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Spacecraft, Launch Vehicles & Satellites
 
PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS SPACE FORCE DIRECTIVE
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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Space Force will be part of Air Force

Source: U.S. Air Force


Space Force will be part of Air Force

Source: U.S. Air Force


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WASHINGTON -- President Trump signed a directive that would institute a Space Force within the United States armed forces. Rather than be a stand-alone branch, the Space Force would fall under the Air Force pending congressional approval. Similar to the relationship between the Marine Corps and Navy, the Space Force would have its own chief of staff.

The last new branch was the Air Force, founded in 1947.

Source:  Stars and Stripes
Associated URL: www.stripes.com
Source Date: February 19, 2019
Posted: 02/19/2019

 
 
REMOVEDEBRIS: SUCCESS FOR HARPOON EXPERIMENT
Friday, February 15, 2019
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Source: SSTL


Source: SSTL


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GUILDFORD, U.K. -- The harpoon was fired Feb. 8, 2018 at a speed of 20 meters per second and penetrated a target made of satellite panel material. The harpoon and 1.5 meter target boom were designed by a team at Airbus in Stevenage UK. The photo above shows the harpoon target bottom left, with the onboard camera to the right. The spherical structure in the center with the white cover is the net housing.

The success of the harpoon firing marks the third successful experiment for the RemoveDEBRIS project which has already demonstrated a net capture experiment and trialed its state-of-the-art LiDAR based vision navigation system to identify a target cubesat.

The RemoveDEBRIS satellite platform was designed and manufactured by SSTL to house two target cubesats and four debris removal technologies -- a net, a harpoon, vision based navigation using cameras and LiDaR, and a de-orbit dragsail. The spacecraft is operated in orbit by SSTL's engineers from our Spacecraft Operations Centre here in Guildford.

The RemoveDEBRIS team is now preparing for the final experiment, which is set to take place in March and sees RemoveDEBRIS inflate a sail that will drag the satellite into Earth’s atmosphere where it will be destroyed.

The US Space Surveillance Network tracks 40,000 objects and it is estimated that there are more than 7,600 tons of ‘space junk’ in and around Earth’s orbit - with some moving faster than a speeding bullet, approaching speeds of 30,000 miles per hour.

The RemoveDEBRIS consortium consists of:

-- Mission and consortium coordination -- Surrey Space Centre (UK)

-- Satellite system engineering -- ArianeGroup (France)

-- Platform, avionics and spacecraft operations -- SSTL (UK)

-- Harpoon -- Airbus (UK)

-- Net -- Airbus (Germany)

-- Vision based navigation -- CSEM (Switzerland)/ INRIA/ Airbus (France)

-- CubeSat dispensers -- Innovative Solutions in Space (Netherlands)

-- Target CubeSats -- Surrey Space Centre (UK)/ Stellenbosch University (South Africa)

-- Dragsail -- Surrey Space Centre (UK)

Source:  SSTL
Associated URL: www.sstl.co.uk.
Source Date: February 15, 2019
Posted: 02/18/2019

 
 
BALL AEROSPACE TO BUILD SPACECRAFT FOR NASA'S SPHEREX MISSION
Friday, February 15, 2019
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SPHEREx

Source: JPL


SPHEREx

Source: JPL


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BOULDER, Colo. -- Ball Aerospace was selected by NASA to build the spacecraft for the Spectro Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), a Medium-class Explorer mission. Ball is also responsible for the system integration and test, support for integration of the spacecraft onto a launch vehicle and commissioning of the spacecraft after launch.

The SPHEREx mission will study the nature of physics that drove cosmic inflation in the early universe; determine the properties of interstellar ices, a key reservoir for water and biogenic material in the early phases of star and planet formation; and probe the cosmic history of galaxy formation. Dr. James Bock of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) is the principal investigator for SPHEREx and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the managing center.

The SPHEREx bus will be based on the Ball Aerospace customizable and proven line of Ball Configurable Platform (BCP) spacecraft, designed for flexible, cost-effective applications, using a common spacecraft bus and standard payload interfaces to reduce cost, streamline payload accommodation and minimize delivery time. T

Source:  www.ball.com
Source Date: February 15, 2019
Posted: 02/15/2019

 

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