August 6, 2017

Here's How the Falcon-Heavy Launch Should Go (Source: Tech Crunch)
Elon Musk has shared a new animation created by SpaceX to demonstrate the planned launch process for its Falcon Heavy rocket, which it hopes to test fly for the first time this coming November. The animation depicts launch of the three-booster heavy rocket, separation of the first and second stages, and the return flight and landing of the three booster cores used to get the rocket to space. Click here. (8/5)

China's Tiangong-1 Space Lab to Fall to Earth by April 2018 (Source:
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has reissued a notification by China on the future uncontrolled re-entry of the country's robotic Tiangong-1 space lab, which is expected to take place in the next eight months.

Tiangong-1, which has been orbiting Earth since September 2011, ceased functioning on March 16, 2016. To date, the spacecraft has maintained its structural integrity. The space lab's operational orbit is under constant and close surveillance by China. Its current average altitude is 217 miles (349 kilometers), but its orbit is decaying at a daily rate of approximately 525 feet (160 meters), according to the notification. (8/5)

Launcher Issue Could Delay Webb Telescope Mission (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
The much delayed and over budget next-generation James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has suffered another setback prior to its journey to the launch pad: the October 2018 launch may be in conflict with Europe's BepiColombo mission to Mercury.

Both spacecraft are to be flown on Ariane 5 boosters, but the spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana, cannot support two flights in the same month. BepiColombo has priority due to the tight launch window to reach Mercury. This will result in the JWST having its launch date pushed back to 2019 at the earliest. (8/5)

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