Atlas V and H-IIB fly this week

Orbital News
17 May 2020 1314 – Atlas V X-37B US Military
20 May 2020 1731 – Tanegashima H-IIB Kounotori-9 ISS Cargo

Regional News
15 May 2020 – Airdrie AB students contact ISS by ham radio
15 May 2020 – None hurt in plane crash 75km from Fort Frances
15 May 2020 – MB seeks businesses to deploy Internet to the North
16 May 2020 – Air Canada lays off 20000, over half the workforce
16 May 2020 – National Microbiology Lab chief takes UK job, cites family
17 May 2020 – Safe pilot, bent wing in Bloodvein MB mishap
18 May 2020 – Medicine Hat air ambulance pleads for funds
18 May 2020 – Wildfires near Dauphin MB
19 May 2020 – Delta will fill planes to 60% for social distance
19 May 2020 – York Space Systems opens new facility in Denver
20 May 2020 – SK wildfire grows to 375 km2
21 May 2020 – Iowa SU features NASA work of Sara Mayne
21 May 2020 – MN astronaut Karen Nyberg talks with Ars Technica
21 May 2020 – U Wisconsin develops nanostructured PVDF spacecraft shield

Further news
15 May 2020 – Artemis Accords would enshrine Space Law concepts in a Treaty
15 May 2020 – China adds satellite internet to space infrastructure priorities
15 May 2020 – NASA Stennis partial reopen
15 May 2020 – Tokyo2021 loses another event – meteor shower satellite fails in orbit
17 May 2020 – Bill Norrie of Calgary sailed across the Pacific
17 May 2020 – Snowbird dead, another injured in Kamloops BC crash
18 May 2020 – NASA Michoud partial reopen
19 May 2020 – Annie Glenn dies in Minnesota, age 100
19 May 2020 – Head rolls at NASA after Artemis procurement probe
20 May 2020 – Skyrora completes Skylark-L rocket engine test
20 May 2020 – WFIRST now called the Roman Space Telescope
21 May 2020 – NASA takes extra time for DM-2 Flight Readiness Review
21 May 2020 – NSF feature on Crew Dragon abort modes

COVID-19 matters
15 May 2020 – COVID patients that need ventilators have 50 to 75% survival rate
15 May 2020 – FDA notice issued on inaccurate Abbott COVID test
15 May 2020 – SaskTel retirees fix donated computers to help keep communities connected
15 May 2020 – SK closes 12 rural ERs on two days’ notice
15 May 2020 – Sudbury library opens phone line for folks that want to chat about books
15 May 2020 – The Forks Market reopens in Winnipeg
15 May 2020 – U Alberta will conduct fall semester online
16 May 2020 – COVID causes blood clots in serious cases
17 May 2020 – Fire contained at Winnipeg hospital
18 May 2020 – Fuse33 Makerspace in Calgary fabs 12000 faceshields
19 May 2020 – Canada-US border closure extended to 21 June 2020
19 May 2020 – Civic honour planned for SD food workers
19 May 2020 – U Wisconsin creates COVID Crush video game
21 May 2020 – 2020 Grey Cup in Regina cancelled due to COVID
21 May 2020 – Privacy problem with ND/SD Care19 phone app
21 May 2020 – Rigid US medical supply chain ignored new test labs

Late News
13 May 2020 – JournoDrone shot down in Butterfield MN

KZ-1A orbits two tech testbeds this week

A KZ-1A rocket carries two Xingyun-2 satellites to SSO from Jiuquan, 12 May 2020, 0116 UT. (Weibo)

Orbital news
08 May 2020 0549 UT – CNSA next-generation crew capsule lands after deorbit
08 May 2020 – Fregat from 2011 continues disintegration in high orbit
11 May 2020 1533 UT – CZ-5B first stage falls into Atlantic by luck alone
11 May 2020 1608 UT – Cygnus NG-13 departs ISS
12 May 2020 0116 UT – Jiuquan KZ-1A 2x Xingyun-2 EOS/Comm/Demo

Regional news
09 May 2020 – Statement by Winnipeg Airport rebuffed by Transport Canada
11 May 2020 – WestJet cancels flights into July
12 May 2020 – Snowbirds fly over Manitoba
12 May 2020 – MB 150 digital book collection holds hidden gems in aerospace history
12 May 2020 – Vincent Ledvina (U North Dakota) works on Aurora camera
13 May 2020 – Alberta wildfire still burns one year later
13 May 2020 – Budget cut means more layoffs at U Manitoba
13 May 2020 – Dr. Carl Isaacson featured by Minnesota Space Grant
13 May 2020 – U Minnesota Balloon Team featured by Minnesota Space Grant
13 May 2020 – Delta Airlines stops service to Saskatoon
14 May 2020 – Snowbirds fly over Saskatoon and Regina
14 May 2020 – Iowa Space Grant asks colleges for project proposals

Further news
09 May 2020 – USSF buys SpaceX data from other launches
10 May 2020 – Latest Starship SN4 cryotest reaches 750 kPa pressure
11 May 2020 – Virgin Galactic goes on sale to prop up sister airline
12 May 2020 – NASA signs deal for additional Soyuz seat
13 May 2020 – Falcon 9 test fires on pad ahead of ninth Starlink delivery
13 May 2020 – Crew Dragon DM-2 astronauts are in pre-launch medical isolation
14 May 2020 – EPA will not regulate water pollution from perchlorate, oxidizer for solid rockets
14 May 2020 – Intelsat goes bankrupt
14 May 2020 – Artemis program schedule slides into 2021

COVID-19 matters
08 May 2020 – FDA approves Rutgers easy but imperfect COVID spit test
08 May 2020 – Land-O-Lakes co-op opens up Wi-Fi for rural users
08 May 2020 – 3M to make 96 million N95 masks monthly at WI, SD factories
09 May 2020 – COVID spreads at Minnesota Amazon plant
09 May 2020 – Close quarters make COVID hard to fight at Iowa meat plant
09 May 2020 – FDA approves antigen test, faster than virus PCR
09 May 2020 – Lopinavir-ritonavir + ribavirin + interferon beta-1b drug triplet passes Phase II
11 May 2020 – COVID cases mount at Alberta food processors
12 May 2020 – Dr. Susan Kline (U Minnesota) tests drug cocktails against COVID
12 May 2020 – U Saskatchewan plans all-remote fall semester
12 May 2020 – Air Guard flyovers of Minnesota
12 May 2020 – Zyus Life Sciences of Saskatoon wants to print vaccine with plants
12 May 2020 – Rural SK lacks the broadband capacity for everyday needs
12 May 2020 – “MN Masks On” volunteers make masks for hospital visitors
13 May 2020 – Saskatchewan out 2.2 M$ for COVID tests now banned by Health Canada
13 May 2020 – Sask journo in UK takes a trial dose of U Oxford ChAdOx vaccine
14 May 2020 – Mayo and 5000 tests: Convalescent plasma doesn’t hurt COVID patients

Coronavirus information

This is a list of official websites with information on COVID-19 coronavirus in the region.

If you need general information not specific to your area, Ars Technica has published an excellent series.

Continue reading “Coronavirus information”

Delta cuts Saskatoon flight

Delta Airlines has suspended service to Saskatoon International Airport (YXE) effective 13 May 2020. The announcement came in a Delta press release on 8 May. The city had been served by ERJ 175s from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). Saskatoon is still linked by Air Canada and WestJet to other air hubs, and by Transwest Air to points north.

Delta and other airlines have sought to cut service to US cities, but have been prevented from doing so without FAA approval, due to requirements under the CARES Act. Delta’s international flights are not subject to the same level of review, and passenger travel between the US and Canada remains under tight restrictions that may not be relaxed soon.

CNSA flight tests two next-gen spacecraft this week

A Long March 5B rocket carries the Next Generation Crew Vehicle from Wenchang, 5 May 2020. (Weibo)

Orbital news
20200505 1000 UT – Wenchang CZ-5B NextGen Crew Test Flight
20200507 – CNSA ‘umbrella’ cargo reentry test failed; crew capsule healthy

Regional news
04 May 2020 – Laser strikes Saskatoon plane
04 May 2020 – WY firm Frontier Astronautics gets NASA funds for hybrid rocket pump
07 May 2020 – U Colorado-Boulder gets funds for GLEE LunaSat

Further news
01 May 2020 – Telesat LEO schedule slips, satellite supplier not even settled
01 May 2020 – Astronauts ready to fly Crew Dragon DM-2
03 May 2020 – Crew Dragon succeeds at final parachute test
05 May 2020 – Tom Cruise, SpaceX plan a film on the ISS
05 May 2020 – Virgin Galactic deal will study suborbital passenger flights
05 May 2020 – NASA, Space Force to take asteroid defence measures
06 May 2020 – Failed LAN firewall on ISS replaced
06 May 2020 – Starship SN4 fires engine at Boca China test stand

COVID-19 matters
01 May 2020 – Outbreak at Calgary Amazon warehouse
01 May 2020 – Manitoba Museum lays off 40, closes
01 May 2020 – NIH slashes COVID research funding
02 May 2020 – U Minnesota epidemiologist says pandemic COVID may last 2 years
04 May 2020 – Canadian provinces relax COVID restrictions
04 May 2020 – Meat plants partially reopen
04 May 2020 – ND fab plants enhance COVID measures after LM outbreak
04 May 2020 – U Manitoba researcher talks hospital website privacy risks
05 May 2020 – Alberta meat inspectors demand another plant close
05 May 2020 – U Manitoba med student makes soft, reusable silicone facemasks
06 May 2020 – Massive compost effort in Worthington as food waste piles up
06 May 2020 – North Dakota SU students process COVID tests
06 May 2020 – Outbreak at Saskatoon milk plant
06 May 2020 – Outbreak at Calgary grocery store
07 May 2020 – COVID closes La Loche SK grocer
07 May 2020 – Buried CDC reopen guide sees light of day

Progress cargo launched to ISS this week

A Soyuz-2.1a rocket sends Progress MS-14 to the International Space Station from Baikonur, 25 Apr 2020. (Roscosmos)

Soyuz launched the uncrewed Progress cargo module to the ISS early Saturday, and NASA announced three winning bidders for commercial crew lunar landers Thursday.

COVID-19 science
27 Apr 2020 – CDC officially adds 6 more symptoms of COVID
30 Apr 2020 – Experts welcome news on Remdesivir with caution
30 Apr 2020 – High hopes for antigen tests

Orbital News
25 Apr 2020 0151 UT – Baikonur Soyuz Progress MS-14 ISS Cargo
29 Apr 2020 – ISS Kibo deploys Quetzal-1, Guatemalan cubesat

Regional News
25 Apr 2020 – Kit plane C-GTET survives emergency landing
28 Apr 2020 – JetBlue alters MSP service due to COVID
28 Apr 2020 – Layoffs at U Sask could start 4 May
28 Apr 2020 – VP visits Mayo without mask

Further News
24 Apr 2020 – ViaSat gets FCC approval for 20 MEO netsats
26 Apr 2020 – Al Amal, Emirati Mars orbiter, at Tanegashima for July launch
26 Apr 2020 – SN4 survives cryo test, first Starship to pass
28 Apr 2020 – SpaceX sunshield shadows shiny Starlink sats
29 Apr 2020 – An-225, world’s largest plane, will fly PPE to Québec
29 Apr 2020 – CZ-5B rolled to pad at Wenchang for ~5 May launch
29 Apr 2020 – Electron rocket goes vertical at Virginia spaceport, for tests
30 Apr 2020 – Blue Moon, Starship, and Alpaca selected for lunar lander awards
30 Apr 2020 – FDA approves NASA ventilator

COVID-19 response
24 Apr 2020 – Two SK meat plants close
25 Apr 2020 – Winnipeg seamstress donates facemasks
27 Apr 2020 – MB researcher studies difference in COVID outcomes in men and women
27 Apr 2020 – Sask experts caution against herd immunity strategies
28 Apr 2020 – Alberta pilots fly masks north
28 Apr 2020 – MN, SD meat plants ordered reopened
28 Apr 2020 – Winnipeg fair, Red River Ex, cancelled due to COVID
29 Apr 2020 – Alberta workers call for meat plant closures
29 Apr 2020 – Outbreak prevents Lloydminster from joining SK reopen plan
29 Apr 2020 – U Regina students sell facemasks
30 Apr 2020 – Duluth firms make PPE
30 Apr 2020 – North Dakota SU trains contract tracers
30 Apr 2020 – U North Dakota makes Viral Transport Media reagent

JetBlue adapts to COVID as airlines change Midwest flights

JetBlue at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 10 July 2018 (The Fargo Orbit)

As the airline industry suffers under the weight of a global pandemic, flight cancellations are giving way to route thinning. Boston-based JetBlue, once celebrated for its nonstop Boston-Minneapolis service, now serves MSP with the same plane that goes to Chicago. Today, JetBlue also became the first US carrier to require that passengers wear a facemask. Canadian airlines have required passengers to wear masks since 20 April 2020.

Spirit Airlines wants to cut its service to Minneapolis entirely, and Delta Airlines is seeking to cut service to smaller airports like Lansing and Kalamazoo. These cuts may not happen, because cutting a route entirely requires special approval. Similar requests by United and Frontier were recently denied.

Starlink ends surprising week

The International Space Station is down to three crew with the arrival of Soyuz MS-15 in Kazakhstan, Iran orbited a military satellite, and SpaceX launched another 60 Starlink commsats.

Starlink satellites float away from the Falcon 9 upper stage, 23 Apr 2020. (SpaceX)

Orbital News
17 Apr 2020 0516 – Soyuz MS-15 lands with Meir, Morgan, Skripochka
21 Apr 2020 – JAXA releases Bepi magnetometer data from Earth flyby
23 Apr 2020 1930 – Canveral Falcon 9 Starlink Commsats
23 Apr 2020 0359 – Shahrud Qased Noor Iran MilSat

Regional news
17 Apr 2020 – U Minnesota student Nibir Sarma wins on Jeopardy!
22 Apr 2020 – WestJet lays off 3000 employees

Further News
17 Apr 2020 0022 – 5.4 earthquake hits Kodiak, spaceport
17 Apr 2020 – Crew Dragon planned to fly Behnken, Hurley to ISS on 27 May 2020
17 Apr 2020 – PS752 families still want investigation
19 Apr 2020 – FAA AST space office reorganized
21 Apr 2020 – All initial Starlink satellites will move to 550km orbits
23 Apr 2020 – SpaceX will beta test Starlink at high latitudes
23 Apr 2020 – SN4 Starship prototype installed at Boca Chica test stand

COVID response
17 Apr 2020 – Winnipeg Mint makes hand sanitizer
17 Apr 2020 – Calgary grocers insist households send one person once a week
17 Apr 2020 – SafeCare Canada of Winnipeg sells COVID tests, pending approval
17 Apr 2020 – Cirrus Aircraft of Grand Forks and Duluth building powered respirators
17 Apr 2020 ~ Manitoba works on solutions to connect students to the Internet
18 Apr 2020 – Bioriginal in Saskatoon makes hand sanitizer
22 Apr 2020 – Pantyhose enhances homemade masks
23 Apr 2020 – Calgary Stampede cancelled due to COVID
23 Apr 2020 – Sudbury Theatre Company makes masks

Hopeful end to week of mixed news

Orbital News
21 Mar 2020 1706 UT – Baikonur Soyuz OneWeb x34
24 Mar 2020 0343 UT – Xichang CZ-2C Yaogan-30 x3
24 Mar 2020 ~ Venezuelan commsat’s less than perfect end of life
26 Mar 2020 2018 UT – Canaveral Atlas V AEHF-6


Biomedical research of COVID-19
23 Mar 2020 – Chloroquine risks too great for 85% of cases
26 Mar 2020 – VIDO-Intervac tests COVID jab on animals

Regional News
18 Mar 2020 – Al Worden, Apollo 15 astronaut, Michigander, dead at 88
20 Mar 2020 – WiSGC guide to meeting grant requirements in adversity
22 Mar 2020 – Aviation scholarship offered by Connell Aviation Group
23 Mar 2020 – WiSGC links to STEM education resources
23 Mar 2020 – Canadian space stuff for times at home
23 Mar 2020 – Minnesota Science Museum closes due to COVID
24 Mar 2020 – DiaSorin Molecular (Stillwater MN) makes COVID testkits
24 Mar 2020 – U North Dakota Aerospace grounded, online only
24 Mar 2020 – Massive layoffs at Calgary-based WestJet
24 Mar 2020 – Kenora firms making hand sanitizer
25 Mar 2020 ~ Minnesota drone competition for schools
25 Mar 2020 – Winnipeg firms building ventilators, PPE

Further News
19 Mar 2020 – Cyberattacks, the second epidemic of COVID
19 Mar 2020 – ANDESITE cubesat team sprints to deliver payload
19 Mar 2020 – SLS and Orion work halted
20 Mar 2020 – JWST work halted
20 Mar 2020 – Map of Bennu now available
20 Mar 2020 – NASA prioritizes Artemis landing over Lunar Gateway
20 Mar 2020 – Sinclair Interplanetary to stay in Toronto after buyout
21 Mar 2020 – Virgin Orbit gets California quarantine exemption
23 Mar 2020 – FCC approves SpaceX Starlink modems
23 Mar 2020 – Bigelow Aerospace lays off everyone
23 Mar 2020 – Astra Rocket 3 damaged on pad during prelaunch tests
23 Mar 2020 – OneWeb announces layoffs, almost bankrupt
24 Mar 2020 – OSIRIS-REX will add self-driving tech to get rock sample
24 Mar 2020 – Discussion of possibility of life on Mercury
24 Mar 2020 – NASA to scrutinize F9 engine flub for DM-2 safety
24 Mar 2020 – Helicopter abort in key test may delay Crew Dragon DM-2
25 Mar 2020 – Starliner to blame for comm problem, not TDRS
25 Mar 2020 – SpaceX, Argentina delay SAOCOM 1B launch
25 Mar 2020 – Rocket Lab changes plan, cancels 30 Mar 2020 launch
25 Mar 2020 – NASA may help with tech for COVID
25 Mar 2020 – SpaceX takes welder hiring spree public
26 Mar 2020 – ESA #SpaceConnectsUs event cheers up webstreamers

Nebulous plans
20 Mar 2020 – Ceres-1 rocket due in June, launches 4 M$ each
23 Mar 2020 – Aerojet recommends hydrazine, EOR for Artemis
24 Mar 2020 – Firefly Alpha due Summer 2020
25 Mar 2020 – China readies HX-1 Mars lander for July launch
26 Mar 2020 – H3 still may fly this year, Kounotori 9 will be last HTV

Late News
13 Feb 2020 – Mary Ann Tuchscherer (Fox Valley TC) featured by WiSGC
24 Feb 2020 – D’Amoure Washburn (Milwaukee SOE) featured by WiSGC
02 Mar 2020 – Megan Kocher (U Wisconsin-Milwaukee) featured by WiSGC
09 Mar 2020 – Rene Chavez (U Wisconsin-Milwaukee) featured by WiSGC

Ariane 5 ends the week

Orbital news
15 Jan 2020 0253 UT – Taiyuan CZ-2D ÑuSat x2 Jilin-1 Tianqi-5
15 Jan 2020 – ISS EVA225 (Koch, Meir) fixes battery system
16 Jan 2020 0302 UT – Jiuquan KZ-1A Yinhe-1
16 Jan 2020 2105 UT – Kourou Ariane 5 KONNECT GSAT-30

Regional news
10 Jan 2020 – Lucas Bauer (U Wisconsin-Madison) featured by Wisconsin Space Grant
10 Jan 2020 – Space Force commander visits U North Dakota, Cavalier AFS
12 Jan 2020 – Cessna TR182 N736YU crashes near Dunn Mountain, MT, 4 dead
13 Jan 2020 – USGS EROS “Eyes on Earth” Podcast 14 released
13 Jan 2020 – Safe emergency landing in Calmar, AB
14 Jan 2020 – Bismarck Career Academy to buy its own plane
14 Jan 2020 – Allegiant announces seasonal flights
14 Jan 2020 – Iran crash casualites revised, investigators now cooperating
16 Jan 2020 – Joseph B. Habeck (U Minnesota-Twin Cities) featured by Minnesota Space Grant

Further news
10 Jan 2020 – Graduation of NASA Astronaut Group 22, “The Turtles”
12 Jan 2020 – Maesawa puts gameshow in critical path for moon flight
12 Jan 2020 – SLS test article reaches Stennis Space Center

Late news
06 Jan 2020 – 44th Air Race Classic will fly between Grand Forks and Terre Haute June 2020