SWISS SAT LAUNCH SERVICE
A new S w i s s company is planning to build a spaceport to offer cheap access to orbit for small satellites. Swiss Space Systems (S3) is working on an unmanned suborbital mini shuttle based on a previous European design called Hermes.
S3 is not planning to launch the shuttle using rocket launch vehicles but instead using an Airbus A300. The aircraft would take the shuttle up to about 33,000 feet of altitude where it would launch. The shuttle would then glide back to the spaceport in Switzerland to be prepared for its next flight.
This system will allow S3 to launch satellites weighing up to around 550 pounds at a total cost of approximately $10 million - a quarter of the current cost of a satellite launch. The company expects to have the system ready for launch by 2017.
TURKEY'S MIL SATS
The Turkish Armed Forces plan to send 5 military reconnaissance and Earth observation satellites into space. The new satellites will join Turkey's Gokturk-2 Earth observation satellite launched last December.
The country's newly created Space Group Command will lead the initiative as well as plans to set up a Turkish satellite positioning system, to decrease its dependency on the U.S. GPS. By using the American GPS, any missile launched by Turkey, could be controlled by the U.S. and make its trajectory change.
Azercosmos and MEASAT have announced that the Azerspace-1/Africasat-1a satellite @ 46 deg East, has successfully completed in-orbit testing and entered full commercial service. The spacecraft, launched on Feb. 7 on board Arianespace's Ariane 5 vehicle, will provide communications services to customers in Azerbaijan, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
The satellite's 36 transponders provide Ku-band capacity over Europe and Central Asia, and C- band capacity over Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
PVT SECTOR IN INDIAN SPACE
The Indian Space Research Organisation has embarked on hiving off production of communication satellites and polar satellite launch vehicles (PSLVs) to the industry. "We are now setting up a n a t i o n a l committee to work out the modalities on how to go about it," ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan confirmed to the press. "Five years from now the first PSLV will roll out from that entity," Radhakrishnan said.
Private sector will have upto 80% participation in development of communication satellites.
The space agency is keen to focus on unique science projects, develop remote sensing satellites and do more research and development instead of engaging in the repetitive exercise of building communication satellites and launch vehicles.
RADARSAT-1 A WRITE OFF
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has announced its oldest Earth observation satellite Radarsat-1 is unlikely to recover fully from an anomaly experienced on March 29. After the incident, the satellite was put into "safe mode" while the agency investigates what happened.
Radarsat-1, launched in 1995, has already been operating for 12 years more than it expected five-year lifespan. It is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar, which allows the satellite to capture images of the Earth through clouds, smoke and haze.
Radarsat-2, launched in 2007, is working properly.
CSA is currently working on a new generation of Radarsat satellites set for launch in 2018.
ANTI-GPS JAMMING SURV
South Korea has announced its plans to strengthen its surveillance system against North Korean electronic jamming signals, which have targeted the South's civilian facilities in the past.
According to reports, South Korea is setting up a GPS surveillance system that can track down the attack point and impact of GPS jamming attempts. The country already has a radio wave control system for domestic operators, but feels the need of a comprehensive system to detect GPS irregularities amid escalating threats from the North.
ANIK G1 LAUNCHED
The Australian National Broadband Network (NBN) has announced a $300 million deal with Arianespace to procure and launch 2 rockets carrying its satellites in 2015. NBN's goal is to ensure that approximately 250,000 households, farm and businesses in remote areas - including overseas territories, such as Christmas Island - get the same broadband speed cities enjoy.
NBN's satellites will cost $620 million each, weigh 6.25 tons, and will be linked to 10 $180 million Earth stations, each with 13.5m dishes. A national Australian competition will be open for students to name the satellites.
ECHOSTAR 2015 VIA SEA LAUNCH
The Anik G1 satellite was launched on 16 April, by International Launch Services (ILS) on their Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Anik G1 is a commercial communications satellite built by SSL for Telesat. The multimission, 55 transponder satellite will be located at 107.3 degrees West longitude.
This satellite will double Cand Ku-band capacity over South America from this orbital location, provide additional DTH services in extended Ku-Band and provide military X-band coverage of the Americas and substantial portions of the Pacific Ocean.
The 4,905 kg satellite has 24 C-band transponders; 28 Kuband transponders; and 3 X-band transponders. It has an anticipated service life of 15 years.
2 SATS DANCE TOGETHER
Spanish industry is leading the Proba-3 mission, a world first in precise formation flying. This European Space Agency (ESA) project aims to demonstrate that 2 satellites ( 340 Kg & 200 Kg) can move as one single object within 1 millimeter. This configuration will enable the creation of enormous space telescopes with the lens and detector hundreds of meters apart. The Swedish Prisma project, had tied 2 satellites but with a precision of tens of centimeters. Both sats will be located between 20 and 250 metres apart.
One of the relevant experiments including scientific application of Proba-3 will be blocking out the Sun with one of the craft in such a way that the other, 150 m away, can examine the Sun's corona in unprecedented detail.
ECUADOR'S NANO SAT
Ecuador has launched its first satellite into space from China, on April 26. President Rafael Correa announced "It's not a satellite bought in another country, it's a satellite made in Ecuador."
The "Pegaso" (Pegasus) nanosatellite measures 10 x 10 x 75 cms and weighs 1.2 kilograms. Pegaso will beam live video images back to Earth from an onboard camera. The Ecuadoran Space Agency plans a second satellite launch in July.
VIETNAM'S FIRST OB SAT
Astrium plans to launch Vietnam's first Earth Observation Satellite on May 3. VNREDSat-1 will lift off from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou aboard a Vega rocket.
The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) placed the order on Astrium for the VNREDSat-1 program in July 2010, under an agreement signed in 2009 between the French and Vietnamese Governments.
VNREDSat-1 is an optical satellite, capable of capturing images of the Earth with a resolution of 2.5 meters. n