NASA, SpaceX to Study Hubble Telescope Reboost Possibility

Hubble Space Telescope (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX signed an unfunded Space Act Agreement Thursday, Sept. 22, to study the feasibility of a SpaceX and Polaris Program idea to boost the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope into a higher orbit with the Dragon spacecraft, at no cost to the government.

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SpaceX, T-Mobile to Unveil Collaboration on Connectivity on Thursday

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Sievert will unveil how the two companies are working to increase connectivity on Thursday night. Details are vague, but it most likely involves cooperation between SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband network and T-Mobile’s cellular phone network.

The presentation will take place at 8 p.m. EDT from SpaceX’s Starbase facility in south Texas. The event will be livestreamed on SpaceX.com.

Artemis I Carries the Future of NASA with It

The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. The new ESA logo and NASA’s ‘worm’ logo will be along for the ride on the first full mission of the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Of the six launches known to be scheduled to close out August, there’s only one – Artemis I — that truly matters in any real sense. The others will be duly recorded but little remembered in what could be the busiest launch year in human history.

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The Upcoming Week in Launches: Artemis I and Some Other Ones

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

The Wikipedia orbital launch page lists six launches to close out August. The big one, of course, is NASA’s Artemis I mission next Monday. The others, not so momentous but still worth listing.

Disclaimer: This schedule is subject to change without notice. Parabolic Arc takes no responsibility for delays, changes, additions or what have you. And, as always, no wagering.

Tuesday, August 23

Launch Vehicle: Long March 11
Launch Site: Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Payload: TBA

Wednesday, August 24

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2D 
Launch Site: Taiyuan Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: CASC
Payload: TBA

Saturday, August 27

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Vandenberg Space Force Base
Launch Company: SpaceX
Payloads: 46 Starlink broadband satellites
Webcast: www.spacex.com

Sunday, August 28

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
Launch Company: SpaceX
Payloads: 53 Starlink broadband satellites
Webcast: www.spacex.com

Monday, August 29

Launch Vehicle: Space Launch System Block 1
Launch Site: Kennedy LC-39B
Launch Window: 8:33-10:33 a.m. EDT (12:33-14:33 UTC)
Launching Agency: NASA
Payloads: Orion spacecraft and 10 secondary payloads
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

Artemis I Secondary Payloads

SatelliteOrganizationOrbitPurpose
ArgoMoonItalian Space AgencyHeliocentricSpacecraft will demonstrate capacity of CubeSats to conduct precise maneuvers in deep space by providing detailed images of the SLS’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage 
BioSentinelNASAHeliocentricSpacecraft will use budding yeast to detect, measure, and compare the impact of deep space radiation on DNA repair
CuSP NASAHeliocentricSpace weather measurements
EQUULEUSUniversity of TokyoEarth-moon L26U CubeSat will measure the distribution of plasma around Earth
LunaH-MapNASASelenocentricLunar polar orbiter will search for evidence of frozen water deposits
Lunar IceCubeNASASelenocentricLunar orbiter will search for frozen water deposits
LunIRLockheed Martin SpaceHeliocentricDemonstration technology to collect surface spectroscopy and thermography
Near-Earth Asteroid ScoutNASAHeliocentricTechnology demonstration of solar sail to rendezvous with asteroid
OMOTENASHIJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)SelenocentricSmallest vehicle to attempt lunar lander
Team MilesFluid and Reason, LLCHeliocentricTechnology demonstration of plasma thrusters

Late August       

Launch Vehicle: Kuaizhou 1A
Launch Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: ExPace
Payloads: Centispace-1 S3 and Centispace-1 S4 navigation satellites

The Past Week in Launches: SpaceX and CASC Orbit Satellites

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on Aug. 19, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It was a relatively quiet week for launches with by SpaceX and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) both conducting one flight apiece.

SpaceX launched 53 Starlink broadband satellites from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Friday. The company has launched 3,108 Starlink satellites with 2,809 spacecraft working, according to Jonathan’s Space Report.

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Navy Helicopters and Air Force Pararescue Forces Conduct Astronaut Recovery Exercise

Air Force pararescue forces from the 48th rescue squadron remove a mock-astronaut from a SpaceX Dragon capsule during a validation exercise. The exercise was meant to validate the joint-capability of Navy helicopter squadrons and Air Force Guardian Angel Pararescue forces in their shared mission to recover astronauts at sea. (Credit: U.S. Space Command/Sean Castellano)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.  (U.S. Space Command PR) –  U.S. Space Command held an exercise Aug. 1-5 at Patrick Space Force Base, Fl., in preparation for the upcoming launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5, targeted for no earlier than September 29, 2022.

As the Department of Defense’s Human Space Flight Support Manager, USSPACECOM coordinates global DoD support for the rescue and recovery of human exploration events for NASA’s Artemis and Commercial Crew Program missions.

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ESA Astronaut Mogensen to Embark on Huginn Mission to ISS

Portrait of ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen is his blue flight suit with the ESA patch and Danish flag. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen of Denmark is set to return to the International Space Station for his first long-duration Station mission. With only one year left before his launch in mid-2023, a name for the mission has been chosen: Huginn.

This name, chosen by Andreas, originates in Norse mythology with Huginn and Muninn – two raven accomplices of the god Odin. Together, the two symbolise the human mind, with Huginn representing thought, and Muninn, memory.

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NASA Identifies Candidate Regions for Landing Next Americans on Moon

Shown here is a rendering of 13 candidate landing regions for Artemis III. Each region is approximately 9.3 by 9.3 miles (15 by 15 kilometers). A landing site is a location within those regions with an approximate 328-foot (100-meter) radius. (image Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, (NASA HQ PR) — As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon under Artemis, the agency has identified 13 candidate landing regions near the lunar South Pole. Each region contains multiple potential landing sites for Artemis III, which will be the first of the Artemis missions to bring crew to the lunar surface, including the first woman to set foot on the Moon.

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Dragon Departs Station to Return Scientific Cargo to Earth

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft backs away from the space station moments after undocking from the Harmony module’s forward port during an orbital sunrise. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA Mission Update

HOUSTON — At 11:00 a.m. EDT, flight controllers on the ground sent commands to release the uncrewed SpaceX Dragon spacecraft from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module. At the time of release at 11:05 a.m., the station was flying about 259 miles over the Pacific Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft successfully departed the space station one month after arriving at the orbiting laboratory to deliver about 4,000 pounds of scientific investigations and supplies.

Tomorrow, ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will command a deorbit burn. After re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, the spacecraft will make a parachute-assisted splashdown off the coast of Florida. NASA TV will not broadcast the de-orbit burn and splashdown, and updates will be posted on the agency’s space station blog.

Dragon arrived at the space station July 16, following a launch two days prior on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was the company’s 25th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA.


Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: https://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

Get the latest from NASA delivered every week. Subscribe here: www.nasa.gov/subscribe

SKY Perfect JSAT to Launch Superbird-9 Comsat on SpaceX Starship

Starship/Super Heavy on the launch pad at Boca Chica, Texas. (Credit: SpaceX)

TOKYO (SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings PR) — SKY Perfect JSAT Holdings Inc. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President: Eiichi Yonekura) today announces that SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President & Chief Executive Officer; Eiichi Yonekura, hereinafter “SKY Perfect JSAT”) has selected SpaceX’s Starship for launch of its Superbird-9 communications satellite.

Superbird-9 is a fully flexible HTS (High Throughput Satellites) mounted the payload missions to be configured and combined to match end-user needs. It will deliver broadcast and broadband missions in Ku band primarily over Japan and Eastern Asia, in response to mobility and broadband demands. Superbird-9 will be launched by SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle in 2024 to geosynchronous transfer orbit. SpaceX’s Starship is a fully reusable transportation system that will be the world’s most powerful launch vehicle.

SKY Perfect JSAT and SpaceX will continue to work together ahead of the launch of Superbird-9 Satellite.

Satellite BusOneSat
ManufacturerAirbus Defence and Space
Satellite SpecificationFrequency bands: Ku and Ka
Coverage: Japan and Eastern Asia
Scheduled start of operation: FY2025
Service Life: 15 years or more

About SKY Perfect JSAT

SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation is Asia’s largest satellite operator with a fleet of 16 satellites, and Japan’s only provider of both multi-channel pay TV broadcasting and satellite communications services. SKY Perfect JSAT delivers a broad range of entertainment through the “SKY PerfecTV! platform, the most extensive in Japan with a total of approximately 3 million subscribers. SKY Perfect JSAT’s satellite communications services, which cover Asia, Indian Ocean, Russia, Middle East, Pacific Ocean and North America, play a vital role in supporting communications infrastructures for mobile backhaul, government, aviation, maritime, oil & gas and disaster recovery. For more information, visit our corporate website (https://www.skyperfectjsat.space/en/) and Space Business website (https://www.skyperfectjsat.space/jsat/en/).

SpaceX to Launch 53 Starlink Satellites on Friday

Credit: SpaceX

SpaceX Mission Update

SpaceX is targeting Friday, August 19 for a Falcon 9 launch of 53 Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 3:21 p.m. ET (19:21 UTC), and a backup opportunity is available on Saturday, August 20 at 2:59 p.m. ET (18:59 UTC).

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III Space Vehicle 04, GPS III Space Vehicle 05, Inspiration4, Ax-1, Nilesat 301, and three Starlink missions. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will return to Earth and land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 5 minutes before liftoff. 

D-Orbit Announces Multi-Year Launch and Deployment Contract with Swiss Satellite Internet of Things (IoT) Network Operator Astrocast

The agreement covers the launch and deployment of 20 satellites, which are part of Astrocast’s growing constellation for the Internet of Things, over a three-year time span.

FINO Mornasco, Italy, August 9, 2022 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, a space logistics company, announced today the signing of a multiple launch and deployment contract with Astrocast, a leading Swiss IoT-focused nanosatellite company.

According to the agreement, D-Orbit will launch twenty of Astrocast’s satellites aboard ION Satellite Carrier, D-Orbit’s versatile and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) designed to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit. The satellites, which will join Astrocast’s constellation of satellites for the Internet of things (IoT), will be delivered to space over a period of three years, through multiple missions.

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The Past Week in Launches: SpaceX & China Launch Twice, a Soyuz Rideshare and India Falls Short

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle lifts off on maiden flight. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the past week, SpaceX launched 98 Starlink satellites, a Chinese commercial launch provider made it three in a row, Russia launched a rideshare mission with an Iranian satellite aboard, and India’s new small satellite launcher fell just short of orbit.

There have been 103 orbital launches worldwide, with 99 successes and four failures.

Let’s take a closer look at the last week in launch.

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What’s Next: The Future of NASA’s Laser Communications

Illustration of ILLUMA-T communicating science and exploration data from the International Space Station to LCRD. (Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Dave Ryan)

By Kendall Murphy
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — NASA uses lasers to send information to and from Earth, employing invisible beams to traverse the skies, sending terabytes of data – pictures and videos – to increase our knowledge of the universe. This capability is known as laser, or optical, communications, even though these eye-safe, infrared beams can’t be seen by human eyes.

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Masten Gets $4.5 Million Bid for Assets from Astrobotic Technology

A rendering of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander is shown, with NASA’s three water-detecting payloads (MSolo, NSS, and NIRVSS) highlighted in blue. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

Updated 8/12/2022 at 12:02 p.m. EDT with information about launch credit with SpaceX.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

MOJAVE, Calif. — Astrobotic Technology has made an initial bid of $4.5 million to acquire the assets of Masten Space Systems, which sought protection from creditors last month by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bid will serve as a minimum during the subsequent auction of Masten’s assets.

Astrobotic has also agreed to provide Masten with a $1.4 million debtor in possession (DIP) loan to allow the company to function as it works through bankruptcy.

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