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Китайский космос

March 11, 2012

China... A Most Ambitious Schedule Pushes U.S. Into 3rd Place

The Times of India is reporting that China is planning to launch "100 rockets, 100 satellites" by 2015...
...as part of its ambitious space expansion program. China has set a target of completing a space mission of "100 rockets, 100 satellites" between 2011 and 2015, according to a space official. On average, China will complete about 20 launch missions each year prior to 2015, Zhang Jianheng, deputy general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) said. Starting the program last year, China launched 19 satellites, a target orbiter Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8 spacecraft with 19 Long March rockets. This is a record high for China's space program in launch numbers Zhang told state run Xinhua on the sidelines of the National People's Congress (NPC).

China has surpassed the United States, which completed 18 launches in 2011, to become the world's No 2 in terms of launch numbers following Russia's 36 launches, Zhang said. "The densely arranged launch missions and flight tests have posed an unprecedented challenge to the country's space program," he said. China has planned to launch 30 satellite with 21 rockets, including the launch of Shenzhou-9 spacecraft the year. Shenzhou-9, is scheduled to carry out China's first manned space rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1 between June and August.

China conducted its first space docking experiment last year to build a space station of its own by 2020. Zhang said CASC raked in 100 billion yuan ($15.87 billion) in operating income in 2011, bringing the company's total assets to more than 200 billion yuan. He said the company will keep a growth rate of about 20 percent annually and its operating income is expected to hit 250 billion yuan by the year 2015.

The new space missions included launching the third lunar probe, Chang'e-3, next year as well as to conduct a moon landing and lunar explorations. Different from the previous two orbiters, Chang'e-3 has "legs" to support the spacecraft in landing, Ye Peijian, chief commander of Chang'e-3 at China Academy of Space Technology. The orbiter will carry a lunar rover and other instruments for territory surveys, living conditions assessment, and space observations, Ye said. The 100-kg lunar rover is designed to operate on the moon for over three consecutive months Ye said.

The launch of Chang'e-3 and Chang'e-4 is part of the second step of China's three-phrase lunar probe projects of orbiting, landing and returning.

The unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft (left) docked with the Tiangong 1 space station module in this computer graphic. (Credit: CCTV News)
С уважением, Павел Акулаев
Разношерстные новости

March 08, 2012

ViviSat... Making The MEV Moves

ViviSat, the only U.S.-based provider of in-orbit servicing, will be showing the satellite industry...
...that it is ready to build its mission extension vehicles. Through exhibits, panel sessions, and video at the Satellite 2012 Conference and Exhibition, ViviSat and its founders will present the flexible, scalable, capital-efficient, and low-risk in-orbit mission extension and protection services that can add several years to the revenue-producing life of a satellite. ViviSat's founders are U.S. Space LLC, a U.S.-based creator of dedicated space solutions for government and commercial clients, and ATK [NYSE: ATK], an aerospace, defense, and commercial products company.

Craig P. Weston, Chief Executive Officer of ViviSat, said, "At ViviSat, we are making substantial progress across the board -- the design phase is progressing on schedule and we are in serious negotiations with potential customers. We are open for business, making good headway, and getting a good response. We are ready to build."

Tom Wilson, Board Member of ViviSat and Vice President and General Manager of ATK Spacecraft Systems and Services, said, "The market conditions for ViviSat are strong, with productive and energetic activity on numerous fronts. Both government and commercial organizations are engaged, and ViviSat is participating in many business and research efforts. All of this activity demonstrates what we've been saying—there is great value in revitalizing space assets."

The company's activities at Satellite 2012 will include Craig Weston's participation in the panel discussion DoD Procurement Efficiencies in a Budget Constrained Environment on Tuesday, March 13th, at 4:30 pm. ViviSat Chief Operating Officer Bryan McGuirk will be a panelist in the session on Satellite Life Extension: Ready to Make an Impact? on Wednesday, March 14th, at 10:15 am.

Satellite 2012 participants who want to learn more about ViviSat can visit the ATK exhibit at booth 911. Members of the ViviSat team will be available to share information and materials and will introduce an animated video of ATK's Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV).[color=yellow] The MEV is designed to dock with the orbiting satellite, securely latch onto it, and serve as a back-up propulsion system. This enables a mission extension for satellites which have run out of maneuvering fuel yet still have plenty of electrical power to operate their payloads. ViviSat services include rendezvous and docking without interruption of satellite operation, long-term station-keeping and attitude control, relocation to different orbits or orbital slots, de-orbiting, and rescue and re-orbiting of satellites stranded in incorrect orbital slots.[/color]

March 08, 2012

Lockheed Martin... Please Fence Them In

A prototype of a new radar system developed by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led team is now tracking...
...orbiting space objects, bringing the U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence program one step closer to revolutionizing our nation’s space situational awareness. Using powerful, new ground-based radars, Space Fence will enhance the way the U.S. detects, tracks, measures and catalogs orbiting objects and space debris with improved accuracy, better timeliness and increased surveillance coverage. Lockheed Martin’s prototype radar recently met a key contract requirement during a series of demonstration events by proving it could detect these resident space objects, as they are referred to by the Air Force. On February 29th, the Air Force granted its final approval of Lockheed Martin’s preliminary design for the system.

“The successful detection and tracking of resident space objects are important steps in demonstrating technology maturity, cost certainty and low program risk,” said Steve Bruce, vice president of the Space Fence program at Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems & Sensors business. “Our final system design incorporates a scalable, solid-state S-band radar, with a higher wavelength frequency capable of detecting much smaller objects than the Air Force’s current system.”  

Space Fence will enable the decommissioning of the aging U.S.-based Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS), originally installed in 1961. With more than 60 nations operating in space today, the final frontier is much more complex than when the AFSSS first started tracking a few hundred orbiting objects. Today, with hundreds of thousands of objects orbiting the earth, space debris and risk of potential collisions now threaten national space assets providing critical services, including the Global Positioning System, banking and telecommunications.

Bruce added, “Space Fence will detect, track and catalog over 200,000 orbiting objects and help transform space situational awareness from being reactive to predictive.  The Air Force will have more time to anticipate events potentially impacting space assets and missions. Our net-centric design approach allows Space Fence to be easily integrated into the broader U.S. Space Surveillance Network of sensors already operated by the Air Force.”

Lockheed Martin’s Space Fence prototype was developed under an 18-month, $107 million contract awarded by the Air Force in January 2011. The Air Force has said it plans to award a Space Fence production contract later in 2012. The first of several Space Fence sites is expected to reach initial operational capability in 2017. With more than 400 operational S-band arrays deployed worldwide, Lockheed Martin is a leader in S-band radar development, production, operation and sustainment. The Lockheed Martin-led team—which includes General Dynamics, AMEC and AT&T—has decades of collective experience in space-related programs, including sensors, mission processing, cataloging, orbital mechanics, net-centric communications and facilities.


Screen shot capture from Lockheed Martin's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SJdN90vT04
С уважением, Павел Акулаев
Разношерстные новости
March 08, 2012

Indra... Fair Game For New Products

Indra will display information on its satellites, it mini UAV, and its new light maritime surveillance aircraft...
...at FIDAE, the reference fair for the aerospace and defence industry in Latin America, which will take place from March 27th to April 1st, 2012. The company will also exhibit its Tierra Paz observation satellite, among other products.

In the land segment, the company is developing two Spanish high resolution satellites—one optical (Ingenio) and the other with a radar sensor (Paz). It also participates in key European programs such as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment & Security), which will provide Europe with an independent Earth observation capacity. In terms of satellite communications, Indra will present its experience in rolling out the Spanish network (SECOMSAT), which has more than 300 terminals in operation, as well as its long-time collaboration with Brazil in rolling out its military satellite communications network (SISCOMIS).

Indra Ingenio satellite, image courtesy of Astrium EADS
Разношерстные новости
[color=yellow]Деньги на новые спутники кончаются...[/color]


March 07, 2012

DARPA... Ending Satellite Retirement

The absence of gravity presents a significant challenge for precision robotic maneuvering and operations in space.
Overcoming some of that challenge may be possible through the development of computer algorithms to simultaneously compensate for this limitation while directing precision operations. Such algorithms could benefit a variety of space activities, including DARPA’s Phoenix program. [color=yellow]A primary goal of Phoenix is to develop and demonstrate technologies to cooperatively harvest and re-use valuable components from retired, nonworking satellites in geosynchronous orbit[/color].

DARPA’s InSPIRE program (International Space Station SPHERES Integrated Research Experiments), is sponsoring the Zero Robotics Autonomous Space Capture Challenge to develop such algorithms. The challenge, which kicks off March 28, asks individuals and teams of programmers from around the world to develop a fuel-optimal control algorithm. The algorithm must enable a satellite to accomplish a feat that’s very difficult to do autonomously: capture a space object that’s tumbling, spinning or moving in the opposite direction.

During four, weeklong computer-based rounds, challenge participants will collaborate via the Zero Robotics Website to create a computer algorithm that will be programmed into bowling-ball sized satellites called SPHERES (short for Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, and Reorient Experimental Satellites) aboard the International Space Station (ISS). An object, simulating a Phoenix payload on-orbit delivery system, will be set in motion inside the ISS under varying conditions, such as tumbling or spinning. The algorithm developed will need to direct the SPHERES satellite to approach the moving object and orient itself to contact with the object via Velcro on the SPHERES satellites.

“If a programming team can solve this challenge of autonomous space object capture, it could not only benefit the Phoenix program directly but potentially any space servicing system in the future,” said Dave Barnhart, DARPA program manager.

The winners of each round will be invited to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to view the finals via videolink from the ISS, where the four algorithms will be programmed into SPHERES and tested. Zero Robotics is co-sponsored by NASA and is run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Space Systems Laboratory to engage U.S. middle and high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The Autonomous Space Capture Challenge is a new extension to Zero Robotics, opening up the competition to students from all levels of education and the general public as well. For official rules and eligibility, click here.

SPHERES within the ISS
Разношерстные новости

March 06, 2012

Astrium... Spy Sat Support

Astrium has signed a through life support contract with the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA D
Разношерстные новости

March 05, 2012

Lockheed Martin... Looking To Latch Onto Lightning

The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) - R Series Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) spaceflight instrument Engineering Development Unit completed...
...optical-electronic lightning sensitivity testing in January at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto and showed excellent performance. System gain, linearity, and dynamic range all exceeded specifications. Within the next few months, the GLM Engineering Development Unit will complete thermal and thermal-vacuum testing.

The heart of the GLM instrument is a high speed (500 frames per second), 1.8 gigapixel focal plane, integrated with low-noise electronics and specialized optics to detect weak lightning signals even against bright, sunlit cloud backgrounds. GLM is a new GOES capability. It is a near-infrared instrument that maps total lightning (cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground) over the Americas and adjacent oceans to provide improved tornado warning lead time and early indication of storm intensification and severe weather. Changes in cloud-to-cloud lightning are related to the updraft strength in a thunderstorm. A rapid increase of the in-cloud lightning activity, called a storm's "jump signature," has been shown to precede severe weather at the ground by as much as 30 minutes. GLM's "total lightning" observations of thunderstorms across the entire country will provide the National Weather Service with advanced severe weather prediction capabilities to increase tornado warning lead-times, as well as decrease false alarms, which will save lives in storm-threatened areas.

The GOES mission is a critical element of the U.S. satellite constellation for environmental observations, along with the Polar Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) and Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) polar orbiting satellites - both also built by Lockheed Martin. GOES is the environmental satellite most familiar to the American public, as its images and time-lapse sequences are the primary visual material of television weather forecasts.

The GOES system—operational since 1975—plays a vital role in weather and environmental forecasting. In orbit high above the equator, GOES satellites are uniquely positioned to monitor the development of hazardous weather, such as hurricanes and severe thunderstorms, and to track their intensity and movement so that loss of life and property can be reduced or avoided. The GOES Program is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which establishes requirements, provides funding and distributes environmental data for the United States. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the GLM instrument development as a part of its support to NOAA's development of the GOES-R series of satellites.

GLM is one of the scientific instruments managed by Lockheed Martin's Sensing & Exploration Systems line of business. The instrument is being designed and built at Lockheed Martin's Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto, California. The ATC is the research and development organization of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company (LMSSC). LMSSC, a major operating unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, designs and develops, tests, manufactures and operates a full spectrum of advanced-technology systems for national security and military, civil government and commercial customers. Chief products include human space flight systems; a full range of remote sensing, navigation, meteorological and communications satellites and instruments; space observatories and interplanetary spacecraft; laser radar; ballistic missiles; missile defense systems; and nanotechnology research and development.
Artist's rendition of the GOES-R spacecraft in orbit, image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
О буржуйских спутниках ДЗЗ

March 05, 2012

European Space Agency... Ten Years Of EO

In the early hours of March 1, 2002, the largest Earth observation satellite ever built....
....soared into orbit from ESA’s launch base in Kourou, French Guiana. For a decade, Envisat has been keeping watch over our planet. The eight-ton satellite has doubled its planned five-year lifetime, circling Earth more than 50,000 times. With ten sophisticated optical and radar sensors, the satellite is continuously observing and monitoring Earth’s land, atmosphere, oceans and ice caps. An estimated 2000 scientific publications have been based on this information.

Envisat’s largest instrument is the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar, which can be used day or night because it sees through clouds and darkness. This is particularly useful over polar regions, which are prone to long periods of bad weather and extended darkness. Last summer, the radar monitored record-low sea ice cover in the Arctic. The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer—or MERIS—captures images of ocean color and land cover. MERIS images are used to produce high-resolution global land-cover maps under the GlobCover project. These maps are useful for modelling the extent and effects of climate change, conserving biodiversity and managing natural resources. Envisat’s MIPAS, Sciamachy and 4 suite of sensors is able to see the holes in the thinning ozone layer and the plumes of pollutants hanging over major industrial cities or burning forests. Other instruments include the Radar Altimeter, which measures surface topography to an accuracy of a few centimetres, revealing the changes in sea-surface height over time.

Envisat provides crucial Earth observation data not only to scientists, but also to many operational services such as sea ice mapping or oil spill monitoring. High engineering and scientific skills keep the mission going—Envisat owes its decade of success to more than ten years of teamwork. With an increased demand from scientific users for Envisat products, the mission gradually increased the flow of data within the first five years. Ground facilities have improved over the years to speed the delivery of data and their quality.

In 2004, the mission’s first scientific results were presented at the Envisat Symposium in Salzburg, Austria. With about 1,000 participants, it marked the establishment of Envisat as one of the major tools available to Earth scientists. Three years later, another symposium dedicated to Envisat included the first global measurements of greenhouse gases, demonstrating the fast-growing concentration of carbon dioxide and the seasonal variation of methane.

In 2010, the satellite’s orbit was changed to allow Envisat to continue operating for at least another three years. This is ensuring the continuity of crucial Earth-observation data until the next generation of satellites—the Sentinels—are fully operational in 2013. The Sentinel missions are being developed as part of Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) program.
Иранский космос

March 05, 2012

Iran... More Launches Upcoming

According to the Tehran Times, the country's Aerospace Industry Organization Director Mehdi Farahi has announced...
...that Iran plans to send satellites into geostationary orbits after the end of the country’s Fifth Development Plan. Iran’s Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (2010-2015) is part of the 20-Year Outlook Plan (2005-2025), which is the country’s main blueprint for long-term sustainable growth. Farahi also said that the process of designing and manufacturing several satellite carrier rockets with a range of 1000 kilometers will be completed by the end of the Fifth Development Plan. Iran has already sent three satellites into space. On February 3, Iran successfully launched its third domestically manufactured satellite, named the Navid, into orbit. The Navid satellite was sent into space aboard the upgraded Safir satellite carrier rocket.

Iran's Safir launch vehicle.
С уважением, Павел Акулаев
Тяньгун-1 (TG-1) – CZ-2FT1 - Цзюцюань - 29.09.2011 17:16:04 ЛМВ

March 05, 2012

China... Tiangong-1 Tests Making Headway + More To Follow...

Scientific and medical experiments being carried out onboard space lab module Tiangong-1 are seeing...
..."good progress," according to a senior Chinese space technology expert. These experiments are largely related to the development of China's aerospace procedures, such as space weather forecasts, Qi Faren, former chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships, told Xinhua in an exclusive interview. Detectors on Tiangong-1 are examining radiations of energetic particles in space to help scientists find ways to avoid the matter's disruption of satellites, he said.

The space module is also set to observe factors that could influence the orbiting of space craft, including Earth's gravity, magnetic field and atmospheric density, so as to help provide more accurate forecasts of the orbit, added Qi. The expert mentioned that one of the experiments conducted onboard aims to electrolyze liquids on space crafts into oxygen and hydrogen to add oxygen supply, which is seen as preparation for China's future space stations. There are also experiments that examine possible psychological and physical changes in astronauts in space, and changes in materials under microgravity, Qi went on.

The Tiangong-1 module, launched on Sept. 29, served as a target module to dock twice with the unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, which completed the mission last year and is now under long-term operation in space. Qi, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, made the remarks before the annual session of the country's top political advisory body.

Plus, the China Daily posted a news item that the country will launch 12 meteorological satellites before 2020 to further boost the country's weather monitoring capabilities, a senior meteorological official said Saturday. The orbiters are among 14 meteorological satellites that are scheduled to be launched as part of a 10-year plan created by the China Meteorological Administration, said Zheng Guoguang, director of the administration.

"The launch of these satellites will dramatically boost China's weather monitoring capabilities, providing better services for a variety of industries," Zheng said ahead of the body's upcoming annual session. On January 13, China successfully launched meteorological satellite Fengyun-II 07 from its southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The Fengyun-II 07 is the 13th meteorological satellite launched by China since 1988, bringing its total number of meteorological satellites to seven. With improvements based on previously-launched satellites, the Fengyun-II 07 is particularly useful for monitoring emergent natural disasters, Zheng said. He also disclosed that China will launch its third Fengyun-III satellite at the end of this year or early 2013.
Concept illustration of China's Tiangong-1
Модернизированная Athena

March 05, 2012

Lockheed Martin... Connecting With Kodiak

Lockheed Martin has selected Alaska's Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) as its dedicated...
...West Coast launch facility for Athena rocket launches. The company's decision will enable Alaska Aerospace Corporation to move ahead with plans to expand its space launch capabilities. Lockheed Martin has been working with the state of Alaska and Alaska Aerospace Corporation on expansion plans for the new medium-lift launch pad to support potential Athena III launches.

"Our nation needs affordable lift to meet current and projected demands at a time of declining budgets and economic pressures," said John Karas, vice president and general manager, Human Space Flight, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. "The leadership demonstrated by Governor Sean Parnell by investing in space launch infrastructure is a model for our nation and provides tremendous incentive to partner with the state and expand the aerospace industry in Alaska."
Last year, Lockheed Martin announced its intent to offer Athena II services with a ride-share launch from Kodiak in late 2013. The company is positioned to expand the Athena II program as it continues to evaluate the business case for Athena III launches from Alaska. The Athena III would be capable of launching satellites weighing 4,600 kg (10,150 lbs) from the West Coast and 5,900 kg (13, 000 lbs) from the East Coast. Working with the Alaska Aerospace Corporation, Lockheed Martin will finalize its plans for Athena III over the next few months.

The new medium-lift capability from Kodiak will enable the company to engage Alaska businesses as future suppliers benefiting the state and the Athena launch program, as well as the opportunity to engage future generations of engineers and scientists through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) outreach.
Alaska Aerospace's Kodiak Launch Complex
Athena launch vehicle
GSSAP, Angels -- Канаверал -- Delta IV -- 29.07.2014 02:43 ЛМВ, AFSPC-4 - что за неведома зверушка?
Судя по: [color=white][url]http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/rgs_dissertations/2011/RAND_RGSD291.pdf[/url][/color]
поедет не в одиночестве
[quote:1994707e2f]In 2013, the first ESPA standard service
launch mission will be rideshared on the AFSPC-4 launch mission.[/quote:1994707e2f]
Разношерстные новости
ОК. Разобрался. Спасибо... instml
Разношерстные новости
instml писал:
[quote:c8520f755c]ДЗЗ (метео), полетит на японской ракете.[/quote:c8520f755c]

Salo писал:
14 февраля – GPM/DPR, STARS-II, optical communiations test satellite, TeikyoSat-3, KSAT II, OPUSAT, INVADAR, ITF-1 - H-2A – ПО
август -MMO (Bepi Colombo) - Ariane 5 - ПО
август - Astro-H(NeXT)- H-2A - ПО
лето - GCOM-C1- H-2A - ПО
ПО - HTV-5- H-2B - ПО
ПО - ALOS 3 (Optical) - ПО - ПО (или 2015)
ПО - Himawari-8- ПО - ПО
ПО - IGS (Radar 5) - ПО - ПО
ПО - IGS (Optical) - ПО - ПО
ПО - Hayabusa-2 - H-2A - ПО[/quote:c8520f755c]

Год указан неверно?
Разношерстные новости
Не знаю куда поместить и не нашел, на ком полетит, так что сюда...


March 03, 2012

Ball Aerospace... Imager Is Shipped

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has shipped the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI)...
...to Goddard Space Flight Center for integration with NASA's Global Precipitation Measurement Mission spacecraft. The GMI instrument will play an essential role in the worldwide measurement of precipitation and the Earth's environmental forecasting when it launches aboard the GPM space-borne Core Observatory in 2014. The GPM mission is a joint effort between NASA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and other international partners. The GPM mission will improve climate, weather and hydrological predictions by providing more accurate precipitation measurements from space.

Ball Aerospace’s role in the GPM program included the design, development and fabrication of the GMI. Roughly eight feet tall, the conical-scan microwave instrument is a powerhouse of radiometry. GMI is designed to improve on-orbit calibration and advanced space-borne radiometry by rotating at 32 revolutions per minute, using four very stable calibration points on each revolution to calibrate the data it has scanned. This allows for temporal sampling of rainfall accumulations as well as more frequent and higher quality data collection. GMI’s design is based on successful microwave sensors built previously by Ball Aerospace including the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM), Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C (SIR-C), GEOSAT Follow-On (GFO) and the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS).

Following launch, Ball Aerospace will provide post-delivery support at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and launch site as well as post launch support. Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. supports critical missions for national agencies such as the Department of Defense, NASA, NOAA and other U.S. government and commercial entities. The company develops and manufactures spacecraft, advanced instruments and sensors, components, data exploitation systems and RF solutions for strategic, tactical and scientific applications.
Work being completed at Ball Aerospace on the Company's GMI instrument. Photo courtesy of Ball Aerospace.
BepiColombo (MPO+MMO) - Ariane 5 ECA (VA245) - Kourou ELA-3 - 20.10.2018 - 04:45:35 ДМВ

March 03, 2012

European Space Agency (ESA)... Buying Bepi More TIme

BepiColombo, an ESA mission to the planet Mercury in collaboration with...
...the Japanese space agency, JAXA,[color=yellow] is now planned for launch in a window opening in August 2015[/color]. While ESA had previously been targeting a launch in July 2014, a 2015 option has always been built in to the development plan, as part of the risk mitigation strategy.

Mercury is a planet of extremes, with its very high density, surface temperature, and strong interaction with the solar wind. Understanding its properties and origin will give scientists important insights into the evolution of the Solar System. BepiColombo involves a carrier spacecraft and two separate orbiters, one developed by ESA and the other by JAXA, dedicated to a comprehensive exploration of Mercury and its environment. So close to the Sun, the spacecraft will have to endure hostile conditions, in particular temperatures reaching over 450 degrees Celsius. A number of new and critical technologies have had to be developed in order for the mission to reach Mercury and operate there. These include the solar arrays, the electric propulsion system, the antenna assemblies, and the complex thermal management system.

The industrial contractors (led by Astrium GmbH in Friedrichshafen, Germany) working with ESA on the mission have recently assessed the current status of the development of these items and have concluded that the first launch window of July 2014 can no longer be met. Launch opportunities of typically one-month duration for BepiColombo are dictated by positions of the Earth, Venus, and Mercury, allowing the spacecraft to follow its intricate interplanetary trajectory. The next launch opportunity to Mercury occurs in August 2015 and is consistent with the projected completion date of the spacecraft, including margins. All stakeholders, including the Science Programme Committee and the international partners, have been made aware of the issues affecting the launch date.
This illustration shows the Mercury Composite Spacecraft approaching Mercury, where the two orbiters will separate and be deployed in their dedicated orbits.
ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi=Ariane-5ES (VA-205)- 23.03.12 08:34 ЛМВ

March 03, 2012

Arianespace... Edoardo Egress — Postponed!

Arianespace's heavy-lift Ariane 5 for the orbiting of Europe's third Automated Transfer Vehicle...
...is now requiring some additional checks, which is resulting in a postponement for this servicing mission to the International Space Station. This delay was caused due to a routine inspection that concluded additional measures are required to maximize the ATV's launch readiness. [color=yellow]A new liftoff date will be provided as soon as possible.[/color]

The original launch information stated...

...The Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) is now complete following installation of its payload fairing, marking an important step as final preparations continue for the March 9th mission from French Guiana to service the International Space Station. Integration of the 17-meter-tall launch vehicle component, which is designed to protect the ATV payload during its initial ascent through the atmosphere, was handled this week at the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building. Europe's third ATV is named after Italian physicist Edoardo Amaldi, and it will carry dry cargo, water, gas and propellant for delivery to the crewed orbital facility. The mission's total lift performance is some 20,000 kg., including the ATV's mass of more than 19,700 kg.

Using an Ariane 5 ES version, the March 9th mission will lift off from Europe's Spaceport at approximately 7:00 a.m. local time in French Guiana, based on the timing required for its rendezvous with the International Space Station. The precise moment is to be determined during the launch readiness review scheduled three days earlier (March 6). This review—which is held prior to each Arianespace mission—also will clear the way for Ariane 5's rollout to the ELA-3 launch zone on March 7. The Ariane 5's mission with ATV Edoardo Amaldi is to last just over one hour, and it will include two burns of the launch vehicle's EPS storable propellant upper stage, separated by a 42-minute ballistic coast phase. This upcoming flight will follow Arianespace's Ariane 5 launches of ATVs in February 2011 and March 2008.  The ATV program is managed by the European Space Agency, with the spacecraft's production performed by an Astrium-led industry consortium.
In the photo series above, Ariane 5’s large payload fairing is lowered into place over Europe’s latest Automated Transfer Vehicle – which is integrated on the launcher at the Spaceport in French Guiana. Photos are courtesy of Arianespace.

March 03, 2012

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) + XCOR Aerospace... Signing On For Test Flights

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has reached an agreement with XCOR Aerospace, Inc. to conduct pioneering....
....suborbital space missions with Institute payload specialist astronauts flying aboard one or two test missions in the XCOR Aerospace Lynx Mark I vehicle. The flights will test capabilities of the Lynx vehicle with actual researchers and research experiments aboard. In 2011, SwRI and XCOR Aerospace inked a deal for six SwRI suborbital flights aboard Lynx, with options for three more. This announcement moves the first such flights ahead of XCOR's commercial services to be a part of XCOR's Lynx test flight program.

"We are very excited to advance the capability to do suborbital research with Lynx by becoming a part of the planned test flight program for this innovative and highly capable new human spaceflight vehicle," says Dr. Alan Stern, SwRI Space Science and Engineering Division's Associate Vice President, who leads the project.

Andrew Nelson, XCOR's chief operating officer, adds that "XCOR is as serious about our research missions as other parts of our Lynx flight manifest, and this effort will help us validate flight procedures using trained test engineers not involved in early operations, much as we did with our X-Racer rocket-powered aircraft program. We're proud to announce our intention to team with SwRI in adding these research test missions to our comprehensive flight test program."

Stern and project co-investigators Dr. Daniel Durda and Dr. Cathy Olkin have been training for suborbital spaceflight aboard zero-G aircraft, centrifuges and F-104 jet fighters since 2010. All three researchers are expected to fly and operate suborbital experiments during the six-mission flight sequence under the SwRI and XCOR contract.

"By putting scientists in space with their experiments, researchers can achieve better results at lower cost, and with a higher probability of success, than with many old-style automated experiments," Stern added. "The effort we're announcing today with XCOR will put SwRI researchers at the leading edge of this revolutionary new kind of suborbital research."
Разношерстные новости

March 03, 2012

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions... Eliminating Errors + More For DMSP  

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.(Nasdaq:KTOS) has announced that...
...the U.S. Air Force has exercised a $1.3 million option with Kratos' Integral Systems group for continued support of the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program collects weather data for U.S. military operations. Kratos performs Independent Validation and Verification on flight software for the DMSP to ensure that the software meets the requirements of the Air Force to eliminate errors that could affect mission success and safety. Kratos also provides on-call engineering support to research software capabilities as well as review, test and comment on proposed software changes.

"This award reinforces our strong relationship and commitment to the Air Force," said Bob Wright, Senior Vice President of Kratos Integral Federal Solutions. "We are proud to help assure the DMSP's ability to achieve its mission goals. Kratos has an extensive track record of providing services to the DMSP, with this year marking the 25th anniversary of our strong partnership."
AEHF -- 14.08.2010 -- Atlas V531 (AV-019)

March 03, 2012

Lockheed Martin... AEHF SV-1 All A Go

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has successfully completed on-orbit testing for the...
...first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications space vehicle (SV-1). The AEHF system will provide vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. AEHF SV-1 was launched on Aug. 14, 2010 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and reached geosynchronous orbit on Oct. 24, 2011 following successful execution of a work-around orbit-raising plan.

The satellite has now completed on-orbit testing that included establishing communications networks between combinations of EHF terminals at the backward compatible Milstar data rates as well as at the new AEHF extended data rates. On-orbit testing began with SV-1 then progressed with SV-1 networked with the Milstar constellation. Completion of this key milestone paves the way for the satellite to be turned over to the 14th Air Force at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

One AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation currently on-orbit. Individual user data rates will be five times improved, providing transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF also will provide the critical survivable, protected, and endurable communications to the National Command Authority, including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

The AEHF team includes the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor, space and ground segments provider as well as system integrator, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.
Shown here is an artist rendering of an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, courtesy of Lockheed Martin.
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