OVER-BUDGET ICESAT 2 MISSION UNDER REVIEW - NASA has notified Congress of an expected budget breach on the ICESat 2 mission, a satellite mired in technical difficulties with its ice-measuring laser altimeter and plagued by rising costs and launch delays. Officials disclosed their concerns with ICESat 2's budget in a presentation to the National Advisory Council's science committee on Dec. 3. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 11)
CHINA-BRAZIL SATELLITE FAILS TO ENTER ORBIT - A joint Chinese-Brazilian environmental monitoring satellite launched Monday from northern China failed to enter orbit, state media and experts said, in a rare setback for the country's ambitious space programme.
The satellite, meant to be a key tool in Brazil's efforts to control Amazon rainforest deforestation and to monitor its huge agribusiness sector, blasted off from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province on a Long March 4B rocket at 11:26am (0326 GMT), Xinhua said.
(Source: Phys.Org - Dec 10)
PROTON LAUNCHES INMARSAT-5 F1 SATELLITE - A Proton-M rocket with a Briz-M upper stage lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Pad 39 at Site 200 on Dec. 8, 2013, at 16:12 Moscow Time (12:12 GMT, 7:12 a.m. EST). The rocket was carrying the 6,100-kilogram Inmarsat-5 F1 satellite for the Inmarsat organization based in London, UK.
During the launch of Inmarsat-5 F1, the first, second and third stages of the Proton rocket followed a standard ascent profile to place the payload section (Briz-M upper stage and the satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. More
(Source: RussianSpaceWeb.com - Dec 9)
BRAZIL AND CHINA PREPARE TO LAUNCH SATELLITE TO MONITOR AMAZON - CBERS-3, the satellite that China and Brazil will launch into orbit this week, has new and modern remote monitoring cameras capable of significantly improving scientists' ability to chart the deforestation of the Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest.
The fourth in the series of satellites developed and sent into space by the two countries as part of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite, or CBERS, program will be launched on Monday. More
(Source: GlobalPost - Dec 9)
GOVERNMENT SPY SATELLITE ROCKETS INTO SPACE ON ATLAS 5 - A classified U.S. spy payload rocketed into orbit from California on an Atlas 5 launcher Thursday, joining the nation's eyes and ears in the sky to supply intelligence to the government's national security agencies. The satellite is owned by the National Reconnaissance Office, but government officials do not disclose the identities of the NRO's spacecraft, only saying the payload will serve national security purposes. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 6)
FALCON 9 ROCKET LAUNCHES FIRST COMMERCIAL TELECOM PAYLOAD - A kerosene-fueled Falcon 9 launch vehicle owned and operated by SpaceX climbed away from Florida's Space Coast on Tuesday, steering into orbit more than 50,000 miles above Earth with a television broadcasting satellite in a successful flight signaling the changing landscape of the commercial launch industry. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 4)
SPACE STATION GETS READY TO WELCOME SECOND CYGNUS - The International Space Station is not just an outpost for international astronauts conducting science it also serves as a hub for an array of public and private spacecraft. Currently, there are two Soyuz spacecraft and one Progress resupply craft docked to the orbital laboratory.
Another spaceship, Orbital Sciences' newest Cygnus resupply craft, is targeted for a Dec. 17 launch to the space station from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. More
(Source: Space Fellowship - Dec 4)
CHINESE SPACE ROCKET DEBRIS FALLS TO EARTH AND WRECKS VILLAGERS' HOUSES - China's recent blast-off of it's first ever lunar landing mission may have marked a watershed in the country's galactic ambitions - but try telling that to villagers in Suining.
What appears to be debris from the 'Jade Rabbit' launch fell to Earth and wrecked a couple of houses.
A resident told the Xiaoxiang Morning Post: "Three of the roof beams have crashed down on our house, and a big hole has been punched into our barn." More
(Source: Huffington Post - Dec 3)
SIRIUSXM ANNOUNCES SIRIUS FM-6 SATELLITE HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY PLACED IN ORBIT - SiriusXM today announced that Sirius FM-6, the newest addition to its satellite fleet, has been successfully placed in orbit and was declared ready for service. The new satellite, which was manufactured by Space Systems/Loral, is intended to help ensure SiriusXM's array of audio entertainment and data services are received by vehicles, receivers for home and business, as well as mobile devices. It will play an important role in bolstering the continuity of SiriusXM's service for years to come. More
(Source: MarketWatch - Dec 3)
GPM SATELLITE DELIVERED TO JAPAN AFTER SHUTDOWN DELAY - An international satellite built to extend and expand precipitation measurements from space has arrived at its Japanese launch site after a trans-Pacific flight from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. After a delay of several weeks caused by a cessation of work during the U.S. federal government shutdown in October, NASA shipped the Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory to Japan last week inside a U.S. Air Force C-5M Galaxy transport plane. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 3)