FRANCE MANEUVERS INTEL SATELLITE TO AVOID DEAD WEATHER SPACECRAFT - One of four French electronic-intelligence satellites flying in formation in low Earth orbit was forced to perform a collision-avoidance maneuver after U.S. and French space-tracking radars determined that it was on a collision course with a large piece of orbital debris, the French air force said.
The satellite that had to be moved is one of four identical 120-kilogram Elisa demonstrator satellites launched into a 694-kilometer low Earth orbit in December 2011.
With both French naval and German ground-based precision space-surveillance radars out of service for several months for maintenance, the French military deployed two of its own, less-precise ground radars, located in Sommepy in northeast France and Solenzara on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, to track what the French air force said was a dead satellite. More
(Source: Space News - Apr 24)
CALTECH CARGO LAUNCHED TO SPACE STATION - When the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission launched to the International Space Station April 18, an experiment designed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Pasadena, Calif., was among the cargo headed to space.
The experiment, Crystallization of Huntingtin Exon 1 Using Microgravity (CASIS PCG HDPCG-1), investigates the crystallization of huntingtin, a protein associated with Huntington's disease that has evaded crystallization for more than a decade. More
(Source: Propulsion Laboratory - Apr 22)
RICK FLEETER'S PERSONAL SATELLITE REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN - The launch Friday of SpaceX's Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS) is important for at least three primary reasons. First, because the vehicle carries about 5,000 pounds of supplies (including food and new spacesuits) to ISS aboard its Dragon capsule. The station currently houses a six-man crew -- Oleg Artemyev, Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Tyurin of Russia; Rick Mastracchio and Steve Swanson of the United States; and Koichi Wakata of Japan.
The second reason is that the mission will attempt to recover the first of the Falcon 9's two stages. More
(Source: Huffington Post - Apr 21)
SPACEX DRAGON SUCCESSFULLY DOCKED WITH THE SPACE STATION - At 10:06am Eastern time, the SpaceX Dragon successfully berthed with the International Space Station, marking the fourth time that one of the company's Dragon spacecraft has made the trip successfully.
The spacecraft made a series of several engine burns in the wee hours of the morning to make its approach. At around 7:14am EST, the space station's robotic arm grappled onto the Dragon and brought it close to the station's Harmony module. The arm was controlled by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and NASA's Rick Mastracchio. More
(Source: Forbes - Apr 20)
SPACEX LAUNCHES ROBOTIC CARGO MISSION TO SPACE STATION - SpaceX launched a robotic capsule into orbit today (April 18), kicking off the company's third contracted cargo mission to the International Space Station for NASA, along with an ambitious rocket reusability test.
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft blasted off at 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT) today from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, riding into space atop the company's Falcon 9 rocket. Dragon is scheduled to rendezvous with the orbiting lab on Sunday (April 20), when it will offload nearly 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kilograms) of food, scientific experiments and supplies. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 18)
SPACEX WILL TRY AGAIN FRIDAY TO LAUNCH CARGO TO ISS - SpaceX is shooting for another launch attempt Friday to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.
NASA confirmed the launch date Wednesday, two days after a last-minute rocket leak delayed the mission. Stormy weather, however, is forecast for Friday. Saturday is the backup launch date.
Mission Control has rescheduled urgent spacewalking repairs because of the new launch time. Two U.S. astronauts, Rick Mastracchio and Steven Swanson, had been aiming for a Tuesday spacewalk to replace a backup computer that failed late last week. More
(Source: Fox News - Apr 18)
EGYPTIAN RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE LAUNCHED BY SOYUZ - A Russian-built imaging satellite launched Wednesday aboard a Soyuz rocket to supply Egyptian authorities with high-resolution views of Earth for environmental, scientific and military applications. EgyptSat 2 is owned by Egypt's National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences, a government agency tasked with gathering and studying satellite imagery of the Earth.
Fitted with an Earth-viewing telescope and camera capable to spotting surface features as small as one meter, or 3.3 feet, the satellite lifted off at 1620 GMT (12:20 p.m. EDT) on top of a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 17)
MEASAT-3B SATELLITE READY TO LAUNCH - BERNAMA - The Measat-3b satellite is expected to launch soon as Airbus Defence and Space, a division of Airbus group, has completed the final integration and testing of the satellite.
Designed with 48 Ku-band transponders, Measat-3b will be used to support data and video services across Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Australia, Airbus Defence and Space said in a statement today.
The satellite left the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in Toulouse, France, and has been transported by air to Kourou, French Guiana. More
(Source: The Malaysian Insider - Apr 16)
SPACEX RESUPPLY LAUNCH SCRUBBED BY HELIUM LEAK - The launch of a SpaceX's Dragon supply ship from Cape Canaveral was scrubbed Monday due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage. The next launch attempt will be no earlier than Friday. SpaceX launch director Ricky Lim informed the Falcon 9 launch team of the scrub at 3:39 p.m. EDT (1939 GMT), soon after crews finished loading kerosene and liquid oxygen propellant into the two-stage rocket.
"As folks heard on the anomaly net, we have encountered an issue that will result in a scrub of today's 4/14 launch attempt," Lim said. "The team here will start to safe the vehicle and offload propellants." More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 15)
NASA CLEARS SPACEX FOR MONDAY CARGO LAUNCH - NASA managers Sunday cleared SpaceX to press ahead with launch of a Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo ship Monday on a two-day flight to the International Space Station, concluding the lab can be safely operated until a faulty computer can be replaced during a contingency spacewalk next week. With forecasters predicting an 80 percent chance of acceptable weather, the SpaceX Falcon 9 version 1.1 rocket is scheduled for blastoff from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 4:58 p.m. EDT (GMT-4). More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 14)