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Summary: 25 May 2016 - 31 May 2016


 FAILURES Up 

Hitomi failure investigation report in English available
30 May 2016 - JAXA has released an English-language overview of the chain of events that led to the unfortunate loss of its ASTRO-H "Hitomi" satellite. Human error is at least partially to blame. >>>


 LAUNCHES Up 

New Arianespace plans six Asian satellite launches in 2016
31 May 2016 - Arianespace said that it has six satellite launches planned for Asia-Pacific customers in 2016. The Asia-Pacific region is a core market for Arianespace, contributing significantly to a 60% global market share for commercial launches. This represents around 25 % of Arianespace's global business. Also, the company may start marketing its new launchers before the end of the year. >>>

GLONASS satellite launched despite third-stage underperformance
30 May 2016 - Rocket: Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat; Payload: GLONASS-M No. 53; Date: 29 May 2016, 0845 UTC; Launch site: Plesetsk, Russia. At 1216 UTC the satellite reached its intended orbit and separated from the Fregat upper stage. It was catalogued in a 1,9148 km x 19,491 km x 64.8 degrees orbit. >>>

China launches remote-sensing satellite
30 May 2016 - Rocket: Chang Zheng 4B; Payload: Ziyuan 3-02 [ZY-3-02], two ÑuSat microsatellites; Date: 30 May 2016, 0317 UTC; Launch site: Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre, China. All three satellites have successfully entered preset orbits, the Taiyuan centre said in a statement. ZY-3-02 was catalogued in a 483 km x 499 km x 97.5 degrees Sun-synchronous orbit. >>>

Antares hot fire engine test scheduled for no earlier than 31 May
30 May 2016 - NASA's Wallops Flight Facility will provide launch range support for an Orbital ATK Antares 230 rocket first stage test scheduled for 31 May at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport's Pad-0A. Backup test dates run through June 5. >>>

Update: Thaicom 8 launched after 24-hour delay
30 May 2016 - Orbital ATK, Inc. announced that the Thaicom 8 commercial communications satellite, built by the company for Thaicom PLC, was successfully delivered to orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and is operating as planned. >>>

Rosetta safe mode 5 km from comet
30 May 2016 - Over the weekend, Rosetta experienced a 'safe mode' event 5 km from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Contact with the spacecraft has since been recovered and the mission teams are working to resume normal operations. >>>

BEAM fully expanded and pressurised
30 May 2016 - Pressurisation of the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is docked with the International Space Station, has been completed successfully on 28 May. >>>

Thaicom 8 launched after 24-hour delay
27 May 2016 - Rocket: Falcon 9; Payload: Thaicom 8; Date: 27 May 2016, 2139 UTC; Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, USA. The upper stage engine fired two times to deploy the satellite into a 250 km x 90,000 km supersynchronous transfer orbit approx. 32 minutes after lift-off. >>>

Delay of the day: Delta IV/NROL-37
27 May 2016 - The NROL-37 Delta IV launch is delayed at the request of the customer, the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The NROL-37 spacecraft and launch vehicle are secure on Space Launch Complex 37. >>>

Chang'e 5 to land on moon and return in 2017
27 May 2016 - China will send its lunar probe Chang'e 5 to land on the moon and return with lunar samples in the second half of 2017, according to State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND). >>>

More passengers for first SLS flight
27 May 2016 - On the first flight of its new Space Launch System (SLS), NASA will demonstrate the rocket's heavy-lift capability and send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft into deep space. The agency will also take advantage of additional available mass and space to provide the rare opportunity to send more than a dozen small satellites, called CubeSats, to conduct experiments beyond low-Earth orbit. In addition to the 10 CubeSats announced earlier this year, the agency will be sending three from international partners. >>>

Delay of the day:Falcon 9/Thaicom 8
26 May 2016 - Lift-off of a SpaceX Falcon 9 with Thaicom 8 on board did not take place as scheduled at 2140 UTC. >>>

Orbital announces development of EELV-class rocket
25 May 2016 - Orbital ATK has unveiled plans for a new rocket to compete against United Launch Alliance and Space Exploration Technologies for missions to launch U.S. military and commercial satellites. >>>

GKN Aerospace wins contracts from Airbus Safran Launchers
25 May 2016 - GKN Aerospace will develop and manufacture advanced rocket engine sub-systems for the Ariane 6 launch vehicle, under the prime contractorship of Airbus Safran Launchers, after securing major new contracts. >>>


 SATELLITES Up 

New Arabsat 6A and Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 complete CDR
31 May 2016 - Lockheed Martin, Arab Satellite Communications Organization and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have successfully completed a comprehensive technical review of Arabsat 6A and Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1, two satellites that will provide television, Internet, telephone and secure communications, to customers in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. >>>

Next try to extend BEAM on Saturday
27 May 2016 - NASA and Bigelow Aerospace today evaluated why the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) attached to the ISS did not fully expand as planned. A new attempt is currently scheduled for Saturday. >>>

Bolivia takes over operations of Chinese-built satellite
26 May 2016 - Bolivian personnel have taken over the operations of the country's Chinese-built Tupac Katari satellite. >>>

Deep Space Industries, SFL to provide satellites for HawkEye 360
26 May 2016 - HawkEye 360, Inc., a subsidiary of Allied Minds, announced that it has selected Deep Space Industries and its sub-contractor, the University of Toronto Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), as the manufacturer for its Pathfinder small satellite cluster. Deep Space Industries has also chosen to participate in HawkEye 360's first preferred financing round. >>>

Planetary Resources plans Earth observation capability
26 May 2016 - Planetary Resources, Inc. announced that it has secured US$21.1 million in Series A funding. The capital will be used to deploy and operate Ceres, an advanced Earth observation business that features the first commercial infrared and hyperspectral sensor platform. Earth observation will be another aspect of Planetary Resources' operations in addition to prospecting and mining asteroids, the company said. >>>

NASA and Bigelow Aerospace analysing BEAM status
26 May 2016 - An attempt to inflate the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) docked to the International Space Station has failed. >>>

Thaicom 8 pre-launch details
25 May 2016 - The Thaicom 8 spacecraft will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on 26 May 2016. The launch window is currently 2140 to 2340 UTC. >>>

JWST's Optical Telescope Element completed and delivered
25 May 2016 - Northrop Grumman Corporation's delivery of the fully integrated Optical Telescope Element (OTE) for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope marks another major milestone toward the October 2018 launch of the largest telescope ever built for space. >>>

Frequency Electronics Inc. awarded HTS payload contract
25 May 2016 - Frequency Electronics, Inc. has been awarded a contract in excess of US$5 million to supply master timing and frequency generation systems for a high throughput satellite. >>>


 BUSINESS Up 

UrtheCast to receive Industry Canada TDP award
27 May 2016 - UrtheCast Corp. announced that it will receive C$5.0 million in Government of Canada Technology Development Program ("TDP") funding, as part of a C$54 million contribution programme for the development of new satellite technologies, as administered by the Government of Canada. >>>

SES to take over O3b Networks
26 May 2016 - SES S.A. announced that it is launching a capital raising to fund the acquisition of the remaining shares in O3b Networks. As a result, SES will own 100% of O3b Networks, a satellite operator with a constellation of 12 High Throughput Satellites (HTS) at Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). >>>

ViaSat, Inc. results Q4 FY 2016
25 May 2016 - ViaSat Inc. announced financial results for the fiscal fourth quarter ending 31 March 2016. >>>


 FEEDS & LINKS Up 

New Airbus DS to provide German armed forces with commercial satellite communications
31 May 2016 - Airbus Defence and Space has been awarded a contract worth €113.8 million by the procurement agency of German Armed Forces (BAAINBw) to provide commercial satellite communication services until 2023. Airbus Defence and Space has been providing these satcom services since 2006. >>>

New SpeedCast books South Atlantic Beam on Telstar 12 VANTAGE
31 May 2016 - Telesat announced new service contracts with SpeedCast International Limited. >>>

Eurovision steps up capacity on 4 Eutelsat satellites
26 May 2016 - The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Eutelsat Communications announced the signature of capacity contracts on four Eutelsat satellites. The capacity will be used to carry live broadcast signals of flagship events in the sports calendar. >>>


 ANNIVERSARIES Up 

GOES-13 launched ten years ago
25 May 2016 - On 24 May 2006, GOES-13 was launched into orbit aboard a Boeing Delta IV rocket that took flight from Cape Canaveral, Florida. >>>

 

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