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CYGNUS SPACECRAFT SUCCESSFULLY REBOOSTS THE ISS
Monday, June 27, 2022
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.Source: Northrop Grumman


Source: Northrop Grumman


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DULLES, Va. -- Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft successfully boosted the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS). Docked to the ISS since February, Cygnus fired its main onboard engine to adjust the orbit of the station to the desired altitude to support upcoming operations. The station orbits approximately 250 miles above earth and requires a periodic reboost.

The successful operation incorporated lessons learned from an earlier reboost attempt that was suspended as a precautionary measure. Investigation by engineers showed that the observed parameters were as expected for the reboost and flight limits were adjusted for Saturday's successful attempt.

Reboost is the latest in a series of improvements Northrop Grumman has made to the spacecraft to meet customer needs since its first mission to the station in 2013. The company has increased the amount of cargo it can carry to the station with a larger cargo module, added lighter and more powerful solar arrays and fuel tanks, and upgraded many of its systems to make reboost possible.

To date, the Cygnus spacecraft has delivered more than 112,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the astronaut crews aboard the ISS. The Cygnus vehicle launched in February will remain docked until later this month, when it will depart the station and conduct a satellite deployment before performing a safe, controlled reentry over the Pacific Ocean.

Under a separate development program, the company is combining proven Cygnus flight systems with advanced crew-focused technology to design a safe, reliable and cost-effective Commercial Space Station for NASA and other commercial space customers after the ISS is retired.

Northrop Grumman is a technology company, focused on global security and human discovery. Our pioneering solutions equip our customers with capabilities they need to connect, advance and protect the U.S. and its allies. Driven by a shared purpose to solve our customers’ toughest problems, our 90,000 employees define possible every day.

Source:  Northrop Grumman
Associated URL: northropgrumman.com

 
THALES ALENIA SPACE REACHES MAJOR MILESTONE IN CRISTAL MISSION
Monday, June 27, 2022
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.Source: Airbus


Source: Airbus


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TOULOUSE, France -- Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), signed an amendment to the CRISTAL contract with Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor for the satellite. The amendment provides for the development and qualification of IRIS, the Interferometric Radar Altimeter for Ice and Snow to be carried on the Copernicus polaR Ice and Snow Topography ALtimeter (CRISTAL) mission. CRISTAL is part of the European Space Agency’s Copernicus Expansion program, in partnership with the European Commission. Copernicus is a European flagship program providing Earth observation and in situ data, along with a broad range of services for environmental monitoring and protection, climate monitoring and natural disaster assessment to improve the quality of life for all European citizens.

The signature of this amendment marks a critical step forward in the CRISTAL mission, designed to measure the thickness of sea ice and the height of ice caps - two key indicators of climate change. Thales Alenia Space has completed the first phase in this contract (B2), awarded by Airbus in 2020, concerning the preliminary design of the altimeter, with the instrument passing its preliminary design review. It now enters the detailed design, qualification and final development phase (phase CD). The altimeter will be delivered to Airbus in 2025 for integration in the CRISTAL satellite, slated for launch in 2027.

The CRISTAL satellite will feature, for the first-time, a dual-frequency Ku/Ka-band radar altimeter to measure and monitor sea-ice thickness and overlying snow depth. Measurements of sea-ice thickness will support maritime operations and also help plan activities in the polar regions. IRIS will also measure and monitor changes in the height of ice sheets and glaciers around the world, using its interferometric radar capabilities. IRIS will significantly improve the measurement accuracy of its predecessor, SIRAL-2 (a Ku-band only altimeter on ESA’s CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer mission), thanks to its dual frequency operation and the addition of sea surface height measurement capability. The CRISTAL mission operates on a global scope and is a key to better understanding and monitoring the Earth’s climate in a context of rapid climate change.

The development of the IRIS altimeter will call on the legacy of several advanced altimeters produced by Thales Alenia Space for major programs, including SIRAL-2, Poseidon 4 on Sentinel-6/Jason-CS, AltiKa on the CNES/ISRO SARAL satellite and KaRIn on the CNES/JPL SWOT satellite. Thales Alenia Space is also the first company to make an interferometric SAR altimeter (SIRAL) to be proven in orbit, confirming its unrivaled expertise in interferometric radar electronics and antennas.

Source:  Thales
Associated URL: thalesgroup.com

 
SES-22 TO LAUNCH ON JUNE 29
Friday, June 24, 2022
LUXEMBOURG -- SES announced that SES-22 is currently being prepared for launch from SpaceX’s Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on June 29, 2022 at 5:04 pm / 23:04 pm.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, SES-22 will operate in the 135 degrees West orbital slot and will deliver TV and radio to millions of American homes and provide other critical data transmission services. SES-22 is expected to start operations by early August 2022.

The launch of SES-22 is part of a broader FCC program to clear a portion of C-band spectrum to enable wireless operators to deploy 5G services across the contiguous US (CONUS). In response to a mandate from the FCC, satellite operators such as SES are required to transition their existing services from the lower 300 MHz to the upper 200 MHz of C-band spectrum to make room for 5G.

SES completed all Phase I transition activities in September 2021, and is on track for completing Phase II transition activities to meet the FCC's December 2023 deadline.

Source:  SES
Associated URL: ses.com

 

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