News of

December 1998

December 31
Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology announces that it will soon introduce two new versions of its Chang Zheng ("Long March") family: the small CZ-1D and the CZ-3C, a two-booster version of the CZ-3B.
December 31
Orbital Sciences Corp. claims to have received launch orders worth US$150 million in December including launch contracts for 6 Pegasus and 2 Taurus vehicles as well as suborbital missions and the exercized option for 25 flights of the X-34 hypersonic demonstrator.
December 30
NASA's Kennedy Space Center awards the second launch of the Small Expendable Launch Vehicle Service 2 (SELVS-2) procurement to Orbital Sciences Corporation. An OSC Pegasus XL vehicle is due to loft the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (Galex) spacecraft to orbit in September 2001.
December 29
China plans to conduct six launches in 1999.
December 27
The first ten RS-12M2 "Topol M" intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in Russia are declared operational.
December 26
The North Korean government reports that a second test-flight of its Taepo Dong 2 missile is imminent. As for its maiden flight on August 31, the missile will attempt to loft a satellite to orbit.
December 26
The government of Moscow city plans to acquire 34% of NPO Molniya to support the development of its MAKS mini-shuttle system.
December 23
NASA's Johnson Space Center plans to issue a Request for Proposal for delta design effort required to convert the X-38 Experimental Crew Return Vehicle into an operational Crew Return Vehicle (CRV) for the International Space Station. The contract effort will include internal system integration activities as well as necessary system integration with the space shuttle and the station.
December 23
The ion engine on board NASA's Deep Space 1 spacecraft completes acceptance testing after more than 500 hours of operation. The engine, provided by Hughes Electron Dynamics, is now ready to serve as the primary method of propulsion.
 

 For up-to-date information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 ISIR NEWSLINE
 An on-line news service provided by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

December 19
Globalstar LP confirms that it has awarded a launch contract to Arianespace to loft a 6-satellite cluster atop an Ariane 4 vehicle in September 1999. Aerospatiale will provide the launch dispenser.
December 18
Eumetsat exercizes an option on a multiple launch contract with Arianespace for the launch of its MSG-2 meteorological satellite atop an Ariane 5 vehicle in the second half of 2002.
December 18
NASA's Kennedy Space Center exercizes a US$331.9-million option on a contract with Boeing for a 3-year extension of payload ground operations service through Dec. 31, 2001. Total value of the 15-year contract amounts to $1.8 billion.
December 18
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center exercizes a US$10-million option in a contract with Orbital Sciences Corp. for 25 test flights of the X-34 hypersonic demonstrator. An additional US$4.7 million in work will be conducted by government organizations. Total value of OSC's contract amounts to $85 million.
December 18
Spaceport Florida Authority selects Boeing to provide commercial and government customers support on behalf of a Space Operations Center (SOC) initiative at the Cape Canaveral spaceport.
 

 For additional information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE INDUSTRY REPORT
 A biweekly newsletter jointly published by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

December 17
NASA's Kennedy Space Center and Spaceport Florida Authority will invest US$8 million to build a Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) Support Complex near the Space Shuttle landing runway. The facility will be ready in 2000 in order to support the test campaign of the X-34 hypersonic demonstrator.
December 17
Lockheed Martin Astronautics conducts a 63-second firing test of the RD-180 engine at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. This is the fourth and final test to be conducted in the U.S. Meanwhile, another RD-180 is fired for 232 seconds by NPO Energomash in its facilities in Khimky, Russia, in the second of a series of 7 long duration firing tests.
December 17
Argentina announces that it will invest US$70-million to develop the Veng national space launch vehicle.
December 17
NASA awards a US$11.9-million contract to PRC Inc., a subsidiary of Litton Industries, to support its sounding rocket (NSROC) program. The IDIQ procurement is potentially worth up to US$211.8 million over 4 years and US$572.5 million if two 3-year options are exercized.
December 15
International Launch Services (ILS) plans 11 commercial missions on Proton vehicles in 1999.
December 15
North Korea claims to be ready for a second test flight of its Taepo Dong 2 missile.
 

 For up-to-date information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 ISIR NEWSLINE
 An on-line news service provided by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

December 10
NASA's Kennedy Space Center awards the first launch of the Small Expendable Launch Vehicle Service 2 (SELVS-2) procurement to Orbital Sciences Corporation. An OSC Pegasus XL vehicle is due to loft the High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (HESSI) spacecraft to orbit in July 2000.
December 9
DLR, the German aerospace center, signs a contract with Eurockot Launch Services GmbH for the launch of the two GRACE satellites developed in cooperation with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dual launch atop a Rokot vehicle is due in June 2001.
December 8
Boeing Space & Communications is selected by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to build the first Future-X Pathfinder demonstrator. Boeing and NASA will invest $150-million over 4 years to develop the Advanced Test Vehicle (ATV), a modular testbed to fly experiments in orbital and reentry environments.
December 8
NASA awards a $2.3-million modification to the REALMS a contract with Spacehab Inc. for additional unpressurized cargo services on the STS-96 shuttle mission to the International Space Station in May 1999.
December 1st
NASA exercizes a $18-million option on the Research & Logistics Mission Support (REALMS) contract with Spacehab Inc. for the provision of unpressurized cargo services on the STS-98 shuttle mission to the International Space Station in August 1999.
December 1st
France's CNES and U.S. NASA confirm their project to fly a joint Mars Sample Return Mission in 2005. The French will provide the Ariane 5E/ESC-A launch in August 2005 and the Mars Orbiter/Return Vehicle which will reach Mars in July 2006. NASA's JPL will provide the Mars Lander and the Return Capsule.
 

 For additional information regarding launch vehicles, payloads and space industry, refer to
 THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE INDUSTRY REPORT
 A biweekly newsletter jointly published by
 Launchspace Publications and Takyon International.

 

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