STARLINK ALREADY THREATENS OPTICAL ASTRONOMY. NOW, RADIO ASTRONOMERS ARE WORRIED - The 197 radio astronomy dishes of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in South Africa will sit within a radio-quiet zone the size of Pennsylvania where even a cellphone is forbidden, to preserve the array’s views of the heavens. Yet that precaution won’t save the telescope, due to be completed in the late 2020s, from what may soon be overhead: tens of thousands of communications satellites beaming down radio signals straight from the heavens. “The sky will be full of these things,” says SKA Director General Phil Diamond. More
(Source: ScienceMag.org - Oct 14)
NASA ADVANCES PLAN TO COMMERCIALIZE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - The planned launch of a private commercial airlock to the International Space Station in November will accelerate NASA's plan to turn the station into a hub of private industry, space agency officials said.
The commercialization plan also includes the launch of a private habitat and laboratory by 2024 and a project NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced on Twitter in May in which actor Tom Cruise will film a movie in space. More
(Source: UPI.com - Oct 13)
NASA TO LAUNCH KARUR STUDENTS’ SATELLITE - An experimental satellite developed by three students of Karur has been selected for launch in sub-orbital space by NASA.
It took more than two years of research and development for M. Adnaan of Thanthonrimalai, M. Kesavan of Nagampalli village near Malaikovilur and V. Arun of Thennilai to design and develop the satellite that outsmarted a number of satellites developed by aspiring space scientists to win the global competition conducted by the Cubes in Space, a programme of Idoodledu Inc in association with NASA. More
(Source: The Hindu - Oct 13)
A SECOND LIFE FOR A DEFUNCT BILLION-DOLLAR WEATHER SATELLITE - The GOES series of weather satellites (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites) were first launched in 1974 with GOES-1.
In addition to pictures of the clouds, they provide critical inputs into the computer weather models that help forecast the weather around the globe. These variables include snow cover, water vapor, sunspot activity, even upper-air wind data to help hurricane forecasts. More
(Source: Bay News 9 - Oct 13)
RUSSIAN ROCKET FOR NEXT SPACE STATION CREW TRANSFERRED TO LAUNCH PAD - A Russian Soyuz booster arrived at its launch pad on the Kazakh steppe Sunday, the last stop before liftoff Wednesday with a three-person crew bound for the International Space Station.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket emerged from its assembly building at sunrise Sunday for the railroad trek to pad 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. After the Soyuz reached the pad, hydraulic cylinders raised the three-stage rocket vertical and gantry arms folded into position around the launcher. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)
CHINA LAUNCHES GAOFEN-13 OBSERVATION SATELLITE TOWARDS GEOSTATIONARY ORBIT - Chinese Earth observation Gaofen-13 is on its way to a geostationary orbit after successful launch on a Long March 3B from Xichang Oct. 11.
The Long March 3B lifted off from Xichang, southwest China at 12:57 p.m. Eastern. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) confirmed launch success just over an hour later (Chinese). More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 12)
SPACEX CREW LAUNCH DELAYED TO ASSESS MERLIN ENGINE CONCERN - NASA said Saturday that the launch of four astronauts on SpaceX’s first operational Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station has been delayed from Oct. 31 until “no sooner than early-to-mid November,” allowing time for SpaceX to resolve an issue with Falcon 9 rocket engines that halted a recent launch attempt with a GPS navigation satellite. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 11)
RADAR IMAGERY RELEASED FROM CAPELLA’S SEQUOIA SATELLITE - Capella Space has released the first images from its Sequoia radar remote sensing spacecraft, a commercial imaging platform that launched in August as the first of a constellation that could number 36 radar observation satellites.
The roughly 220-pound (100-kilogram) Sequoia satellite lifted off Aug. 30 from New Zealand on a Rocket Lab Electron launcher. Since then, Capella has deployed the satellite’s radar reflector antenna to a diameter of about 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) and begun collecting imagery. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 10)
STARTUP SEEKS TO AUTOMATE PROCESS OF AVOIDING SATELLITE COLLISIONS - A startup is using an initial round of funding to build up tools it believes will provide more accurate notifications of potential collisions for satellite operators.
Kayhan Space, based in Boulder, Colorado, announced Oct. 6 it closed a $600,000 “pre-seed” round, led by an Atlanta-based venture capital firm, Overline. Other participants in the round included Techstars and Dylan Taylor. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Oct 9)