Aviation & Space

Orbit of One Wayward Galileo Satellite Raised

December 1, 2014By
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The orbit of one of the two Galileo satellites launched into incorrect orbits on August 22 is being adjusted. Tracking data supplied by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the U.S. Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) has confirmed the change. Also, the first navigation signal from Galileo 5 has been received. The satellites were supposed to go into... read more

Drone Prohibition: NTSB Rules Favorably on FAA Appeal

December 1, 2014By

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has ruled that drones are aircraft for the purpose of the Federal Aviation Administration’s prohibition of their careless or reckless use. The NTSB affirmed the agency’s position that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) meet the legal definition of “aircraft,” and that the agency may take enforcement action against anyone who operates a UAS or model aircraft... read more

How U.S. Air Force 19 SOPS Puts GPS Satellites in Orbit

November 21, 2014By
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It's been a busy year for members of the 19th Space Operations Squadron. As operators of the GPS launch and early orbit, anomaly-resolution and disposal system, 19 SOPS members executed a historically high number of satellite launches (four), and disposed of a legacy GPS vehicle, all within the past 10 months. read more

DARPA Seeks Ideas for UAS Aircraft Carrier in the Sky

November 19, 2014By
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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is asking for input on how to launch and recover multiple small unmanned air systems (UAS) from existing large aircraft, such as the C-130. It has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking technical, security and business insights on “aircraft carriers in the sky.” In DARPA’s “blended approach,” a large aircraft would host a small UAS and facilitate its operations. The agency says... read more

Russia and China Agree on SatNav Joint Venture

November 14, 2014By

China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO) and the Russian GLONASS nonprofit partnership agreed to establish a joint venture to promote worldwide services based on GLONASS and BeiDou, according to a report in the Russian daily newspaper izvestia.  The two parties met November 11 in the Chinese city of Zhuhai. Under the agreement, the parties will identify existing technological competence that will be the foundation... read more

Galileo Team Raced to Respond Following FOC Launch

October 17, 2014By
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On September 27, the first two Galileo Full Operational Capability (FOC) satellites were handed over from the European Space Agency’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, to the Galileo Control Centre, Oberpfaffenhofen, which will care for them pending a final decision on their use. The satellites, launched on August 22, are in excellent health and working normally. However, a launcher problem left... read more

World Space Week Focuses on Satellite Navigation

October 6, 2014By
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The United Nations is spotlighting the benefits of satellite navigation and its contribution to the betterment of humankind as part of the observance of World Space Week — an annual global celebration of the contributions of space science and technology to humanity. The theme of this year’s World Space Week is Space: Guiding Your Way. It highlights the benefits of satellite navigation... read more

Improper Fuel Line Installation Led to Incorrect Galileo Orbit

October 6, 2014By

The cause of two Galileo satellites being released into the wrong orbit August 22 can be traced to improper installation of a hydrazine fuel line, according to Space News and the GalileoGNSS blog. The hydrazine fuel line was installed too close to a supercold helium line on the Fregat upper stage, which caused the hydrazine to freeze long enough to upset the Fregat stage’s orientation... read more