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.
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 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.