Archive for the ‘Satellites’ Category
Photographing the International Space Station (ISS)
Photographing the ISS is very worthwhile and gratifying. There are two basic methods; one being easy and the other being a little more difficult. Both methods are incredibly rewarding and good results can be obtained fairly quickly, once you have mastered the basics. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch the first Soyuz launch from Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana
A new countdown for Soyuz’ first flight from the Spaceport
October 20, 2011 10:30:26 a.m. UT – Soyuz Flight VS01
The countdown to Soyuz’ maiden flight from French Guiana will resume for a liftoff tomorrow morning after work on the launch pad resolved a ground support system anomaly that postponed the historic mission for 24 hours.
This anomaly was identified as a leak in a launch pad pneumatic system responsible for the programmed disconnection of Soyuz’ third stage fueling lines before the vehicle lifts off.
With the issue resolved, the liftoff is now set for October 21 at 7:30:26 a.m. local time in French Guiana – a precise moment that enables the payload of two Galileo satellites to be injected into their proper orbital plane.
Soyuz’ 3-hr. 49-min. flight from the Spaceport will inject the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) spacecraft for Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system into a 23,222-km. circular medium-Earth orbit, inclined 54.7 degrees.
Weighing approximately 700 kg. each, these satellites – along with two others to be lofted by Soyuz in 2012 – will form the operational nucleus of Europe’s full 30-satellite Galileo navigation constellation, which is being developed in a collaborative program involving the European Space Agency and European Union
With the Soyuz launcher operating out of the Guiana Space Center (CSG) in French Guiana, Arianespace is the only launch services provider in the world capable of launching all types of payloads to all orbits.
The “Soyuz in French Guiana” project covers three main aspects:
- Construction of launch facilities, including a launch pad identical to those used in Kazakhstan and Russia.
- Launcher modifications needed for operation from the Guiana Space Center (CSG), primarily ensuring compliance with the range safety rules at CSG and adaptation to the requirements of the launcher tracking network.
- Verification of compatibility of the Soyuz launcher with the environmental conditions in French Guiana (in particular the weather and wind conditions).
The Soyuz at CSG launch system, combining the new launch pad with a launcher that has been slightly modified in relation to the version launched from Baikonur, will be validated during the inaugural flight :
- The final countdown and actual flight through the end of the mission will enable validating the operation of all ground and launcher systems and equipment.
- This flight will also enable identifying any improvements that may be needed for the commercial operation of this new launch system.
NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite fell back to Earth at 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) on Saturday, Sept. 24. The Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California has determined the satellite entered the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at 14.1 degrees south latitude and 189.8 degrees east longitude. This location is over a broad, remote ocean area in the Southern Hemisphere, far from any major land mass. The debris field is located between 300 miles and 800 miles downrange, or generally northeast of the re-entry point. NASA is not aware of any possible debris sightings from this geographic area.
This is your source for official information on the re-entry of UARS. All information posted here has been verified with a government or law enforcement agency. This is NASA’s final status report on the re-entry of UARS.
Six years after the end of its productive scientific life, UARS broke into pieces during re-entry, and most of it up burned in the atmosphere. Twenty-six satellite components, weighing a total of about 1,200 pounds, could have survived the fiery re-entry and reach the surface of Earth.
The Operations Center for JFCC-Space, the Joint Functional Component Command at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., which works around the clock detecting, identifying and tracking all man-made objects in Earth orbit, tracked the movements of UARS through the satellite’s final orbits and provided confirmation of re-entry.
“We extend our appreciation to the Joint Space Operations Center for monitoring UARS not only this past week but also throughout its entire 20 years on orbit,” said Nick Johnson, NASA’s chief scientist for orbital debris, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “This was not an easy re-entry to predict because of the natural forces acting on the satellite as its orbit decayed. Space-faring nations around the world also were monitoring the satellite’s descent in the last two hours and all the predictions were well within the range estimated by JSpOC.”
UARS was launched Sept. 12, 1991, aboard space shuttle mission STS-48 and deployed on Sept. 15, 1991. It was the first multi-instrumented satellite to observe numerous chemical components of the atmosphere for better understanding of photochemistry. UARS data marked the beginning of many long-term records for key chemicals in the atmosphere. The satellite also provided key data on the amount of light that comes from the sun at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths. UARS ceased its scientific life in 2005.
If you find something you think may be a piece of UARS, do not touch it. Contact a local law enforcement official for assistance.