Chinese Rocket Booster Appears To Crash Near School During Gaofen 11 Satellite Launch

A Chinese Long March 4B rocket successfully launched a new Earth-watching satellite Monday (Sep. 7) but the booster’s spent first stage narrowly missed a school when it fell back to Earth, witness videos show.

The Long March 4B rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in  north China, at 1:57 p.m. local time  (1:57 a.m. EDT, 0557 GMT). It carried the powerful Gaofen 11 (02) Earth observation satellite, an optical observation satellite capable of returning high resolution images, showing features as smaller than 3 feet (1 meter) across. 

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Virgin Galactic Plans Next Test Spaceflight For Oct. 22 As It Nears Flying Founder Richard Branson

Virgin Galactic plans to conducts its next crewed spaceflight test on Oct. 22, according to documents the company filed with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday.

The flight will be the first of two that the space tourism company has planned to complete testing of its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft system and should have just two test pilots on board. Virgin Galactic said last month that the second test spaceflight will then have four “mission specialists” inside the cabin.

Read more at: CNBC

NASA Issues New Call For Lunar Payload Deliveries From Its Commercial Moon Lander Partners

NASA wants its private commercial space company partners to make more moon deliveries on its behalf: The agency just issued another request for scientific and experimental payloads that need lunar delivery sometime in 2022, in part to help pave the way for NASA’s Artemis human lunar landing mission planned for 2024.

NASA previously established its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program in order to build a stable of approved vendors for a special special type of service, namely providing lunar landers that would be able to handle last-mile delivery of special payloads to the moon.

Read more at: Techcrunch


Russian Scientists Create Model To Forecast Space Debris’ Orbits For 100 Years Ahead

Physicists at the Tomsk State University have created a mathematical model for computing the trajectories of space debris, such as defunct space satellites and fragments of spacecraft, for 100 years ahead and more. The Russian Foundation for Basic Research has established a special grant for determining the trajectories of such objects in near-Earth space, the university’s press-service has said.

Read more at: TASS


With DUST-2 Launch, NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program is Back on the Range

NASA is preparing for the first launch of a sounding rocket since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States. The DUST-2 mission, which is short for the Determining Unknown yet Significant Traits-2, will carry a miniature laboratory into space, simulating how tiny grains of space dust – the raw materials of stars, planets and solar systems – form and grow. The launch window opens at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on September 8, 2020.

DUST-2, a collaboration between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, follows up on the DUST mission launched in October 2019.

Read more at: NASA

ULA Finds Cause Of Dramatic Delta IV Heavy Launch Scrub; Targeting New Date

United Launch Alliance teams have determined the cause behind a Delta IV Heavy rocket’s dramatic, last-second abort late last month, setting the stage for another attempt no earlier than next week.

A torn diaphragm in one of three pressure regulators at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Launch Complex 37 caused the computer-controlled scrub just three seconds before liftoff on Aug. 29, ULA CEO Tory Bruno said via Twitter on Wednesday. The engines briefly lit on fire, but the rocket remained firmly on the pad.

Read more at: Florida today

First H3 Launch Slips To 2021

The Japanese space agency JAXA announced Sept. 11 that the first launch of the country’s new H3 rocket will be delayed to no earlier than the spring of 2021 because of problems with the rocket’s main engine.

JAXA said that the first flight of the rocket is now scheduled for some time in Japanese fiscal year 2021, which begins April 1 of 2021. The second launch of the rocket has also slipped, to Japanese fiscal year 2022.

Read more at: Spacenews

Astra’s 1st Orbital Test Launch Fails During First-Stage Engine Burn

Astra’s first orbital mission got off the ground, but it soon came back down again. 

The California-based spaceflight startup launched its first orbital test flight tonight (Sept. 11), sending its two-stage Rocket 3.1 skyward from the Pacific Spaceport Complex in Alaska at 11:19 p.m. EDT (7:19 p.m. local Alaska time and 0319 GMT on Sept. 12).

The 38-foot-tall (12 meters) booster, which was carrying no payloads, didn’t make it all the way to the final frontier.

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SpaceX Posts Uncut Falcon 9 Launch And Landing Footage And Audio

SpaceX has released uncut footage of one of its most recent Falcon 9 launches and landings, including unprecedented onboard audio from the rocket through all phases of flight.

The rocket in question, Falcon 9 booster B1059, ended months of delays when it lifted off at long last on August 30th, sending a new upper stage, payload fairing, and an Argentinian Earth observation satellite on their way to orbit.

Read more at: Teslarati

Chinese Kuaizhou-1A Rocket Launch Ends In Failure

Launch of a Kuaizhou-1A satellite carrying a remote sensing satellite ended in failure following liftoff from Jiuquan Saturday.

The Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket lifted off from a transporter erector launcher at Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert at 01:02 a.m. Eastern Saturday. Amateur footage of the apparent launch appeared on Chinese social media shortly after.

Read more at: Spacenews

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