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Tag: orbit

SpaceX launches NASA’s water topography satellite into orbit

SpaceX launches NASA’s water topography satellite into orbit

Science
Dec. 16 (UPI) -- The Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite launched Friday morning from the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The SpaceX 9 rocket lifted off at 6:47 a.m., launching the mission that will provide NASA's first global survey of water on Earth's surface, measuring the elevation of water in major lakes, rivers and wetlands while observing ocean features in higher definition than ever before. The data will help researchers better understand the availability of Earth's freshwater resources, track regional sea level changes and monitor coastal processes. "Once in orbit, SWOT will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90% of Earth's surface," NASA officials said in a statement. "This information will provide insights into how th...
ULA launches two new Space Force tracking satellites into orbit

ULA launches two new Space Force tracking satellites into orbit

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- United Launch Alliance sent two space tracking satellites into orbit for the U.S. Space Force from Florida on Friday afternoon. The Atlas V rocket lifted off as planned at 2 p.m. EST into a mostly cloudy sky from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station near Kennedy Space Center. The single solid rocket booster strapped to the rocket also ignited, contributing to the rocket's fiery plume. The satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, are to join four similar spacecraft in a high orbit around the Earth. They are designed to track manmade objects, or other spacecraft, in orbit. Two minutes after liftoff, ULA launch commentator Patrick Moore said the rocket was "38 miles in altitude, 35 miles downrange in distance and traveling at 4,200 miles per hour." The la...
Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try

Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try

Technology
Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit has reached space eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failedBy JOHN ANTCZAK Associated PressJanuary 17, 2021, 11:38 PM• 2 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleLOS ANGELES -- Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failed, the company said.A 70-foot-long (21.34-meter-long) LauncherOne rocket was released from beneath the wing of a Boeing 747 carrier aircraft off the coast of Southern California, ignited moments later and soared toward space.The two-stage rocket carried a cluster of very small satellites known as CubeSats developed and built as part of a NASA educational program involving U.S. ...
Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, satellites deployed

Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, satellites deployed

Science
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- California-based Virgin Orbit made its first successful flight to orbit Sunday using a rocket launched from a plane over the Pacific Ocean, announcing later that the satellites aboard were released successfully. The rocket soared into space at 2:40 p.m. EST after the company's Cosmic Girl aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400, released it from beneath a wing. Advertisement "Payloads successfully deployed into our target orbit!," Virgin Orbit tweeted at 5:29 p.m. "We are so, so proud to say that LauncherOne has now completed its first mission to space, carrying 9 CubeSat missions into Low Earth Orbit for our friends @NASA." Forty minutes earlier, the company tweeted, "We can confirm our NewtonFour upper stage engine successfully relit at the right time and for the right dur...
Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, but satellite deployment unclear

Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, but satellite deployment unclear

Science
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- California-based Virgin Orbit made its first successful flight to orbit Sunday using a rocket launched from a plane over the Pacific Ocean, but the company hadn't disclosed whether the satellites aboard were released successfully. The rocket soared into space at 2:40 p.m. EST after the company's Cosmic Girl aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400, released it from beneath a wing. Advertisement What remains is a question about what happened to the satellites that were headed to orbit. "We can confirm our NewtonFour upper stage engine successfully relit at the right time and for the right duration. The payload separation command was issued as planned. The team is going through the data now to confirm everything -- but it's very encouraging," the company tweeted at 4:49 p.m. Ri...