SPACE STATION ROBOTIC ARM HIT BY ORBITAL DEBRIS IN 'LUCKY STRIKE - A piece of space junk smacked into the robotic arm on the International Space Station, but near-term operations should not be affected, according to the agencies involved.
Robotic operators noticed a hole in the station's Canadarm2 provided by the Canadian Space Agency, which has been in service in orbit since 2001, during a routine inspection on May 12, the CSA officials said in a blog post Friday (May 28). Officials called the hole a "lucky strike" given the relatively small size of the arm, which is 57.7 feet (17.6 meters) long and has a diameter of just 14 inches (35 cm). More
(Source: Space.com - Jun 1)
CHINA'S CARGO SPACECRAFT DOCKS WITH SPACE STATION MODULE - China's cargo spacecraft, carrying supplies, equipment and propellant, docked with the space station's key module Tianhe on Sunday, the official news agency Xinhua reported.
The Tianzhou-2, or "Heavenly Vessel" in Chinese, autonomously rendezvoused and docked with Tianhe at 5:01 a.m. Beijing time, Xinhua said Sunday. More
(Source: CNN - May 31)
ONEWEB SURPASSES 200 SATELLITES WITH SOYUZ LAUNCH - Launching through heavy rainfall, a Soyuz booster vaulted away from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in eastern Russia to place 36 more OneWeb internet satellites into orbit Friday, giving the London-based company a fleet of 218 spacecraft, one-third of its planned constellation.
The 218-satellite constellation is also enough to make OneWeb owner of the second-largest fleet of active satellites in Earth orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 31)
NASA SCHEDULES LIVE COVERAGE OF RUSSIAN SPACEWALK - Two Russian cosmonauts are scheduled to conduct a spacewalk outside the International Space Station Wednesday, June 2, to continue preparing the Pirs docking compartment airlock for undocking and disposal later this year.
Live coverage will begin at 1 a.m. EDT, with the spacewalk beginning about 1:20 a.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app. More
(Source: NASA - May 28)
TECHNICAL ISSUE DELAYS LAUNCH OF SEVENTH BATCH OF ONEWEB SATELLITES FROM VOSTOCHNY - The seventh batch of OneWeb satellites were set to fly on a Soyuz 2.1b rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia on Wednesday, May 27. However, the launch has been delayed to a backup opportunity due to “technical reasons,” and a new launch target is to be confirmed.
In collaboration with Arianespace, Starsem, and Roscosmos, this mission will add 36 spacecraft to OneWeb’s growing satellite internet constellation. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - May 28)
SEVENTH BATCH OF ONEWEB SATELLITES READY TO LAUNCH FROM VOSTOCHNY - As early as May 27 at 17:43 UTC, the seventh batch of OneWeb satellites are set to fly on a Soyuz 2.1b rocket from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia. Launched in collaboration with Arianespace, Starsem, and Roscosmos, this mission will add 36 spacecraft to OneWeb’s growing satellite internet constellation.
Since the company’s first operational mission in February 2020, this launch will bring the constellation’s total strength to 218 satellites, progressing towards the goal of 650 spacecraft on orbit for global coverage. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - May 27)
SPACEX CARGO MISSION TO CARRY WATER BEARS, BABY SQUIDS TO SPACE STATION - SpaceX's 22nd cargo resupply mission, slated to launch no earlier than June 3, will see several unique science experiments -- involving water bears, baby squids and kidney stones -- ferried to the International Space Station.
Like so many experiments before them, the bulk of the experimental setups being carried aboard SpaceX CRS-22 are designed to illuminate the health risks facing astronauts. More
(Source: UPI.com - May 27)
IF A SATELLITE FALLS ON YOUR HOUSE, SPACE LAW PROTECTS YOU - On May 8, 2021, a piece of space junk from a Chinese rocket fell uncontrolled back to Earth and landed in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives. A year ago, in May 2020, another Chinese rocket met the same fate when it plummeted out of control into the waters off the West African coast. No one knew when or where either of these pieces of space junk were going to hit, so it was a relief when neither crashed on land or injured anyone. More
(Source: Astronomy Magazine - May 27)
FIRST PHASE OF SPACEX’S STARLINK NETWORK NEARS COMPLETION WITH FALCON 9 LAUNCH - The launch of 60 more Starlink satellites Wednesday from Cape Canaveral could give SpaceX enough spacecraft to complete the first layer of its privately-funded global internet network, but the company shows no signs of slowing its launch cadence this summer.
With Wednesday’s launch, SpaceX has delivered 1,737 Starlink internet satellites to orbit. But that number includes prototypes and failed spacecraft no longer part of the operational constellation. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - May 27)