Falcon 9 Launch Delayed Until Wednesday

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen as it launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 4 East with the Jason-3 spacecraft onboard, , Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has been delayed until Wednesday, Feb. 21. The launch had been previously scheduled for Feb. 16 and Feb. 18.

The primary payload is the Paz satellite for Hisdesat of Spain. The spacecraft will provide radar imaging as well as ship tracking and weather data. The flight will use a previously-flown first stage.

Elon Musk’s company will also launch two of its own satellites, Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, that will demonstration technologies needed to provide global broadband services. The company plans to orbit 12,000 in two separate constellations for its Starlink broadband service.

Here is the launch schedule for the next two weeks. Check for updates here.

Feb. 21

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Paz
Launch Time: 9:17 a.m. EST; 6:17 a.m. PST (1417 GMT)
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Built by Airbus Defense and Space, Hisdesat’s Paz satellite will provide radar imaging as well as ship tracking and weather data. The flight will use a previously-flown first stage.

Feb. 24/25

Launch Vehicle: H-2A
Payload: IGS Optical 6
Launch Window: 11:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m. EST on Feb. 24 (0400-0600 GMT on Feb. 25)
Launch site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan

The Japanese government’s Information Gathering Satellite carries an optical reconnaissance payload.

Feb. 25

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Hispasat 30W-6
Launch Window: 12:35 a.m. EST (0535 GMT)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Hispasat 30W-6 satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral, will provide communications services over Europe, North Africa and the Americas.

March 1

Launch Vehicle: Atlas 5
Payload: GOES-S
Launch Time: 5:02-7:02 p.m. EST (2202-0002 GMT)
Launch Site: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

The United Launch Alliance rocket will launch the second next-generation geostationary weather satellite for NASA and NOAA.

March 6

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Payload: O3b F4
Launch Time: 11:38:36 a.m. EST (1638:36 GMT)
Launch Site: French Guiana

The four O3b Networks will provide broadband services to developing countries.

Falcon 9 Flight to Kick Off Busy Launch Period

Falcon 9 on the launch pad with Intelsat 35e satellite. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

UPDATE: SpaceX has scrubbed for the day due to the need to replace a sensor on the second stage. The next launch window is Wednesday, Jan. 31.
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A SpaceX Falcon 9 launch scheduled for late this afternoon will kick off a busy period of international launches that will see the inaugural launch of the Falcon Heavy and China’s sixth orbital mission of 2018. SpaceX has four flights scheduled by the middle of February. (Thanks to Spaceflight Now for the schedule.)

Jan. 30

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: GovSat 1
Launch Window: 4:25-6:46 p.m. EST (2125-2346 GMT)
Launch Site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

The Orbital ATK-built satellite will provide secure communications as part of the nation’s contribution to NATO. There will be no attempt to recover the Falcon 9’s first stage.

Jan. 31/Feb. 1

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz 2-1a with Fregat upper stage
Payload: Kanopus-V 3 & V4
Launch Time: 9:07:18 p.m. EST Jan. 31 (0207:18 GMT on Feb. 1)
Launch Site: Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia

The twin satellites will assist Russia in mapping, forest fire detection and disaster response.

Feb. 1

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2D
Payload: CSES
Launch Time: TBD
Launch Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China

The China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite will study how electromagnetic signals in Earth’s atmosphere and ionosphere to determine if they can help predict earthquakes. This joint mission with Italy will be China’s sixth launch of 2018.

Feb. 3

Launch Vehicle: SS-520-5
Payload: TRICOM 1R CubeSat
Launch Window: 12:00-12:20 a.m. EST (0500-0520 GMT)
Launch Site: Uchinoura Space Center, Japan

The second launch of Japan’s upgraded sounding rocket will carry the 3U TRICOM 1R CubeSat, which has an imaging camera and store and forward communications system.

Feb. 6

Launch Vehicle: Falcon Heavy
Payload: Tesla Roadster
Launch Window: 1:30-4:30 p.m. EST (1830-2130 GMT)
Launch Site: LC-39A, Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy will send a red Tesla Roadster into deep space.

Feb. 10

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Paz
Launch Time: 9:22 a.m. EST; 6:22 a.m. PST (1422 GMT)
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Built by Airbus Defense and Space, Hisdesat’s Paz satellite will provide radar imaging as well ship tracking and weather data. The flight will use a previously-flown first stage.

Feb. 11

Launch Vehicle: Soyuz
Payload: Progress 69P
Launch Time: 3:58 a.m. EST (0858 GMT)
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Resupply mission to the International Space Station.

Feb. 14

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Payload: Hispasat 30W-6
Launch Window: TBA
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, Florida

The Hispasat 30W-6 satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral, will provide communications services over Europe, North Africa and the Americas.

ASU to Lead NASA Space Exploration Mission for 1st Time

Artist rendition of the asteroid Psyche. (Credit: Peter Rubin/ASU
Artist rendition of the asteroid Psyche. (Credit: Peter Rubin/ASU

Metal asteroid Psyche to offer unique look into violent collisions that created Earth, terrestrial planets

by Karin Valentine
Media Relations & Marketing manager,
ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration

Arizona State University’s Psyche Mission, a journey to a metal asteroid, has been selected for flight, marking the first time the school will lead a NASA space exploration mission and the first time scientists will be able to see what is believed to be a planetary core.

The mission’s spacecraft is expected to launch in 2023, arriving at the asteroid in 2030, where it will spend 20 months in orbit, mapping it and studying its properties.

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NASA Awards Restore-L Satellite Servicing Contract to Space Systems/Loral

Artist's conception of Restore-L servicing satellite with Landsat 7. (Credit: NASA)
Artist’s conception of Restore-L servicing satellite with Landsat 7. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract to Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California. Restore-L is a robotic spacecraft equipped with the tools, technologies and techniques needed to service satellites currently in orbit.

The contract has a firm-fixed-price and includes a three-year core period and a two-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity portion. The total maximum value of the contract is $127 million.

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NASA Awards Study Contracts for Mars Orbiter

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft artist concept. (Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft artist concept. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected five U.S. aerospace companies to conduct concept studies for a potential future Mars orbiter mission. Such a mission would continue key capabilities including telecommunications and global high-resolution imaging in support of the agency’s Journey to Mars.

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NASA Awards Contracts for Early ARM Robotic Spacecraft

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)
Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., has selected four companies to conduct design studies for a solar-electric-propulsion-based spacecraft for the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). The aerospace companies selected for the initial studies include: Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Littleton, Colorado; Boeing Phantom Works, Huntington Beach, California; Orbital ATK, Dulles, Virginia; and Space Systems/Loral, Palo Alto, California.

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USAF Awards Hosted Payload Contracts to 14 Companies

USAF_Space_Missile_Systems_CenterThe U.S. Air Force has awarded contracts worth a maximum of $494.9 million each to 14 companies under its Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) program.

‘The purpose of the multiple awarded HoPS IDIQ [indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity] contract is to provide a rapid and flexible means for the government to acquire commercial hosting capabilities for government payloads,” according to the contract announcement. “The contract is designed to create a pool of qualified vendors to meet the government’s needs for various hosted payload missions.”

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MDA Receives Additional Contract for Work on DARPA’s Project Phoenix

Phoenix satellite concept. (Credit: DARPA)
Phoenix satellite concept. (Credit: DARPA)

Richmond, BC (MDA PR) — MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX: MDA), a global communications and information company, announced today that it has been selected for additional robotics work for the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Phoenix Program.

MDA has started work under the next phase of the Phoenix Program, with related contracts expected to total approximately US$10 million. The work will be carried out by both MDA and Space Systems/Loral (SSL).

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SS/L Awarded Phoenix Phase II Contract From DARPA

Phoenix satellite concept. (Credit: DARPA)
Phoenix satellite concept. (Credit: DARPA)

Palo Alto, CA (SS/L PR) – Space Systems/Loral (SSL), a leading provider commercial satellites today announced that it has been selected to develop designs, processes and business terms for carrying small science and technology missions to space on its geostationary (GEO) satellite platform.

Under phase two of the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Phoenix program, SSL intends to detail the design and implementation processes for affordable delivery of small spacecraft beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The goal of the revolutionary Phoenix program is to enable cost-effective repurposing of serviceable space hardware that is already on orbit. The capability that SSL is developing for Phoenix is also expected to enable other future operational, science and technology space missions.

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Sea Launch Rocket Cleared in Launch Anomaly Investigation

sea_launch_zenitPALO ALTO, California and BERN, Switzerland– Dec. 19, 2012 (Sea Launch-SS/L PR) – Space Systems/Loral (SSL) and Sea Launch AG (Sea Launch) today announced that the Independent Oversight Board (IOB) formed to investigate the solar array deployment anomaly on a satellite launched in the spring of 2012 has successfully reached a unanimous conclusion.

The IOB, which was comprised of three highly regarded industry experts, worked with a comprehensive team of engineers from both SSL and Sea Launch to conduct an exhaustive investigation of data from the launch vehicle, the spacecraft, and interactions between the two.  Extensive data provided by Sea Launch were instrumental in achieving the findings which led to the investigation’s positive conclusion.

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EX-IM Bank Loans Support SpaceX, SS/L and Boeing Satellite Work

SS/L workers assemble the ABS-2 satellite at the SS/L manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif. Ex-Im Bank approved $461 million of credit to financing the export of American-made satellites to Hong Kong. (Credit: SS/L)

Washington, D.C. (Ex-Im PR) – In a decision that will support thousands of high-tech jobs in the U.S., the board of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized two transactions aggregating $461 million to underwrite the export of American-made satellites to Hong Kong.

In the first transaction, the Bank authorized a $171.29 million direct loan to ABS to finance the purchase of a FS1300, C/Ka/Ku-band geostationary satellite from Space Systems/Loral Inc. (SS/L) and insurance from Aon. The satellite is scheduled to launch in 2013.

Additionally, the Bank authorized a separate $289.71 million direct loan to ABS to facilitate the purchase of two 702SP C- and Ku-band geostationary satellites from Boeing Satellite Systems International (Boeing), insurance from Aon, technical support, and the launch of both of the satellites with Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) Falcon 9.

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MDA Closes on Space Systems/Loral Acquisition

New York/Richmond, BC (SS/L-MDA PR) — MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has completed and formally closed the previously announced acquisition of Space Systems/Loral, Inc. (SS/L). The combination of MDA and SS/L creates a leading global communications and information company.

At closing, Loral received $968 million in cash plus a bank guaranteed three-year promissory note in the principal amount of $101 million for the purchase of certain real estate used in connection with SS/L’s business.

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MDA Clears Anti-Trust Hurdle in Space Systems/Loral Acquisition

Richmond, BC (MDA PR) — MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., a provider of essential information solutions, today announced that MDA has received notice from the Bureau of Competition Premerger Notification Office of the Federal Trade Commission that it has completed its review of the transaction for MDA to acquire Space Systems/Loral, Inc. (SS/L) and that early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, has been granted with respect to the transaction.

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MDA Passes Key Hurdle in Space Systems/Loral Acquisition

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 20, 2012 (Loral/MDA PR) — Loral Space & Communications Inc. today announced that Loral and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) were notified today by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that CFIUS had concluded its review and investigation of the proposed sale of Space Systems/Loral, Inc. (SS/L) by Loral to a subsidiary of MDA and determined that there are no unresolved national security concerns with respect to the transaction.

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