Tag: Soyuz

Russia Inaugurates New Spaceport With Soyuz Launch

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With President Vladimir Putin looking on, a Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifted off from Russia’s new Vostochny Cosmodrome and successfully orbited three satellites.

It was the inaugural launch for the multi-billion dollar spaceport, which has been four years and numerous arrests in the making. The launch complex, which is designed to reduce Russian dependence on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, has been plagued by reports of corruption and unpaid workers. One manager was arrested driving a diamond encrusted Mercedes.

The Soyuz rocket’s main payload was the Mikhailo Lomonosov satellite, which carries instruments to study high-energy cosmic rays, gamma rays and the Earth’s atmosphere. It also carried two smaller secondary payloads named Aist 2 and SamSat 218. Media reports indicate all three spacecraft were deployed successfully.

The launch was delayed a day due to a technical problem with the rocket.

Fly Your Satellite! CubeSats Phone Home

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CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — All three satellites of ESA’s Education Office Fly Your Satellite! programme have established their first contact with the ground.
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Roscosmos Sets First Vostochny Launch for April 27

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Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The State Commission, having considered the results of comprehensive tests of the launch facility Baikonur East and preparations of the launch vehicle Soyuz 2.1a, decided on the appointment of the first launch for April 27, 2016 at 5:01 MSK.

Sttate corporation Roscosmos has begun pre-launch preparation of all Baikonur East systems, the launch vehicle (LV) and spacecraft. Moving the rocket to the launch pad is scheduled for April 23, 2016.

On March 21-25, a “dry run” with complex tests was carried out at the Vostochny cosmodrome launch complex. The impact of the IBO (mobile service tower) were carried out during the test, the test system assembly diagrams launch facility and rocket, electrical testing systems and rocket launch unit Volga. All systems worked nominally.

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It’s Crunch Time for Commercial Crew: Serious Challenges Lay Ahead

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commercial_crew_cst100_dragon_iss
Boeing and SpaceX are using a “high risk strategy” to develop commercial crew vehicles to carry astronauts to the International Space Station that could result in costly delays in the program, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

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Boldly Going Where 14 Men Have Gone Before

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For nearly a dozen years, Virgin Galactic has used the number of individuals who have flown into space as a target to shoot for once the company began suborbital space tourism service. Virgin promised to double the number, which was around 500 when the company launched in 2004, within the first year of operation. That year was originally targeted for 2007 in the confident days after the success of SpaceShipOne.

That goal has long since faded away, and it’s unlikely Virgin will double the number of space travelers during the first year. In any event, the number of space travelers cited by Virgin has always been a bit misleading. The company’s well heeled customers, who are paying upwards of $250,000 per flight, will actually be joining a much more elite group on their suborbital flights.

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Russia Launches Progress Freighter to ISS

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Progress MS-02 launch (Credit: Roscosmos)

Progress MS-02 launch (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, March 31, 2016 (Roscosmos PR) — On March 31, 2016 at 19:24 MSK carrier rocket Soyuz-2.1a to transport cargo vehicle (THC) Progress MS-02 was successfully launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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FAA Releases Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation

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faa_compendium_2016The Annual Compendium of Commercial Space Transportation: 2016

Executive Summary

The size of the global space industry, which combines satellite services and ground equipment, government space budgets, and global navigation satellite services (GNSS) equipment, is estimated to be about $324 billion. At $95 billion in revenues, or about 29 percent, satellite television represents the largest segment of activity. Following this is government space budgets at $76 billion, or 24 percent, and services enabled by GNSS represent, about $76 billion in revenues. Commercial satellite remote sensing companies generated on $1.6 billion in revenues, but the value added services enabled by these companies is believed to be magnitudes larger. Because remote sensing value added services includes imagery and data analytics from other sources beyond space-based platforms, only the satellite remote sensing component is included in the global space industry total.

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Who Will Become the World’s First Commercial Spaceline?

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New Shepard booster executes a controlled vertical landing at 4.2 mph. (Credit: Blue Origin)

New Shepard booster executes a controlled vertical landing at 4.2 mph. (Credit: Blue Origin)

With Blue Origin’s successful re-flight of its reusable New Shepard booster and capsule on Friday, the company jumped ahead in the competition to fly people into space on a commercial basis.

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Russia Eyes April Launch From Vostochny

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Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Soyuz launch complex at Vostochny. (Credit: Roscosmos)

The assembly of the first rocket to launch from Russia’s new spaceport has begun at Vostochny, TASS reports.

If all goes well, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket with three satellites aboard will take place during the second half of April, Russian space officials said. The booster will carry Aist-2D Earth remote sensing spacecraft and two student-built satellites.

“The installation of practically all support equipment systems of the Soyuz-2 rocket and space complex has been completed at the cosmodrome. It is planned to complete tests at the launching site by March 25 if the necessary construction readiness is provided. On March 26, comprehensive tests of support equipment are due to begin,” the Center for Ground-Based Space Infrastructure Operation said in a statement.

Roscosmos General Director Igor Komarov said the first phase of the Vostochny Cosmodrome will cost the government almost 120 billion rubles ($1.46 billion), according to Interfax. Future work will include the construction of a launch pad for Russia’s new Angara family of boosters.

Russia plans to eventually transfer many of the launches it now conducts from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to Vostochny. RSC Energia is now developing a new crew vehicle named Federation to replace the Soyuz spacecraft. The new vehicle is being designed for trips to the moon.

Construction of the Vostochny spaceport has been plagued by delays, corruption and unpaid wages. On Monday, a leading engineer was charged with accepting a 50,000-ruble ($610) bribe from a subcontractor. Authorities would not reveal the man’s name.

Russians Name New Human Spacecraft

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A cosmonaut practices emergency egress from a mockup of Russia's advanced crew transport. (Credit: Energia)

A cosmonaut practices emergency egress from a mockup of Russia’s advanced crew transport. (Credit: Energia)

MOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) — Today, January 15, 2016, the jury, chaired by Director General, SC “Roskosmos” Igor Komarov announced the results of the contest for the best name for the new manned transport spacecraft Russia.

The winner was Andrew Smokotin from Kemerovo, first suggested the name “Federation”. The jury is the “Federation” as the best of the three “finalists” competition (“Gagarin”, “Federation”, “vector”) and will be the official name of the new ship. The names “Gagarin” and “vector” can be used in the future for other projects the space industry of Russia.

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RSC Energia Looks Back on Successful 2015

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Energia_logoMOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) — Yesterday, December 29, the management of RSC Energia in a meeting with employees summed up the results of the company performance in 2015, reported on the key performance figures and presented preliminary plans for 2016.

The Corporation president Vladimir Solntsev presented in his speech the final financial and economic figures, spoke in detail about the core business of the company – development of rocket and space technology, touched upon social policies and outlined the company development vectors in the incoming year of 2016.

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Updated Soyuz Booster Flight Tests Deemed Complete

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Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

SAMARA, Russia (TsSKB Progress PR) — On December 28, 2015 at a meeting of the State Commission for conducting flight tests of the launch of space, it was decided on the completion of flight testing and transfer to the regular operation of the complex carrier rocket “Soyuz-2” steps 1a and 1b.

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Roscosmos Looks Back on its Life, Death and Rebirth in 2015

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Roscosmos_logoMOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — 2015 – the year of the creation of the state corporation “Roscosmos”, the year of the completion of the first civilian spaceport Russia – Vostochny cosmodrome, the year of transition to the new space programs.

Ongoing systemic reform space industry (CSC) of Russia. Each enterprise, institution, organization RKO undergoing serious structural changes. And already the first results – companies developing and producing launch vehicles and spacecraft, carrying out maintenance of ground infrastructure, training of cosmonauts and astronauts become more efficient and sustainable.

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Russia Led in Launch Successes and Failures in 2015

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Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Flight VS13 was the 13th Soyuz liftoff performed from French Guiana since this vehicle’s 2011 introduction at the Spaceport. (Credit: Arianespace)

Russia continued its dominance of the global satellite launch industry in 2015, conducting 29 of 86 orbital launches over the past 12 months. It also maintained its lead in botched launches, suffering two failures and one partial failure.

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A Video Look Back at Europe’s Year in Space

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Video Caption: 2015 began and ended with two pioneering missions: IXV, the Intermediate Experimental Vehicle, proving Europe’s ability to return autonomously from space, and LISA Pathfinder, which set out in December to test the technologies needed to detect gravitational waves and, with them, a new way to look at our Universe! But a lot has happened in between… More European astronauts have visited space and more satellites are beefing up Galileo and ESA’s Earth Observation programme!