Tag: ISRO

Busy Launch Week Features Two Missions to ISS

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NASA astronaut Steve Swanson (left) and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov (center) and Oleg Artemyev of Expedition 39. (Credit:  NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

NASA astronaut Steve Swanson (left) and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov (center) and Oleg Artemyev of Expedition 39. (Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov)

Russia will send a new new three-man crew to the International Space Station on Tuesday in one of five launches scheduled worldwide this week. SpaceX will follow up the crew launch on Sunday, March 30 by sending a Dragon freighter to the orbital outpost.

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Busy Month of Launches Begins on Saturday

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Zarya, the first component of the International Space Station, launches flawlessly at 1:40 a.m. EST on November 20, 1998, from Kazahkstan (Credit: NASA)

Zarya, the first component of the International Space Station, launches flawlessly at 1:40 a.m. EST on November 20, 1998, from Kazahkstan (Credit: NASA)

A busy launch month begins this weekend with the flight of a Russian Proton rocket from Kazakhstan on Saturday and an early-morning lift-off of a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Sunday carrying a Dragon freighter bound for the International Space Station.

International launch providers are planning 11 launches through April 15.  The U.S. plans four launches while the Russians are planning three, the Europeans two, and India one. One of the European launches will involve a Russian Soyuz rocket that will fly from the European launch base in South America. The final flight during this period will be of a Sea Launch Zenit 3SL rocket, which is a joint Russian-Ukraine program.

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ISRO Successfully Launches GSLV With Cryogenic Upper Stage

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A GSLV-II rocket lifts off with the GSAT-14 spacecraft and a domestically-produced cryogenic upper stage. (Credit: ISRO)

A GSLV-II rocket lifts off with the GSAT-14 spacecraft and a domestically-produced cryogenic upper stage. (Credit: ISRO)

The Indian space agency ISRO is celebrating today after a GSLV-II rocket launch that featured the first successful demonstration of the nation’s new cryogenic upper stage.

After the rocket lifted off from Isro’s spaceport at Sriharikota and successfully deployed the GSAT-14 communications satellite 17 minutes later, officials were able to declare success in what has been a nearly 20-year effort to develop the advanced propulsion technology.

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Three Launches, SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Set for Next Week

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SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

A trio of orbital launches by SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corporation and ISRO will kick off the new year during the week ahead. Scaled Composites is also scheduled to conduct the third powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on Jan. 9.

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The Launch Weeks Ahead

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SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

A trio of orbital launches by SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corporation and ISRO will kick off the new year during the first week of January. Scaled Composites is also likely to conduct a third powered flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo by Jan. 10.

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China Gets Busy Holiday Launch Season Off to a Good Start

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A Long March 3-B rocket lifts off with China's Chang'e-3 lunar rover. (Credit: CAST)

A Long March 3-B rocket lifts off with China’s Chang’e-3 lunar rover. (Credit: CAST)

UPDATE: SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch has been shifted to Tuesday evening.

China has kicked off a busy month with the successful launch of the Chang’e-8 lunar rover mission. There are 15 launches on the manifests of the world’s rocket companies in December. If all missions are completed and none are added, there will be 85 orbital launches for the year.

SpaceX is the next to go on Tuesday evening, with the company hoping its third attempt to launch the SES-8 communications satellite is a charm.  The launch window opens at 5:41 p.m. EST, and SpaceX will webcast the attempt.

The company is hoping to get one more launch in by the end of 2013 on Dec. 20 with the Thaicom 6 satellite as the payload. Some other notable launches scheduled for December include:

  • Antares/Cygnus: Orbital Sciences first commercial cargo delivery to the International Space Station (Dec. 17);
  • Soyuz 2-1v:  The first flight of Russia’s “light” version of the venerable booster (Dec. 23);
  • GSLV/GSAT 14:  India will make a re-flight of a cryogenic engine that failed to fire during its inaugural mission in April 2010 (TBD);
  • Long March 4B/CBERS 3: China will launch a Earth resources satellite jointly developed with Brazil (Dec. 10);
  • Atlas V/Delta IV: These two ULA military launches will bring the company’s total to 12 for the year (Dec. 5 & 12);

SCHEDULED LAUNCHES FOR DECEMBER 2013

Date

Launch Vehicle

Launch Site

Nation/Company /Agency

Payload

Result

USA

12/03/13

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA/SpaceX

SES 8

12/05/13

Atlas V

VAFB

USA/ULA/USAF

NROL-39

12/12/13

Delta IV

CCAFS

USA/ULA/USAF

GPS 2F-5

12/17/13

Antares

MARS

USA/Orbital/NASA

Cygnus 2

12/20/13

Falcon 9

CCAFS

USA/SpaceX

Thaicom 6

RUSSIA

12/08/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia/ILS

Inmarsat 5

12/19/13

Soyuz

Kourou

Russia/Europe/Arianespace

Gaia

12/23/13

Soyuz 2-1v

Plesetsk

Russia/TsSKB-Progress

AIST & Calibration Spheres

12/26/13

Proton

Baikonur

Russia/ILS

Express AM5

CHINA

12/02/13

Long March 3B

Xichang

China/CNSA

Chang’e-3

Success

12/10/13

Long March 4B

Taiyuan

China/CNSA

CBERS 3

12/20/13

Long March 3B

Xichang

China/CNSA

Tupac Katari

TBD

Long March 4B

Taiyuan

China/CSNA

Gaofen 2

INDIA

TBD

GSLV

Satish Dhawan

India/ISRO

GSAT 14

JAPAN

TBD

H-2A

Tanegashima

Japan/Mitsubishi
/JAXA

ALOS 2

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Mars Orbiter Spacecraft Successfully Placed in Mars Transfer Trajectory

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Indian_mars_orbiterMars Orbiter Mission Update
ISRO
Dec. 1, 2013

The critical manoeuvre to place India’s Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in the Mars Transfer Trajectory was successfully carried out in the early hours of today (Sunday, December 1, 2013). During this manoeuvre, which began at 00:49 today, the spacecraft’s 440 Newton liquid engine was fired for about 22 minutes providing a velocity increment of 648 meters/second to the spacecraft. Following the completion of this manoeuvre, the Earth orbiting phase of the spacecraft ended. The spacecraft is now on a course to encounter Mars after a journey of about 10 months around the Sun.

It may be recalled that Mars Orbiter spacecraft was launched into an elliptical parking orbit with a perigee (nearest point to Earth) of 248 km and an apogee (farthest point to Earth) of 23,550 km by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV on November 5, 2013. Following this, the apogee height of the spacecraft’s orbit was successively raised through a series of manoeuvres to nearly 1,93,000 km. Besides, health checks of the Mars Orbiter spacecraft as well as its payloads were performed. Since its launch, all systems on-board Mars Orbiter spacecraft are performing normally.

The spacecraft is being continuously monitored from the Spacecraft Control Centre at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore with support from Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) antennae at Byalalu.

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India Launches First Mars Mission

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PSLV rocket lifts off with India's Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

PSLV rocket lifts off with India’s Mars Orbiter Mission. (Credit: ISRO)

Congratulations to India, which launched its first spacecraft to the Red Planet on Tuesday. The Mars Orbiter Mission will arrive at its destination next September. It will explore the planet with five instruments.

India to Launch First Mars Spacecraft on Tuesday

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Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft attached to the 4th stage of PSLV-C25 and ready for heat shield closure. (Credit: ISRO)

Mars Orbiter Mission Spacecraft attached to the 4th stage of PSLV-C25 and ready for heat shield closure. (Credit: ISRO)

On Tuesday, India will launch its first mission to the Red Planet, the Mars Orbiter Mission. The spacecraft will study the planet from a highly elliptical orbit of 377 x 80,000 km using five instruments.

This is only the second time that ISRO’s has sent a spacecraft beyond Earth orbit, the first being the Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter.Only the United States, Soviet Union and Europe have successfully sent spacecraft to Mars.

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ISRO Delays GSLV Launch Until December After Fuel Leak

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GSLV1ISRO Mission Update

The launch of GSLV-D5 (with Indian Cryogenic Stage), scheduled for 16:50 hrs on August 19, 2013, had to be called off due to a leak observed in the UH25 Fuel system of the Liquid Second Stage, during the last lap of the countdown.

At the time of calling off the Countdown, the GSLV Vehicle was loaded with 210 tons of liquid and cryogenic propellants. About 750 kg of UH25 Fuel had leaked out, leading to contamination of the area around the launch pad.

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