Miscellaneous Launches and Payloads (updates)


Recommended Posts

At #LEAG15 it was announced that Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has enough props for another 6-8 years, and has already transmitted 655 Tb of data. All the better to recon hidden side landing sites. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lifting capability is going to be pretty large for all three Blocks. 75~143 Tonnes. Interesting that they all use the same engine configuration; two solids and four RS-25's. I assume that's LEO ... but still decent. I also assume that a TLI payload will run just about 35% of that weight rating, so figure 30 Tonnes at the lowest Block and just shy of 50 Tonnes at the heaviest.

Not bad, not bad ... *but* ... Orion fully-loaded is 18-20 Tonnes by itself, so that fits SLS. And likely if they're doing a TLI they'll use a Block 2 or 3 variant, because they'll need an S3 Booster to make it happen.

Oh, and never mind the price-per-launch ... hope they have some "oohs" and "ahhs" planned for the system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Launch Schedule

Nov. 3Long March 3B • Chinasat 2C
Launch time: Approx. 1620 GMT (11:20 a.m. EST)
Launch site: Xichang, China
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch the Chinasat 2C communications satellite. [Nov. 2]
TBDSuper Strypi • ORS 4
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Pacific Missile Range Facility, Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii
The ORS 4 mission is a first flight demonstration of the experimental, low-cost Super Strypi small launch system. The Operationally Responsive Space office is managing development of Super Strypi in partnership with the University of Hawaii, Sandia National Laboratories, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne Corp. The goal is to deliver payloads in the range of 300 kilograms to low Earth orbit. A Super Strypi launch vehicle will deliver the HiakaSat spacecraft and multiple CubeSat payloads into orbit on the ORS 4 mission. Delayed from October 2013, April and October 2014. Delayed from January 2015. Delayed from Oct. 29. [Oct. 29]
Nov. 10Ariane 5 • Badr 7 & GSAT 15
Launch window: 2134-2217 GMT (4:34-5:17 p.m. EST)
Launch site: ELA-3, Kourou, French Guiana
Arianespace will use an Ariane 5 ECA rocket, designated VA227, to launch the Badr 7 and GSAT 15 satellites. The Badr 7 satellite, also known as Arabsat 6B, will provide direct-to-home television programming and broadband services over the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia for Arabsat. GSAT 15 will provide communications services over India for the Indian Space Research Organization. Delayed from Nov. 5. [Oct. 3]
NovemberLong March 3B • LaoSat 1
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Xichang, China
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch the LaoSat 1 communications satellite. LaoSat 1 will provide telecommunications and broadcast services for Laos and Southeast Asia. [Oct. 11]
TBDSoyuz 2-1v • Kanopus ST
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia
A Russian government Soyuz 2-1v rocket with a Volga upper stage will launch with Kanopus ST Earth observation satellite. Delayed from Feb. 1. [July 18]
Nov. 24H-2A • Telstar 12V
Launch window: 0623-0807 GMT (1:23-3:07 a.m. EST)
Launch site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
A Japanese H-2A rocket will launch the Telstar 12 Vantage communications satellite for Telesat. Telstar 12V will provide broadband communications coverage over the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The rocket will fly in the “204” configuration with four solid rocket boosters. [Sept. 17]
DecemberFalcon 9 • Orbcomm OG2
Launch window: TBD
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 11 second-generation Orbcomm communications satellites. The satellites will operate for Orbcomm Inc., providing two-way data messaging services for global customers. The rocket will fly on a full-thrust version of the Falcon 9 rocket with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a payload fairing. Delayed from December 2014 and 1st Quarter 2015 and August. [Oct. 19]



Long March 2D lofts latest Tianhui-1 satellite

China has conducted the launch of the latest Tianhui-1 satellite, believed to be the third in the range following on from a previous launch in 2012. The launch of Tianhui-1C took place at 07:10 UTC, utilizing the Long March 2D (Chang Zheng-2D) rocket, lifting off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Chinese Launch:

Like the first two satellites, the first of which was launched on August 24th, 2010, the new satellites are being used for mapping using stereo-topographic techniques from orbit.

The Tianhui-1 (Sky drawing) satellites – built by the Hangtian Dongfanghong Weixing Corporation and established by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST) – are equipped with a three-dimensional survey camera and a CCD camera with a ground resolution of 5 meters, spectral region of 0.51μm to 0.69μm, and with a camera angle of 25 degrees.

More data at ...

Long March 2D Rocket , video is 0:36 min


We'll have to wait for the satellite and village health report......:(


Inaugural launch of small-class rocket on hold in Hawaii


The maiden test flight of a new rail-guided launcher from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii, which was scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed while engineers resolve issues encountered in pre-launch preparations, a U.S. Air Force spokesperson said.

The mission, managed by the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space office, will carry 13 spacecraft into orbit after blasting off from Kauai, Hawaii, aboard a Super Strypi launcher, a three-stage vehicle based on a sounding rocket design and sized as a dedicated ride for small satellites.

When it lifts off, the flight will mark the first satellite launch from Hawaii. A new launch date has not been established, according to the Air Force, but the liftoff has been postponed beyond Friday.

“The ORS-4 Super Strypi mission is the first launch of this type of launch vehicle,” an Air Force official said Thursday. ” As such, and not unexpected, we are working through a few launch processing issues.  Once these are resolved, we will finalize a new launch date.”

Spaceflight Now expects to provide live video of the launch.

Established in 2007 to explore technologies and methods to reduce the cost and time of preparing for space launches, the ORS office has launched a series of satellite research missions, many of which have found tactical utility among military combat units.

“The ORS-4 mission is a first flight demonstration of the experimental, low-cost Super Strypi small launch system,” the ORS office says in an overview of the mission. “The ORS office is managing development of Super Strypi in partnership with the University of Hawaii, Sandia National Laboratories, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and the Aerojet Rocketdyne Corp.”

The Super Strypi was designed by engineers at Sandia National Laboratories, building on the Strypi sounding rocket developed in the 1960s for nuclear weapons tests in space. Aerojet Rocketdyne is supplying the Super Strypi rocket’s three rocket motors.

The first stage motor, called the LEO-46, generates nearly 300,000 pounds of thrust. The LEO-46 motor measures 52 inches in diameter and 40 feet long.

The rocket stands approximately 67 feet tall and measures 5 feet in diameter, and its first stage is spin-stabilized unlike other modern satellite launchers. It carries fins for aerodynamic stability, while a cold gas attitude control system will govern pointing for the second and third stages.


A mock-up of the Super Strypi and its rail launch system. No photos of the flight-ready unit have been released. Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

Deployment of the satellites in orbit is timed for about 12 minutes after liftoff, according to NASA, which has experimental satellites on the mission. The mission is aiming for a polar orbit with an apogee, or high point, of 304 miles (490 kilometers) and a perigee, or low point, of 257 miles (415 kilometers), according to a University of Hawaii website.

The intended orbital inclination is 94.7 degrees.

ORS officials said earlier this year the mission’s partners accepted an “elevated risk” for the ORS 4 launch, which is bill as strictly a test flight.

The University of Hawaii built the mission’s primary satellite payload, nicknamed HiakaSat, a 110-pound (55-kilogram) spacecraft that carries a hyperspectral infrared imaging system for Earth observation sensitive enough to identify building materials and natural minerals, with applications in military reconnaissance and geologic studies.

Mission managers tout HiakaSat, also called HawaiiSat 1, as a dual mission for technology demonstration and education. It was jointly funded by the University of Hawaii, NASA and the Defense Department.

The Super Strypi booster will also haul up 12 small CubeSats, including 10 payloads for NASA.

A swarm of eight NASA CubeSats developed by the Ames Research Center in California will test technologies that could be used on future missions to build networks of small satellites to do the job a large spacecraft can do today.

The Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks mission will establish cross-link communications between the eight CubeSats — each about the size of a tissue box — demonstrating that the satellites can transmit and receive data between each other in orbit. NASA says such a capability to enrich science data returns, simplify spacecraft operations and allow satellite networks to be reconfigured via software updates.

NASA is sponsoring the launch of two additional CubeSats on the ORS-4 mission: PrintSat from Montana State University and Argus developed by St. Louis University and Vanderbilt University.

PrintSat has primary and secondary structures manufactured through additive manufacturing, while Argus will validate the radiation tolerances of modern electronics in space.

A shoebox-sized CubeSat named STACEM, sponsored by the National Reconnaissance office and made by Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory, hosts an optical sensor engineers want to test in orbit for environmental monitoring.

A testbed for a new six-unit CubeSat design by San Francisco-based Pumpkin Inc. is also launching from Hawaii. Pumpkin’s Supernova test satellite is about the size of a small handheld toolbox.



Video: Halloween liftoff of Atlas 5 with GPS 2F-11 

A replay of the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launching the Global Positioning System 2F-11 navigation spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


United Launch Alliance Launch GPS IIF-11, video is 3:09 min



European Moon Venture Regroups After Failed Crowdfunding Bid

Moonspike plans to develop both a spacecraft to crash-land on the moon as well as a rocket to send it there. Credit: Moonspike

WASHINGTON — A European venture to send a small spacecraft to the moon is reconsidering its plans after an online fundraising effort fell fall short of its goal.

Moonspike started a month-long fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter Oct. 1, seeking to raise at least 600,000 pounds ($925,000) to start work on a small spacecraft to crash-land on the moon and a launch vehicle to send it there. That funding, Moonspike’s founders said in an interview prior the start of the campaign, would fund work on key spacecraft and launch vehicle subsystems.

However, the campaign ended Nov. 1 with less than 79,000 pounds ($122,000) raised. Kickstarter uses an “all-or-nothing” fundraising model, where projects receive money pledged only if the total value of the pledges meets or exceeds the project’s goal. Since Moonspike fell short of its goal, it receives no funding.

More data at the link....


 World View Test Flight Balloon Reaches 100,475 Feet (30,624 Meters)

World View successfully completed a major milestone test flight this past weekend, keeping the company on track to meet its 2017 goal for private flights with passengers to the edge of space.

This test flight carried a scaled down, replica spacecraft to a final altitude of 100,475 feet (30624 meters), successfully marking the transition from sub-scale testing to a historical next stage of development full scale testing.

This sub-scale test flight demonstrated foundational technologies necessary for regular, operational flight, and proves that commercial flight to the edge of space via high-altitude balloon will serve as a viable and major form of transport in the emerging private space travel industry. The flight launched from Page, Arizona, one of the locations from where World View plans to fly Voyagers to the edge of space.

World View's Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Jane Poynter attributes the success to the incredible team of engineers at World View, many of whom were part of the StratEx Space Dive program that carried former Google Executive Alan Eustace to 136,000 feet beneath a high-altitude balloon in October 2014. "Our team is comprised of some of the best aerospace engineers in the world and they've achieved some major technological advancements in the last few months. Those efforts have resulted in new and innovative technologies that will, without a doubt, make private travel to the edge of space routine in the years to come. This test flight is symbolic of a major step towards a new era of accessible space travel for us all."

Before advancing to full-scale system testing, World View needed to combine two critical achievements from past milestone flights; high-altitude parafoil flight and full flight operations with a sub-scale payload. After months of innovation, design and component testing, this flight successfully achieved all objectives.

- High-altitude ballooning technology has been around for decades, but developing a human-rated flight system to allow for a flawless launch, gentle ride and pinpoint landing required World View to innovate on existing technology. In particular, this test flight focused on demonstrating three key flight features:

- Gentle Liftoff The balloon that will carry the World View spacecraft expands to around the size of a football stadium (or ~14 million cubic feet) when fully inflated so the method of routinely launching the Voyager flight system is a key enabling technology. The launch method for this successful test was the same as is planned for the World View Voyager flight system, and largely the same hardware that will be used for the upcoming full scale flights.

- Seamless Transition The transition from balloon float at the edge of space to aerodynamic flight requires that the spacecraft detach from the high-altitude balloon and gracefully begin flying to the landing site. Making this transition smooth in the vacuum of near space is a key enabler for flights with passengers. Together with its partner United Parachute Technologies (world leaders and pioneers of innovative aerodynamic descent technology), World View has now developed and flight-tested protected intellectual property that will enable these improved transitions in the vacuum of near space, a critical milestone for routine human flight.

- Smooth Descent Thanks to the help of its partner MMIST, the global leader in precision aerial delivery, World View's spacecraft will use a high-tech aerodynamic descent system that will allow the pilot and flight team to land the spacecraft at a pre-determined landing strip. While the World View spacecraft will sail with the winds on ascent, the flight team and pilot will have full control on descent. This descent system was demonstrated and proven successful during this test flight, meaning smooth and accurate descent trajectories for future World View flights.

Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Taber MacCallum said, "While each individual system has been analyzed and extensively tested in previous test flights, this significant milestone allowed us to test and prove all critical flight systems at once. Now we're ready for the next major phase of development full scale system testing."

World View will now prepare for a series of full scale test flights in the months to come. These tests will use a flight test article with mass and aerodynamics equivalent to the World View Voyager spacecraft.

Commercial flights with Voyagers are scheduled to begin in 2017, when passengers will pay $75,000 each to travel to the edge of space and witness a sunrise against the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space. The final capsule will be comfortably styled, offering Wi-Fi, a bar and a lavatory for Voyagers as they float along the edge of space for one-to-two hours at peak altitude of 100,000 feet.


October 24, 2015: Milestone 10% Scale Test Flight, video is 1:30 min



Russia signs contract with Eutelsat to launch satellites through 2023

A subsidiary of Russia's Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center signed a contract with Eutelsat, the French-based satellite provider, to put the companies satellites into orbit during the period of 2016-2023, Russia's space agency Roscosmos said in a statement Thursday.

"In the period of 2016-2023, several Proton-M carrier rocket launches with Eutelsat satellites from the Baikonur space center will be carried out," the statement reads.

From the Russian side, the contract was signed by Khrunichev's subsidiary the International Launch Services (ILS) company.

The first launch under the contract will put a Eutelsat 9B satellite, designed to provide digital television and data services in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, into orbit.

According to the Khrunichev Center, over the past 15 years Russian Protons launched 11 Eutelsat satellites.




  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well...we have action today....

Launch of Super Strypi rocket from Hawaii

video is 2:30 min


Live coverage event tracker....countdown goodies....

and the best part...first US Air Force release of photo's...pretty neat...some of these photo's in HD...check out the link....


Military communications craft likely aboard Chinese launch

A Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chinasat 2C communications satellite lifts off from the Xichang space center in southwest China’s Sichuan province Tuesday. Credit: Xinhua

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket lifted off Tuesday from the country’s Xichang space base, heading into orbit with a secretive payload believed by Western observers to be a military communications satellite.

The Long March 3B rocket launched at 1625 GMT (11:25 a.m. EST) Tuesday with the Chinasat 2C communications satellite, according to a report by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency. The official government-backed media outlet declared the launch a success.

The rocket’s upper stage deployed the Chinasat 2C payload into a geostationary transfer orbit ranging up to 35,839 kilometers (22,269 miles) above Earth, according to U.S. military tracking data shared online. The data indicated the orbit’s low point, or perigee, was 194 kilometers (120 miles), with a path angled 27.1 degrees to the equator.

Chinasat 2C’s on-board propulsion system will circularize its orbit more than 35,000 kilometers, or about 22,000 miles, over the equator, where the satellite’s velocity will match the rate of Earth’s rotation. The satellite’s planned communications coverage zone was not disclosed by Chinese authorities.

Chinese media released no other information about the mission, which authorities did not announce in advance, besides the release of standard pre-flight warnings for pilots to avoid the area.

Tuesday’s mission was the 13th space launch of the year by China — all successful — and the 65th orbital launch attempt worldwide in 2015.


Not much for video,...but.....I found this great KerbalEssences video, 3:42 min.....this is great.....:)


Have fun....and please do this at home....


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow...I'm a bit stunned. The launch appeared to start well...then nothing was said. At that point, I thought they would update us later with telemetry and sat health. Ironically, the kerbal video above shows the spin out, which I thought was them having fun with the animation. I was really rooting for this rail launch. A lot of lost school projects on this one.....:(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Air Force declares failure on Super Strypi test launch

The Super Strypi launch vehicle blasted off from a rail launch platform at the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii at 0345 GMT Wednesday (10:45 p.m. EST; 5:45 p.m. HST). Credit: U.S. Air Force/University of Hawaii/Spaceflight Now

The first flight of an experimental U.S. military rocket designed for low-cost, quick-reaction satellite launches ended in failure over Hawaii on Tuesday, the Air Force said, destroying 13 small spacecraft clustered on the mission for NASA researchers and university students.

It was not apparent what went wrong on the launch, but videos of the flight showed the 67-foot-tall Super Strypi rocket veering out of control and breaking apart about a minute after liftoff from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.

Billed as a demonstration flight under the management of the Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space office, Tuesday’s launch took off just before sunset, and the rocket flew steady immediately after firing off a tilted rail launch tower next to Kauai’s western Pacific shoreline.

The rocket surpassed the speed of sound in less than 20 seconds, its solid-fueled LEO-46 rocket motor ramping up to 284,000 pounds of thrust to propel the fin-guided rocket south from the Kauai launch site.

Canted fins at the bottom of the rocket stabilized the booster in a tight spin, a planned maneuver that negates the need for complicated guidance algorithms, one of the Super Strypi’s ways of reducing the costs and complexities of launches.


Engineers targeted the rocket for a polar orbit reaching up to 304 miles, or 490 kilometers, above Earth, where its third stage was programmed to release 13 satellites.

But the rocket’s attitude appeared to oscillate less than a minute after liftoff in video captured from an on-board camera, then the video stream switched to an animation derived from telemetry, which showed the rocket in a tumble. A video recording from a spectator on the ground showed the rocket apparently breaking apart into a debris cloud around the same time.

Live video of the launch provided to Spaceflight Now by the University of Hawaii, a contractor on the Super Strypi program and builder of the mission’s largest payload, ended without explanation moments later.

A spokesperson with the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles, which oversees the service’s launch efforts, confirmed the mission’s failure.

“The ORS-4 mission on an experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle failed in mid-flight shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (7:45 p.m. PST; 10:45 p.m. EST) today from the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Additional information will be released as it becomes available.”

Military officials were expected to form an investigation into Tuesday’s mishap.


The failure may leave the Super Strypi rocket program in a lurch as the Defense Department weighs how to achieve a long-sought goal of developing a relatively inexpensive, easy-to-operate satellite launcher to haul small spacecraft into orbit in less time and at lower cost than today’s booster options.

Such a capability is important to the military to replace defense-related satellites lost to failure or attack, and commercial operators desire cheaper rides in the growing small satellite business.

Government and industry officials hope the Super Strypi — also known as the Low Earth Orbiting Nanosatellite Integrated Defense Autonomous System, or LEONIDAS — has applications in the commercial industry as a dedicated light-class satellite launcher.

The Super Strypi has no operational missions on the books, but it is sized to pursue a slice of the launch market analysts say is ripe for development. The military is working on up to five small-class rocket programs, including the Super Strypi, and commercial companies like Virgin Galactic, Firefly Space Systems and Rocket Lab have privately-financed mini-satellite launchers in their plans.

The Air Force’s ORS office, established by the Pentagon in 2007, spent more than $45 million on the ORS-4 mission before Tuesday’s demo flight. A NASA technology research project involving eight tissue box-sized CubeSats called the Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks was valued at $13.6 million, according to the space agency.

Figures for the investments made by the mission’s other participants, such as universities that built spacecraft carried on the rocket, were not immediately available.

The payloads lost on the Super Strypi were:

  • HiakaSat, a 121-pound (55-kilogram) satellite from the University of Hawaii with a hyperspectral imaging camera to test new Earth observation technologies for military and scientific applications
  • Edison Demonstration of Smallsat Networks, a mission from NASA’s Ames Research Center consisting of eight 1.5U CubeSats about the size of tissue boxes, designed to demonstrate a satellite swarm concept with radio cross-links and reconfigurable software
  • PrintSat, a NASA-sponsored 1U CubeSat from Montana State University with primary and secondary structural components made with additive manufacturing
  • Argus, another NASA-sponsored 2U CubeSat from St. Louis University, to study how well modern electronics operate in space by comparing their radiation event rates to ground predictions
  • STACEM, a 3U CubeSat the size of a shoebox sponsored by the National Reconnaissance Office and developed by Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory to test a new optical sensor in orbit for Earth observation
  • Supernova-Beta, the first orbital test flight of Pumpkin Inc.’s commercial 6U CubeSat bus, about the size of a small handheld toolbox


Engineers work with flight unit and spare CubeSats for NASA’s EDSN mission. Credit: NASA/Ames

Air Force officials admitted they accepted “elevated risk” on the ORS-4 mission over concerns that hot gas inside the LEO-46 first stage motor could burn through insulation lining the composite casing.

Managers said the issue could be easily fixed before casting future Super Strypi rocket motors, but said it was not possible to correct the problem inside motors already built.

Aerojet Rocketdyne produced the solid-fueled motors for the three-stage Super Strypi, building on the company’s solid booster work for the workhorse Atlas 5 rocket.

The Super Strypi launch marked the first-ever satellite launch attempt from Hawaii.

The Air Force funded the University of Hawaii as prime contractor for the Super Strypi’s development, and the institution managed propulsion, design and ground systems contracts with Aerojet Rocketdyne, Sandia National Laboratories and other subcontractors.

The Super Strypi builds on a Cold War-era Sandia sounding rocket used for nuclear weapons tests and research flights.

Repurposing sounding rocket technology for satellite launches is a way to drive down launch costs, officials said.

The Air Force estimates the Super Strypi launch system will cost about $15 million per flight once in production, with a goal of cutting the unit cost to $12 million.


A loss for both groups...hopefully, they can turn this around......:(


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, terrible failure here. :( I like what they're trying to do with Super-S, but I really would have preferred that they test the design a bit more thoroughly (particularly the engine bits). A problem like this would have appeared much earlier and been able to be rectified before the loss of payloads.

This puts off the Cubesat people quite a bit, darn it. :( Now they have to build replacements for the Cubes that were lost, and each one costs valuable time and resources.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, terrible failure here. :( I like what they're trying to do with Super-S, but I really would have preferred that they test the design a bit more thoroughly (particularly the engine bits). A problem like this would have appeared much earlier and been able to be rectified before the loss of payloads.

This puts off the Cubesat people quite a bit, darn it. :( Now they have to build replacements for the Cubes that were lost, and each one costs valuable time and resources.

Yes...I put myself in their shoes...in the classroom/lab, working on your design, the whole group excited that some one will launch your experiment, a real big deal......then to be in the classroom, and hear your work was just lost....sinking feeling:(

But..I can at least say that more are becoming aware, everyday, that space is not easy...... 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

China launches Yaogan Weixing-28 via Long March 4B


The Chinese launched another satellite on the Yaogan Weixing series on Sunday. Launch of Yaogan Weixing-28 took place at 07:06 UTC using a Long March-4B launch vehicle from the LC9 launch complex at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

Chinese Launch:

As is usual for the Chinese media, this spacecraft is once again classed as a new remote sensing bird that will be used for scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring.

As was the case in previous launches of the Yaogan Weixing series, analysts believe this class of satellites is used for military purposes.

As was the case with the former Soviet Union (and in a smaller scale with Russia) with the ‘Cosmos’ designation, the ‘Yaogan’ designation is used to hide the true military nature of the vehicles orbited.

Yaogan-28 is probably the third Jianbing-11 4th generation of electro-optical satellites.

Developed by the Chinese Academy of Spaceflight Technology and based on the Phoenix Eye-2 platform, the satellite is capable of high-resolution observation and also carries an IR payload.

The Chinese intend to launch at least another two YG missions by the end of the year.

More data at the link...

Short video at....


Launch managers sign off on final Ariane 5 flight of 2015 

A team member working on the next Ariane 5 flight signs the rocket’s payload fairing ahead of Tuesday’s liftoff. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Optique Video du CSG – S. Martin

A launch readiness review Friday cleared an Ariane 5 rocket for liftoff Tuesday with two communications satellites for Arabsat and India, the first three missions from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana scheduled in less than 40 days.

The heavy-duty rocket, standing 180 feet (55 meters) tall, will emerge from the final assembly building at the Guiana Space Center on Monday for a 1.7-mile (2.7-kilometer) journey on rails to the spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone.

After the Ariane 5’s arrival at the launch complex, ground crews will connect the rocket’s mobile launch platform to ground electrical and propellant supplies ahead of Tuesday’s launch countdown.

Liftoff is scheduled for 2134 GMT (4:34 p.m. EST) at the opening of a 43-minute launch window.

Technicians in the last few weeks fueled the mission’s two satellite payloads — Arabsat 6B and GSAT 15 — and attached the spacecraft to the top of the Ariane 5 launcher.

Arabsat 6B, the larger of the two satellites, was first encapsulated inside the rocket’s 17.7-foot (5.4-meter) payload fairing. Engineers then attached India’s GSAT 15 communications satellite atop the Ariane 5’s second stage, followed by the lowering of Arabsat 6B inside the rocket’s nose shroud over the Indian craft Nov. 2.

Officials conducted a final launch rehearsal and armed the rocket for flight last week, then convened a launch readiness review Friday, according to Arianespace, the Ariane 5’s commercial operator.

Tuesday’s launch will be the sixth and final Ariane 5 flight of the year, but Arianespace plans two more missions from French Guiana before the end of 2015 using the light-class solid-fueled Vega booster and the medium-lift Russian Soyuz rocket.

A Vega rocket is set for liftoff Dec. 2 (Dec. 1 in the U.S.) with the European Space Agency’s LISA Pathfinder probe, a testbed for measuring gravitational waves in space. Arianespace’s 12th and final flight of the year is scheduled for Dec. 17, when a Soyuz rocket will blast off with another pair of European Galileo navigation satellites.


 The cryogenic first stage of the Ariane 5 rocket for Tuesday’s launch was unpacked and erected inside the launcher integration building in September. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Optique Video du CSG – H. Rouffie

But first comes Tuesday’s mission, which begins about 20 minutes after sunset at the Guiana Space Center with ignition of the Ariane 5’s hydrogen-guzzling Vulcain 2 main engine, followed seven seconds later by the simultaneous firing of two 103-foot-long (31-meter) strap-on solid boosters to drive the rocket from the launch pad.

The twin boosters will burn more than two minutes, accelerating the Ariane 5 past the speed of sound before jettisoning to fall back into the Atlantic Ocean east of the space center in Kourou, French Guiana.

The cryogenic main stage will fire for nine minutes, then give way to an upper stage HM7B rocket engine to hurl the dual-satellite payload into geostationary transfer orbit.

The target orbital parameters for Tuesday’s launch, designated VA227 in the Arianespace flight sequence, are a low point, or perigee, of 155 miles (250 kilometers), an apogee, or high point, of 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers), and an inclination of 4 degrees.

Deployment of Arabsat 6B, riding in the upper position aboard the Ariane 5, is expected at T+plus 27 minutes, 21 seconds. A few minutes later, the rocket will dispose of a Sylda payload adapter to reveal GSAT 15 for separation at T+plus 43 minutes, 24 seconds.


 Technicians fill the Arabsat 6B satellite with toxic in-space maneuvering propellant using hazmat suits. Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Optique Video du CSG – P. Baudon

The satellites will use on-board propulsion for orbit-raising in the weeks after launch, eventually reaching circular geostationary orbits over the equator.

Arabsat 6B, to be renamed Badr 7 once operational, is set to begin at 15-year mission to link the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia with telecommunications services and television broadcasts. Owned by Arabsat of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the satellite is heading for a final operating position in geostationary orbit at 26 degrees east longitude.

The 12,782-pound (5,798-kilogram) spacecraft is based on the Eurostar E3000 platform manufactured by Airbus Defense and Space, and hosts a communications payload made by Thales Alenia Space with 27 Ku-band transponders, 24 Ka-band beams and additional Ka-band transponders.

GSAT 15, with a launch mass of 6,975 pounds (3,164 kilograms), is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders to beam telecom services across India from a post at 93.5 degrees east longitude. The satellite was built and is owned by the Indian Space Research Organization.

Designed for a 12-year lifetime, it carries a navigation payload to augment GPS positioning signals over India, and Indian authorities could use the satellite for emergency communications needs. It replaces the Insat 3A spacecraft launched on an Ariane 5 rocket in 2003.

Here are a few statistics on Tuesday’s launch:

  • 227th launch of an Ariane rocket since 1979
  • 83rd launch of an Ariane 5 rocket since 1996
  • 53rd launch of an Ariane 5 ECA rocket since 2002
  • 58th flight of a Vulcan 2 engine
  • 185th flight of an HM7B engine
  • 71st Ariane 5 launch targeting GTO
  • 9th Arabsat satellite launched by Arianespace
  • 113th Airbus Defense and Space satellite launched by Arianespace
  • 19th ISRO satellite launched by Arianespace
  • 10th launch from the Guiana Space Center in 2015
  • 6th Ariane 5 launch in 2015


Press release....

Launch kit....


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spaceport America's 24th Launch - an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft Rocket Demonstrated the Capability to Eject Separate Payloads Requiring Independent Re-entry


SPACEPORT AMERICA, N.M., Nov. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built, commercial spaceport, announced the successful launch today of an UP Aerospace SpaceLoft™rocket carrying several scientific and engineering experiments. The launch took place this morning at 8:01 MST from Spaceport America's Vertical Launch Complex-1 on the East Campus. This launch represents Spaceport America's 24th overall launch and the fourth from Spaceport America with NASA Flight Opportunities Program payloads.



The SpaceLoft commercial research rocket was launched within the dedicated 2 1/2-hour launch window, and flight data indicate the rocket attained a maximum altitude of approximately 120.7 km/74.98 miles. The parachute recovery system brought the rocket and its payloads safely back. The payloads were recovered intact 49.62 km/30.83 miles downrange on the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range as planned. This is the first mission in which UP Aerospace demonstrated the capability to eject separate payloads that require independent re-entry into the atmosphere. Three separate parachutes provided soft landing of payload components.

"Spaceport America congratulates UP Aerospace on a successful launch and for being the first private commercial-space company to demonstrate independent payload re-entry," said Spaceport America CEO Christine Anderson. "Spaceport America is also proud to support these important research payloads for NASA and academia."

"I would like to thank Spaceport America for hosting all ten of the SpaceLoft missions," explained UP Aerospace President Jerry Larson. "We look forward to offering our new independent re-entry capabilities which we have demonstrated with this mission to other customers in the future."

The payload flown on the UP Aerospace SL-10 rocket included the following:

  • Maraia Earth Return Capsule from NASA Johnson Space Center. This experiment tested a reentry capsule being developed to return small satellites and individual payloads from orbit on-demand.
  • AVA from NASA Ames Research Center. This was a test of a developmental, low-cost avionics package, which will ultimately be used to monitor and control launcher systems designed for small satellites.
  • Green Propellant experiment from Purdue University. This experiment studied surface tension behavior of a new "green" rocket propellant in low gravity. Results will be used to validate propellant management devices applicable to both geostationary and interplanetary spacecraft.
  • SOF-2 from New Mexico State University. This experiment tested an autonomous, robotic method to identify unknown or changed inertia properties (mass, center of mass, moments of inertia) of a spacecraft. This will be used to enhance control capability of future on-orbit servicing missions such as satellite refueling, rescue, repair, and orbit debris removal.

About NASA Flight Opportunities Program:

About UP Aerospace:
UP Aerospace, incorporated in 2004 by its founder Jerry Larson, is a space launch and flight test service provider offering world-class access to space. Specializing in advanced engineering, launch technology development, and state-of-the-art rapid and low-cost launch operations, the UP Aerospace SpaceLoft™ platform has successfully reduced the cost and scheduled time to launch experiments and commercial payloads. UP Aerospace is headquartered in Denver, Colorado with launch facilities at Spaceport America, New Mexicohttp://upaerospace.com

About Spaceport America
Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, boasts 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340+ days of sunshine and low humidity. Two of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are now tenants at Spaceport America; Virgin Galactic and SpaceX. Visithttp://spaceportamerica.com/press-center/ and follow us on Twitter: @Spaceport_NM  

™ SpaceLoft is a registered trademark of UP Aerospace



similar article....


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Live coverage: Ariane 5 on track for liftoff from Kourou

The countdown will begin at 1004 GMT (5:04 a.m. EST), with clocks programmed for liftoff of the Ariane 5 ECA rocket at 2134 GMT (4:34 p.m. EST), or 6:34 p.m. local time at the launch site in French Guiana. The launch window extends for 43 minutes.



Above image from...


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ariane 5 VA227 liftoff and sat placement are a success. Sat health and final movements to be done still.

Photo credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace – Optique Video du CSG – P. Baudon

Lots of photo's at the link...

Live coverage: Ariane 5 on track for liftoff from Kourou
This link has the itinerary of launch progress.....

Arianespace TV

Launch of Heavy Lift Ariane 5 with Arabsat-6B & GSAT-15 (VA-227)
video is 10:38 min...launch at the start...this is condensed from ustream broadcast...


Next Up......

NovemberSoyuz • EKS 1
Launch time: TBD
Launch site: Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russia
A Russian government Soyuz rocket will launch the EKS 1 early warning satellite for the Russian military. The EKS, or Tundra, satellites fly in highly elliptical tundra orbits. The rocket will fly in the Soyuz-2.1b configuration with a Fregat upper stage. [Nov. 7]
Nov. 21Long March 3B • LaoSat 1
Launch window: TBD
Launch site: Xichang, China
A Chinese Long March 3B rocket will launch the LaoSat 1 communications satellite. LaoSat 1 will provide telecommunications and broadcast services for Laos and Southeast Asia. [Nov. 7]
Nov. 24H-2A • Telstar 12V
Launch window: 0623-0807 GMT (1:23-3:07 a.m. EST)
Launch site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
A Japanese H-2A rocket will launch the Telstar 12 Vantage communications satellite for Telesat. Telstar 12V will provide broadband communications coverage over the Americas, the Atlantic Ocean, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The rocket will fly in the “204” configuration with four solid rocket boosters. [Sept. 17]
DecemberFalcon 9 • Orbcomm OG2
Launch window: TBD
Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 11 second-generation Orbcomm communications satellites. The satellites will operate for Orbcomm Inc., providing two-way data messaging services for global customers. The rocket will fly on a full-thrust version of the Falcon 9 rocket with upgraded Merlin 1D engines, stretched fuel tanks, and a payload fairing. Delayed from December 2014 and 1st Quarter 2015 and August. [Oct. 19]


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Design problem....

Radio bug to keep new Iridium satellites grounded until April

Artist’s concept of an Iridium Next satellite. Credit: Thales Alenia Space

The first launch for Iridium’s next-generation mobile communications fleet has been pushed back four months — from December until April — to resolve a technical problem inside the spacecraft’s Ka-band communications payload.

The announcement Oct. 29 means Iridium will miss a long-targeted timetable to begin launching the Iridium Next constellation in 2015.

Matt Desch, Iridium’s CEO, told investment analysts the problem is rooted inside Ka-band transmit-receive modules made by ViaSat and delivered to spacecraft prime contractor Thales Alenia Space.

“The primary cause of this problem is not that complicated, nor is it difficult to fix,” Desch said, adding that Thales discovered the issue during testing after assembling the component.

“The specific issue is an RF (radio frequency) spur that occurs at certain temperatures, which could create performance problems in the Ka-band downlinks to our Earth stations,” Desch said. “To address this spur, a resistor needs to be changed in the circuitry, and then the component can be re-installed on the first two (spacecraft) and certified through another around of testing.”

The problem means the first pair of satellites will not ship to their launch site in Russia in November, but in March, to begin a 30-day processing campaign leading up to liftoff.

More data at the link...

Point of note.....

Seventy Iridium Next satellites are on contract for launches on seven SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, beginning as soon as August 2016. SpaceX will need to fly Iridium satellites from Vandenberg every other month for the $3 billion next-generation fleet to be operational as scheduled by the end of 2017. 



New life for a failed mission....

Galileo satellites set for year-long Einstein experiment

Europe's fifth and sixth Galileo satellites - subject to complex salvage manoeuvres following their launch last year into incorrect orbits - will help to perform an ambitious year-long test of Einstein's most famous theory. Galileos 5 and 6 were launched together by a Soyuz rocket on 22 August 2014. But the faulty upper stage stranded them in elongated orbits that blocked their use for navigation.

ESA's specialists moved into action and oversaw a demanding set of manoeuvres to raise the low points of their orbits and make them more circular.

"The satellites can now reliably operate their navigation payloads continuously, and the European Commission, with the support of ESA, is assessing their eventual operational use," explains ESA's senior satnav advisor Javier Ventura-Traveset.

"In the meantime, the satellites have accidentally become extremely useful scientifically, as tools to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity by measuring more accurately than ever before the way that gravity affects the passing of time."

Although the satellites' orbits have been adjusted, they remain elliptical, with each satellite climbing and falling some 8500 km twice per day. It is those regular shifts in height, and therefore gravity levels, that are valuable to researchers.

Albert Einstein predicted a century ago that time would pass more slowly close to a massive object. It has been verified experimentally, most significantly in 1976 when a hydrogen maser atomic clock on Gravity Probe A was launched 10 000 km into space, confirming the prediction to within 140 parts in a million.

Atomic clocks on navigation satellites have to take into account they run faster in orbit than on the ground - a few tenths of a microsecond per day, which would give us navigation errors of around 10 km per day. "Now, for the first time since Gravity Probe A, we have the opportunity to improve the precision and confirm Einstein's theory to a higher degree," comments Javier.

This new effort takes advantage of the passive hydrogen maser atomic clock aboard each Galileo, the elongated orbits creating varying time dilation, and the continuous monitoring thanks to the global network of ground stations. "Moreover, while the Gravity Probe A experiment involved a single orbit of Earth, we will be able to monitor hundreds of orbits over the course of a year," explains Javier.

"This opens up the prospect of gradually refining our measurements by identifying and removing systematic errors. Eliminating those errors is actually one of the big challenges.

"For that we count on the support of Europe's best experts plus precise tracking from the International Global Navigation Satellite System Service, along with tracking to centimetre accuracy by laser."

The results are expected in about one year, projected to quadruple the accuracy on the Gravity Probe A results.

The two teams devising the experiments are Germany's ZARM Center of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity, and France's SYRTE Systemes de Reference Temps-Espace, both specialists in fundamental physics research.

ESA's forthcoming Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space experiment, planned to fly on the International Space Station in 2017, will go on to test Einstein's theory down to 2-3 parts per million.



This would be a Chinese export unit, commercial lift...

New rocket readies for liftoff in 2016

illustration only

China is preparing to launch a new-generation quick-response rocket in 2016 to seize more of the international commercial launch market, industry insiders said.

The Kuaizhou-11, or Fast Vessel-11, is being developed by the Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, a major supplier of missiles to the People's Liberation Army. Its first launch is planned for late 2016 or early 2017, said Zhang Di, head of the company's space projects department, at the First China Commercial Launch Forum in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Friday.

Zhang said the solid-fuel rocket will be able to place a 1-metric-ton payload into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers. Prelaunch preparations will take very little time, and the launch can be conducted on rough terrain.

"The rocket's low requirement for launch conditions will help us save a lot of money. We hope to keep the launch cost under $10,000 per kilogram of payload, which means it will be very competitive in the international market," he said.

Liang Jiqiu, the Kuaizhou rockets' chief designer at the Fourth Academy, said that the main object of the Kuaizhou-11's first flight will be to test the capabilities of the rocket itself, but there will also be some room available for piggyback service.

China has been a major player in the international commercial launch market since the 1990s, when it started offering launch services to overseas companies. It has launched 51 rockets to carry 59 satellites into space for 22 foreign clients so far.

All of these commercial missions were carried out by the Long March rockets developed by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

The first flight of a Kuaizhou rocket, which uses solid propellant and is considered a complement to the Long March series, took place in September 2013, when the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp launched the Kuaizhou-1 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center to put an Earth observation satellite into orbit.

In November 2014, the Kuaizhou-2 sent another satellite into space from the same launch center.

"The Kuaizhou rockets have made China the first space power that owns a space platform that integrates the satellite and launch vehicle, which means we have had a 'rapid response capability' in space," said an observer close with China's space programs who declined to be named.

"A satellite would be installed on a Kuaizhou rocket and stored in a maintenance facility. Once needed, it can be deployed by a transporter-erector-launcher vehicle to a secure location and can be launched with a preparation time as short as several hours," he said.

Gao Hongwei, chairman of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, said the Kuaizhou rockets have a high level of strategic importance and a huge market potential.

He said investments in the commercial launch sector bring a return of up to 14 times the original input.


I believe that they will have to prove reliability first....... 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

International Launch Services Announces Multi-Launch Agreement with Intelsat

International Launch Services (ILS) announces a Multi-Launch Agreement with Intelsat for five ILS Proton missions through 2023 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Multi-Launch Agreement is designed to provide Intelsat with increased flexibility in their fleet management and the necessary launch schedule assurance that they require.

The five satellites, yet to be designated, will be launched using the Proton Breeze M launch vehicle, manufactured by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center (Khrunichev), the majority owner of ILS and one of the mainstays of the space industry.

Proton has launched 407 missions since its maiden flight in 1965. Under the auspices of ILS, there have been 91 ILS Proton missions launched for global commercial satellite operators.

More data at the link...


China to launch Dark Matter Satellite in mid-December 

SHANGHAI, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) Satellite, developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is expected to be launched at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in mid-December.

DAMPE, the first satellite in a CAS space science program, and its carrier Long March 2-D rocket left Shanghai Saturday, heading for Jiuquan in northwest China's Gansu Province.

The satellite and carrier rocket are fully prepared for blast-off after passing the inspection and approval of the CAS.

It will be the 26th mission for the Long March 2-D rocket.

DAMPE is one of the first four scientific satellites employed in the CAS space program. It will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter.

DAMPE will have the widest observation spectrum and highest energy resolution of any dark matter probe in the world.

According to experts, DAMPE is designed for increased payload, with the scientific payload weighing 1,410 kg and the whole satellite weighing 1,850 kg.

The design helps cut down on the size and weight of the satellite and save launching costs.



Isro to launch 5 Singapore satellites on Dec 16: Chairman 

Isro chairman said organization will be launching five satellites of Singapore on 16th December. Besides, for effective GPS service, it has been launching group of seven satellites into space. Already four have been launched they are functioning well. Rest three will be launched between January to March 2016. 



 LISA Pathfinder is “topped off” for its Arianespace Vega launch to test the General Theory of Relativity

LISA Pathfinder is filled with its propellant load in preparation for the spacecraft’s launch on Arianespace Flight VV06.

November 10, 2015 – Vega Flight VV06

The LISA Pathfinder scientific space probe to be launched by Arianespace’s next Vega flight has received its propellant load for a mission to study the ripples in space-time predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

LISA Pathfinder was “topped off” in the Spaceport’s S5 payload preparation facility, taking it one step closer to a December 2 launch from French Guiana on Arianespace Flight VV06 – the light-lift Vega’s sixth launch since entering service in 2012.

The European Space Agency space probe was built under the responsibility of prime contractor Airbus Defence and Space, and will be placed by Vega in an initial elliptical Earth orbit. The spacecraft’s own propulsion module will be utilized to reach the operational orbit around the first Sun-Earth Lagrange point (L1) – located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

To evaluate the concept of low-frequency gravitational wave detection, LISA Pathfinder will put two test masses in a near-perfect gravitational free fall, controlling and measuring their motion with unprecedented accuracy.  The test masses will be suspended inside their own vacuum containers, with LISA Pathfinder designed as the quietest spacecraft ever launched – allowing for extremely small distance measurements with the masses to be performed by an onboard interferometer.

More data at the link...


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two Galileo satellites arrive in French Guiana for Arianespace’s year-ending Soyuz mission


One of the two containers with Galileo satellites for Arianespace’s upcoming Soyuz mission is unloaded from the cargo jetliner after its touchdown at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport. 

 The satellites for Arianespace’s 12th flight in 2015 – which will close out the company’s record year of launch activity – have arrived in French Guiana with delivery of the latest two European Galileo navigation platforms to be lofted by Soyuz.

These spacecraft landed at Cayenne’s Félix Eboué Airport aboard a chartered freighter jetliner, and were transferred via road to the Spaceport’s S1 payload preparation facility for checkout.

Scheduled for mid-December, the upcoming medium-lift Soyuz mission with its pair of Galileo satellites will conclude Arianespace’s busiest launch activity year ever involving all three members of its launcher family – which also includes the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and lightweight Vega.

The December Soyuz launch is designated Flight VS13, signifying the medium-lift workhorse’s 13th mission from French Guiana since its service entry at the Spaceport in October 2011. To support the growing Galileo constellation, Soyuz is fitted with a vertical dispenser that accommodates the two navigation satellites deployed on each mission.

The European Commission manages and funds Galileo’s current FOC (Full Operational Capability) phase, with the European Space Agency delegated as the design and procurement agent on the Commission’s behalf. 


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's ULA's own fault. Nobody to blame but themselves. They squandered the money given to them to develop a new engine, and now Bruno's crying like a little girl with a skinned knee.

Rules are rules; and ULA can't follow the same rules that once assured them of their monopoly now. Now SpaceX is gonna get those contracts by default, and I say good. ULA lost because they couldn't compete. That's evolution, and Darwin himself would be pleased.

Now quit crying and go focus on your SLS/Orion contracts. Or better yet, work on ways to replace the RD-180. Or work on Vulcan. Or better yet, the BE-4, that one shows promise. It's not like ULA doesn't have things to do -- or that they're still making money hand over fist (because they still are).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Soyuz 2-1B launches EKS-1 to upgrade Russian Early Warning System


Russia has launched a new early warning system satellite called EKS-1 (EKS No.1) early on Tuesday. The launch of the satellite was conducted by the Soyuz 2-1B rocket with a Fregat-M upper stage, launching from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, with a T-0 of 06:34 UTC.

More data at the link....


Russia's military launched its new-generation Tundra satellite designed to restore Moscow's capability to detect, track and identify worldwide missile launches from space. The new orbiting constellation will be the first line of defense in a two-layered virtual barrier around Russian borders intended to warn the nation about an impending missile attack. Known as EKS for Integrated Space System, the network also includes ground-based radar installations across Russia and a control center.


 The EKS network was designed to replace the Soviet-era early warning systems inherited by Russia in the 1990s. Along with new ground-based radar stations, the new satellites could fill potential gaps in the Russian early warning defenses left by the disintegration of the USSR.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Video finally showed up for the above launch...

First satellite launched for Russia’s new missile warning network


Russia launched an early warning satellite Tuesday, deploying the first in a new fleet of military satellites to detect missile launches heading for Russian territory.

The secretive payload blasted off at 0634 GMT (1:34 a.m. EST) aboard a Soyuz rocket from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, a military facility in northern Russia’s Arkhangelsk region, according to a statement issued by the Russian Defense Ministry.

The launcher flew in the modernized Soyuz-2.1b configuration with an upgraded third stage engine and a digital flight control system. A Fregat upper stage was programmed to fire multiple times to guide the mission’s satellite payload, believed to be the first EKS-class missile warning platform, into an elliptical Tundra-type orbit positioned over high latitudes.

The defense ministry declared the flight successful in its statement after the launch.

“All the required procedures and the Soyuz-2.1b space rocket launch were carried out as planned,” the defense ministry said.

Russia did not release the satellite’s orbital parameters or data on its specifications and capabilities.

Russian authorities officially named the new EKS satellite Kosmos 2510, keeping with the country’s nomenclature for defense-related spacecraft.

More data at the link...

Video is 0:32 min


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Progress cargo spacecraft to be launched Dec 21

file image

The State Commission chaired by the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos announced on Saturday the Russian Progress-MS cargo spaceship will be launched on December 21.

"The launch of Progress-MS is scheduled for December 21, 2015 from Baikonur," the space agency said in a statement.

Initially, the launch of the spaceship was scheduled for November 21, but the experts insisted on conducting additional checks.


Not much data yet...hopefully we will find out about the reason for the inspection later...better to be safe...and the ISS is fine for supplies.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Jim K pinned this topic

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.