First Iridium-NEXT Satellites enter Operation after Stellar Performance, Next Launch Re-Aligned for June

Satellite communications provider Iridium placed eight of its new satellites launched in January into active service after a complex ballet of orbital moves to position the new additions in the 66-satellite constellation while spiraling retiring satellites down from their operational orbits.

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China’s Tianzhou-1 Cargo Vehicle Completes First In-Space Refueling Test

China successfully completed its first refueling exercise in orbit between the Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft and the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, marking the completion of the last crucial demonstration before the country can begin the deployment of its planned modular Space Station currently expected to start in 2018.

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Secretive X-37B Space Plane sets new Endurance Record

The U.S. Air Force X-37B OTV-4 spacecraft on Saturday surpassed the record for the longest flight duration of any mission in the clandestine program, marking 675 days in orbit for the small winged space plane on its current mission reportedly dedicated to a series of technical demonstrations and space experiments.

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China’s Quantum Communications Trailblazer declared Operational after Stellar Performance

China’s Quantum Science Satellite was declared operational this week after five months of in-orbit testing, now set for a busy two-year mission demonstrating hack-proof communications by means of entangled photons as a trailblazer for what is widely considered the communications technology of the future.

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