Live coverage: SpaceX launches U.S.-French environmental satellite
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California at 3:46 a.m. PST (6:46 a.m. EST; 1146 GMT) Friday, carrying the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite into orbit for NASA and the French space agency CNES. The Falcon 9’s first stage booster returned to the California launch base for landing.
Ariane 5 rocket launches new European Meteosat satellite, two Intelsat comsats
A European Ariane 5 rocket fired off a launching stand Tuesday in tropical South America with the vanguard of a modernized series of weather satellites to improve storm forecasts for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and two Intelsat television broadcasting satellites to cover the United States, a heavyweight payload totaling 12 tons.
Comet Interceptor Construction Moves Forward
ESA and OHB have signed a contract to move forward with the design and construction of ESA’s ambitious Comet Interceptor spacecraft, planned for launch in 2029. Unlike other missions, Comet Interceptor’s target has not yet been discovered. That’s because it would take too long to build a mission on the short timeframe of a potential target entering the Solar System for a spacecraft to reach in time. Instead, Comet Interceptor will be ready and, unless a suitable target is identified before
FAA clears Rocket Lab for first launch from U.S. spaceport
Rocket Lab said Saturday that the company received final approval from NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration to launch their first mission from the United States on Sunday, clearing final regulatory and technical hurdles with a new autonomous range safety destruct unit that delayed the launch more than two years.
SpaceX booster launches for record 15th time on Starlink mission
SpaceX launched 54 more Starlink internet satellites Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, using a Falcon 9 booster on its 15th flight to space, a record for the company’s reusable rocket fleet. The mission was also the third Falcon 9 rocket flight in less than 34 hours from SpaceX’s three active launch pads in less.
200th launch of SpaceX Falcon rocket boosts O3b mPOWER internet satellites
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Friday from Cape Canaveral on a mission to boost two high-power broadband satellites for SES’s O3b mPOWER network toward a unique equatorial orbit some 5,000 miles above Earth. It was the 200th launch by SpaceX’s Falcon rocket family since 2006.
NASA conducts first test of redesigned Lunar rocket engine at Stennis
NASA conducted the first test of the newly redesigned RS-25 engine for future flights of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket Dec. 14, completing 209.5 seconds of a scheduled 500 second hot fire
Perseverance rover to begin building Martian sample depot
In the coming days, NASA’s Perseverance rover is expected to begin building the first sample depot on another world. This will mark a crucial milestone in the NASA-ESA (European Space Agency)*
First African nations sign Artemis Accords
Two African countries became the first from the continent to join the Artemis Accords as the United States works to bring more emerging space nations into the agreement.
NanoAvionics developing two smallsats for Constellr
Kongsberg NanoAvionics has signed a contract with thermal data provider Constellr to supply that firm with two of NanoAvionic’s flagship MP42 smallsat buses. Having recently raised 10 million euros, Constellr will use the two satellites to develop the world’s first, scalable, water stress monitoring system. Collaborating since the early days of the German startup, NanoAvionics […]
Resolve Optics presents space-ready optics for smallsats
Resolve Optics is a leading supplier of miniature space-ready optics that are at the heart of smallsats that are being deployed to address a growing range of applications that include remote sensing, EO, data communications, scientific analysis, and surveillance. For a lens or optical system to be considered space-ready, it must meet some strict requirements.
Spaceflight Inc. wraps up 2022 with Transporter 6 to be the 10th launch of the year
Spaceflight Inc., global launch services provider, announced it’s preparing its 10th, and final, launch of 2022. Spaceflight provided the launch and integration services for Kleos Space’s fourth satellite cluster, Observer, through ISISPACE Group on SpaceX’s Transporter 6 rideshare mission. The four Kleos spacecraft are heading to a 525-kilometer Sun Synchronous Orbit aboard a Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral
Isar Aerospace disclose the selected payloads for the 2nd flight of the Spectrum launch vehicle
Ten European institutions and small and medium sized (SMEs) companies have been selected to launch 19 smallsats on the second flight of Isar Aerospace’s launch vehicle, Spectrum. Payloads were selected as part of the Microlauncher Payload Competition conducted by the German Space Agency at DLR.
Historic first launch of Chinese private methane-fueled rocket ends in failure
Chinese launch company Landspace suffered failure Wednesday in what was the world’s first attempt to achieve orbit with a methane-fueled rocket.
Space Safety News
Russian engineers assessing leak from Soyuz crew spacecraft
A Russian Soyuz crew ferry ship docked to the International Space Station spewed particles of an unknown substance, presumably coolant fluid, into space Wednesday night, forcing two Russian cosmonauts to call off a planned spacewalk as engineers on the ground scrambled to determine the source and the effects of the leak.
Soyuz leak cancels space station spacewalk
A coolant leak in a Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station Dec. 14 forced flight controllers to cancel a Russian spacewalk there and raised questions about the spacecraft’s ability to return to Earth safely.
Science &Technology News
Latest international water satellite packs an engineering punch
Set for a Thursday, Dec. 15 launch, the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite promises to provide an extraordinary accounting of water over much of Earth’s surface. Its measurements of fresh water and the ocean will help researchers address some of the most pressing climate questions of our time and help communities prepare for a warming world.
AstroAccess successfully completes first weightless research flight with disabled crew
AstroAccess, a project dedicated to promoting disability inclusion in space, announced the successful completion of its first formal research flight ‘AA2’ onboard Zero-G Corporation’s aircraft
Airbus achieves key milestone on EGNOSv3
Airbus has successfully achieved the System Critical Design Review (CDR) on the EGNOS V3 satellite-based augmentation system.