A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the AsiaSat 9 satellite destined to provide television broadcast, video networking and data delivery services over the Asia-Pacific region. Launch occurred at 1852:16 GMT (2:52:16 p.m. EDT), beginning a series of maneuvers expected to last nine hours before AsiaSat 9 is deployed from the rocket.
SpaceX engineers are readying two Falcon 9 rockets for launches Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 from Florida and California, setting up another quick turnaround to first deploy a large TV broadcasting satellite for SES and EchoStar over the United States with a previously-flown booster, then add 10 more spacecraft to Iridium’s fleet of new-generation voice and data relay network.
Northrop Grumman announced Monday plans to acquire Orbital ATK, a company with a portfolio ranging from satellite manufacturing and orbital servicing to launch vehicles, missile defense and munitions, for approximately $9.2 billion, a combination officials promised will lead to better products at lower prices.
Returning home from more than a month in orbit, a SpaceX Dragon supply ship departed the International Space Station and parachuted into the Pacific Ocean on Sunday with nearly two tons of research specimens and hardware, including mice sent up to investigate how spaceflight affects eyesight and locomotion.
SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship returned to to Earth on Sunday with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research specimens and other hardware. The commercial capsule was released from the International Space Station’s robotic arm at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of Baja California occurred at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT).
Forecasting a future where satellite networks reach into vastly more ships, airplanes, homes and businesses, SES announced Monday it will buy at least seven high-capacity broadband and data relay satellites from Boeing for launch in 2021 into a rarely-used orbit several thousand miles over the equator.