SmallSat Operators receive U.S. Government Contracts

Three SmallSat operators in the United States have received contracts to deliver Earth Observation and meteorology data to the U.S. government, further cementing a trend of growing CubeSat and MicroSatellite use for operational applications in Low Earth Orbit.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 Booster Landing on Ocean-going Drone Ship fails in rough Sea Conditions

SpaceX was not able to achieve the company’s next milestone on Sunday when their Falcon 9 first stage booster came in hot and made a hard landing in the latest attempt to fly the rocket to the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship located in the Pacific Ocean.

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Video: Falcon 9 Launch with U.S.-European Oceanography Satellite

Making its second launch from the West Coast, a SpaceX Falcon 9 lifted off from SLC-4E on Sunday, successfully delivering the Jason-3 satellite to orbit after a 56-minute ascent mission to begin a mission dedicated to the continuation of a two-decade record of Ocean Altimetry, tracking currents and winds across the world’s oceans.

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Photos: All Orbital Launches of 2015

The year 2015 saw 87 orbital launch attempts from spaceports across the globe – 84 missions reached orbit in a year that saw 82 successful orbital launches. Here are photos of all of 2015’s space launches.

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2015 Space Launch Statistics

The year 2015 saw a total of 87 known orbital launch attempts operated by seven nations from space ports in eight countries.

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NOAA 16 Satellite Breakup leaves Dozens of Debris in Orbit

The in-orbit break-up of the NOAA 16 weather satellite left a cloud of dozens of debris in orbit, data released by the Joint Space Operations Center indicates. The debris event was detected on November 25 when ground-based radars sensed a number of debris in the vicinity of the NOAA 16 satellite that had been retired since 2014.

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Europe & Africa make an Appearance in second DSCOVR Earth Image

NASA released a second image of Earth that was among the first light shots of the Deep Space Climate Observatory which had arrived on station at the Sun-Earth Lagrange Point 1 in June and is currently being commissioned for its mission of delivering space weather data and advanced warnings of impending solar storms as well as having a watchful eye on Earth, gathering multi-band images of the entire sunlit face of Earth and radiometric measurements of the planet’s energy balance.

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