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NASA's search for Earth-like planets around other stars took one major step forward Wednesday night when the agency's TESS exoplanet hunter received a smooth ride into a high-energy transfer orbit atop a SpaceX Falcon 9
The thunder of Russia's Proton rocket returned to the Baikonur Cosmodrome Wednesday night for the first time in seven months when the former workhorse of the Russian space program soared into the pre-dawn skies over the Kazakh launch site on a military mission.
Planet's Flock 2E'-1 Earth-imaging satellite re-entered the atmosphere on April 15, 2018 - decaying 23 months after being released from the International Space Station to join Planet's orbiting constellation of Doves that image the entire Earth at least once per day.
The Lemur-2 TRUTNA Satellite, part of Spire Global's CubeSat Constellation, re-entered the atmosphere on April 15, 2018 after over one year in orbit collecting global ship-tracking data and measuring atmospheric parameters.
Iridium 19 re-entered the atmosphere on April 7, 2018 after over 20 years in orbit as part of the original Iridium Communications Constellation, a low-orbiting satellite system for global communications including voice and point-to-point data services via 66 active satellites in six orbital planes.
Out of public sight, a Proton-M rocket was rolled to its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome last weekend in preparation for liftoff as early as Wednesday with the second satellite in a dual-purpose civilian and military communications network
NASA's pursuit of Earth 2.0 will have to wait at least another two days for a critical search asset to head into orbit as the launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was delayed from Monday to provide time for additional Guidance, Navigation & Control System analysis.
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