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Orbit


— Space

Akatsuki probe enters orbit around Venus

Space exploration rarely gives second chances, but the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) took advantage of a big one today. The Agency has confirmed that its Akatsuki space probe has successfully made it into orbit around the planet Venus on its second attempt. The first try was way back on December 7, 2010, when a malfunction of the main engine sent the spacecraft back into orbit around the Sun.

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— Space

ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite arrives in French Guiana ahead of launch

ESA's Sentinel-2A satellite has arrived safely in French Guiana, ahead of its June 12 launch atop a Vega rocket. It was carried in the belly of an enormous Russian-made Antonov cargo plane, and protected within a specially-constructed air conditioned habitat. Once operational, the satellite will represent a cornerstone of the agency's Copernicus program, which is striving to revolutionize how we observe and understand our environment, and how we may be able to tackle the detrimental effects of climate change. Read More
— Space

ESA tests the potential of grabbing derelict satellites using a simple net

The ESA has been testing the possibility of using one of mankind's earliest inventions to cope with one of its newest challenges, by testing a concept that would allow satellites to net and de-orbit space debris in a safe and controlled manner. Space debris is an ever-increasing problem, and agencies around the world are starting to take steps to preserve the low-Earth orbit environment vital for a sustainable space industry. Read More
— Space

Construction begins on Space Fence radar system

Ground was broken at the future six-acre (2.4-hectare) site of the new Space Fence radar system in a special ceremony last month on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The ceremony marked the official start of construction of the system that will replace the Air Force Space Surveillance System (AFSSS) in tracking objects in orbit, including commercial and military satellites and debris from collisions. Read More
— Space

NASA tests parachute-like space brakes to de-orbit satellites

Getting to Earth from the International Space Station (ISS) by jumping out of an airlock with a parachute may seem daft, but a group of students are trying just that with a CubeSat. According to NASA, TechEdSat-4, which was jettisoned from the space station on March 3, has reached its designated orbit, where it will use a parachute-like "exo-brake" to slow it down enough to safely re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Read More
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