INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MARKS 20 YEARS OF HUMANS ON BOARD - The 20th anniversary Saturday of humans living aboard the International Space Station spotlights the global cooperation and scientific discoveries that benefit all people, according to astronauts and others involved in missions there.
NASA and space agencies around the world are using the milestone to underscore achievements in space since the end of deep-space crewed missions in the 1970s and the space shuttle program in 2011. More
(Source: UPI.com - Oct 31)
ELECTION DAY SPY SATELLITE LAUNCH HAS INEXPLICABLE LORD OF THE RINGS THEME - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is being prepped for a mission that will send a National Reconnaissance Office spy satellite into orbit from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station this Tuesday, which is Election Day in the United States.
While information about NRO launches is always a little scarce for obvious reasons, this one looks to be relatively routine except for the baffling mission artwork that includes a phrase in ... Elvish?
(Source: CNET - Oct 31)
KACIFIC TO LAUNCH SECOND COMMS SATELLITE, KACIFIC2 - Kacific, a a next-generation broadband satellite operator based in Singapore and catering to the Asia-Pacific market, has announced it is in the design and planning stage of a second satellite, Kacific2. Kacific2 will complement Kacific1, launched in December 2019 via SpaceX.
Kacific2 will add capacity to Kacific’s largest markets – Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea – as well as expand its reach wider into South East Asia and further into Central and Western Asia, and potentially Eastern Africa. More
(Source: KABC-TV - Oct 31)
NORTHSTAR SATELLITE SYSTEM TO MONITOR THREAT OF SPACE DEBRIS - The Canadian company NorthStar Earth and Space has contracted Thales Alenia Space to build the first three satellites of its Skylark space traffic monitoring system, with LeoStella, a Seattle-based firm, overseeing the final assembly. This will make NorthStar the first commercial company to monitor space traffic from space.
The service will alert users to potential collisions between satellites, both operational and defunct, and other large pieces of debris. More
(Source: The Guardian - Oct 30)
ROCKET LAB SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES SATELLITES FOR PLANET AND CANON - An experimental satellite for Canon Electronics and nine Earth-imaging CubeSats for Planet fired into orbit from New Zealand on Wednesday on top of a Rocket Lab Electron booster, taking the place of similar spacecraft destroyed in a Rocket Lab launch failure in July. Nine Rutherford main engines roared to life and sent the nearly 60-foot-tall (18-meter) Electron rocket into an overcast sky at 5:21:27 p.m. EDT (2121:27 GMT) Wednesday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 29)
NASA’S CREW-1 COMMANDER TO BE SWORN INTO U.S. SPACE FORCE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, a U.S. Air Force colonel and the commander of the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, is transferring to the U.S. Space Force and is expected to be commissioned aboard the International Space Station.
“If all goes well, we’re looking to swear him into the Space Force from the International Space Station,” said Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations of the U.S. Space Force. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 29)
THIS NEW OCEAN-MAPPING SATELLITE WILL HELP US ALL UNDERSTAND THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE - Examining coastal sea rise, tracking underwater ocean waves and adding to long-term data about climate change will be the main scientific return of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite mission, officials said in a press conference.
The satellite is expected to launch Nov. 10 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For now, spacecraft personnel expect SpaceX will be able to resolve a rocket gas generator issue that stopped a GPS satellite launch for the U.S. Air Force aboard another Falcon 9 on Oct. 2, Tim Dunn, launch director of NASA's launch services program, said in a virtual press conference broadcast Oct. 16 on NASA Television. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 29)
SPACEX CREW LAUNCH SET FOR NOV. 14 - After a two-week delay to evaluate a concern with Falcon 9 rocket engines, NASA and SpaceX have set Nov. 14 as the target launch date for the first operational Crew Dragon flight to the International Space Station, kicking off a half-year expedition in orbit for three U.S. astronauts and a veteran Japanese space flier.
NASA announced the new target launch date late Monday. The Crew Dragon spaceship is set for liftoff from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 7:49 p.m. EST on Nov. 14 (0049 GMT on Nov. 15) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 28)
WHAT COMES AFTER THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION? - For the past two decades, the International Space Station has been humanity’s home away from home. It’s hosted hundreds of astronauts from 18 countries. It’s served as the platform for groundbreaking science experiments that have fundamentally changed our understanding of human biology, climate change, and the universe itself. It’s been a proving ground for futuristic technologies like organs on a chip and quantum communication terminals, and it's fostered the birth of a vibrant commercial space industry. The ISS is arguably the best thing we’ve ever done. But all good things must come to an end. More
(Source: WIRED - Oct 28)
CHINA LAUNCHES THREE MILITARY SPY SATELLITES - Three mysterious payloads widely believed to be signals intelligence satellites for the Chinese military rocketed into orbit on top of a Long March 2C booster Monday from a launch base in southwestern China.
The three Yaogan 30-type satellites lifted off aboard the Long March 2C rocket at 11:19 a.m. EDT (1519 GMT) Monday from the Xichang space center in the Sichuan province of southwestern China. Liftoff occurred at 11:19 p.m. Beijing time, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 27)
ABOUT 3% OF STARLINK SATELLITES HAVE FAILED SO FAR - SpaceX has drawn plenty of praise and criticism with the creation of Starlink, a constellation that will one day provide broadband internet access to the entire world. To date, the company has launched over 800 satellites and (as of this summer) is producing them at a rate of about 120 a month. There are even plans to have a constellation of 42,000 satellites in orbit before the decade is out. More
(Source: Phys.org - Oct 27)
SPACEX JUST LAUNCHED ITS 100TH SUCCESSFUL FALCON ROCKET FLIGHT. YES, THERE'S A VIDEO. - SpaceX just launched its 100th successful mission, and the company put together an action-packed video to mark the milestone.
SpaceX hit the century mark on Saturday (Oct. 24) with the liftoff of a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 of the company's Starlink broadband satellites to orbit. That same day, SpaceX tweeted out a video documenting all 100 successful launches, starting with a September 2008 flight of a Falcon 1 booster. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 27)
RUSSIA LAUNCHES SOYUZ WITH NEXT-GENERATION NAVIGATION SATELLITE - Russia launched a next-generation navigation satellite to join its GLONASS constellation Sunday.
Liftoff of the Uragan-K No.15L satellite, aboard a Soyuz 2-1b/Fregat rocket, took place at 23:08:42 Moscow Time (19:08:42 UTC) from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the northwest of the country. Spacecraft separation is expected to occur a little over three and a half hours after launch. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 26)
THE FIRST SATELLITE WITH AI ONBOARD IS NOW IN ORBIT, AND ITS TECH COULD COMPLETELY CHANGE HOW WE RESPOND TO WILDFIRES - On September 2, a satellite the size of a cereal box took off for space.
Names PhiSat-1, its mission was to monitor polar ice and soil moisture, making it — at least superficially — a fairly unglamorous piece of kit.
But for the satellite's creators — the European Space Agency (ESA), chip giant Intel, and Irish robotics company Ubotica — this launch represented months of work, and had been postponed by a failed rocket launch, two natural disasters, and a global pandemic. More
(Source: Business Insider - Oct 26)
SPACEX ADDS ANOTHER 60 SATELLITES TO STARLINK NETWORK - SpaceX successfully deployed 60 more Starlink internet satellites in orbit Saturday, continuing a record launch cadence while engineers assess a concern with Falcon 9 rocket engines that has delayed other missions, including the next crew flight to the International Space Station. The 60 Starlink satellites blasted off from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:31:34 a.m. EDT (1531:34 GMT) Saturday. The mission was delayed from Thursday to allow time for engineers to assess a problem with a camera on the Falcon 9 rocket’s upper stage. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 25)
US ASTRONAUT VOTES EARLY FROM SPACE STATION - ASA astronaut Kate Rubins shared her voting selfie from orbit after stating before her launch earlier this month that she would cast her ballot from the International Space Station.
Since 1997, as a concession to the fact that most NASA astronauts live near the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas has had an extreme absentee ballot procedure in place for anyone who finds themselves off Earth on Election Day. More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 24)
SPACEX SCRUBS 15TH STARLINK MISSION - Just four days after the previous flight, SpaceX was ready to launch its third batch of Starlink satellites this month into orbit at 12:14 EDT (16:14 UTC) on Thursday, 22 October. However, an issue 13 minutes before liftoff forced a hold and scrub for the day.
The v1.0 L14 mission — the 14th launch of operational satellites and 15th Starlink flight overall — will launch from pad SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 22)
SOYUZ BRINGS THREE SPACE STATION FLIERS BACK TO EARTH - One week after two cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut arrived at the International Space Station, the three crew members they’re replacing strapped into their own Soyuz spacecraft, undocked and returned to Earth Wednesday with a landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan to close out a 196-day mission.
Descending under a huge orange-and-white parachute, the Soyuz crew module touched down at 10:54 p.m. EDT (8:54 a.m. Thursday local time), three-and-a-half hours after departing the lab complex. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 22)
SPACEX IS WORKING WITH MICROSOFT TO BUILD A SATELLITE NETWORK THAT CAN DETECT THE LAUNCH OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS - paceX has tapped Azure, a massive cloud-computing service built by Microsoft, to help it develop and operate experimental satellites capable of detecting missile launches all over the world.
Microsoft revealed its partnership with SpaceX on Tuesday as part of its larger announcement of new modular datacenters, or shipping-container-like platforms crammed with cloud-computing resources that can be deployed to remote areas of the world. More
(Source: Business Insider - Oct 22)