News Notes - 2014
- 2014 DEC 03 - HAYABUSA 2 LAUNCHED
- The Japanese launched a followup to the Hayabusa 1 mission. This is expected to return a sample from asteroid 162173. Three small auxilliary payloads were also launched including Shinen 2 which carries an amateur radio payload to test comms in interplanetary space.
- 2014 OCT 23 - CHINESE LUNAR TEST MISSION
- China launched this engineering mission to test components of a lunar sample return mission. It was accompanied by a small 'Manfred Memorial Moon Mission' payload supplied by the company Luxspace.
- 2014 OCT 07 - HIMAWARI 8 GEOMETSAT
- An H2A rocket launched from Tanegashima carried a new Japanese meteorological satellite to geosynchronous at 140 degrees east longitude. It is expected that data
from this satellite will be made available to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.
- 2014 SEP 11 - OPTUS 10 LAUNCHED FROM KOUROU
- This geosynchronous communications satellite will provide televsion, voice and data communication services to remote communities in Australia from an orbital location at 176 degrees east longitude.
- 2014 AUG 19 - GAOFEN 2 IN LEO
- A high resolution optical sensor on Gaofen 2 will provide remote sensing data in a program comprising both LEO and GEO satellites.
- 2014 JUL 29 - FINAL ATV MISSION TO ISS
- The last European Space Agency cargo carrier (ATV5 - Georges Lemaitre) was launched toward the ISS on a resupply mission.
- 2014 JUL 28 - TWO SSA GEOSATS LAUNCHED
- A pair of geosynchronous space situational awareness satellites will add to the US Space Surveillance Network (SSN). Their task will be to try and identify geosynchronous space objects and differentiate between payloads, rocket bodies and debris.
- 2014 JUL 8 - METEOR M2 IN ORBIT
- A new polar orbiting (~800km) meteorological satellite was launched from Baikonur.
- 2014 JUL 2 - ORBITING CARBON OBSERVATORY
- A Delta 2 rocket launched OCO 2 from Vandenberg. This will study CO2 in the atmosphere.
- 2014 JUN 30 - SPOT 7 LAUNCHED FROM INDIA
- The French "Satellite Pour Observation de la Terre" was launched from Sriarikota by an Indian PSLV, along with 4 other smallsats.
- 2014 JUN 19 - MULTISATELLITE LAUNCH BY DNEPR FROM VASNY COSMODROME
- The Kazcosmos Earth Observation Satellite was placed into a 600 km near circular orbit along with 37 small satellites.
- MAY 27 - SPACE INDUSTRY FORUM IN WA
- The first Space Industry Forum in Western Australia
was held in Perth. It was organised by the Space Industry
Association of Australia (SIAA) in cooperation with the CSIRO
Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC) who provided the venue.
For more details see SIAA.
- MAY 17 - US NAVSTAR LAUNCH
- Navstar GPS IIF-6 was launced into a semisynchronous orbit by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral.
- APR 30 - FIRST KAZAKHSTAN SATELLITE IN ORBIT
- A European Vega rocket launched KazEOSat1 from Korou. This will perform environment and disaster monitoring for Kazakhstan.
- APR 19 - FALCON 9 RESUPPLIES ISS
- Under contract to NASA, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral took Space-3 to the International Space Station on a resupply mission. It also released 5 smallsats into low Earth orbit.
- APR 18 - LADEE HITS THE MOON
- The US lunar orbiter LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere Dust Environment Experiment) impacted the moon, ending its mission
to characterise the very tenuous lunar atmosphere from a low
lunar orbit. The spacecraft was launched on September 7, 2013.
- APR 16 - EGYPTIAN REMOTE SENSING SATELLITE LAUNCHED
- A Soyuz rocket launched from Baikonur, placed the Egyptian remote sensing satellite MISRSAT 2 into orbit.
- APR 09 - LAUNCH OF ISRAELI RECONNAISSANCE SATELLITE
- An Israeli Shavit rocket launched Ofeq 10 from Palmakim Air Force Base (on the Mediterranean coast) to provide reconnaissance and intelligence over the Middle East.
- APR 04 - INDIAN NAVSAT LAUNCHED
- An Indian PSLV rocket launched the IRNSS 1B satellite. This is part of the Indian Regional Navigational
Satellite System that operates from geosynchronous orbit.
- APR 03 - EUROPEAN RADAR SATELLITE LAUNCHED
- A Soyuz-ST launch from Kourou put the Sentinel 1A satellite into orbit. This is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
satellite for the European Space Agency (ESA) Copernicus
constellation. Sentinel 1.
- APR 03 - NEW US MILITARY WEATHER SATELLITE
- An Atlas V rocket launched a new DMSP military weather satellite from Vandenberg.
- APR 02-04 - SPS 2014 AT KOBE UNIVERSITY
- SPS2014, a Solar Power Satellites symposium and workshop was held at Kobe University in Japan. This follows two previous workshops: SPS2004 held in Granada Spain and SPS2009 held in Toronto Canada. A summary of the workshop appeared in
Aviation Week and Space Technology (AWST) on 21 April.
- APR 02 - US TO PULL OUT FROM NON-ISS RUSSIAN SPACE PROJECTS
- In a verified internal memo, NASA has directed the cessation of cooperation with Russia on non-ISS space projects. Exactly what this means has not been fully defined. The US is still dependent on Russia to launch astronauts to the International Space Station, as well as on several other technical matters including engines that power some US rockets.
- MAR 31 - CHINESE EXPERIMENTAL SATELLITE
- A Long March 2 rocket launched an experimental satellite with a remote sensing payload. Launch was from Jiuquan.
- MAR 25 - NEW ISS CREW
- A Soyuz-FG rocket launched, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, a new 3 person crew to the ISS.
- MAR 07 - AUSTRALIAN CRC FOR SPACE ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT
- A new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for "Space Environment Management" is being financed by the Australian government and the individual participants to actively address
the problem of space debris using laser based observation and mitigation. The centre will be based at Mount Stromlo in Canberra and will include EOS Space Systems, the Australian National University, Optus, and RMIT University as well as participation from some overseas organisations.
- FEB 27 - JAPANESE SMALLSAT LAUNCH
- A Japanese H2A rocket launched eight satellites from Tanegashima into a very low Earth orbit (<400km) that will decay in a few months. Included was ShidaiSat, a demonstration satellite for optical communications with the ground.
- FEB 21 - US NAVSTAR LAUNCH
- A Delta 4 rocket launched Navstar GPS IIF-5 into semisynchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral.
- FEB 11-28 - EARTH IMAGING CONSTELLATION DEPLOYED FROM ISS
- Twenty-eight small Earth imaging satellites were deployed from the ISS over a 17 day period. These satellites, developed by the Californian company Planet Labs form a constellation known as Flock-1.
"Flock 1 continuously images planet Earth. The 28 Dove satellites in Flock 1 constellation act like a line scanner for the planet, creating a unique data stream that helps solve our world's toughest challenges and triggers industry-changing opportunities. Planet Labs has achieved rapid progress by assembling off-the-shelf electronics into advanced satellites, using what its founders call agile aerospace."
- JAN 24 - TDRSS RELAY SATELLITE LAUNCHED
- An Atlas V rocket launched what will become TDRSS 12 from Cape Canaveral. The constellation of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites are used to relay signals from US civilian and military satellites in orbit (eg ISS) when they are out of range of a ground station.
- JAN 09 - SMALLSAT CARGO TO ISS
- An Antares rocket launched from Wallops island carried the Cygnus Orb 1 cargo vessel to the International Space Station. This contained 32 smallsats which will be deployed from the station in coming days.