I. INTRODUCTIONThis is a summary of astronautical activity during May 2013
II. SPACE TRANSPORTATION
A. Current Launch Activities2 May 2013: The Long March rocket’s primary payload was a high-resolution Chinese Earth-
observation satellite. >>¶
7 May 2013: Arianespace’s light-lift Vega launcher performed an intricate mission from the Spaceport today, successfully delivering three satellite passengers at two different Sun-synchronous orbital altitudes during a flight lasting just over two hours. It was Vega’s second mission from French Guiana, and further demonstrated the capabilities of a vehicle that completes Arianespace’s launcher family - joining its medium-lift Soyuz and heavyweight Ariane 5. >>¶
15 May 2013: International Launch Services (ILS) launched their Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, with lift off occurring at 17:02 GMT. The Proton’s Briz-M (Breeze-M) Upper Stage is now tasked with a multi-hour mission to deploy the EUTELSAT 3D telecommunications satellite into its desired transfer orbit. >>¶
16 May 2013: A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket boosted a new Global Positioning System satellite into space Wednesday, the latest in a series of upgraded navigation beacons with improved accuracy and longevity. The Atlas 5’s RD-180 first stage engine roared to life and throttled up at 5:38 p.m. EDT (GMT-4), pushing the 188-foot-tall booster away from launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with 860,000 pounds of thrust. >>¶
B. Development Activities1 May 2013: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will go ahead with the launch of a Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV-D5) in July, said K Radhakrishnan, the chairman of the country’s space agency. The GSLV-D5, which will carry an indigenous cryogenic engine, will be a renewed attempt from ISRO after the launch of a GSLV-D3 (with an indigenous cryogenic engine) in April 2010 ended in failure. >>¶
3 May 2013: A billionaire-backed asteroid-mining company aims to start putting its big plans into action soon, launching its first hardware into space by this time next year. Planetary Resources, which counts Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt among its investors, plans to loft a set of tiny "cubesats" to Earth orbit in early 2014, to test out gear for its first line of asteroid-prospecting spacecraft. >>¶
8 May 2013: ESA’s seventh Earth Explorer mission, Biomass, was selected today to map and monitor one of our planet’s most precious resources. >>¶
11 May 2013: ISRO is planning to have a total of five rocket launches in 2013 from its rocket launch pad at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, around 80 km from here. This will include a mission to Mars later this year. Four of the launches are expected to happen between June and December, including the launch of communication satellite G-Sat 14 using heavier rocket - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. >>¶
14 May 2013: Vietnam plans to launch the second remote sensing satellite, VNREDSat-1B, into orbit by 2017, after successfully launching the first of this kind on May 7, local online VNExpress reported. >>¶
17 May 2013: The Mars Orbiting Space Telescope could help assess the Red Planet’s potential to host life, advocates say. >>¶
18 May 2013: NASA’s first mission to sample an asteroid is moving ahead into development and testing in preparation for its launch in 2016. >>¶
C. Launch failures and investigations
III. ROBOTIC EARTH ORBITAL ACTIVITIES
A. Telecommunications8 May 2013: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider a plan to beam Internet signals up to airplanes from 150 ground stations operating in a spectrum band already used by satellites. Qualcomm has proposed such a service in the 14.0-14.5GHz band but faces opposition from the satellite industry, which says the service is unnecessary and would interfere with satellite transmissions. >>¶
B. Remote Sensing4 May 2013: Astrium will soon be able to offer near-global coverage in X-band with the successful entry into service of Skynet 5D and the launch of its hosted payload on Telesat’s Anik G1 satellite. >>¶
13 May 2013: Norway’s AISSat-1 Nano satellite marked its thousandth day in orbit just a month ago on 9 April. It had orbited the Earth more than 14,500 times in those thousand days, registering 30,000 ships round the world on each orbit. >>¶
C. Global Navigation Systems20 May 2013: Pakistan is set to become the fifth Asian country to use China’s domestic satellite navigation system which was launched as a rival to the US global positioning system, a report said. The Beidou, or Compass, system started providing services to civilians in the region in December and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020. It also has military applications. >>¶
23 May 2013: China is expected to invest 7 billion yuan ($1.13 billion) to support the development of industries related to the country’s Beidou satellite navigation system before 2015, an industry insider said. >>¶
25 May 2013: Researchers have shown that, by using global positioning systems (GPS) to measure ground deformation caused by a large underwater earthquake, they can provide accurate warning of the resulting tsunami in just a few minutes after the earthquake onset. >>¶
E. Space Debris2 May 2013: Unless space debris is actively tackled, some satellite orbits will become extremely hazardous over the next 200 years, a new study suggests. >>¶
24 May 2013: Ecuador’s first satellite, launched last month, has collided with debris from an old Russian rocket but it is unclear if it has been damaged, officials say. The Pegasus nanosatellite, designed and built in Ecuador, was launched into orbit April 25 by China. >>¶
IV. HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT
A. International Space Station Deployment and Operations1 May 2013: Commercial trips to the ISS delayed until 2017 >>¶
5 May 2013: Used Canadian robot arm to demonstrate series of capabilities >>¶
9 May 2013: Russia’s Progress M-19M resupply spacecraft readjusted the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said. >>¶
11 May 2013: Genetically engineered plants on board the International Space Station designed to endure extreme conditions are also designed to glow when stressed. >>¶
11 May 2013: 6-7-hour extravehicular activity on Saturday would replace suspected leak source >>¶
12 May 2013: Two US astronauts have replaced a pump on a spacewalk aimed at fixing a leak of ammonia from the International Space Station’s cooling system. Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn completed the work an hour ahead of schedule, reporting no further escape.
13 May 2013: With a historic robotic refueling demo ticked off its checklist, NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) put down the hose and picked up the screwdriver and utility knife. This latest round of satellite-servicing tasks, completed in the early morning of May 10, will show how robots could access and further maintain satellites in orbit. >>¶
14 May 2013: A Soyuz space capsule carrying a three-man crew from the International Space Station (ISS) has returned to Earth. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, NASA’s Tom Marshburn and Russian Roman Romanenko landed safely in Kazakhstan.
B. Other Flight Operations3 May 2013: In a matter of weeks, the longest Chinese human space mission to date will lift off from
a launchpad in Jiuquan. The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will carry two men and one woman
to a rendezvous with the Tiangong 1 space laboratory. >>¶
C. Medical Issues5 May 2013: A lab experiment that rode to space two years ago has offered new clues about why astronauts’ immune systems struggle to perform in zero gravity, US military researchers said. Researchers sent cells found on the inside of blood vessels to the International Space Station and let them rest for six days. >>¶
10 May 2013: The latest finds from robot explorers are boosting fears that fine-grained toxins in Martian dust will be hazardous to human explorers - and tough to avoid >>¶
25 May 2013: Russia’s Bion-M1 biological research satellite, which recently carried rodents, microorganisms and plants on a month-long space flight, successfully accomplished its mission, an official said, despite the death of most of the animals on board. >>¶
D. Space Tourism4 May 2013: It will soon cost $250,000 for a seat instead of $200,000, company officials say. >>¶
14 May 2013: British billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that rocket-powered space tourism flights by his firm Virgin Galactic would have only a minor impact on climate change. More than 500 people have already reserved seats - and paid deposits on the $200,000 ticket price - for a minutes-long suborbital flight on the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) set to begin by the end of this year. >>¶
22 May 2013: Opening spaceflight up to the masses could help spark a global conservation ethic that stems the tide of environmental destruction on Earth, NASA’s science chief says. >>¶
V. SPACE STUDIES AND EXPLORATION
A. Astronomy and Astrophysics8 May 2013: ESA’s Herschel space observatory has made detailed observations of surprisingly hot molecular gas that may be orbiting or falling towards the supermassive black hole lurking at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.
13 May 2013: The Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place-- the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs. These dead stars are located 150 light-years from Earth in a relatively young star cluster, Hyades, in the constellation Taurus. The star cluster is only 625 million years old. The white dwarfs are being polluted by asteroid-like debris falling onto them. >>¶
25 May 2013: The Ring Nebula’s distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist. >>¶
B. Plasma and Atmospheric Physics16 May 2013: The Sun has unleashed four potent solar flares this week, marking the most intense activity yet this year and causing limited interruptions to high-frequency radio communications. One of them was classified as an X3.2 flare, with X-class flares being the most intense type, the US space agency said. >>¶
22 May 2013: A large coronal mass ejection from the active sun could affect entire continents, scientists say. >>¶
C. Space Exploration5 May 2013: Ensuring the early interoperability of Europe’s satellite navigation with GPS, the four
Galileo satellites have begun broadcasting the offset between the parallel navigation
systems’ timings, accurate to a few billionths of a second.
13 May 2013: The team operating NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days. This second drilling target, called "Cumberland," lies about 2.75 metres west of the rock where Curiosity’s drill first touched Martian stone in February. >>¶
16 May 2013: Scientists using images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across. >>¶
16 May 2013: NASA announced that its Kepler spacecraft was sitting in safe mode once again, possibly putting an end to its high-accuracy observations. Kepler went into a Thruster-Controlled Safe Mode earlier in May, and NASA said its spacecraft is sitting in the same position again. The space agency said the root cause of Kepler putting itself into safe mode is unknown, but the possible cause "appears to be an altitude error." >>¶
17 May 2013: Scientists have created the first global topographic map of Saturn’s moon Titan, giving researchers a valuable tool for learning more about one of the most Earth-like and interesting worlds in the solar system.
21 May 2013: Back in 2005 and 2006, when Pluto’s second and third moons (Nix and Hydra) were discovered, searches by astronomers for still more moons didn’t reveal any. So the accidental discovery of Pluto’s fourth moon by the Hubble Space Telescope in mid-2011 raised the possibility that the hazards in the Pluto system might be greater than previously anticipated. >>¶
D. Space Operations2 May 2013: ESA’s Herschel space observatory has exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant,
ending more than three years of pioneering observations of the cool Universe. >>¶
6 May 2013: In July 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft will venture past the farthest worlds nasa has ever visited, mysterious Pluto and its many moons. As if that achievement were not impressive enough, scientists are already plotting New Horizons’s next move, seeking uncharted worlds beyond Pluto for the craft to study close-up. >>¶
6 May 2013: The Mars rover Curiosity’s month of freedom on the Red Planet is over. Curiosity had been on its own since early April, when Mars slipped behind the sun from Earth’s perspective. Our star can disrupt communications between the two planets in this alignment, which is known as a Mars solar conjunction, so Curiosity’s handlers at Mission Control had temporarily stopped sending commands to the 1-ton rover. >>¶
7 May 2013: Nearly three times as far from Earth as the Sun is, the Dawn spacecraft is making very good progress on its ambitious trek from Vesta to Ceres. After a spectacular adventure at the second most massive resident of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, Dawn used its extraordinary ion propulsion system to leave it behind and undertake the long journey to a dwarf planet. >>¶
10 May 2013: The first Eurostar satellite, Inmarsat-2 F1, designed and built by Astrium, Europe’s leading space technology company, has been retired from operational service and safely decommissioned after it had completed a long and flawless mission in geostationary orbit. It operated for 22.5 years - far outliving its projected life-span of 10 years. >>¶
20 May 2013: Opportunity has passed the Apollo 17 moon buggy distance record, which covered 22.21 miles back in 1972. >>¶
20 May 2013: The returnable capsule of a biological research satellite has landed in the Russian Orenburg Region near the border with Kazakhstan, bringing mice, Mongolian gerbils, geckos and various microorganisms and plants back to Earth after their month-long flight, Mission Control said on Sunday. >>¶
VI. TECHNOLOGY - IMPLEMENTATION and ADVANCES
A. Propulsion9 May 2013: NASA has announced that it will stop using the rocket fuel that has been a mainstay since the 1940s and switch to a greener, environmentally-benign propellant. The space agency says that the first space flight powered with this new fuel will take place in 2015. >>¶
21 May 2013: ATK has successfully completed the first U.S.-based testing of the High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) thruster technology for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
23 May 2013: Electric propulsion technology has matured to the point that NASA may consider it as part of a scheme to send people to Mars. >>¶
B. Power3 May 2013: NASA is pressing ahead with a plan to install lithium-ion batteries on the International Space Station (ISS), New Scientist has learned. The batteries are similar to those used on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft, all 50 of which have been taken out of commercial service worldwide since January following battery fires on two planes. NASA says that lithium-ion cells offer compelling benefits, and it is confident that any safety issues can be overcome. >>¶
C. Spacecraft Design, Technology and Development24 May 2013: Russia’s new reusable spacecraft that is being developed by the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation will be able to make up to five space flights, the rocket maker. >>¶
D. Materials and Structures
E. Information Technology and Datasets15 May 2013: Using open data, MapBox is taking on the big players in online maps. Now they want to fix satellite view. >>¶
23 May 2013: The EU-funded EuroGEOSS project (’European approach to GEOSS’), with EUR 6 million in European funding, asked: what kind of information systems do we need to facilitate this major multi-disciplinary research effort? And, how we can best support closer interaction among specialists from different fields, as well as non-specialist stakeholders? >>¶
F. Automation and Robotics
G. Space Research Facilities and Ground Stations19 May 2013: NASA has released a synopsis announcing plans to issue an announcement for proposals for the commercial use of Launch Pad 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
23 May 2013: The Near-Earth Object Coordination Center will serve as a hub for Europe’s efforts. >>¶
H. Environmental Effects of Space Flight
VII. SPACE AND SOCIETY
B. Public Awareness24 May 2013: X Prize officials aren’t revealing any details yet. >>¶
C. Cultural Aspects
D. Knowledge Management
VIII. GLOBAL SPACE DEVELOPMENTS
A. Government Programmes7 May 2013: NASA has signed a $424 million modification to its contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) for full crew transportation services to the International Space Station in 2016 with return and rescue services extending through June 2017.
B. Commercial Enterprises1 May 2013: New Sapphire Series 600W Ku-Band UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC
(30 April 2013) Advantech Wireless today announced the release of the New Sapphire Series 600W Ku-Band UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC, the ultimate Solution for Direct to Home TV.
7 May 2013: C-COM Mobile Antenna Receives Eutelsat Type Aproval
(7 May 2013) C-COM Satellite Systems today announced that it has received type approval for its next generation iNetVu 1201 antenna system from Eutelsat, the leading European satellite operator.
9 May 2013: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates announced that it has signed a contract worth several million dollars to provide Tesat-Spacecom GmbH and Co. KG with advanced technology solutions to be integrated into the European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS) system.
9 May 2013: New Sapphire Series 1,250W Ku-Band UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC
(9 May 2013) Advantech Wireless today announced the launch of its New Sapphire Series 1,250W Ku-Band UltraLinearTM GaN SSPA/BUC.
10 May 2013: New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announced that SpaceX has signed a three-year agreement to use Spaceport America for flight testing. According to a Spaceport America statement, SpaceX will be leasing land and facilities at the New Mexico site to conduct the next phase of flight testing for its reusable rocket programme. >>¶
13 May 2013: Peregrine Semiconductor Introduces SPDT RF Switch For Harsh Space Environments
(13 May 2013) Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation, a fabless provider of high-performance radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), today announced availability of a new SPDT RF switch for harsh environment and space applications.
14 May 2013: SPOT Global Phone For Outdoor Recreation Market
(14 May 2013) SPOT today announced the new SPOT Global Phone, a portable, easy-to-use and data-enabled satellite phone.
17 May 2013: Orbcomm Launches Its First Self-Powered M2M Tracking and Monitoring Device
(16 May 2013) Orbcomm today announced the availability of the Orbcomm GT 1100, a self-powered M2M asset tracking and monitoring device targeted for a variety of global markets including transportation and logistics, heavy equipment and oil and gas.
18 May 2013: International Launch Services (ILS) and Eutelsat, of Paris, France, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, announced a contract today for the launch of a Eutelsat satellite in the 2014-2016 timeframe by ILS Proton from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This announcement follows the successful Proton launch of the Eutelsat 3D satellite on May 15. >>¶
21 May 2013: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) are the emerging powerhouses in the global economy - and they are also having an increasing influence on the satellite sector. >>¶
21 May 2013: atrexx Launches Broadband Services To Libya And Afghanistan
(21 May 2013) Leading satellite service provider atrexx has added a new service platform to its product portfolio, specifically targeted at meeting the broadband demand in Libya and in Afghanistan.
21 May 2013: SkyWave SCADAconnect Enables 360 Degree Visibility Between Field Equipment And Enterprise
(21 May 2013) SkyWave Mobile Communications today announced the introduction of SCADAconnect, an end-to-end connectivity solution.
22 May 2013: Advantech Wireless Releases Sapphire Series 2,500W Ku-Band UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC
(21 May 2013) Advantech Wireless has announced the release of the New Sapphire Series 2,500W Ku-Band UltraLinear GaN SSPA/BUC, modular design with built in redundancy.
IX. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND SPACE LAW
European Space Agency2 May 2013:
Giant landslides, lava flows and tectonic forces are behind this dynamic scene captured recently by ESA’s Mars Express of a region scarred by the Solar System’s largest volcano, Olympus Mons.
2 May 2013:
Human spaceflight and operations image of the week: metabolic monitor
3 May 2013:
Our week through the lens: 29 April - 03 May 2013
3 May 2013:
Ready to take the next step with your satnav idea? ESA’s business incubation centres are offering help through this year’s European Satellite Navigation Competition.
4 May 2013:
The Vega VV02 launch is postponed due to unfavourable weather conditions
5 May 2013:
The second Vega flight, due on 4 May from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, has been postponed. The countdown was proceeding normally until it was halted 30 minutes before the planned liftoff owing to unfavourable weather conditions in the upper atmosphere.
6 May 2013:
Space science image of the week: solar storm heading for Earth
7 May 2013:
ESA’s Vega launcher scores new success with Proba-V, VNRedSat and ESTCube-1
7 May 2013:
Watch the replay of Vega’s flight VV02 carrying Proba-V, VNRedSat and ESTCube-1
7 May 2013:
Replay of liftoff of Vega’s second flight carrying Proba-V and two companions into orbit, 7 May 2013
7 May 2013:
Human spaceflight and operations image of the week: Antarctic research station Concordia’s last glimpse of the Sun
10 May 2013:
Our week through the lens: 06-10 May 2013
13 May 2013:
Over the weekend the crew of the International Space Station worked overtime to fix a leaking cooling network outside the orbital outpost. Astronauts Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn ventured into space on Saturday and replaced a pump unit that was leaking ammonia.
13 May 2013:
Space science image of the week: a space-time magnifying glass by the Hubble space telescope
14 May 2013:
ECSAT, the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications located at the Harwell Oxford campus opens its doors
14 May 2013:
Human spaceflight and operations image of the week: Expedition 36/37 ready for flight
14 May 2013:
Stephen Coulson, Head of Industry Section at ESA, joins the Earth from Space video programme to discuss how international banks are using Earth observation data
15 May 2013:
Technology image of the week: Steer tractors with centimetre-accuracy to improve farming and the environment
16 May 2013:
PR NÂ° 12-"2013 - The second flight of ESA’s newest launch vehicle has been completed from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Two Earth observation satellites, ESA’s Proba-V and Vietnam’s VNREDSat-’1A, were released into different orbits, demonstrating the rocket’s versatility. Estonia’s first satellite, the ESTCube-’1 technology demonstrator, was also released into orbit.
16 May 2013:
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano left for Baikonur, Kazakhstan today, his last stop before heading to the International Space Station on 28 May.
17 May 2013:
Earth watcher Proba-V is in good health following its launch last week. The Vegetation imager has been switched on and the first image has been captured over western France.
17 May 2013:
Our week through the lens: 13-17 May 2013
20 May 2013:
ESA’s Director General, Jean-Jacques Dordain, announced today that the ISS Multilateral Crew Operations Panel has decided on Friday, 17 May to accept his proposal to fly astronaut Timothy Peake to the International Space Station in 2015.
20 May 2013:
An ESA business incubation start-up company is helping major car manufacturers to develop electric vehicle concepts and improve safety systems by turning ideas quickly into virtual prototypes.
21 May 2013:
Space Science image of the week: ESA’s Rosetta captures moonrise over the Pacific during its first Earth flyby
21 May 2013:
Human spaceflight and operations image of the week: ESA astronaut Tim Peake meets UK Prime Minister
21 May 2013:
Luca Parmitano reveals the name of the ESA Kids’ mascot
22 May 2013:
A rare encounter between two gas-rich galaxies spotted by ESA’s Herschel space observatory indicates a solution to an outstanding problem: how did massive, passive galaxies form in the early Universe?
22 May 2013:
ESA today inaugurated a new hub that will strengthen Europe’s contribution to the global hunt for asteroids and other hazardous natural objects that may strike Earth.
24 May 2013:
As Luca Parmitano’s launch approaches, ESA Euronews looks at life aboard the International Space Station
Belarus6 May 2013: Belarus and Azerbaijan are working on signing a cooperation agreement under which Azerbaijan will be allowed to use information and images collected by BelKA-2, a Belarusian satellite launched in July 2012. According to reports, Azerbaijan will use the images obtained from BSC to address environmental monitoring and cartography issues. The deal is expected to be finalised in May.
Estonia9 May 2013: With a satellite launched Tuesday Estonia has joined a not-so-exclusive club, becoming the 41st nation in the world to own a man-made object orbiting in space. The country’s ESTCube-1 satellite was launched, along with two other satellites, atop a European Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Centre on South America’s northeast coast, China’s Xinhua News Agency reported. >>
France21 May 2013: Russia and France will carry out seven Soyuz-ST carrier rocket launches from the Kourou space center in French Guiana by the end of 2014, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said. >>
Latvia12 May 2013: The first Latvian satellite Venta-1 has been finished and is ready to be launched in space. Its creators are now negotiating possible launch vehicles. >>
United Kingdom7 May 2013: The Sun and our neighbouring planet Mars are two destinations that the UK and US will be exploring together in the coming years, following recent agreements for collaboration on three big space projects. >>
15 May 2013: Two major elements in Britain’s space strategy have been officially unveiled in Oxfordshire. One is the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first technical centre in the UK, to be known as the European Centre for Space Applications and Telecoms. The other is the Satellite Applications Catapult, one of seven new government initiatives intended to drive innovation in growing areas of the British economy. >>
19 May 2013: Tim Peake’s selection is seen as major boost for UK industry and an inspiration to young people >>
Ghana19 May 2013: College students launched a tiny model of a satellite the size of a soda can on a big yellow balloon. It went aloft to a height of 165 metres and then came back down attached to a parachute. Ghana launched its space programme in 2012. Nigeria holds a clear lead in the continent’s space-race, having funded and overseen the construction of a number of satellites in the last few years. Nigeria’s space ambitions have focused on commercial satellites, offering telecommunications and satellite industry. >>
Nigeria8 May 2013: The flood disaster of 2012 has brought to the limelight the vulnerability of communities especially those at the river banks and coastal areas. With this in mind the Nigeria Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) organised a one-day Space Dialogue and Media Conference in Abuja in order to highlight the role of space technology in disaster management and the need for more collaborative efforts by disaster-control agencies to utilise the abundant satellite images and technologies to ease their work and get quicker results. >>
Nepal12 May 2013: As Nepal finally goes ahead with long-overdue plans to examine the feasibility of launching its first satellite before 2015, the country may turn to China, which has in recent years helped a number of developing countries, including some of India’s neighbours, with financial and technological assistance for their satellite programmes. >>
Vietnam10 May 2013: After three days of delay due to the bad weather, Vietnam’s first remote sensing satellite, VNRED Sat-1, was successfully launched Tuesday morning by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana. >>
E. The Americas
United States1 May 2013: ATK has been awarded a contract to support the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va. for the Space Enabled Effects for Military Engagements (SeeMe) programme. >>¶
22 May 2013: The Pentagon will continue for another year the lease of a Chinese commercial satellite to provide communications for its Africa Command. The use of China’s Apstar-7 satellite will be extended under a $10.7 million lease through the government solutions unit of a U.S. company, Harris CapRock Communications, the Pentagon said in an e-mailed statement.
NASA1 May 2013: NASA’s newest scientific rover is set for testing May 3 through June 8 in the highest part of Greenland. >>
1 May 2013: NASA has selected 14 proposals from small business and research institution teams to continue development of innovative technologies that are needed for future NASA missions and could become viable commercial products and services. >>
1 May 2013: A test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft safely landed during a simulation of two types of parachute failures Wednesday. >>
1 May 2013: Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will visit NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and testing facilities at the agency’s Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., Friday, May 3. >>
1 May 2013: A NASA program supporting innovative approaches to sustainability challenges has received an Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. >>
1 May 2013: NASA is inviting members of the public to submit their names and a personal message online for a DVD to be carried aboard a spacecraft that will study the Martian upper atmosphere. >>
2 May 2013: NASA astrophysicist Chryssa Kouveliotou, a senior scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been selected for membership in the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of her distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research. >>
2 May 2013: A new NASA airborne mission has created the first maps of the entire snowpack of two major mountain watersheds in California and Colorado, producing the most accurate measurements to date of how much water they hold. >>
3 May 2013: A NASA-led modeling study provides new evidence that global warming may increase the risk for extreme rainfall and drought. >>
6 May 2013: NASA will commemorate the 40th anniversary of America’s first space station Monday, May 13, with a televised roundtable discussion featuring Skylab astronauts, a current astronaut and agency managers planning future space missions. >>
6 May 2013: Fifty teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world will demonstrate their lunar excavator robots May 20 - 24 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. >>
7 May 2013: NASA has extended its interim contract with MEI Technologies Inc. of Houston for electrical systems engineering services. >>
8 May 2013: NASA Television will provide live coverage May 12-14 as three crew members aboard the International Space Station end five months in orbit and return to Earth for a scheduled landing May 13. >>
8 May 2013: NASA has awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. of Rockledge, Fla., to modify the mobile launcher that will enable the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket to send humans to an asteroid, Mars and other new destinations in the solar system. >>
9 May 2013: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found the building blocks for Earth-sized planets in an unlikely place-- the atmospheres of a pair of burned-out stars called white dwarfs. >>
10 May 2013: International and U.S. media accreditation is open for the launch of NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission. >>
10 May 2013: The team operating NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on Mars has selected a second target rock for drilling and sampling. The rover will set course to the drilling location in coming days. >>
10 May 2013: Two prominent aerospace industry organizations are recognizing the contributions of NASA, especially the achievements of the team that landed NASA’s Curiosity rover on Mars in August, with coveted awards. >>
10 May 2013: Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC) Space Systems of Louisville, Colo., has completed its first major, comprehensive safety review of its Dream Chaser Space System. >>
10 May 2013: The following is a statement from NASA Associate Administrator for Space Technology Michael Gazarik about Thursday’s announcement from the Obama Administration that it is launching competitions to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes supported by five federal agencies -- NASA, the National Science Foundation and the departments of Defense, Energy, and Commerce. >>
10 May 2013: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will see technologies NASA is developing to make flying and the national air transportation system safer, cleaner and more efficient during a trip to NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Friday, May 10. >>
10 May 2013: NASA has selected Development Projects Inc. of Dayton, Ohio, to manage a new Centennial Challenge prize competition involving unmanned aircraft systems in 2014. >>
11 May 2013: NASA has exercised a second two-year award term option with Bastion Technologies Inc. of Houston for continued services to support the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. >>
11 May 2013: NASA managers will discuss the status of the International Space Station, including the latest on an external cooling loop leak that developed Thursday, during a televised briefing today at 3 p.m. CDT (4 p.m. EDT). >>
13 May 2013: NASA has unveiled plans for its 2013 Summer of Innovation project, which challenges middle school students across the United States to share in the excitement of scientific discovery and space exploration through unique, NASA-related science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) opportunities. >>
14 May 2013: Three members of the International Space Station Expedition 35 crew undocked from the orbiting laboratory and returned safely to Earth Monday, May 13, wrapping up a mission lasting almost five months. The departure marks the beginning of Expedition 36. >>
15 May 2013: NASA will host a news teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT, today, May 15, to discuss the status of the agency’s Kepler Space Telescope. >>
15 May 2013: Media representatives are invited to join NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver as she visits the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Thursday, May 16 and tours facilities advancing future spaceflight missions. The locations include Lewis Field and the Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. >>
15 May 2013: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will be at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Thursday, May 16, to discuss the future of human space exploration and the critical role the International Space Station performs in support of those efforts. >>
15 May 2013: NASA and Sally Ride Science are inviting the general public and journalists to "Sally Ride: A Lifetime of Accomplishment, A Champion of Science Literacy," an educational tribute to America’s first woman in space on Monday, May 20. The special event will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. EDT. >>
15 May 2013: The director and some actors in the film "Star Trek Into Darkness" will join NASA as it hosts a Google+ Hangout from noon to 12:45 p.m. EDT, May 16, about how work aboard the International Space Station is turning science fiction into reality. >>
16 May 2013: A new study of glaciers worldwide using observations from two NASA satellites has helped resolve differences in estimates of how fast glaciers are disappearing and contributing to sea level rise. >>
16 May 2013: Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems Dream Chaser flight vehicle arrived at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., Wednesday to begin tests of its flight and runway landing systems. >>
16 May 2013: NASA has extended a contract with Analex Corporation of Fairfax, Va., for Environmental Testing and Integration Services at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. >>
20 May 2013: NASA and President Obama are honoring the life and legacy of Sally Ride on the day a national tribute was held for the first American woman in space. >>
20 May 2013: NASA and Bigelow Aerospace of Las Vegas are holding a media availability at 1:30 p.m. EDT, Thursday, May 23, to discuss the agency’s Space Act Agreement with the company for its insight on collaborating with commercial industry on exploration beyond Earth orbit. Journalists can participate in-person or by teleconference. >>
20 May 2013: The Aerospace Club of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., took first prize in the 2013 annual NASA Student Launch Projects challenge, in which student teams design, build and fly small rockets with science payloads to an altitude of 1 mile and return them safely to Earth. >>
20 May 2013: NASA Administrator Charles Bolden will hold media availabilities at all three of the agency’s centers in California this week, highlighting progress on the asteroid mission, commercial crew transportation and space technology development. >>
20 May 2013: NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will host a news conference and social media event at 1 p.m. CDT (2 p.m. EDT) Wednesday, May 22, to preview the upcoming Expedition 36 mission aboard the International Space Station. >>
20 May 2013: NASA and Sally Ride Science are inviting journalists to tonight’s "Sally Ride: A Lifetime of Accomplishment, A Champion of Science Literacy," a national tribute to America’s first woman in space. The special event will be held at the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. EDT. >>
20 May 2013: NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the launch and docking of the next crew members who will fly to the International Space Station on Tuesday, May 28. >>
20 May 2013: NASA released a synopsis Friday announcing plans to issue an announcement for proposals for the commercial use of Launch Pad 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The announcement is expected next week. >>
21 May 2013: NASA Expedition 35 astronaut and flight engineer Chris Cassidy will speak live from the International Space Station with students at Talbot Innovation Middle School in Fall River, Mass., at 10:05 a.m. EDT, Thursday, May 23. >>
22 May 2013: NASA is looking for far-out ideas. NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program is seeking Phase II proposals for continuation of promising studies selected during the first phase of the visionary program. >>
23 May 2013: NASA’s Summer of Innovation project is accepting proposals through Monday, June 10, from organizations that want to offer students science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) educational experiences this summer. >>
23 May 2013: The Ring Nebula’s distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books. But new observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope of the glowing gas shroud around an old, dying, sun-like star reveal a new twist. >>
23 May 2013: NASA will host a Google+ Hangout with the three recently returned International Space Station astronauts from 3-4 p.m. EDT on Thursday, May 23. >>
23 May 2013: A panel of international judges from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and other partner organizations has selected five "best in class" solutions as winners of the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge. >>
23 May 2013: A massive and rare merging of two galaxies has been spotted in images taken by the Herschel space observatory, a European Space Agency mission with important NASA participation. >>
24 May 2013: The following is a statement from NASA’s associate administrator for space technology, Michael Gazarik, about his meetings this week in Europe to discuss potential cooperation on development of space technologies that will enable NASA’s future missions. These include the asteroid initiative announced in the president’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal. >>
F. The Middle East
United Arab Emirates2 May 2013: A new satellite, the DubaiSat-3, will be the first ever to be completed in the UAE. The galactic project, set to launch in 2017, will be made with local expertise - with 45 UAE experts and engineers leading the development of the satellite, the Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) has said. >>
G. Indian Ocean and the Pacific
A. Appointments2 May 2013: SSTL Appoints Toru Yunoki As Telecommunications Business Development Manager
(1 May 2013) Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) has appointed Mr Toru Yunoki as Business Development Manager for its Telecommunications products.
6 May 2013: Ken Peterman Named General Manager, Government Systems At ViaSat
(6 May 2013) ViaSat has named Ken Peterman as General Manager of its Government Systems segment.
8 May 2013: Virgin Galactic Adds Two Pilots To Commercial Flight Team
(8 May 2013) Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, announced today that pilots Frederick -CJ- Sturckow and Michael -Sooch- Masucci have been selected to join its commercial flight team.
8 May 2013: Scott Hartwig Named USA President And CEO
(7 May 2013) Scott Q. Hartwig has been named to succeed Virginia A. Barnes as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Space Alliance (USA), effective May 10, 2013.