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“Middle East” airline “Laptop” cabin ban may become a world one which could scupper hopes of satellite operators

The recent security move to end the carrying of laptops and table computers in the cabins of commercial aircraft flying from certain “high risk” middle eastern countries, may become a global ban which has major implications for satellite operators.

The …

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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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Trump’s plans: NASA avoids major cuts but ARM is broken and global warming mission is curtailed

While Russia is somewhat unrealistically advertising for candidate cosmonauts to go to the Moon (Roscosmos does not currently have a heavy lift rocket to get them there), the prospects for NASA astronauts getting there are increasing. This is after the …

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Japanese H-2A rocket carries military radar satellite into orbit

A H-2A medium launch vehicle has launched a radar reconnaissance satellite, IGS-5, for the Japanese government. The mission lifted off from the Yoshinobu Launch Complex Pad 1, part of the Tanegashima Space Center, at 0120 GMT on 17 March, and

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After battling high wind delays Falcon 9 manages to launch telecomms satellite EchoStar 23

A SpaceX Falcon 9v1.2FT expendable rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 39A, Kennedy Space Center, at 0600 GMT on 16 March. The launch marks the third launch of the year for SpaceX who are still trying to get back on

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SpaceX wins second GPS IIIA launch contract

On 14 March, SpaceX announced they had won a US$96.5 million contract, to use its Falcon 9 rocket for the launch of the third US Air Force GPS IIIA spacecraft in February 2019. These “Batch A” spacecraft are currently in

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Arabsat and Saudi Arabia’s KACST order ARABSAT 6D communications satellite from indigenous manufacturer Taqnia Space

Major regional Fixed Service Satellite (FSS) operator Arabsat (Arab Satellite Communications Organization) has teamed up with the Saudi Arabian institute King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to purchase a GEO communications spacecraft from TAQNIA Space, a subsidiary of …

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Long delayed PAZ spacecraft for Hisdesat now to launch with SpaceX

Spanish government satellite operator, Hisdesat Strategic Services (Hisdesat), announced (8 March) that it has signed a launch contract with US company SpaceX, for a shared Falcon 9 launch near the end of 2017. Hisdesat originally had a contract – signed …

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Vega light launcher completes ninth launch

The SENTINEL-2B Earth-observation spacecraft was carried to low-Earth Orbit (LEO) by a Vega light launcher at 0149GMT on 7 March. The mission was conducted by Arianespace, under a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), in service to the European …

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GHGSat contracts to Space Flight Laboratory of UTIAS

Greenhouse gas monitoring satellites GHGSat-C1 and C2 have had their construction contracts awarded to the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies by the Canadian satellite operating firm GHGSat Inc. The spacecraft will utilise …

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Atlas V to launch second JPSS satellite in 2021

The launch contract for the second Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) spacecraft was awarded to the United Launch Alliance (ULA) on 3 March by NASA. The mission is scheduled to take place in mid-2021 from Vandenberg Air Base, and will …

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GomSpace gets full constellation order from Sky and Space Global

The UK-based constellation operator Sky and Space Global has awarded a full construction contract to GomSpace for its planned 200 satellite nanosat constellation. The contract is valued at EUR€35.0 to 55.0 million over a 4 year period. The order follows …

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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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Airbus DS notes its undisclosed construction contracts from last year

While the space effort of Airbus Defence and Space appeared to have a “flat” year at least in terms of revenues (a 3 per cent decline to EUR€3.67 billion), there were a few satellite orders made in 2016 which were …

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Greg Wyler reveals plan for a larger follow-on OneWeb constellation

Greg Wyler, founder and chairman of the OneWeb Communications, made a presentation at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on 22 February on the technology and prospects for the firm’s planned constellation.  During his speech he also noted a plan …

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JCSAT 18/KACIFIC 1 construction order goes to Boeing

The high throughput satellite (HTS), JCSAT 18, spacecraft was formally ordered from Boeing by its prospective Asian owners SKY Perfect JSAT, Japan, and Kacific Broadband Satellites, Singapore. The communications satellite which will carry both Ka and Ku-band payloads will be …

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SS-520 rocket gets second chance after investigation finds short circuit cause of first orbital launch failure

An investigation has discovered the reason why the first orbital attempt of Japan’s dedicated SS-520-4 cubesat launch vehicle ended in failure. After the launch took place at 2333 GMT on 24 January 2016, from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, …

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ISRO’s PSLV takes record for launch with most satellites aboard

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and its Antrix commercial launch provider subsidiary gained kudos for achieving the first orbital launch with more than 100 payload spacecraft aboard. The PSLV-XL rocket launch carried 104 individual satellites, most of which were …

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Ariane 5 conducts first of its seven planned launches for 2017

The European Heavy-lift rocket, the Ariane 5ECA, carried out is first launch of 2017 at 2139 UTC on 14 February. The mission was an all European industry affair with the launch vehicle and both satellites carried being built in Europe. …

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