SPACE FORCE GRAPPLING WITH AGING INFRASTRUCTURE USED TO OPERATE SATELLITES - The ground stations and tracking antennas the U.S. military relies on to communicate with its satellites — known as the Satellite Control Network, or SCN — are decades old and short of the capacity needed to keep up with the projected growth in space activities.
There are seven SCN sites located in the United States and around the world. About 15 large dish antennas at these sites command more than 190 military and government satellites in multiple orbits. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Sep 20)
SPACEX'S PRIVATE INSPIRATION4 CREW RETURNS TO EARTH WITH HISTORIC SPLASHDOWN OFF FLORIDA COAST - After three days in space, SpaceX's first all-civilian crew returned to Earth tonight, splashing down off the Florida coast to end a historic mission.
The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience gently landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida tonight (Sept. 18) at 7:06 p.m. EDT (2306 GMT) marking the end of the Inspiration4 mission, a private spaceflight that launched four civilians into orbit earlier this week. More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 19)
SPACEX EMPHASIZES COORDINATION WITH OTHER SATELLITE OPERATORS - Two years after the close approach of a Starlink satellite with a European Space Agency satellite alarmed some in the space industry, SpaceX says it’s working closely with a wide range of satellite operators to ensure safe space operations.
In September 2019, ESA announced it maneuvered an Earth science satellite called Aeolus when the agency determined it would pass dangerously close to a Starlink satellite. The incident was exacerbated by a breakdown in communication between ESA and SpaceX in the days leading up to the close approach. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Sep 18)
TURKEY SELECTS SPACEX FALCON 9 AND FLORIDA FOR COUNTRY'S FIRST DOMESTIC SATELLITE - Turkey has selected SpaceX for the launch of the country's first domestically produced communications satellite, a mission that will fly from Florida on a Falcon 9 rocket.
The country's Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said Friday it selected the nine-engine, 230-foot rocket for the launch of Turksat-6A, a communications satellite that will be used for commercial and government purposes. It will be the country's first satellite produced locally without outsourcing the process to others like Airbus Defense and Space, which built the Turksat-5A and 5B predecessors. More
(Source: Florida Today - Sep 18)
RUSSIAN SPACE MOVIE CREW SET FOR BLAST-OFF - A Russian crew of two cosmonauts and two cinema professionals is set to take off for the International Space Station (ISS) early next month to shoot the first movie in outer space, filmmakers said on Thursday.
The four are scheduled to be launched on a Soyuz MS-19 craft on Oct. 5 to be delivered to the station, which orbits Earth at an altitude of around 220 miles (354 km). More
(Source: Reuters - Sep 17)
ARISS SEEKS HOSTS FOR HAM RADIO CONTACTS WITH SPACE STATION CREW - Starting on October 1, Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) will accept applications from US schools, museums, science centers, and community youth organizations — individually or working together — interested in hosting amateur radio contacts with crew members on the International Space Station (ISS). Contacts will be scheduled between July 1 and December 31, 2022. Crew scheduling and ISS orbits will determine the exact contact dates. ARISS is looking for organizations that will draw a sizeable number of participants and integrate the contact into a well-developed education plan. More
(Source: ARRL - Sep 17)
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: CHINA’S SHENZHOU-12 CREW SAFELY BACK ON EARTH - Having extended the record of Chinese astronauts' longest stay in space in a single flight mission to 90 days, the Shenzhou-12 mission crew returned to Earth at the designated Dongfeng landing site in the Gobi Desert, North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Friday, marking a successful conclusion of the first crewed mission at the country's space station building stage. More
(Source: Global Times - Sep 17)
HUMANITY NEEDS A SPACE-RESCUE CAPABILITY, REPORT STRESSES - With an increasing cadence, humans from multiple nations are rocketing into Earth orbit, and soon some will head outward to the moon. Given the boost in commercial and governmental flights, the chances of a stranded crew requiring an in-space rescue are on the rise.
But the United States government and commercial spaceflight providers have no plans in place to conduct a timely rescue of a crew from a distressed spacecraft in low Earth orbit, or anywhere else in space. More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 16)
SPACEX LAUNCHES INSPIRATION4, FIRST ALL-PRIVATE ORBITAL MISSION - SpaceX has successfully launched the first-ever all-private orbital mission, Inspiration4. The first-of-its-kind flight saw four private astronauts take flight on a Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon ahead of a three-day stay in Low Earth Orbit. The flight is part of a large fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, a pediatric cancer hospital.
Liftoff, from historic pad LC-39A at Kennedy Space Center took place at the opening of the five-hour launch window at 8:02 PM EDT on September 15 (00:02 UTC September 16). More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Sep 16)