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SPACEX PUSHES FOR FIRST CREW LAUNCH AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC SPACEX PUSHES FOR FIRST CREW LAUNCH AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - Even in the midst of the pandemic, SpaceX and NASA are moving ahead with their plans to launch astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time in mid-to-late May. Why it matters: The launch marks the culmination of years of work for SpaceX and NASA to get Americans flying to orbit from U.S. soil for the first time since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011.   More
(Source: Axios - Mar 26)


CHINA LAUNCHES THREE MILITARY SATELLITES CHINA LAUNCHES THREE MILITARY SATELLITES - Three Chinese military satellites with undisclosed missions rocketed into a 370-mile-high (600-kilometer) orbit Tuesday on a Long March 2C launcher. The classified payloads lifted off at 0343 GMT Tuesday (11:43 p.m. EDT Monday) from the Xichang space center in southwestern China’s Sichuan province, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Xinhua said the three “remote sensing satellites” will be used for “electromagnetic environment detection and related technological tests.” Liftoff occurred at 11:43 a.m. Beijing time Tuesday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 25)


VERY HIGH RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY FROM CLOUDFERRO VERY HIGH RESOLUTION SATELLITE IMAGERY FROM CLOUDFERRO - Satellite images in quality, which until now were only available for the military sector, are already available for all organizations. Very high resolution satellite images (VHR) are available on the CREODIAS.EU platform, where you can search and process Earth observation data. The Polish company CloudFerro, specializing in providing cloud computing services, which is also the operator of cloud platforms providing Earth observation satellite images...   More
(Source: Space Daily - Mar 25)


ULA TARGETING THURSDAY FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE SATELLITE LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL ULA TARGETING THURSDAY FOR U.S. SPACE FORCE SATELLITE LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - Even during a global pandemic U.S. national security launches must go on. On Thursday, United Launch Alliance plans to launch its first communications satellite for the now U.S. Space Force designed to help troops around the world. An Atlas V rocket will blast off Thursday at 2:57 p.m. with the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. The rocket is at Space Launch Complex-41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station awaiting lift off.   More
(Source: WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando - Mar 25)


MILITARY OFFICIALS COMMITTED TO KEEPING CAPE CANAVERAL OPEN FOR LAUNCHES MILITARY OFFICIALS COMMITTED TO KEEPING CAPE CANAVERAL OPEN FOR LAUNCHES - The military-run Eastern Range at Cape Canaveral remains ready to support upcoming launches — including an Atlas 5 flight Thursday — amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Tuesday. The next launch scheduled from Cape Canaveral is set to take off Thursday, when a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carries a U.S. Space Force communications satellite into orbit. Preparations for that mission are on schedule, officials said Tuesday.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Mar 25)


CORONAVIRUS IMPACT: SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW WORLD CITIES BEFORE AND AFTER OUTBREAK CORONAVIRUS IMPACT: SATELLITE IMAGES SHOW WORLD CITIES BEFORE AND AFTER OUTBREAK - This is what it looks like when the world pauses because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before-and-after satellite images starkly show just how much things have changed across the planet as the coronavirus outbreak spread. Images provided by commercial satellite company Planet Labs reveal empty parking lots, beaches, bridges, waterways, and popular tourist and religious destinations in recent days.   More
(Source: CNBC - Mar 24)


BIGELOW AEROSPACE LAYS OFF ENTIRE WORKFORCE BIGELOW AEROSPACE LAYS OFF ENTIRE WORKFORCE - Bigelow Aerospace, the company founded more than two decades ago to develop commercial space habitats, laid off all its employees March 23 in a move caused at least in part by the coronavirus pandemic. According to sources familiar with the company’s activities, Bigelow Aerospace’s 68 employees were informed that they were being laid off, effective immediately. An additional 20 employees were laid off the previous week.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 24)


CHINESE NEW-GENERATION SPACECRAFT MISSION PROCEEDING DESPITE CORONAVIRUS, LONG MARCH 7A FAILURE CHINESE NEW-GENERATION SPACECRAFT MISSION PROCEEDING DESPITE CORONAVIRUS, LONG MARCH 7A FAILURE - The test launch of the Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket carrying a Chinese new-generation spacecraft is going ahead despite the coronavirus outbreak. The prototype new-generation crewed spacecraft payload is designed to be capable of deep space travel, including crewed lunar missions. Measures introduced to contain the COVID-19 outbreak have altered, but not halted, launch preparations.   More
(Source: SpaceNews - Mar 24)


ONEWEB INCREASES MEGA-CONSTELLATION TO 74 SATELLITES ONEWEB INCREASES MEGA-CONSTELLATION TO 74 SATELLITES - A Soyuz rocket lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying 34 more spacecraft into orbit to continue the build-up of the firm's broadband internet constellation. The mission took place despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has limited much space activity elsewhere. It also comes amid rumours the firm may consider seeking bankruptcy protection. A report by Bloomberg on Thursday said OneWeb was examining different options it could use to stave off the difficulties of a cash crunch.    More
(Source: BBC News - Mar 23)


COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS DISRUPT ASTRONAUTS' PREPARATIONS FOR ISS COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS DISRUPT ASTRONAUTS' PREPARATIONS FOR ISS - Traditions that spacefarers have observed for decades have fallen foul of efforts to rein in the coronavirus pandemic as astronauts and cosmonauts face more stringent quarantine measures before they blast into orbit. The next crew bound for the International Space Station, the ultimate destination for self-isolation, will break with ceremony next month and not lay a red carnation at the Kremlin wall where Yuri Gagarin’s ashes are interred.    More
(Source: The Guardian - Mar 23)

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