Rocket Lab Launch Reset for Tuesday New Zealand Time

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

After a scrub due to high winds, Rocket Lab has rescheduled its latest Electron Look Ma, No Hands launch for no earlier than Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 12:12 am NZST (12:12 UTC/8:12 am EDT).

Rocket Lab’s eighth mission will carry four satellites, including: a Cubesat for French maritime surveillance company UNSEENLABS ; BlackSky’s Global-4 Earth-imaging satellite; and two U.S. Air Force Space Command experimental satellites designed to test new propulsion, power, communications, and drag technologies.

Rocket Lab will webcast the launch at www.rocketlabusa.com.

A Spacefaring Coast Guard

This simulation shows a U.S. Coast Guard CubeSat in orbit over Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula searching for life rafts after a storm. (Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

LIVERMORE, Calif. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory PR) — Nanosatellite technology, in particular, small cube satellites, are finding purpose in the most extraordinary places. Known as CubeSats, these miniature versions of conventional satellites can be used for applications that range from tracking space debris to monitoring atmospheric gas concentrations.

Now, Lawrence Livermore scientists and engineers are turning their expertise in CubeSat development toward assisting the U.S. Coast Guard in becoming a spacefaring agency.

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Lacuna Space Achieves Major Milestone for LoRa® in Space

OXFORDSHIRE, UK (Lacuna Space PR) — Lacuna Space is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the first phase of testing in its mission to provide complete global coverage for LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) to anywhere in the world, no matter how remote.

Lacuna Space is at the forefront of satellite IoT connectivity, with low-cost and high-scalability as its fundamental tenets in its system design. Over the course of the last two years, Lacuna has been collaborating with Semtech Corporation to extend LoRa Technology connectivity to the whole world.

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JPL’s MarCO Wins the ‘Oscar’ for Tiny Spacecraft

Mars as seen from the MarCO-B satellite. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — The first briefcase-size CubeSats to journey to another planet have been honored for their role in NASA InSight’s successful Mars landing. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) bestowed their Small Satellite Mission of the Year award to Mars Cube One, or MarCO, Aug. 8, 2019, at the annual Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.

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Rocket Lab to Launch 4 Satellites in Look Ma, No Hands Mission

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab’s eighth mission will lift-off in August from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a total of four satellites aboard an Electron launch vehicle.

The mission is manifested with satellites destined to begin a new constellation for UNSEENLABS, as well as more rideshare payloads for Spaceflight, consisting of a spacecraft for BlackSky and the United States Air Force Space Command.

The first launch opportunity is no earlier than Friday, Aug. 16 at 12:57 UTC (8:57 EDT). The launch window is open until Aug. 30.

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USAF’s Pearl White Cubesats Mission Set to Launch Aboard Rocket Lab Electron Booster

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

MAHIA, New Zealand — Pearl White, an Air Force Space Command demonstration program, is set to launch no earlier than August 16th as part of a rideshare aboard a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle in summer 2019.  The launch will take place at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex-1 near Mahia, New Zealand.

The program goal is to design, develop, launch and operate two 6U cubesat experimental spacecraft as an on-orbit testbed for emerging technologies in 2019. 

The demonstration will test new technologies including propulsion, power, communications, and drag capabilities for potential applications on future spacecraft. The spacecraft will be placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with a notional altitude of ~540 km and an inclination of ~45 degrees.

The two cubesats were built by Tiger Innovations Inc., which is located in Herndon, Virginia, and are designed for a one-year lifetime.  Tiger Innovations Inc. will operate the spacecraft for the life of the program under the direction and oversight of AFSPC.

Cygnus Departs Space Station, Begins 4-Month Secondary Mission

Cygnus departs the International Space Station. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

DULLES, Va. (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced that its Cygnus™ spacecraft has successfully unberthed and departed from the International Space Station (ISS), beginning its secondary mission before it reenters Earth’s atmosphere. The NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft, named in honor of Apollo 1 astronaut and space visionary Roger Chaffee, left the ISS after a 109 day stay at the station.

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Orbex, Innovative Space Logistics Sign European Space Launch Agreement

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)

Agreement to provide all-European solutions for smallsat launches including purchase of launches from Scottish spaceport on Orbex Prime launcher

LOGAN, Utah, August 7, 2019 (ISL PR) – Innovative Space Logistics B.V. (ISL) and UK-based orbital launch services provider Orbex today signed a wide-ranging Cooperation Agreement at the 33rd Annual Conference on Small Satellites in Logan, Utah. The co-operation will include technical launch services including launch manifest coordination and payload integration. As part of the agreement, ISL will also procure orbital space launches from Orbex for a number of its smallsat customer missions.

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NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative Opens Call for Payloads on Artemis 2 Mission

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — CubeSats can be part of a historic mission—Artemis 2—when NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket will send astronauts on their first flight aboard the Orion spacecraft farther into the solar system than humanity has ever traveled before. Artemis 2, will mark a significant step forward in NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and future missions to worlds beyond, including Mars, and the small satellites traveling along for the mission will help inform the next steps of exploration.

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Momentus and NanoRacks Announce Working Relationship

SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 5, 2019 (Momentus PR) — Momentus (http://www.momentus.space), a provider of in-space shuttle services that move satellites between orbits, today announced a working relationship with NanoRacks to utilize the Bishop Airlock Module for Vigoride services from 2021 when the module will be installed on the International Space Station. The companies also plan to have a test launch of Vigoride in Q2-Q3 of 2020 using NanoRacks’ existing Kaber microsatellite deployer.

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NASA to Broadcast Departure of Cygnus Cargo Ship From Station

April 19, 2019: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than three months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the SS Roger Chaffee, will depart the orbiting laboratory Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Live coverage of the craft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at noon EDT, with release scheduled for 12:15 p.m.

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Picture and Animations of LightSail 2 Deployed

LightSail with its solar sail deployed. (Credit: The Planetary Society)

This image was taken during the LightSail 2 sail deployment sequence on 23 July 2019 at 11:48 PDT (18:48 UTC). Baja California and Mexico are visible in the background. LightSail 2’s dual 185-degree fisheye camera lenses can each capture more than half of the sail. This image has been de-distorted and color corrected.

LightSail 2 Sail Deployment From Camera 1
Credit: The Planetary Society

View of the deployment of half of LightSail 2’s square sail from Camera 1, which happened on 23 July 2019 at 18:47 UTC. The animation runs at about 100 times actual speed.

LightSail 2 Sail Deployment From Camera 2
Credit: The Planetary Society

View of the deployment of half of LightSail 2’s square sail from Camera 2, which happened on 23 July 2019 at 18:47 UTC. The animation runs at about 100 times actual speed.

Planetary Society to Deploy LightSail 2 on Tuesday

Artist’s concept of LightSail 2 above Earth. (Credit: Josh Spradling / The Planetary Society)

LightSail 2 Mission Update
The Planetary Society

The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2 spacecraft is almost ready to go solar sailing. 

Mission officials today cleared the spacecraft for a possible sail deployment attempt on Tuesday, 23 July 2019, during a ground station pass that starts at roughly 11:22 PDT (18:22 UTC). A backup pass is available the following orbit starting at 13:07 PDT (20:07 UTC). These times may change slightly as new orbit predictions become available. 

Live sail deployment coverage will be available at planetary.org/live. A video and audio stream from mission control, located at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California, will be available during ground station passes. Rolling updates will also be posted on the page for context.