SPACEX LAUNCHES GLOBALSTAR SATELLITE ON MYSTERIOUS FALCON 9 MISSION - SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket on a secretive mission in the early hours of Sunday morning. Liftoff occurred at 12:27 AM EDT (04:27 UTC) from Space Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, with the rocket’s official mission being the deployment of a single replacement satellite for communications operator Globalstar.
The Globalstar-2 FM15 spacecraft was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space as part of Globalstar’s second-generation constellation of low Earth orbit (LEO) communications satellites. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jun 19)
ASTRONOMERS RENEW CONCERNS ABOUT STARLINK SATELLITE BRIGHTNESS - As SpaceX gears up for another launch of Starlink satellites, astronomers are concerned the company maybe backsliding in its efforts to reduce the brightness of those satellites.
A Falcon 9 is scheduled to lift off at 12:08 p.m. Eastern June 17 from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, placing 53 Starlink satellites into orbit. This mission will bring the total number of Starlink satellites launched to more than 2,700, with more than 2,450 in orbit. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 18)
THE US HAS A NATIONAL STRATEGY TO PUT FACTORIES IN SPACE - The US government wants to see more of the expensive hardware in space maintained and even built there, rather than back on Earth.
Space activities add billions to the US economy, but the inability to build in orbit limits that contribution. Now, new technologies developed by the US government and private firms are showing what it will take to begin servicing, assembling, and even manufacturing in space. Experts say it is the path toward orbiting factories and long-term habitation on the Moon. More
(Source: Quartz - Jun 17)
NASA ASSIGNS 2 ASTRONAUTS TO FLY ON BOEING STARLINER'S 1ST CREWED MISSION - We now know who will get to take Boeing's Starliner capsule out for its first crewed test ride.
NASA astronauts Barry "Butch" Wilmore and Suni Williams will fly on Crew Flight Test (CFT), Starliner's first crewed mission to the International Space Station, the agency announced today (June 16). Wilmore will command the mission, with Williams serving as pilot and fellow NASA astronaut Mike Fincke training as backup pilot. More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 17)
LIFE SCIENCE, DEBRIS AVOIDANCE MANEUVER TAKES PLACE ON STATION - The Expedition 67 crew studied advanced physics, continued its human research, and worked on space gardening inside the International Space Station on Thursday. The orbital residents are also readying the Cygnus space freighter for its departure next week.
NASA Flight Engineer Jessica Watkins split her day between physics research hardware and sample processing. More
(Source: NASA - Jun 17)
TENSIONS MOUNT BETWEEN RUSSIA AND EUROPE OVER JOINT SPEKTR-RG TELESCOPE - The Russian scientific community is speaking out unanimously against the unauthorized activation of the German eROSITA telescope aboard the Russian Spektr-RG space observatory, as suggested by Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin.
Spektr-RG, which stands for Spectrum + Röntgen + Gamma, the Russian-German high-energy astrophysics space observatory, was launched on 13 July 2019. It has two telescopes on board: the primary one, eROSITA, built by the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany... More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Jun 16)
D-ORBIT CHARTS AMBITIOUS COURSE FOR SPACE LOGISTICS BUSINESS - Space logistics company D-Orbit announced a $2 million contract June 9 with the European Space Agency to upgrade production of its ION Satellite Carrier.
It was the latest win for the Italian firm with ambitious plans to offer a wide range of satellite services from active debris removal to space-based cloud computing. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 16)
CARGO DRAGON LAUNCH RESCHEDULED FOR JULY AFTER IDENTIFYING HYDRAZINE LEAK - A SpaceX cargo Dragon mission to the International Space Station will now launch no earlier than July 11, a delay of more than a month after engineers identified the source of elevated hydrazine readings in the spacecraft.
In a statement late June 13, NASA said that agency officials met with SpaceX to discuss the status of the investigation into elevated vapor readings of monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) detected earlier this month after the spacecraft was fueled ahead of a launch then planned for June 10. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jun 15)
MOMENTUS ORBITAL TRANSFER VEHICLE SUFFERS POWER PROBLEM AFTER LAUNCH - The first test flight of a commercial orbital transfer vehicle from Momentus is suffering from a problem with its solar panels after launching last month on a SpaceX rocket, and the company said Monday that its confidence in completing the spacecraft’s demonstrations has “substantially declined.” More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jun 15)