On October 17, 2016 at 07:30 Beijing time (on October 16 at 23:30 UTC) the "Shenzhou-11” (神舟十号) manned spacecraft was launched from Chinese Jiuquan Cosmodrome in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. The space vehicle was orbited by the Chinese "Chang Zheng-2F” (Long March 2F 长征二号F运载火箭) rocket-carrier.
Photo by Xinhua
The spacecraft is piloted by 2 cosmonauts: Commander, Jing Haipeng (景海鵬) left; Second crewmember, Chen Dong (陳冬). The “Shenzhou-11” space vehicle is to dock with China's "Tiangong-2” space station.
On October 14, 2016 at 09:39 UTC the “Progress MS-02” unmanned supply spacecraft was undocked from the International Space Station. At the same day the spacecraft was deorbited. Its engine was started for deorbiting at 12:50 UTC. Non-burnt fragments of the spacecraft drowned in the remote area of the Pacific at 13:39 UTC.
On October 5, 2016 at 20:30 UTC the “Ariane-5ECA” rocket-carrier was launched from Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana. The rocket orbited the Australian “Sky Muster 2” and India’s “GSat-18” telecommunication satellites.
On September 26, 2016 at 03:42 UTC the PSLV C35 rocket-carrier was launched from Sriharikota spaceport, 80 km from Chennai, India. The rocket (PSLV - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) orbited 8 satellites. The first payload was the “ScatSat-1” meteorological satellite designed to track hurricanes, typhoons and other tropical cyclones. The other 7 satellites are the US “BlackSky’s Pathfinder-1” satellite; the Canadian “NLS-19”; three satellites for Algeria (Alsat-1B, Alsat-2B, Alsat-1N) Built by Airbus Defense and Space for the Algerian Space Agency; two small satellites built by Indian university students, PRATHAM and PISAT.
On September 16, 2016 at 01:43 UTC (on September 15 at 22:43 local time) the “Vega” rocket-carrier was launched from Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana. The rocket orbited five sharp-eyed Earth observation satellites (the PeruSat 1 and four SkySat spacecraft) into two different orbits for the Peruvian government and a Google-owned mapping company. The PeruSat 1 reconnaissance satellite was built by Airbus Defense and Space for the government of Peru. This launch expanded a growing satellite fleet operated by Google’s Terra Bella company, giving the Silicon Valley firm seven spacecraft fitted with high-resolution cameras that can take rapid-fire pictures many times a second, allowing processors on the ground to string together video clips.
On September 15, 2016, at 14:04 UTC the “Long March –2F” (“Changzheng-2F”) rocket-carrier was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, the northwest of China. The rocket orbited the “Tiangong-2” (天宫二号) space lab. The “Tiangong-2” spacecraft is starting off a two-year mission to conduct a slate of scientific experiments and lay the technological foundation for a Chinese space station set to be assembled in orbit by 2022. If all goes according to plan, two Chinese astronauts will launch aboard the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft in mid-to-late October in pursuit of the Tiangong 2 space lab. Shenzhou 11 will dock with the spacecraft to form a mini-space station, and astronauts will live and work inside the module for 30 days, officials said.
In the period from September 14 till September 15, 2016 six micro satellites were launched from the International Space Station. On September 14, 2016 at 15:25 UTC the “Flock-2e'-13” and the “Flock-2e'-14” were launched. On September 14, 2016 at 23:15 UTC the “Flock-2e'-15” and the “Flock-2e'-16” were launched. On September 15, 2016 at 02:35 UTC the “Flock-2e'-17” and the “Flock-2e'-18” were launched. All the satellites were delivered to the ISS by the “Cygnus OA-6” spacecraft in March 2016.
On September 8, 2016 at 23:05 UTC the “Atlas V” rocket-carrier was launched from Cape Canaveral launch site of US Air Force. The launch was performed by United Launch Alliance supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force. The rocket orbited the “OSIRIS-Rex” (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer) space probe. The “OSIRIS-Rex” is a robotic probe to visit Asteroid Bennu and return an unspoiled sample of the primitive body that may hold the seeds of life. It will be a 7-year round trip journey to Bennu and back. The space vehicle will swing by the Earth on September 22, 2017, receiving a gravity-assisted slingshot to bend the flight path to intercept the destination — Asteroid Bennu — in August 2018 for a three-year stay.
On September 8, 2016 at 11:20 UTC the GSLV Mk.II F05 rocket-carrier was launched from Sriharikota spaceport, 80 km from Chennai, India. The rocket (GSLV - Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) orbited the “INSAT-3DR” meteorological satellite. The Insat 3DR satellite is equipped with color and infrared cameras to image storms day and night, and a sounder to collect temperature, humidity and ozone data in different layers of the atmosphere. The satellite will also relay observations from remote weather station and ocean buoys to forecast centers, and monitor for distress signals from ships, airplanes and others in need of rescue. The spacecraft is designed for a 10-year lifetime.
On September 7, 2016 at 01:14 UTC the Russian “Soyuz TMA-20M” landing capsule landed safely in a distance of 148 kilometers from the city of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.
photo by NASA
The spacecraft delivered to Earth the 3 members of ISS’s Expedition 48 – Russian cosmonauts Aleksey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka as well as American astronaut Jeffrey Williams. They spent in space 172 days, 3 hours and 47 minutes. Three other ISS crew members – Russian cosmonaut Anatoliy Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi (大西 卓哉) and American astronaut Kathleen Rubins remained in orbit aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 49 crew. The undo... Read more »