Blue Origin Resumes New Shepard Testing with Crew Capsule 2.0 & “Mannequin Skywalker”

Blue Origin, after a 14-month hiatus, has resumed test flights of the company’s New Shepard sub-orbital launch system on Tuesday – debuting a new Propulsion Module and Crew Capsule 2.0, featuring large panoramic windows and upgrades for rapid re-usability for tourist and science missions to the edge of space.

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Soyuz MS-05 with Three-Nation Crew Targets Thursday Landing in Freezing Kazakh Steppe

Three International Space Station crew members from Russia, Italy and the U.S. are on the verge of closing out a four-and-a-half month space flight, set for a parachute-and-rocket assisted touchdown in the Kazakh steppe on Thursday aboard their Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft.

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Ariane 5 Closes 2017 with Four-Satellite Delivery for European Galileo Navigation System

Europe’s Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Center on Tuesday on its second mission in support of the Galileo Navigation Satellite System, aiming to add the next four members to the growing constellation set to reach operational strength in 2018 to begin offering global navigation services.

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Rocket Lab’s Electron Rocket Aborts at Ignition

Rocket Lab’s Electron, set for its second test launch from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, encountered a last-second ignition abort on Tuesday, shutting down its electric-pump-fed Rutherford engines just moments before liftoff when its computers detected an off-nominal parameter.

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Photos: Ariane 5 Rolls Out for Liftoff with Four Galileo Navigation Satellites

Europe’s Ariane 5 workhorse launch vehicle rolled to the ELA-3 launch pad at the Guiana Space Center on December 11, 2017 in preparation for launch with the second group of four Galileo satellites to take the navigation system one step closer to reaching its fully operational capability.

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Chinese Long March 3B Lifts AlcomSat-1 Dual-Purpose Communications Satellite for Algeria

China was in action again on Sunday, launching a Long March 3B rocket carrying the Chinese-built AlcomSat-1 communications satellite for operation by the Algerian Space Agency as a dual-purpose spacecraft for civilian and military communications.

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Cape Canaveral’s SLC-40 Re-Opens with Successful Falcon 9 Static Fire Test

Fifteen months after a Falcon 9 rocket went up in flames atop Cape Canaveral’s Space Launch Complex 40, the re-built facility supported its first Static Fire Test of a Falcon 9 rocket this week in preparation for SpaceX’s next resupply mission to the International Space Station set for liftoff as early as next Tuesday.

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Cygnus OA-8 Cargo Craft Departs ISS after Three-Week Stay for CubeSat Deployment & Re-Entry

After delivering over 3,200 Kilograms of cargo to the International Space Station, the Cygnus S.S. Gene Cernan departed the orbiting complex on Wednesday to close out a three-week stay and 24 hours of detailed radio interference testing to aid future crew vehicles arriving and departing the orbiting laboratory.

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Soyuz Returns to Flight with Lotos-S1 Electronic Intelligence Satellite

Coming on the heels of a failed launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome earlier in the week, Russia successfully launched a Soyuz 2-1B rocket from the country’s prime military launch site at Plesetsk, placing the Lotos-S1 No. 803 electronic intelligence-gathering satellite

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Previously Undetected Software Bug Potential Cause for Soyuz/Fregat Failure

The failure of a Soyuz 2-1B/Fregat-M rocket launching the Meteor-M 2-1 weather satellite and 18 international secondary payloads was traced back to a software bug on the rocket’s Fregat upper stage brought on by the unique parameters for Soyuz launches out of the Far Eastern Vostochny Cosmodrome.

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Soyuz/Fregat Suffer First Russian Launch Failure of 2017 with Meteor Weather Satellite & MicroSats

Russia suffered its first launch failure of 2017 on Tuesday on the second Soyuz mission carried out from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country’s far east, claiming the loss of the Meteor-M 2-1 weather satellite and an international assortment of small satellites.

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Second Yaogan-30 Reconnaissance Satellite Trio Blasts off on Chinese Long March 2C Rocket

China was in action for the second time this week on Friday with the launch of a trio of Yaogan-30 satellites atop a Long March 2C rocket to join a growing constellation of what are believed to be electronic intelligence-gathering satellites residing in non-synchronous Low Earth Orbits 600 Kilometers in altitude.

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