On January 24, 2017 at 07:44 UTC the Japanese H-2A rocket was launched from Tanegashima Cosmodrome situated at the island located 115 km south of Kyushu. Kyushu is the third largest island of Japan and most southwesterly of its four main islands. The rocket orbited the DSN 2, also known as “Kirameki-2”, military communications satellite. It is Japan's first dedicated military communication satellite and is designed for at least fifteen years of service.
On January 21, 2017 at 00:42 UTC the "Atlas-5” 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 “SBIRS GEO Flight 3” (Space Base Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit) reconnaissance satellite. The first two SBIRS GEO satellites — launched in 2011 and 2013 — currently cover the eastern Atlantic and Europe, Africa, the Middle East, all of Asia and Australia, and the western Pacific. They are the newest part of a global constellation that employs three types of satellites in two diverse orbits to cover the entire planet with persistent monitoring to detect and track adversarial missile launches.
American astronaut Eugene Andrew «Gene» Cernan, a Navy pilot and veteran of NASA’s pioneering Gemini program who was the second American to walk in space and then flew to the moon twice as an Apollo astronaut, becoming the last Apollo moonwalker, passed away after a long illness on January 16, 2017. He was 82.
On January 16, 2017 six micro satellites were launched from the board of the International Space Station. The ITF-2, Freedom and Waseda-Sat3 satellites were launched at 09:11 UTC. The EGG (re-Entry satellite with Gossamer aeroshell and GPS/Iridium) satellite was launched at 09:20 UTC. The “AOBA-Velox III” satellite was launched at 10:40 UTC. The “TuPOD” satellite was launched at 10:50 UTC. The satellites were transported to the space station by the Japanese "Kounotori-6” unmanned supply spacecraft in December 2016.
On January 14, 2017 at 17:54 UTC the "Falcon-9” rocket-carrier was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA. The launch was performed by SpaceX company. The rocket orbited 10 “Iridium NEXT” satellites. SpaceX’s “Falcon-9” rocket resumed service after an explosive setback last year (September 1).
On January 13, 2017, American astronauts Robert Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet performed the spacewalk to complete complex battery replacement work on the right side of the International Space Station’s solar power truss with enough time left over to carry out a variety of lower-priority “get-ahead” tasks. The EVA lasted 5 hours and 58 minutes. It was the 4th EVA for Kimbrough and the first for Pesquet.
On January 9, 2017, at 04:11 UTC the “Kuaizhou-1A №Y1” rocket-carrier was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, the northwest of China. Kuaizhou means “speedy vessel” in Chinese. The rocket orbited three small satellites to collect high-definition video and test communications technologies.
On January 6, 2017, American astronauts Robert Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson performed the spacewalk to install three adapter plates in the electronics assembly and to connect them to the new Li-ion batteries. They also removed two more NiH2 batteries and mounted them on two of the adapter plates where they will remain in long-term storage. The spacewalkers completed their tasks an hour or so ahead of schedule, so flight controllers asked them to carry out three “get-ahead” tasks. The EVA lasted 6 hours and 32 minutes. It was the third EVA for Kimbrough and the seventh for Whitson.
On January 5, 2017 at 15:18 UTC the Chang Zheng-3B/G2 (Long March-3B/G2) rocket-carrier was launched from Xichang Cosmodrome, Sichuan province, southwestern China. The rocket orbited the “TJSW-2” (Tongxin Jishu Shiyan Weixing) telecommunication technology test satellite. The satellite was manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. This launch was the first space launch of the year worldwide.
On January 3, 2017, Igor Petrovich Volk, Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR, test-pilot, passed away at the age of 79. He logged over 7000 flight hours in over 80 different aircraft types. Over the years, he flew on all types of Soviet fighters, bombers, and transport aircraft. He showed outstanding abilities in complex tests of various airplanes at critical angles of attack, stall, and spin. He was the first who tested aircraft behavior at high super-critical angles of attack (around 90°) and performed aerobatics such as the "cobra" maneuver. He served as the head of cosmonaut training for the Soviet Space Shuttle “Buran” program.