American, Russian Cargo Ships Set to Resupply Space Station

Dextre at the end of Canadarm2 preparing to remove cargo from Dragon. (Credit: NASA)

The Expedition 50 crew is gearing up for three different spaceships in two months to resupply the International Space Station. The crew also worked today on a variety of research hardware and practiced an emergency drill.

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Atlas V Launches U.S. Air Force Satellite

ULA_logoCAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Jan. 20, 2017 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 3 satellite lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 Jan. 20 at 7:42 p.m. ET. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs.

“ULA is proud to deliver this critical satellite which will improve surveillance capabilities for our national decision makers,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Government Satellite Launch. “I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year.”

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Next Cygnus Resupply Mission Set for March

The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter is seen moments after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. (Credit: NASA TV)
The Orbital ATK Cygnus space freighter is seen moments after being released from the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Orbital ATK has completed a significant mission milestone for NASA’s next International Space Station cargo mission.

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ULA Postpones NROL-79 Launch From Vandenberg

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (Jan. 16, 2017) – The launch date for a United Launch Alliance Atlas V carrying NROL-79 for the National Reconnaissance Office is under review.

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Atlas V Scheduled for Thursday Launch from Cape Canaveral

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying EchoStar XIX satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:13 p.m. ET. (Credit: United Launch Alliance/Lockheed Martin)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying EchoStar XIX satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:13 p.m. ET. (Credit: United Launch Alliance/Lockheed Martin)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (ULA PR) — Everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite. The mission is set to lift off on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Thursday, Jan. 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window 7:46-8:26 p.m. EST. Today’s L-4 forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

Weather Forecast

Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 30%
Primary concerns: Cumulus Clouds, Thick Clouds
Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 40%
Primary concerns: Cumulus Clouds, Thick Clouds

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Orbital Launch Statistics for 2016

The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Ryzhikov, Kimbrough, and Borisenko will spend the next four months living and working aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)
The Soyuz MS-02 rocket is launched with Expedition 49 Soyuz commander Sergey Ryzhikov of Roscosmos, flight engineer Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and flight engineer Andrey Borisenko of Roscosmos, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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There were 85 orbital launches in 2016, not including the Falcon 9 that exploded on launch pad prior to a pre-flight engine test. The launches break down as follow:

  • United States: 22 (22-0)
  • China: 22 (20-1-1)
  • Russia: 19 (18-1)
  • Europe: 9 (9-0)
  • India: 7 (7-0)
  • Japan: 4 (4-0)
  • Israel: 1 (1-0)
  • North Korea: 1 (1-0)

For a more detailed description of these launches, please read US, China Led World in Launches in 2016.

Let’s look at launches by booster and spaceport and the flights that were required for human spaceflight.
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USA, China Led World in Launches in 2016

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the OA-6 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)

Part 1 of 2

The United States and China led the world in orbital launch attempts in 2016 with 22 apiece. The combined 44 launches made up more than half of the 85 flights conducted around the world.

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Atlas V Launches Commercial Communications Satellite

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying EchoStar XIX satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:13 p.m. ET.  (Credit: United Launch Alliance/Lockheed Martin)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying EchoStar XIX satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:13 p.m. ET. (Credit: United Launch Alliance/Lockheed Martin)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Dec. 18, 2016 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the EchoStar XIX satellite lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 Dec. 18 at 2:13 p.m. ET. EchoStar XIX will dramatically increase capacity for HughesNet® high-speed satellite Internet service to homes and businesses in North America. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services procured the Atlas V for this mission. This is ULA’s 12th launch in 2016 and the 115th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

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Atlas V Set to Launch EchoStar XIX on Sunday

echostar-poster_smallULA Mission Update

Good evening – everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the EchoStar XIX satellite. The mission is set to lift off on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Sunday, Dec. 18 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 1:27-3:27 p.m. EST. Today’s L-3 forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

Weather Forecast

Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 30%
Primary concerns: Cumulus Clouds, Thick Clouds

Webcast available at www.ulalaunch.com and www.youtube.com/unitedlaunchalliance

Editor’s Note: This flight will be ULA’s 12th launch of the year and the 22nd and final American launch for 2016. SpaceX completed eight launches and Orbital ATK flew twice.

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ULA Launches RocketBuilder Website

ula_rocketbuilder_site
WASHINGTON, D.C.,  Nov. 30, 2016 (ULA PR)
– United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced its new, innovative website today that enhances the way customers shop for launch services and sets a new standard for pricing transparency. It also provides insight into reliability, schedule assurance and performance, allowing users to make a true value comparison.

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GOES-R Will Revolutionize Weather Forecasting

Video Caption: NASA is preparing to launch GOES-R, a new tool that will revolutionize weather forecasting. It is the first in a series of next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites for NOAA — the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Atlas V Set to Launch Weather Satellite Saturday Evening

An Atlas V rocket, carrying NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R satellite stands ready for launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex-41. (Credit: ULA)
An Atlas V rocket, carrying NASA and NOAA’s GOES-R satellite stands ready for launch at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41. (Credit: ULA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (ULA PR)– Everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the GOES-R spacecraft for NASA and NOAA.

The mission is set to lift off on a ULA Atlas V rocket on Saturday, Nov. 19 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window is 5:42-6:42 p.m. EST.  Live launch broadcast will begin on NASA TV at 4:45 p.m. EST.

Mission Description

GOES-R is the first of four satellites to be launched for NOAA in a new and advanced series of spacecraft. Once in geostationary orbit, it will be known as GOES-16. Compared with today’s geostationary satellites, GOES-R will scan the Earth five times faster at four times image resolution and triple the number of channels scientists can tap into to observe global weather and climate. GOES-R will support short-term forecasts and severe storm watches and warnings, maritime forecasts, seasonal predictions, drought outlooks and space weather predictions. The satellite also will improve hurricane tracking and intensity forecasts, increase thunderstorm and tornado warning lead time, improve aviation flight route planning, and provide data for long-term climate variability studies.

In addition to weather forecasting, GOES-R carries a transponder to detect distress signals from emergency beacons on aircraft, boats/ships and carried by individuals as part of the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) system.

Weather Forecast

Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 10%
Primary concern: Cumulus Clouds
Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 10%
Primary concern: Cumulus Clouds

Tyvak Facilitates CubeSat Missions on Commercial Atlas V Mission

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)

IRVINE, Calif., November 11, 2016 (Tyvak PR) – Today, seven National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) CubeSats launched aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) as an auxiliary payload on the DigitalGlobe Inc. WorldView-4 mission.

Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. partnered with California Polytechnic (Cal Poly), ULA, Lockheed Martin and DigitalGlobe to secure this unique rideshare opportunity – the first of its kind for the NRO.

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Atlas V Launches WorldView-4 Satellite, 7 CubeSats

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifts off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: ULA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Nov. 11, 2016 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 satellite for DigitalGlobe lifted off from Space Launch Complex-3 Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. PST. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services procured the Atlas V for this mission.

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Atlas V Launch From Vandenberg On Schedule for Friday

Atlas V lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: Bill Hartenstein, ULA)
Atlas V lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Credit: Bill Hartenstein, ULA)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (ULA PR) — Everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft for the DigitalGlobe.

The mission is set to lift off on an Atlas V rocket on Friday, Nov. 11 from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Station in California. The launch window is 10:30 – 10:45 a.m. PST.

Today’s L-2 forecast shows a 100% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

Weather Forecast:
Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 0%
Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 Hour Delay: 20%
Areas of concern: Thick Clouds, Launch Visibility

Webcast: www.youtube.com/unitedlaunchalliance and www.ulalaunch.com