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GOING UP? WAITING FOR THE SPACE ELEVATOR - A space-elevator experiment is now at the International Space Station. The technology it's testing, if implemented on a large scale, could revolutionize spaceflight, advocates say.
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SATELLITE NEWS

RUSSIAN SOYUZ ROCKET WILL LAUNCH ASTRONAUTS TO SPACE STATION BY CHRISTMAS, NASA CHIEF SAYS RUSSIAN SOYUZ ROCKET WILL LAUNCH ASTRONAUTS TO SPACE STATION BY CHRISTMAS, NASA CHIEF SAYS - The next set of crewmembers should launch toward the International Space Station in December, despite the failure of a Russian Soyuz rocket earlier this month, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said. That failure occurred Oct. 11, causing the Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan just minutes after liftoff. The investigation into the incident has been productive, and the Soyuz rocket likely won't be grounded for too much longer, Bridenstine said today (Oct. 23) during a meeting of the U.S. National Space Council in Washington, D.C.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 24)


RUSSIA’S SPACE AGENCY TO SPECIFY DATE FOR ISS CREW RETURN AND NEXT LAUNCH AFTER OCTOBER 30
RUSSIA’S SPACE AGENCY TO SPECIFY DATE FOR ISS CREW RETURN AND NEXT LAUNCH AFTER OCTOBER 30 - The date for the current crew of the International Space Station (ISS) to return to Earth and the launch of a new expedition will be determined after the probe of the Soyuz-FG incident is completed, State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Monday. "The date for the landing of the current crew and the launch of the next expedition, as well as the date for a spacewalk [to inspect a hole in the hull of the manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked to the ISS] will be determined after the commission probing the Soyuz-FG booster incident completes its work, i.e. after October 30," Roscosmos said.    More
(Source: TASS - Oct 23)


HOW MANY SPACE STATIONS DOES THIS PLANET NEED? HOW MANY SPACE STATIONS DOES THIS PLANET NEED? - At one end of Bigelow Aerospace’s factory is a mock-up of a gargantuan home for future astronauts. With a unique design — it could be packed into a rocket, then unfurled in space — it would comfortably house a dozen people as a voluminous space station or serve as a building block of a moon base. “It’ll be a monster spacecraft by any current standards,” said Robert T. Bigelow, the company’s namesake founder, at a news conference in February. This is Olympus, named after the mythological home of the Greek gods and a measure of Mr. Bigelow’s ambitions for building settlements in space.   More
(Source: New York Times - Oct 23)


TACTICAL SAT HEADED FOR ORBIT, TESTING TACTICAL SAT HEADED FOR ORBIT, TESTING - Raytheon Co. has delivered the first of what it hopes will be a constellation of small, “disposable” satellites designed to give low-echelon ground forces in remote locations on-demand access to space imagery. Those squads and tactical teams currently lack access to satellite imagery provided by military or commercial platforms. Hence, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a research effort in 2012 nicknamed “SeeMe,” for Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements. The DARPA program has since been cancelled, but Raytheon continued internal development of a prototype satellite designed to quickly deliver high-resolution battlefield imagery comparable to commercial satellites.   More
(Source: EE Times - Oct 22)


WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRAVEL TO SPACE, FROM A TOURIST WHO SPENT $30 MILLION TO LIVE THERE FOR 12 DAYS WHAT IT'S LIKE TO TRAVEL TO SPACE, FROM A TOURIST WHO SPENT $30 MILLION TO LIVE THERE FOR 12 DAYS - Elon Musk's SpaceX has had a lot of attention recently for announcing that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa will be its first customer for a private space flight around the moon. Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin reportedly plans to start selling $200,000 to $300,000 tickets in 2019 to send tourists on 11-minute suborbital space flights. And Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has sold 650 tickets to space (at about $250,000 a pop) with its first "more than tantalizingly close," according to Branson.   More
(Source: CNBC - Oct 22)


ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES TWO SATELLITES ON 7-YEAR VOYAGE TO MERCURY ARIANE 5 LAUNCHES TWO SATELLITES ON 7-YEAR VOYAGE TO MERCURY - A powerful European Ariane 5 rocket blasted off from French Guiana late Friday and boosted a pair of satellites into space for a seven-year plunge into the inner solar system, a voyage requiring seven planetary flybys to slow down enough in the sun’s gravitational clutches to slip into orbit around hellish Mercury. The $1.9 billion BepiColombo project is only the second, after NASA’s MESSENGER mission, to attempt putting a spacecraft into orbit around the solar system’s innermost planet, one of the most technically challenging missions ever attempted by the European Space Agency and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 21)


CHINA PLANS TO LAUNCH AN 'ARTIFICIAL MOON' TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKIES CHINA PLANS TO LAUNCH AN 'ARTIFICIAL MOON' TO LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKIES - The night skies might soon have company: Chinese scientists are planning to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020 to illuminate city streets after dark. Scientists are hoping to hang the man-made moon above the city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, according to a report in Chinese state media. The imitation celestial body — essentially an illuminated satellite — will bear a reflective coating to cast sunlight back to Earth, where it will supplement streetlights at night.   More
(Source: TIME - Oct 20)


NASA AND ROSCOSMOS TRYING TO AVOID AN EMPTY SPACE STATION NASA AND ROSCOSMOS TRYING TO AVOID AN EMPTY SPACE STATION - Following the failure of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft to deliver Aleksey Nikolayevich Ovchinin and Nick Hague to the International Space Station last week, the orbital outpost is now left with two fewer crew members than planned. NASA now must assess their options for keeping the station occupied, pending Roscosmos’ updated launch schedule once the investigation into the Soyuz-FG failure has been completed. Roscosmos immediately created a State Commission to determine the cause of the MS-10 abort and their investigation is already progressing.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 20)


ROCKET LAB PICKS VIRGINIA SPACEPORT AS US LAUNCH SITE FOR SMALL SATELLITES ROCKET LAB PICKS VIRGINIA SPACEPORT AS US LAUNCH SITE FOR SMALL SATELLITES - The private spaceflight company Rocket Lab has a new spaceport, and it's in Virginia. The California-based startup Rocket Lab, which aims to corner the small-satellite launch market with its Electron boosters, unveiled plans to launch missions from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport overseen by Virginia Space. The first mission could fly as early as next year. The spaceport, which is located at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, has long been used by the space agency to launch small, suborbital sounding rockets.    More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 19)


RUSSIA TO DELIVER 3D-BIOPRINTER TO ORBITAL OUTPOST IN NEXT SPACE LAUNCH
RUSSIA TO DELIVER 3D-BIOPRINTER TO ORBITAL OUTPOST IN NEXT SPACE LAUNCH - A copy of the Organ-Avt bioprinter devised to grow living tissue will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) during the next launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the press office of Invitro, the project’s investor, told TASS on Wednesday. The plans to deliver the bioprinter’s first copy failed after the aborted launch of the Soyuz-FG booster from the Baikonur spaceport on October 11. The magnetic 3D-bioprinter is devised to grow living tissues and eventually organs and it can also be used to study the influence of outer space conditions on living organisms during lengthy flights.    More
(Source: TASS - Oct 19)


WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE ABOARD THE FAILED ROCKET LAUNCH TO THE SPACE STATION WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO BE ABOARD THE FAILED ROCKET LAUNCH TO THE SPACE STATION - Everything was going smoothly — until NASA astronaut Nick Hague felt a sudden tremor. "The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side," he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on Oct. 11. The rocket was meant to carry Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to the International Space Station in what would have been the American's first trip to space. Instead, the pair's emergency rescue system kicked into action after a problem during booster separation.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 19)


COUNTDOWN TO EUROPE'S 'NAIL-BITING' FIRST MISSION TO MERCURY COUNTDOWN TO EUROPE'S 'NAIL-BITING' FIRST MISSION TO MERCURY - Engineers are carrying out final checks on the Ariane 5 rocket before it launches Europe's most ambitious spacecraft. Flight VA245 is due to lift off from the European Space Agency's (ESA) base in Kourou, French Guiana, in the early hours of Saturday. It will take the BepiColombo spacecraft into orbit around Earth, the first stage of a five billion mile journey to Mercury. The joint European and Japanese mission will study the structure and evolution of the closest planet to the Sun.   More
(Source: Sky News - Oct 19)


UK-FRANCE SPACE AGREEMENT DELIVERS DEVICE TO OCEAN SATELLITE UK-FRANCE SPACE AGREEMENT DELIVERS DEVICE TO OCEAN SATELLITE - A device built in the UK by Honeywell, which will form a vital part of the mission to make the first global survey of the world’s surface waters and oceans, has been delivered to Thales Alenia Space in France. The Surface Water and Ocean Topography, or SWOT, mission is led by CNES (the French Space Agency) and NASA with support from the UK Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. The UK Space Agency and CNES signed a joint statement in January 2018 during the UK-France Summit in Sandhurst to step up co-operation in space, building on 2014’s Brize-Norton framework arrangement.   More
(Source: GOV.UK - Oct 18)


JAM-RESISTANT US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LIFTS OFF IN MIDNIGHT-HOUR LAUNCH JAM-RESISTANT US MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LIFTS OFF IN MIDNIGHT-HOUR LAUNCH - An advanced U.S. military communications satellite soared into space in the midnight hour Wednesday (Oct. 17), lighting up the sky over Florida as it launched into orbit. A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket launched the satellite, known as Advanced Extremely High Frequency 4 (AEHF-4), at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 GMT) from a pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. AEHF-4 is an advanced jam-resistant and nuclear-hardened satellite designed "to provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military forces," according to a U.S. Air force mission description.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)


EYEWITNESS OBSERVER OF DRAMATIC SOYUZ LAUNCH ABORT DESCRIBES WHAT HE SAW EYEWITNESS OBSERVER OF DRAMATIC SOYUZ LAUNCH ABORT DESCRIBES WHAT HE SAW - An eyewitness at the aborted Soyuz launch to the International Space Station Oct. 11 saw an odd smoke trail emerging from the rocket crew members' craft separated to make a daring landing back on Earth. Philip Grossman, an urban explorer and contributor to the Science Channel, was in the viewing area for the Expedition 57 launch in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The viewing area includes a large platform on which people can watch the launch, roughly 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers) away.   More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)


45TH SPACE WING GEARS UP FOR SURGE IN LAUNCH ACTIVITY 45TH SPACE WING GEARS UP FOR SURGE IN LAUNCH ACTIVITY - The launch early Wednesday of a U.S. Air Force $1.8 billion communications satellite will be Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess’ first mission as launch decision authority. Schiess was sworn in Aug. 23 as commander of the 45th Space Wing and director of the Eastern Range, headquartered at Patrick Air Force Base. Since then, SpaceX launched a commercial satellite from the range, but the Advanced EHF satellite known as AEHF-4 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will be his first national security mission as the commander of the world’s busiest spaceport. The wing is responsible to ensure public safety during every launch from Cape Canaveral or Kennedy Space Center.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 17)


CHINA’S TWO NEW SATELLITES ARE A STEP TOWARDS COMPLETION OF ITS SPACE SILK ROAD CHINA’S TWO NEW SATELLITES ARE A STEP TOWARDS COMPLETION OF ITS SPACE SILK ROAD - China has successfully launched another two satellites that will be part of its native BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) – the country’s competitor to the American GPS system. The satellites will bolster China’s ambitious Space Silk Road project – the country’s programme to boost its global revenue from positioning and navigation systems. The launch was significant for multiple reasons. First, the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System was built with China’s requirements for national security, and socioeconomic development in mind.   More
(Source: TNW - Oct 16)


ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND DEVELOPS METHANE-HUNTING SATELLITE 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.    More
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 16)


SOYUZ FAILURE PROBE NARROWS FOCUS ON COLLISION AT BOOSTER SEPARATION 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
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.    More
(Source: TASS - Oct 14)

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