Space 

As space launch business heats up in Florida, Air Force commander Wayne Monteith tries to break records

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith took command of the 45th Space Wing in August 2015. As of this writing, 50 satellites have gone to space under his watch. The 50th was Luxembourg’s GovSat-1 that flew Jan. 31 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. “That started a 30-day cycle when we’ll do four launches,” Monteith told SpaceNews. The second of those four was last week’s Falcon Heavy debut, soon to be followed by a late February launch of a Falcon 9 carrying the Hispasat 30W-6 communications satellite and a…

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Space 

Wilson: Airmen must get creative if they want to beat China and Russia

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson: “We no longer control or define the pace of innovation.” ORLANDO, FLA. — Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson warned young airmen that in a future war against a near peer rival, they should be prepared to fight without technologies that most consider essential, like GPS navigation and satellite phone lines. Rival nations like China and Russia are developing advanced missiles and electronic weapons to target U.S. military space-based communications, command and control networks, intelligence analysts have reported. For better or worse, the most wired generation…

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Top Stories World 

SpaceX next rocket launch could be from AMAZON BASE after successful Falcon 9 mission

Reaching a top speed of more than 27,600 km/h, the Falcon 9 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, carrying three satellite payloads shortly after 9.17am EST (2.17pm GMT) today. And according to Brazil’s defence minister, SpaceX‘s billionaire owner Elon Musk has his sights on launching a rocket from the Amazon. SpaceX hopes to successfully deliver the 12,000 satellites into space by the year 2020 as part of a project to deliver widespread internet coverage to the US and rest of the world. Brazil’s defence minister Raul Jungmann…

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Space 

SpaceX launches pair of its demo internet satellites with Spanish radar satellite

WASHINGTON — SpaceX on Feb. 22 launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Spanish-owned radar-imaging satellite and two demonstration satellites for SpaceX’s proposed broadband Starlink broadband constellation. The 9:17 a.m. Eastern launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California carried all three spacecraft to low Earth orbit, deploying the PAZ radar satellite 11 minutes after liftoff. Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and CEO, confirmed successful deployment of the Starlink demo satellites, dubbed TinTin A and B, via Twitter about 80 minutes after liftoff. “Tintin A & B will attempt to beam…

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Science 

SpaceX launch today: Watch again Falcon 9 deliver Starlink and PAZ satellites into orbit

The imposing Falcon 9 took off to the deafening roar of its Merlin engines shortly after 9.17am EST (2.17pm GMT) today. Following the ten second countdown at Space Launch Complex 4, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the rocket reached top speeds of over 27,600 km/h as it entered space. Today’s SpaceX mission was divided into two stages, each with their own precious cargo payloads onboard the rocket. The first stage of the launch delivered a Spanish reconnaissance PAZ satellite into a low-orbital position over Earth. Tom Praderio, SpaceX firmware engineer,…

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Top Stories World 

SpaceX launch in pictures: Elon Musk’s Starlink Falcon 9 launch

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-flown first stage was successfully launched into orbit today. The Falcon 9 launch is carrying a PAZ radar-imaging satellite and two smaller prototype satellites SpaceX CEO Elon Musk hopes will one day lead to worldwide broadband internet service. SpaceX was forced to delay the launch until today due to strong winds which threatened to derail the rocket during liftoff. Elon Musk revealed on Twitter that the name for the Starlink satellites was inspired by the romantic novel “The Fault In Our Stars,” by…

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Science 

SpaceX launch: Starlink and PAZ satellites successfully deployed into orbit on Falcon 9

The US-based rocket manufacturer initiated the first stage of the its ambitious Starlink project shortly after 9.17am EST (2.17pm GMT) today. Reaching a top speed of more than 27,600 km/h, the Falcon 9 blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, carrying three satellite payloads.  The first stage of the mission saw the company deliver a Spanish reconnaissance PAZ satellite.  Tom Praderio, SpaceX firmware engineer, said: “The primary payload is right now gliding from that second stage. “Soon it will unfurl its own solar panels and start communicating with…

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Space 

Council discusses space threats and opportunities posed by China

WASHINGTON — A discussion of China at the latest National Space Council meeting took a more nuanced view of the country than is typical in such conversations, seeing the rising space power as a competitor and adversary but also a potential partner. A panel discussion on national security space at the Council’s Feb. 21 meeting at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center focused primarily on the growing capabilities of, and the growing threat posed by, China’s space efforts, including the development of counterspace capabilities that could disrupt American space systems in the…

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Space 

Army’s imaging satellite up and running, but its future is TBD

The Army experiment is being watched by the small satellite industry as a bellwether of where the military might be headed with this technology. WASHINGTON — How valuable is it for troops in the field to have their own dedicated source of satellite imagery and other space-based intelligence? That is a question officials hope to answer in upcoming military exercises where commanders will have an opportunity to test the Army’s newly deployed Kestrel Eye microsatellite. The Kestrel Eye Block IIM was sent into orbit in October from the International Space…

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Space 

Smallsat ground station operators expect consolidation, eye new antennas, optical links

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Companies that collect data beamed down from small satellites say they expect partnerships and mergers will stem the rising number of new entrants offering ground station services in their market. Around half a dozen startups have popped up in the past few years offering ground station services for smallsats, Natalie Bednar, Swedish Space Corp.’s (SSC) business development director, said Feb. 7 at the SmallSat Symposium here. Those companies present a challenge to incumbent providers SSC and Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), which have both been around for…

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