JAPAN IS GO FOR MONDAY CARGO LAUNCH TO STATION - Japan’s seventh cargo mission (HTV-7) to the International Space Station is in the final stages of preparation for launch on Monday at 7:32 p.m. EDT. Mission controllers are monitoring the weather at the Tanegashima Space Center launch site while the Expedition 56 crew is preparing for its arrival early Friday.
JAXA’s (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) HTV-7 is delivering a wide variety of science gear to support new research aboard the orbital lab. The new facilities will enable astronauts to observe physical processes at high temperatures, protein crystal growth and genetic alterations as well as a variety of other important space phenomena. More
(Source: NASA - Sep 8)
HURRICANE FLORENCE LOOKS LIKE A GIANT COTTON BALL IN THIS ASTRONAUT PHOTO FROM SPACE - Hurricane Florence looks like a giant cotton ball in new photos snapped from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold.
"#HurricaneFlorence strengthens in the early morning hours over the Atlantic," Arnold wrote on Twitter yesterday (Sept. 6) in a description of the two images.
Florence is currently a Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of around 105 mph (169 km/h), according to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 8)
A CHINESE SATELLITE JUST WATCHED ONESPACE LAUNCH A ROCKET, AND THE VIDEO IS AWESOME - You've likely never seen a rocket launch quite like this. When the Chinese commercial spaceflight startup OneSpace launched a rocket test flight today (Sept. 7), a satellite was watching. The result: one amazing video.
The video shows OneSpace's OS-X1 rocket blast off from China's Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert during a suborbital test of the solid-fueled booster. It was captured by China's Jilin-1 satellite in orbit 332 miles (535 kilometers) above Earth and was shared on the country's social media site Weibo, according to China's GB Times. Twitter user Dafeng Cao then shared the video on Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 23,000 times. More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 8)
'ACT OF ESPIONAGE': FRANCE ACCUSES RUSSIA OF TRYING TO SPY ON SATELLITE DATA - The French defence minister has accused Russia of attempting to intercept France’s satellite communications, calling it an act of espionage.
Florence Parly said Russia tried to intercept transmissions and spy on a satellite providing secure communications for the French military last year.
In a speech outlining France’s space policy and security issues, Parly said that the Athena-Fidus satellite, operated jointly by France and Italy, was approached “a bit too closely” by Russia’s Luch-Olymp craft, known for its advanced listening capacity. More
(Source: The Guardian - Sep 8)
SPACEX LAUNCH DELAYED TO SUNDAY NIGHT - A commercial communications satellite set for launch from Florida’s Space Coast on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to beam broadband and television signals across the Asia-Pacific region will remain on Earth until at least Sunday night, 24 hours later than previously scheduled.
The Telstar 18 VANTAGE satellite, also known as APSTAR 5C, was supposed to launch atop a brand new Falcon 9 rocket Saturday night. The high-power telecom craft, built by SSL in Palo Alto, California, weighs around 15,564 pounds (7,060 kilograms) and is set to begin a 15-year mission for Telesat and APT Satellite, based in Canada and Hong Kong, respectively. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 7)
WATCH SPACEX'S DRAGON BID FAREWELL TO SPACE STATION IN THIS INCREDIBLE 4K VIDEO - It takes just 45 seconds for a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule to depart from the International Space Station and disappear from sight in an incredible new video. SpaceX released the footage on Twitter on Aug. 31.
The video was captured from the space station's forward hatch on Aug. 3 during the most recent Dragon departure; you can also watch the video in 4K, for the best-quality footage. More
(Source: Space.com - Sep 7)
RUSSIANS INVESTIGATE CAUSE OF SOYUZ LEAK, FOCUS ON HUMAN ERROR - Ruling out a strike by space debris or a micrometeoroid, Russian engineers say a small now-plugged leak in a Soyuz crew ferry ship docked to the International Space Station was the result of a hole drilled into the wall of the spacecraft’s upper compartment, an apparent case of human error.
According to Russian media accounts, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, told reporters Monday the hole was drilled “by a human hand” and that he was not ruling out any theories, saying it could have happened on the ground before launch or after the spacecraft reached orbit June 6. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Sep 6)
CHINESE PRIVATE SPACE COMPANY LAUNCHES SUBORBITAL ROCKET - A Chinese private company sent a suborbital rocket into space at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.
The SQX-1Z was developed by iSpace, a Beijing-based private rocket developer, founded in 2016 with a research center in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
The rocket carried three CubeSats, miniature satellites, for two Chinese commercial companies. After entering its preset orbit, the rocket will release two satellites for testing, and the other satellite will be parachuted to Earth, according to a statement by the company. More
(Source: Xinhua - Sep 6)
SATELLITES MORE AT RISK FROM FAST SOLAR WIND THAN A MAJOR SPACE STORM - Satellites are more likely to be at risk from high-speed solar wind than a major geomagnetic storm according to a new UK-US study published this week in the Journal Space Weather.
Researchers investigating the space weather risks to orbiting satellites calculated electron radiation levels within the Van Allen radiation belts. This ring-doughnut-shaped zone wraps around the Earth, trapping charged particles. Geostationary orbit lies inside the Van Allen radiation belts
(Source: Phys.org - Sep 4)