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May 2012 Archives



This morning, at approximately 8:42 AM Pacific/11:42 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed its historic mission when the Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely in the Pacific. The vehicle will now be recovered by boats and start the trip back to land.


Today, Intelsat, the world's leading provider of satellite services, and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), the world's fastest growing space launch company, announced the first commercial contract for the Falcon Heavy rocket.


The International Space Station crew successfully captured the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at 9:56 am EDT. It was berthed to the ISS exactly 3 hours later.

- First Images of Dragon Captured by ISS
- Images: Berthing Dragon


Today, Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) Dragon spacecraft completed key on-orbit tests as part of a historic attempt to be the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.


A new exhibit opens today at The Museum of Flight in Seattle that features Blue Origin's first flying vehicle, Charon. Built as an early development project in 2005, Blue Origin has loaned the vertical take-off, vertical-landing jet-powered vehicle to the Museum.


The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today released its annual State of the Satellite Industry Report which showed a modest growth of 5% in world satellite industry revenues which totalled $177.3 billion in 2011. The report was completed by Futron Corporation for the SIA.


At 3:44 a.m. EDT a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon spacecraft successfully lifted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Space Station launch complex 40 for its maiden voyage to the International Space Station on its second demonstration flight as part of the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program.

This afternoon NASA held a pre-launch briefing for tomorrow's SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with Dragon spacecraft launch to the International Space Station on the COTS-2 demo flight.


The Dragon spacecraft built by SpaceX will head to the International Space Station with about 1,200 pounds of cargo during its demonstration mission, including commemorative patches and pins, 162 meals and a collection of student experiments.


Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has submitted its mission concept study to NASA for demonstrating solar electric propulsion (SEP) technologies in space.


In the early evening at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana an Ariane 5 successfully launched two telecommunication satellites for Japan and Vietnam. It was the 48th consecutive success launch for the Ariane 5, the 300th and 301st satellites launched by Arianespace from French Guiana, and the 100th and 101st commercial satellites produced by Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems.


Today marks T-minus two months to the 50th anniversary of the launch of the solar-powered Telstar satellite, which christened the modern media era by transmitting the first intercontinental television broadcasts.


Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Bigelow Aerospace (BA) have agreed to conduct a joint marketing effort focused on international customers. The two companies will offer rides on SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, using the Falcon launch vehicle to carry passengers to Bigelow habitats orbiting the earth.


It was 15 months that ATK announced with Astrium (an EADS Company) announced that they were working together and would compete in NASA's Commercial Crew Development-2 (CCDev-2) procurement. At that time they announced an initial test flight by the end of 2013, a second test flight in 2014, and operational capability in 2015. Today's announcement reinforces the previous plans with a few changes and offers some new information.


Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has finished an important evaluation of a prototype Dragon spacecraft designed to carry people into orbit. This key milestone is part of SpaceX's partnership with NASA under a funded Space Act Agreement to advance the design of crew transportation vehicles.


Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) unveiled today its SHERPA in-space tug, which is dedicated to hosting and deploying small and secondary payloads.


DigitalGlobe, Inc. (DGI) ("DigitalGlobe" or the "Company"), a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions, today commented on the unsolicited proposal announced by GeoEye, Inc. (GEOY) ("GeoEye") to acquire the Company for $17.00 per share in a combination of cash and stock.


This afternoon at 2:42 p.m. EDT a United Launch Alliance Atlas V successfully launched the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-2) satellite for the Air Force. The satellite is the second of the next generation constellation of military communications satellites to be used by all branches of the service which will result in a 10 fold increase in capability.


GeoEye, Inc. (GEOY), a leading source of geospatial information and insight, today announced that it is proposing to acquire DigitalGlobe, Inc. (DGI).

The research program to make the wearable technology shown here engaged students from the University of Minnesota and could have future commercial applications.


Boeing successfully completed the second parachute drop test of the company's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft on May 2 at the Delamar Dry Lake Bed near Alamo, Nev. The test demonstrated the performance of the entire landing system.


The Lockheed Martin [team developing NASA and NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R series (GOES-R) satellite has successfully completed the spacecraft Critical Design Review (CDR), a major milestone that paves the way for the production of the nation's next-generation geostationary weather satellite system.


Lockheed Martin announced today that it has successfully mated the spacecraft bus and the imaging payload for GeoEye's (GEOY) next-generation, high-resolution imaging satellite, known as GeoEye-2.