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Thursday, January 15, 2015

This Week in Satellite News! (Jan 9 – Jan 16 2015)


New U.S. Air Force Space Surveillance Satellites Require Great Precision

Two high-orbiting U.S. Air Force space surveillance satellites that launched in July must show “unprecedented” maneuvering accuracy given their potential to cause damage in a heavily used belt of Earth orbit, according to a professional journal published by the service.

The Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites are capable of approaching and observing nearly 600 satellites in geosynchronous orbit, two former chief scientists for Air Force Space Command wrote in the November-December issue of the Air & Space Power Journal, a professional journal published by the Air Force Research Institute.

A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket launches two U.S. Air Force Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on July 28, 2014. Credit: ULA

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Space Station Crew Shelters in Russian Segment after Alarm

The crew of the International Space Station evacuated to the station’s Russian segment early Jan. 14 after an alarm indicated a potential ammonia leak in the U.S. segment, but were allowed to return later the same day after mission controllers concluded it was a computer glitch and not a real leak.

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ESA Selects Thales Alenia Space for PLATO Phase B1 Study

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Thales Alenia Space for one of the three phase B1 studies of the Planetary Transits and Oscillation of Stars (PLATO) program, part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-25. The main purpose of the PLATO mission, scheduled for launch in 2024, is to study planetary systems outside the solar system by identifying and analyzing planetary transits.

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Iridium Digs Deep for Mining Industry

Mining is the very definition of heavy industry. With thousands of large machines doing heavy work, often in far-flung regions with little architecture, mining companies need powerful, efficient communications solutions they can count on to work no matter how far afield they operate.

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SpaceX Completes First 2015 Launch With CRS-5 Mission

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon capsule launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 4:47 a.m. EST headed to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the launcher’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. The launch, delayed from 2014, carried more than two tons of supplies and experiments to the ISS as well as two satellites for Planet Labs.

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Boeing Completes All-Electric ABS 3A and Eutelsat 115 West B Satellites

Boeing has completed production of two all-electric propulsion satellites: the ABS 3A satellite for Asia Broadcast Satellite and the Eutelsat 115 West B satellite for Eutelsat. The Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellites have a lower price tag, significantly lower weight, and provide more options for movement to different orbital positions, according to the satellite manufacturer.

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Reports say new GX launch delayed until February 1

Reports in Russian media have claimed that the launch of Inmarsat’s second Global Xpress (GX) satellite has been delayed once more, due to a malfunction with the Boeing-manufactured I-5 F2 – though this time the schedule has been pushed back by only two days.

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