Category Archives: Space

Last flight of the Atlantis. And now what?

After several years making us dream, we wake up into the reality…


Ariane 5 (Astra 1N Mission) delayed

Last nigth the Astra 1N mission failed so we closed early the NewConceptsCafe. One Valve of the Ariane 5 was the problem. We will have to wait about 20 days to see the launch.
Here is the press release of ArianeSpace and at the end of it you can find a very interesting link about the mission:

Mission Update

Ariane 5’s launch is postponed approximately 20 days for a component change-out

July 2, 2011 – Ariane Flight VA203

Arianespace’s Ariane 5 mission with the ASTRA 1N and BSAT-3c/JCSAT-110R satellite will be delayed to allow a valve replacement for the launcher’s cryogenic core stage, which follows an anomaly that interrupted the final countdown yesterday in French Guiana.

To replace this valve – which did not function properly – Ariane 5 will be transferred from the Spaceport’s ELA-3 launch zone back to the Final Assembly Building.

Arianespace estimates that the valve’s replacement, along with the associated operations, will require approximately 20 days, with a new launch date to be announced shortly.

During the current operations, the Ariane 5 and its two satellite payloads are being maintained in fully safe conditions.

See the official Arianespace launch kit for further details on this mission.

Will keep updating about one of our passions as it is the space race
And what happens with LAMOTO2 Soon you’ll have interesting releases…

Astra 1N Launch tonight

Hi everybody! 

Tonight at the NewConceptsCafé…

 We remind you that tonight will be launched the ASTRA 1N satellite from French Guiana with an Ariane 5. You can follow live online using the link below: 

The launch window begins at 11:43 PM tonight.

If you have never seen a launch I think i’ts quite interesting.
If everithing goes well, the Astrium-built Astra 1N will be soon  operating with more than 50 active Ku-band transponders. It has a takeoff mass of 5,300 kilograms and the electrical power produced by its solar panels is 13 Kw. over its lifetime of 15 years. The satellite also has the participation of CASA Espacio, namely the FSA’s have been provided. 

The Ariane 5 also has the usual elements provided by CASA Espacio as the Payload adapter.

Via EADS CASA (Communication Department).

More info:

KA-Sat starts emitting in KA-Band

Welcome to our new Café! After a redesign the NewConceptsCafé opens again!

Since the Café was opened, one of the most clicked posts has been the one referred to the KASAT emitting in KA-Band. Well, it started to work successfully ten days ago as I discovered reading one of my favourite blogs: GIZMAG.
Currently I’m working in a new Ka-Band satellite so I can imagine the difficulty of this design.I’ll try to explain easily how it’s made and how it works.

The satellites usually flight inside a launcher. Depending of its weight and size it will flight in a different one.
The most used are:

- The Ariane 5

- The Proton

- The Soyuz

The satellite goes inside the top part of the rocket as payload and obviously it must fit inside. That’s the reason why everything is folded.

HERE you can find some interesting images.

There are two different efforts that a satellite must hold. The launching and the thermal efforts once is placed in orbit.

The first one is mainly induced by the vibrations of the launcher engines. It can reach values over 100 G in some parts.

Once the satellite is in orbit, the gravity and the centrifugal forces are equilibrated and so it does not feel any gravitational effort. But its new enemy is the sun. The difference between a radiated and no radiated part can go from -180 to 180 degrees. That means extreme parts solicitations by dilatation. That’s the reason why satellites are covered by a sunshield. This sunshield prevents from direct sun exposure but also keeps radiation rebounding inside heating more equally the different parts. There is a minor thermal gradient. It’s important to add that the sheet that works as sunshield must be transparent to the frequencies that the satellite uses to emit and receive. In this case, as a Ka-Band satellite these frequencies are: 26.5 to 40 GHz

Before deploying all the reflectors and the solar panels are clamped to the satellite body to avoid bad behaviours and cracks during the launch.

The most used mechanism to detach the parts from the satellite are the pironuts. Pironuts are explosive nuts that. Once they explode they release the extra clamps letting the ADPMs (Antenna Deployment and Pointing Mechanism) motors drive reflectors and solar panels to its final position in the satellite flight configuration. Now, the ADPMs and the satellite attitude control work together to reach the correct pointing to targets on earth.

The KA-Sat it’s a multi-spotbeam satellite so it must point to all the coloured circles you see in the picture. This means a little metallic horn pointing to a main reflector to rebound and amplify the signal. In this case it has 82 horns (quite a lot). The horns are really close to each others as you can see in the picture (are the white cup-shaped parts you can see in the top of the satellite in the picture below) In this case it seems that there are four arrays, 2 per reflector.

The complexity of the parts to produce and assemble can only be intuited by looking a this part that can represent a 1% of the total satellite systems.

So happily we have our new satellite emitting and allowing the not ADSL covered zones to reach a good transfer speed in their internet conections.

And of course giving extra tools to SKYNET to control us :-)

Ariane5 flight #197 W3B satellite launching failed


This morning I wake up with good news Reading about the successful #197 flight of the Ariane5

Bad news my friends. The W3B satellite from Eutelsat failed and is lost in the space. It´s the second satellite they lose…