ST. VINCENT'S LA SOUFRIèRE VOLCANO ERUPTION SPOTTED FROM SPACE - New satellite imagery captures the relentless eruptions of the La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent, which began on Friday (April 9).
La Soufrière, which last erupted in 1979, is located on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent. After decades of inactivity, the volcano started rumbling late last year, when scientists noticed a new lava dome had formed, oozing lava in the volcano's summit crater. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 16)
NASA TO PROVIDE LIVE COVERAGE OF EXPEDITION 64 SPACE STATION CREW LANDING - Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA and two Roscosmos cosmonauts are scheduled to end their mission on the International Space Station Friday, April 16. Coverage of departure from the station and landing on Earth will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
Rubins, along with Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, will close the hatch to the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 6:10 p.m. EDT to begin the journey back to Earth. More
(Source: SciTechDaily - Apr 15)
JUST IN: SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY MOVING AHEAD WITH LOW-EARTH ORBIT SATELLITES - The Space Development Agency is moving forward with its fast-paced efforts to build a robust network of low-Earth orbit satellites, and the organization's leader is optimistic that funding for these initiatives will continue during the Biden administration.
SDA was established in 2019 and tasked with coming up with a new approach to developing space-based capabilities that would be less expensive and more robust than legacy systems. More
(Source: National Defense Magazine - Apr 15)
CHINA PREPARING TIANZHOU-2 CARGO MISSION TO FOLLOW UPCOMING SPACE STATION LAUNCH - A Long March 7 rocket has arrived at China’s coastal Wenchang spaceport to facilitate the Tianzhou-2 supply mission to a soon-to-launch space station module.
The delivery was announced by the China Manned Space Engineering Office Monday and is part of intense preparations for construction of a modular space station in low Earth orbit.
China is currently readying a Long March 5B rocket to launch Tianhe, aroughly 22-metric-ton spacecraft which will serve as the core space station module. That mission is expected to launch in late April. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 14)
CHINA LAUNCHES EXPERIMENTAL SHIYAN SATELLITE - China launched the third in a series of experimental Shiyan 6 satellites April 8 aboard a Long March 4B rocket, beginning a mission to test new space technologies, including a new super-black coating to absorb stray light and improve the sensitivity of on-board optics. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 14)
FROM YURI GAGARIN'S LAUNCH TO TODAY, HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT HAS ALWAYS BEEN POLITICAL - When cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to fly in space, he also became an instant celebrity, a diplomatic icon of the Soviet Union around the world.
Gagarin blasted off Earth 60 years ago on Monday (April 12), kicking off the era of human spaceflight. Rooted in the Cold War, human spaceflight was, at the time, inherently about the perception of power and prestige — and it remains so today, although the nuances of international relationships at play have changed just as much as the technological ones. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 13)
LEESBURG GIRL SCOUT SENDS EXPERIMENT TO SPACE STATION - Marissa Incatasciato, a 15-year-old Girl Scout and student at Heritage High School in Leesburg, will send a science experiment aboard a SpaceX launch from the Kennedy Space Center to the International Space Station later this year.
She is one of a handful of winners of the “Making Space for Girls Challenge,” which is sponsored by SpaceKids Global in conjunction with the Girl Scouts Citrus Council in Central Florida. More
(Source: Loudoun Now - Apr 13)
CANADA'S TELESAT TAKES ON MUSK AND BEZOS IN SPACE RACE TO PROVIDE FAST BROADBAND - Canada’s Telesat is racing to launch a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to provide high-speed global broadband from space, pitting the satellite communications firm founded in 1969 against two trailblazing billionaires, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Musk, the Tesla Inc CEO who was only a year old when Telesat launched its first satellite, is putting the so-called Starlink LEO into orbit with his company SpaceX, and Amazon.com Inc, which Bezos founded, is planning a LEO called Project Kuiper. Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which builds rockets. More
(Source: Reuters - Apr 12)
SPACE-BASED SOLAR POWER GETTING KEY TEST ABOARD US MILITARY'S MYSTERIOUS X-37B SPACE PLANE - A U.S. military space plane is being used to flight-validate the best ways to gather the sun's energy for power beaming from Earth orbit.
In mid-March, the latest classified mission of the U.S. Space Force's X-37B robotic space plane winged past 300 days in Earth orbit.
Most of the robotic space drone's duties on this mission, known as Orbital Test Vehicle-6 (OTV-6), are a tightly held secret. However, one known bit of research that the craft carries is the Photovoltaic Radio-frequency Antenna Module Flight Experiment, or PRAM-FX. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 10)