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40 YEARS AGO, NASA'S SKYLAB SPACE STATION FELL TO EARTH - Apollo 11's 50th isn't the only big human-spaceflight anniversary this month. Forty years ago today (July 11), NASA's defunct Skylab space station came crashing back to Earth, dropping big hunks of hardware into the Indian Ocean and across Western Australia.
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SOYUZ CREW DOCKS WITH SPACE STATION; PENCE REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO MOON MISSIONS SOYUZ CREW DOCKS WITH SPACE STATION; PENCE REAFFIRMS COMMITMENT TO MOON MISSIONS - Fifty years to the day after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon, a NASA astronaut, an Italian flight engineer and a Russian commander blasted off from Kazakhstan Saturday aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, chased down the International Space Station and glided in for a picture-perfect docking. A few hours earlier at the Kennedy Space Center, Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the Apollo 11 anniversary with Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon...   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 21)


ON APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY, US ASTRONAUT BLASTS OFF TO THE SPACE STATION IN A RUSSIAN SOYUZ SPACECRAFT ON APOLLO 11 ANNIVERSARY, US ASTRONAUT BLASTS OFF TO THE SPACE STATION IN A RUSSIAN SOYUZ SPACECRAFT - NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan blasted off to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan Saturday, on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Morgan, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov and Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Russian Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft.   More
(Source: Fox News - Jul 20)


CHINA'S TIANGONG-2 SPACE STATION IS OFFICIALLY NO MORE CHINA'S TIANGONG-2 SPACE STATION IS OFFICIALLY NO MORE - Chinese space station Tiangong-2 has officially ended its mission, and the orbital research facility’s entire existence. The platform de-orbited and burned up as planned at just after 9 AM ET on Friday, coming down over the South Pacific Ocean, as confirmed by the official Chinese space agency. The station weighed around nine U.S. tons at the time it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, but even so it was small enough that it almost entirely burned up in the process. Tiangong-2 was relatively small for a space station (when measured against the ISS), consisting of just a research module with enough space on board for only two astronauts.   More
(Source: Techcrunch - Jul 19)


CHINESE SPACE STATION TIANGONG-2 IS ABOUT TO FALL FROM SPACE CHINESE SPACE STATION TIANGONG-2 IS ABOUT TO FALL FROM SPACE - A space station is about to fall from the sky. The Chinese station Tiangong-2 is scheduled to drop out of orbit on 19 July and fall into the Pacific Ocean between New Zealand and Chile. Tiangong-2 – which translates as “heavenly palace” – was launched in September 2016, and it was never intended to be a permanent fixture in orbit. Instead, its purpose was to test technologies for China’s larger planned space station, whose main module is scheduled to launch in 2020. That space station is planned to be about one-fifth the size of the International Space Station. Tiangong-2 is far smaller.   More
(Source: New Scientist - Jul 19)


EUROPE'S WEEKLONG SATELLITE OUTAGE IS OVER—BUT STILL SERVES AS A WARNING EUROPE'S WEEKLONG SATELLITE OUTAGE IS OVER—BUT STILL SERVES AS A WARNING - Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system largely regained service Thursday, a full week after a mass outage began on July 11. The European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency, known as GSA, said that commercial users would start to see coverage returning, but that there might be "fluctuations" in the system. What remains unclear is what exactly caused the downtime—and why it persisted for so long. The incident took down all of the GPS-like system's timing and navigation features other than "Search and Rescue," which helps locate people in remote areas.    More
(Source: WIRED - Jul 19)


NEW SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS AIM TO IMPROVE IOT CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS NEW SATELLITE CONSTELLATIONS AIM TO IMPROVE IOT CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS - A new report unveils the long-term opportunity within the satellite space for the growth of IoT deployments, particularly in application verticals, such as agriculture and asset tracking, that are dealing with the unreliability of terrestrial infrastructures. “Terrestrial cellular networks only cover 20% of the Earth’s surface, while satellite networks can cover the entire surface of the globe, from pole to pole,” says Harriet Sumnall, Research Analyst at ABI Research.   More
(Source: Help Net Security - Jul 18)


KLEOS SPACE SATELLITES READY TO LAUNCH KLEOS SPACE SATELLITES READY TO LAUNCH - Kleos Space, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data provider, completed all acceptance reviews and the satellites are mission-ready awaiting transport to RocketLab’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The satellites in the Kleos’ Scouting Mission are now secured in their protective Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) boxes – designed to prevent damage to the hardware in the event of a discharge of static electricity. The multi-satellite Scouting Mission system aims to form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a global picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when Automatic Identification System (AIS) is defeated, imagery is unclear, or targets are out of patrol range.    More
(Source: Via Satellite - Jul 17)


NASA ASTRONAUTS CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MOON LANDING ON BOARD THE SPACE STATION NASA ASTRONAUTS CELEBRATE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MOON LANDING ON BOARD THE SPACE STATION - NASA Astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague join the world in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing — only, they do it from around 250 miles (~400 km) above the Earth's surface on board the International Space Station.   More
(Source: Lincoln Journal Star - Jul 17)


EU'S GPS SATELLITES HAVE BEEN DOWN FOR FOUR DAYS IN MYSTERIOUS OUTAGE EU'S GPS SATELLITES HAVE BEEN DOWN FOR FOUR DAYS IN MYSTERIOUS OUTAGE - Galileo, the EU's global navigation satellite system, has been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing. According to a service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as "not usable," while the other two are listing a status of "testing," which also means they're not ready for real-world usage.   More
(Source: ZDNet - Jul 15)


CHANDRAYAAN-2: INDIA SPACE LAUNCH DELAYED BY TECHNICAL PROBLEM CHANDRAYAAN-2: INDIA SPACE LAUNCH DELAYED BY TECHNICAL PROBLEM - The launch of India's second lunar mission has been halted less than an hour before the scheduled blast-off, due to a technical problem. The countdown stopped 56 minutes before the launch after a "technical snag was observed in launch vehicle system," India's space agency said. The satellite had been scheduled for launch at 02:51 local time on Monday (21:21 GMT Sunday) from Sriharikota space station on India's eastern coast. A new launch date will follow soon.   More
(Source: BBC News - Jul 15)


RUSSIA LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL X-RAY ASTRONOMY MISSION RUSSIA LAUNCHES INTERNATIONAL X-RAY ASTRONOMY MISSION - A Proton rocket and Block DM upper stage climbed into space Saturday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Spektr-RG, an astronomical observatory with dual X-ray telescopes developed by Russian and German scientists on the hunt for the signature of dark energy. The new observatory will detect X-ray emissions from across the sky, including those from huge clusters of galaxies. By measuring the mass, luminosity and distance of distant galaxies, Spektr-RG could help astronomers better understand dark energy, the mysterious force driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.   More
(Source: SpaceFLight Now - Jul 14)


ARCHINAUT, A CONSTRUCTION ROBOT FOR SPACE, COULD LAUNCH A TEST FLIGHT IN 2022 ARCHINAUT, A CONSTRUCTION ROBOT FOR SPACE, COULD LAUNCH A TEST FLIGHT IN 2022 - ff-Earth manufacturing is set to take a giant leap a few years from now. NASA has awarded California startup Made In Space $73.7 million to give the company's "Archinaut" spacecraft-assembly technology an orbital test. The "Archinaut One" demonstration craft will launch to low Earth orbit aboard a Rocket Lab Electron booster no earlier than 2022, NASA officials announced Friday (July 12). Once aloft, Archinaut One will 3D print two 32-foot-long (10 meters) beams, which will extend from each side of the spacecraft.    More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 14)


CHINA SET TO CARRY OUT CONTROLLED DEORBITING OF TIANGONG-2 SPACE LAB CHINA SET TO CARRY OUT CONTROLLED DEORBITING OF TIANGONG-2 SPACE LAB - China appears set to deorbit its Tiangong-2 space lab in the near future, according to a social media release from the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO). CMSEO announced a quiz competition (Chinese) Friday through its WeChat social media platform account, testing knowledge of launch times and mission details, to mark the ‘return of Tiangong-2’. No date for the planned re-entry was stated by CMSEO, which manages China’s human spaceflight endeavors.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 13)


NASA TO BROADCAST LAUNCH, ARRIVAL OF ASTRONAUT ANDREW MORGAN AT SPACE STATION NASA TO BROADCAST LAUNCH, ARRIVAL OF ASTRONAUT ANDREW MORGAN AT SPACE STATION - A multinational crew of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Saturday, July 20 – the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11's historic landing on the Moon. NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of the crew's launch and arrival. Morgan, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan...   More
(Source: PRNewswire - Jul 13)


CRASHED UAE MILITARY SPY SATELLITE RAISES POSSIBILITY OF ENEMY CYBERATTACK CRASHED UAE MILITARY SPY SATELLITE RAISES POSSIBILITY OF ENEMY CYBERATTACK - An investigation has been launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) and French aerospace group Arianespace into the failed launch of a rocket carrying a military spy satellite into space for the United Arab Emirates. Two minutes after take-off, a "major anomaly" sent the expensive, high-tech payload into the Atlantic—the first failure for Arianespace's Vega rockets after 14 successful missions. The two French-built Falcon Eye satellites, of which this was the first, were designed "to provide a wholly new capability to [the UAE's] military," according to defense analysts, "representing the most advanced optics France had ever sold to another country."    More
(Source: Forbes - Jul 13)


DROP TEST MOVES VIRGIN ORBIT CLOSER TO FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH DROP TEST MOVES VIRGIN ORBIT CLOSER TO FIRST SATELLITE LAUNCH - A full-scale model of Virgin Orbit’s air-dropped small satellite launcher, filled with water and antifreeze instead of rocket fuel, fell away from the wing of a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet Wednesday and impacted on a test range at Edwards Air Force Base in California, a key test that paves the way for the company’s first space mission later this year. Backed by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, Virgin Orbit aims to carve out a slice of the growing small satellite launch market alongside Rocket Lab and other companies.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 12)


MILITARY SPY SATELLITE TARGETING IRAN CRASHES TO EARTH AFTER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE MILITARY SPY SATELLITE TARGETING IRAN CRASHES TO EARTH AFTER CATASTROPHIC FAILURE - A military spy satellite has come crashing down to earth after the failure of its launch rocket, sending the expensive payload into the Atlantic. The UAE-owned satellite was intended for dual-use, meaning both military and civilian reconnaissance applications—and on the military side, a UAE satellite would have been charged with monitoring Iran. For the UAE, monitoring Iranian movements in the Gulf is critical to national security. Iran views the UAE as part of the axis lined up against it, alongside the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.    More
(Source: Forbes - Jul 12)


CAN WE USE SPECIAL SAILS TO BRING OLD SATELLITES BACK DOWN TO EARTH? CAN WE USE SPECIAL SAILS TO BRING OLD SATELLITES BACK DOWN TO EARTH? - The growing problem of space debris in LEO (Low-Earth Orbit) is garnering more and more attention. With thousands of satellites in orbit, and thousands more on the way, our appetite for satellites seems boundless. But every satellite has a shelf-life. What do we do with them when they’ve outlived their usefulness and devolve into simple, troublesome space debris? In the next five years alone, it’s expected that we will launch up to 2600 more nanosatellites and cubesats.    More
(Source: Universe Today - Jul 11)


ROBOTIC SPACEX CARGO MISSION COULD AID SPACE SETTLEMENT ROBOTIC SPACEX CARGO MISSION COULD AID SPACE SETTLEMENT - SpaceX's Dragon capsule will launch toward the ISS on July 21 with lots of intriguing experiments aboard. The next SpaceX mission to the International Space Station (ISS) may be uncrewed, but it could nonetheless eventually help humanity extend its footprint far beyond low Earth orbit. The company's robotic Dragon cargo capsule is scheduled to launch toward the ISS atop a Falcon 9 rocket on July 21 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 11)


ARIANESPACE VEGA LAUNCH FAILS, EMIRATI SATELLITE LOST ARIANESPACE VEGA LAUNCH FAILS, EMIRATI SATELLITE LOST - The fifteenth launch of a European Vega rocket ended in failure July 10, resulting in the loss of an imaging satellite for the United Arab Emirates. The Vega rocket, built by Italian manufacturer Avio, lifted off at 9:53 p.m. Eastern from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on the northern coast of South America. Telemetry data indicated a deviation from the rocket’s intended course around its second minute of flight. The rocket left its intended course during its second-stage burn.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 11)

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