November 2012 Archives

The GOES-R Series Program, which is leading the effort to replace and upgrade NOAA's existing fleet of geostationary satellites that track severe weather across the United States, received a favorable appraisal conducted by an external team of aerospace experts of its preparations to launch the new series, beginning in late 2015.

Like sailors of old, satellites in space take their bearings from the stars. Startrackers are an essential ingredient of space missions - and European companies dominate their commercial supply, benefiting from ESA's long-term technical coordination.

Grasshopper consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure. For a sense of its scale, note the blue pick-up truck to the left of Grasshopper in the photo above.

Arianespace has given the green light for the launch tomorrow of its dual payload the EUTELSAT 21B and Star One C3 satellites. It is the sixth launch of the year for the heavy lift Ariane 5. The launch window opens up at 4:05 p.m. ET (9:05 GMT) and closes at 5:51 p.m. ET (10:51 GMT) and will be webcast on Arianespace TV.

In May at the International Space Development Conference hosted by the National Space Society a summit of the teams competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE took place. The video shows thoughts and updates from some of the teams. Of note, and as expected, we should be hearing soon about more teams merging for the race to the finish line.

Late last Friday MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) announced it had formally closed the deal to acquire Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) after it had received regulatory approval and secured the necessary financing. MDA announced in their quarterly call yesterday that on the same day of the closing it had been contacted by the Canadian government with a request for proposal for the build phase, Phase D, for the oft-delayed RADARSAT Constellation Mission.

Futron presented a concept for an East African spaceport at the 5th Annual Kenya Scholars and Studies Association (KESSA) Conference. Conference stakeholders joined with Futron in recommending a feasibility study as the next step in the spaceport's development.