H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI9” Departure From The ISS And Re-Entry To The Atmosphere

Schedules of departure from the International Space Station (ISS) and re-entry to the atmosphere of the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI9” (HTV9) are determined as follows.

Departure from the ISS: August 19, 2020 / 2:35 a.m. (Japanese Standard Time, JST)*1
Re-entry to the atmosphere: August 20, 2020 / 4:07 p.m. (JST)

Read more at: JAXA

Japan May Extend Hayabusa2 Asteroid Mission To Visit 2nd Space Rock

Japan’s Hayabusa2 mission is headed home from an asteroid called Ryugu, carrying a very special delivery of space rock, but Earth may not be the spacecraft’s final destination.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which runs the mission, is evaluating a second stop for its space-rock investigation, according to recent statements. Such a mission extension, which would last more than a decade, could see Hayabusa2 orbit a second asteroid.

Read more at:

Ariane 5 Is Given The Go-Ahead For Launch On August 14 With A Triple Satellite Payload

This approval clears the way for Ariane 5’s return to the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone tomorrow, followed by the final countdown leading to an evening liftoff on Friday.

The mission to geostationary transfer orbit will deploy two telecommunications satellites: Galaxy 30 for Intelsat, and BSAT-4b for B-SAT, both of which are long-time Arianespace customers. Also carried by Ariane 5 is the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) for Northrop Grumman’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, which is a first-time user of Arianespace launch services.

Read more at: Arianespace

Next Delta 4-Heavy Launch On Schedule For Aug. 26

The flight of a United Launch Alliance Delta 4-Heavy rocket set for Aug. 26 from Cape Canaveral continues the Delta rocket family’s countdown to retirement. With five Delta 4-Heavy missions left to launch, ULA’s chief executive Tory Bruno says there are no plans to build more as the company transitions to the next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket.

The next Delta 4-Heavy launch is scheduled to blast off Aug. 26 from pad 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. ULA says the mission has a launch period opening at 1:50 a.m. EDT (0550 GMT) and closing at 6:25 a.m. EDT (1025 GMT), but the actual launch window lies within that period.

Read more at: SpaceflightNow

NASA, SpaceX Targeting October for Next Astronaut Launch

NASA and SpaceX are targeting no earlier than Oct. 23 for the first operational flight with astronauts of the Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as a part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission will be the first of regular rotational missions to the space station following completion of NASA certification.

The mission will carry Crew Dragon commander Michael Hopkins, pilot Victor Glover, and mission specialist Shannon Walker, all of NASA, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi for a six-month science mission aboard the orbiting laboratory following launch from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Read more at: NASA


A GOLDen Way to Study Space Weather

One of NASA’s newest missions, called Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD), is revealing how the upper fringes of Earth’s atmosphere affect space weather by observing atmospheric airglow in unprecedented detail. In a new study, Eastes et al. report early data from the mission, including observations of how neutral gases in the thermosphere interact with charged particles in Earth’s ionosphere and how these interactions respond to disturbances in Earth’s magnetic field caused by solar storms hazardous to critical infrastructure.

Read more at: EOS

Japanese Satellite To Use Laser To Rid Space Of Dangerous Debris

A Japanese company has announced plans to de-clutter space with a satellite armed with a high-powered laser.

Several proposals have previously been put forward to remedy the problem of an estimated 900,000 shards of debris measuring slightly less than 3 inches in length orbiting the planet and posing a hazard to satellites and even the International Space Station.

The plan by Sky Perfect JSAT Corp., a satellite communications company, is the first to suggest using a laser to rid our skies of junk, with the Tokyo-based firm confident that it will be able to launch its first commercial debris-destroying vehicle in 2026.

Read more at: Telegraph


Meet ‘Tenacity’: 1st Dream Chaser Space Plane Gets A Name

The first orbital Dream Chaser space plane recently got its wings, and a name.

Dream Chaser, which is built by Colorado-based company Sierra Nevada Corp., is the world’s only non-capsule private orbital spacecraft. The winged vehicle will launch vertically atop a rocket but end its missions with runway landings, like NASA’s now-retired space shuttle orbiters used to do.

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The Space Sector Is Finally Finding Its Way To The Exits

The pace of space industry exits is picking up in the United States where private equity firms and holding companies are scooping up startups and enterprises established decades ago.

Already in 2020, private equity firm AE Industrial Partners acquired Adcole Maryland Aerospace and Deep Space Systems, engineering services and satellite component specialists it combined to form Redwire. Redwire then purchased Made In Space, an in-space manufacturing and assembly pioneer.

Read more at: Spacenews

Government’s Role In The Small Launch Market Not Quite Black And White

Analysts have warned for some time that the smallsat market cannot support the dozens of companies currently developing small launch vehicles. The consensus is that only a handful will survive, and the U.S. government, particularly the Defense Department, will play a decisive role in selecting the ones that stay in business.

The Pentagon has already signaled its intent to support the industry, even if the means by which it’s sought to do so have invited controversy. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord in April identified small launch as one of the sectors of the defense industrial base most adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout.

Read more at: Spacenews

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