December 2018 Space News
- First GPS III satellite successfully launched AFNS 31 Dec 2018 -- The Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the first Global Positioning Systems III satellite Dec. 23 from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The Lockheed Martin-built satellitewas carried to orbit aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, Falcon 9 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. The satellite is known as "Vespucci," in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom the Americas were named.
- NASA Set to Make Space History Early in New Year VOA 31 Dec 2018 -- Just 33 minutes into the New Year, NASA's New Horizons probe will make space exploration history, flying by the most distant body ever explored.
- China launches six Yunhai-2 satellites for atmospheric environment research People's Daily 30 Dec 2018 -- China successfully sent six atmospheric environment research satellites and a test communication satellite into orbit Saturday.
- China's Chang'e-4 probe changes orbit to prepare for moon-landing People's Daily 30 Dec 2018 -- China's Chang'e-4 probe entered a planned orbit Sunday morning to prepare for the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.
- China Lunar Spacecraft in Position for Humanity's 1st-Ever Dark Side Landing Sputnik 30 Dec 2018 -- Orbiting the moon, China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander has moved into position in preparation for mankind's first landing on the far side of Earth's only natural satellite.
- Iran makes radar to detect satellites in low orbit: IRGC Deputy Cmdr IRNA 29 Dec 2018 -- Iranian experts have made radars that are capable of detecting satellites at the low Earth orbit, said the deputy commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Saturday.
- India Approves $1.4Bln for First Manned Spaceflight to be Launched in 2022 Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed and demonstrated most of the baseline technologies essential for undertaking a human spaceflight mission. Prior to the actual launch, two unmanned flights in full complement will be carried out to gain confidence on the technology and mission management aspects.
- China Launches More Rockets than US, Russia in 2018 Sputnik 28 Dec 2018 -- China launched a third telecommunication technology test satellite early Tuesday morning, marking the country's 37th space rocket launch of 2018.
- China's BeiDou launches global service today People's Daily 27 Dec 2018 -- China's Beidou Navigation Satellite System will start providing global services on Thursday, as announced by the China Satellite Navigation Office at a news conference in Beijing.
- What You Need to Know About Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome Sputnik 27 Dec 2018 -- The Soyuz-2.1a rocket with two Russian and 26 foreign satellites lifted off from the Vostochny space center in Russia's Far East on Thursday, which became the fourth launch from the cosmodrome. The Vostochny cosmodrome is the first civilian spaceport in Russia, designed to prepare and launch spacecraft for scientific, socio-economic and commercial purposes.
- Russian Soyuz-2.1a Rocket With Satellites Blasts Off From Vostochny Cosmodrome Sputnik 27 Dec 2018 -- The Russian Soyuz-2.1a rocket carrying Russian Kanopus-V satellites number five and number six and foreign spacecraft successfully lifted off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome on Thursday, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
- Russian State Commission Approves Soyuz-2.1a Launch From Vostochny Cosmodrome Sputnik 27 Dec 2018 -- A Russian state commission, which gathered at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country's Far East, approved the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with two Russian Kanopus-V satellites and 26 smaller spacecraft from the spaceport, Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Thursday.
- China tops space launch list for 2018 People's Daily 26 Dec 2018 -- Stats show the number of space launches from China this year has hit 37, making China the top destination in the world for space launches for the first time. This follows a launch on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 of a telecommunication satellite.
- US military launches most powerful GPS satellite into orbit Press TV 24 Dec 2018 -- The US military has finally launched its most powerful Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite into space after delaying the operation several times.
- Russian Law Enforcement Examining Samples From Soyuz Spacecraft Hole RFE/RL 24 Dec 2018 -- Russia's Roskosmos space agency has turned over to law enforcement agents samples taken from a mysterious hole in a Soyuz capsule docked at the International Space Station (ISS).
- Russian-U.S. Space Cooperation Falls Back To Earth RFE/RL 23 Dec 2018 -- When a SpaceX rocket blasted off on December 5, sending a load of cargo to resupply the International Space Station (ISS), it was a soaring example of how private companies are helping fuel the next generation of U.S. space exploration.
- SpaceX Launches US Military GPS Satellite After Several Delays Sputnik 23 Dec 2018 -- The launch of the rocket with a $500 million cargo was initially scheduled for December 18 but was later postponed several times due to technical and weather issues.
- Roscosmos Selects Super-Heavy Rocket Concept Designed for Moon Flights - Source Sputnik 23 Dec 2018 -- The scientific and technical council of Russia's Space Corporation Roscosmos has chosen the variant proposed by the Progress Rocket and Space Center (SRC Progress) and the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin as the main concept of the new super-heavy rocket for flights to the Moon, a Russian space industry source told Sputnik.
- China begins space-based broadband project People's Daily 22 Dec 2018 -- China launched a communications satellite on Saturday, marking the start of construction of a vast space-based communications network capable of covering the entire world with broadband internet service.
- China's first private rocket production base begins operation People's Daily 22 Dec 2018 -- China's first private carrier rocket production base has started operation in Huzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, according to the Beijing-based rocket maker LandSpace.
- SpaceX Pospones Launch of US Air Force's First GPS III Satellite...Again Sputnik 22 Dec 2018 -- SpaceX made another attempt of launching a Falcon 9 rocket for the US Air Force GPS III mission. The launch was initially scheduled for December 18 and was later postponed due to technical and weather issues.
- China Successfully Launches 1st Satellite of Newest Hongyun Project Sputnik 22 Dec 2018 -- China on 22 December successfully launched the first satellite of its Hongyun project, which seeks to create a network of communication satellites on the low Earth orbit in order to provide stable internet connection to the country's remote regions, the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) said.
- Nation's 1st private rocket factory begins operation People's Daily 21 Dec 2018 -- The first privately owned carrier rocket factory in China, and the largest of its kind in Asia, recently began operations and is set to build what is expected to be the country's biggest privately designed rocket.
- Three Members Of ISS Crew Return To Earth After 197 Days In Space RFE/RL 20 Dec 2018 -- Three crew members of the International Space Station (ISS) have returned to Earth as they completed their 197-day mission.
- GSLV-F11 successfully launches GSAT-7A Press Information Bureau 19 Dec 2018-- Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-F11) successfully launched the communication satellite GSAT-7A from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) in Sriharikota today.
- France's CSO-1 military observation satellite in orbit Thales 19 Dec 2018 -- The CSO-1 military observation satellite was successfully launched today by Arianespace, using a Soyuz rocket from the Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. Developed for the French Ministry for the Armed Forces by French space agency CNES, delegated as contracting authority by French defense procurement agency DGA, it was built by Airbus Defence and Space, and features a very-high-resolution optical observation instrument built by Thales Alenia Space.
- China warns US against 'weaponizing' space Press TV 19 Dec 2018 -- China has opposed the "weaponization" of space by the United States, a day after President Donald Trump ordered the creation of a new command center for controlling military space operations.
- China Warns US Against 'Turning Space Into the New Battleground' Sputnik 19 Dec 2018 -- US President Donald Trump's recent call for the creation of a new space agency within the Pentagon caught the attention of Chinese officials this week, and Beijing is stressing its concern that the US will weaponize space.
- India Succesfully Launches Military Communications Satellite Sputnik 19 Dec 2018 -- The Indian Air Force's (IAF) long pending dedicated communications GSAT-7A satellite is set to radically transform the country's network-centric warfare capabilities, as it will be able to accomplish all communication-related tasks, whether standalone or network-dependent, that are part of defence preparedness and operations.
- Missile Defense Agency Awards Lockheed Martin Contract to Design, Manufacture and Construct Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii Lockheed Martin 18 Dec 2018 -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) was awarded a $585 million contract by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to design, develop and deliver its Homeland Defense Radar-Hawaii (HDR-H) in Oahu, Hawaii.
- Turkey - Patriot Missile System and Related Support and Equipment DSCA 18 Dec 2018 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Turkey of eighty (80) Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T) missiles, sixty (60) PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
- Trump Directs Pentagon To Create U.S. Space Command RFE/RL 18 Dec 2018 -- U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the establishment of a space command that will oversee the country's military operations in space.
- Trump Orders Pentagon to Create a Special Command for Military Space Ops Sputnik 18 Dec 2018 -- Earlier on Tuesday, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the US has created a new kind of armed forces - space troops intended to ensure American military leadership in space.
- Text of a Memorandum from the President to the Secretary of Defense Regarding the Establishment of the United States Space Command The White House 18 Dec 2018
- Remarks by Vice President Pence at Kennedy Space Center The White House 18 Dec 2018
- U.S. Air Force To Launch New Generation Of GPS Satellites RFE/RL 17 Dec 2018 -- The U.S. Air Force is preparing to launch the first of a new generation of GPS satellites, with the goal of providing more accuracy and security in the face of jamming threats from adversaries, including Russia.
- US Prepares First Generation III GPS Satellites for Launch Sputnik 17 Dec 2018 -- The US Air Force is readying its first launch of a new generation of global positioning satellites. However, the program is behind schedule, over budget and generally fraught with problems.
- Russia to Decommission Carrier Vehicle With Ukraine-Made Components - Source Sputnik 18 Dec 2018 -- The last launches of the Rokot carrier rocket fitted with a Ukrainian-made control system will be carried out in 2019, then the vehicle will be decommissioned, a source in the space industry told Sputnik on Tuesday.
- Canadian Military to Launch 3-Satellite System to Track Vessels Sputnik 15 Dec 2018 -- Canada is preparing to launch a group of three satellites to track ships near the nation's coast and also track vessels in parts of the world where Canada conducts military operations with allied nations, the Department of National Defense (DND) announced in a press release.
- Russian Military Satellite Meridian to Be Launched in Early 2019 - Source Sputnik 14 Dec 2018 -- Russian military satellite Meridian will be launched from Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the first quarter of 2019, a source in the aerospace industry told Sputnik.
- NASA Successfully Tests Orion Launch Abort System Sputnik 14 Dec 2018 -- The Orion spacecraft completed a successful cold weather ground test of a launch abort system, aerospace giant Northrop Grumman said in a press release.
- China's Chang'e-4 probe enters lunar orbit People's Daily 13 Dec 2018 -- China's Chang'e-4 probe decelerated and entered the lunar orbit Wednesday, completing a vital step on its way to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.
- AFSPC assumes COMSATCOM procurement responsibility for DoD AFNS 12 Dec 2018 -- The Air Force Space Command commander assumed responsibility for procurement of commercial satellite communications services for the Department of Defense from the Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency December 12. The move is in accordance with Section 1601(a) of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.
- Russian Cosmonauts Investigate Mysterious Hole In ISS During Six-Hour Space Walk RFE/RL 12 Dec 2018 -- Russia's space agency said two cosmonauts took samples of the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS) as part of efforts to resolve the mystery of a small hole found in a Soyuz spacecraft docked at the station.
- SM-3 Block IIA Launched From Aegis Ashore Successfully Intercepts Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile Target During Operational Test MDA 11 Dec 2018 -- The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy sailors manning the Aegis Ashore Missile Defense Test Complex (AAMDTC) at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) at Kauai, Hawaii, successfully conducted Flight Test Integrated-03 (FTI-03).
- Chang'e-4: A mission to the far side of the moon People's Daily 11 Dec 2018 -- China has launched its Chang'e-4 lunar probe to explore the dark side of the moon, which will be the first soft landing on the far side of the moon in human history.
- Happy Space Trails: NASA's Voyager 2 Probe Departs Solar System Sputnik 10 Dec 2018 -- On December 10, the Voyager 2 probe became the second man-made object to leave our solar system, crossing the barrier between the sun's area of influence and the wilds of interstellar space. Only its sister probe, Voyager 1, has made this journey before.
- Launch of Delta IV Heavy Rocket With US Spy Satellite Canceled - Operator Sputnik 09 Dec 2018 -- The launch of the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle with a US military reconnaissance satellite for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) was called off seven seconds before launch, the launch's operator United Launch Alliance (ULA) reported.
- STPSat-5 Successfully Launched from Vandenberg AFB AFNS 08 Dec 2018 -- The Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched Space Test Program Satellite 5, or STPSat-5, into orbit via Spaceflight Industries' fully dedicated smallsat rideshare mission aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle on Dec. 3 from Space Launch Complex 4E, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 10:34 a.m. PST.
- SpaceX Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Arrives at ISS - NASA Sputnik 08 Dec 2018 -- A SpaceX unmanned Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Saturday, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s live stream showed.
- Space Station Astronauts Get Holiday Treats Delivered After Delay VOA 08 Dec 2018 -- A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship finally delivered more than 2,500 kilograms of holiday treats Saturday to the International Space Station after a communications drop-out delayed the shipment.
- China launches two satellites for Saudi Arabia People's Daily 07 Dec 2018 -- China launched two satellites for Saudi Arabia on a Long March-2D rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 12:12 p.m. Friday.
- Saudi Arabia Successfully Launches Saudi Sat 5A and Saudi Sat 5B Satellites SPA 07 Dec 2018 -- Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), has extended his congratulations to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince and Vice President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Defense on the successful launch of the Saudi Sat 5A and the Saudi Sat 5B satellites today, December 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm Beijing time on the Long March 2D from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center of the People's Republic of China.
- China Successfully Puts 2 Saudi Satellites Into Orbit – Space Corporation Sputnik 07 Dec 2018 -- China has successfully put into orbit two Saudi Arabia's satellites – SaudiSat 5A and SauditSat 5B, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said in a statement.
- India's First Fully Private Satellite Placed in Orbit by SpaceX Sputnik 04 Dec 2018 -- The ExseedSat-1, built with the contributions of several ham operators and with the help of small Indian firms, is expected to play a major role during natural disasters as it facilitates effective two-way communication through a simple hand-held walkie-talkie with a beam antenna.
- Manned Soyuz Spacecraft 'Successfully Docks' At ISS RFE/RL 03 Dec 2018 -- The first manned Soyuz flight since an aborted launch in October has "successfully docked" at the International Space Station (ISS), Russian space agency Roskosmos says.
- Trio Prepares For First Soyuz Manned Launch Since October Accident RFE/RL 02 Dec 2018 -- One Russian cosmonaut and two astronauts from the United States and Canada are set to board the first manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) since an aborted launch in October.
- UK Will Build Its Own Satellite-Navigation System After Brexit Sputnik 01 Dec 2018 -- UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that Britain would explore the possibility of building its own satellite navigation system instead of relying on the EU's Galileo, compelling another minister in her Cabinet to resign.
- NASA Awards $196Mln Contract to Build, Maintain Infrared Telescope Sputnik 01 Dec 2018 -- The Harris Corporation has been awarded a contract worth nearly $200 million to build and service the optical assembly on the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), the proposed successor to the Hubble, NASA announced in a press release.
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