News from the 65th International Astronautical Congress
SpaceNews Paris Bureau Chief Peter B. de Selding and Senior Staff Writer Jeff Foust are covering the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2014) in Toronto, this week.
What follows is a roundup of their coverge. Click on the headline to read the full article.
Monday, Sept. 29
Visa Issues Keep Russian, Chinese Engineers Away from IAC 2014
Multiple Russian and Chinese space engineers failed to obtain visas to attend the 65th International Astronautical Congress here this year, an absence that undermined space agency arguments that space cooperation should not be subject to short-term political issues.
Tuesday, Sept. 30
Space Station Partners in No Rush To Decide on Extension
The heads of the Canadian, European and Japanese space agencies said that their governments may not make decisions until 2016 on whether to continue to participate in the international space station beyond 2020.
JAXA Addresses Debris Issue with Epsilon Small-satellite Launcher
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency on Sept. 29 said that for the next launch of its new Epsilon small-satellite rocket, its upper stage will be discarded in an orbit low enough to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere in keeping with international debris-mitigation guidelines, avoiding the problem following the vehicle’s September 2013 inaugural flight.
Orbital To Make Decision on New Antares Engine by November
Orbital Sciences Corp. will make a decision on replacing the engine used in the first stage of its Antares rocket before submitting a proposal to NASA in November for a follow-on international space station cargo contract, a company official said.
Europeanized Soyuz Delivered Galileo Satellites to Useless Orbit
A Europeanized version of Russia’s Soyuz rocket placed two European navigation satellites into the wrong orbit in August because its hydrazine fuel line was installed too close to a supercold helium line on the fregat upper stage, European government officials said.
Wednesday, Oct. 1
ESA Missions, Rockot To Meet Debris-mitigation Guidelines”>For Upcoming ESA Missions, Rockot To Meet Debris-mitigation Guidelines
German-Russian commercial launch provider Eurockot on Sept. 30 said it had guaranteed its biggest customer, the European Space Agency, that the three upcoming Eurockot launches will end with the rocket upper stages being placed into an orbit that assures their atmospheric re-entry within 25 years.
UrtheCast To Select Providers of ISS Cameras Soon
A Canadian company that operates two cameras on the Russian segment of the international space station said Sept. 30 it will soon select a provider for optical and radar instruments it plans to install on a U.S. space station module in 2017.
India has five slots available on its PSLV launcher for missions heading into sun-synchronous orbit between 2015 and 2017, and expects that its more-powerful GSLV Mark 3 rocket, intended for geostationary-orbiting telecommunications satellites, ultimately will be able to accommodate one foreign/commercial launch a year, a senior Indian space official said.
Sierra Nevada and Stratolaunch Systems Studying Human Launch System
A scaled-down version of the Dream Chaser vehicle being developed by SNC would fly into orbit on Stratolaunch Systems’s air launch system as soon as the end of the decade in a concept the two companies unveiled Oct. 1
ExoMars Funding Commitment Needed in December, Thales Alenia Says
The prime contractor for Europe’s two-launch ExoMars mission on Oct. 1 said it is on schedule for both mission segments — one to launch in 2016, the other in 2018 — but that it needs a commitment from European governments in December to complete the agreed-to funding package.
Thursday, Oct. 2
India Seeking Outside Help on High-throughput Satellite
The Indian government wants a high-throughput satellite generating at least 100 gigabits-per-second in orbit within five years and is seeking international partners in its development, an Indian Space Research Organisation official said.
IAI Exec Bullish on Market for High-resolution Imaging Satellites
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), which builds high-resolution optical and radar satellites as well as telecommunications spacecraft, is positioning itself as the sole alternative to high-cost U.S. providers for nations that want very-high-resolution imaging satellites.
NanoRacks Identifies Root Cause of ISS Cubesat Deployment Failures
Two separate August failures of the NanoRacks satellite dispenser operated from the international space station — one a nondeployment of small satellites and the other an unplanned release of spacecraft — were both caused by overly tightened dispenser screws, Houston-based NanoRacks has concluded.
Friday, Oct. 3
Cubesat Revolution, Spotty Compliance with Debris Rules Fuel Dangerous Congestion in Low Earth Orbit
The world’s rocket and satellite owners are doing a mediocre job in respecting debris-mitigation rules, especially in low Earth orbit, where debris proliferation is the ugly underside of the fast-growing small- and microsatellite market, government and industry officials said.
European Re-entry Demonstrator Ready for November Test Flight
An experimental European Space Agency spacecraft designed to test re-entry technologies for future reusable vehicles is on track for launch in November, weeks before European ministers decide the future of the program’s next phase.
Sierra Nevada Reviews Options for Dream Chaser’s Future
As a protest it filed puts the next phase of NASA’s commercial crew program on hold, Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) executives said they are examining “strategic options” for keeping its Dream Chaser program going regardless of the protest’s outcome.