ASTRA 2G COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE LAUNCH DELAYED DUE TO FAULTY PROTON - The 7th Proton rocket launch of 2014 and the 400th launch overall for the venerable booster, since first lifting off in 1965, was set for flight at 03:24 a.m. (4:24 p.m. EST) on Nov. 28, from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Proton M variant of the launch vehicle, contracted under an International Launch Services (ILS) agreement, was set fly with a Breeze-M upper stage and take to the skies from Pad 39 with the Astra-2G satellite on board. Today, technicians discovered a fault in the vehicle's control system, and decided to postpone the mission. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Insider - Nov 27)
ISRO TO LAUNCH COMMUNICATION SATELLITE GSAT-16 ON DECEMBER 5 - GSAT-16 communication satellite would be launched onboard Ariane 5 from French Guiana in the early hours of December 4 (Dec 5 in Indian time), a senior Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) official was quoted as saying to PTI on Wednesday.
The official added that the exact time of the launch would be announced soon.
GSAT-16 will be the 11th among GSAT series of Indian communication satellites and will have a mission life of more than 12 years.
GSAT-16 is similar to GSAT-15 with each satellite weighing 3,150 kg and having power generation capacity of 6.8 kW. More
(Source: Zee News - Nov 27)
ANTARES ROCKET FAILURE PUSHES TINY SATELLITE COMPANY TO HITCH RIDE WITH SPACEX - The various companies that had stuff sitting on the failed Orbital Sciences Antares rocket launch last month are busy looking for alternatives. One example is Planet Labs, which is best known for deploying dozens of tiny satellites from the International Space Station this year.
The company lost 26 satellites in the explosion. But within nine days of the Oct. 28 event, Planet Labs had a partial backup plan-send two replacements last-minute on an upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 launch.
(Source: Phys.Org - Nov 26)
GERMAN SATELLITE CRASHES IN SAUDI - A German satellite which was put in orbit by a Russian rocket in 2008 has crashed in Saudi Arabia but there were no reports of any damage.
Newspapers said the 1.5-tonne satellite fell on Saudi territory at 04:36 am on Sunday and that debris was scattered over many areas in central and south Saudi Arabia.
Sabq newspaper quoted Saudi astronomer Mohammed Shawkat Awdi as saying most of the 6.5-metre satellite, which was launched by Russia's Cosmos 3M rocket, burned in space before parts of it reached earth. More
(Source: Emirates 24/7 - Nov 25)
ANOTHER GLONASS SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED FROM PLESETSK SPACE SITE DECEMBER 1 - The next launch of Russian navigation satellite GLONASS-K from the northern Plesetsk space site, located in Russia's Arkhangelsk region, is scheduled for December 1, Russian space agency Roscosmos told TASS on Monday.
"Another GLONASS-K satellite will be put into orbit by Soyuz 2.1b Russian carrier rocket from Plesetsk space site on December 1 at approximately 00:52am Moscow time (November 30, 9:52pm GMT)", Roscosmos official said. More
(Source: ITAR-TASS - Nov 25)
FRESH CREW ARRIVES AT SPACE STATION - Five hours and 47 minutes after a sky-lighting launch from Kazakhstan, a Russian Soyuz ferry craft carrying a crew of three representing Russia, the United States and Italy, glided to a smooth docking at the International Space Station late Sunday, boosting the lab's crew back to six and setting the stage for a busy winter of research and spacewalk assembly work.
As the two spacecraft sailed 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean approaching the coast of South America, Soyuz TMA-15M commander Anton Shkaplerov, flanked on the left by European Space Agency flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti and on the right by NASA astronaut Terry Virts, monitored an autonomous approach to the Earth-facing Rassvet module, moving in for docking at 9:48 p.m. EST. More
(Source: CBS News - Nov 24)
THREE-PERSON CREW BLASTS OFF FROM BAIKONUR - Braving near-zero temperatures, a workhorse Soyuz rocket carrying a crew of three - a veteran cosmonaut, a NASA shuttle pilot and an Italian fighter pilot making her first space flight - vaulted into orbit Sunday, kicking off a six-hour rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Launching almost directly into the plane of the station's orbit, Soyuz TMA-15M commander Anton Shkaplerov, flanked on the left by European Space Agency flight engineer Samantha Cristoforetti and on the right by NASA astronaut Terry Virts, lifted off from complex 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:01 p.m. EST (GMT-5; 3:01 a.m. Monday local time). More
(Source: SpaceFlight.com - Nov 23)
CHINA LAUNCHES FOR THE SECOND TIME IN 24 HOURS - A mysterious new Chinese rocket lifted off Friday and put a small satellite several hundred miles above Earth, marking China's second space launch in less than 24 hours.
China's state-run media outlets released few details on the mission, which launched from the Jiuquan space center in northwest China's Gobi desert.
The Kuaizhou 2 spacecraft launched at 0637 GMT (1:37 a.m. EST) Friday, or 2:37 p.m. Beijing time, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.
The Jiuquan space base was the starting point for another Chinese rocket launch less than 24 hours earlier, when a Long March 2D rocket placed a military reconnaissance payload int orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 23)
TWO JAPANESE SATELLITES WILL CARRY HAM RADIO PAYLOADS INTO DEEP SPACE THIS MONTH - Two Amateur Radio satellites, Shin'en 2 (Abyss 2) and ARTSAT2: DESPATCH, will be heading into deep space this month. The satellites will hitch a ride with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa 2 asteroid mission, which is scheduled to launch on November 29.
A 17 kg, 50 cm diameter polyhedron, Shin'en 2, developed by Kyushu Institute of Technology and Kagoshima University, will carry into deep space an F1D digital store-and-forward transponder, but not the Amateur Radio Mode J linear transponder announced earlier. A linear transponder had been part of the initial design, but Hideo Kambayashi, JH3XCU, said that Japanese regulations would not allow it and that it would have taken a long time to negotiate a variance with regulatory authorities. More
(Source: ARRL - Nov 20)
CHINESE MILITARY SATELLITE LAUNCHED BY LONG MARCH ROCKET - China launched a Long March rocket last week with a satellite Western analysts believe will conduct all-weather global radar surveillance for the Chinese military.
The Long March 2C rocket lifted off at 1853 GMT (1:53 p.m. EST) Friday from the Taiyuan launch base in northern China's Shanxi province. Launch occurred at 2:53 a.m. Beijing time Saturday, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
The Yaogan 23 spacecraft carried on top of the two-stage Long March 2C booster is flying more than 300 miles above Earth in an orbit over the poles tilted 97.3 degrees to the equator, according to tracking data acquired by the U.S. Air Force's Space Surveillance Network. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 19)