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)
RUSSIAN CARGO SHIP DELIVERS HOLIDAY GOODIES TO SPACE STATION (WITH HELP) - An unmanned cargo ship docked with the International Space Station on Friday, delivering a load of cosmic holiday goodies to the residents of the orbiting outpost.
The robotic Russian Progress 53 ship arrived at the station at 5:30 p.m. ET after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Nov. 25. The resupply ship is loaded up with food, fuel and other supplies, including personal cards and holiday wishes for the station's Expedition 38 crew. More
(Source: NBC News - Dec 2)
ROCKET BURN PUTS INDIAN PROBE ON COURSE TO MARS - India's first robotic Mars probe set sail for the red planet Saturday with a vital rocket burn to catapult the spacecraft out of the realm of Earth's gravity and into interplanetary space. The Mars Orbiter Mission, India's first Mars probe, is due to enter orbit around the red planet on Sept. 24, 2014, two days after NASA's MAVEN Mars probe arrives. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 1)
CHINESE MOON LANDER ON THE VERGE OF LAUNCH - China has scheduled the launch of an ambitious robotic lunar rover as soon as Sunday on a quest to achieve the first soft landing on the moon in more than three decades. The Chang'e 3 mission is China's third moon probe, following two successful orbiters that surveyed the lunar surface and mapped landing zones. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 29)
ENGINE TROUBLE DELAYS SPACEX LAUNCH ON THANKSGIVING - Topped with a television broadcasting satellite, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket fired its engines and was moments away from liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Thursday, but the commercial booster aborted the launch after computers detected the engines were too slow building up thrust. Engineers raced to understand and resolve the problem, but they could not get comfortable enough to attempt the launch again before Thursday's time-constrained flight opportunity closed. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Nov 29)