December 7, 2015

Japan Gets Second Shot with Venus Probe (Source: National Geographic)
A Japanese spacecraft entered orbit around Venus Sunday, five years after its first attempt to orbit the planet failed. The Japanese space agency JAXA said the Akatsuki spacecraft fired its thrusters as planned Sunday and appeared to enter orbit, although they cautioned it will take up to two days to confirm the spacecraft's orbit. Akatsuki was originally planned to enter orbit around Venus in December 2010, but its main engine malfunctioned, keeping the spacecraft in an orbit around the sun that brought it back to Venus five years later. (12/7)

Russia Launch Fails to Place Surveillance Satellite in Correct Orbit (Source: Tass)
A Russian military satellite is considered lost after it failed to separate from the upper stage of the rocket that launched it. A Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifted off Saturday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, carrying the Kanopus-ST ocean surveillance satellite and a small secondary payload. While the Russian Ministry of Defense originally declared the launch a success, officials later said Kanopus-ST failed to separate from the rocket's upper stage because one of four locks holding the satellite in place malfunctioned. The satellite and upper stage are expected to reenter in the next several days. (12/7)

New Race to Space (Source: Huffington Post)
While the race for asteroids, reusable rockets, and Mars is heating up, yet another race, the $30 Million Google Lunar XPRIZE, is about to take another leap forward. Stand by for news next week! We are living during an age of incredible progress, where ideas once considered science fiction are now becoming science fact.

The rate of this progress is accelerating. With growing access to large sums of private risk capital, and powerful exponential technologies, there is little that we can't try. We live during the most exciting time ever in human history. Click here. (12/7)

U-Turn Gives British-Funded Space Missions Lift-Off (Source: Press Association)
Space may be the final frontier but until recently it has been a no-go area as far British-funded manned missions were concerned. Historically, the UK Government has been dismissive of human space flight, preferring to concentrate on satellites and robot probes. Until Tim Peake, the handful of Britons who had made it into space had either worked for NASA, or taken privately funded or sponsored trips. Click here. (12/6)

The Big G (Source: Space Review)
Before NASA decided to develop the Space Shuttle, McDonnell Douglas proposed to NASA an enlarged variant of its Gemini spacecraft. Dwayne Day examines the "Big G" spacecraft concept studied in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Visit to view the article. (12/7)

Prospects for US-China Space Cooperation (Source: Space Review)
NASA's ability to cooperate with China is hamstrung by law that limits bilateral cooperation or even discussions without Congressional permission. Vid Beldavs argues that this prohibition should be lifted in order for the US to tap the growing capabilities of China and other emerging space powers. Visit to view the article. (12/7)

Spurring Commercial Human Spaceflight to the Moon (Source: Space Review)
A new law offers American companies more rights and fewer restrictions for their commercial space activities, even as it's being pressed by NASA to take on a bigger role in human spaceflight. Vidya Sagar Reddy examines if these factors can create a commercially-led human return to the Moon. Visit to view the article. (12/7)

No comments: