CHINA'S MOST ADVANCED SPACE LAUNCH CENTRE TO BE OPERATIONAL SOON - China has completed construction of its most advanced space launch centre, designed to handle next generation rockets and space station modules, and it will be operational soon.
Work at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in Hainan province, which is the fourth but the most advanced rocket launch centre, has been completed and would soon become operational, state-run People's Daily reported. The centre is designed to handle next-generation rockets and space station modules, the report said. More
(Source: Economic Times - Oct 19)
IRNSS-1C SATELLITE'S SECOND ORBIT RAISING OPERATION SUCCESSFUL - The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully conducted the second orbit raising operation of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)-1C.
According to the space agency, the second orbit raising operation of IRNSS-1C has been successfully completed by firing the Apogee Motor for 23 minutes, in the evening of Oct 17, 2014.
The orbital parameters are: Perigee (the nearest point to earth) altitude: 7187 km Apogee (the farthest point to earth) altitude: 35634 km. More
(Source: Zee News - Oct 19)
U.S. MILITARY'S X-37B SPACE PLANE LANDS IN CALIFORNIA - The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane concluded its third mission Friday, streaking through the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean and gliding to an automated landing on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., after spending a record 675 days in orbit. Touchdown on Vandenberg's Runway 12 occurred at 1624 GMT (12:24 p.m. EDT; 9:24 a.m. PDT) Friday, according to an Air Force press release.
"The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Boeing, and our base support contractors, have put countless hours of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were able to see the culmination of that dedication," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, in an Air Force statement. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 18)
ARGENTINA LAUNCHES ITS FIRST HOME-BUILT SATELLITE - The ARSAT-1 satellite is the first to be constructed with local technology in Latin America. It was built by a crew of about 500 scientists over seven years at a cost of $250 million. The satellite was launched from a base in French Guiana and is to orbit 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) above Earth.
"ARSAT-1 is on its way to space. What a thrill," President Cristina Fernandez said shortly after the launch via her Twitter account.
ARSAT-1 is designed to provide digital television and cellphone services to Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay for the next 15 years. It's also expected to improve telephone and Internet connections in remote places, including for scientists working in the Antarctic region. More
(Source: ABC News - Oct 17)
CHINA MOVING FORWARD WITH BIG SPACE STATION PLANS - Space travelers from around the globe recently got a firsthand sense of China's blossoming plans to explore Earth orbit and beyond.
At the 27th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), held in Beijing last month, China's space industry leaders extended an open invitation for other nations to take part in China's emerging space station program.
"We reserved a number of platforms that can be used for international cooperative projects in our future space station when we designed it," Yang Liwei, deputy director of China Manned Space Engineering and China's first astronaut, said at the event, which was held in China for the first time. "In addition to collaboration in applied experiments, we also designed adapters that can dock with other nations' spacecraft." More
(Source: Space.com - Oct 17)
INDIAN PSLV LOFTS IRNSS-1C SATELLITE - India has launch its third navigation satellite Thursday morning local time, with a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) successfully carrying the IRNSS-1C satellite on the first leg of its journey towards geostationary orbit. Liftoff was on schedule at 01:32 local time (20:02 Wednesday) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre. IRNSS-1C forms part of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), a constellation of geosynchronous satellites which the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been deploying to provide navigation data to India and the surrounding region. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Oct 16)
BIGELOW INFLATABLE MODULE TO BE ADDED TO SPACE STATION IN 2015 - Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are going to be getting an addition in the near future, and in the form of an inflatable room no less. The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) is the first privately-built space habitat that will added to the ISS, and it will be transported into orbit aboard a Space X Falcon 9 rocket sometime next year. "The BEAM is one small step for Bigelow Aerospace," Bigelow representative Michael Gold told Universe Today, "but is also one giant leap for private sector space activities since the BEAM will be the first privately owned and developed module ever to be part of a crewed system in space."
(Source: Phys.Org - Oct 15)
GALILEO LAUNCH FAILURE BLAMED ON FROZEN FREGAT FUEL LINE - A design flaw in a Russian Fregat upper stage was responsible for the botched orbital injection of two European Galileo navigation satellites in August, officials said Wednesday, causing hydrazine fuel to freeze inside the rocket's maneuvering system and rendering it unable to point in the right direction during a critical engine burn. The frozen hydrazine propellant disrupted fuel flow to two thrusters that were supposed to control the orientation of the Fregat rocket stage as it coasted through space after liftoff Aug. 22. Engineers found that hydrazine fuel and super-cold helium pressurization lines were routed too close together and connected through a support structure that served as a thermal conduit, triggering the hydrazine to freeze and block the fuel line. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Oct 13)
NASA DIRECTS BOEING, SPACEX TO BEGIN WORK ON SPACE TAXIS - Nasa has ordered the US multi-national Boeing Company and the California-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) to restart work to develop space taxis to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) using their CST-100 and Crew Dragon spacecraft respectively.
Last month, Nasa had asked Boeing and SpaceX to suspend work in response to a protest filed with the US government accountability office (GAO) by Sierra Nevada Corporation, who lost the bid to build commercial space taxis. More
(Source: Times of India - Oct 13)
ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - From tomorrow (Friday) night, the International Space Station will be visible in the skies over Ireland and Britain every evening until October 27th.
At 8:11pm tomorrow, the ISS will blaze across Irish skies from west to east.
The ISS will be the brightest object in the sky as it passes over Ireland, outshining even the brightest star in the sky by a factor of 10 to 100 times. On board the most expensive object ever built are 6 astronauts, 5 men and 1 woman.
"ISS is an amazing sight when it appears in evening skies. Even those out walking their dog have called us the next day to ask what that bright light was in the sky?" said David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, who has been predicting when manned spaceships are visible in Irish skies since the 1980's. More
(Source: The Clare Herald - Oct 10)