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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

This Week in Satellite News! (Sep 25 – Oct 02 2017)

SpaceX Moves Third Iridium NEXT Satellite Launch to Oct. 9

SpaceX has pushed back the launch of a third batch of satellites for Iridium CommunicationsNEXT constellation by five days to Oct. 9, Iridium announced Tuesday on its website.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said the schedule change was requested by SpaceX to provide more time to prepare the Falcon 9 rocket that will carry the 10 NEXT satellites to low Earth orbit, Spaceflight Now reported Tuesday.

Image result for iridium next launch
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Puerto Rico's cell service is basically nonexistent. So this is happening

So many U.S. satellite phones are being shipped to Puerto Rico right now that phone providers say they may run out soon.
With 88% of the island’s cell phone network down as of Monday and few landlines operating, satellite phones are one of the few ways for people to communicate and for relief workers to coordinate efforts. Unlike cell phones, the heavier and more powerful phones don't rely on cell towers or landlines. Instead, they communicate directly with satellites in orbit around the earth. 

Image result for devastation Hurricane Maria brought to Puerto Rico
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Musk unveils revised version of giant interplanetary launch system

SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk announced plans to develop a revised version of a reusable interplanetary transport system that he said would be more affordable and versatile.
Musk, speaking before a packed auditorium at the conclusion of the 68th International Astronautical Congress here Sept. 29, unveiled an updated version of the Interplanetary Transport System he announced at last year’s conference in Mexico.

BFR lunar base
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JWST launch slips to 2019

NASA announced Sept. 28 that the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope mission, which had been planned for next fall, will now be delayed until the spring of 2019.
In a statement posted on the agency’s website, NASA said that an assessment of overall work needed to complete integration and testing of the $8 billion spacecraft led to the decision to postpone the launch by about half a year.

After much tinkering, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has at last finished the cryogenic cooler that will keep JWST's Mid-Infrared Instrument at its frosty-cool operating temperature of minus 270 Celsius. Credit: NASA artist's concept
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Hitachi Expands Telematics Service with Iridium Capacity

Iridium announced a new long-term agreement with Hitachi Construction Machinery to bring Iridium network capacity to Hitachi’s Global e-Service construction machinery management system. By integrating Iridium connectivity, Hitachi will now be able to expand the service to regions and markets previously not possible, the company stated.
Hitachi’s Global e-Service construction machinery management system provides customers with maintenance information to help companies control CO2 emissions, minimize idling times and monitor fuel consumption.

A Hitachi EX2600-6 mining excavator and shovel, which comes equipped with Hitachi's Global eService. Photo: Hitachi Construction Machinery.
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Lockheed Martin adds lander to Mars Base Camp concept

Lockheed Martin released an update to its Mars mission architecture Sept. 29, adding a reusable lander capable of making multiple trips between Mars orbit and the surface.
The company presented an updated version of the Mars Base Camp concept during a talk at the 68th International Astronautical Congress here, arguing that the proposal fit into growing interest in operations in cislunar space as well, including landings on the surface of the moon.

Mars Base Camp lander
Read the full story here Deployed in the Caribbean After Hurricanes Irma, Maria

The government of Luxembourg has deployed its Rapid Response Kit to provide vital satellite-enabled connectivity to the coordination center in Dominica following the devastation brought by the Category 5 Hurricane Maria. The connectivity provided on an SES satellite is used for broadband and voice communication to ensure that emergency services and first responders can stay informed and connected, and are able to act quickly where they are most needed.
Luxembourg deployed the solution following a request from the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) to support the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). Volunteers from Luxembourg Civil Protection helped install the Rapid Response Kit.

NOAA satellite GOES-16 captured this geocolor image of Hurricane Irma passing the eastern end of Cuba at about 8:00 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, 2017. Photo: NOAA.
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Rocket Lab to fly satellites on second Electron launch

Rocket Lab, the U.S.-New Zealand company developing the Electron small launch vehicle, said Sept. 26 that it will fly four cubesats from two companies on the rocket’s next test flight late this year.
In a statement, Rocket Lab said the Electron’s second test flight later this year will carry two Dove cubesats from Planet and two Lemur cubesats from Spire. The company had originally planned to carry only a test payload on this mission, similar to the rocket’s inaugural launch in May.

Electron launch
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