Remnants Of China’s Long March 5B Rocket Land In Indian Ocean Near The Maldives

The remnants of China’s Long March 5B rocket splashed down in the Indian Ocean near the Maldives on Sunday morning with no immediate reports of any damage or casualties, ending an anxious week as people and governments wondered where and when the space junk would fall.

The China Manned Space Engineering Office said the “great majority” of the debris burned up as it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 10.24am Beijing time, while the rest landed in an open sea area at 72.47 degrees east longitude and 2.65 degrees north latitude.

Read more at: SCMP

EU SST Confirms Re-Entry Of Space Object CZ-5B R/B

EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EU SST) has been monitoring the re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere of large space object CZ-5B R/B (2021-035B), the core stage of the rocket that launched Tianhe – the first module of the Chinese large modular space station – on 29 April 2021. The EU SST network of sensors observed the object closely, and its radars narrowed down its re-entry window to 9 May.

Read more at: EU SST

China Refutes NASA Chief’s Attack Over Rocket Landing, Opposes Double-Standards

China conducted close monitoring and tracking work throughout the re-entry of the Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket remnants on Sunday, and had shared a relevant forecast via international cooperation mechanisms, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday, refuting NASA chief Bill Nelson’s accusation of China’s lack of transparency and failure to “act responsibly” over the event.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying made the comment on Monday at a routine daily briefing, in response to inquiries related to the NASA administrator’s statement in which Nelson claimed that “China is failing to meet responsible standards regarding their space debris.”

Read more at: Globaltimes

Boeing, NASA Target July 30 For 2nd Test Flight Of Starliner Capsule

Boeing’s Starliner astronaut taxi will launch on its second test flight in July, if all goes according to plan.

The company now aims to launch Starliner no sooner than July 30 — slightly earlier than the previously announced target of early August. The upcoming liftoff will kick off Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2), an uncrewed mission to the International Space Station.

Boeing last tried such a test flight in December 2019, but the spacecraft did not reach the station as planned due to a series of technical problems. Further delays ensued as Boeing attempted to meet NASA requirements stemming from a postflight review, and technical and weather issues contributed as well. Boeing has also had to wait while NASA tried to find an available slot in the busy launch schedule for ISS-bound spaceships, both crewed and uncrewed.

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How Did You Spend Your Week? NASA Pretended To Crash An Asteroid Into Earth.

More than a year into a very real crisis, experts gathered virtually to confront a second emergency, a potential asteroid impact — but this disaster, fortunately, was entirely hypothetical.

Every two years, as part of the International Academy of Astronautics’ Planetary Defense Conference, scientists and emergency response personnel gather to discuss a made-up asteroid threat from discovery to impact. During this year’s exercise, which unfolded online from April 26 to April 28, the scenario presented an impact just six months away, a pointed reminder that limited lead time is a key weakness in our asteroid defense systems.

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China’s New Bid To Take On Elon Musk’s Starlink: A State-Owned Satellite Enterprise

In late April, a day before SpaceX launched its 10th batch of satellites this year, Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng attended a ceremony in Xiongan , a megacity that is about a two hours’ drive south of Beijing, celebrating the creation of a new state-owned enterprise set up to operate China’s answer to Starlink, run by Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Known as China Satellite Network Group, the young company is tasked with launching low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites into space, beaming internet services to anywhere on the planet. It reports to the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which controls the Chinese government’s stakes in state-owned companies.

Read more at: SCMP

Space Junk Is Blocking Our View Of The Stars, Scientists Say

The night sky is becoming increasingly filled with shiny satellites and space junk that pose a significant threat to our view of the cosmos, as well as astronomical research, a new study warns.

The researchers found that the more than 9,300 tons (8,440 metric tons) of space objects orbiting Earth, including inoperative satellites and chunks of spent rocket stages, increase the overall brightness of the night sky by more than 10% over large parts of the planet.

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Connecting the Dots | Assessing top-down pollution

Satellites are leading the charge in the battle against climate change, providing critical insights about Earth that can only be gained from space. But are they also contributing to the problem?

Putting aside environmental impacts of the rockets that launch them to orbit, satellites inject a complex mix of chemicals into the atmosphere when their computers, fuel tanks and other onboard materials vaporize upon reentry.

This wasn’t much of a talking point decades ago when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined, categorically, that nothing it regulates in space could have an environmental impact on Earth.

Read more at: Spacenews

Mission Extension Vehicles Succeed As Northrop Grumman Works On Future Servicing/Debris Clean-Up Craft

With the successful docking of Mission Extension Vehicle 2, or MEV-2, to the Intelsat 10-02 satellite last month, Northrop Grumman not only repeated the task of successfully attaching one of their MEV spacecraft to a functioning satellite but also successfully proved the ability to grab a still-transmitting telecommunications satellite without disrupting service.

The success of both MEV-1 and -2 has led to an increasing interest in the use of those crafts after their current five-year missions with their present satellites are complete.  Meanwhile, Northrop Grumman has already begun work on the next generations of remote, on-orbit servicing and debris clean-up vehicles.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight


Rocket Engine Startup Sees Opportunities In Crowded Launch Market

The small launch sector is crowded, and getting more so. But Will Roper believes there is still room in the market for suppliers of rocket engines that innovate fast and adapt to changing demands.

Roper, former assistant secretary for acquisition, technology and logistics for the U.S. Air Force, is now an advisor to Ursa Major Technologies, a Colorado-based startup that makes liquid engines for small rockets and is looking to move into the medium-vehicle market.

Read more at: Spacenews

Private Dream Chaser Space Plane To Land On NASA’s Former Shuttle Runway

After a decade-long lull, a famous Florida runway will soon start hosting space-plane landings again.

The private Dream Chaser space plane will touch down at the Launch and Landing Facility (LLF) to wrap up its cargo missions to the International Space Station for NASA, the robotic vehicle’s builders, Sierra Nevada Corp., announced on Tuesday (May 4).

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Blue Origin Targets NET 20 July for First Crewed New Shepard Flight

Sixty years to the day since its Project Mercury namesake became America’s first man in space, Blue Origin announced on Wednesday that its next New Shepard booster will fly later this summer with a six-strong human crew. “On 20 July, New Shepard will fly its first astronaut crew to space,” the Kent, Wash.-headquartered launch provider revealed. “We are offering one seat on this first flight to the winning bidder of an online auction.” It is expected that the NS4 vehicle—the selfsame booster and crew capsule that has reached suborbital space twice this year, most recently just last month—will rise again from Launch Site One in West Texas on the 52nd anniversary of the first human lunar landing.

Read more at: Americaspace

Japanese Startup To Carry UAE Lunar Rover To The Moon In 2022

Japanese startup ispace Inc. will deliver a lunar rover under development by the United Arab Emirates to the Moon next year in what will be the Arab world’s first lunar mission.

Under the contract recently announced by the Tokyo-based space company and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre, Dubai’s governmental space agency, ispace will also provide communications and power during the journey to the moon and on its surface.

Read more at: Japan times

Virgin Orbit to Launch Again in June

Virgin Orbit is planning its third launch of small satellites for sometime in June. The Cosmic Girl Boeing 747 will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California and drop the LauncherOne booster over the Pacific Ocean.

The rocket will carry six satellites, including three from the U.S. Department of Defense, two from Poland-based SatRevolution, and one from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Full details of the payloads are below.

It will be the first launch in five months since LauncherOne orbited 10 payloads for NASA in January. The booster failed on its maiden flight on May 25, 2020. For the first time, Virgin Orbit provide a public livestream of a launch on its website.

Read more at: Parabolicarc

NASA Will Let Axiom Space Fly The First Private Astronauts To The International Space Station In 2022

The first space-station mission involving people who aren’t professional astronauts is in full swing.

NASA and aerospace startup Axiom Space announced on Monday that they have signed an order to launch four people to the International Space Station (ISS) as early as January 2022. None are working astronauts. Instead, Axiom has chosen its vice president, former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, to command the crew. The mission also includes real-estate investor Larry Connor, Canadian investor Mark Pathy, and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe.

Read more at: Business insider

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