September 5, 2011

50 Percent More Satellites to be Launched in the Decade Ahead (Source: Space Today)
Euroconsult has forecasted that an estimated 1,145 satellites will be built for launch during the next ten years (2011-2020), 51% more satellites than the previous decade. These projections come from Euroconsult's just-released "Satellites to be Built and Launched by 2020, World Market Survey."

According to the report, now in its 14th edition, revenues from the manufacture and launch of these 1,145 satellites will be worth $196 billion worldwide, of which 70% can be attributed to government demand. "Governments continue to dominate the space market, as satellite systems are critical infrastructure for communications and geo-information solutions for civilian and military users" said the report's editor. (9/5)

Plan to Revive 1970s UK Satellite (Source: BBC)
A group of scientists and engineers is working on an ambitious project to revive a unique UK satellite - still in orbit after almost 40 years. When the Prospero spacecraft was launched atop a Black Arrow rocket on 28 October 1971, it marked the end of an era. A very short era. Prospero was the first UK satellite to be launched on a UK launch vehicle; it would also be the last.

Ministers had cancelled the rocket project in the run up to the flight. However, as the Black Arrow was ready, the program team decided to go-ahead anyway. Prospero was blasted into orbit from the remote Woomera base in the Australian desert. It turns out, the satellite is still up there. Carrying a series of experiments to investigate the effects of the space environment, the satellite operated successfully until 1973 and was contacted annually until 1996.

Now, a team led by PhD student Roger Duthie from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey is hoping to re-establish communications in time for the satellite's 40th anniversary. "First, we have to re-engineer the ground segment from knowledge lost, then test the communications to see if it's still alive," Duthie said. "Then we can have drinks and champagne!" (9/5)

What's in a Name? NASA Langley Research Center (Source: Virginian Pilot)
The man who tried but failed to invent a manned airplane has his name attached to one of the premier aeronautics facilities in the country - NASA Langley Research Center. The center was named for Samuel Pierpont Langley, a respected engineer, astronomer and third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, who tried to build the first heavier-than-air flying machine. (9/5)

Mission May Put Budding Scientists Over the Moon (Source: Florida Today)
Imagine piloting a sleek spaceship soaring just 34 miles above the surface of the moon, flying a reconnaissance mission aimed at spotting the perfect place to explore. Cross over bright highlands, vast dark lunar plains, a comet-pocked surface, even one of largest craters in the solar system -- a gaping polar expanse that might harbor stores of life-sustaining water ice.

Zoom in with high-resolution cameras and then take credit for finding the landing site for the next human expedition to the moon -- the perfect proving ground for future missions to asteroids, Mars and other planetary destinations. Starting next March, middle school students across the nation -- and around the globe -- will select surface features for the Grail satellites' "MoonKam" instruments to photograph. They'll set up Mission Control Centers in their classrooms and use the images to study Earth's sole natural satellite. (9/5)

Looking Up - 2012's Astro-Watching Hotspots (Source: Independent)
Astro-tourism is becoming increasingly big business - identified as a World Travel Trend last year by Euromonitor ahead of the World Travel Market and already worth millions to places such as Hawaii, Chile and Australia. Next year is set to be a stellar one for spacewatching, one company predicted this week, thanks to the spectacular the Transit of Venus, a 'twice in a lifetime' event where Venus passes in between the sun and the Earth.

Nicholas Whitfield of space tourism firm Astro Trails told Relaxnews he believes the transit's rarity (after next year, it won't occur until 2117) will make it the biggest event of the year, although there are several other highlights for those thinking about taking a space-themed break. Here's a list of the astro-tourism events not to be missed in 2012. Click here. (9/5)

Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Loses Spaceship in Test Flight (Source: WIRED)
An unmanned spaceship, owned by Blue Origin and funded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, lost control during a test flight last week and the experimental rocket had to be destroyed. The notoriously tight-lipped private firm left a rare message on its website to detail the rocket's failure. "At Mach 1.2 and an altitude of 45,000 feet, a flight instability drove an angle of attack that triggered our range safety system to terminate thrust on the vehicle," Bezos wrote. (9/5)

Over 150 Spacemen from 35 Countries to Meet for Congress in Moscow (Source: Itar-Tass)
The 24th Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers will open here on Monday. The congress will be held under the motto “He Invited Us All in Space” in the year, when the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first world spaceflight is celebrated. The motto reflected the common recognition of the absolute pioneership of our country in the manned spaceflights, a source in the organizing committee of the congress told Itar-Tass. (9/5)

National Space Club's Rising Star Award is Part of Space Ceremonies (Source: Florida Today)
For the first time, annual awards presented by the National Space Club Florida Committee will honor a rising star in the aerospace industry, along with three lifetime achievers. Megan Jaunich, a system safety engineer with Millennium Engineering and Integration Co., is the first recipient of the Rising Star award.

"Megan's dedication to her profession and her strong community outreach is an inspiration for our current and future space professionals," club board chairman Stephen Feldman said. A Florida Tech graduate from Satellite Beach, Jaunich has received several NASA certificates and awards for recommendations that improved assessment of payloads, spacecraft and instrument subsystems. (9/5)

WikiLeaks: India Frustrated by Slow Pace of US Space Cooperation (Source: Indian Express)
American officials were wary of Indian sentiments on cooperation in high technology areas such as aerospace and military aviation affecting potential business opportunities, a fresh cache of US Embassy diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks has revealed. A 2005 unclassified cable titled ‘ISRO frustrated by slow pace of space cooperation’ which followed a meeting between the then US consulate principal officer and ISRO officials says that ISRO “reiterated its frustration with the lack of a framework for cooperation on space exploration and research with the US”. (9/5)

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