DELTA IV HEAVY TO LAUNCH NROL-44• Rocket: Delta IV Heavy• Mission: NROL-44• Launch Date: Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020• Launch Period: 12:01 to 1:35 a.m. EDT (0401 to 0535 UTC)• Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Intelsat Finalizes Satellite and Launch Vehicle Contracts for U.S. C-band Spectrum TransitionBy INTELSAT CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONSSeptember 17, 2020Years of careful planning and significant up-front investments enable Intelsat’s early progress and pave the way for 5G in AmericaMcLean, VA – Intelsat, operator of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial network, today announced it has finalized all of its required contracts with satellite manufacturers and launch-vehicle providers to move forward and meet the accelerated C-band spectrum clearing timelines established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year.The company has entered into a formal agreement with U.S.-based Maxar Technologies to build the final satellite required to support its C-band transition and maintain the FCC’s post-transition, “same or better” quality-of-service standard. Earlier this summer, Intelsat announced manufacturing contracts with Maxar and U.S.-based Northrop Grumman for six satellites.Intelsat has contracted with SpaceX and Arianespace to launch these satellites on four separate launch vehicles, beginning in 2022. The diversity of manufacturers and launch-vehicle providers will lower transition program costs and help Intelsat mitigate potential launch-delay risks that could prevent the company from meeting the FCC’s accelerated clearing deadlines.“We have made exceptional progress to date in executing our transition plan,” said Intelsat Chief Services Officer Mike DeMarco. “We’re moving forward at an accelerated pace to clear portions of the C-band spectrum and help cement America’s leadership in 5G.”“We’re committed to maintaining this momentum, and we look forward to collaborating with our longstanding partners, Maxar, Northrop Grumman, SpaceX and Arianespace, on these important contracts to ensure we can continue to provide the high-quality, uninterrupted television, radio and data services that more than 100 million American homes and businesses have come to rely upon,” continued DeMarco.On August 14, Intelsat filed its final C-band spectrum transition plan with the FCC. The comprehensive plan details the steps required for Intelsat to reconfigure its satellite and terrestrial infrastructure to enable 5G deployment in C-band. Intelsat will relocate its existing customer services to the upper part of the C-band to make way for 5G services in the lower portion of the band.
The C-band satellites are set to launch in the summer of 2022.
https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1306770607560962049QuoteStanding down from tomorrow’s launch of Starlink due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple days. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed
Standing down from tomorrow’s launch of Starlink due to severe weather in the recovery area, which is likely to persist for a couple days. Will announce a new target launch date once confirmed
FALCON 9The next SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral will launch the thirteenth batch of Starlink internet satellites from pad 39A on late September TBA, in the mid-day EDT. A Falcon 9 from pad 40 will launch the fourth Block III GPS satellite on September 30, sometime between 8pm and midnight EDT. A Falcon 9 will launch the fourthteenth Starlink batch from pad TBA on October TBA. And a Falcon 9 will launch the fifteenth batch of Starlink satellites on October TBA. Other upcoming Falcon 9 launches are TBA. The next Crew Dragon, Crew-1, is scheduled for launch from pad 39A on October 23 at 5:47am EDT. The launch window is instantaneous (sunrise is not until 7:28am). The launch time gets 22-26 min. earlier each day.
Discussion of the manifest, and updates. The best guess at the current manifest is in this post.
Date: November 10, 2020 - 2:31 p.m. EasternMission: Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich SatelliteDescription: Launching from Vandenberg Air Force base in California, the ocean observation satellite Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich is part of the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission. This U.S.-European collaboration will add to a long-term sea level dataset.
Northrop Grumman statement: “We have chosen not to continue development of the OmegA launch system at this time."WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman announced it will not move forward with the development of the OmegA rocket. The vehicle was designed for the sole purpose of competing for a National Security Space Launch contract award but didn’t make the cut.“We have chosen not to continue development of the OmegA launch system at this time,” Northrop Grumman spokeswoman Jennifer Bowman said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to play a key role in National Security Space Launch missions and leveraging our OmegA investments in other activities across our business.”
WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit has asked OneWeb’s bankruptcy court to require OneWeb pay $46.3 million on a contract termination fee for 35 LauncherOne missions it canceled in 2018. Virgin Orbit sued the megaconstellation startup 15 months ago over a 2015 launch contract that called for 39 LauncherOne missions, with options for 100 more. OneWeb canceled all but four of those launches, none of which have occurred. Virgin Orbit asserted that the cancellation triggered a $70 million termination fee, of which $46.3 million remains outstanding. OneWeb said in August 2019 that the contract allowed for termination without cause, and for prior payments — of which it made $66 million — to apply to the termination fee. The District Court of the Southern District of New York, where Virgin Orbit filed its complaint, paused the lawsuit in April, two weeks after OneWeb filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the same court. In May and again in June OneWeb said in bankruptcy documents it did not owe payments to Virgin Orbit that would be passed on to a future owner. In July, the British government and Indian telecom giant Bharti Global announced plans to buy OneWeb out of bankruptcy and resume deployment of the company’s global low-Earth-orbit broadband constellation. Virgin Orbit, in a Sept. 10 court document, said it was not notified about how OneWeb recently characterized the launch contract. The launch company asked the court to “require the Debtors and/or the Successful Bidder(s) to cure all defaults under any assumed Virgin Notice Contracts existing as of the date of assumption, which amounts should be not less than $46,323,851.”OneWeb spokesperson Katie Dowd said by email Sept. 11 that the company would not comment on why it said it owes zero dollars and not $46.3 million.
Sept. 30/Oct. 1Falcon 9 • GPS 3 SV04Launch time: 0155 GMT on 1st (9:55 p.m. EDT on 30th/1st)Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
This launch is no longer flight 15, so I would presume launch is NET October.https://www.rocketlabusa.com/about-us/updates/new-blog-post-2/"Rocket Lab To Launch Commercial Earth-Imaging Rideshare Mission For Planet, Canon ElectronicsThis rideshare mission will be Electron’s 15th launch overall and fifth in 2020, making Electron the second most-frequently launched U.S. rocket this year."
Sept. 21, 2020RELEASE 20-092NASA Publishes Artemis Plan to Land First Woman, Next Man on Moon in 2024...Early Artemis MissionsFollowing a successful hot fire test, the core stage will be shipped to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for integration with the spacecraft. NASA will launch an SLS and an Orion together on two flight tests around the Moon to check performance, life support, and communication capabilities. The first mission – known as Artemis I – is on track for 2021 without astronauts, and Artemis II will fly with crew in 2023.In the Phase 1 plan, NASA notes additional details about conducting a new test during the Artemis II mission – a proximity operations demonstration. Shortly after Orion separates from the interim cryogenic propulsion stage, astronauts will manually pilot Orion as they approach and back away from the stage. This demonstration will assess Orion’s handling qualities and related hardware and software to provide performance data and operational experience that cannot be readily gained on the ground in preparation for rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking, as well as undocking operations in lunar orbit beginning on Artemis III.While preparing for and carrying out these flight test missions, NASA already will be back on the Moon robotically – using commercial delivery services to send dozens of new science investigations and technology demonstrations to the Moon twice per year beginning in 2021.In 2024, Artemis III will be humanity’s return to the surface of the Moon - landing the first astronauts on the lunar South Pole. After launching on SLS, astronauts will travel about 240,000 miles to lunar orbit aboard Orion, at which point they will directly board one of the new commercial human landing systems, or dock to the Gateway to inspect it and gather supplies before boarding the landing system for their expedition to the surface.Wearing modern spacesuits that allow for greater flexibility and movement than those of their Apollo predecessors, astronauts will collect samples and conduct a range of science experiments over the course of nearly seven days. Using the lander, they will return to lunar orbit before ultimately heading home to Earth aboard Orion.Work is progressing rapidly on the Gateway. NASA will integrate the first two components to launch – the power and propulsion element and the habitation and logistics outpost – in 2023. This foundation for the Gateway will be able to operate autonomously, conducting remote science experiments when astronauts are not aboard. NASA has selected the first two science instrument suites to conduct space weather investigations in lunar orbit before crew visits.While NASA has not made a final decision to use the Gateway for Artemis III, Artemis IV and beyond will send crew aboard Orion to dock to the Gateway, where two crew members can stay aboard the spaceship in orbit while two go to the surface. Over time, the outpost will evolve, with new modules added by international partners, allowing crew members to conduct increasingly longer lunar missions.As detailed in the agency’s concept for surface sustainability earlier this year, an incremental buildup of infrastructure on the surface will follow later this decade, allowing for longer surface expeditions with more crew. That concept calls for an Artemis Base Camp that would include new rovers, power systems, habitats, and more on the surface for long-term exploration of the Moon.Throughout the Artemis program, robots and humans will search for, and potentially extract, resources such as water that can be converted into other usable resources, including oxygen and fuel. By fine-tuning precision landing technologies as well as developing new mobility capabilities, astronauts will travel farther distances and explore new regions of the Moon.
Sept. 29/30Falcon 9 • GPS 3 SV04Launch time: 0155-0210 GMT on 30th (9:55-10:10 p.m. EDT on 29th)Launch site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida