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)
SPACEX DRAGON CREW DEMO-1 FLIGHT TO SPACE STATION: WHAT TO EXPECT - Elon Musk's company aims to fly the first demonstration mission of its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 2. This flight, known as Demo-1, will be uncrewed. But if all goes well, Crew Dragon will likely carry astronauts to and from the orbiting lab for the first time this summer. [Take a Walk Through SpaceX's Crew Dragon]
Here's what you need to know about Crew Dragon, Demo-1 and the short-term future of human spaceflight. More
(Source: Space.com - Feb 12)
RUSSIAN SATELLITE REGISTERS UNKNOWN PHYSICAL PHENOMENA IN EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE - An ultraviolet telescope installed on the Russian satellite Lomonosov has registered light "explosions" in the planet's atmosphere, whose physical nature has not been explained so far, the director of the Research Institute of Nuclear Physics at the Russian State University said in an interview with Sputnik.
"With the help of the telescope, we have obtained even more important results than we expected. It looks like we have encountered new physical phenomena… We do not yet know their physical nature… More
(Source: Sputnik International - Feb 11)
SPACEX SEEKS FCC APPROVAL FOR UP TO 1M STARLINK SATELLITE EARTH STATIONS - SpaceX has opened a new window into its ambitious plans for a global satellite broadband data network, thanks to an earth-station license application filed with the Federal Communications Commission.
The application, filed on behalf of a sister company called SpaceX Services, seeks blanket approval for up to a million earth stations that would be used by customers of the Starlink satellite internet service. The stations would rely on a flat-panel, phased-array system to transmit and receive signals in the Ku-band to and from the Starlink constellation. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Feb 10)
SINGAPORE'S HOMEGROWN SATELLITE LAUNCHES INTO ORBIT - Singapore is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of space exploration. But the island state is establishing itself as a force in the new space race by building a fleet of small, low-cost satellites. The satellite is testing technologies the scientists hope will pave the way for what could be Singapore’s first moon mission. Scientists say that within five years, they will be able to build satellites small but robust enough to make the journey. More
(Source: TRT World - Feb 10)
CYGNUS SUPPLY SHIP DEPARTS SPACE STATION FOR EXTENDED MISSION - A commercial Cygnus supply ship departed the International Space Station on Friday for an extended mission to deploy five nanosatellites and conduct other experiments before re-entering the atmosphere and burning up with more than two tons of trash.
The space station’s nearly 58-foot-long (17-meter) robotic arm grappled the Cygnus spacecraft and pulled it away from a berthing port on the orbiting outpost’s Unity module early Friday, setting up for release of the supply ship at 11:16 a.m. EST (1616 GMT) under the command of Expedition 58 flight engineer Anne McClain. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Feb 9)
HOW A NEW SATELLITE CONSTELLATION COULD ALLOW US TO TRACK PLANES ALL OVER THE GLOBE - A newly completed constellation of satellites is poised to provide unprecedented tracking of the hundreds of thousands of aircraft that soar over the Earth every day. It’s a type of global coverage that’s never been fully realized before, but it has the potential to influence how air traffic is managed throughout the world.
The satellite constellation is Iridium NEXT, and it consists of 75 vehicles — 66 operational ones and nine spares More
(Source: The Verge - Feb 8)
US ASTRONAUTS HEADING BACK TO SPACE ON AMERICAN ROCKETS IN JULY: NASA - President Trump vowed to send US astronauts “back to space on American rockets” during his State of the Union address on Tuesday night — and now NASA officially has a launch date.
The agency on Wednesday selected March 2 as the date for the first unmanned test flight, and an undisclosed date in July for when US spacemen finally get shot back into orbit from American soil. More
(Source: New York Post - Feb 8)
NASA, SPACEX AIM FOR MARCH TEST OF 1ST NEW ASTRONAUT CAPSULE - NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a March debut of the first capsule from a private company designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.
No one will be on board for the crew Dragon's inaugural test flight to the orbiting outpost.
Officials on Wednesday set March 2 as the latest launch date. If the demo goes well, two NASA astronauts will take a test flight in July aboard the SpaceX capsule. More
(Source: WSAZ-TV - Feb 7)
IMAGES SUGGEST IRAN LAUNCHED SATELLITE DESPITE US CRITICISM - Iran appears to have attempted a second satellite launch despite U.S. criticism that its space program helps it develop ballistic missiles, satellite images released Thursday suggest. Iran has not acknowledged conducting such a launch.
Images released by the Colorado-based company DigitalGlobe show a rocket at the Imam Khomeini Space Center in Iran’s Semnan province on Tuesday. Images from Wednesday show the rocket was gone with what appears to be burn marks on its launch pad.
Iranian state media did not immediately report on the rocket launch, though such delays have happened in previous launches. More
(Source: Washington Post - Feb 7)