNDER THE SEA WHERE HUNDREDS OF DEAD SPACECRAFT ARE BURIED - Deep in the South Pacific Ocean lies a graveyard of hundreds of fallen spacecraft.
Point Nemo, Latin for "no one", is around 4,000 metres deep and further from land than any point on Earth, making it the ideal spot to crash defunct rockets and satellites. At least 260 spacecraft – mostly Russian – have been laid to rest there by Nasa and other space agencies since it was first used in 1971. More
(Source: The Sun - Jun 12)
USED SPACEX ROCKET LAUNCHING 3 SATELLITES WEDNESDAY: HOW TO WATCH LIVE - SpaceX will launch three next-generation Earth-observing satellites for the Canadian Space Agency Wednesday (June 12), and you can watch the liftoff live.
A two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with a preflown first stage is scheduled to launch the three-spacecraft Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) tomorrow from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The 13-minute launch window opens at 10:17 a.m. EDT (1417 GMT; 7:17 a.m. local California time). More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 12)
EUROPEAN ASTRONAUT TO PERFORM FIRST DJ SET IN SPACE - What's it like to spin records in outer space? One astronaut with the European Space Agency, Luca Parmitano, is about to find out. He'll be playing a live DJ set – the first ever according to the organizers – onboard the International Space Station (ISS) this summer in partnership with BigCityBeats, which will livestream the event via satellite for more than 3,000 partygoers onboard a luxury cruise ship. More
(Source: Fox News - Jun 12)
THE TRUE PRICE OF PRIVATIZING SPACE TRAVEL - On New Year’s Day 2001, the first crew of the International Space Station spent a quiet day in orbit. The commander, U.S. Navy Captain William Shepherd, decided to honor a naval New Year’s tradition, in which the person at the helm recites a poem. Shepherd had written something for the occasion, which included the following, recorded in the ship’s log:
Though star trackers mark Altair and Vega / Same as mariners eyed long ago / We are still as wayfinders of knowledge / Seeking new things that mankind shall know.
(Source: The Atlantic - Jun 12)
NOAA EXPERTS PREVIEW COSMIC-2 SATELLITE MISSION - The mission of six satellites that will orbit the planet near the equator, is scheduled to lift off at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Sat., June 22. Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be hosting a media teleconference to highlight the upcoming COSMIC-2 satellite mission. More
(Source: SatelliteProME.com - Jun 11)
NEWLY-LAUNCHED RUSSIAN TELECOM SATELLITE RELYING ON BACKUP THRUSTERS - A French-built communications satellite for Russia’s Gazprom Space Systems launched May 30 is maneuvering toward its final operating location in geostationary orbit using a set of backup thrusters after the spacecraft encountered a problem with its main engine. Ground controllers planned a series of burns using the Yamal 601 satellite’s main engine to send the craft into geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equator... More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 11)
FIRST FALCON HEAVY NIGHT LAUNCH SLIPS TO JUNE 24 - The first nighttime launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, and the first Falcon Heavy flight for the U.S. military, is set for no earlier than June 24 from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Air Force officials said Friday.
The four-hour launch window opens at 11:30 p.m. EDT on June 24 (0330 GMT on June 25). The new target launch date is two days later than previously planned.
The Falcon Heavy will launch 24 satellites into three distinct orbits around Earth, using up most of the heavy-lift rocket’s lift capacity with a series of four upper stage engine burns, the most ever by a SpaceX launch vehicle. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 10)
NASA UNVEILS PLANS TO COMMERCIALIZE LOW EARTH ORBIT - NASA unveiled an ambitious program Friday to commercialize low-Earth orbit, making way for product development and even advertising aboard the International Space Station, month-long visits by company astronauts starting as early as next year and use of a station docking port for privately financed research-and-development modules.
NASA’s five-part commercialization blueprint also calls for the agency to facilitate development of technology needed for free-flying research labs NASA could rent space aboard in the future and work to “stimulate sustainable demand” for commercial R & D in a variety of fields ranging from in-space manufacturing to biomedicine. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 8)
RICHARD BRANSON TAKES SATELLITE LAUNCH BUSINESS TO JAPAN WITH AIRLINE ANA - Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit said on Thursday it plans to bring its satellite launch system to Japan in partnership with airline operator ANA Holdings Inc, which will provide maintenance and possibly aircraft.
Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system is undergoing testing with the aim of launching rockets bearing small satellites into space from a modified jumbo jet. The company said it will conduct its first orbital test flight later this year. More
(Source: Reuters - Jun 7)