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December 2005 Space News

  • Alcatel Alenia Space-built AMC-23 telecommunication satellite successfully launched from Baikonur Thales 29 Dec 2005 -- Alcatel Alenia Space applauds the successful launch of the AMC-23 communications satellite from Baikonur in Kazakhstan. This satellite, dedicated to the U.S. operator SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company, has been launched by International Launch Services on a Proton Breeze M and will cover the Pacific region.
  • First Galileo satellite on orbit to demonstrate key technologies 28 December 2005 ESA PR 61-2005. The first Galileo demonstrator is in orbit, marking the very first step to full operability of Europe's new global navigation satellite system, under a partnership between ESA and the European Commission (EC).
  • Space group to activate new unit AFPN 27 Dec 2005 -- Air Force Reserve Command's 310th Space Group will travel deeper into the space program when it activates a new unit Jan. 7.
  • Stardust Spacecraft Headed Home VOA 27 Dec 2005 -- NASA's Stardust probe is set to return to Earth January 15, after successfully gathering particle samples from a comet.  The spacecraft's return will mark only the second time NASA has attempted to retrieve a spacecraft sent beyond Earth's orbit.
  • Vandenberg activates Area Control Center AFPN 23 Dec 2005 -- The 30th Space Wing activated the first major center in the new Western Range Operations Control Center Dec 15.
  • Russian Cargo Ship Brings Supplies, Christmas Gifts to Space Station VOA 23 Dec 2005 -- An unmanned Russian cargo rocket has docked with the International Space Station, carrying new supplies and Christmas gifts to the U.S. astronaut and Russian cosmonaut aboard.
  • Successful launch of the MSG2 weather satellite, built by Alcatel Alenia Space Thales 22 Dec 2005 -- Alcatel Alenia Space applauds the successful launch of the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG2) satellite designed to provide operational weather observations and environmental monitoring throughout Europe. The satellite has been successfully launched yesterday by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Built by Alcatel Alenia Space as prime contractor, MSG2 is the second new generation satellite in a series of four to be boosted into geostationary orbit.
  • Sega: Integration key for space operations AFPN 22 Dec 2005 -- The under secretary of the Air Force and executive agent for space, Dr. Ronald M. Sega, sees space-based platforms continuing to be a vital asset to our nation's military forces.
  • Boeing GMD Team Places 10th Interceptor, Capping Recent Successes Boeing 21 Dec 2005 -- A Boeing-led [NYSE: BA] industry team and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have installed the 10th operational interceptor for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, completing the latest in a series of successful steps to protect the United States against long-range ballistic missiles.
  • Russian Supply Ship Blasts Off for International Space Station VOA 21 Dec 2005 -- Russia has launched an unmanned supply ship to deliver food, fuel and holiday gifts to the crew aboard the International Space Station.
  • Paradigm Signs 2 year Extension to Skynet 5 Contract and Orders a Third Skynet 5 Satellite EADS 20 Dec 2005 -- Paradigm Secure Communications Ltd, a subsidiary of EADS SPACE Services, has today signed an amendment with the UK MoD to extend the 15 year Skynet 5 PFI service contract for military communications. The extension will provide the UK MoD with increased value for money through increased assurance and extended capability. A key feature of the extension is that Paradigm will order construction and launch of a third satellite, Skynet 5C, to be manufactured by EADS Astrium.
  • The French Defense Procurement Agency accepts the Syracuse3 system qualified by Alcatel Alenia Space Thales 19 Dec 2005 -- Alcatel Alenia Space today announced the acceptance by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) of the Syracuse 3 spaceborne military communications system. Alenia Alenia Space has qualified the Syracuse 3 system two months after the Syracuse 3A satellite launch. Initial operation of the satellite telecommunications capabilities began mid-November.
  • NASA's First Pluto Mission To Launch in January Washignton File 19 Dec 2005 -- NASA is preparing to launch the first spacecraft to the distant planet Pluto and its moon Charon, according to a December 19 NASA press release.
  • Alcatel Alenia Space delivers initial Syracuse 3A telecom capacity just a month after launch Thales 16 Dec 2005 -- Alcatel Alenia Space has upheld its commitment to customer DGA (the French defense procurement agency), to deliver the initial operational capacity of the Syracuse 3A military communications satellite just a month after its launch.
  • MSG2 weather satellite, built by Alcatel Alenia Space, ready for launch Thales 15 Dec 2005 -- The Meteosat Second Generation weather satellite (MSG2) will be launched on December 21 by an Ariane 5 rocket from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. Built by Alcatel Alenia Space as prime contractor, MSG2 will be the second new generation satellite in a series of four to be boosted into geostationary orbit.
  • Russian Region Agrees To Cooperate with Space Agency RFE/RL 15 Dec 2005 -- Russia's Altai Krai has become the first Russian region to formally agree with the Roskosmos federal space agency on the use of its territory as a designated dumping ground for jettisoned rocket parts.
  • Northrop Grumman Expands Houston Operations, Looks to Local Businesses to Join Space Exploration Team Northrop Grumman 14 Dec 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), whose association with Houston began more than four decades ago during the Apollo program, is expanding its Houston operation to support the growing role of NASA's Johnson Space Center in developing the nation's next generation of human space exploration systems.
  • Orbital Successfully Launches OBV Missile Defense Interceptor Rocket Orbital Sciences Corp. 14 Dec 2005 -- Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB) announced today that it successfully launched its Orbital Boost Vehicle (OBV) ground-based interceptor (GBI) as part of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system industry team led by The Boeing Corporation (NYSE: BA). The mission, designated Flight Test-1 (FT-1), originated from the Ronald Reagan Missile Site at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands at 10:04 p.m. (EST) on December 13, 2005. Following its launch from a silo, the OBV flew downrange over the Pacific Ocean. A simulated target was used as the basis for this flight test.
  • Raytheon Key Team Member on Successful Missile Defense System Test Raytheon 14 Dec 2005 -- A Raytheon Company Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) was a key element in the latest successful flight test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system conducted Dec. 13 over the central Pacific Ocean.
  • Boeing Leads Team to Successful Ground-based Midcourse Defense Flight Test Boeing 13 Dec 2005 -- The Boeing-led [NYSE:BA] Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Team, along with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, announced today the successful execution of a flight test, marking a critical milestone for the program.
  • Northrop Grumman Plays Critical Role in Successful Missile Defense Test Northrop Grumman 13 Dec 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) battle management software and launch control equipment, developed for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system, successfully performed tonight during Flight Test 1. These systems play a vital role in launching the ground-based interceptor and orchestrating the overall engagement sequence.
  • Airborne Laser Completes Laser Ground Tests Boeing 12 Dec 2005 -- The Boeing-led [NYSE: BA] Airborne Laser team announced today the successful completion of a series of tests involving its high energy laser at the Systems Integration Lab at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. During this test series, lasing duration and power were demonstrated at levels suitable for the destruction of multiple classes of ballistic missiles. This is the second of two program significant knowledge points planned for 2005.
  • LOCKHEED MARTIN TO BUILD HIGH ALTITUDE AIRSHIP UNDER $149.2 MILLION MISSILE DEFENSE AGENCY CONTRACT Lockheed Martin 12 Dec 2005 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will build a prototype High Altitude Airship (HAATM) under a $149.2 million contract awarded by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). This contract marks the beginning of the program's third phase, leading to prototype delivery and flight in 2009.
  • Sea Launch awarded SPACEWAY 3 contract by Hughes Network Systems Boeing 08 Dec 2005 -- Sea Launch has received a firm contract award from Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HNS) for the launch of the SPACEWAY™ 3 communications satellite, projected for early 2007.
  • Northrop Grumman Supports Successful Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense Test Northrop Grumman 08 Dec 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) played a key role in the successful test of the Aegis ballistic missile defense system last month by supporting the technical preparation and launch of the medium-range target missile that provided an interceptor opportunity for this sea-based ballistic missile defense system.
  • NASA Selects ATK to be Prime Contractor for First Stage of Next Generation Crew Launch Vehicle ATK 07 Dec 2005 -- NASA announced that Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) will become the prime contractor to design, develop, test, and evaluate the First Stage propulsion system for its next-generation Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV). The scope of work adds substantially to that performed by ATK on the Space Shuttle program. In its announcement, NASA states "ATK possesses the facilities, manufacturing capability, and engineering and manufacturing workforce to successfully manufacture the CLV First Stage as a single prime contractor."
  • Jason-1 celebrates 4th year in orbit Thales 07 Dec 2005 -- Initially designed for a service life of three years, Jason-1, the French-American ocean observation satellite, today celebrated its fourth year of operation in orbit. Jason-1 was launched on December 7, 2001. It was the first satellite to be built on Proteus, a platform purpose-designed by Alcatel Alenia Space in partnership with French space agency CNES for small satellites in low Earth orbit.
  • Agreement Reached for Galileo Programme Facilities – A Major Step Forward for Europe EADS 06 Dec 2005 -- The future Galileo Concessionaire has agreed the locations of the various facilities under its responsibility that are required for the successful deployment of the Galileo Programme.
  • Agreement reached for Galileo Programme facilities - a major step forward for Europe Thales 06 Dec 2005 -- The future Galileo Concessionaire has agreed the locations of the various facilities under its responsibility that are required for the successful deployment of the Galileo Programme.
  • Russia Postpones Launch Of U.S. Communications Satellite RFE/RL 06 Dec 2005 -- Russia's space agency today postponed indefinitely the launch of a U.S. communications satellite, citing a flaw in the Russian booster rocket.
  • Alcatel Alenia Space wins new satellite contract Chinasat 6B from ChinaSatcom Thales 05 Dec 2005 -- Alcatel Alenia Space announced today that it has signed a contract with ChinaSatcom (China Satellite Communication Corporation) to design and manufacture the new-generation Chinasat 6B communication and broadcast satellite. Dedicated to television broadcasting, this satellite will enable ChinaSatcom to expand its services in China. After Chinasat 9 in 2004, this is the second contract signed with ChinaSatcom and the fourth satellite contract signed with a Chinese operator, making Alcatel Alenia Space a leading supplier of satellites to China.
  • Successful Test for the Arrow Weapon System Israel Aerospace Industries 02 Dec 2005 -- Another successful test of the "Arrow" weapon system was conducted today. It was the fourteenth Arrow Interceptor test, and the ninth test of the complete weapon system.
  • Northrop Grumman Establishes New Space Exploration Organization Northrop Grumman 02 Dec 2005 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has created an organization dedicated to developing and executing the company's growing list of space exploration opportunities with NASA.
  • EADS SPACE Acquires Dutch Space EADS 01 Dec 2005 -- Dutch Space BV, the largest space company in the Netherlands and leading international space industry supplier joins EADS SPACE, Europe’s number one in space. In the presence of the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Mr L.J Brinkhorst, EADS SPACE CEO François Auque and the CEO of Dutch Space Ben Spee signed the acquisition contract integrating Dutch Space into the EADS SPACE group of companies. This transaction confirms EADS' leading role in European space business as EADS now integrates space industry in five European countries.
  • U.S. Landsat 5 Satellite Experiencing Technical Difficulties Washington File 01 Dec 2005 -- Landsat, the longest-running satellite program providing vital images of the Earth's surface from space, has been suspended until a technical problem is resolved, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced November 29.
  • Solar Spacecraft Celebrates 10th Anniversary Washington File 01 Dec 2005 -- The solar and heliospheric observatory (SOHO) spacecraft -- a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) -- celebrates its 10th anniversary December 2.
  • European Spacecraft Finds Water Ice Buried on Mars VOA 01 Dec 2005 -- A European spacecraft has detected deep deposits of water ice beneath Mars' surface near the planet's north pole.

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