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Friday, January 2, 2015

This Week in Satellite News! (26 Dec 2014 – Jan 2 2015)


Sierra Nevada Corporation Hands OG2 Operations to Orbcomm

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), prime contractor for the Orbcomm Second Generation (OG2) satellites transferred operations to Orbcomm in mid-September, the company reported this month. In the 60 days following the July 14 launch by SpaceX, SNC and Orbcomm completed the deployment and checkout of all six spacecraft.

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China Completes High Definition Map of Entire Country

The country of China has been entirely mapped in High Definition (HD) by satellite, according to the Chinese National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation. China began photographing the country at a level that can clearly image objects smaller than one meter by satellite in 2012. As of 2014, the compiled imagery covered the entire land territory of the country.

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NASA Programs Dawn Spacecraft to Begin Ceres Approach Phase

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have beamed the programmed maneuvers for the Dawn spacecraft to begin its approach phase as it nears Ceres, the largest body in the asteroid belt. Dawn was recently behind the sun relative to Earth during a period of time known as solar conjunction that limited communication with antennas on Earth. The spacecraft emerged 640,000 kilometers from Ceres, approaching at 750 kilometers per hour.

Artist's depiction of Dawn heading to Ceres

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ILS Proton Delivers Six-Ton SES Satellite to GTO

International Launch Services (ILS) lofted the Astra 2G satellite for SES on Dec. 27 using a Proton Breeze M booster. The rocket carried the six-ton satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) after a mission lasting nine hours and 12 minutes.

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Russia Launches Resurs P2 Satellite Aboard Soyuz 2.1b

The Russian remote sensing spacecraft Resurs P2 launched aboard a Soyuz 2.1b rocket on Dec. 26 2014 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The Earth observation satellite is capable of panchromatic and hyperspectral imaging, and carries equipment for automatic ship identification.


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Himawari 8 Satellite Releases First Images

The Japan Meteorological Agency has released the first images from the Himawari 8 geostationary weather satellite, which launched Oct. 7, 2014 aboard an H2A rocket. Mitsubishi Electric built the satellite using the DS2000 platform.

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MUOS 3 Encapsulated Ahead of January 2015 Launch

Lockheed Martin reports the third Mobile User Objective System satellite (MUOS 3) is encapsulated in its payload fairing for a Jan. 20, 2015 launch. United Launch Alliance (ULA) is contracted to launch the U.S. Navy satellite aboard an Atlas 5 rocket.

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