SATELLITE AND SPACE SHUTTLE NEWS
ATLANTIS SEPARATES FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION - At 4:18 a.m. EDT, space shuttle Atlantis fired its jets, separating a space shuttle from the International Space Station for the last time. �At 6:19 a.m., the "late inspection" of Atlantis' heat shield will commence, and today's Mission Status Briefing will air on NASA Television at 7:30 a.m.... More
NEW NAVIGATION SATELLITE LAUNCHES ON NIGHTTIME ROCKET FLIGHT - Continuing a prolific partnership that has benefited billions of users around the world, the Delta rocket family today successfully launched its 50th satellite for the Global Positioning System.
The powerful Delta 4 booster blasted away from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 at 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT) for a middle-of-the-night ascent precisely timed to deliver a critical replacement satellite directly into the GPS constellation.
It was the type of rocket flight that could appear routine. But replenishing the navigation network is vital to the military forces, civilian consumers and the blossoming commercial marketplace that have come to depend on GPS every day. More
GSAT - 12 LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY - India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) successfully launched the Indian Space Research Organisation's (Isro) GSAT – 12 communication satellite yesterday from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. The launch of PSLV - C17 was the eighteenth successive successful flight of PSLV.
After a smooth countdown of 53 hours, the vehicle lifted-off from the Second Launch Pad at the opening of the launch window at 16:48 hours (IST).
NEW SES COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE IN ORBIT -
A new SES communications satellite, known as SES-3, built by Orbital Sciences Corp. for SES World Skies, was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan on an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket on Friday.
SES-3 is the first of two satellites built by Orbital for SES scheduled for delivery and launch in 2011. It is also the first commercial ILS dual launch to be conducted. SES-3 was launched with the KAZSAT-2 communications satellite.
Orbital produced the SES-3 satellite under a contract for up to five spacecraft awarded to the company by SES World Skies. Orbital is headquartered in Dulles, Va.
BOEING: 2ND BOEING GPS IIF SATELLITE READY FOR LAUNCH FROM CAPE CANAVERAL - Boeing has announced that the second of 12 GPS IIF satellites it is building for the U.S. Air Force has successfully completed prelaunch testing. GPS IIF-2 is ready for launch on July 15 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
"Nearly every piece of military equipment uses GPS precision timing and navigation capabilities to perform its missions more safely and effectively," said Air Force Col. Bernard Gruber, director of the GPS Directorate.
(Source: Space Daily)
SOYUZ ROCKET LAUNCH BEEFS UP GLOBALSTAR SATELLITE FLEET - Six fresh spacecraft for Globalstar's mobile communications satellite fleet were deployed Wednesday by a Russian Soyuz rocket, propping up the company's degraded two-way voice service for more than 400,000 subscribers around the world.
The successful launch continued Globalstar's campaign to replace aging satellites launched more than a decade ago.
The satellites, each weighing 1,543 pounds at launch, will enter Globalstar's constellation circling a few hundred miles above Earth. Thales Alenia Space assembled the satellites in Rome and built their communications equipment in Toulouse, France.
(Source: Space Flight Now)
PSLV TO PUT GSAT-12 IN ORBIT ON FRIDAY - With the 53-hour countdown for the launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) commencing at 11.48 a.m. on Wednesday, the stage is set for the rocket's lift-off from Sriharikota at 4.48 p.m. on Friday.
The PSLV-C17 will put in orbit communication satellite GSAT-12, which weighs 1,410 kg. It is a more powerful version of the standard PSLV, called PSLV-XL that will put the satellite in orbit after a 20-minute flight.
(Source: The Hindu)
NEW SATELLITE HELPS SPACE EXPLORATION - China blasted off a new data relay satellite, Tianlian I-02, on Monday at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern Sichuan province.
The new satellite will bolster the country's satellite communication network for space docking.
The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket at 11:41 pm, sources at the center told Xinhua News Agency.
(Source: China Daily
NASA FINDS NO SHUTTLE DAMAGE AFTER TWO LIGHTNING STRIKES - Early data shows space shuttle Atlantis, poised for launch Friday, escaped damage from two lightning strikes Thursday afternoon, NASA said.
One bolt emanating from a severe thunderstorm struck a water tower 515 feet from the pad; the second struck the beach nearby, the space agency said in a statement.
Currently, the launch time of 11:26 a.m. Friday remains unchanged, despite only a 30% chance of favorable weather, according to NASA.
Fueling was scheduled to start at 2:01 a.m. Friday. Ahead of that, engineers will determine whether the lightning affected systems, the external tank, main engines or other components.
PSLV-C17 TO LAUNCH GSAT-12 ON JULY 15, 2011 - Preparations for the forthcoming launch of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C17) carrying India's communication satellite GSAT-12 are progressing well at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The launch of PSLV-C17/GSAT-12 mission is targeted for July 15, 2011.
GSAT-12 Communication satellite with a mass of 1410 kg at lift-off, has 12 Extended C-band transponders. PSLV-C17 will inject GSAT-12 into an elliptical Transfer Orbit (Sub-GTO) of 284 km perigee and 21,000 km apogee.
(Source: Space Daily
LAUNCH OF ASTRA 1N SATELLITE POSTPONED - SES S.A. (Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announces that the launch of its new ASTRA 1N satellite has been postponed due to an anomaly that occurred during the final launch count-down.
The launch service provider, Arianespace, having decided to conduct additional verifications, SES is currently not in a position to comment on the possible causes of the mission abort and is awaiting the results of the official investigation. Arianespace will reschedule the launch as soon as possible.
(Source: Business Wire)