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By order of Inmarsat: Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat jumps ship from Falcon Heavy to Ariane 5

The Hellas-Sat 3/Europasat spacecraft which is co-owned by Inmarsat and the Arabsat subsidiary, Hellas-Sat, had previously been booked on-board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy, it will now be lifted into orbit by an Arianespace-operated Ariane 5 rocket. Inmarsat, which was in …

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Progress MS-04 mission to ISS ended by a Soyuz-U launch failure (Updated)

An ISS (International Space Station) resupply mission, which lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, has suffered a launch failure. The Progress MS-04 mission, which was being carried by a Soyuz-U rocket, successfully lifted off from Baikonur at 1452 GMT …

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Space Industry News: Multiple non-GEO coms network proposals submitted to FCC

On 15 November 2016, the deadline passed for “additional applications” to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) for the use of multiple frequencies over the US by new Non-Geostationary Satellite Orbit (NGSO) satellite networks. These applications hope to join the likes …

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Next generation weather monitoring satellite GOES-R launched for US by ULA

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) carried out a launch to Geostationary Orbit (GEO) using the Atlas V launch vehicle at 2342 GMT on 19 November 2016. The Atlas V was in its “541” configuration, the fourth time this has flown. …

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Two Chinese taikonauts return home safely after 30-day stay in orbit

The Shenzhou 11 Descent Module landed in the Inner Mongolia territory, in Northern China, at 0559 GMT on 18 November. The two taikonauts inside, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, were found to be in good health having already opened the …

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Ariane 5 carries four Galileo satellites into orbit

In the first of what is planned to be three launches, an Arianespace, Ariane 5 heavy-lift launch vehicle has lifted-off from Kourou, French Guiana, carrying four Galileo GPS satellites for the EU. The launch took place at 1306 GMT, 17 …

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China receives plaudits for maiden launch of its new Long March 5 rocket – but upper stage is then revealed as debris hazard

At 1243 GMT, on 2 November 2016, China carried out the maiden launch of the new Long March 5 (CZ-5), heavy-lift rocket, which has been under development by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) since 2001. The launch …

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Japan launches Himawari 9 continuing its domestic weather monitoring service

At 0620 GMT, 2 November 2016, a Japanese H-IIA202 launcher carried the Himawari 9 (Geostationary Meteorological Satellite), into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). From there it will take the spacecraft a few weeks to reach its operational orbit of around …

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NASA orders Landsat 9 from Orbital ATK continuing partnership with the US Geological Survey

On 25 October, 2016, NASA announced it had placed an order with Orbital ATK for the Landsat 9 spacecraft. The order was placed utilising the Rapid Spacecraft Acquisition III contract, which allows NASA to order “proven spacecraft designs” from a …

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Back in play: Antares 230 launches Cygnus freighter to the ISS on long awaited return (Updated)

At 2345 GMT on 17 October an Antares 230  rocket lifted off from Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia, carrying the Cygnus OA-5 commercial resupply mission for the International Space Station (ISS) into orbit. This flight marks the return-to-flight of …

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NASA Juno mission suffers safe mode control drop out

At 0547 GMT on 19 October, the NASA probe, Juno, entered a “safe mode” 13 hours before it reached “perijove”, the low point of its orbit, around the planet Jupiter. Operators have reported that the spacecraft behaved as expected when …

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Terra Bella to co-lead Spaceflight Industries’ Sun Synch Express mission

It was announced on 11 October, that Spaceflight Industries had signed Google-owned Terra Bella as the co-lead on their “2017 Sun Synch Express” (SSO-A) mission. The SSO-A mission will utilise one of Spaceflight’s SHERPA Tugs to transport over 20 payloads …

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ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter enters correct orbit but Schiaparelli lander is lost in crash landing

The main Russian-launched Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) research element of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars mission was successfully injected into its planned orbit around Mars. But the “exciting” part of the mission, ESA’s Schiaparelli lander, crashed into oblivion. Entry …

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Russian Soyuz vehicle successfully launches astronauts, and troubled Soyuz craft, to the ISS

At 0805 GMT, 19 October 2016, a Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off from Site 31/6, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, carrying the Soyuz MS-02 craft containing crew members of Expedition 49/50 to the International Space Station (ISS). The new crew members …

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NASA delays Juno engine burn from October to December after fuel pressurisaton anomaly (Updated)

On 14 October, NASA released a press release stating that a planned engine burn, referred to as a Period Reduction Manoeuvre (PRM), intended for 19 October would be postponed to allow for an investigation into a anomaly observed with the …

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Orbital ATK to supply Pegasus launchers to Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch Systems and Orbital ATK announced, on 6 October, that Orbital would be supplying Pegasus XL air-launch vehicles for use on the in-development Stratolaunch carrier aircraft. The deal was described as a “multi-year production-based partnership”, which will see Orbital supply

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Ariane 5 successfully completes 74th consecutive mission, carrying satellites for South Asian customers

At 2030 GMT, on 5 October, the heavy-lift Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the European Spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, carrying two telecommunications satellites, Sky Muster II, for NBN Co and GSAT-18, for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). This …

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Blue Origin completes a successful test of its abort system while surprisingly recovering New Shepard booster

At 1536 GMT, on 5 October 2016, the start-up space company Blue Origin completed the fifth consecutive launch of their New Shepard booster, alongside the first successful in-flight test of their crew abort mechanism. The primary aim of this mission …

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Rosetta probe ends mission by joining Philae lander on comet’s surface

On 30 September 2016, at 1119 GMT the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC), Darmstadt, announced that the Rosseta probe had completed its de-orbit manoeuvre to land/crash on to the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, sending its last telemetry packet at …

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IAC 2016 Guadalajara: Sea Launch to be purchased by Russian airline

S7 Airlines, the Russian airline company, has signed an agreement with RSC Energia for the main assets of the Sea Launch business, including the two launch vessels, at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara.

The deal, signed on 27 …

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