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Posts Tagged ‘spacecraft’

NASA Shuts Down Prolific Sky-Mapping Space Telescope

February 20, 2011 Comments off

A prolific sky-mapping telescope that has spent more than a year scanning the heavens for asteroids, comets and other cosmic objects received its last command today (Feb. 17).

NASA shut down its WISE spacecraft – short for Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – at 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 UTC) today. The mission’s principal investigator, Ned Wright of the University of California in Los Angeles, sent the final command to the now-hibernating spacecraft, according to an update from the WISE mission’s official Twitter account.

“The WISE spacecraft will remain in hibernation without ground contacts awaiting possible future use,” NASA officials said via Twitter.

WISE launched on Dec. 14, 2009 to begin a 10-month mission to collect Read more…

China’s hostile space capabilities worry US: official

February 9, 2011 Comments off
by Karin Zeitvogel Karin Zeitvogel

WASHINGTON (AFP) – China is developing “counterspace” weapons that could shoot down satellites or jam signals, a Pentagon official said Friday as the United States unveiled a 10-year strategy for security in space.

“The investment China is putting into counterspace capabilities is a matter of concern to us,” deputy secretary of defense for space policy Gregory Schulte told reporters as the defense and intelligence communities released their 10-year National Security Space Strategy (NSSS).

The NSSS marks a huge shift from past practice, charting a 10-year path in space to make the United States “more resilient” and able to defend its assets in a dramatically more crowded, competitive, challenging and sometimes hostile environment, Schulte said.

 

“Space is no longer the preserve of the US and the Soviet Union, at the time in which we could operate with impunity,” Schulte said.

“There are more competitors, more countries that are launching satellites… and we increasingly have to Read more…

Russia Working on Mysterious Space Plane of Its Own

February 5, 2011 Comments off

It’s official: the space race is on again.

54 years after the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik I satellite, sparking the original space race — and 20 years after the USSR’s collapse left America as the sole space superpower — the Russians are back on track. The Kremlin’s military space chief Oleg Ostapenko just announced that Russia is developing a small, maneuverable, reusable space plane to match the U.S. Air Force’s mysterious X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle.

Russian industry has already outlined the craft’s design, Ostapenko said. “As to whether we will use it, only time will tell,” he added coyly.

But it seems unlikely Russia would forgo the opportunity to Read more…