On December 18 at 16:26 UTC France successfully launched a new spy satellite from French Guiana, using Europe's trusted Ariane 5 rocket.
The Helios 2B spacecraft joins an orbiting fleet of military platforms with optical and infrared imagers to map battlefields, monitor terrorist threats and enforce disarmament and non-proliferation treaties.
The letter, sent from the Bulgaria 2009 European philatelic exhibition from Sofia by registered mail, was addressed to cosmonaut Roman Romanenko to the ISS.
The letter was sent to the home address of Russian cosmonaut-veteran Yuri Romanenko, the father of cosmonaut Roman Romanenko. Then the letter was delivered to the ISS by Progress M-67 unmanned supply spacecraft.
On December 14, 2009 at 14:09 UTC a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket successfully boosted the WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
The two-stage rocket-carrier deployed the craft into an orbit 325 miles above Earth. NASA promises to discover millions of objects never seen before and revolutionize our view of the Universe.
The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer will use advanced technologies to scan the sky with the clarity of a modern digital camera to reveal asteroids, comets, brown dwarfs, ultraluminous galaxies and new born stars that humans haven't laid eyes on.
On November 30, 2009 the Manu Karere rocket was lifted off at 2.28 p.m. (local time) from Great Mercury Island (New Zealand) and performed an exemplary 22 second burn.
It was a 6-metre-long, 60kg rocket Atea-1. The rocket reached its target speed of up to Mach 5, or 5000 km/h, reaching at least 100 km altitude and spent between 10 and 20 minutes in the sky before splashing down.
The rocket was named Manu Karere which means Bird Messenger. The rocket was made by the Rocket Lab private company.
It is the first time a privately-owned rocket has been launched in the southern hemisphere.