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Russia loses satellite

February 3rd, 2011 by David No Comments

Russia has lost one of its military satellites, according to Russian newswire RIA Novosti.

The dual-purpose geodesic satellite failed to reach its designated circular orbit 1,000km above the Earth, said the report.

The GEO-IK-2 satellite is designed to map the Earth in 3 dimensions to enable better targeting for missile systems.

The satellite was reportedly found by US space monitoring facilities, on an elliptical orbit within 330km (205 miles) from Earth.

ARMY NANO-SATELLITE MAKES MAIDEN FLIGHT

December 8th, 2010 by admin No Comments

The first US Army nano-satellite has made its first flight from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Pad 40.

The SMDC-ONE satellite is the first built by the US Army in over fifty years. The program has developed under the aegis of the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command.

The maiden flight aims to receive data from a ground transmitter and relay that information to another ground station. The Army intends to position a number of identical nano-satellites in low earth orbit, evaluating their performance for tactical communications.

The satellite launched using a Falcon 9 two-stage booster, with a Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies launch vehicle as a secondary payload. The primary payload was a Space X Dragon spacecraft.

The US Army says SMDC-ONE deployed from its Falcon 9 trunk unit around 45 minutes after launch, entered a low earth orbit, deploying its receiver antennae after a further 30 minutes lying dormant.

The Army says the satellite was in “tumbling mode”, but still managed to transmit data on its state of health to a ground station in Alaska.

The plan is for the satellite to make similar contact with the second ground station at Colorado Springs.

The satellite is expected orbit for 30 days, and be destroyed when re-entering the atmosphere because of its small size.

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