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SATELLITE NEWS


RUSSIAN SOYUZ 2-1B SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES LOTOS-S RUSSIAN SOYUZ 2-1B SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES LOTOS-S - Russia's Soyuz-2-1b rocket conducted its penultimate flight of the year on Thursday morning, successfully carrying the second Lotos-S reconnaissance satellite into orbit in a morning launch from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Liftoff was on schedule at 06:01 local time (03:01 UTC). Lotos-S No.802, which will likely be known as Kosmos 2503 now it has reached orbit, is part of Russia's Liana programme, which is intended to modernise the country's electronic signals intelligence (ELINT) capabilities. Once operational Liana will consist of two series of satellites; Lotos will be used to intercept radio communications while Pion-NKS satellites will perform naval reconnaissance duties.   More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Dec 25)


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPOTTED IN THE SKY OVER BRITAIN ON CHRISTMAS EVE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION SPOTTED IN THE SKY OVER BRITAIN ON CHRISTMAS EVE - Residents of southern England will be forgiven for thinking that Santa was making his annual rounds early this year, when the International Space Station appeared as a sparkling dot in sky on Christmas Eve. Southerners enjoyed the best view of the man-made satellite, which looks like a small ball of light moving across the sky when viewed from earth. It crossed the sky at about 5.20pm and was visible for about three minutes. In London, people were advised to look at 35 degrees from the horizon and look to the west, and people further north at a slightly lower angle.   More
(Source: The Independent - Dec 25)


RUSSIA CARRIES OUT TEST LAUNCH OF HEAVY-CLASS ANGARA A5 ROCKET RUSSIA CARRIES OUT TEST LAUNCH OF HEAVY-CLASS ANGARA A5 ROCKET - Russia Tuesday carried out the first test launch of a new heavy-class Angara A5 rocket, the defence ministry said. The rocket was launched at Plesetsk cosmodrome in Arkhangelsk region, Xinhua reported. Twelve minutes after the lift-off, the orbiting payload model separated in the third stage. The Briz-M upper stage would carry the model to the target orbit for payload weight and dimension tests, the ministry said. President Vladimir Putin watched the rocket launch via video. "This is indeed a great and very important event for our aerospace industry and for Russia in general," Putin said.   More
(Source: NDTV - Dec 23)


ASTRA 2G READY FOR DECEMBER 28 PROTON LAUNCH - SES S.A. is pleased to announce that the ASTRA 2G satellite is ready for its scheduled launch on board an ILS Proton booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on December 28 at 03:37:49 Baikonur Time (December 27 at 22:37:49 CET and 16:37:49 EST). Designed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, ASTRA 2G is based on the highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform. It will have a launch mass of 6 tons, a wingspan of 40m once its solar arrays are deployed in orbit, and a spacecraft power of 13kW until the end of its 15-year design life.   More
(Source: SpaceRef - Dec 23)


FOUR GALILEO SATELLITES BEING READIED FOR LAUNCH FOUR GALILEO SATELLITES BEING READIED FOR LAUNCH - Engineers at the European Space Agency opened an early Christmas present - a new satellite for the Galileo navigation program. The satellite, manufactured in Germany, will now be tested in at the ESTEC technical center in the Netherlands, according to the ESA website. A launch schedule for this satellite, Flight Model 06, or FM06, and three others already in waiting has not yet been determined. Once ESTEC certifies the satellites, they are ready to be flown to Kourou, French Guiana, where the ESA has a launch site.    More
(Source: Prague Post - Dec 23)


RADIO HAM HELPS ESA WITH TRACKING WIDGET RADIO HAM HELPS ESA WITH TRACKING WIDGET - Thanks to radio amateur Chip Sufitchi N2YO the European Space Agency's new satellite tracking widgets are live. The tracking widgets are fed with the latest orbital tracks for ESA missions, or missions with significant ESA participation. The default track shows the ISS.    More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - Dec 20)


SPACE WEATHER SATELLITE SET FOR LAUNCH SPACE WEATHER SATELLITE SET FOR LAUNCH - Space weather forecasters will get an important new tool to help predict disruptions to the Earth's magnetic field that could damage critical infrastructure when the US launches a deep space sentry designed to monitor solar activity. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plans to launch its Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, from Cape Canaveral on Jan. 23, 2015, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. If all goes as planned, DSCOVR will take about 110 days to reach a stable "Lagrange point" orbit between the Earth and Sun. The NOAA space weather satellite orbiting about 1 million miles from Earth represents the first deep space early warning system for detecting geomagnetic storms emanating from the Sun.    More
(Source: EE Times - Dec 20)


RUSSIAN-BUILT SPY SATELLITE ROCKETS OUT OF UNDERGROUND SILO RUSSIAN-BUILT SPY SATELLITE ROCKETS OUT OF UNDERGROUND SILO - A Strela rocket carrying a Russian-built radar surveillance satellite built for an undisclosed foreign customer sprung out of an underground silo in Kazakhstan and fired into orbit Friday. The Kondor E spacecraft will look down on Earth, peering through clouds to collect high-resolution imagery around the clock, according to NPO Mashinostroyenia, the satellite's Moscow-based manufacturer. The 115-ton Strela launcher - a modified Soviet-era SS-19 ballistic missile - blasted out of an underground launch tube at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0443 GMT Friday (11:43 p.m. EST), the Russian Federal Space Agency said in a press statement.   More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 20)


STRELA ROCKET WITH KONDOR-E SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED DECEMBER 19 STRELA ROCKET WITH KONDOR-E SATELLITE TO BE LAUNCHED DECEMBER 19 - Specialists have made a decision to launch the Strela carrier rocket with the Kondor-E satellite on Friday, December 19. The launch was initially planned from the Baikonur spaceport on Thursday morning, a source at Baikonur in Kazakhstan told TASS. "The decision has been made to launch the Strela carrier rocket with the Kondor-E spacecraft on an auxiliary date - December 19, at 07:43am, Moscow time," the source said. Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) confirmed this information to TASS. "The launch will be carried out tomorrow at 07:43am, Moscow time," a Roscosmos official said.   More
(Source: ITAR TASS - Dec 19)


EUROPEAN SOYUZ DELIVERS FOUR O3B BROADBAND SATELLITE TO ORBIT EUROPEAN SOYUZ DELIVERS FOUR O3B BROADBAND SATELLITE TO ORBIT - A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket on Dec. 18 successfully placed four O3b Networks high-throughput Ka-band broadband satellites into O3b's unique 8,000-kilometer-altitude orbit, giving O3b a bigger margin for error as it manages its constellation, now comprising 12 satellites. ?Launch-service provider Arianespace's chief executive, Stephane Israel, said after the launch that all parameters looked good for the satellites but that it would take several hours to determine their exact status, including the precise orbital parameters. But the spacecraft are sending signals, he said.    More
(Source: Space News - Dec 19)

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