A Proton-M rocket has launched the US telecom probe EChostar-21 into datum orbit, Kazinform has learned from TASS. "The third-stage vehicle has separated from the space probe," the spokesman said. The further travel of the space probe to a geo-transitional orbit with the parameters of 36,000 km by 2,300 km will be assisted by five burns of the upper-stage vehicle.

While the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received full funding for its ongoing weather satellite programs, the agency is looking at options after a cut to a program for future polar-orbiting weather satellites. The omnibus spending bill for fiscal year 2017, signed into law May 5, provides NOAA weather satellite programs with $1.979 billion, $84 million less than requested. The bill fully funds the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R (GOES-R) and Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) programs for a combined total of $1.54 billion.

The U.S. Air Force held its first “Space Flag” exercise April 17 to 21, a new event designed to hone warfighter’s skills at operations, problem solving, and potential conflict in space.

Six months after seeking information about instruments it could fly to the moon, NASA has issued a request for information for commercial systems that could transport payloads there. The May 1 request for information (RFI) seeks details from U.S.

The U.S. Air Force held its first “Space Flag” exercise April 17 to 21, a new event designed to hone warfighter’s skills at operations, problem solving, and potential conflict in space.

The new chief executive of the U.S.-Russian joint venture that provides RD-180 engines to United Launch Alliance said April 6 he hopes to win an order for additional engines.

During a panel on international cooperation at the 33rd Space Symposium, Michael Baker, CEO of RD Amross, said he expected ULA to make a decision in the near future on buying additional engines as a hedge against any delays in the development of the company’s Vulcan rocket.

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