CRACKS FOUND ON THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ARE A 'FAIRLY SERIOUS ISSUE,' A FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT SAYS - Cracks are appearing on the International Space Station, and retired NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd says they're a "fairly serious issue."
After Russian cosmonauts spotted the cracks on the station's Zarya module, Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the Russian segment of the ISS, publicly revealed the discovery in August. The cracks don't pose a danger to astronauts at this time, NASA says, and the agency told Insider last month that nobody had identified "new potential leak sites" on the station. More
(Source: Business Insider - Sep 23)
SPACE STATION CREW TO RELOCATE SOYUZ, MAKE ROOM FOR NEW CREWMATES - Three residents of the International Space Station will take a short ride aboard a Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft Tuesday, Sept. 28, relocating the spacecraft to prepare for the arrival of the next set of station crew members.
Expedition 65 flight engineers Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos will undock from the station’s Earth-facing Rassvet module at 8:21 a.m. EDT. They will dock again at the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module at 9 a.m. More
(Source: NASA - Sep 23)
SAVES LIVES AND PROTECTS… EXPRESS-AM5 SATELLITE WILL WARN ABOUT SEISMIC ACTIVITY - The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) and an international service provider Hunter Communications have put in place communication channels to monitor the Earth’s seismic activity. High-precision seismometers are installed in a number of regions of Yakutia, transmitting data via the Express-AM5 communications and broadcasting satellite located in geostationary orbit at 140° E. More
(Source: SatNews - Sep 22)
SPACE DEVELOPMENT AGENCY APPROVES DESIGN FOR SATELLITES THAT CAN TRACK HYPERSONIC WEAPONS - The Space Development Agency has approved design plans for its new missile warning satellites, which will be capable of detecting and tracking hypersonic weapons.
L3Harris Technologies announced Sept. 20 that the agency had completed preliminary design review of their satellites, marking an important milestone as the company prepares for production of the spacecraft. L3Harris will continue development of the missile warning satellites as it works toward critical design review. More
(Source: C4ISRNet - Sep 22)
SATELLITE SWARMS MAY OUTSHINE THE NIGHT SKY’S NATURAL CONSTELLATIONS - Fleets of private satellites orbiting Earth will be visible to the naked eye in the next few years, sometimes all night long.
Companies like SpaceX and Amazon have launched hundreds of satellites into low orbits since 2019, with plans to launch thousands more in the works — a trend that’s alarming astronomers. The goal of these satellite “mega-constellations” is to bring high-speed internet around the globe, but these bright objects threaten to disrupt astronomers’ ability to observe the cosmos (SN: 3/12/20). More
(Source: Science News - Sep 21)
TIANZHOU SHIP LAUNCHES AND DOCKS WITH CHINESE SPACE STATION - An unpiloted Chinese cargo ship launched and docked with the Tiangong space station Monday, delivering supplies to support the next three-person crew on the complex for six months after their arrival in October.
The automated Tianzhou 3 supply freighter took off from the Wenchang launch base on Hainan Island — China’s southernmost province — at 3:10 a.m. EDT (0710 GMT; 3:10 p.m. Beijing time) Monday, according to the China Manned Space Agency. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 21)
SPACE COMMUNITY PONDERS RIGHT-OF-WAY RULES FOR SPACE TRAFFIC - The growing number of satellites in orbit is leading to calls to develop formal “right of way” rules, although there is no consensus on what those rules should be and how they should be established.
Several close approaches of satellites in recent years, in some cases exacerbated by disagreements or communications breakdowns between satellite operators, demonstrate the lack of guidelines today and the need to develop them as megaconstellations proliferate. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Sep 20)
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)