SPACEX LAUNCHES 10 MORE IRIDIUM SATELLITES - Just three days after launching a heavyweight communications satellite from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX fired off another Falcon 9 rocket from California early Wednesday carrying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, the latest additions to a nearly complete $3 billion network of satellite telephone relay stations.
The rocket's first stage, meanwhile, the third enhanced "block 5" version of the booster, flew itself to a landing on a SpaceX droneship "Just Read The Instructions," a company spokesman said, chalking up the California rocket builder's 15th successful recovery and 27th overall. More
(Source: CBS News - Jul 26)
ARIANE 5 ROCKET LAUNCHES 4 NAVIGATION SATELLITES FOR EUROPE - An Ariane 5 rocket launched four European navigation satellites into orbit today (July 25), bringing the total number of satellites in Europe's Galileo navigation system up to 26.
The two-stage rocket, built by the European launch provider Arianespace, lifted off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, at 7:25 a.m. EDT (1125 GMT, 8:25 a.m. local time). A few minutes later, the rocket's two solid boosters separated and fell into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Peru, and the payload fairing jettisoned from the rocket's second stage. [ More
(Source: Space.com - Jul 25)
NOAA: ISSUES WITH NEW WEATHER SATELLITE 'DISAPPOINTING' BUT CONFIDENT IT'LL MEET NEEDS - Scientists with NOAA say they've got a good plan in place to deal with issues that cropped up on the new GOES-17 weather satellite that launched earlier this year.
GOES-17 is the second of four planned new advanced weather satellites giving weather forecasters a treasure trove of new data at higher resolutions and more frequent updates.
GOES-16 successfully launched in 2017 and went operational last fall over the East Coast and has already paid great dividends, among other things, helping save lives during Hurricane Harvey. GOES-17 is tasked to cover the West Coast. More
(Source: Fox Baltimore - Jul 25)
BOEING FACES SIGNIFICANT SETBACK WITH SPACECRAFT IT'S DESIGNING TO FLY NASA ASTRONAUTS - The spacecraft Boeing plans to use to fly NASA astronauts to the International Space Station suffered a significant setback when, during a test of its emergency abort system in June, officials discovered a propellant leak, the company confirmed.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Boeing said that is has "been conducting a thorough investigation with assistance from our NASA and industry partners. We are confident we found the cause and are moving forward with corrective action." The leak is likely to delay its launch schedule, and is another setback for a program that has faced a series of problems. It also comes as Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce the crews for the first missions during a ceremony in early August at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. More
(Source: Chicago Tribune - Jul 25)
SPACEX DELIVERS FOR TELESAT WITH SUCCESSFUL EARLY MORNING LAUNCH - An upgraded model of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket fired into orbit early Sunday from Florida’s Space Coast, hoisting a record-setting 7.8-ton (nearly 7.1-metric ton) communications satellite for Telesat toward its planned perch more than 22,000 miles over the equator. Riding a red-hot rocket plume from its nine Merlin 1D engines, the 229-foot-tall (70-meter) Falcon 9 rocket climbed away from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 40 launch pad at 1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) Sunday. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 23)
RECORD-SETTING COMMERCIAL SATELLITE AWAITS BLASTOFF FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - A huge U.S.-built, Canadian-owned communications satellite weighing 15,600 pounds, the heaviest spacecraft of its kind ever launched, is mounted to a Falcon 9 rocket for liftoff early Sunday from Cape Canaveral on a heavy-lifting mission that previously would have required SpaceX to throw away the launcher’s first stage booster. The Telstar 19 VANTAGE spacecraft is set to kick off a 15-year mission beaming broadband services across the Americas, and connecting airline passengers to WiFi over the North Atlantic Ocean. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jul 22)
FACEBOOK CONFIRMS IT'S WORKING ON A NEW INTERNET SATELLITE - Fiber optic cables are the gold standard of a good internet connection, but laying them can be expensive, and in some parts of the world, a physically daunting task. So in remote corners of the globe, people often connect to the internet instead via massive geostationary satellites. These school bus-size instruments are especially far away, producing significantly slower connections. A host of companies believe the better way to connect the estimated half of Earth’s population that’s still offline is to launch “constellations” of smaller satellites into low Earth orbit, around 100 to 1,250 miles above our planet. More
(Source: WIRED - Jul 21)
WATCH THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION POOP OUT A TINY SATELLITE THAT WILL SEARCH FOR MATTER - You might think of satellites as large, imposing spacecraft that cruise through Earth’s orbit like hulking beasts, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Many modern satellites are tiny in size, but they do lots of very important work, and the International Space Station just dropped another one above Australia. Its mission will be to find missing matter.
The mini satellite is called a CubeSat because, well, it’s shaped like a box, and this particular CubeSat is going to peer into the Milky Way and study its halo. What’s a galaxy halo? Well, dear reader, I’m so glad you asked! More
(Source: BGR - Jul 20)
BROWN UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADS LAUNCH THE LITTLE DIY SATELLITE THAT COULD - For Max Monn, and three fellow engineering students at Brown University, it all started as just another project in just another undergraduate class back in 2012. The assignment?
"Developing a mission plan for a space related project," explained Monn.
Keep in mind that developing the plan, in this class, was simply a theoretical learning exercise. As such, most students tend to opt for imaginative, pie-in-the sky type proposals like a new space station or a giant telescope. But inspired by a professor, who Monn calls "a self-described aerospace anarchist," Monn and his three friends wanted to "focus small." More
(Source: wgbh.org - Jul 19)