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)
TAX DAY 2019 REACHES ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE, TOO - For U.S. citizens, there's no escaping Tax Day — not even if you've left planet Earth.
Millions of Americans are expected to have filed their taxes for 2018 by midnight tonight today, and the three NASA astronauts currently living and working at the International Space Station are no exception — even if they are orbiting 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the nearest H&R Block.
Tax Day can be a big source of anxiety for those of us who waited until the last minute to get started (you know who you are), but NASA's astronauts are no procrastinators on filing their taxes. More
(Source: Space.com - Apr 16)
DEBRIS: THE PLASTIC OF THE SKY - Over recent months, there has been a sudden wave of public awareness relating to the massive and growing problem of plastic in our seas. Mainly thanks to a remarkable BBC documentary featuring Sir David Attenborough highlighting the problem and the ensuing awareness campaigns, plus, the advent of alternatives to plastic. When you think about it, the same analogy can be applied to space with different effects. Our increased dependency on space capabilities demands an understanding of the associated vulnerabilities in what has become an increasingly congested Earth-orbiting space environment. More
(Source: Via Satellite - Apr 16)
ALTA DEVICES SOLAR ON UPCOMING SATELLITE LAUNCH - This week, the NG-11 mission will launch from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility carrying the Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This spacecraft will deliver supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and transport 60 small satellites, called ThinSats, into space. These satellites are powered by Alta Devices gallium arsenide solar cells and will carry various electromagnetic, radiation and inertial sensors for scientific analysis of the atmosphere. More
(Source: Associated Press - Apr 16)
DIWATA-2 DESIGNATED PHILIPPINES-OSCAR 101 (PO-101) - On October 29, 2018, the Diwata-2 microsatellite was launched on a H-IIA launch vehicle from the Tanegashima Space Center, Tanegashima, Japan. Diwata-2 was developed by the University of the Philippines Dillman (UPD) and the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ASTI) under the PHL-Microsat program (now succeeded by the STAMINA4Space program), and in cooperation with Tohoku University and Hokkaido University. More
(Source: AMSAT - Apr 14)
WORLD’S LARGEST PLANE, DESIGNED TO CARRY SATELLITE-LOADED ROCKETS, TAKES OFF FOR 1ST TEST FLIGHT - After years of development in the desert north of Los Angeles, a gigantic, six-engined mega jet with the wingspan of an American football field flew Saturday morning for the first time.
“We finally did it,” said Stratolaunch Systems CEO Jean Floyd at a news conference from the hangar at Mojave Air & Space Port. “It was an emotional moment to watch this bird take flight.” Stratolaunch, the company founded in 2011 by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, conducted the first test flight of the world’s largest plane. More
(Source: KTLA - Apr 14)
UNIVERSITIES TO PROVIDE PAYLOADS FOR ISS LAUNCH ON WEDNESDAY - A team of students and faculty from the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science is contributing to Wednesday’s launch of the Antares rocket from the Wallops Flight Facility.
UVA Engineering students developed a small satellite that will join other satellites, created by Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University, as part of the Virginia CubeSat Constellation, a Virginia Space Grant Consortium project. The CubeSats are designed to take measurements that will help researchers across the country better understand the effects of atmospheric drag on spacecraft and debris that orbit Earth. More
(Source: Shore Daily News - Apr 14)
AUSTRALIAN CUBESAT TO USE 76 GHZ - The IARU Satellite Coordination Panel has announced the amateur radio frequencies for the Australian 76 GHz CubeSat CUAVA-1 that is expected to launch in July 2019.
CUAVA-1 is a 3U CubeSat and the first CubeSat project of the new ARC Training Centre for CubeSats, Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and their Applications (CUAVA), whose primary aim is the education and training of people, mostly PhD students, for the space sector. More
(Source: AMSAT-UK - Apr 13)