SPACEX COULD TRY TO LAND ROCKET IN CALIFORNIA LATER THIS YEAR - A recent federal regulatory filing by SpaceX suggests the company may attempt to return a Falcon 9 rocket booster to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California for the first time later this year. Landing a Falcon 9 rocket stage at a new onshore recovery pad at Vandenberg would be a new step in SpaceX’s plans to retrieve and reuse boosters. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 7)
POLLUTERS EXPOSED BY NEW EYE IN THE SKY SATELLITE - They say the local smelting industry produces 1% of all the sulphur dioxide (SO₂) going into the air globally, something close to two million tonnes a year.
SO₂ is particularly unpleasant if breathed in; but it also washes out of the sky as "acid rain", damaging plant-life and denuding the quality of water in streams and rivers.
The extent of Norilsk's pollution problem is captured in remarkable new maps from Europe's Sentinel-5P satellite.
The spacecraft was put up last year to track the gases responsible for dirty air - with SO₂ being one of the prime culprits. More
(Source: BBC News - Jul 6)
HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY FROM THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION! - The International Space Station is, as its name implies, a common ground for astronauts from many different countries, but that doesn’t stop them from having a little bit of festive fun on the Fourth of July. There is currently a trio of American astronauts aboard the space station, and they’ve taken it upon themselves to do a little bit of red, white, and blue redecorating.
In honor of Independence Day, the Advanced Plant Habitat on the space station has been given a bit of a makeover, with an LED lighting array switched over from its usual hues to an American flag pattern. It looks pretty darn cool. More
(Source: BGR - Jul 5)
AIRBUS: ESA PLANETARY RESEARCH SATELLITE ON TRACK FOR LAUNCH - Airbus completed construction and integration of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Characterising Exoplanet Satellite (CHEOPS) at its Madrid-Barajas facility in Spain, putting the satellite on track for its scheduled launch on an Arianespace Soyuz rocket later this year.
CHEOPS will now be sent to France, Switzerland and The Netherlands for a comprehensive test campaign that will start July 9 and include a complete set of functional and environmental tests to ensure that the spacecraft is fit for launch. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Jul 4)
RUSSIA TO LAUNCH NEXT-GENERATION SATELLITE
- Russia plans to launch the next-generation Glonass-K2 satellite aboard a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket from the Plesetsk spaceport in the country’s north or aboard an Angara rocket from the Vostochny cosmodrome in the Russian Far East in 2022, Information Satellite Systems CEO Nikolai Testoyedov told TASS on Monday.
Information Satellite Systems is the producer of Glonass satellites.
Chief Designer of Russia’s Glonass global satellite navigation system Sergei Karutin earlier said that the designing of the Glonass-K2 satellite had been completed.
(Source: TASS - Jul 3)
DRAGON CAPSULE REACHES SPACE STATION WITH THREE TONS OF CARGO - A commercial cargo carrier owned and operated by SpaceX pulled into port at the International Space Station on Monday, three days after launching from Cape Canaveral with a NASA Earth science instrument, a spare hand for the lab’s Canadian robotic arm, and an AI-powered helper bot for the research lab’s six-person crew.
Completing a high-flying cargo delivery with a leisurely laser-guided final approach, the Dragon spacecraft arrived at the space station at 6:54 a.m. EDT (1054 GMT) Monday as the lab’s robotic arm grasped the supply ship. More
(Source: SoaceFlight Now - Jul 3)
NEW SATELLITE LAUNCH TO HELP FAST-TRACK DIGITAL INDIA, SAYS EXPERT - The launch of a new mega satellite providing coverage over Asia will help fast-track Digital India and financial inclusion initiatives, according to a leading satellite industry expert.
Deepak Mathur, Executive Vice-President, Global Sales at SES Video, said the successful launch of SES-12 recently would help support India's growing direct-to-home (DTH) TV market, as more and more consumers in rural India embrace the medium.
"The satellite will be able to help accelerate the country's push towards a Digital India, the government's vision to digitally empower India and transform connectivity in the country," said Mathur.
(Source: Times of India - Jul 2)
EUROPEAN FIRM ARIANESPACE TO MISS 2018 SATELLITE LAUNCH TARGET - Arianespace expects its satellite launches in 2018 to fall short of a record target, hobbled partly by a data glitch that sent a rocket off course earlier this year, the chief executive of the European company told Reuters on Wednesday. The firm’s plans for record 14 launches suffered a setback when its Ariane 5 rocket deposited two satellites in the wrong orbit in January after being fed with incorrect data and an issue with satellite availability postponed a May takeoff. More
(Source: Reuters - Jun 30)
SPACEX LAUNCHES AI-ENABLED ROBOT COMPANION, VEGETATION MONITOR TO SPACE STATION - A commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule packed with a robot assistant for the International Space Station’s crew, pouches of extra strong coffee, and a NASA science instrument designed to track the health of plants on Earth left Cape Canaveral aboard a Falcon 9 rocket Friday on a three-day pursuit of the orbiting research lab. Riding a plume of orange rocket exhaust, the Falcon 9 launcher climbed into a clear pre-sunrise sky after liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad at 5:42:42 a.m. EDT (0942:42 GMT), roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carried the spaceport under the International Space Station’s orbital track. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Noow - Jun 30)