At 2050 on 29 April, a Chinese Long March 3B launched two Beidou spacecrat from Xichang using a new large fairing and a dual satellite adapter. This is the first dual launch of two major payloads for the launch vehicle. The satellites, Beidou 2C-M3 and Beidou 2C-M4 are part of the Chinese equilelent of the US GPS navigation satellite system.
Archive | April, 2012
The Space Shuttle Enterprise has been moved out of Washtington D.C. now that the city has the real thing: the Smithsonian’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center received the Space Shuttle Discovery ealier in April, The Enterprise, which was only ever used for gliding tests rather than flying into orbit, was flown from the Udvar-Hazy Centrer into New York while mounted atop a NASA 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) on 27 April, 2012. It is to be shown at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. .
A Starsem-marketed Soyuz 2-1a launch of Europe’s MetOp-B weather satellite has been delayed by several weeks by a dispute involving its drop zones for its rocket stages. .The flight was originally scheduled for 23 May,however the Russian space agency Roscosmos noted that “additional measures” are needed to ensure the drop zone availability for Soyuz’ stages after the vehicle’s liftoff from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
SoyuzTMA-22 undocked from ISS at 0818 GMT. Made de-orbit burn at 1049 GMT. The Soyuz TMA-22 capsule re-entered and landed safely in Kazakhstan at 1145 GMT carrying a crew of Dan Burbank, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin.
India’s first indigenously built radar satellite Risat-1 was successfully launched from the Sriharikota launch site in India by a PSLV-XL at 0017 GMT on 26 April. Carrying a C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) the satellite is to have a variety of military and civilian applications including imaging ocean currents, waves and sea ice and monitoring naval movements.
For those irked that the “Walking in the Air” choirboy song was used for “The Snowman” animation, this might change your tune. Time lapse photography from the International Space Station (Expedition 30) shows some lovely views (including aurorae, thunderstorms and city lighting) all set to the same song.
An ILS Proton M/Breeze M rocket successfully launched the Yahsat-1B satellite from the Baikonur launch site near Tyuratam in Kazakhstan. The launch took place at 2218GMT on 23 April.
At 1420 GMT on 22 April 2012 the Russian cargo Progress M-015M spacecraft docked automatically to the International Space Station’s Docking Compartment-1 (DC-1) Pirs nadir port, recently vacated by Progress M-014M.
TheEuropean Space Agency remains hopeful that it can regain contact with itsEnvisat Earth observation satellite, which unexpectedly stopped sending data tothe ground on 8 April. Attempts toregain contact have so far been unsuccessful, but the spacecraft – one of themost sophisticated of its type and invaluable in such efforts as quantifyingclimate change – is in […]
India’s GSLV Mk III launch vehicle is currently under development and the first flight test is currently planned to take place around December 2012. The three stage vehicle used on the first flight will carry a passive cryogenic upper stage. This test will be a sub-orbital flight and will only test the first two stages […]
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