New Satellite Doubles DigitalGlobe’s Earth Imaging Capacity
Lockheed Martin has successfully launched today the WorldView-4 commercial remote sensing spacecraft for DigitalGlobe, Inc. The satellite orbits Earth every 90 minutes, traveling 17,000 miles per hour, providing the world's highest-resolution 30 cm commercial satellite imagery, capturing as much as 680,000 square kilometers of the Earth's surface daily.
Russia Plans to Deploy Anti-Satellite Airborne Laser Weapons
Russia is preparing to renew flight testing of a high-power flying laser designed to operate as an anti-satellite weapon, the Tass news agency reported. Based on the Ilyushin Il-76MD transport plane the airborne laser laboratory aircraft flew for its first test mission in August 19, 1981. Two aircraft were modified and equipped for the tests that ceased following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Expanding Strategic Defense in Space – China’s Missile Interceptors and Satellite Killers
China's Defense Ministry confirmed today that it was pressing ahead with anti-missile system tests after pictures appeared on state television, depicting a successful missile intercept test conducted in 2010. Earlier this week Beijing released another video depicting an anti-satellite test conducted last year. The Aolong-1 (Roaming Dragon) spacecraft sent into orbit last month will be cleaning up space junk, other analysts suspect it could serve a military purpose.
Fifth Launch Completes Satellite Completes U.S. Navy’s Global Military Cellular Network
The US Navy's fifth and last Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite was launched June 24, 2016, aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The system will transform legacy telephone links into a globally connected IP-based ‘mobile phone’ network, that will support voice, text and data, enabling small units to switch from line-of-sight communications to beyond line-of-sight Satellite Communications. (SATCOM).
Indian Space Agency Tested a Reusable Satellite Launcher
India conducted the first flight test of its ‘Reusable Launch Vehicle’ (RLV) developed by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Monday, May 23, 2016, as the 6.7 m’ (22 ft) long vehicle was launched on top an HS9 solid rocket booster. Unlike the American space shuttle or X-37B space plane that perform most of their mission in orbit, the Indian RLV is designed to provide a reusable ‘upper stage’, to assist bringing satellites to orbit.
Simorgh First Launch – an Iranian Success or Failure?
Iran conducted the first launch of the 'Simorgh' last week, Tehran's largest satellite launch vehicle, and what the Pentagon views as a key element of its effort to build long-range missiles. Although Iran has not confirmed the test flight, both US and Russian sources reported the event, but the sources are not in agreement whether it was a success, part success or failure.
Israel at Defexpo 2016
Twenty-eight Israeli companies will present a wide range of advanced technologies – many of them operational – including sophisticated sensors and systems protecting borders and sensitive facilities, robotic and automotive logistics, electro-optics for artillery and infantry, airborne satellite communications, fire control solutions, tactical medical equipment, and more. See Defense-Update video coverage of Defexpo.
US Air Force Invests in Vulcan – ULA’s All-American Rocket
United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Blue Origin LLC, a privately-funded aerospace company owned by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, entered into a public-private partnership with the U.S. Air Force to develop a new rocket propulsion system to power the Vulcan - ULA's next-generation launch system.
DARPA Awards $20 Million for Continued Development of a Military Space Plane
Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Masten Space Systems have won additional funding from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to continue developing their concepts for the United States military's XS-1 robotic space plane under the program's second phase (Phase 1B).
Skynet Constellation Expands to Cover the Asia-Pacific
Airbus Defence and Space announced this week that it is moving the SkyNet 5A military satellite to the Asia Pacific region to extend its coverage in this area. The move will provide worldwide coverage for the first time.
F-15Es will soon be able to send microsatellites into orbit
DARPA is seeking to develop new ways to launch and deploy small satellites in orbit. One of the concepts being explored by the agency is the Air Launched Assist Space Access (ALASA), seeking to reduce cost, time and weather constraints for launching small satellites from an aircraft.
Virgin Galactic rocket plane crash – pilot Killed
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane crashed today when performing a test flight over California. The spacecraft was testing a new propellant on this flight.
Cargo rocket destined to the International Space Station destroyed on liftoff
The Antares rocket carrying an unmanned Cygnus suffered a 'catastrophic anomaly' seconds after liftoff from NASA's Wallops flight facility in Virginia at 06:22 PM EDT. Cygnus was packed with 5,000 pounds (2.268 tons) of food and supplies, scientific experiments destined to the International Space Station. It was the third cargo mission under a $1.9 billion contract Orbital Sciences has won from NASA.
Airbus invites partners to test mission payloads with Zephyr 8 ‘Pseudo-Satellite’
Airbus Defence and Space has launched a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) program developing a commercial variant of the world record setting Zephyr 7 high altitude long endurance (HALE) solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle. Zephyr 8 will develop the next generation platform, designed to operate at very high altitude, as a pseudo-satellite. Airbus' subsidiary Astrium has been working on HAPS since...