THIS RUSSIAN STARTUP WANTS TO PUT HUGE ADS IN SPACE. NOT EVERYONE IS ON BOARD WITH THE IDEA. - If it sometimes feels as if the world is awash in advertisements, just wait. A Russian startup just revealed plans to use swarms of tiny, light-reflecting satellites to create sprawling billboards in space.
The first of StartRocket's space-based ads, shown in a new concept video released by the company last week, could go up by 2021. The ads — a bit like skytyping, only in low-Earth orbit rather than in the atmosphere — would be visible only at night but could be seen from just about anywhere on the planet. More
(Source: NBC News - Jan 20)
NEW US SPY SATELLITE LAUNCHES ON SECRET MISSION AT LAST AFTER DELAYS - The NROL-71 spy satellite streaked to orbit today (Jan. 19) atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket, which lifted off from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:10 p.m. EST (11:10 a.m. local California time; 1910 GMT). NROL-71 will be operated by the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which is in charge of the country's fleet of spy satellites. NRO missions are generally classified, and this one is no different; very little is known about NROL-71 or what exactly it will do. More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 19)
RUSSIA CONDUCTED ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL TEST OF AN ANTI-SATELLITE MISSILE - Russia conducted another successful flight test of its new anti-satellite missile system last month, according to two people with direct knowledge of a classified U.S. intelligence report.
The anti-satellite missile flew for 17 minutes and 1,864 miles before successfully splashing down in its target area.
The latest revelation comes on the heels of the Pentagon’s 108-page missile defense review, which marks the first overhaul of America’s missile defense doctrine in nearly a decade. More
(Source: CNBC - Jan 19)
US TO LAUNCH SECRET SPY SATELLITE SATURDAY - The United States' newest spy satellite will finally get off the ground this weekend, if all goes according to plan.
The NROL-71 spacecraft is scheduled to launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday (Jan. 19) at 2:05 p.m. EST (1905 GMT; 11:05 a.m. local California time), ULA representatives announced yesterday (Jan. 15). You can watch the launch at Space.com, courtesy of ULA, or directly via the company. More
(Source: Space.com - Jan 18)
SATELLOGIC SELECTS CHINA GREAT WALL TO LAUNCH SATELLITE CONSTELLATION - Satellogic, a company developing a constellation of Earth imaging satellites with hyperspectral capabilities, announced Jan. 15 that it will launch its fleet of spacecraft on Chinese rockets.
Buenos Aires-based Satellogic said that it plans to launch 90 of its remote sensing smallsats on as many as six Long March 6 rockets under a contract with China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
In an interview, Emiliano Kargieman, founder and chief executive of the company, said the first of the launches, carrying 13 satellites, is planned for September or October of this year. More
(Source: SpaceNews - Jan 17)
RUSSIA TO COMPLETE MILITARY SATELLITE CONSTELLATION BLAGOVEST IN APRIL - SOURCE - The communications satellites will be spread out evenly to provide seamless global coverage. They are equipped with modern Ka and Q-band transponders and support high-speed Internet, telephony and other broadcasting services. The launch of the fourth and last military communications satellite of Russia’s Blagovest constellation is tentatively planned for April, a source in the space industry told Sputnik. More
(Source: Sputnik International - Jan 16)
RUSSIA HAS LOST CONTROL OF ITS SPEKTR-R RADIO SATELLITE AFTER COSMIC RADIATION FRIED ITS ELECTRONICS - Russia has lost control of its only space radio telescope Spektr-R. The 33-foot satellite, which was launched in 2011, stopped responding to commands on January 10.
Experts with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos say cosmic radiation accumulated in the satellite’s electronics has caused problems with the communications system. A source from the agency told TASS attempts to regain control of Spektr-R over the weekend had failed and they would be trying again Monday. More
(Source: NewsWeek - Jan 16)
DESPITE US WARNING, IRAN LAUNCHES SATELLITE AND FAILS - Iran launched a satellite on Tuesday that failed to reach orbit, after the US warned against the launch earlier this month.
The satellite "did not reach enough speed in the third stage and was not put into orbit," Mohammad Jahromi, the country's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told the official IRNA news agency after a ceremony was held for the launch at Imam Khomeini Spaceport early Tuesday.
The minister said Iran would launch another satellite soon. More
(Source: CNN - Jan 16)
DRAGON CARGO CRAFT RETURNS TO EARTH - A SpaceX-owned commercial cargo craft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California late Sunday, closing out a 39-day mission that delivered 2.8 tons of supplies, experiments and holiday treats to the International Space Station, and returned home with research specimens and no-longer-needed hardware. The unpiloted supply ship, loaded with about 2 tons of gear and experiment specimens, departed the space station at 6:33 p.m. EST (2333 GMT) Sunday with a ground-commanded release from the orbiting research lab’s 58-foot (17.7-meter) Canadian-built robotic arm. The Dragon capsule fired its thrusters for a series of departure burns to fly away from the station’s vicinity, setting up for a deorbit burn at 11:19 p.m. EST (0419 GMT) to slow the craft’s velocity enough to drop out of orbit and re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Jan 15)