The Mars Curiosity Rover has found further evidence that Mars once had significant water movements on the surface of the planet. NASA has released images comparing the smoothed pebbles in rocky outcrops imaged by the rover with those from former river beds on Earth to show that an alluvial fan formed by fast moving water (a river) flowing into the Gale crater where Curiosity is exploring once existed.
Archive | September, 2012
Regional satellite operator, the Hong Kong-based Asiasat (Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company) firm has sold its Speedcast services firm to TA Associates, a private equity firm. Speedcast offers communications services to Very Small Aperture Terminals (VSAT) and is expected to continue buying communications capacity on Asiasat satellites.. Asiasat decided to divest his part of its business to concentrate on its core business of offering capacity to the South East Asian region and Africa. The deal was worth just over $32 million.
The launch of Iran’s Fajr technology testing and remote sensing satellite flying on a Safir 2 (B1) rocket out of the Semnan launch site is believed to have ended in a major failure on or just later than 23 May 2012. A launch is suspected to have taken place by Western space analysts (note that it has not been formally confirmed) after reports of a launch being detected by US satellite assets and scorch marks being imaged post launch on the pad. There was no announcement of success if a launch did take place, and no independent tracking of a new orbiting object. This has led analysts to suspect a failure.
The European Space Agency’s cargo craft, ATV 03 (EDOARDO AMALDI), has failed to undock from the Zvezda port of the International Space Station as planned at circa 2230 GMT on 25 September. The fault which prevented the full undocking sequence from going ahead was traced to a faulty laptop which was commanding the sequence.
According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), GOES 14 was brought in to replace GOES 13 as the operational GOES East satellite on 24/09/2012 after the GOES 13′s failed at 1126 GMT on 23 September and the multi-spectral imager failed at 2122 GMT on 23 September.
Reports on http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/ state that work on the third generation of the Beidou (Compass) navigation system has started in China. The space segment of the system will consist of a constellation of 5 Beidou-G satellites in geostationary orbit, 3 Beidou-I satellites in inclined geostationary orbit and 27 Beidou-M satellites in medium Earth orbit. Each satellite is expected […]
The latest Soyuz launch from Baikonur successfully lofted MetOp-B for the European Space Agency, but a rumor is floating around of an anomaly, possibly the result of an early engine cutoff on the second and/or third stage. According to the rumor — cited unsourced but credibly by the generally reliably Anatoly Zak — the engines […]
After a national service of remembrance was held at the Washington National Cathedral the day before, the cremated ashes of Apollo 11 commander and first moonwalker, Neil Armstrong, were finally put into the Atlantic in a ceremonial burial service on hte USS Philippine Sea on 14 September. Also in attendance at the service were members of Armstrong’s family including Armstrong’s son Eric (Rick). The while the final sea burial was performed by his wife Carol, the ceremony itself had most of the elements of a traditional US Navy burial at sea including a formal rifle salute.
On the night of 21 September, several objects were seen streaking across the sky over Scotland and Northern Ireland. The consensus of opinion between Jodrell bank, the RAF and the Met Office was that the objects were probably either a meteorte breaking up in the atmosphere to space debris re-entering. The bright lights were seen with associated loud bangs which are thought to have been sonic booms. The objects were seen about two weeks after strange Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) trailing vapours were also reported over Scotland.
The launch of Soyuz TMA-06M on a Soyuz FG rocket has been delayed from 15 October to 23 October after a technical fault resulted in a electronics module change. The flight is to carry astronaut Kevin Ford and and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin to the International Space Station. The launch was delayed due to the failure of a switching unit in the descent module which had to be changed..
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- Launch failure: Zi Yuan 1-3/CBERS 3 imaging satellite is launched by Long March 4B but it did not enter stable orbit
- Proton M Breeze M launches Inmarsat 5F-1 comsat successfully
- Chang’e 3 enters orbit around Moon – but some moan about crashing rocket debris
- NRO L-39 payload is thought to be a radar satellite
- Space Insurance market is likely to fall into loss for 2013
- Bill on India’s unmanned Mars mission announcement causes backlash
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