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.
(Source: TASS - Oct 23)
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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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
- 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.
(Source: TASS - Oct 19)