New Amateur Radio Satellite Project

AMSAT-UK Chairman Martin Sweeting, G3YJO, has announced that an Amateur Radio transponder will be part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative (SSETI) “Express” satellite. Onboard will be a 2.4 GHz transmitter and a 437 MHz receiver. The pair will be turned into an amateur FM voice transponder after the transmitter serves initial telemetry duty.
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NASA has selected nine studies to investigate new ideas for future mission concepts within its Astronomical Search for Origins Program.

Among the new mission ideas are some that will survey one billion stars within our own galaxy, measure the distribution of galaxies in the distant universe, study dust and gas between galaxies, study organic compounds in space and investigate their role in planetary system formation, and create an optical-ultraviolet telescope to replace the Hubble Space Telescope (HST).
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Communities participating in National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3, will get a special greeting from the crew of the International Space Station.

“We’re a long way from home,” Expedition 9 Flight Engineer and NASA Science Officer Mike Fincke said, “Conducting the research that will pave the way for the future exploration away from our planet, but we wanted to join you in reinforcing the spirit of community that National Night Out promotes,” he added.
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Satellites tracing forest fire scars

Burning with a core heat approaching 800°C and spreading at up to 100 metres per minute, woodland blazes bring swift, destructive change to landscapes: the resulting devastation can be seen from space. An ESA-shaped service to monitor European forest fire damage will help highlight areas most at risk of future outbreaks.

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NASA is moving ahead with plans to redesign a part of the Space Shuttle external fuel tank that investigators believe played a critical role in the Space Shuttle Columbia accident. The Space Shuttle program will soon begin manufacturing and installing an improved bipod fitting, which connects the external fuel tank to the Shuttle during launch.
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Chinese Satellite Launched

On July 25 at 09:05 CEST (15:05 local time) the Chinese National Space Administration successfully launched Tan Ce 2, the second of the Double Star science satellites. This marks the latest important milestone in the scientific collaboration between China and the European Space Agency.

Tan Ce (“Explorer”) 2 was launched from the Taiyuan spaceport west of Beijing (Zhangye province) using a Long March 2C rocket. The launch, initially scheduled for today 26 July, took place one day earlier in order to avoid adverse weather conditions expected in the days to come. The spacecraft will join Tan Ce 1, which was launched on 29 December 2003, to complete the Double Star configuration.
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Earth from Space: image of the week

A large part of Brazil’s Amazon Basin is shown here. The area is a low-lying valley almost entirely covered by tropical rainforest, criss-crossed by rivers including the mighty Amazon itself.
At first glimpse there appears to be no trace of mankind in this image, but a careful look reveals settlements and roads extending from top to bottom along the right hand side.

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The families of the Space Shuttle Challenger’s crew today accepted the Congressional Space Medal of Honor from NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe. The honors, presented in the name of Congress and on behalf of President George W. Bush, were made during a private ceremony with the families of the seven astronauts in Washington.
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