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Summary: 12 Dec 2014 - 18 Dec 2014


 LAUNCHES Up 

New India successfully tests its latest and largest rocket
18 Dec 2014 - Rocket: GSLV Mk-III; Payload: Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE); Date: 18 December 2014, 0400 UTC; Launch site: Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota, India. The mission, the first experimental flight of India's next generation launch vehicle, was successful. >>>

New O3b satellites 9 - 12 in orbit
18 Dec 2014 - Rocket: Soyuz ST-B; Payload: four O3b satellites; Date: 18 December 2014, 1837 UTC; Launch site: Sinnamary, French Guiana. The third batch of four spacecraft in the O3b medium Earth orbit (MEO) constellation, operated by O3b Networks, was successfully launched. >>>

New Falcon 9 to lift TESS
18 Dec 2014 - NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with lift-off targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. >>>

New Delay of the day I: Falcon 9/Dragon CRS-5 (again)
18 Dec 2014 - NASA and SpaceX announced the launch of SpaceX's fifth commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station now will occur no earlier than Tuesday, 6 January. >>>

New Delay of the day II: Strela/Kondor-E2
18 Dec 2014 - The launch of Russia's Strela rocket with a Kondor-E radar imaging satellite from the Baikonur cosmodrome has been postponed until 19 December. >>>

New Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite arrives at launch site
18 Dec 2014 - The second Global Xpress (GX) satellite - Inmarsat-5 F2 - has arrived at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in anticipation of its launch early in 2015. >>>

New Airbus DS tests new storable fuel upper-stage propulsion
18 Dec 2014 - Airbus DS Space Systems engineers have developed an upper-stage engine demonstrator for the European Space Agency (ESA). Results of the recently completed test campaign are promising; the engine meets all requirements to replace other models currently in service, such as on the Vega rocket. >>>

Orbital orders Russian RD-181 engines
17 Dec 2014 - Russia's Energomash scientific and production company has concluded a contract to deliver RD-181 rocket engines to Orbital Sciences. The engines will be used for the first stage of Antares rockets beginning 2015. >>>

Next Falcon 9 will attempt to land on ocean platform
17 Dec 2014 - During its next flight, SpaceX will attempt the precision landing of a Falcon 9 first stage for the first time, on a custom-built ocean platform known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship. While SpaceX has already demonstrated two successful soft water landings, executing a precision landing on an unanchored ocean platform is significantly more challenging. >>>

O3b satellites integrated with Soyuz rocket
16 Dec 2014 - Arianespace's next medium-lift Soyuz to be launched from French Guiana is now complete following the integration of its "upper composite," which consists of four O3b Networks connectivity satellites, their protective payload fairing and the Fregat upper stage. >>>

Athena IIS selected for Kodiak launch complex upgrades
16 Dec 2014 - Alaska Aerospace Corporation (AAC) has selected Lockheed Martin's Athena rocket as its launch vehicle of choice for small and medium lift missions from the Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC). >>>

U.S. launch new spy satellite
15 Dec 2014 - Rocket: Atlas V 541; Payload: NROL-35 (USA 259); Date: 13 December 2014, 0319 UTC; Launch site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, USA. According to amateur observations, the payload was deployed into a 2,101 km x 37,748 km. Its final (highly elliptical) orbit after some manoeuvring is expected to be a standard Molniya 2:1 resonant ground track, where the orbital period is roughly 12 hours. >>>

ILS Proton successfully launches Yamal-401
15 Dec 2014 - Rocket: Proton M/Briz M; Payload: Yamal-401; Date. 15 December 2014, oo16 UTC; Launch site: Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The successful launch was the 400th mission for the Proton launch vehicle since its first flight in 1965. >>>

Green light given for GSLV Mk III test after launch rehearsal
15 Dec 2014 - The first experimental suborbital flight of India's latest generation Launch Vehicle - GSLV Mk-III, carrying the Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment (CARE), is scheduled on 18 December 2014 from SDSC SHAR. >>>

Kondor-E 2 launch set for 18 December
15 Dec 2014 - A Russian Strela rocket with the Kondor-E 2 Earth observation satellite on board is due to be launched from the Baikonur space in Kazakhstan on 18 December at 0455 UTC. >>>

Delay of the day: NROL-35
12 Dec 2014 - The launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the classified NROL-35 payload for the National Reconnaissance Office was scrubbed today due to predicted violations of multiple weather criteria. >>>


 SATELLITES Up 

New 8th Boeing GPS IIF becomes active
18 Dec 2014 - The eighth Boeing Global Positioning System IIF satellite has completed on-orbit checkout and joined the active 31-satellite constellation. >>>

New DigitalGlobe extends useful lives of two satellites
18 Dec 2014 - DigitalGlobe, Inc. reported that, as a result of its annual satellite life review, it will extend the useful lives of two of its satellites: WorldView-1 and WorldView-2. The company has also assigned an initial useful life to its newest satellite, WorldView-3 that is slightly longer than the original use lives assigned to WorldView-1 and WorldView-2. >>>

New SNC transfers operation of six orbital satellites to Orbcomm
18 Dec 2014 - The first six satellites of the Orbcomm Generation Two (OG2) constellation, designed and built by Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems, have completed all on-orbit checkout procedures, culminating in the transfer of operations from SNC to Orbcomm in mid-September. >>>

First JPSS-1 satellite instrument integrated with spacecraft
17 Dec 2014 - The Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument that will fly on the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 spacecraft (JPSS-1), NOAA's next polar orbiting environmental satellite, has been successfully integrated with the spacecraft. >>>

GPS III and OCX command and control capabilities demonstrated
17 Dec 2014 - Raytheon Company and Lockheed Martin successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the U.S. Air Force's next generation GPS III satellite and Operational Control System (OCX). >>>

Venus Express mission comes to an end
16 Dec 2014 - ESA's Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year. >>>

Opportunity working in no-flash mode for now
12 Dec 2014 - Persistent computer resets and "amnesia" events on NASA's Mars Exploration rover Opportunity that have occurred after reformatting the robot's flash memory have prompted a shift to a working mode that avoids use of the flash data-storage system. >>>


 BUSINESS Up 

COM DEV to acquire MESL Microwave Ltd.
12 Dec 2014 - COM DEV International Ltd. has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of MESL Microwave Ltd. for £12.8 million in a transaction that expands COM DEV's market and product portfolios. >>>


 FEEDS & LINKS Up 

Poland's nc+ extends long-term Eutelsat relationship
15 Dec 2014 - Eutelsat Communications and Polish pay-TV provider nc+ announced the signature of a major contract for the renewal of nine transponders at Eutelsat's Hotbird video neighbourhood. >>>


 NAVIGATION Up 

Salvaged Galileo performs its first navigation fix
17 Dec 2014 - Galileo's fifth satellite - recently salvaged from the wrong orbit to begin navigation testing - has been combined with three predecessors to provide its very first position fix. >>>

 

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