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Despite technical hitch Delta IV Medium launches military communications satellite

Lifting off from Launch Complex 37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, a Delta IV Medium (5,4) medium launch vehicle carried WGS 9 (Wideband Global Satcom) to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The launch occurred at 0018 GMT, 19 March following a …

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China’s small solid-propellant Kaituozhe KT-2A launch vehicle puts technology test satellite into orbit for Chinese military (Corrected)

China’s small solid-propellant Kaituozhe KT-2A launch vehicle was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, China, at 2353 GMT on 2 March 2017. On board the flight was the Tiankong-1 spacecraft, which was built by the China Aerospace and Industry …

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Atlas V conducts 70th launch carrying NRO L-79 mission

An Atlas V vehicle, flying in its 401 configuration, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the NRO L-79 mission to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at 1749 GMT on 1 March. The flight marks the 70th Atlas V orbital …

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North Korea’s new ballistic missile test flight…as new US Standard Missile interceptor also works in test

At 2255 GMT on 11 February, the test flight of a new “quick launch” solid fuel North Korean ballistic missile “Bukgeukseong-2″ took place. It flew 500 km into the Sea of Japan before falling into it as planned. The test …

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DARPA picks SSL for its servicing satellite contract – and it can be used to demolish satellites as well

In spite of a legal bid by Orbital ATK to stop the deal, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that it has awarded SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral) a US$15 million contract to provide the bus with …

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STPSat-6 contract goes to Orbital ATK

The US Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded Orbital ATK a US$78 million contract to build the STPSat-6 spacecraft. The spacecraft, which will be launched into geosynchronous orbit, will carry a variety of payloads including SABRS (Space and Atmospheric Burst …

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H-2A launches DSN-2 commercially operated comsat for Japan’s military to use

An H-2A (H-IIA) rocket was launched from the Tanegashima launch site in Japan at 0744 GMT on 24 January 2016. On board the rocket, which flew in the four SRB booster H-IIA 204 configuration using the recently uprated LOX/LH2 upper …

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ULA Atlas V launches SBIRS GEO-3 early warning sat

After a one day delay caused by a faulty fuel line sensor and then an aircraft straying into the launch range, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) operated Atlas V 401 rocket was successfully launched from the Cape Canaveral launch site …

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“Cover up” of rare Trident missile failure makes UK’s Prime Minister May squirm

One of the first major acts of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, who took over from David Cameron in late June, was to force the “main gate” decision on the renewal of the submarine-launched Trident II nuclear deterrent, through a …

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NRO L-111 contracted to launch on Minotaur 1

A Minotaur 1 rocket has been contracted by US Air Force on behalf of the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) for launch of NRO L-111. The contract for the mystery satellite is worth US$29.2 million. The contract stipulates that the …

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Long March 3B successfully launches comsat for China

At 1518 GMT on 5 January 2017, a Long March 3B/G2 rocket took off from the Xichang launch site in China. Aboard was a mysterious satellite called TJS-2. The satellite was placed into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) on its …

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ULA agrees to US$100,000 payment to settle possible kickback allegations

While US$100,000 is not a great deal of money in the great scheme of things. However, it was enough to satisfy the government of its good intent when the joint Boeing/Lockheed Martin-owned launch provider United Launch Alliance (ULA) paid it …

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Delta IV launches WGS-8 satellite

A United Launch Alliance (ULA)-operated Delva IVM+ 5,4 rocket has successfully launched the WGS-8 (Block II) satellite. The launch took place at 2353 GMT on 7 December 2016 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The 5,987 kg WGS-8 (Wideband Global Satcom 8) …

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Eight out of eight for Vega as it launches Gokturk 1

The Gokturk 1 (Gokturk 1A) reconnaissance satellite was launched successfully at 1351 GMT on an Arianespace operated Vega launch vehicle flying out of the Kourou launch site in French Guaina.  The launch was the eight mission success (seven orbital one …

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Analysis: While Russian, Indian (and even Indonesian) Navies all have satellite guided anti-ship missiles the Royal Navy will be left with none

This column has often warned that the UK’s armed services are steadily disarming themselves due to defence cuts being imposed on them by current and previous governments. Now it really is becoming embarrassing. The Daily Telegraph reports that the Harpoon …

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Analysis: Trump wins US Presidency – So how did he do it and what will this mean for Space?

The election of maverick businessman and official Republican candidate, Donald Trump, as president-elect, like the UK’s vote for “Brexit”, was seen as a “revolt against the establishment”.  But what will this mean for the US space programme and the space …

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Stranded MUOS-5 military comsat finally rescues itself to “usable” geosynchronous orbit

The military communications satellite MUOS-5, which was stranded in a transfer orbit because its apogee kick motor had only been able to make a partial burn, has now recovered itself to a “usable” geosynchronous orbit. Having been successfully launched into …

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Missile placements and naval moves makes new cold war icy but worse, it may turn very hot

Western sentiment has been stirred by terrible scenes from Syria in which Russian jet bombers supported Syrian government Mig-21 jets in actively bombing the rebellious city of Aleppo into submission. The Western democracies, regretting not getting involved earlier, are thus …

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Lockheed Martin receives order for two more GPS 3A satellites worth US$395m

The United States Air Force (USAF) has exercised the fourth two-satellite option from its original GPS 3A block order, it was announced on 21 September 2016. The option for these two satellites GPS 3A-9 and GPS 3A-10 is worth US$395m.…

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OFEQ 11 fails in orbit immediately after successful launch

After the loss of the commercial satellite AMOS-6, there was more bad news for the Israeli satellite industry. Following a successful launch from the Palmachim launch site by an Israeli Shavit 2 launch vehicle, at 1438 GMT on 13 September …

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