Archive | Satellites RSS feed for this section

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

F-35 fighter deal means that Lockheed is buying a satellite for South Korea from Airbus DS

While the world looks more likely to go to war, this potentially hazardous situation has led to good business for the aerospace and defence sectors. Fourth generation jet fighters are very high performing and very manoeuvrable, but they lack “radar …

Continue Reading

Boeing and Nanoracks team up to build commercial cubesat deploying airlock for ISS

Having got permission via Space Act Agreement with NASA in May 2016, cubesat deployment firm, NanoRacks, has joined up with Boeing to build and install the first commercial airlock module on the International Space Station. The airlock is expected to …

Continue Reading

Syncom designer Harold Rosen passes away

While Arthur C. Clarke came up with the theory of using satellites for communications in a geosynchronous/geostationary position in 1945, actually it was spacecraft designer Harold Rosen who made it a practical reality. As such it is sad to report …

Continue Reading

Planet confirms acquisition of rival Terra Bella

The imaging satellite operator, Planet (formerly known as PlanetLab), has confirmed (3 February 2017) the completion of a deal with Google to acquire the Earth-imaging business Terra Bella, formerly known as Skybox Imaging. The agreement will see the entire Terra …

Continue Reading

Soyuz returns to service but Proton flights are delayed by engine quality control investigation

The crisis in quality control at the Russian Voronezh rocket engine manufacturer continues. Following the recent Soyuz-U failure, which was traced to particle contamination in its RD-0110 third-stage engine, a separate investigation into the last Proton rocket launch of Intelsat …

Continue Reading

SKY announces “satellite-less” online TV service

Share prices of the major European satellite operators SES and Eutelsat both fell after their major user, Sky PLC, announced that it was planning to start a “satellite free” multichannel television service via internet in 2018. The idea is to …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

AMC-3 changes name to Eagle-1 after payload buyout by airline connectivity supplier

While the communications satellite AMC-3 will still remain so with satellite operator SES, the entire Ku-band payload of the satellite (now in inclined geosynchronous orbit) has been purchased by airline connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment for US$50 million. SES will …

Continue Reading

President Obama – The Verdict: Better than his predecessor but weak on Syria and Space

It is, of course, posterity that gets the final say on whether a U.S. President was any good or not, but as he leaves office we can, at least, make a preliminary comparison of President Barack Obama’s record against that …

Continue Reading

Japan’s dedicated SS-520-4 cubesat launch vehicle fails on first launch attempt (Corrected)

The first flight of Japan’s dedicated SS-520-4 cubesat launch vehicle has failed on its maiden flight. The launch took place at 2333 GMT on 24 January 2016 from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan. After a successful lift-off from …

Continue Reading

SpaceX Falcon 9 comes back in style with Iridium launch success but doubts remain

 

Elon Musk and his SpaceX team scored a successful return for the Falcon 9 rocket with the launch of 10 Iridium Next communications satellites. The launch took place at 1754 GMT on 14 January 2016, from the Vandenberg site …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

China’s Kuaizhou 1A quick launch rocket puts three commercial satellites into orbit

The first launch of the “quick launch” Chinese Kuaizhou 1A (Feitian 1) launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan launch centre in the Gobi Desert on 9 January at 0411 GMT. While the earlier Kuaizhou 1 incarnation of this rocket …

Continue Reading

Lucy and Psyche get the nod for NASA Discovery missions

The Lucy mission, to be launched in 2021, was one of two missions to be selected for Discovery mission funding out of five contenders. The other winning contender was the Psyche mission which will be launched in 2023. Both missions …

Continue Reading

Arianespace gets launch orders for two comsats: Intelsat 39 and JCSAT 17

Arianespace has received two launch contracts at the beginning of 2017. The first contract to launch Intelsat 39 in 2018 was signed with Intelsat. Arianespace signed another contract with Sky Perfect JSat for the launch of JCSat-17 in 2019. Both …

Continue Reading

Gomspace effectively contracts with itself to build constellation

GomSpace and Aerial & Maritime Ltd both subsidiaries of GomSpace Sweden AB have entered into a turn-key delivery contract, whereas GomSpace will design, deliver, launch and commission a constellation of satellites into a low-inclination Equatorial orbit. The delivery of the …

Continue Reading

Long March 2D undershoots Gaojing Earth observation satellites and they have to recover themselves

At 0323 GMT on 28 December 2016, a Long March 2D/2 (CZ-2D/2) rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan launch site in China carrying two Gaojing 1 spacecraft, Gaojing 1-1 and Gaojing 1-2, into orbit – the first two in a …

Continue Reading