ISRO'S NEW ROCKET LIKELY TO CARRY 2 DEFENCE SATELLITES - Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will fly two small defence satellites in July or August this year on its new rocket-- now known as Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV).
"We are planning to fly two defence satellites, each weighing about 120 kg in our new rocket SSLV this July or August. The rocket design recently underwent a detailed integrated technical review," K Sivan, ISRO Chairman, told news agency IANS on Wednesday. More
(Source: NDTV - Feb 21)
SOYUZ READY FOR LAUNCH WITH EGYPTIAN IMAGING SATELLITE - A Russian-built Earth observation satellite designed to provide reconnaissance imagery to Egyptian military officials is ready for launch Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on top of a Soyuz rocket.
The EgyptSat-A spacecraft and its Soyuz 2-1.b booster arrived at the Complex 31 launch pad Monday at Baikonur on the sprawling steppes of Kazakhstan. Hydraulic lifts hoisted the rocket vertical at the launch pad, and gantry arms rotated around the launcher for workers to complete final preflight preparations. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 21)
SPACEX TO LAUNCH ISRAELI MOON MISSION, SATELLITE THURSDAY FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - SpaceX plans to launch a commercial moon lander for Israel and a satellite for Indonesia Thursday evening from Cape Canaveral.
Liftoff of the Falcon 9 with the ride-sharing payloads is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.
Air Force weather officials are predicting an 80 percent chance of favorable launch weather. The primary concern will be cloud cover for Thursday and the backup launch day on Friday. More
(Source: WKMG News 6 & ClickOrlando - Feb 20)
TRUMP'S SPACE FORCE IS COMING, BUT NOT AS ORIGINALLY PLANNED - President Donald Trump isn't giving up on his vision of creating a new Space Force within the US military, even if it has to start out small.
Speaking at the Brookings Institution Tuesday morning, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein confirmed reports that Trump will sign Space Policy Directive 4.
"That will establish the Space Force... within the Department of the Air Force," Goldfein said.
Initially, the White House had sought to create a Space Force as a brand new branch of the military, equal in standing to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. More
(Source: CNET - Feb 20)
ROSCOSMOS SIGNS NEW CONTRACT ON FLIGHT OF TWO SPACE TOURISTS TO ISS
- Russia’s Roscosmos and US company Space Adventures have signed a new contract on the flight of two space tourists to the International Space Station until late 2021 onboard one spacecraft, the state corporation told TASS on Tuesday.
"The Roscosmos state corporation and US company Space Adventures have signed a contract on carrying out short-term space flights to the ISS by two non-professional astronauts onboard one spacecraft. The flight to the station will take place until the end of 2021," Roscosmos said.
Russian space corporation may send its first space tourist to orbit within next 2 years
The Russian state corporation said that space enterprises have started manufacturing a Soyuz-MS manned spacecraft and a Soyuz-2 carrier rocket for tourists’ flight into space.
(Source: TASS - Feb 20)
CHINA TO BUILD WORLD'S FIRST SOLAR POWER STATION IN SPACE IN NEXT FIVE YEARS - China is planning to build the world’s first solar power station in space, with researchers hoping to launch the first small-scale prototypes between 2021 and 2025. Pang Zhihao, a researcher working on the project, said the station could provide mankind with an “inexhaustible source of clean energy,” supplying energy at a reliable rate of 99 percent of the time.
The space solar stations were announced in China’s Science and Technology Daily newspaper, and subsequently reported by The Sydney Morning Herald. According to the reports, the station would provide energy that is six times more intense than terrestrial solar farms. It would allow electric cars to be charged at any time and any place. More
(Source: Newsweek - Feb 20)
5 CAPE CANAVERAL LAUNCHES YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT MISS IN 2019 - Following a two-month "launch drought" in January and the beginning of February, things are heating up again at Cape Canaveral.
Starting Feb. 21, 17 rockets are scheduled to thunder off launch pads at Kennedy Space Center. While every launch is exciting, there are a few launches planned in 2019 that will be nothing short of historic.
If you live on the Space Coast, or if you're planning to catch a launch while you're here for a visit, here are the launches you can't miss in 2019. More
(Source: Florida Today - Feb 18)
BRITISH SATELLITE TESTS ITS SPACE JUNK HARPOON - Last summer, a new type of debris-hunting satellite was released from the International Space Station (ISS). It’s known as the RemoveDebris spacecraft, a technology-demonstrator developed by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and the Surrey Space Center. The purpose of this satellite is to test whether satellites equipped with targeting software, a debris net and a harpoon are effective at combating space debris.
For the past few months, this spacecraft has been conducting a series of Active Debris Removal (ADR) exercises. About a week ago, according to a recent statement, the RemoveDebris satellite tested out its harpoon for the first time. More
(Source: Universe Today - Feb 18)
AIR FORCE SMALLSAT TO FLY ON UPCOMING FALCON 9 LAUNCH - An experimental Air Force small satellite intended to test space situational awareness technologies will be a secondary payload on the upcoming Falcon 9 launch of a commercial communications satellite and lunar lander.
Spaceflight, the Seattle-based company that brokers rideshare launch services, confirmed in a Feb. 11 statement that it will be flying the S5 satellite for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) as a secondary payload on the Falcon 9 launch of Indonesia’s PSN-6, or Nusantara Satu, communications satellite for Indonesian company PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Feb 16)
ESA HONORS VALENTINE'S DAY WITH EARTH HEARTS SEEN FROM SPACE - The European Space Agency is deeply in love with its home planet this Valentine's Day.
It aims to get your chest a-thumping with some knockout satellite and astronaut views of islands, lakes and wild natural formations in the shape of classic hearts. Some of the images come from International Space Station cameras and some from satellites.
Not all of these love stories will have happy endings The emerald Aral Sea appears in the video. It was once the fourth largest lake in the world, but people siphoned off its water for irrigation. More
(Source: CNET - Feb 15)
ARISS PLANS DO-OVER OF SLOW-SCAN TV TRANSMISSIONS OVER FEBRUARY 15 – 17 WEEKEND - Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) is planning another popular slow-scan television (SSTV) event in the wake of an SSTV experiment last weekend, during which signals were reported to have been weak. Even so, more than 5,500 images were submitted. Transmissions are scheduled to begin on Friday, February 15, at 0845 UTC and run through Sunday, February 17, at 1725 UTC.
“The ARISS team wanted to give the community another opportunity to download the SSTV images we developed for you, given the weak-signal situation that occurred last weekend,” said ARISS-International President Frank Bauer, KA3HDO. He clarified that the same 12 images transmitted last weekend will be used for this weekend’s experiment. More
(Source: http://www.arrl.org/news/ariss-plans-do-over-of-slow-scan-tv-transmissions-over-february-15-17-weekend - Feb 14)
AO-85 TURNED OFF DUE TO RETURN OF ECLIPSE PERIODS AND POOR BATTERY CONDITION - The Fox-1A (AO-85) CubeSat has been turned off until further notice due to return of eclipses and poor battery condition, control operator Mark Hammond, N8MH, has announced. In December, AO-85 experienced precarious battery voltage drops during eclipse periods; it’s believed that the batteries suffered degradation due to heat during previous no-eclipse periods, making it difficult to keep the satellite available without risking battery damage.
To extend the satellite’s usable life, both the internal housekeeping unit (IHU) and the transmitter were shut down, ceasing all transmissions. More
(Source: ARRL - Feb 14)
UNBELIEVABLE VIDEO OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION RACING ACROSS MOON CAUGHT BY AMATEUR ASTRONOMER - The stars aligned for a London based amateur astronomer, who managed to catch a shot of the International Space Station passing in front of the moon under the perfect conditions, with epic results.
Spotting ISS’s lunar crossings is extremely rare, making the close-up footage of the vessel’s swift passage particularly remarkable. While other amateurs have captured similar crossings, Szabolcs Nagy’s clip is incredibly close and clear, showing the manned satellite streaking through the center of the frame. More
(Source: RT - Feb 14)
CUBESAT DEPLOYED FROM SPACE STATION TO TEST SAMPLE RETURN TECHNOLOGY - One of five CubeSats deployed from the International Space Station last month is testing a steerable drag brake that could find use in future smallsats to return experiment samples to the ground from low Earth orbit, or on low-cost micro-probes to explore other planets.
NASA’s TechEdSat 8 nanosatellite was one of five CubeSats released from a NanoRacks deployer outside the space station Jan. 31, joining other missions probing the ionosphere, conducting communications experiments, and providing hands-on experience for engineering students. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 14)
NEXT-GEN WEATHER SATELLITE OPERATIONAL OVER WESTERN U.S. - After months of uncertainty over software and hardware glitches, the second of the U.S. government’s $11 billion next-generation geostationary weather satellites was declared operational Tuesday.
Named GOES-17, the satellite—orbiting 22,300 miles above the western United States and Pacific Ocean—is now providing National Weather Service huge swaths of data expected to improve forecasts of hurricanes, storm systems, wildfires and other environmental dangers. More
(Source: Nextgov - Feb 13)
SPACEX WANTS TO BUILD UP TO 1 MILLION EARTH SATELLITE INTERNET CONNECTIONS - The company just took the next step toward getting satellite internet to customers.
The news: You still need ground-based systems to receive a signal from satellite internet. With SpaceX’s February 1 filing to the US Federal Communications Commission, it’s requesting to deploy up to a million ground stations in the US—including in Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico—to provide connection points to its internet satellites on behalf of its sister company SpaceX Services. More
(Source: MIT Technology Review - Feb 13)
US TO EXTEND USE OF RUSSIA'S SOYUZ FOR ISS MISSIONS UNTIL APRIL 2020 - The United States will extend the use of Russian Soyuz spacecraft to bring NASA astronauts to the International Space Station and ensure their return to Earth until April 2020, a Russian space industry source told Sputnik.
"The following scheme is planned for now: two NASA astronauts will remain on the ISS for nine months instead of the usual six. So, Nick Hague starts his mission on March 14  on the Soyuz MS-12 and returns to Earth on 18 December on the Soyuz MS-13, while Andrew Morgan will travel to the orbital station on Soyuz MS-13 on 6 July and will return on Soyuz MS-15 in April 2020", the source said. More
(Source: Space Daily - Feb 13)
SECOND IRANIAN SATELLITE LAUNCH ATTEMPT IN A MONTH FAILS - Iran’s second try in less than a month to send a satellite into orbit apparently failed shortly after liftoff from a remote desert launch pad under daily surveillance from a fleet of commercial imaging spacecraft, according to U.S. government officials and independent analysts. Images of the launch pad in north-central Iran taken by orbiting satellites owned by U.S. companies suggest a rocket launch occurred last week, but the U.S. military’s catalog of space objects registered no new spacecraft in orbit. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 12)
HAPPY SATELLITE COLLISION DAY! IT IS 10 YEARS SINCE RUSSIA AND IRIDIUM GOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT - As Elon Musk crowed over the performance of SpaceX's Raptor engine and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus departed the International Space Station (ISS), debris watchers were ruing the 10th anniversary of the first accidental hypervelocity satellite collision.
On 10 February 2009, a 950kg Russian military satellite smacked into an Iridium Comms bird, destroying both spacecraft and leaving a cloud of debris large enough to give Sandra Bullock the jitters. More
(Source: The Register - Feb 12)