CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Sunday, November 22 for launch of its sixteenth Starlink mission, which will launch 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The instantaneous launch window is at 9:56 p.m. EST, 02:56 UTC on Monday, November 23.
You can watch a live webcast of this mission, which will begin about 15 minutes prior to liftoff.
EXPLORATION PARK, Fla. (Space Florida PR) — As Space Florida continues re-development of Space Launch Complex 20 (SLC-20) at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport as a multi-pad commercial launch site and home to Firefly Aerospace’s east coast launch operations, a significant milestone was reached in October with Space Florida’s completion of an Environmental Assessment encompassing modernization of facilities and high-cadence launch operations from the site.
Completion of this critical environmental review enables Firefly’s continued development and future operations at SLC-20, while ensuring that such activities pose no significant impact to the treasured natural assets of the spaceport.
Additionally, in October, Space Florida’s Board of Directors authorized Space Florida to enter long-term lease agreements for the site with the 45th Space Wing and Firefly, marking another important milestone in the ongoing transformation of the Cape Canaveral Spaceport into a hub for commercial space operations.
Space Florida would further like to congratulate Firefly on completion of acceptance testing and delivery of the first Alpha launch vehicle to Vandenberg AFB in preparation for the company’s initial launch.
We look forward to a successful mission as Firefly emerges as a leader in the small launch market, and continues preparation of both the SLC-20 launch site and the company’s new high-volume automated rocket factory in Space Florida’s Exploration Park at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
UPPSALA, Sweden (AAC Clyde Space PR) — AAC Clyde Space embarks on a 3-year project, named xSPANCION, with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop an innovative satellite constellation service, including the manufacturing of 10 spacecrafts. The UK Space Agency through ESA, will co-fund the project with 9.9 MEUR (approx. 101.4 MSEK). AAC Clyde Space intends to, outside this project, enter into customer service agreements for data delivery from the constellation.
During the first phase of the project running until mid-2021, AAC Clyde Space will deliver a preliminary design for its next generation space as a service offering. The value of this first phase is 1.8 MEUR (approx. 18.4 MSEK) of which 0.9 MEUR (approx. 9.2 MSEK) will be co-funded by UK Space Agency through ESA, providing sufficient resources to achieve comfortably this part of the project. The co-funding from UK Space Agency will be recognized as revenue with no net margin since AAC Clyde Space and partners will co-fund the remaining 0.9 MEUR (approx. 9.2 MEUR).
LONDON, 20 November 2020 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company, announces its emergence from U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and achievement of all relevant regulatory approvals. A consortium of UK Government (through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and Bharti Global, has invested $1bn of new equity to offer broadband connectivity services, via a constellation of 650 LEO satellites.
OneWeb will continue to be headquartered in the UK, bringing new R&D programmes, manufacturing opportunities and a global platform with priority spectrum usage rights. The company will ensure that the UK is at the forefront of a new commercial space industrial age, evolving technology and innovation, and will work with the UK commercial and academic space communities, along with other international specialists, in its research and development activities.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (ESA PR) — The Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite has been launched into orbit around Earth on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Using the latest radar altimetry technology, this new satellite is set to provide a new overview of ocean topography and advance the long-term record of sea-surface height measurements that began in 1992 – measurements that are essential for climate science, for policy-making and, ultimately, for protecting the lives of millions at risk of sea-level rise.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roared off the launch pad at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday carrying an European-U.S. environmental satellite designed to measure global sea levels.
The booster lifted off under clear skies from the Space lLaunch Complex 4E with the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite at 9:17 a.m. PST. The spacecraft, which is the size of a small pickup truck, successfully deployed in orbit and unfolded its solar arrays after separating from the Falcon 9’s second stage.
Ken Brown and I drove over from Mojave today for the Falcon 9 launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite on Saturday morning. Launch is scheduled for 9:17 a.m. PST. As always, your local time may vary. You can catch all the action on NASA TV.
The European environmental satellite, which NASA and NOAA are supporting, will study the oceans. That’s something we saw a good bit of today.
The newest satellite to monitor global sea level is ready for its journey into space. Here’s what to expect.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NASA PR) — Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the latest in a series of spacecraft designed to monitor our oceans, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. The satellite will be followed in 2025 by its twin, Sentinel-6B. Together, the pair is tasked with extending our nearly 30-year-long record of global sea surface height measurements. Instruments aboard the satellites will also provide atmospheric data that will improve weather forecasts, climate models, and hurricane tracking.
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — Recently, the Air Force Safety Center transferred the Space Safety Division to the United States Space Force as one of the first blended organizations in the Department. Already charged with supporting both services, this transfer serves to leverage the Center’s expertise doubling down on space safety for both services.
The Safety Center’s Space Safety Division will continue to call Kirtland Air Force Base home, while remaining steadfast in their commitment to promote and enhance space mishap prevention and a risk management culture in the USSF.
Solar energy harvested in space offers the potential for an unlimited and constant zero carbon power source
SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK government has commissioned new research into space-based solar power (SBSP) systems that would use very large solar power satellites to collect solar energy, convert it into high-frequency radio waves, and safely beam it back to ground-based receivers connected to the electrical power grid.
It is an idea first conjured by science-fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941, and is now being studied by several nations because the lightweight solar panels and wireless power transmission technology is advancing rapidly. This, together with lower cost commercial space launch, may make the concept of solar power satellites more feasible and economically viable.
Now the UK in 2020 will explore whether this renewable technology could offer a resilient, safe and sustainable energy source.
SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Vital technology for the first ever mission to remove a piece of debris from space is going to be built in the UK, the Science Minister has announced.
Planned for 2025, Clearspace-1 is the first ever space mission dedicated to removing an existing object in orbit, and is a significant first step towards a cleaner space environment. The Clearspace-1 satellite – dubbed ‘The Claw’ – will use a pincer motion to collect debris, before giving it a controlled re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere – allowing it to decompose safely and away from life.
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — Over the weekend, engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, successfully repaired a valve inside the core stage of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
The team designed an innovative tool to remove and replace the valve’s faulty clutch while the core stage remained in the B-2 test stand, and without removing the entire valve. Subsequent testing of the repaired valve confirmed that the system is operating as intended.
This week, the team is preparing for the seventh Green Run test, called the wet dress rehearsal, when the stage will be loaded with cryogenic, or super-cold, propellant for the first time. NASA is now targeting the week of Dec. 7 for the wet dress rehearsal and the week of Dec. 21 for the hot fire test.
During the hot fire test, all four engines will fire to simulate the stage’s operation during launch. The Green Run test series is a comprehensive test of the rocket’s core stage before it launches Artemis missions to the Moon. NASA remains on track to launch Artemis I by November 2021.