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

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”

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

Illinois firm gets NIAC grant to study Alpha Centauri space probe

Proxima Centauri
(ESA/NASA/Hubble)

On 7 April 2020, NASA announced the 2020 awardees for its NIAC grants, which support preliminary work in space mission development. One winner is Hbar Technologies of West Chicago, Illinois. The firm’s experts, formerly of Fermilab, will refine a concept, entirely possible with near-future developments in antiproton manufacturing, to use perhaps a dozen grams of antimatter to propel robotic probes to our nearest stellar neighbours, Alpha Centauri A, Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri. The specific project of the $125,000 Phase I NIAC grant will focus on how to slow down a part of the probe fleet to allow Proxima Centauri b to be studied in detail. Results are expected within nine months.

Alberta and Manitoba mourn dozens lost in Tehran plane crash

An aviation disaster has claimed the lives of 63 Canadians, including 30 from Edmonton and five Winnipeggers.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020, Ukraine International flight PS752 crashed at 0249 UT, about eight minutes after leaving Imam Khomeini International Airport (OIIE). The burning wreckage of the Boeing 737-800NG was found less than 20 kilometers from the airport. The plane, which was only three and a half years old, had last been inspected on 6 January.

A number of doctors, researchers, and graduate students are in the casualty list, including Edmonton OB-GYN Dr. Shekoufeh Choupannejad, University of Alberta electrical engineering professors Pedram Mousavi and Mojgan Daneshmand, University of Alberta computer science graduate students Pouneh Gorji and Arash Pourzarabi, Winnipeg immunologist Forough Khadem, and at least 9 other academics with ties elsewhere in Canada.

Aviation safety authorities may not be allowed to effectively cooperate on the investigation as a result of recent tensions between Iran and the United States. Just hours before, 2230 UT on 7 January, between 15 and 22 Iranian theatre ballistic missiles (TBMs) targeted two bases in Iraq used by the United States military. Due to the ambiguous safety situation, EASA and the FAA have asked passenger airlines to avoid flying over Iraq and Iran.

CHEOPS exoplanet probe lifts off this week

Orbital News
16 Dec 2019 0722 UT – Xichang CZ-3B 2x Beidou
17 Dec 2019 0010 UT – Canaveral Falcon 9 JCSAT-18 Kacific-1
17 Dec 2019 0354 UT – Kourou Soyuz-ST-A Cosmo-SkyMed CHEOPS

Regional News
13 Dec 2019 – Chance Beaty (Carthage College) WiSGC feature
16 Dec 2019 – FCC gives ViaSat 18.4 M$ for MT, WI, WY rural broadband
16 Dec 2019 – Ethan Och (U of Minnesota – Twin Cities) MnSGC feature
17 Dec 2019 – Sioux City IA airport fined $150k for safety violations
17 Dec 2019 – Minnesota discussion on the science of Star Wars
18 Dec 2019 – Canadian tech company buys European satcom firm
19 Dec 2019 – FCC licence issued for 15 EOS sats, to be built in Toronto

Further news
17 Dec 2019 ~ US Congress delays civilian control of space traffic
19 Dec 2019 ~ Vector bankruptcy, safety issues delay Georgia spaceport

Late news
02 Dec 2019 – Sophie Gelhar (U of Wisconsin – Stout) WiSGC feature
05 Dec 2019 – 3 die in St. Cloud, MN helicopter crash
06 Dec 2019 – Taylor Peterson (Carthage College) WiSGC feature
07 Dec 2019 – Omaha rotorcraft destroyed in non-fatal crash

Electron and Long March end the week

Regional News

11 Oct 2019 South Dakota blizzard claims aviation lives
14 Oct 2019 Wisconsin Space Grant features Katiya Fosdick (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
14 Oct 2019 Minnesota Space Grant features Mike Alves (Augsburg University, University of California-San Diego)
15 Oct 2019 Wyoming Space Grant balloon mission
17 Oct 2019 Wisconsin Science Fest begins – will run through 20 Oct

Orbital News

11 Oct 2019 0159 Cape Canaveral Pegasus ICON
17 Oct 2019 0122 Māhia Electron Palisade
17 Oct 2019 ~1520 Xichang CZ-3B TJSW-4

Further News

11 Oct 2019 – New Mexico EOS operator Descartes Labs raises funds, names new CFO
14 Oct 2019 – SpaceX upgrades vertical test stand for Raptor
15 Oct 2019 – Fault postpones battery swaps on ISS; BCDU repair (Meir, Koch) planned 18 Oct
15 Oct 2019 – Lockheed Martin delivers DreamChaser airframe core to Sierra Nevada Corporation in Colorado
16 Oct 2019 – Satellites arrive at CSG for next Ariane launch
17 Oct 2019 – InSight Mole Heat Probe back in action on Mars
17 Oct 2019 – Boeing CST Starliner readies for test at White Sands

Late News

2 Oct 2019 – JAXA’s Tsubame low-orbit satellite reenters
10 Oct 2019 – Bowersox admits SLS flight slipped to 2021
10 Oct 2019 – NASA needs Soyuz thru 2021Q2, new enabling law from Congress
10 Oct 2019 – George Nield calls for more US spaceports

Wyoming balloon reaches 28 km

Wyoming Space Grant Stratostar 0349 balloon ground track, 15 Oct 2019 (Google / APRS.fi)

Wyoming Space Grant flew a Stratostar balloon mission 15 October 2019; the mission launched from Prexy’s Pasture in Laramie and landed near Hereford, Colorado after achieving an peak altitude of 28.6 km.

Wyoming Space Grant is also searching for University of Wyoming students interested in ballooning to apply to its 2020 LIFT Project. The deadline is 31 October 2019.

USGS sample data teases Landsat Collection 2

This image of the Florida Keys was collected by Landsat 8 in 10.60-11.19 µm infrared on 07 May 2013, and was one of the first datasets released for Landsat Collection 2, on 30 September 2019. (Credit: USGS / The Fargo Orbit)

On 30 September 2019, The US Geological Survey released new samples of Landsat data, leading up to Landsat Collection 2, a global multi-instrument survey of Planet Earth. Data processing will continue all through next year and is expected to be fully available in 2021.

If you’d like to try your own hand at processing Earth Observation Satellite data, you can take a look at the sample datasets at the USGS Landsat website.