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NASA, BOEING AND ULA ANNOUNCE JUNE 1 AS NEW TARGET DATE FOR STARLINER’S CREW FLIGHT TEST NASA, BOEING AND ULA ANNOUNCE JUNE 1 AS NEW TARGET DATE FOR STARLINER’S CREW FLIGHT TEST - NASA is looking at the start of June for its next attempt to launch its astronauts, Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams, on board Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. The announcement came last Wednesday night in a blog post, stating that June 1 will be the earliest that the Crew Flight Test of Starliner can begin. The new launch date has a T-0 liftoff of 12:25 p.m. EDT (1625 UTC). There are also backup opportunities available on Sunday, June 2; Wednesday, June 5; and Thursday, June 6.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 23)


U.S. CLAIMS RECENTLY LAUNCHED RUSSIAN SATELLITE IS AN ASAT U.S. CLAIMS RECENTLY LAUNCHED RUSSIAN SATELLITE IS AN ASAT - The U.S. government claims that a recently launched Russian satellite is a counterspace weapon placed in nearly the same orbit as an American reconnaissance satellite. Amb. Robert Wood, U.S. alternate representative for special political affairs in the United Nations, made the allegation during a May 20 debate by the U.N. Security Council on a Russian resolution proposing a ban on the placement of weapons of any kind in space.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - May 22)


MAINE’S FIRST RESEARCH SATELLITE TO LAUNCH THIS YEAR MAINE’S FIRST RESEARCH SATELLITE TO LAUNCH THIS YEAR - Maine’s first small research satellite, designed to engage middle and high school students in STEM, is expected to launch into orbit within the next couple of months. Firefly Aerospace, a company based in Cedar Rapids, Texas, integrated the nearly one-foot-tall satellite, known as MESAT1, into a rocket to be launched from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in Southern California. The integration was conducted inside Firefly’s clean room in Vandenberg by Joseph Patton, a Ph.D. student at the University of Maine Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Ali Abedi, principal investigator for the project and professor of electrical and computer engineering.   More
(Source: Sun Journal - May 21)


SATELLITE MISSION TO UNRAVEL HOW CLOUDS IMPACT FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGE SATELLITE MISSION TO UNRAVEL HOW CLOUDS IMPACT FUTURE CLIMATE CHANGE - A brand new satellite that will revolutionize our understanding of the role clouds and aerosol particles play in climate change is set to launch after more than 30 years of planning. The EarthCARE satellite is the brainchild of the University of Reading's Professor Anthony Illingworth. Conceived in 1993, the project was adopted by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2004.   More
(Source: Phys.org - May 21)


HOW THE SPACE SHUTTLE COMPLETED A FINAL, DARING HUBBLE REPAIR 15 YEARS AGO HOW THE SPACE SHUTTLE COMPLETED A FINAL, DARING HUBBLE REPAIR 15 YEARS AGO - The Hubble Space Telescope continues to operate to this day in part due to the work performed 15 years ago by the crew of STS-125. Dubbed Hubble Servicing Mission 4 (HSM 4), scientists knew this would be their final chance to use the space shuttle to visit and upgrade the orbiting laboratory. As we look back on the mission, the question remains whether or not Hubble will be visited or repaired again.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - May 21)


BOEING'S TROUBLED STARLINER SPACECRAFT LAUNCH IS DELAYED AGAIN BOEING'S TROUBLED STARLINER SPACECRAFT LAUNCH IS DELAYED AGAIN - The first crewed launch of Boeing's troubled Starliner spacecraft has been delayed again, to May 25, this time because of a helium leak in the service module. NASA had set the liftoff for May 21 after scrubbing a May 6 launch but the helium leak was discovered on Wednesday. While the agency said the leak in the craft's thruster system was stable and wouldn't pose a risk during the flight, "Boeing teams are working to develop operational procedures to ensure the system retains sufficient performance capability and appropriate redundancy during the flight."   More
(Source: NPR - May 21)


BLUE ORIGIN LAUNCHES 1ST CREWED SPACEFLIGHT SINCE AUGUST 2022 BLUE ORIGIN LAUNCHES 1ST CREWED SPACEFLIGHT SINCE AUGUST 2022 - Blue Origin's nearly two-year human spaceflight drought is over. Jeff Bezos' aerospace company launched its NS-25 mission today (May 19), sending six people — including the United States' first-ever Black astronaut candidate — on a brief trip to suborbital space aboard its New Shepard rocket-capsule combo. It was Blue Origin's first space tourism launch since August 2022. That previous mission went well, but the company's next flight, an uncrewed research jaunt that launched a month later, did not: New Shepard suffered a serious anomaly, causing the destruction of the first-stage booster.   More
(Source: Space.com - May 20)


NASA, BOEING FURTHER DELAY STARLINER CREW FLIGHT TEST LAUNCH AMID ONGOING HELIUM LEAK REVIEW NASA, BOEING FURTHER DELAY STARLINER CREW FLIGHT TEST LAUNCH AMID ONGOING HELIUM LEAK REVIEW - Ongoing analysis of a helium leak on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft forced NASA and Boeing to delay the Crew Flight Test mission further. A blog post, issued late on Friday afternoon, announced a new target launch date for Starliner CFT with NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams of no earlier than Saturday, May 25, at 3:09 p.m. EDT (1909 UTC). The spacecraft will launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket from United Launch Alliance to dock with the International Space Station for a roughly eight-day stay before returning to Earth.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 18)


CHINA LAUNCHES NEW MYSTERY SHIYAN SATELLITE CHINA LAUNCHES NEW MYSTERY SHIYAN SATELLITE - China launched the latest in its secretive Shiyan satellite series over the weekend. A Long March 4C rocket lifted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert, northwest China, at 7:43 p.m.EDT on May 11 (2343 GMT, or 7:43 a.m. Beijing time on May 12). Chinese authorities revealed the mission payload to be Shiyan-23 once launch was declared to be successful. Chinese authorities provided no images of the satellite. The only description of the spacecraft states that Shiyan-23 will be used for space environment monitoring.   More
(Source: Space.com - May 18)


SPACEX FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCHES STARLINK SATELLITES ON RECORD 21ST FLIGHT SPACEX FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCHES STARLINK SATELLITES ON RECORD 21ST FLIGHT - A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched for the 21st time tonight (May 17), setting a new reusability record for the company. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 8:32 p.m. EDT (0032 GMT on May 18), sending 23 of SpaceX's Starlink internet satellites toward orbit. The Falcon 9's first stage came back to Earth about 8.5 minutes after liftoff as planned, touching down on the SpaceX drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas, which was stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.   More
(Source: Space.com - May 18)

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