Four NASA-sponsored CubeSats and a NASA-funded CubeSat, were among thirteen small spacecraft launched from Southern California’s Vandenburg Air Force Base on Oct. 8.
The NASA-funded device will test how accurately a CubeSat can be pointed during high speed data transfer by laser. The NASA-sponsored CubeSats will test new control and communications systems, Earth observations, amateur radio communications and an X-Band radio science transponder.
There is a rocket launch from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virgina between 2300 and 0100 UTC (7 pm to 9 pm) and if you are in the Mid-Atlantic region of the US coast you may be able to see it. Hopefully for the rest of us there will be video coverage – I will post a link if there is live coverage, I should have it up by 2200 UTC
Approximately six minutes after launch, the sounding rocket will deploy four sub-payloads containing mixtures of barium and strontium will be released, creating a cloud that is blue-green and red in color.
Residents from Long Island, New York, 235 miles north of the launch site, to Morehead City, North Carolina, 232 miles south, 165 miles west in Charlottesville, Virginia — and everyone in between — could get a glimpse of the colorful evening launch.
Sounding rockets, also called suborbital rockets, are valuable tools in qualifying technologies for flight. During this suborbital flight, NASA will test a modified Black Brant sounding rocket motor, launch vehicle and spacecraft systems and sub-payload ejection technologies. – NASA
India is going to launch a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) for the 30th time. On board are three identical DMC3 optical earth observation satellites built by Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), United Kingdom (UK). The PSLV-C28 will be the ninth flight of PSLV in ‘XL’ configuration.
In addition two auxiliary satellites from UK, viz., CBNT-1, a technology demonstrator earth observation micro satellite built by SSTL, and De-OrbitSail, a technology demonstrator nano satellite built by Surrey Space Centre.
Last I knew everything was on track for a 16:28 UTC launch from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota (SDSC-SHAR), the spaceport of India.
Here’s a replay of the launch of Sentinel-2A, the second satellite of Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring program. Video courtesy of ESA.
From ESA: Designed as a two-satellite constellation – Sentinel-2A and -2B – the Sentinel-2 mission carries an innovative wide swath high-resolution multispectral imager with 13 spectral bands for a new perspective of our land and vegetation. This information will be used for agricultural and forestry practices and for helping manage food security. It will also provide information on pollution in lakes and coastal waters. Images of floods, volcanic eruptions and landslides contribute to disaster mapping and help humanitarian relief efforts.