ASTRA WILL LAUNCH ITS 1ST SATELLITE MISSION IN EARLY 2021 - Astra is moving full-speed ahead after notching its first spaceflight success this week.
The Bay Area startup's two-stage Rocket 3.2 soared high on a test flight from Alaska on Tuesday (Dec. 15), acing a series of important milestones and hitting its target altitude of 236 miles (380 kilometers), Astra representatives wrote in a blog post on Thursday (Dec. 17). More
(Source: Space.com - Dec 20)
CAPELLA DELIVERS SUPER SHARP SATELLITE RADAR PICTURES - There is only one way to get persistent vision of the Earth's surface, and that is with satellite radar.
Take a look at these images - they're the latest product from the San Francisco start-up Capella Space.
The "spot" pictures have a resolution on the ground of 50cm by 50cm. This is a first for the commercial marketplace. More
(Source: Yahoo News - Dec 19)
ARIANESPACE TARGETS EARLY 2021 FOR VEGA RETURN-TO-FLIGHT - Presenting the results of an inquiry into a European Vega rocket failure last month, officials said Friday that misleading instructions and inadequate preflight checks caused teams to overlook wrongly-installed cables on the launcher’s upper stage steering system.
Arianespace and European Space Agency officials said they aim to resume Vega launches before the end of March, once technicians complete additional inspections of already-built rocket components to ensure they are free of the problem that caused the failure in November. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 19)
ONEWEB SATELLITE COMPANY LAUNCHES INTO NEW ERA - The OneWeb satellite broadband company is back launching again, putting up 36 new satellites on Friday from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Eastern Russia.
The spacecraft are to join the 74 already in orbit.
OneWeb is now owned principally by the Indian conglomerate Bharti Global and the UK government after they bought the enterprise out of bankruptcy this year. More
(Source: BBC News - Dec 18)
SPACE FORCE OFFICIAL: RUSSIAN MISSILE TESTS EXPOSE VULNERABILITY OF LOW-ORBITING SATELLITES - Russia on Dec. 15 conducted a ballistic missile test that U.S. Space Command condemned as a threat to satellites in orbit.
“The nation must do something about this,” said Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno, director of staff of the Office of the Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force.
Speaking Dec. 16 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable virtual event, Armagno said the recent Russian missile test shows how vulnerable satellites are... More
(Source: SpaceNews - Dec 18)
PSLV DELIVERS INDIAN COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE INTO ORBIT - A government communications satellite to link Indian citizens with telemedicine, education, and other services rocketed into orbit Thursday on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The CMS 1 satellite, formerly known as GSAT 12R, is on track to replace India’s GSAT 12 spacecraft in geostationary orbit providing telecom services across the Indian subcontinent and neighboring islands.
The roughly 1.5-ton satellite took off on the PSLV at 5:11 a.m. EST (1011 GMT) Thursday, or 3:41 p.m. local time in India. More
(Source: SpaceFlight Now - Dec 18)
SPACEX ABORTS US SPY SATELLITE LAUNCH DUE TO ROCKET BOOSTER PRESSURE ISSUE - SpaceX called off the planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a classified spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office due to high pressure in the second-stage booster.
The launch, dubbed NROL-108, was set to launch from Pad 39A of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a three-hour launch window that opened at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) today (Dec. 17). The next launch attempt could occur on Friday (Dec. 18). More
(Source: Space.com - Dec 18)
SANTA CLAUS TO FLY BY THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - Santa Claus will be performing a ceremonial fly-by of the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 24. The visit will honor the 20th anniversary of continuous life on the ISS, a milestone achieved in November.
The official NORAD Santa Tracker at NoradSanta.org will allow users to track Santa’s journey all day on Dec. 24. New for this year, visitors will be able to see the ISS orbiting the planet in its precise real-time location by zooming out on the 3D Santa Tracker app. Other updates include additions to Santa’s traditional garb, including a face mask and space helmet. More
(Source: GPS World magazine - Dec 17)
SPACEX WILL LAUNCH A SPY SATELLITE FOR THE NATIONAL RECONNAISSANCE OFFICE THURSDAY. WATCH IT LIVE! - SpaceX is set to launch a spy satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on Thursday (Dec. 17), and you can watch the action online.
The flight is scheduled to blast off from Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center here in Florida during a planned three-hour window that opens at 9 a.m. EST (1400 GMT). However, the exact liftoff time has not yet been announced. More
(Source: Space.com - Dec 17)