Summary: 30.Jul.2020 - 04.Aug.2020

LAUNCHES

New New launch date targeted for Ariane 5/G-30/MEV-2/BSAT-4b
04.Aug.2020 - The progress of operations currently underway at the Final Assembly Building at the Guiana Space Centre has enabled 14 August to be envisioned as the launch date for Ariane Flight 253 (VA253). >>>

New Rocket Lab increases Electron's payload capacity
04.Aug.2020 - Rocket Lab announced a major performance increase to the Electron launch vehicle, boosting the company's payload lift capacity up to 300 kg. >>>

New PredaSAR chooses SpaceX to launch SAR satellite
04.Aug.2020 - PredaSAR Corporation announced that its first of 48 advanced commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites will launch on SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle. >>>

NASA elects to fly nanosatellites on next LauncherOne test flight
03.Aug.2020 - Virgin Orbit announced that its LauncherOne rocket will carry 11 small satellites onboard the company's upcoming Launch Demo 2 mission, as part of NASA's CubeSat Initiative (CSLI). The mission is currently planned to occur before the end of the year, with Virgin Orbit's carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl taking off from Mojave Air and Space Port in California. >>>

New launch date for VA253 to be announced Monday
02.Aug.2020 - The final countdown for Flight Ariane #253 (VA253) was halted at 2'14" before lift-off during a first launch attempt on 31 July due to the unexpected behaviour of a sensor inside the liquid hydrogen tank in the launcher's main cryogenic stage. >>>

Rocket Lab to resume Electron launches in August
02.Aug.2020 - Rocket Lab announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resume launches this month after identifying an anomalous electrical connection as the cause of an in-flight failure on 4 July 2020. With corrective measures underway, the next Electron launch has been scheduled for August from Launch Complex 1. >>>

Delay of the day: Ariane 5 ECA/Galaxy-30, MEV-2, BSAT-4b
31.Jul.2020 - The launch of an Ariane 5 with three spacecraft onboard was scrubbed about two minutes before the scheduled lift-off on 2130 UTC. >>>

Proton M launches two satellites in 18+ hour mission
31.Jul.2020 - Rocket: Proton M/Briz M; Payload: Ekspress-80, Ekspress-103; Date: 30 July 2020, 2125 UTC; Launch site: Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The Briz M upper stage released Ekspress-80 -- riding in the upper position in the dual-satellite stack -- at 1524 UTC on 31 July, followed by the deployment of Ekspress-103 17 minutes later. >>>

U.S. Mars mission lifts off
30.Jul.2020 - Rocket: Atlas V 541/Centaur; Payload: Mars 2020 (Perseverance rover and Ingenuity Mars helicopter); Date: 30 July 2020, 1150 UTC; Launch site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, USA. The Atlas V's Centaur upper stage initially placed the Mars 2020 spacecraft into a parking orbit around Earth. The engine fired for a second time and the spacecraft separated from the Centaur as expected. >>>

Russia, Kazakhstan sign another Baiterek deal
30.Jul.2020 - Russia's Energia Space Rocket Corporation signed a contract on creating the Baiterek [also: Baitarek] launch compound for Soyuz-5 next-generation rockets at the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, the Russian space agency Roskosmos reported. >>>

SATELLITES

New Iran's 'tumbling webcam' snaps U.S. air base
04.Aug.2020 - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has released detailed images of Al-Udeid Air Base - the Qatar-based home of the U.S. military's Central Command. The images were taken by Iran's new domestically-developed 'Noor' (Light) military satellite. >>>

L3Harris clears CDR for experimental satnav programme
03.Aug.2020 - L3Harris Technologies is on track to begin building the U.S. Air Force's first Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) after completing the programme's critical design review. >>>

China completes field calibration test of ocean observation satellites
03.Aug.2020 - Field calibration test of two ocean observation satellites has been completed in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, sources with the Ministry of Natural Resources said. >>>

Crew Dragon safely splashes down after demo flight to ISS
02.Aug.2020 - Two NASA astronauts splashed down safely in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday for the first time in a commercially built and operated U.S. crew spacecraft, returning from the International Space Station to complete a test flight. >>>

China's Mars probe completes first orbital correction
02.Aug.2020 - China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 successfully carried out its first orbital correction Sunday morning, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). >>>

HawkEye Cluster 2 is on track for launch
02.Aug.2020 - HawkEye 360 announced that their second cluster of satellites, HawkEye Cluster 2, has recently completed environmental testing, keeping our satellites on schedule for launch later this year with the Spaceflight rideshare mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9. >>>

TAS to partner with OHB system to build Copernicus CO2M
31.Jul.2020 - Thales Alenia Space has signed a €72 million first tranche contract with OHB System, prime contractor of the project, to develop the payload for the 2 satellites of the CO2M mission, as part of Europe's Copernicus programme. >>>

Mars 2020 Perseverance exits safe mode
31.Jul.2020 - Flight controllers for NASA's Mars 2020 mission have returned the spacecraft to nominal flight operations. >>>

Eutelsat and Intelsat sign agreement on 48° East orbital position
30.Jul.2020 - Eutelsat Communications and Intelsat S.A. have signed a long-term partnership agreement securing the 48° East orbital position. Eutelsat Quantum will be located at the position, where the operators both have orbital rights. >>>

BUSINESS

Eutelsat Communications S.A. results FY 2019-20
02.Aug.2020 - Eutelsat Communications reported financial results for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2020. >>>

Eutelsat to acquire European activities of Bigblu Broadband
02.Aug.2020 - Eutelsat Communications has reached an agreement with Bigblu Broadband to acquire its European satellite broadband activities. >>>

Telesat Canada results Q2 2020
30.Jul.2020 - Telesat announced its financial results for the three and six-month periods ending 30 June 2020. >>>

FEEDS & LINKS

New Northrop Grumman's EPS-R CAPS completes Delta CDR
04.Aug.2020 - Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed a delta Critical Design Review (dCDR) with the U.S. Space Force for the Enhanced Polar System Recapitalisation (EPS-R) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) programme. >>>

New ATLAS to advance satellite constellation management scheduling
04.Aug.2020 - ATLAS Space Operations has been selected by NASA for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II award to further the development of an algorithmic solution to develop satellite ground station contact schedules designed to optimise ground station antenna usage around a customer's mission requirements. >>>

NAVIGATION

China's BDS officially opens for global users
31.Jul.2020 - China declared the official commissioning of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) on Friday, marking the formal opening of the newly completed BDS-3 system for global users. >>>

RESEARCH

Global space economy grew to US$423.8 billion in 2019
31.Jul.2020 - The global space economy in 2019 grew more than US$9 billion over the previous year, reaching US$423.8 billion, according to new findings published by Space Foundation's 2020 second-quarter issue of The Space Report. >>>