On November 28, 2009 Japan successfully orbited an information gathering satellite.
A Japanese H-2A rocket carrying the satellite lifted off from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture at 10:21 a.m. local time (01:21 GMT).
Japan's national space agency JAXA launched the satellite, the third of its kind, to replace an earlier model. Japan spent $566 million to design the satellite, and it cost another $109 million to build and launch the rocket.
China's Xinhua news agency said the satellite whose digital cameras can identify objects of around 60 cm in size from space would reportedly be used to watch missile and military developments in North Korea.
On November 27, 2009 the "Atlantis” American space shuttle (STS-129) landed at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 14:44 UTC (9:44 a.m. EST).
The crew, led by U.S. astronaut Charles Hobaugh, spent a week at the station, delivering equipment including gyroscopes, thermal control components, and an oxygen tank, and carried out three spacewalks to install devices and conduct repairs.
For the return journey, the crew was joined by ISS flight engineer Nicole Stott, who had been on board the orbital station for three months.<
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Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven-astronaut crew undocked from the International Space Station at 4:43 a.m. EST (09:43 UTC) on November 25, 2009.
Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Friday.
The 11-day Atlantis mission will return ISS crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is expected to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight. Stott spent two and a half months on board the ISS.
When the mission completed, only five U.S. space shuttle flights will remain before the shuttle fleet is retired next year. Russian, European and Japanese space freighters will keep the ISS supplied until NASA deploys its new capsule-style Orion spacecraft.
On November 24, 2009 Russia launched a Proton-M rocket carrying the European "Eutelsat W7” satellite at 14:19 UTC.
The contract for the launch was concluded between the European "Eutelsat” telecommunications company and International Launch Services Inc. (ILS). The Russian-American joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) had signed a contract with the Eutelsat satellite operator to launch the Eutelsat W7.
Eutelsat W7 was manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.
The 5.5-ton satellite has a lifetime of about 15 years.
On November 23, 2009 American astronauts Randolph Bresnik and Robert Satcher performed a successful 5-hour and 42-minute spacewalk. The spacewalkers left the station at 13:25 UTC and returned back at 19:07 UTC.