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Lockheed Martin and NEC Corp have announced that Lockheed Martin will use NEC's System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT) in the space domain. SIAT's advanced analytics engine uses data collected from sensors to learn the behavior of systems, including computer systems, power plants, factories and buildings, enabling the system itself to automatically detect inconsistencies and prescribe resolutions. NEC's advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities and Lockheed Martin's space domain expertise offer new opportunities in developing enhanced integrated satellite and spacecraft operations with uniquely developed prescriptive analytics. These include rapid assessments of changes in performance and the space environment, such as the potential influence of space weather on electronics. With this information, operators can improve product performance and lifecycle efficiency. "Lockheed Martin and NEC are experts in space and systems, and that's the right blend to explore how AI can improve space products for astronauts and people on the ground," said Carl Marchetto, vice president of New Ventures at Lockheed Martin Space.

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The Boeing Co. has been awarded a modified contract from the U.S. Air Force for sustainment of the space-based space surveillance Block 10 satellite. The deal, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense and worth more than $21.9 million under the terms of the contract, is classified as a cost-plus-incentive-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract. The Space Based Space Surveillance, or SBSS, Block 10 satellite operates 24-hours a day, 7-days a week with a clear and unobstructed view of objects orbiting Earth. The SBSS is used to "collect metric and Space Object Identification data for man-made orbiting objects without the disruption of weather, time of day and atmosphere that can limit ground-based systems." Work on the contract will be performed in California and Colorado, and is expected to be completed by June 2022.

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ESA's Science Programme Committee (SPC) has approved indicative extensions, up to 2019-2020, for the operation of eight scientific missions. During its meeting at ESA Headquarters in Paris, on 21-22 November, the SPC approved indicative extensions for the continued operation of five ESA-led missions: Gaia, INTEGRAL, Mars Express, SOHO, and XMM-Newton. This followed a comprehensive review of the current operational status and outlook of the missions and their expected scientific returns during the extension period. The decision will be subject to confirmation towards the end of 2018. [1] The lifetime of Gaia, ESA's billion star surveyor, was extended by eighteen months, from 25 July 2019 to 31 December 2020. This is the first time that Gaia, which was launched in 2013 and originally funded for a five-year mission, has been subject to the extension process. Mars Express, SOHO, and XMM-Newton each received extensions of two years, so their operations will continue at least until the end of 2020.

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An Ariane 5 rocket put four GPS satellites into orbit on Tuesday for Europe's Galileo navigation project, Arianespace said. The European space workhorse took off at 1836 GMT and deployed the satellites four hours after launch. The Galileo programme, when complete, will have 30 satellites in three orbital planes by 2020. If all goes according to plan the system will be able to pinpoint a location on Earth to within a metre -- compared to several metres for the United States' GPS and the Russian GLONASS systems. The civilian-controlled Galileo system, seen as strategically important to Europe, went live in December last year, providing initial services with a weak signal, having taken 17 years at more than triple the original budget to get there. "With this sixth successful launch of an Ariane 5 in 2017, marking the second mission of the year for the benefit of the European Commission and the European Space Agency (ESA), Arianespace is proud to guarantee Europe reliable and independent access to space," said Stephane Israel, Arianespace's executive chairman. The satellites launched Tuesday, each one weighing 715 kilogrammes (1,590 pounds), were placed into orbit 23,000 kilometres (14,000 miles) from Earth.

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The company of Ilon Mask for the first time will try to re-launch not only the rocket-carrier Falcon 9, but also the spaceship Dragon. Previously, SpaceX had already successfully restarted the first stage and space truck, but at the same time it had never sent them to space. During the space mission on December 12 SpaceX will send into space already used rocket carrier Falcon 9 and space truck Dragon. This is the head of the aerospace company Ilon Mask said in his microblog in Instagram. He also published photographs of the ship and rockets made during their last launches. "I like the look of our Dragon ship docked to the ISS when it passes through the boundary of the light," Mask wrote. If Mr. Mask achieves further success in his endeavor, for the scientific sphere, its achievement will mean, first of all, that much less money can be spent on space exploration in the future.
http://spacebestnews.blogspot.com/2017/12/spacex.html
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NASA's New Horizons spacecraft were briefly, 2.5 minutes, on Saturday, December 9, to adjust the course for the ancient Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69, past which the NASA's Plutonian probe will pass just over in one year, counting from the present moment. Telemetry confirming that the maneuver was in normal mode was received by the dispatchers of the New Horizons mission at 8:00 UTC with the help of the NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN) radio stations. The radio signal passed in space 6.1 billion kilometers before reaching our planet, moving at the speed of light, and the duration of this journey was 5 hours 41 minutes. Under the control of the commands stored in the on-board computer memory, the New Horizons probe turned on the motors for 152 seconds, changing its speed by about 151 centimeters per second. This maneuver made it possible to optimize the route to the MU69 facility, at the same time, the closest approach of the device to this object is now expected at 5:33 UTC on January 1, 2019. The primary span will be about 3500 kilometers from the MU69 facility.
http://spacebestnews.blogspot.com/2017/12/blog-post_11.html
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11.12.2017
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Europe's next four Galileo navigation satellites are in place atop their Ariane 5, ready to be launched next Tuesday. Liftoff from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is scheduled for 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 19-22. Completion of Galileo's Ariane 5 rocket took place in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, following the arrival there of the quartet of satellites, already attached to the dispenser that will hold them in position during launch, then release them into their target 22 922 km-altitude orbit. Next, the satellites plus dispenser were placed atop the Ariane 5's upper stage, after which the 14 m-long protective fairing was lowered over the Galileos - the last time they will be seen by human eyes. This fairing will protect them from the onrushing atmosphere during ascent. Liftoff from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana is scheduled for 18:36 GMT (19:36 CET, 15:36 local time), carrying Galileo satellites 19-22. Completion of Galileo's Ariane 5 rocket took place in the Spaceport's Final Assembly Building, following the arrival there of the quartet of satellites, already attached to the dispenser that will hold them in position during launch, then release them into their target 22 922 km-altitude orbit.

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New Horizons is in good health and cruising closer each day to its next encounter: a flyby of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) 2014 MU69 (or "MU69" for short). If you follow our mission, you likely know that flyby will occur on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day 2019, which is just barely over a year from now! As I write this, New Horizons is wrapping up an active period that began when the spacecraft emerged from hibernation mode in September. But soon, on Dec. 21, we'll put the spacecraft back in hibernation, where it will remain until June 4, 2018. After June 4 the spacecraft will stay "awake" until late in 2020, long after the MU69 flyby, when all of the data from that flyby have reached Earth. But before we put New Horizons into hibernation this month, we have some important work ahead. We'll observe five more KBOs with the onboard LORRI telescope/imager to learn about their surface properties, satellite systems and rotation periods. This work is part of a larger set of observations of 25-35 Kuiper Belt objects from 2016 to 2020 on this extended mission. Learning about these KBOs from close range and at angles that we cannot observe from Earth makes will give us key context for the more detailed studies we'll make of MU69 from a thousand times closer than we can study any other KBO. In addition to that LORRI imaging of these objects, we're continuing our nearly round-the-clock observations of the charged particle and dust environment of the Kuiper Belt-both before and while New Horizons hibernates.
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