Kymeta Interoperability with Kepler LEO Satellites Promises Powerful Connectivity of the Future with Kymeta u8 Terminal

Kymeta u8 Terminal in Inuvik, Canada during testing with Kepler LEO Satellites. (Credit: Kymeta)

Extended testing in Inuvik, Canada shows Kymeta u8 approaching speeds 10X faster than previous generations in extreme weather conditions and temperatures

Redmond, Wash. and Toronto, Ontario, March 23rd, 2021 (Kymeta/Kepler Communications PR) — Kymeta (www.kymetacorp.com), the communications company making mobile global, and Kepler Communications (www.kepler.space) announced today the successful demonstration of the Kymeta u8 Terminal with LEO satellite acquisition, tracking and throughput measurements, during extreme cold weather temperatures. The collaboration with Kepler supports Kymeta’s goal to develop solutions that are future proof with a clear LEO upgrade path and compatible with growing mega constellations. 

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Dawn Aerospace Launches Eighth In-Space Propulsion Unit

CHRISTCHURCH, NZ, 23 March 2021 (Dawn Aerospace PR) – Dawn Aerospace has announced another of the company’s CubeSat propulsion units, designed to manoeuvre small satellites in space, has been successfully launched.

The CubeSat propulsion unit flew on Hiber Three, an Internet-of-Things (IoT) satellite created by European company Hiber. The satellite was launched on 22 March from Baikonur on a Rosocosmos Soyuz-2 rocket.

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Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:

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Private Space Missions Multiplying Like Rabbits

Crew Dragon docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

With the spate of announcements about private space missions over the past year, it’s easy to lose track of the who, what, where, when, why and how of the flights.

As a public service, Parabolic Arc has collected information about all five of the announced missions.

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Arianespace Closes Out Year with Launch of French Defense Satellite

A Soyuz-2 launches the CSO-2 defense satellite on Dec. 29, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — For its 10th and final launch of the year, Arianespace used a Soyuz rocket to orbit the CSO-2 defense and security observation satellite for the French CNES space agency (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and DGA defense procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement), on behalf of the French armed forces.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches NRO Payload in Record 26th Successful Flight of Year

Falcon 9 launches the NROL-108 mission on Dec. 19, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Saturday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched the NROL-108 mission from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, completing SpaceX’s 26th and final mission of 2020.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of SpaceX’s 19th and 20th cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station, a Starlink mission, and the SAOCOM 1B mission.

Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida – the 70th landing for SpaceX.

Editor’s Note: SpaceX’s 26 launches is a new record for Elon Musk’s company in a calendar year. It was America’s 44th and final orbital launch attempt of the year. That is the highest number in more than 50 years.

Overall, there have been 110 launch attempts with 10 failures worldwide. Two more launches — Long March 8 from China, and a Soyuz-2 from Kourou — are scheduled before the end of the year. It’s possible China or Russia could conduct additional launches; these countries don’t always announce flights very far in advance.

Soyuz Rocket Deploys 36 OneWeb Satellites on Arianespace’s First Mission from Vostochny Cosmodrome

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb’s fourth launch overall -the third for 2020- is the first to be conducted with Soyuz by Arianespace from the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia.

By successfully placing 36 new OneWeb constellation satellites into orbit, Arianespace resumed the deployment of this client’s satellite network, which now is composed of 110 satellites in low Earth orbit.

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Vostochny Continues Preparations to Resume OneWeb Satellite Launches in December

Equipment arrives for the fourth launch of OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BLAGOVESHCHENSK, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — At the Vostochny cosmodrome, intensive preparations are continuing for the upcoming launch of the Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage and a new batch of 36 OneWeb spacecraft. Today, November 2, 2020, a special aircraft with ground support equipment and two foreign customer dispensers for devices arrived at the Ignatievo airport in Blagoveshchensk.

Specialists of the Vostochny Space Center (a branch of the Center for Operation of Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Facilities, part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) accepted the cargo, provided support for the unloading, installation on vehicles and transportation of equipment to the technical complex of the Vostochny cosmodrome, as well as unloading at the warehouse blocks.

Equipment arrives for the fourth launch of OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The next operation is scheduled for November 3 – this is the removal of equipment from containers and placing it in the workplace. The dispenser is an integral part of the spacecraft – it is a transitional link between the upper stage and spacecraft.

At present, the specialists of the Vostochny Space Center at the technical complex are preparing technological equipment for refueling the Fregat upper stage with propellant components. Electrical tests of the upper stage are underway in the spacecraft assembly and test building.

Officials Arrested in Alleged Vostochny Embezzlement, Bribery Scheme

Work on expanding Vostochny Cosmodrome has commenced. (Credit: Roscosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Russian government says corruption has resurfaced at the Vostochny Cosmodrome despite years of efforts to get the problem under control.

Two government officials have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an embezzlement and bribery scheme at the spaceport in the country’s Far East. Russia Today reports:

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Russia Launches Advanced Glonass K Satellite

A Soyuz-2 rocket launches a Glonass K navigation satellite from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Oct. 25, 2020. (Credit: Russian Ministry of Defense)

PLESETSK COSMODROME, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — On Sunday, October 25, 2020, at 22:08 Moscow time from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in the Arkhangelsk region, the combat crew of the Space Forces of the Aerospace Forces launched the Soyuz-2 carrier rocket developed by the Progress RCC (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) with a new generation spacecraft of the GLONASS system. The launch of the carrier rocket and the insertion of the spacecraft into the calculated orbit took place in the normal mode.

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China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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Russia Eyes Advanced Replacement for Soyuz Booster

Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

The Russian government owned Sputnik news service reports that officials are eyeing a replacement for the venerable Soyuz launch vehicle within seven years:

The first flying prototype of the new Soyuz-5 carrier rocket could be built by 2022, Alexander Kirilin, general director of Samara-based Progress rocket and space company, said.

“The Soyuz-5.1 is a medium-class carrier rocket with a launch weight of about 270 tonnes,” Kirilin said in an interview with RIA Novosti published Tuesday.

“It could replace the Soyuz-2 carrier rockets in the future,” he added.

Russia’s future Soyuz-5 carrier rocket will be equipped with advanced new engines using ecology-friendly fuel, according to Alexander Kirilin.

“One of the distinguishing features of the Soyuz-5 is the use of liquefied natural gas as fuel,” Kirilin said in an interview with RIA Novosti published on Tuesday.

Read the full story.