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May 12, 2011

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)... DAICHI Is Done (Satellite)

[SatNews] The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had been trying to communicate with the Advanced Land Observing Satellite DAICHI (ALOS) for about three weeks after the satellite developed a power generation anomaly.

JAXA has decided to complete the satellite's operations by sending a halt command at 10:50 a.m. on May 12th (Japan Standard Time) as it was impossible to recover communication with the satellite. DAICHI, launched on January 24, 2006, (JST), had been operated for over five years, which was its target life and well beyond its design life of three years, and it achieved many fruitful results related to earth observations. JAXA continues to investigate the causes of the power generation anomaly based on the data we have acquired from the satellite, and will report the result to the Space Activities Commission of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. DAICHI's achievements included...

1.Shot 6.5 million scenes of images by observing all over the Earth for five years
2.Contributed to emergency observations of disaster-stricken areas
ST2 & GSAT 8(INSAT-4G)=Ariane 5ECA- 21.05.11 00:38ЛМВ
May 16, 2011

India's GSAT-8 Looks Great On Ariane 5 (Launch)

[SatNews] India's GSAT-8 multi-mission satellite is ready for launch.

The GSAT-8 multi-mission satellite has been integrated on the Ariane 5 launcher for Arianespace's third flight of 2011. This setup moves the mission campaign into its final preparations for a May 19 liftoff from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

GSAT-8 is now positioned as the lower spacecraft in Ariane 5's dual-payload "stack," clearing the way for installation of the ST-2 satellite as the upper passenger.

Designed, assembled and integrated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore using an I-3K platform, GSAT-8 weighs approximately 3,100 kg. for launch, and carries 24 transponders to augment India'si Ku-band relay capabilities in direct television broadcasting.  It also is configured with the two-channel GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) system for aircraft navigation assistance over Indian airspace and in adjoining areas.

The ST-2 satellite was built by Japan's Mitsubishi Electric Company using a DS2000 platform, and will have an estimated liftoff mass of 5,090 kg. Equipped with Ku-band and C-band transponders, ST-2 will provide IP-based fixed and mobile, voice and data transmission satellite services to businesses - especially direct broadcast TV operators and maritime companies in Asia and the Middle East.  It will be operated by ST-2 Satellite Ventures Pte Ltd., a joint venture of Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel) and Chunghwa Telecom Company Limited (Chunghwa).

Follow Arianespace's launch activity at.
Telstar 14R=Протон-М/Бриз-М–20.05.11 23:15 ЛМВ– Байконур

The Company has been contracted to launch Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2.

The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for Telesat of Ontario, Canada, weighs in at 5,000 kg and will be lofted from Launch Pad 39 via a Proton M/Breeze M launch vehicle on May 21st at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The launch time has been set for 01:15 Baikonur local time (3:15 p.m. EDT).

Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2 is a commercial communications satellite that will use 46 high powered Ku-band transponders (58 36-MHz transponder equivalents) over five coverage beams consisting of: Brazil, the Continental United States (including the Gulf of Mexico and northern Caribbean), the Southern Cone of South America, the Andean region (including Central America and southern Caribbean), and the North and Mid-Atlantic Ocean. Following its launch, Telstar 14R/Estrela do Sul 2 will be located at 63 degrees West, where it will replace and augment the communications capability currently supplied by Telesat’s Telstar 14/ Estrela do Sul.

The first three stages of the Proton, using a 5-burn Breeze M mission design, will use a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M will perform planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Separation of the satellite is scheduled to occur approximately 9 hours, 13 minutes after liftoff. A live webcast can be viewed at www.ilslaunch.com, which will start approximately 30 minutes before liftoff.
Operationally Responsive Space-1 (ORS-1)
06/13 MINOTAUR/ORS-1 4/2 0000Z 0000Z-0300Z
Разношерстные новости

May 10, 2011

Russian Satellite Communications Company + Eutelsat... New Neighborhood Resident (Satellite)

[SatNews] A new MOU has been signed by both companies for a SATCOM partnership...

The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC), Russia's state satellite operator, and Eutelsat Communications (Euronext Paris: ETL) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will expand their longstanding strategic partnership in satellite communications. According to the MOU, a [color=yellow]new satellite will be launched in 2015 to 36 degrees East[/color], the most popular neighborhood for satellite TV in Russia. The new spacecraft will be designed to optimize capacity at a multi-satellite position, delivering new resources to both RSCC and Eutelsat for consumer broadcasting and multimedia services within a footprint of European Russia to the Urals. It will also carry a payload with a footprint over sub-Saharan Africa to provide long-term continuity for services currently supplied at 36 degrees East by W4, and capacity for further expansion. Financing of the new satellite will be ensured by Eutelsat, with the launch provided within the framework of the current Russian Federal Space Programme for 2006-2015. In-orbit operations will be managed by RSCC from its Dubna satellite centre.

The longstanding collaboration between the two companies goes back to 1994 when RSCC, representing the Russian Federation, joined the EUTELSAT intergovernmental organization in order to develop its international satellite resources. The opening of services at 36 degrees East began in 1997 with the positioning by Eutelsat of a first satellite to initiate digital TV broadcasting in Russia. This milestone was followed in 2000 by the launches of Eutelsat's W4 and SESAT 1 satellites, the latter marking the beginning of an industrial collaboration between French and Russian satellite manufacturing capabilities that was followed by the Express AM series of satellites. The most recent milestone at 36 degrees East was the entry into service in January 2010 of Eutelsat's powerful, high-capacity W7 satellite that replaced SESAT 1, and has more than doubled available resources.
Разношерстные новости

May 10, 2011

Astro Aerospace... Reflector Rollout (Spacecraft)

[SatNews] Astro Aerospace, a strategic business unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), has delivered its fourth deployable AstroMesh reflector to Astrium in Toulouse, France.

This latest reflector is for the Alphasat I-XL spacecraft that will provide commercial, broadband telecommunications services to Europe, Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia. The 11-meter reflector is the latest in a line of AstroMesh deployable, large aperture reflectors, developed and built by Astro Aerospace. The company has supplied three, nine-meter deployable reflectors to Astrium for the Inmarsat-4 satellites since 2004. Built by Astrium as prime contractor and scheduled for delivery in 2012, Alphasat I-XL will carry both a commercial payload for Inmarsat and technology demonstration payloads for the European Space Agency. The spacecraft is based on the high-power Alphabus platform, jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, for which it will be the first flight. Alphasat will join the Inmarsat-4 constellation providing worldwide coverage as part of Inmarsat's satellite-based Broadband Global Area Network.

When deployed in space, the Alphasat reflector forms a precision 45 x 38 foot (14 x 11 meter) radio frequency reflective antenna surface, which stows for launch into a compact package weighing about 135 pounds (61 Kg). Including launch support and deployment boom hardware, the total system weighs only 246 pounds (112 Kg). The reflector is a key part of the antenna system used by the spacecraft to provide broadband Internet communications. Enabled by the large reflector, the antenna system's sensitivity allows the use of mobile, laptop-size modems by users around the world. Once the Alphasat satellite reaches orbit, ground controllers will issue commands that control three hinge motors that unfold a 19 foot (6 meter) boom supporting the reflector above the satellite. Additional ground commands are sent to two motors that unfurl the reflector to its fully deployed size.
Technical staff at Astro Aerospace in Carpinteria, Calif., work on the AstroMesh reflector recently delivered to Astrium for its Alphasat I-XL spacecraft. This photo shows the reflector in its deployed configuration. (Northrop Grumman Photo)
This photo shows the reflector in its stowed configuration. (Northrop Grumman Photo)
Разношерстные новости

May 08, 2011

SSTL... A Proper Grounding (Satellites)

Key groundstation equipment has now been installed in support of existing — and future — U.K. space missions...

As part of the Astrium-led Earth Observation (EO) Hub project at the International Space Innovation Centre (ISIC) in Harwell, small satellite pioneer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) has completed the installation of key groundstation equipment. This comprehensive new system provides everything needed to plan mission operations, communicate with the satellites and downlink the images and other information for a broad spectrum of missions. It will initially be used to operate the SSTL-built TechDemoSat-1 satellite, which is being developed through a grant from the U.K.’s Technology Strategy Board (TSB), and planned to be launched next year.

Satellites are tasked from the Mission Operation Centre using the Mission Planning System (MPS). For example, for an imaging mission, a user can program where and when an image should be acquired days — or even weeks — in advance. This “tasking” of the spacecraft and the subsequent image acquisition is highly automated helping to reduce the cost of the operations. After the missions are planned, the Spacecraft Operations Centre will track the satellites as they orbit Earth, automatically managing each satellite as it passes. The highly automated systems orientate the antenna, download telemetry data and provide spacecraft control and analysis functions to operator workstations.

SSTL’s Ground Systems Group integrated the SSTL heritage designed equipment with Astrium’s hardware and also to some existing RAL Space groundstation hardware, which included a fibre optic link to the 12m S-band antenna. An SSTL Image Capture System (ICS) is also installed and is ready to decode high speed data downloads from the satellite once the antenna is upgraded to support X-band communications. The ISIC ground station has been qualified using both the UK-DMC and UK-DMC2 satellites, validating the telemetry monitoring and spacecraft command capabilities of the system. Images from the UK-DMC have also been successfully downloaded and processed to extract valuable information on the Earth’s environment.
Artistic rendition of TechDemoSat-1, courtesy of SSTL
UK-DMC2, photo courtesy of SSTL
ST2 & GSAT 8(INSAT-4G)=Ariane 5ECA- 21.05.11 00:38ЛМВ
May 10, 2011

Arianespace... Two To Go (Launch)

Arianespace's third Ariane 5 flight of 2011 has entered its final preparations.

The installation of the ST-2 satellite on the launcher's SYLDA dual-passenger dispenser system has now been accomplished, positioning it for the upper slot of the mission's payload "stack." This activity occurred in the integration area of Ariane 5's Final Assembly Building at the Spaceport, readying it for hoisting atop the launch vehicle once its GSAT-8 lower passenger has been installed. ST-2 and GSAT-8 will be orbited on the heavy-lift mission scheduled for the evening of May 19 from French Guiana, maintaining Arianespace's launch pace for 2011.

With a liftoff mass of 5,090-kg., ST-2 will be the second Mitsubishi Electric Corporation-built satellite orbited by Arianespace. The relay platform uses the company's DS2000 satellite bus, and it marks this Japanese manufacturer's first entry in the commercial telecommunications satellite market outside of the home market. ST-2 will be used by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd. for Ku- and C-band relay services across the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Southeast Asia. It is to succeed the ST-1 spacecraft, launched by Arianespace in 1998. The Ariane 5 mission's GSAT-8 co-passenger weighs 3,100 kg. for liftoff, and is configured with 24 transponders to augment India's Ku-band relay capabilities. This Indian Space Research Organisation-built satellite uses the manufacturer's I-3K satellite bus, and also carries the two-channel GAGAN (GPS and GEO augmented navigation) system for assisting the navigation of aircraft over Indian airspace and in adjoining areas.

The ST-2 is lowered into position on the SYLDA dual-payload dispenser inside the Ariane 5’s Final Assembly Building in French Guiana. Photo courtesy of Arianespace.[SatNews]
Полет АМС Dawn к Весте и Церере
May 08, 2011

NASA... Dawn Arrives Soon (Spacecraft)

The protoplanet approach phase for this spacecraft will use electricity to ionize and accelerate xenon for thrust generation...

NASA's Dawn spacecraft has reached its official approach phase to the asteroid Vesta and will begin using cameras for the first time to aid navigation for an expected July 16 orbital encounter. The large asteroid is known as a protoplanet, a celestial body that almost formed into a planet. At the start of this three-month final approach to this massive body in the asteroid belt, Dawn is 752,000 miles (1.21 million kilometers) from Vesta, or about three times the distance between the Earth and the moon. During the approach phase, the spacecraft's main activity will be thrusting with a special, hyper-efficient ion engine that uses electricity to ionize and accelerate xenon to generate thrust. The 12-inch-wide ion thrusters provide less thrust than conventional engines, but will provide propulsion for years during the mission and provide far greater capability to change velocity.

"We feel a little like Columbus approaching the shores of the New World," said Christopher Russell, Dawn principal investigator, based at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). "The Dawn team can't wait to start mapping this Terra Incognita." Dawn previously navigated by measuring the radio signal between the spacecraft and Earth, and used other methods that did not involve Vesta. But as the spacecraft closes in on its target, navigation requires more precise measurements. By analyzing where Vesta appears relative to stars, navigators will pin down its location and enable engineers to refine the spacecraft's trajectory. Using its ion engine to match Vesta's orbit around the sun, the spacecraft will spiral gently into orbit around the asteroid. When Dawn gets approximately 9,900 miles (16,000 kilometers) from Vesta, the asteroid's gravity will capture the spacecraft in orbit.

"After more than three and a half years of interplanetary travel, we are finally closing in on our first destination," said Marc Rayman, Dawn's chief engineer, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif. "We're not there yet, but Dawn will soon bring into focus an entire world that has been, for most of the two centuries scientists have been studying it, little more than a pinpoint of light." Scientists will search the framing camera images for possible moons around Vesta. None of the images from ground-based and Earth-orbiting telescopes have seen any moons, but Dawn will give scientists much more detailed images to determine whether small objects have gone undiscovered.

The gamma ray and neutron detector instrument also will gather information on cosmic rays during the approach phase, providing a baseline for comparison when Dawn is much closer to Vesta. Simultaneously, Dawn's visible and infrared mapping spectrometer will take early measurements to ensure it is calibrated and ready when the spacecraft enters orbit around Vesta. Dawn's odyssey, which will take it on a 3-billion-mile journey, began on Sept. 27, 2007, with its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It will stay in orbit around Vesta for one year. After another long cruise phase, Dawn will arrive at its second destination, an even more massive body in the asteroid belt called Ceres, in 2015. These two icons of the asteroid belt will help scientists unlock the secrets of our solar system's early history. The mission will compare and contrast the two giant asteroids, which were shaped by different forces. Dawn's science instrument suite will measure surface composition, topography and texture. In addition, the Dawn spacecraft will measure the tug of gravity from Vesta and Ceres to learn more about their internal structures.

The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) in Washington. Dawn is a project of SMD's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., designed and built the Dawn spacecraft. The framing cameras have been developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau in Germany, with significant contributions by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering in Braunschweig. The framing camera project is funded by NASA, the Max Planck Society and DLR.

NASA's Dawn spacecraft, illustrated in this artist's concept, is propelled by ion engines. Image credit: NASA/JPL[SatNews]
GravityProbe - проверяем Эйнштейна

May 08, 2011

Lockheed Martin... Einstein Had It Right (Spacecraft)

[SatNews] Launched on April 20, 2004, Gravity Probe B (GP-B) gathered data during its 16-month mission that have now provided verification for two subtle physical effects predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which provides the foundation for an understanding of the large-scale structure of the Universe.

The geodetic effect—the warping of Earth’s local space-time due to Earth’s mass––has been confirmed to 0.28 percent accuracy. The frame-dragging effect—the dragging or twisting of Earth’s local space-time due to Earth’s rotation––has been confirmed to 19 percent accuracy. Stanford University was the GP-B prime contractor, NASA’s GP-B space vehicle was built, integrated and tested by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) at its Space Systems Company facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. managed the program. "It is wonderful to have completed this landmark experiment testing Einstein's universe. Einstein survives!" said Professor Francis Everitt of Stanford University, principal investigator of Gravity Probe B. "Developing GP-B was a supreme challenge requiring the skillful integration of an extraordinary range of new technologies. It is hard to see how we could ever have arrived here today without the unique kind of long-term collaboration we have had between Stanford, Lockheed Martin, and NASA."

“We heartily congratulate Professor Everitt on his hard won success in distilling the GP-B data,” said Joanne Maguire, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “What distinguishes us as human beings is an innate curiosity that drives us to explore this magnificent universe, and our work with Professor Everitt and the NASA GP-B team on this mission and its discoveries will always be a source of pride for us.”

Gravity Probe-B, photo courtesy of Lockheed MartinThe principle behind the Gravity Probe B measurement is that ideal rotating gyroscopes, free of disturbing forces, always point in the same direction in inertial space. But this principle is where Dr. Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton differ. In Newton’s physics, a perfect gyroscope pointed at a star should stay aligned forever. In Einstein’s physics, the direction of the spin axis of the gyroscope would gradually change due to the mass and rotation of the Earth by an amount that could be exactly predicted. The gyroscopes measured two predicted effects of Einstein’s theory: whether and how space and time are warped by the presence of Earth, and whether and how the rotating Earth drags space-time around with it.

Relativists call the first of the two Einstein effects the ‘geodetic effect.’ The second is called the ‘frame-dragging effect.’ Small as the two effects measured by Gravity Probe B are, their measurement has provided an extremely important advance by testing previously unproven predictions of Einstein’s theory. They may provide critical clues to modern attempts to unify the four fundamental forces observed in Nature: electromagnetism, gravity, and the so-called strong and weak interactions that govern the behavior of atomic nuclei.

The GP-B space vehicle payload is made up of the dewar, the key structural component around which the GP-B space vehicle was built, and the flight probe, a nine-foot-long cigar-shaped vacuum chamber. Both elements were built at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) in Palo Alto. Inside the flight probe is the very precise Science Instrument Assembly, built by Stanford University. The GP-B requirements for stability and freedom from outside forces were extremely demanding. The ATC team provided Stanford an enclosure within which the scientific instrument could operate at a temperature near absolute zero. The magnetic field at the Science Instrument Assembly was less than one millionth of the Earth’s magnetic field and the science gyroscopes inside the probe operated in a very quiet, low acceleration environment.

The Science Instrument Assembly was simple in its concept: A block of fused quartz 21-inches long, with a bonded quartz telescope on one end, held four gyroscopes. Very sensitive magnetometers provided the gyroscope readouts. The gyro-telescope instrument was held in the flight probe, which was inserted into the dewar, an extremely complicated Thermos-like bottle. The dewar held 613 gallons of superfluid, supercold helium that kept the instrument chilled to about 2 Kelvin (-455 degrees Fahrenheit) for the duration of the mission. When Gravity Probe B was launched into a 400-mile-high polar orbit, its science instrument measured minute changes in the directions of spin of the four ultra-precise gyroscopes contained within. The gyros were so free of disturbances that they provided a nearly perfect space-time reference system. They were referenced to the science telescope that sighted on a far-field highly stable reference star.

“Gravity Probe B is one of the few space missions NASA has conducted with relevance to fundamental physics,” stated a review of GP-B undertaken in 1995 by the Space Studies Board of the National Research Council. “If successful, it would assuredly join the ranks of the classical experiments of physics. By the same token, a confirmed result in disagreement with General Relativity would be revolutionary.” 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.
Gravity Probe-B, photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin
Разношерстные новости

March 21, 2011

Globalstar... Good To Go (SATCOM)

Just ahead is activation of ground and mobile stations in North Americva...

Globalstar, Inc., (Nasdaq:GSAT), a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, governments, and consumers, has announced that the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted Globalstar authority to operate its second-generation (2G) satellites within the United States. This authority will become effective once Globalstar completes registering the constellation with France, which is expected to occur in the near future. Globalstar successfully launched the first six satellites of its 2G constellation on October 19, 2010. Four of these satellites are now operational and providing revenue bearing services, with the remaining two satellites from the first launch expected to reach their operational planes shortly. As permitted by the Commission's decision, once the French registration process is completed, Globalstar will immediately activate its ground and mobile stations in North America to begin communicating with the new satellites, thereby improving coverage availability for Globalstar voice and duplex data customers in the United States, Canada, Northern Mexico, Puerto Rico and the surrounding regions. The four new operational satellites have previously been providing improved coverage for Globalstar customers throughout the remainder of the Company's global coverage footprint. Last week Globalstar announced it had taken delivery of six new 2G satellites, which the Company expects to launch in May. Globalstar plans to conduct two additional launches of six satellites per launch within 60 to 90 days following the previous launch. All three launches will use the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle, and each will be conducted from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Globalstar constellation, artistic rendition
План американских космических пусков
Дата          Миссия                     Время       Стартовое окно

04/13 ATLAS V/NROL-34 0430Z 0430Z-0530Z

05/05 ATLAS V/SBIRS 1815Z 1815Z-1915Z

05/20 MINOTAUR/ORS-1 0000Z 0000Z-0300Z

08/05 ATLAS V/JUNO (551) 1533Z 1533Z-1642Z
Разношерстные новости

March 21, 2011

Arianespace Stats Show Double Sats (Launch)

Arianespace's manifest is unique with double entries for parallel launches.

The Spaceport in French Guiana once again is hosting two parallel Ariane 5 mission campaigns in support of Arianespace's busy launch manifest for 2011.

Payload integration for the company's next heavy-lift mission is now underway with the installation of Yahsat Y1A on the launcher's dual-passenger dispenser system.

During activity inside the Final Assembly Building at Europe's Spaceport, the Yahsat Y1A satellite was mounted atop the SYLDA dispenser structure — where it will ride as the upper passenger in the launcher's payload "stack."

With a liftoff mass of 6,000 kg., Yahsat Y1A will be utilized by the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company to provide customized relay services for the government and commercial sectors in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Southwest Asia.

This satellite was built by an industrial team of EADS Astrium and Thales Alenia Space which have co-prime contractor responsibilities.

Yahsat Y1A will be launched along with the Intelsat New Dawn telecommunications satellite during the Ariane 5 mission on March 30, Arianespace's second flight of 2011.  Intelsat New Dawn is to be integrated on Ariane 5's core cryogenic stage next week, followed by the installation of Yahsat Y1A and its SYLDA dispenser over it, completing the two-satellite payload "stack."

Also at the Spaceport, the third Ariane 5 for launch by Arianespace this year is beginning to take shape with the assembly start-up of this heavy-lift vehicle, which is to orbit a dual-satellite payload during the month of May.

In a process that has been performed 57 previous times at the Spaceport, the Ariane 5's core cryogenic stage was removed from its protective shipping container and positioned over one of two operational mobile launch tables for the workhorse vehicle.

This clears the way for integration of the Ariane 5's two solid propellant boosters, followed by installation of its cryogenic upper stage and vehicle equipment bay — all of which will occur inside the Spaceport's Launcher Integration Building.

Once the basic build-up has been completed, the Ariane 5 will be ready for transfer to the Final Assembly Building where its ST-2 and GSAT-8 satellite payloads will be integrated.
6 Globalstar-2=Союз-2-1А/Фрегат-13.07.11 06:27:04 ЛМВ-Байкон

March 17, 2011

Globalstar... 2G Deliveries (Satellites)

On the receiving side of six satellites...

Globalstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:GSAT) has taken delivery of six new second-generation (2G) satellites at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Technicians from launch services provider Arianespace and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space have begun the pre-launch testing and integration process in preparation for a scheduled liftoff in May. Globalstar expects to conduct two additional launches of six satellites per launch, also from Baikonur, with all three remaining launches using the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle. In October Globalstar successfully launched six new 2G satellites also using the Soyuz.

Earlier this year, Globalstar officials authorized acceptance of the new satellites at the Thales Alenia Space satellite manufacturing facility in Rome. Globalstar signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its 2G constellation satellites. In 2007, Globalstar contracted with Arianespace for a total of four launches of six satellites each using the Soyuz. Globalstar plans to integrate the 24 new 2G satellites with the eight 1G satellites that were launched in 2007, to form a 32 satellite constellation. The new satellites are designed to support Globalstar's current lineup of voice, Duplex and Simplex data products and services including the Company's lineup of SPOT retail consumer products.
HYLAS 1&Intelsat 17=Ariane 5ECA(V198)-26.11.10 21:39 ДМВ

Orbit testing is complete and new capacity contract comes in...

Avanti Communications Group plc (LSE: AIM) has formally completed in orbit testing of the HYLAS 1 satellite. The testing process confirmed that HYLAS 1 is working in conformance with specification and, in some areas, delivering higher performance than originally specified. The satellite lifetime is expected to be at least six months greater than planned and the available power is several percentage points better than specification. This will translate into improved service quality, flexibility and usable capacity. The provision of services on HYLAS 1 will now commence. The first live customer service in the UK will be installed next week. Avanti has a test customer base of 5,000 end users whose service is delivered with leased Ku-band capacity. The migration of these customers to HYLAS 1 will begin on April 4th. Avanti has more than 60 Virtual Network Operator customers in 16 countries in Europe who have bought capacity. Many of them are also migrating existing end user customers from leased Ku band capacity on other satellites and this migration also begins on April 4th.

Avanti is also pleased to announce that yesterday it signed a seven year contract with a new Virtual Network Operator Customer for the sale of 80 Mb of capacity (with volume beginning at a lower level in year one and rising to 80Mb to match the customer’s expansion in end users). The contract, which commands pricing which exceeds market expectations, is worth 7.1m euros over the seven year term. The customer has approximately 3,000 satellite broadband end user installations in Europe which currently use Ku-band capacity on a competitors’ satellite. The customer will migrate that existing client base to HYLAS 1 and then grow its business further with Avanti. For reasons of commercial sensitivity during this migration period, the customer is not named.
Разношерстные новости

Astrium... Piecing It All Together (Satellite)

[SatNews] Final assembly lies just ahead...

The Alphasat I-XL communications module was today mated with the Alphabus platform, enabling the huge satellite to take shape and enter its final assembly and test phase at the Astrium facilities in Toulouse, France. Built by Astrium for European operator Inmarsat, Alphasat I-XL carries a new generation of advanced geomobile communications payload in L-band that will augment Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service, enabling communications across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East with increased capacity. Alphasat I-XL features a new generation digital signal processor for the payload, and a 12 metre aperture antenna reflector. Alphasat I-XL also carries technology demonstration payloads for the European Space Agency.

Alphasat I-XL uses the protoflight model of new European Alphabus, which has been jointly developed by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space with ESA and CNES support to address the upper range of the communications satellite market. The Alphabus platform is qualified and now available on the commercial market to accommodate missions up to 18 kW of payload power, with ongoing developments to extend the range up to 22 kW. Weighing more than 6,000kg, Alphasat I-XL is planned for delivery end of 2012 and launch by Ariane 5.

Alphasat I-XL, image courtesy of Astrium
Разношерстные новости

DigitalGlobe And Lockheed Martin... World Awaits WorldView-3 Launch

[SatNews] DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) and Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services are joining forces.

The result — DigitalGlobe a content provider of high-resolution Earth imagery solutions, has contracted with Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services for the launch of WorldView-3.

In addition, WorldView-3 being the third WorldView-class satellite in DigitalGlobe’s constellation. The satellite is scheduled for launch in 2014 and features the same technologies that have helped DigitalGlobe amass the largest high definition satellite image library in the world. The satellite will speed up the daily process of collecting, analyzing and delivering imagery and information to customers.

“The need for up-to-date satellite imagery and the insights it provides to our government and commercial customers grows every day,” saidDigitalGlobe Chairman and CEO, Jill Smith. “We are significantly enhancing our commercial satellite constellation with WorldView-3, and are delighted to name Lockheed Martin and its United Launch Alliance subcontractor as our launch services partners. Their teams have consistently demonstrated the highest degree of reliability on many important space missions. We are confident that our own mission with them will be a success.”

WorldView-3 will be launched on a Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services-provided Atlas V rocket into a sun-synchronous orbit from Vandenberg AFB, California, and will be operational approximately 90 days after launch. With WorldView-3 in orbit, the DigitalGlobe constellation will be capable of collecting more than 1 billion square kilometers per year.

WorldView-3 will be the third DigitalGlobe satellite to feature Control Moment Gyros (CMG), which makes DigitalGlobe’s satellites more agile so that they can collect imagery of larger areas faster and with greater flexibility. It will also be the second satellite to feature 8-band multi-spectral technology, which allows DigitalGlobe to collect more data from images; automatically extract more information from them; and deliver deeper insight to customers. Both technologies are currently available exclusively within the DigitalGlobe constellation.

DigitalGlobe continues to expect that its total capital spending program associated with EnhancedView, including the launch of WorldView-3 and expanded ground infrastructure, will be approximately $650 million between 2010 and 2014.
План американских космических пусков
20.05.2011 ORS-1 Minotaur-I стартовое окно 0000Z-0300Z

Разношерстные новости

SSTL... Making Muster (SATCOM)

[SatNews] Payloads being delivered by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) for Europe’s future satellite navigation system have passed an important milestone.

The Preliminary Design Review (PDR) has been successfully passed, with the Company having proved to a panel including the European Space Agency (ESA) that they demonstrated a sufficient level of design maturity. SSTL is teamed with OHB System of Bremen, Germany for the provision of the first 14 satellites in the Full Operational Capability (FOC) phase of Europe’s new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which will provide accurate and resilient navigation services globally. OHB is the prime contractor and builder of the spacecraft platform and SSTL is responsible for delivering the satellites’ navigation payloads which form the heart of the navigation system.

Each FOC payload will comprise a number of subsystems that will combine to generate the navigation messages broadcast by the satellites directly to a user's receiver on Earth. Each payload comprises numerous subsystems from specialist European suppliers including two types of atomic clocks, signal generators, high power amplifiers and antennas. The first of these subsystems are being delivered to SSTL now. Production schedules for the FOC payloads are extremely challenging to all parties involved. The delivery of the first payload is scheduled for late 2011, after which a production line will be started and the subsequent payloads will be delivered at 6-week intervals.

SSTL will shortly commence work on the Engineering Model Payload, which will provide early evidence of the FOC payload’s capabilities in support of the satellite Critical Design Review (CDR) which is scheduled for later summer 2011. A secure cleanroom in SSTL’s new technical facility, due for completion in May, will be used to test and integrate this Engineering Model and the FOC payloads.

GNSS, artistic rendition
SBSS = Minotaur 4 - 26.09.10 08:41 ЛМВ - Vandenberg
SBSS' Satellite...Seven Successful Years Passes Milestone

[SatNews] Seven years of cooperation involving SBSS have resulted in passing a milestone.

Recently, the Air Force transferred Satellite Control Authority of the SBSS Block 10 satellite to the 1st Space Operations Squadron, 50th Operations Group at Schriever AFB, Colorado. This important milestone reflects more than seven years of effort and cooperation between the Space and Missile Systems Center, Air Force Space Command, U.S. Strategic Command's Joint Functional Component Command for Space, The Boeing Company, and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

As a taskable dedicated sensor within the nation's Space Surveillance Network, SBSS performs space surveillance operations in support of U.S. Strategic Command. Block 10 is the only space-based sensor in the network, operating 24-hours a day, 7- days a week collecting metric and Space Object Identification data for man-made resident space objects without the disruption of weather, time of day and atmosphere that can limit ground-based systems. This improved access to observe RSOs significantly enhances the ability to provide timely, critical information so desperately needed in today's contested, congested and competitive space environment. Providing improved detection timeliness assists the Joint Space Operations Center with maintaining an accurate knowledge of RSO orbital positions, tracking new objects and debris, and reducing the number of uncorrelated targets currently in the space catalog.

SBSS Block 10 was launched aboard an Orbital Sciences Minotaur IV rocket from Vandenberg AFB, California, September 25, 2010. The first signals from the advanced space surveillance satellite were received a short time later at the Satellite Operations Center at Schriever.

[color=yellow]SBSS has a 500-pound optical camera mounted on an electronically movable gimbal.[/color]

"It's an agile sensor so it can be tasked to look at high-interest objects on a more frequent basis," said Col. Stephen Butler, Air Force Space Command's chief of Space Situational Awareness and Command & Control.

"Having a space-based component means that if you need observation on a satellite that's out there, you can get it any time, regardless of day, night or weather," said Col. Steve Smith, chief of the Advanced Systems Division in SMC's Space Superiority Systems Directorate.

After healthy satellite delivery to orbit, the SBSS development team immediately began a comprehensive and carefully controlled five month on-orbit initialization, checkout, calibration and system characterization process. SCA transfer represents a successful culmination of these on-orbit checkout processes and puts the SBSS Block 10 on a solid path to achieving Initial Operational Capability.

SBSS Observing Resident Space Objects in Deep Space
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