December 2003 Space News
- SEEKING STARDUST: A COMET ENCOUNTER VOA 31 Dec 2003 -- A U-S spacecraft is nearly at the end of a five year comet chase and will fly by the comet Wild-Two [pron. VILT] on Friday. The name of the spacecraft is Stardust, indicative of its goal to capture particles of matter formed in stars out of which our solar system, and we, formed.
- New launch pad built at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center PLA Daily 31 Dec 2003 -- At 3:20 pm on November 3, China's 18th recoverable scientific and technological experiment satellite was successfully launched into the space orbit from a newly built launching pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
- China successfully launches "Probe No.1" PLA Daily 31 Dec 2003 -- China launched a high-altitude orbiting satellite into the preset orbit successfully Tuesday morning, using a Long March 2C/SM carrier rocket, according to witnesses at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China.
- U-S MARS LANDERS: THE SCIENCE VOA 31 Dec 2003 -- A U-S spacecraft named "Spirit" is approaching Mars for a landing on the cold, barren, rocky planet. After it arrives, it is to deploy a six-wheeled robotic rover laden with instruments and cameras on a 90-day hunt for water and signs of life. Three-weeks later, the process is to repeat itself on the other side of the red planet with an identical lander and rover.
- U-S MARS LANDERS: THE RISKS VOA 31 Dec 2003 -- A U-S spacecraft named Spirit is to land on Mars this week. It is to be followed in three weeks by an identical spacecraft named Opportunity, that is to land in a different location. Once on Mars they are to deploy rovers to search for water to determine if the cold, barren planet could once have harbored simple life forms. But the mission is fraught with risks
- Sea Launch Embarks on the First Mission of 2004 Boeing 30 Dec 2003 -- The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander have departed Sea Launch Home Port for the launch of the Telstar 14/Estrela do Sul 1 communications satellite. Built by Space Systems/Loral for Loral Skynet do Brasil, the satellite is scheduled for launch on a Zenit-3SL vehicle, January 9, at the start of a two-hour launch window that will open at 8:02 pm PST (4:02:00 GMT, January 10).
- Lockheed Martin Awarded Contract for A2100 Satellite Lockheed Martin 30 Dec 2003 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT - News) has been awarded a contract to build an A2100 geosynchronous satellite, marking the fifth new commercial satellite order received by its Commercial Space Systems business during 2003.
- Space Yearender 2003 VOA 30 Dec 2003 -- The year two-thousand-three began with the terrible accident that destroyed the Space Shuttle Columbia and its crew. On Saturday morning, February first, the seven astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia were returning to Earth.They had performed a successful sixteen-day science flight.
- MARS/BEAGLE VOA 30 Dec 2003 -- While no signal has been received from the Beagle-Two Mars lander, its mother ship, the Mars Express, is in orbit around the planet to listen for signs of the surface probe.
- Ariane Espace Press Release on successful AMOS 2 Launch Israel Aerospace Industries 28 Dec 2003 -- The AMOS 2 communications satellite, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)'s MBT Space Division will be launched into orbit on December 27th, 2003, 23:30 (Israel time), by the Soyuz launch vehicle, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch operation is conducted by Starsem, a French-Russian venture for space launching.
- EUROPE/MARS VOA 25 Dec 2003 -- British scientists can only wait and hope that they can establish contact with the unmanned Beagle-2 Mars probe later today (Thursday). The first opportunity came and went without any signal being detected from the Martian surface.
- LAUNCH OF SPACE EXPLORATION ROCKET POSTPONED: NSC CNA 24 Dec 2003 -- A scientific space exploration rocket will be launched from a base in southern Taiwan Wednesday evening, one day later than its original schedule, officials from the Cabinet-level National Science Council (NSC) said Wednesday.
- Soot on Snow Contributes to Global Warming, NASA Scientists Find Washington File 23 Dec 2003 -- Black soot -- generated by combustion of carbon-based materials and emitted into the atmosphere -- is making a significant contribution to global warming, according to newly released research. Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) say soot reduces the reflectivity of snow and ice, creating a warming effect.
- DESTINATION MARS VOA 23 Dec 2003 -- The skies around Mars are getting crowded, and traffic on the ground will soon increase, too. The United States and Europe are sending landers to the Martian surface to provide a broader and closer view of the Red Planet. A major goal is to find water and evidence of life.
- U.K.: British Space Scientists Hope To Hear That 'Beagle Has Landed' RFE/RL 23 Dec 2003 -- Britain hopes to become the third country in the world -- after the United States and the former Soviet Union -- to land a spacecraft on another planet. The British-built "Beagle 2" -- a part of Europe's first mission to the red planet -- is due to touch down on the Martian surface on 25 December.
- TAIWAN TO LAUNCH SPACE EXPLORATION ROCKET: NSC CNA 23 Dec 2003 -- A scientific space exploration rocket will be launched from a base in southern Taiwan Tuesday evening as part of the work of Taiwan's space program, according to an official from the National Science Council (NSC).
- NASA Awards Boeing Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Contract Extension Boeing 23 Dec 2003 -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has extended a contract to a Boeing-led [NYSE: BA] team to study development of a deep space exploration vehicle for the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than 2011.
- Launch of AMOS 2 Communications Satellite by Israel Aircraft Industries - Background Information Israel Aerospace Industries 23 Dec 2003 -- The AMOS 2 communications satellite, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI)'s MBT Space Division will be launched into orbit on December 27th, 2003, 23:30 (Israel time), by the Soyuz launch vehicle, from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The launch operation is conducted by Starsem, a French-Russian venture for space launching.
- U.S. Air Force Successfully Launches Upgraded GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin 23 Dec 2003 -- A Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. This mission, designated IIR-10, places on orbit a satellite featuring significant performance upgrades, including an advanced antenna panel which will increase power for GPS receivers.
- Rocket launches from Florida AFPN 22 Dec 2003-- One hundred years after the Wright Brothers flew 120 feet, a Delta II rocket placed a Global Positioning System satellite into orbit from here Dec. 21.
- FALCON Phase 1 Contractors Selected VOA 22 Dec 2003 -- Nine contractors have begun work to place a small satellite or other payload weighing about 1,000 pounds into a low Earth orbit.
- YEARENDER: THE SHUTTLE DISASTER VOA 22 Dec 2003 -- Tragedy came again to the U-S space agency in 2003. Seven astronauts died in February when the shuttle Columbia disintegrated in air minutes before their scheduled landing. The mishap occurred 17 years almost to the day after the explosion of the shuttle Challenger killed seven crew members as they headed to orbit. The latest accident left a big gap in the U-S manned spaceflight program and set back construction of the international space station. But it may lead to a new direction in U-S space exploration.
- ATK Propulsion and Composite Technologies Support Successful Launch of Boeing Delta II Rocket ATK 22 Dec 2003 -- ATK (Alliant Techsystems) (NYSE:ATK) solid propulsion and composite technologies supported yesterday's successful launch of a Boeing Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Augmented thrust for the launch was provided by nine GEM-40 solid propulsion strap-on boosters manufactured by ATK Thiokol Propulsion at its facility in Magna, Utah -- continuing a tradition of flight support for Delta II missions that began in 1990. The launch placed a satellite for the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation into orbit.
- Boeing Delta II Places Air Force GPS Satellite into Orbit Boeing 21 Dec 2003 -- A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket has successfully deployed a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite for the U.S. Air Force. This satellite, GPS IIR-10, was the tenth of 21 IIR class GPS satellites Boeing will launch for the Air Force.
- Lockheed Martin-Built Communications Satellite Begins Operations For U.S. Air Force Lockheed Martin 21 Dec 2003 -- A U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin team has successfully completed on-orbit checkout and testing of the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) spacecraft launched on Aug. 29, 2003 from Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. aboard a Delta IV rocket. The satellite, the last of 14 DSCS III spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has now begun its controlled drift to its operational location.
- Northrop Grumman, NASA Successfully Test Composite Hydrogen Fuel Tank for Reusable Launch Vehicles Northrop Grumman 19 Dec 2003 -- A team of engineers from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. have demonstrated that a new, specially designed fuel tank made from composite materials can safely hold and contain liquid hydrogen under simulated launch conditions.
- Northrop Grumman Receives Kennedy Space Center Contract from InDyne Northrop Grumman 19 Dec 2003 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Information Technology (IT) sector has been awarded a subcontract by InDyne, Inc., McLean, Va., to support NASA at the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
- Navy Launches Newest Military Communications Satellite Navy Newsstand 19 Dec 2003-- The Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC), reached an important milestone when it launched the 11th Ultra-High Frequency Follow-on (UHF F/O) F11 satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Dec. 17, at 9:30 p.m. EST.
- BRITAIN / MARS VOA 19 Dec 2003 -- European scientists say the British-built Beagle 2 probe has successfully separated from its mother ship, a critical step in its journey toward a Christmas Day (December 25th) landing on Mars.
- JAPAN/MISSILES VOA 19 Dec 2003 -- The Japanese government has announced plans to deploy a U-S-made missile defense system, and to work with the United States to develop the system further. The decision is in response to growing fears about North Korea's weapons development.
- U.S. Air Force Ready To Launch Upgraded GPS Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Lockheed Martin 18 Dec 2003 -- The U.S. Air Force is preparing to launch an upgraded Global Positioning Systems (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] aboard a Delta II rocket scheduled on Dec. 21, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
- NASA's Newest Space Observatory Is Renamed Lockheed Martin 18 Dec 2003 -- NASA has renamed the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, its newest space observatory, for the late astronomer Dr. Lyman Spitzer, Jr.. The official name is now the Spitzer Space Telescope..
- Successful Launch Orbits the 11th Boeing-Built UHF Follow-On Naval Satellite Boeing 17 Dec 2003 -- A successful launch today lifted into orbit the 11th UHF Follow-On spacecraft built and delivered by Boeing [NYSE: BA] to provide secure communications to the warfighter and other military personnel worldwide.
- ILS Launches 11th Navy Satellite; Atlas III Mission Concludes Successful Year Lockheed Martin 17 Dec 2003 -- A Lockheed Martin-built Atlas III rocket carried a Navy communications satellite into orbit tonight, ending the year on a high note for International Launch Services (ILS), with six successful missions.
- Orbital Awarded Contract For Two GEO Communications Satellites By Optus of Australia Orbital Sciences Corp. 17 Dec 2003 -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it has signed a major new contract in its geosynchronous (GEO) communications satellite manufacturing business.
- Japan's Scheme to Introduce MD System under Fire KCNA 17 Dec 2003 -- Japan is heading for the introduction of the missile defense system, raising terrific outcries over fictitious "threat from north Korea" in an effort to hasten its conversion into a military power and overseas aggression under this pretext, says Minju Joson today in a signed commentary.
- Successful Arrow Test Israel Aerospace Industries 16 Dec 2003 -- Another test of the "Arrow" weapon system was conducted successfully today. This was the eleventh Arrow Interceptor test and the sixth test of the complete weapon system.
- Orbital Successfully Launches Target Vehicle For MDA’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Test Orbital Sciences Corp. 16 Dec 2003 -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it successfully launched the suborbital rocket that served as the target vehicle for the recent test of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD) program.
- Joseph Weiss, General Manager MBT Space Division at IAI: "AMOS 2 Communications Satellite is Additional Proof of IAI's Technological Abilities and to its Well-Respected Place in the Elite Group of Developers and Manufacturers of Satellites Worldwide" Israel Aerospace Industries 15 Dec 2003 -- On the occasion of the upcoming launch of the AMOS 2 communications satellite, manufactured by Israel Aircraft Israel (IAI), a press conference was held today (December 15, 2003) by the owner of the satellite,Spacecom Company.
- ILS LAUNCH OF UFO F11 DELAYED Lockheed Martin 15 Dec 2003 -- Tonight's launch attempt of an Atlas III rocket with the Navy's UFO F11 satellite was scrubbed because a temperature measurement was below limit on a piece of ground support equipment.
- BRITAIN / MARS VOA 15 Dec 2003 -- Britain's first mission to another planet -- an unmanned probe -- is just days away from attempting to land on Mars and search for life.
- Ballistic Missile Defense Test Successful AFPS 12 Dec 2003 -- A missile launched from the Navy Aegis cruiser USS Lake Erie successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean, Navy and Missile Defense Agency officials said here Dec. 11. The target was fired from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Hawaii's oldest island, Kauai.
- ATK Technology Helps STANDARD Missile-3 Score Direct Hit in Ballistic Missile Intercept Test ATK 11 Dec 2003 -- ATK (Alliant Techsystems) (NYSE:ATK) said that its Mk 136 Third-Stage Rocket Motor (TSRM) and Solid Divert and Attitude Control System (SDACS) for the Mk 142 Kinetic Warhead (KW) guided a Raytheon STANDARD Missile-3 (SM-3) to a successful space-intercept of an inbound ballistic missile target.
- Boeing Supports Successful Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Flight Test #6 Boeing 11 Dec 2003 -- Sub-systems developed by Boeing [NYSE:BA] continued to play a key role in the 4th successful intercept test today of Flight Mission-6 (FM-6) for the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System at Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kauai, Hawaii.
- Lockheed Martin-U.S. Navy Aegis Weapon System Guides Standard Missile to Target Intercept Lockheed Martin 11 Dec 2003 -- Flight Mission 6The Lockheed Martin-developed Aegis Weapon System successfully intercepted a ballistic missile target outside the earth's atmosphere during its descent phase of flight today.
- Aegis Missile Test Successful 11 Dec 2003 -- The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the U.S. Navy announced today the completion of a successful flight test in the continuing development of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program, the sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Flight Mission-6 (FM-6) involved the detection and tracking of an Aries short-range target missile launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF), Kauai, Hawaii at 8:10 a.m. HST (1:10 p.m. EST).
- AEGIS MISSILE DEFENSE FLIGHT TEST SUCCESSFUL U.S. Missile Defense Agency - December 11, 2003 - The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the U.S. Navy announced today the completion of a successful Flight Mission-6 (FM-6) flight test in the continuing development of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Program, the sea-based element of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
- Space, Missile Defense Essential To Defense, Rumsfeld Says AFPS 10 Dec 2003 -- Defending America, its overseas military and its allies from ballistic missiles laden with weapons of mass destruction "is now America's highest priority," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted today.
- Boeing Delta IV Heavy Completes Rollout Boeing 10 Dec 2003 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] officials announced today the successful rollout and vehicle erection of the first Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle at Space Launch Complex (SLC) 37 pad at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. Its launch is scheduled for summer 2004.
- Launch Date Set for 11th Boeing-Built UHF Follow-On Naval Satellite Boeing 10 Dec 2003 -- A Boeing [NYSE] satellite that will increase the U.S. military's global mobile communications capacity is scheduled for launch on Dec. 15, 2003, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
- New National Security Mission To Fly On ILS/Lockheed Martin Atlas V Lockheed Martin 10 Dec 2003 -- International Launch Services (ILS) has received authorization to begin operations for the launch of a new payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) on a Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket. The launch is set for early 2006 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
- Boeing Tests Future Rocket Engine Component To Record Levels Boeing 09 Dec 2003 -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] has successfully tested a key component of its RS-84 prototype rocket engine, reaching pressures never before attained in an American-built engine of this type.
- Missile Defense Agency Chooses Missile Target Contractor 09 Dec 2003 -- The Department of Defense announced today that the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a combination cost-plus-award-fee and indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., Denver, Colo., for the MDA Targets and Countermeasures Program. The amount awarded today is $210 million to perform target system engineering, design and management with a period of performance from December 2003 to December 2007. The contract has a potential period of performance of 10 years and contract value of $4.6 billion if all options are exercised.
- Boeing Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Syncom Satellite Boeing 08 Dec 2003 -- Media luminaries Walter Cronkite, David Hartman and Jim McKay will join Boeing [NYSE:BA] on Dec. 12 to highlight four decades of achievement in satellite technology as it celebrates the historic deployment of a small, spinning satellite that created a global revolution.
- Japan's Moves for Space Espionage under Fire KCNA 08 Dec 2003 -- A Japanese institution for research and development of space flight recently failed in the launching of prototype rocket "H-2A" No. 6 carrying two spy satellites of the government.
- BUSH / SPACE VOA 07 Dec 2003 -- The Bush White House appears to be looking for new bold policy initiatives, as the United States enters an election year. As V-O-A White House Correspondent Paula Wolfson tells us, one area under serious consideration is the U-S space program.
- Inmarsat, EADS And Thales Form Consortium To Bid For Galileo Concession EADS 05 Dec 2003 -- Inmarsat Ventures plc, EADS Space and the Thales Group announced today that they have submitted a joint tender to become the Galileo Concessionaire.
- Lockheed Martin Delivers Major Milestone on SBIRS-High Program Lockheed Martin 05 Dec 2003 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully completed initial delivery of the Integrated Training Suite (ITS), which will provide high fidelity training for operational crews working at the Space-Based Infrared System High (SBIRS-High) Mission Control Station (MCS) at Buckley Air Force Base.
- Lockheed Martin Completes Integration of First Multi-Mission Mobile Processor for SBIRS-High Lockheed Martin 05 Dec 2003 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] successfully completed the hardware and software integration of the first two Multi-Mission Mobile Processors (M3P) for the Space-Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High) program and has progressed to field-testing.
- U-S SPACE FUTURE VOA 05 Dec 2003 -- The Bush administration is reviewing America's human space exploration program, and the outcome could be a new plan that takes the U-S space program beyond Earth orbit, where it has been for 23 years. Speculation in the news media is that the government might announce a plan to send astronauts back to the moon or to Mars.
- AUSTRALIA / MISSILE DEFENSE VOA 04 Dec 2003 -- Australia's government says it plans to join the U-S missile defense umbrella - saying such a defensive shield is needed for protection against threats from rogue states.
- CRACKS IN EARTH'S MAGNETIC SHIELD VOA 03 Dec 2003 -- Scientists have found prolonged weaknesses in Earth's defense against storms on the sun. Our planet's magnetic shield normally deflects most of the effect a solar storm's blast would have on us, but researchers have found lasting cracks in the barrier, that allow charged solar particles to threaten satellites and electrical systems on the ground.
- Missile Defense Boost-Phase Contract Awarded 03 Dec 2003 -- The Department of Defense announced today that the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman Space and Mission Systems Corp. for the development and testing of a concept for the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) program designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile in its boost/early ascent phase, which is the period of flight lasting from three to five minutes after a ballistic missile is launched. The contract awarded today is approximately $4.5 billion over the next eight years.
- MND TO BUILT ANTI-MISSILE SYSTEM, INCREASE COMBAT CAPABILITY CNA 03 Dec 2003 -- The Ministry of National Defense (MND) will build an anti-missile system while bolstering its retaliatory capabilities in the face of the increasing missile threat from mainland China, Vice Minister of Defense Chen Ti-tuan said at the Legislative Yuan Wednesday.
- Boeing Dedicates New GPS Colorado Springs Facility Boeing 03 Dec 2003 -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] officials dedicated the new Boeing GPS Center in support of the U.S. Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) program during a December 1 ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Northrop Grumman-Led Team Wins Contract for Critical Missile Defense Program Northrop Grumman 03 Dec 2003 -- The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) today awarded a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) team the Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) contract, which is to provide the U.S. with the ability to destroy hostile missiles at their most vulnerable stage, the boost/ascent phase of flight.
- NASA's Hyperion Celebrates Third Anniversary On-Orbit; Northrop Grumman-Built Imager Exceeds Performance Goals Northrop Grumman 03 Dec 2003 -- The Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-built Hyperion hyperspectal imager aboard NASA's Earth Observing-1 satellite celebrated its third anniversary on-orbit Nov. 21. Originally intended to be on-orbit for one year, Hyperion has now operated for 300 percent of its original mission life.
- Orbital Selected For Multi-Year $400 Million Contract For Kinetic Energy Missile Defense Interceptors Program By Northrop Grumman/Raytheon Team Orbital Sciences Corp. 03 Dec 2003 -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)-led team to conduct booster vehicle design, development, test, and early-production for the Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) missile defense program.
- U.S. Official Cites Need for Comprehensive Earth Observation System Washington File 02 Dec 2003 -- A U.S. official told ministers attending the U.N. Climate Change Convention in Milan December 2 that a comprehensive, coordinated Earth observation system is essential for the management of agriculture, forestry, water, ecosystems, energy resources and sustainable development around the world.
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