December 2004 Space News
- SPACE STATION / FOOD SHORTAGE VOA 29 Dec 2004 -- The international space station astronauts say the recent food shortage aboard the outpost forced them to cut their food intake dramatically and eat lots of sweets for energy. They attribute the food problem to a lack of communication between the previous crew and ground controllers.
- Iran, Russia to finalize Zohreh satellite contract IRNA 29 Dec 2004 -- Iran and Russia is to finalize an agreement for the construction of the Zohreh satellite for Iran.
- Mars and Saturn Exploration, Scramjet Top List of NASA Successes Washington File 29 Dec 2004 -- Exploration of Mars and Saturn and the record-breaking flight of the X-43A scramjet were among the highlights mentioned in a December 27 review of NASA's accomplishments in 2004.
- SPACE SHUTTLE REPAIRS VOA 28 Dec 2004 -- The United States has taken a major step toward resuming launches of the space shuttle to the international space station next year. The space agency NASA says safety modifications have been successfully completed on the spacecraft's external fuel tank, the source of the problem that caused the orbiter Columbia disaster last year.
- U.S. Energy Department Database Locates Tsunami Victims Washington File 28 Dec 2004 -- Relief agencies working to help victims of the December 26 tsunamis in the Indian Ocean are using a demographic database developed at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.
- World: 'Huygens' Probe Preparing To Land On Saturn's Titan Moon RFE/RL 28 Dec 2004 -- The first landing by a manmade space probe on the moon of another planet is set to happen. Europe's "Huygens" probe has separated successfully from its U.S.-built mother ship "Cassini" and is cruising toward Titan, Saturn's mysterious moon. "Huygens" is on course to enter Titan's hazy atmosphere on 14 January. The probe is expected to take more than 1,000 photographs and measurements during the descent and landing -- information that could help understand life's origins on Earth. Project scientists speculate that "Huygens" will find hydrocarbon seas, geysers, and icebergs and conditions similar to our planet billions of years ago.
- ATK Test Demonstrates Pulse-capable Solid Divert and Attitude Control System Design ATK 28 Dec 2004 -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) and Honeywell (NYSE: HON) successfully completed a hot-fire test of a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Solid Divert and Attitude Control System (SDACS) incorporating design features to improve performance and reliability. The hot fire test, conducted on November 30 at ATK facilities in Elkton, Md., marked a major milestone in the evolutionary enhancement of this proven system design. This SDACS technology is used to control the yaw, pitch, and roll of the Mk 142 Kinetic Warhead (KW) used in the SM-3.
- Huygens Probe Begins Three-Week Journey to Saturn's Moon Washington File 27 Dec 2004 -- The European Space Agency's Huygens probe detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter December 24 to begin a three-week journey to Saturn's moon, Titan, according to a NASA press release.
- SPACE STATION RESUPPLY VOA 26 Dec 2004 -- An unmanned Russian spacecraft delivered badly-needed supplies to the International Space Station late Saturday, enabling the crew to cancel plans to abandon the station for lack of food.
- International Space Mission to Send Huygens Probe to Titan Washington File 22 Dec 2004 -- On December 24, the Huygens probe, built and managed by the European Space Agency (ESA), will cut loose from its mother ship, the Cassini orbiter, and coast toward Saturn's moon, Titan, arriving on January 14, 2005.
- Boeing Delta IV Heavy Achieves Major Test Objectives in First Flight Boeing 21 Dec 2004 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta IV Heavy made its first flight today achieving the major test objectives despite placing its demonstration satellite in a lower than expected orbit.
- EADS Astrium Awarded Contract to Commence the Build of the First Four Galileo Satellites EADS 21 Dec 2004 -- The European satellite navigation project Galileo is beginning to take shape. On Tuesday, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Galileo Industries signed a preliminary contract in Paris for the In-Orbit-Verfication-Phase (IOV). With a 38 percent stake, EADS Astrium is the largest shareholder in Galileo Industries and will take on important work packages as the major subcontractor in this initial phase.
- Raytheon Delivers Five STANDARD Missile-3 Rounds for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Raytheon 21 Dec 2004 -- Raytheon Company has delivered five STANDARD Missile-3 rounds to the Missile Defense Agency for deployment as a key element of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
- SURPRISING NEW GALAXIES VOA 21 Dec 2004 -- U.S. astronomers have discovered massive new galaxies evolving in our corner of the universe. This means that galaxy-forming processes thought to have ended eons ago continue relatively nearby, making it easier to study how these massive congregations of stars come about.
- Researchers Present Cassini Findings About Saturn Washington File 20 Dec 2004 -- As the international Cassini spacecraft approached Saturn in July, it found evidence that lightning on Saturn is roughly 1 million times stronger than lightning on Earth, according to a December 16 University of Iowa press release.
- Saturn's Outer Rings Could Be Disappearing, Scientist Says Washington File 20 Dec 2004 -- A massive eruption of atomic oxygen from Saturn's outer rings suggests that the planet's wispy E ring is eroding so fast that it could disappear within 100 million years if not replenished.
- Northrop Grumman Completes Major Risk-Reduction Step for Advanced EHF Engineering Model Payload Testing Northrop Grumman 20 Dec 2004 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed integrating engineering model payload elements into a single-string prototype for the new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) military communications satellite, which allowed the company to successfully demonstrate performance capabilities.
- Helios IIA in orbit: Alcatel responsible for the main part of new military observation satellite Thales 18 Dec 2004 -- The Helios IIA satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 on December 18, 2004 from the Guyana Space Center, in Kourou, French Guyana. The Helios II program is a second-generation military observation system developed by France in conjunction with Spain and Belgium, deploying two satellites in Sun-synchronous orbit. Operating in both the visible and infrared bands, it will supply day/night images to the French ministry of defense. Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), was a key partner in the construction of the satellite with developing these instruments.
- Ariane Rocket Launched with Seven Satellites VOA News 18 Dec 2004 -- An Ariane rocket has lifted off from Kourou, French Guiana, carrying seven satellites, including at least one that is to gather intelligence for France's military.
- US / MISSILE DEFENSE VOA 17 Dec 2004 -- A Bush administration official says the United States will continue to pursue missile defense despite a failed test of the system this week when an interceptor missile did not go off during an exercise in the Pacific Ocean. The official made his comments just hours after the United States signed an agreement with Japan to expand cooperation on missile defense.
- U.S. Pursues Cooperative Approach to a Limited Missile Defense Washington File 17 Dec 2004 -- The growing threat from unsophisticated ballistic missiles suggests that large cities, not military facilities, would be potential targets in the future, according to a top U.S. arms control official.
- BAE SYSTEMS Awarded Contract To Enhance The Australian Defence Force's Satellite Communications Capability BAE Systems 17 Dec 2004 -- BAE Systems Australia has signed a contract worth A$14.5m to further enhance the Australian Defence Forces mobile military communications capability.
- LOCKHEED MARTIN-BUILT AMC-16 SATELLITE LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY FROM CAPE CANAVERAL Lockheed Martin 17 Dec 2004 -- The AMC-16 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES AMERICOM, was successfully launched today aboard a Lockheed Martin-built Atlas V rocket provided by International Launch Services (ILS). Initial contact with the satellite, called acquisition of signal, was confirmed at 9:41 a.m. EST from the Lockheed Martin Commercial Space Systems (LMCSS) satellite tracking station in Alpha, NJ.
- ILS LAUNCHES AMC-16; WRAPS UP YEAR WITH 10 MISSION SUCCESSES Lockheed Martin 17 Dec 2004 -- An Atlas V launch vehicle placed the AMC-16 satellite into orbit early this morning, marking the 10th and final mission of the year for International Launch Services (ILS).
- NASA Selects Northrop Grumman To Help Achieve Vision for Space Exploration Northrop Grumman 17 Dec 2004 -- NASA has selected six Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) proposals valued at approximately $137 million over four years to develop human and robotic technologies that would have pivotal roles in its Vision for Space Exploration.
- ASTEROID DEFLECTION VOA 16 Dec 2004 -- Hollywood films have dramatized an event that scientists say could one day happen. An asteroid approaches the earth, threatening the planet, and a team of daring astronauts travels to space to stop it. Some scientists and engineers say the films were not realistic, but that the threat is real.
- EMCS Greenhouse: From Lake Constance into Space EADS 16 Dec 2004 -- EADS SPACE Transportation (Friedrichshafen) has now supplied a greenhouse for space to the North American Space Agency NASA. The development of the research system called EMCS (European Modular Cultivation System) took six years. The equipment is to be transported to the International Space Station ISS with the first operative shuttle flight and will be installed there by the astronauts, presumably in the following year.
- Alcatel-built HUYGENS probe on final approach to Titan Thales 16 Dec 2004 -- The HUYGENS probe is scheduled to separate from the CASSINI spacecraft on December 25 - Merry Christmas, Solar System!
- NASA Set to Launch First Comet Impact Probe Washington File 15 Dec 2004 -- Launch and flight teams are in final preparations for the planned January 12, 2005, liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, of NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft.
- Missile Defense Flight Test Conducted Missile Defense Agency 15 Dec 2004 -- The Missile Defense Agency announced today it was unable to complete a planned flight test after the interceptor missile experienced an anomaly shortly before it was to be launched from the Ronald Reagan Test Site, Republic of the Marshall Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean.
- U.S., Russia to Discuss Satellite Navigation System Cooperation Washington File 14 Dec 2004 -- The United States and the Russian Federation intend to begin preliminary discussions on an agreement for cooperation between the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
- Alcatel delivers Corotel telescope to French space agency for COROT stellar observation satellite Thales 14 Dec 2004 -- Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), has delivered the Corotel telescope to the National Institute for Sciences of the Universe (INSU), on behalf of French space agency CNES. The telescope will be mounted on the Corot satellite, which is designed to study the inside of stars and look for new planets.
- US SPACE CHIEF RESIGNS VOA 13 Dec 2004 -- The head of the U.S. space agency, NASA, has resigned after a tumultuous three years in office that included the loss of a space shuttle and its seven astronauts. A spokesman for President Bush has acknowledged that Sean O'Keefe intends to step down. Mr. O'Keefe is credited with beginning to reorient an agency beset by budget troubles and what some have called a lack of focus.
- Lockheed Martin-Built AMC-16 Satellite Ready For Launch From Cape Canaveral, Fl Lockheed Martin 13 Dec 2004 -- The AMC-16 telecommunications satellite, designed and built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for SES AMERICOM of Princeton, NJ, is ready for launch Dec. 17, 2004 from Cape Canaveral, Fla. aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle provided by International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture.
- Vandenberg activates interceptor missile AFPN 13 Dec 2004 -- Missile defense is likened to hitting a bullet with a bullet. Using that analogy, the Air Force now has a round in the chamber.
- Airborne Laser conducts extended flight test AFPN 13 Dec 2004 -- YAL-1A, the Airborne Laser aircraft, flew for 2 hours and 31 minutes here Dec. 9. The flight was part of a continuing series to re-establish airworthiness, a requirement since the aircraft has been out of service for almost two years for modifications and installation of the laser's complex beam control system.
- Army Announces Patriot Missile System's Performance In Operation Iraqi Freedom Army News Release 10 Dec 2004 -- The U.S. Army announced today its investigation into the Patriot Missile System's performance in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), which found the system was successful in performing its mission protecting troops and assets against enemy tactical ballistic missiles (TBM).
- NASA Explorer School Concept Goes International Washington File 10 Dec 2004 -- A NASA education initiative designed to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and activities to U.S. educators, students and families is going abroad to the Netherlands.
- Boeing GMD Team Places First Interceptor in Silo at Vandenberg Site Boeing 10 Dec 2004 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program team and the Missile Defense Agency emplaced the first GMD interceptor in its underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 10.
- HUBBLE REPAIR URGED VOA 08 Dec 2004 -- A report commissioned by the U.S. Congress says NASA should send a space shuttle mission, not a robotic one, to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The panel of experts also says the U.S. space agency should consider launching the manned mission as early as possible after the space shuttle is deemed safe to fly again.
- U.S. Satellite Completes Three-Year Mission Washington File 08 Dec 2004 -- A U.S. satellite named Jason completes a three-year mission this month to measure the surface height of the world's oceans, according to a December 7 press release from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
- Airborne Laser Flight Begins Airworthiness Testing With Lockheed Martin Beam Control/Fire Control System Lockheed Martin 08 Dec 2004 -- The return to flight of the U.S. Air Force’s Airborne Laser (ABL) system late last week began the process of airworthiness certification of the beam control/fire control (BC/FC) system designed and developed by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT).
- EU seeks Morocco`s participation in its Galileo satellite navigation system IRNA 07 Dec 2004 -- The European Commission, the EU`s executive, Tuesday proposed to start talks for a cooperation agreement with Morocco on the development of Galileo, a European civil satellite navigation system.
- Three GLONASS navigation satellites to be launched from Baikonur IRNA 07 Dec 2004 -- Three satellites of the navigation system GLONASS will be launched from the spaceport Baikonur on December 25.
- NASA Releases Latest Version of Shuttle Return-to-Flight Report Washington File 07 Dec 2004 -- NASA offered its response to recommendations by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) with the release of "NASA's Implementation Plan for Space Shuttle Return to Flight and Beyond" on December 3.
- SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRESS VOA 06 Dec 2004 -- The U.S. space agency, NASA, says work continues on safety improvements on the space shuttle design in anticipation of the shuttle's return to flight in 2005. Agency officials concede that they have yet to determine whether the shuttle crew could fix the kind of damage that contributed to the loss of the shuttle Columbia in February 2003.
- Boeing Airborne Laser Team Achieves First Flight Boeing 03 Dec 2004 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] Airborne Laser (ABL) team flew an aircraft equipped with the integrated battle management and Beam Control/Fire Control (BC/FC)systems for the first time at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on Dec. 3.
- Boeing Awarded NASA Human and Robotic Technology Development Projects Boeing 03 Dec 2004 -- NASA recently selected Boeing [NYSE: BA] to work on seven technology development projects worth almost $25 million (in the first year) as part of NASA's Human and Robotic Technology (H&RT) program.
- Alcatel collaborates with prime contractor Thales on the Syracuse III ground segment Thales 02 Dec 2004 -- The French defense procurement agency DGA announced today that it has awarded Thales the contract for the construction of the Syracuse III ground segment. Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), is the main subcontractor to Thales for this project. The overall contract is worth 1.3 billion euros over a period of 15 years, of which 30% represents Alcatel's portion.
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