September 14, 2013

China’s Satellite Imagery Capabilities Coming into Sharper Focus (Source: Space News)
The Chinese government, which over the past 20 years has been one of the world’s biggest markets for commercial Earth observation satellite imagery, has achieved autonomy in medium-resolution imagery and expects to reach that goal in submetric imagery within three to five years, according to China’s Center for Resource Satellite Data and Applications (CRESDA).

The good news for China’s domestic industry is not as good for the half-dozen or more commercial satellite imagery companies, mainly in North America and Europe, that have counted on China as a big growth opportunity for the foreseeable future. (9/13)

RS-25: The Clark Kent of Engines for the Space Launch System (Source: NASA)
In the iconic comic-book series, "Superman," the main character, Clark Kent, looks like your average Joe. Under the ruse of a three-piece suit and glasses, Kent's true identity is "Superman," who transforms into his mighty persona to do battle for the good of mankind. In the rocket engine world, the RS-25 is Clark Kent.

Four RS-25 engines will power the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). Towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, the core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen for propellant. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world with the greatest capacity of any launch system ever built to support any destination, any payload and any mission, including NASA's plans to send humans to a captured and relocated asteroid. Click here. (9/13)

Proton's Return-to-Flight Mission Delayed by Glitch (Source:
Grounded since a startling launch failure in July, Russia's Proton rocket will have to wait at least another two weeks to resume flights due to a technical problem on the booster's first stage. The Proton rocket's next flight, previously set for Sept. 16, will be delayed to allow engineers to resolve a glitch on the launcher's first stage. "The launch date will be determined at a later time," ILS said. (9/13)

Spacemen 'Flew Blind' from Space Station as Sensors Failed (Source: Phys Org)
The three crew of the International Space Station (ISS) who returned to Earth this week endured a hair-raising descent after their height sensors failed, a Russian cosmonaut revealed on Friday. Pavel Vinogradov said that he and the two other crew of the Soyuz capsule which touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday had groped their way through the landing after they lost all data about their height from the ground. (9/13)

Spacecraft Detects Gamma Energy From Earth (Source: Florida Today)
On Aug. 11, NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope began a new phase of its mission: a deeper study of the high-energy cosmos. In the first five years, the Fermi telescope made many significant discoveries, including the discovery of antimatter produced by thunderstorms.

Through mechanisms not thoroughly understood, so-called dark lightning in thunderstorms generates brief but powerful bursts of gamma rays, the highest-energy form of light. Known as terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs), more than 800 have been recorded by the Fermi telescope. (9/12)

Classes Begin for First Commercial Space Operations Degree (Source: SPACErePORT)
The fall semester at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University marked the kickoff of a new bachelor's degree program focused on Commercial Space Operations. The CSO program began with a handful of students and is expected to grow rapidly in coming semesters. Click here to see some of the course descriptions. (9/13)

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