AEHF-5 SATELLITE ARRIVES AT CAPE CANAVERAL, PREPARES FOR LAUNCH ATOP AN ATLAS V IN JUNE - The U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High-Frequency program completed a major program milestone successfully delivering the AEHF-5 satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Prior to transport to CCAFS, AEHF-5 completed testing to include Baseline Integrated Systems Test, Acoustic/Post-Acoustic Deployment tests, Thermal Vacuum, Final Integrated Systems Test, and Factory Confidence Test. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Apr 24)
RELATIVITY TO LAUNCH LEO SATELLITE FOR MU SPACE - Relativity announced April 23 it has secured a contract to launch a low Earth orbit satellite for Thai startup mu Space.
In a statement, Relativity said it will launch the unnamed satellite as a “primary, dedicated payload” to LEO on its Terran 1 rocket in 2022. The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.
“We’re excited to partner with mu Space, a disruptive innovator in the Asia-Pacific region, to launch their satellite and space technologies with our 3D printed Terran 1 rocket,” Tim Ellis, chief executive of Relativity, said in a statement announcing the deal. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 24)
SPACEX LIKELY TO MOVE NEXT ROCKET LANDING TO DRONE SHIP - SpaceX is likely to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket set for launch April 30 on a drone ship just off the coast of Cape Canaveral, not at the company’s onshore recovery site as originally planned, after a ground test of the company’s Crew Dragon capsule at the landing pad ended in an explosion Saturday. Workers were examining wreckage from the Crew Dragon spacecraft at Landing Zone 1, the site where Falcon 9 boosters return to Cape Canaveral, prompting the company to apply for authority from the Federal Communications Commission to land the first stage on next week’s mission on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 24)
TESTING COMPLETE ON CORE MODULE OF NEW SPACE STATION - China's manned space program has taken another step forward after authorities revealed on Tuesday that the Tianhe, the core module of the country's upcoming space station, has completed testing, including a vacuum heat test and will soon advance to the flight modeling stage, a day before the country's fourth aerospace day.
China's new space station, codenamed Tiangong, is designed to be in service for 10 years, which could be extended through repair and renovation works according to specific needs. More
(Source: Global Times - Apr 24)
EARTH DAY 2019: THESE AMAZING NASA IMAGES SHOW EARTH FROM ABOVE - NASA is celebrating Earth Day today (April 22) by sharing some really incredible photos of Earth from satellites, aircraft and deep-space missions.
Space.com has picked 10 of our favorite views from NASA's Earth Day gallery and featured them here. For even more amazing NASA photos of Earth, you can find NASA's entire collection of Earth Day photos here.
You can also share your own Earth Day Photos with NASA for a chance to have them featured in NASA videos and social media posts. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 23)
NASA AND INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION MEMBERS ANNOUNCE FIRST FLIGHT, RECORD-SETTING MISSION - NASA and its International Space Station partners have set a new schedule and new crew assignments that will include the first flight of NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, an extended stay for NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, and a record-setting flight for NASA astronaut Christina Koch. Koch, who arrived at the space station March 14, and now is scheduled to remain in orbit until February 2020, will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, eclipsing the record of 288 days set by former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2016-17. More
(Source: SpaceCoastDaily.com - Apr 23)
SPACEX CREW DRAGON ACCIDENT CLOUDS OUTLOOK FOR DOMESTIC ASTRONAUT LAUNCHES - SpaceX had appeared to be cruising to victory over Boeing in the race to be the first to launch astronauts to orbit from U.S. soil since NASA’s final shuttle mission in 2011.
Officials including Vice President Mike Pence hailed last month's successful first test flight of the company's Crew Dragon capsule as the dawn of a new era of commercial spaceflight.
A pair of astronaut test pilots were on track to fly a Crew Dragon to the International Space Station as soon as July.
Not so fast. More
(Source: Florida Today - Apr 22)
BEIDOU-3 NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCHED ON LONG MARCH 3B - China successfully launched a new navigation satellite on Saturday. The launch – later noted to be Beidou-3I1Q (IGSO-1) – took place from the LC3 Launch Complex of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, Sichuan province, using a Long March-3B/G2 (Chang Zheng-3B/G2) launch vehicle. Launch time was 14:41 UTC.
Also designated Beidou-44, the satellite is part of the GEO component of the 3rd phase of the Chinese Beidou (Compass) satellite navigation system, using both geostationary satellites and satellites in intermediate orbits. More
(Source: NASASpaceFlight.com - Apr 21)
SPACEX CONFIRMS ANOMALY DURING CREW DRAGON ABORT ENGINE TEST - An accident Saturday during an abort engine test on a Crew Dragon test vehicle at Cape Canaveral sent a reddish-orange plume into the sky visible for miles around, a setback for SpaceX and NASA as teams prepare the capsule for its first mission with astronauts. SpaceX is testing the Crew Dragon ahead of the capsule’s first test flight with astronauts later this year, following a successful Crew Dragon demonstration mission to the International Space Station in early March.
SpaceX confirmed the accident, first reported by Florida Today, in a statement Saturday evening. No injuries were reported. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 21)
CYGNUS SUPPLY SHIP DELIVERS 3.8-TON CARGO LOAD TO INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - NASA flight engineer Anne McClain grappled Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus supply ship with the International Space Station’s robotic arm Friday, marking the automated cargo freighter’s arrival after an abbreviated day-and-a-half-long journey from a launch pad in Virginia with nearly 7,600 pounds of experiments, food and provisions. Commanding the Canadian-built robot arm from a control station in the cupola module, McClain guided the arm’s end effector over a grapple pin on the rear end of the Cygnus spaceship as the cargo craft held steady roughly 30 feet (10 meters) below the complex. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Apr 21)
U.S. MILITARY ELECTRON LAUNCH FIRST TEST FOR YORK SATELLITE - Rocket Lab is preparing to launch in May three U.S. military satellites including the Army Harbinger mission as part of the Defense Department’s Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. Harbinger is designed to test whether an inexpensive commercial satellite equipped with a synthetic aperture radar can quickly deliver Earth imagery to soldiers.
Through Harbinger, the Army plans to evaluate the benefit of rapid deployment of a low-cost, state-of-the art satellite with enhanced data collection and downlink capabilities, according to Harbinger fact sheet published by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command’s Technical Center. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Apr 20)
THE LATEST LOST SATELLITE IS NOW SPACE JUNK THAT COULD PUT OTHER SPACECRAFT AT RISK - On Thursday, satellite service provider Intelsat announced that one of its communications satellites is now completely lost in orbit above Earth, rendering the vehicle an unmovable piece of space debris. Intelsat says that something damaged the satellite, causing its onboard propellant to leak out into space. Now, without the ability to maneuver and communicate, the satellite could pose a potential threat to other vehicles in the same orbit. More
(Source: The Verge - Apr 20)
SPACEX'S NEXT SPACE STATION CARGO LAUNCH DELAYED TO APRIL 30 - SpaceX has pushed back the launch of its next robotic resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by four days, to April 30.
The California-based company's Dragon cargo capsule is now scheduled to lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket at 4:22 a.m. EDT (0822 GMT) on April 30 from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, NASA officials announced today (April 19).
"SpaceX will take advantage of the additional time to perform a static fire test and pre-flight checkouts," NASA officials wrote in an update. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 20)
EASTER DINNER IS HEADED TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Even astronauts need to do a “big shop” for the Easter holidays.
A grocery rocket filled with festive treats blasted off bound for the International Space Station April 17. As many as 800 meals are tucked away on the capsule which took off from Wallops Island, Virginia on Wednesday.
They will be dished out over the coming weeks to the six crew currently on board the floating laboratory orbiting 254 miles above the Earth. More
(Source: New York Post - Apr 19)
KEPLER AND MAGELLAN TO FLY INNOVATIVE SMART RADIATOR DEVICE ON SATELLITE MISSION - Kepler Communications ("Kepler"), a Canadian satellite telecommunications provider, and Magellan Aerospace Corporation have signed a Letter of Intention to fly an innovative Smart Radiator Device (SRD) on Kepler's third satellite, scheduled for launch later this year.
The unique SRD, designed to significantly improve temperature management on-board future satellites, is being developed by MPB Communications in partnership with Magellan Aerospace. More
(Source: Space Daily - Apr 18)
ANTARES ROCKET LAUNCHES CYGNUS CARGO SHIP ON MARATHON MISSION FOR NASA - An Antares rocket soared into the afternoon sky over Virginia on Wednesday (April 17) carrying tons of NASA supplies — and 40 intrepid mice — to the International Space Station.
The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket and its uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft launched into the cosmos from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, kicking off a two-day voyage to the space station. Liftoff occurred at 4:46 p.m. EDT (2046 GMT).
"A beautiful day, a fantastic launch," NASA's deputy space station program manager Joel Montalbano said after the successful liftoff. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 18)
WHY WE NEED TO AVOID MORE ANTI-SATELLITE TESTS - India announced three weeks ago that it had joined an “elite club of space powers,” having destroyed one of its own satellites with a hit-to-kill missile defense interceptor. With “Mission Shakti,” India became the fourth country to intentionally destroy a satellite on orbit.
Only three other states—the Soviet Union, the United States, and China—have deliberately destroyed orbiting satellites. No state has destroyed another state’s satellite. This extraordinary restraint is worth preserving and expanding. More
(Source: Space News - Apr 17)
TINY ROBOTS, WEARABLE TECH AND MORE WEIRD SCIENCE WILL LAUNCH TO SPACE STATION WEDNESDAY - The strange experiments will launch from Virginia this Wednesday. Tomorrow (April 17), Northrop Grumman's Antares rocket will launch its Cygnus spacecraft to the space station, carrying supplies as well as a set of strange and innovative experiments that could support future missions to space.
Among them will be two different tiny robots that will practice helping astronauts with space station maintenance; a study that will assess the artery health of astronauts using wearable tech; and a test for a new method for removing carbon dioxide from the air on board the space station... More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 17)
AMATEUR RADIO IN SPACE PIONEER ASTRONAUT OWEN GARRIOTT, W5LFL, SK - The US astronaut who pioneered the use of Amateur Radio to make contacts from space — Owen K. Garriott, W5LFL — died April 15 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 88. Garriott’s ham radio activity ushered in the formal establishment of Amateur Radio in space, first as SAREX — the Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment, and later as ARISS — Amateur Radio on the International Space Station.
“Owen Garriott was a good friend and an incredible astronaut,” fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin tweeted. “I have a great sadness as I learn of his passing today. Godspeed Owen.” More
(Source: ARRL - Apr 16)