SENATE PANEL EXTENDS LIFE OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION TO 2030 - A Senate panel approved key reforms Wednesday that will extend the ability for private companies to operate on the International Space Station until 2030.
The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees U.S. space programs, approved the bipartisan Space Frontier Act, sponsored by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Florida), which will streamline "regulations companies have to follow when it comes to launching, reentering or observing Earth from space," according to a joint statement by the committee. More
(Source: WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando - Aug 3)
STUDENTS CHAT WITH ASTRONAUT ABOARD SPACE STATION - High school students in Virginia got to learn Thursday about the challenges of life in microgravity directly from an American astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
During a 20-minute video chat, Drew Feustel discussed the challenges of sleeping, showering and even thinking — it's called "space brain" — aboard the orbiting facility.
And yet his dreams have been pretty normal, he said when questioned about that by a student. More
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 3)
UK COULD DEVELOP INDEPENDENT SATELLITE SYSTEM AFTER LEAVING EU – PROFESSOR - The Guardian has reported that the UK law enforcement and military will continue to access the encrypted signal of the Galileo satellite system post-Brexit.
According to the sources, the EU chief Brexit negotiator is contemplating an offer to the UK that will give London an advantage over the use of the encrypted service compared to other third-party nations. More
(Source: Sputnik International - Aug 2)
CHINA LAUNCHES HIGH-RESOLUTION EARTH OBSERVATION SATELLITE TO MONITOR BRI
- China today successfully launched an optical remote sensing satellite, as part of its high-resolution Earth observation project which will also provide data for the Belt and Road Initiative, official media reported. The Gaofen-11 satellite was launched on a Long March 4B rocket at 11 am (local time) from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern Shanxi Province, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
It was the 282nd flight mission by a Long March carrier rocket.
(Source: Economic Times - Aug 1)
WILDFIRE SMOKE BLANKETS CALIFORNIA IN SATELLITE PHOTO - A dramatic new satellite photo shows the destructive reach of the wildfires raging across California.
The image, which was captured Sunday (July 29) by NASA's Earth-observing Aqua satellite, depicts smoke blanketing much of the Golden State and spreading as far east as Salt Lake City.
Much of that smoke is coming from the Carr Fire, a dangerous and fast-moving blaze centered near the Northern California city of Redding. As of Monday morning (July 30), the Carr Fire had scorched nearly 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares) and was just 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). More
(Source: Space.com - Aug 1)
LONG MARCH 3B SENDS BEIDOU-3 SATELLITE DUO INTO SPACE
- Lifting off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China’s Sichuan Province, a Long March 3B booster orbited a pair of BeiDou-3 spacecraft for the country’s homegrown satellite navigation system.
Thundering off the launch pad at 9:48 p.m. EDT July 28 (01:48 GMT July 29), 2018, the rocket powered its way to a medium-Earth orbit (MEO). The flight lasted more than four hours in order to place the dual payload into its targeted orbital spot.
“China on Sunday sent twin satellites into space via a single carrier rocket, entering a period with unprecedentedly intensive launches of BeiDou satellites,” The Xinhua press agency confirmed nearly seven hours after liftoff.
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Jul 31)
VIRGIN GALACTIC’S ROCKET PLANE CLIMBS CLOSER TO SPACE - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, built to eventually carry commercial passengers to the edge of space, accomplished another powered test flight into the rarefied upper atmosphere Thursday with two pilots on-board.
The two-man team in the cockpit helmed the SpaceShipTwo vehicle, dubbed VSS Unity, as it dropped from the belly of a jet-powered carrier aircraft and ignited for a 42-second firing of its rear-mounted rocket motor, burning a mixture of rubber-based solid fuel — called HTPB — and nitrous oxide. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 30)
ASTRONAUTS CAPTURE THE BLOOD MOON FROM SPACE, AND THE PHOTOS ARE BREATHTAKING - The majority of the world was lucky enough to witness a total lunar eclipse a few hours ago - and not just any lunar eclipse, the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
Incredibly, the Moon was entirely in Earth's shadow (totality), turning it a dark blood red, for a full 1 hour and 43 minutes. Usually a lunar eclipse totality only lasts for around an hour. Throw in the fact that Mars was hanging around nearby and shining brighter than it has in our night sky in 15 years, and it was a pretty spectacular show. More
(Source: ScienceAlert - Jul 30)
TESS’S PLANET HUNT BEGINS - NASA’s newest observatory in space has started its search for planets around other stars, officials said Friday, as astronomers zero in on worlds that are ripe for research by follow-up missions like the James Webb Space Telescope. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite officially began a two-year science mission Wednesday, around three months after its blastoff from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 28)