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Iran unveils homemade satellites, carrier

Iran unveiled four domestically- manufactured satellites on Monday, two years after it launched the first self-developed satellite into orbit, the local satellite Press TV reported.

Four national satellites, Fajr (Dawn), Rasad (Observation), Zafar (Victory) and Amirkabir I, and a satellite carrier Kavoshgar 4 (Explorer 4) were unveiled on Monday by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the report said.

The satellites would be put in orbit in the near future, Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Fajr is the first sensing satellite of the country, manufactured by Iran’s defense ministry, with the ability to change from the elliptical orbit of 300-450 kilometers to a circular orbit of 450 kilometers which increases the life expectancy of the satellite by one year and a half, according to the report.

Also, Rasad is the country’s first satellite for photography and carries remote measuring equipment and the images taken by it would be used in meteorology and identifying sea borders…

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Doh! Wrong Orbit

If you think you are experiencing an orbit problem, press a “1.” If you know your problem and want to change your orbit, press a “2…”

And you think you had a bad day?

News is kicking around about a Russian military research satellite that made it up, but the orbit is wrong.

Hate it when that happens.

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Oops-Heads Roll Over Russian Satellite Launch Failure Last Month

From Parabolicarc.com-

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired RSC Energia’s vice president Vyacheslav Filin and Roskosmos Deputy Head Victor Remishevsky over the Dec. 5 failure of a Proton rocket, which sent three expensive GLONASS navigation satellites to the bottom of the Pacific. The Russian leader also reprimanded Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov.

The failure resulted from the fourth stage transfer module being overloaded with fuel, causing the first three stages to under perform. The failure was deeply embarrassing to the Russian government because the three satellites would have completed the 24-satellite GLONASS constellation, allowing it to provide full global coverage for the first time. GLONASS is the Russian equivalent of the American Global Positioning System (GPS)…

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NASAWatch Entry and Comments…

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Programming error caused Russian satellite failure: report

Oops.

From Physorg.com-

“A number of specialists think that mistakes in the programming of the onboard computer system of the Proton rocket led to the engines sending the rocket too high and onto a faulty trajectory,” the source said.
The rocket carrying satellites for the Russian government navigation system Glonass, failed to reach the correct orbit Sunday after blasting off from Baikonur cosmodrome, the Russian space agency said.
The satellites apparently crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, a source in the space agency told RIA Novosti.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Prosecutor General Yury Chaika to investigate the loss of the satellites and name the people responsible, the Kremlin said in a statement on its website late Sunday…

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Soyuz TMA-19 returns home – ISS long term scheduling work

From Nasaspaceflight.com-

NASA astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin have landed back on Earth in their Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft. The trio touched down in the central steppes of Kazakhstan at 11:46 pm EST (04:46 Friday GMT). Meanwhile, ISS managers continue to refine the visiting vehicle manifest, which now reaches deep into 2012.

Soyuz TMA-19 Return:

The Soyuz Vehicle consists of three modules: the Orbital Module, the Descent Module (DM), and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module (IPM). All three modules nominally separate simultaneously, shortly after the deorbit burn is completed – at around 140 km altitude…

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A View from China About Obama’s Space Policy

Not much new here, but it’s interesting to see what others say about it. The closing focuses on international cooperation.

From Xinhuanet.com-

Since the 1950s, when the American began marching into the space, each U.S. administration has issued public summary of its main principles and goals for using space. There was no exception for the Obama administration.

On June 28, Obama unveiled his space policy, reiterating plans to send Americans to visit an asteroid by 2025 with the goal of sending astronauts to Mars in the mid-2030s, calling for more commercial and international sector cooperation on space exploration.

LANDING MARS INSTEAD OF THE MOON

The new space policy set far-reaching exploration milestones for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

According to the 14-page policy document, NASA will begin crewed missions beyond the moon, including sending humans to an asteroid by 2025. By the mid-2030s, the U.S. space agency will send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth…

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China says manned space station possible around 2020

From Physorg.com-

China’s Manned Space Engineering Project announced in a statement that it expected to launch a space laboratory before 2016 to study key technology involved in a space station, such as living conditions for astronauts.
The country would then develop and launch a core cabin and a second laboratory module around 2020, which would be assembled in orbit into a space station, it added.
The station would study technologies involved in long-term manned space flights, the statement said.
China had already announced plans to launch two unmanned modules next year, which are expected to undergo the nation’s first space docking — an essential step towards building the space station.
These steps are all part of the nation’s ambitious space exploration programme, which experts say it wants to put on a par with those of the United States and Russia.
China sees the programme as a symbol of its global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party’s success in turning around the fortunes of the formerly poverty-stricken nation…

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Nasawatch wonders why Bolden just got back from China and didn’t say anything about it.

Nasawatch entry and comments…

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Bolden Back from China – Issues Statement

NASA Admin Charlie Bolden is back from China, and issued a statement indicating that it was to lay the groundwork for cooperation, plus he made a point that this process was started in 2007.

From Nasa.gov-

On October 16-21, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden led a small delegation to China. The following is a statement from the Administrator regarding his visit:

“On behalf of the NASA delegation that traveled to China, I want to express my appreciation to the China Manned Space Engineering Office, our hosts for my visit. Our delegation conducted a very comprehensive visit to Chinese human spaceflight related facilities including the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and conducted meetings with relevant senior officials in the Chinese government.

“I am pleased that NASA was able to meet its objectives for the visit, which included becoming acquainted with relevant Chinese space officials and institutions, better understanding Chinese human spaceflight programs and plans, and reaching a common understanding of the importance of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit as the underlying principles of any future interaction between our two nations in the area of human spaceflight.

“I also had an opportunity to meet with my counterpart at the China National Space Administration to review the ongoing efforts of Space and Earth Science working groups, established in 2007, to explore areas of mutual interest…

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Nasawatch wants to know more. Check the Nasawatch entry and comments…

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Inside the Soviets’ Secret Failed Moon Program

From wired.com-

The Soviet lunar program was covered up, forgotten after failing to put a man on the moon. These rare photos from a lab inside the Moscow Aviation Institute show a junkyard of rarely-seen spacecraft, including a never-to-be-used Soviet lunar lander.

Soviet scientists were well ahead of their American counterparts in moon exploration before President John F. Kennedy pronounced the U.S. would put a man there first. The Soviets had already landed the probe Luna 2 on the surface of the moon in 1959 and had an orbiting satellite in 1966.

The Soviets developed a similar multi-step approach to NASA, involving a module used to orbit the moon and one for landing. Their version was decidedly less complex and lighter to account for inferior rockets. These photos show the LK “Lunar Craft” lander, which has a similar pod-over-landing gear structure but numerous key differences…

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NASA and Israel Space Agency Sign Statement of Intent, No Meltdown

Things that make you go “hmmmmmmm..”

A little over a month ago, NASA watchers and the media went into a major meltdown over a few words about NASA and Islam. Those were just words (PR). But today, news that NASA signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency hits the blogs. No meltdown yet. Interesting.

From Spaceref.com-

During a meeting Tuesday at NASA Headquarters in Washington, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Israel Space Agency Director General Zvi Kaplan signed a joint statement of intent to expand the agencies’ cooperation in civil space activities.

The signing followed a meeting between Bolden, Kaplan and Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Israel’s minister of Science and Technology. It advanced discussions that began when Bolden visited Israel in January.

The agencies agreed to identify new joint activities related to Earth and space science, life sciences, space exploration and other areas of mutual interest. The goal is to expand scientific exchanges and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers…

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Nasawatch entry and comments…

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