NASA ASTRONAUTS SPLASHDOWN IN SPACEX CAPSULE AS HISTORIC MISSION RETURNS TO EARTH - NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico in a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Sunday, ending a historic two-month trip to space.
The mission marked the first time that astronauts have launched from American soil since the final Space Shuttle flight in 2011.
After deploying two drogue parachutes and then the capsule’s main parachutes, the spacecraft landed off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., at 2:48 p.m. EDT. More
(Source: Fox News - Aug 2)
CHINA SAYS IT HAS COMPLETED A NAVIGATION NETWORK THAT COULD RIVAL THE U.S. GPS - China is celebrating the completion of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System that could rival the U.S. Global Positioning System and significantly boost China’s security and geopolitical clout.
President Xi Jinping, the leader of the ruling Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army, officially commissioned the system Friday at a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
That followed a declaration that the 55th and final geostationary satellite in the constellation launched June 23 was operating after having completed all tests. More
(Source: TIME - Aug 2)
HISTORY-MAKING NASA-SPACEX ASTRONAUTS UNDOCK FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, SET FOR SPLASHDOWN - Two months after a history-making launch, the first NASA-SpaceX astronauts have undocked from the space station and are set for splashdown on Sunday.
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, who left Earth on May 30, undocked from the International Space Station at about 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and will splash down off the coast of Florida at 2:48 p.m. ET on Sunday. Their journey will be broadcast live by NASA. More
(Source: ABC News - Aug 2)
ARIANE 5 ROCKET RETURNING TO HANGAR FOR SENSOR SWAP - Arianespace is returning an Ariane 5 rocket — loaded with three U.S.-built satellites — back to its final assembly building in French Guiana to replace a suspect sensor on the vehicle that prompted officials to cancel a launch attempt Friday. Arianespace said Saturday the troubleshooting will take several days.
The European-built launcher was set for takeoff Friday from the Guiana Space Center on the northeastern shore of South America. But the automated countdown stopped around two minutes prior to launch time after a problem with a sensor on the Ariane 5’s first stage liquid hydrogen tank. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 2)
ARIANE 5 SCRUBS LAUNCH OF MISSION EXTENSION VEHICLE, TWO COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES TO ORBIT - An Ariane 5 rocket, operated by European Launch Service provider ArianeSpace, scrubbed ahead of its 109th scheduled flight, designated VA253.
The heavy lift rocket was scheduled to launch from pad Ensemble de Lancement Ariane 3 (ELA-3) at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 21:30 UTC (17:30 EDT) on 31 July 2020. However, a hold was called – related to the Ground Support Equipment (GSE) under two minutes to launch. Efforts to return to the countdown within the launch window were unsuccessful, resulting in a scrub. A second attempt is planned on Saturday. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Aug 1)
SPACEX TO LAUNCH RESCHEDULED SATELLITE MISSION FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - SpaceX once again is slated to launch its 10th Starlink mission in the early morning hours on Saturday, Aug. 1, after postponing the flight a couple of times.
The mission is scheduled for 3:21 a.m. Eastern time from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida carrying 57 Starlink satellites that will bring the burgeoning constellation to nearly 600 satellites. More
(Source: Orlando Business Journal - Aug 1)
AMAZON GAINS FCC APPROVAL FOR KUIPER INTERNET SATELLITE CONSTELLATION AND COMMITS $10 BILLION TO THE PROJECT - Amazon has received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch and operate a planned constellation of 3,236 internet satellites. That’s the backbone of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, an initiative to create a satellite-based broadband internet service designed to provide high-speed, low-latency connections to U.S.-based households that currently don’t have great access to a high-speed connection. More
(Source: TechCrunch - Aug 1)
CREW DRAGON ASTRONAUTS READY FOR RE-ENTRY, SPLASHDOWN - With Hurricane Isaias threatening Florida’s East Coast, astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken are awaiting a go-ahead on plans to undock from the International Space Station Saturday, setting up a fiery plunge to splashdown Sunday, presumably in the Gulf of Mexico, to close out a 64-day flight. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Aug 1)
PROTON LAUNCHES TWO RUSSIAN COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES - The first Proton launch of the year took place July 30 carrying two satellites for the Russian Satellite Communications Company.
Proton lifted off at 5:25 p.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on an 18-hour mission to deploy the geostationary satellites, Express-80 and Express-103, according to Roscosmos. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jul 31)