India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully returned to flight Thursday night.
The PSLV lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 10:59 p.m. Eastern and placed into orbit a Cartosat 2 imaging satellite and 30 secondary payloads. Among the secondary payloads were four Dove cubesats for Planet, four Lemur-2 cubesats for Spire, a prototype broadband smallsat for Telesat and the first synthetic aperture radar smallsat for Finnish company Iceye. The launch was the first for the PSLV since an August mission that failed when the rocket’s payload fairing did not separate. [Spaceflight Now]
News from AAS
A NASA test has confirmed that pulsars could provide a deep-space navigation system. A study used the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) experiment on the International Space Station to measure the arrival times of signals from pulsars. Tiny changes in those arrival times allowed researchers to pinpoint the station’s location to within five kilometers. The results, presented Thursday at the American Astronomical Society meeting, demonstrate how pulsars could help future missions beyond Earth orbit determine their location. [Nature]
Differences in the measurement of a key cosmic constant could be a sign of new physics. In a talk at the AAS meeting this ...