About Matthew Wilson

Author Archive | Matthew Wilson

SpaceX announces possible cause of 1 September, Falcon 9 explosion, and conducts test of future Mars rocket engine

On 23 September, SpaceX released a statement explaining the progress they had made in the investigation into the cause of the Falcon 9 “anomaly” in the run-up to the AMOS-6 mission. It stated that “…the Accident Investigation Team (AIT), composed …

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Indian PSLV rocket launches eight satellites into two different orbits

At 0342 GMT, 26 September 2016, a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota in south-east India. The mission was the fifth PSLV launch this year, a new record for the vehicle, and …

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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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Russian Soyuz craft suffers anomaly, while Roscosmos announces crew reductions to the ISS

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, announced on 17 September 2016, that the next flight of the Soyuz-MS crew transport craft would be delayed for technical reasons after testing conducted at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. According to TASS, the Russian state …

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China launches Tiangong-2 Spacelab module as precursor to full-sized space station

China has launched the Tiangong-2 “man tended” spacelab/mini-space station as a forerunner for its planned full-sized space station. The Long March 2F/T2 (CZ-2F/T2) launch of the mini-space station module took place at 14:04 GMT on 15 September 2016, from the …

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Spacecom set to be bought by Chinese conglomerate for US$285m

On 24 August, the major shareholders of the Israeli Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) operator, Spacecom (Space Communications), announced that they had agreed a deal that would see the company bought by Beijing Xinwei Technology Group, a large conglomerate based in …

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Avanti looks to raise US$50m by selling equity but is also open to a larger transaction

London-based regional satellite operator, Avanti Communications Group plc, announced on 11 July 2016, that it was to begin discussions with potential investors in order to raise at least US$50 million to meet upcoming costs.

The company then went a step …

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Eutelsat looks to sell its 33.69% stake in European FSS operator Hispasat

On 11 July 2016, Paris-based international satellite operator, Eutelsat Communications S.A., announced that it was looking to exercise a “put” option to sell its 33.69 per cent stake in Spanish FSS (Fixed Service Satellite) operator Hispasat S.A. Eutelsat has held …

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ULA Atlas V rocket carries US Navy MUOS 5 military communications satellite from Cape Canaveral to GEO but subsequently gets stranded by spacecraft propulsion fault (Updated)

At 1530 GMT on 24 June 2016, an Atlas V in the 551 configuration launched the fifth Mobile User Objective System, MUOS, satellite for the US Navy. The rocket lifted-off from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the 108th …

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Indian PSLV launches with 20 satellites on-board

An early morning lift-off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota, in South-East India saw a PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) launch in its “XL” configuration carry 20 satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The launch occurred at 0356 GMT …

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New Shepard booster launched and landed for the fourth time by Blue Origin

Blue Origin launched its New Shepard booster (the same vehicle) for the fourth consecutive time at 1435 GMT on 19 June 2016,. The suborbital booster achieved a peak altitude of 101 km before successfully landing back on the launch-pad some …

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Ariane 5 successfully launches EchoStar 18 and Brisat and sets new payload record in doing so

At 2128 GMT on 18 June 2016, an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle lifted-off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, carrying a total payload mass (including the 890kg dispenser) of 10,730 kg.  This was a new payload …

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Cygnus OA-6 (Rick Husband) cargo craft departs from ISS for fire experiment, sat deployment, and then returns to Earth

The second enhanced-Cygnus cargo craft, Cygnus OA-6 (Rick Husband), undocked from the ISS (International Space Station) at 1143 GMT on 14 June 2016, and was released at 1330 GMT. For the return trip 1,854 kg of waste was loaded onto …

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The US launches a spy satellite into GEO orbit

At 1751 GMT on 11 June 2016, a Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle was used to successfully propel a National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) payload, NRO L-37, into an undisclosed Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). The launch was conducted by United Launch …

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SKY Perfect JSAT overall revenue flat but satellite business increased by government contract

The Space and Satellite business segment of JSAT recorded revenue of JPY54.6 billion (US$480 million) – an increase of 2.3 per cent. Operating Income/EBIT for the space and satellite business was JPY18.6 billion (US$164 million), representing an increase 4.4 per …

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