China has completed construction of the world’s largest radio telescope.
State-run media reported the final sections of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), built among mountains in southwestern China, have been placed into position.
The telescope is expected to begin operations in September after the completion of tests. FAST dwarfs the Arecibo telescope, which at about 300 meters in diameter had been the largest before FAST. [Reuters]
The Soyuz rocket that will carry the next crew to the International Space Station is now on the launch pad at Baikonur. The Soyuz rolled out to the pad Monday in advance of a launch scheduled for Wednesday at 9:36 p.m. Eastern. The Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft will bring Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, American astronaut Kate Rubins and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi to the ISS. [TASS]
NASA’s Juno spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Jupiter late Monday night. The spacecraft fired its main engine for 35 minutes starting at 11:13 p.m. Eastern, slowing the spacecraft enough to enter a 53-day orbit around the planet, as planned. Project officials said the spacecraft was in good health. Juno, a New Frontiers-class planetary science mission launched in 2011, will brave the powerful radiation environment around Jupiter to study the planet’s interior and its magnetic field through early 2018. [SpaceNews]
Airbus Safran Launchers will have to wait until August for a European Commission ruling on its stake in Arianespace. The joint venture, which completed a deal between its parent companies last week, is awaiting the outcome of an antitrust investigation into its plans to become the majority owner of Arianespace by purchasing the shares currently owned by the French space agency CNES. The deadline for that investigation has been extended twice, and is now Aug. 10. [SpaceNews]
NASA extended a number of its current planetary missions Friday, but turned down one proposal to send the Dawn spacecraft to another asteroid. The project had proposed sending Dawn, currently in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, to a smaller asteroid named Adeona in 2019. That mission would have required Dawn to start leaving Ceres this month. NASA elected instead to keep Dawn at Ceres after a senior review panel concluded that provided more scientific return than the Adeona flyby. NASA extended eight other missions, including six at Mars, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and New Horizons, which will fly past a Kuiper Belt object at the beginning of 2019. [SpaceNews]
A Progress cargo spacecraft left the ISS late Saturday. The Progress MS-01 cargo spacecraft undocked from the station at 11:48 p.m. Eastern to reenter over the South Pacific Ocean. Prior to departing, the Progress undocked from the station Friday and redocked a half-hour later to test a manual docking system. Roscosmos declared that test a success despite a thruster glitch that caused the spacecraft to wobble after docking. [Interfax]
A mission next year will test several techniques for orbital debris removal. The RemoveDebris spacecraft, being developed at the Surrey Space Centre in England, will test the effectiveness of a net, a harpoon and a drag sail to remove objects from orbit. The mission, scheduled for launch early next year, is being funded by the European Commission at a cost of about $14.4 million. [The Guardian]
Poland’s space agency has signed a cooperative agreement with its Chinese counterpart. The agreement, signed by the presidents of the two countries during a state visit in Warsaw in late June, covers joint research, monitoring and developing new telecommunications solutions. The POLSA space agency has previously signed cooperative agreements with its counterparts in France, Italy, Ukraine and Brazil. [SpaceNews]
South Korea plans to sell high-resolution images from a satellite launched last year. Kompsat-3A, also known as Arirang-3A, was built by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute and launched on a Dnepr rocket in March 2015. After more than a year of on-orbit tests, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said Monday it will begin commercial sales of images from the spacecraft. Arirang-3A is capable of taking images with resolutions of 0.5 meters or better. [Yonhap]
China plans to launch 14 new weather satellites by 2025. Those spacecraft include one FengYun-2 geostationary satellite, four FengYun-3 polar orbiting satellites and three FengYun-4 satellites, a next-generation version of the FengYun-2. Six other satellites will serve “multiple meteorological purposes,” according to a Chinese official. [Xinhua]