Classified NROL-47 Found in Orbit by Satellite Trackers, Identity Confirmed as Topaz 5

The classified NROL-47 satellite launched by a Delta IV rocket on Friday had barely made its first lap around Earth when its identity as a radar reconnaissance satellite was revealed by amateur satellite trackers listening to the spacecraft’s radio transmissions, found to be in family with predecessor missions of the same kind.

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No Signs of Life from Russian-built AngoSat, Troubleshooting to Resume in April

The Russian-built AngoSat-1 communications satellite launched into orbit on December 26 has not shown any signs of life despite reports of communications with the satellite being restored after a temporary outage immediately after its arrival in a drift orbit above the equator.

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Twice-Flown Dragon Cargo Spacecraft Splashes Down

SpaceX’s Dragon C108.2 spacecraft departed the International Space Station after a month-long stay on Saturday via the first-ever ground-controlled release of a visiting vehicle, sending the spacecraft on a five-and-a-half hour return journey expected to culminate with a parachute-assisted splashdown landing

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Third Chinese Launch of the Week Deploys LKW-3 Land Survey Satellite

China conducted its third space launch in a span of just over four days on Saturday, involving a Long March 2D rocket lifting off from the country’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center to dispatch the third satellite in the LKW Land Survey Constellation into orbit.

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Delta IV Rocket Blasts Off from California with U.S. Spy Satellite

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket thundered off from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday on classified government business, lifting the secret NROL-47 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office to replenish the U.S. spy satellite fleet.

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India’s PSLV Rocket Returns to Flight with Successful Multi-Payload Delivery for Seven Nations

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle opened the country’s space flight year 2018 on Friday with an impressive Return-To-Flight mission lifting into orbit an assortment of 31 satellites of vastly different shapes and sizes for operators in seven different countries.

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China Continues Busy January with Dual-Satellite Launch for Beidou Navigation System

China continued its busy beginning of year push on Thursday with the launch of a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, carrying the next two Beidou-3 navigation satellites to join the country’s growing global navigation satellite system

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Indian PSLV Rocket set for Return To Flight Mission with 31 Satellites

India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is targeting liftoff on Friday on the rocket’s return to flight mission after a 2017 failure, aiming to lift into orbit a total of 31 satellites ranging from a large Indian Earth Observation satellite to various small satellites and CubeSats for remote sensing and technology demonstrations.

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Delay: ULA Delta IV Set for West Coast Launch with Classified National Reconnaissance Office Satellite

United Launch Alliance is gearing up for the final West Coast launch of the single-stick Delta IV rocket, planned from Vandenberg’s SLC-6 at 21:00 UTC on Thursday with the classified NROL-47 satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office to replenish the U.S. spy satellite fleet.

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China Opens 2018 Campaign with Launch of Second SuperView Imaging Satellite Duo

China opened its 2018 space launch campaign on Tuesday with the launch of the second pair of Gaojing Earth-Imaging Satellites joining the growing SuperView constellation delivering observation products for the commercial market.

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Top-Secret Zuma Spacecraft Blasts Off on First SpaceX Mission of 2018

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral under a veil of darkness Sunday night, both literally and figuratively with launch occurring at 1:00 UTC Monday morning, carrying into orbit the top-secret Zuma spacecraft which, from a public perspective, has all traits of a black project.

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2017 Space Launch Statistics

The year 2017 saw a total of 90 known orbital launch attempts from seven nations and space ports in eight different countries. 2017 had the second most orbital launch attempts of any year in the current century, short of 92 launches in 2014 and showing a slight increase from 2016 that had 85 known launch attempts.

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