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LONDON: New Chanel flagship opens

Set to be the largest Chanel store in the world, today sees the opening of the much-anticipated new Chanel flagship on New Bond Street in London’s exclusive Mayfair area. Designed by New York architect Peter Marino, the three-story townhouse comprises everything Chanel, from apparel, accessories and jewelry to beauty and fragrance. Inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment, the beautiful bespoke interiors include a living room area as well as a handbag bar, opulent bronze colored walls and multiple crystal chandeliers. Adding an air of creativity, 23 pieces of contemporary art are also housed in the magnificent building, including an over-sized pearl necklace glass sculpture by French artist Jean-Michel Othonioel. –Anna Jacobsen

Chanel
158- 159 New Bond Street W1G 6DG
Mayfair, London

Pictures courtesy of Style Bubble and Vogue.com

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LONDON: New Chanel flagship opens
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Doudoune Burberry Homme
Sep 26th, 2014

Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.U.S. military weather observatory fires into orbit BY SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: April 3, 2014 A new global weather observatory for the U.S. armed forces was lofted into orbit aboard its Atlas 5 booster rocket from California on Thursday to provide tactical forecasts to military operations. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsPowering away from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 7:46 a.m. local (10:46 a.m. EDT; 1446 GMT), the liftoff was timed to deliver the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Flight 19 spacecraft into its precise orbit 530 miles high.”Weather guides some of the most important decisions in the armed forces, from flight patterns to troop movements. Through DMSP, we’re helping to provide safer, successful missions,” said Sue Stretch, DMSP program director at Lockheed Martin.”This new asset will carry on the mission for military users and civilians who depend on it.”About 18 minutes into flight, the 2,700-pound satellite separated from the Centaur upper stage, marking the 115th successful Atlas launch in a row over the past two decades.”DMSP Flight 19 will provide data to identify, locate and determine the intensity severe weather such as thunderstorms, hurricanes and typhoons, and is used to form three-dimensional cloud analyses, which form the basis for computer forecast models needed to meet unique DOD requirements,” said Col. Scott Larrimore, Air Force weather program director.”DMSP Flight 19 continues the legacy of over 50 years of providing meteorological data to the armed forces worldwide.” The DMSP F19 spacecraft. Credit: Lockheed MartinThe $518 million observatory will be checked out and ready for service in about two months, and joins a half-dozen older DMSPs in orbit divided into two orbital groupings.”F19 is placed into an orbit compromised between the two planes we currently have. We are changing our operational concept from this two-plane constellation to this single-plane constellation. We can do that because we can get data to the Air Force Weather Agency faster than before,” Larrimore said.The craft carries a sophisticated suite of weather instruments to observe virtually the entire planet twice daily. Data from DMSP satellites is used to create global weather forecasts that military commanders and strategic planners rely upon. The satellites can track weather systems by visible and infrared cloud-cover imagery, day and night, plus monitor ice and snow coverage, pollution and fires. The primary sensor, one of seven aboard, is the Operational Linescan Sensor, which collects visible and infrared cloud pictures in 1,800-mile swaths covering the globe. The microwave sounder provides storm intensity measurements.”Weather is the vital element of well-planned missions for each branch of service. High winds limit aircraft, storms threaten ships and low visibility can alter troop movements. The data that DMSP provides is essential to mission success,” said Stretch. The DMSP satellite deployed in space. Credit: Air ForceWhat comes later is not quite clear. DMSP F20 remains on the ground, but officials may elect to keep it there in favor of moving on to the next-generation of a smaller spacecraft.”We certainly hope they launch it. It’s built, paid for, it’s a capable satellite, and we know it works, so we think that’s the smart decision for the Air Force,” said Mark Valerio, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s military space division.”You have to find a balance because if you launch too early you might waste the on-orbit life, and if you wait too long then you run into the cost of storing it on the ground.””What happens after that is under review, but we’re confident we’re in a good place,” said Gen. William Shelton, commander of Space Command.”Following the analysis of alternatives, we have gone on with a weather system follow-on program, which will end up being a small satellite which has unique DoD requirements satisfied. We will count on NOAA, international partners, and commercial [providers] to provide the rest of the data that’s needed to round out the picture.” Next for the Atlas program, attention returns to the East Coast and another try at launching the NROL-67 mission as early as April 10. That flight and a SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station planned for late March both were delayed due to a Range radar outage.The next space launch from Vandenberg will be the return of the Delta 2 rocket on July 1 with NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2. Another Atlas 5 will carry the commercial Earth-imaging spacecraft into orbit in August.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.U.S. military’s new weather satellite gets foggy sendoff SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: October 18, 2009 An Atlas 5 rocket escaped the heavy blanket of fog smothering its launch pad this morning and successfully powered to space to deploy a new global weather observatory for America’s military.Liftoff from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base came at 9:12 a.m. local (12:12 p.m. EDT; 1612 GMT) when the day’s narrow launch window opened to ensure delivery of the payload into the desired polar orbit. Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AllianceThe kerosene-fed main engine developed in Russia fired for the initial four minutes of flight before the hydrogen-fueled Centaur upper stage assumed control for its 11-minute burn over the open ocean to target a 463-nautical-mile high orbit.About 18 minutes into the flight, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program F18 spacecraft successfully released from the rocket to begin its $500 million mission to track the weather across the planet.”This is an incredibly important mission for our nation,” said Col. Michael Moran, the Atlas Group commander. “Little happens on today’s battlefield without a very clear picture of the weather.””As a weather satellite, we tend to get just a little respect. It’s certainly not as sexy a mission as some — GPS, for example, which is famous around the world now,” said Col. Stephen Pluntze, Defense Meteorological Satellite Systems Group commander at Los Angeles Air Force Base.”DMSP has been providing weather-related data to the nation for nearly 50 years. These satellites are optimized for the military but they also provide civilian forecasters with information about developing terrestrial weather and space weather, the existing weather systems over remote areas on the Earth and anticipated hazards to people and our resources. The weather-related data has provided improved ways of detecting severe weather fronts and determining their strength.”Unlike the civilian geostationary satellites parked 22,300 miles above Earth to focus on one region of the planet and capture the imagery of clouds seen on television weather reports, the military’s DMSP satellites fly far closer to the ground and see virtually the entire globe twice daily.”With the lower altitude, the data fidelity is much higher, we’re just closer. It’s a close-up picture vs. one that’s farther away. And because we cover the whole Earth, we are much more responsive to the military’s requirements as far as targeting different areas and being able to look at different things at different times rather than staring at one place,” Pluntze said.The orbiting eyes help plan air, sea and land operations by U.S. military forces deployed around the world.”We try to bring weather guys who were over in Iraq or Afghanistan to some of our briefings because as you can expect the contractors who work on these satellites would like know that they’re doing a good job for somebody. So my stories are mostly come from folks like that – they’ve been in the desert and have used weather operationally, which means to plan missions,” Pluntze said.”One of the areas where this satellite has come in very handy is for sand storms. If you know a sand storm is about to end and your enemy doesn’t, you can do a lot with that information, or conversely, you know one is about to start and he doesn’t. The same information is true about flying (unmanned aerial vehicles). UAVs are of course smaller, more fragile than normal manned airplanes. So if you know if the weather is either going to be good or poor for their use but your enemy doesn’t, then you can keep him guessing. Those are great multipliers for the weather mission.” The Atlas soars off the pad. Credit: Gene Blevins/LA Daily NewsThe Atlas rocket’s liftoff was timed to place the 2,700-pound satellite into one of two specific orbits where the DMSP satellites fly. This latest craft will replace the aging DMSP F16, which was blasted into space six years ago today after a remarkable star-crossed history of delays.It was October 18, 2003 when DMSP F16 roared away from Vandenberg atop a Titan 2 booster after multiple trips to the launch pad and countdowns spread across 33 months. The seemingly jinxed satellite had gotten within 28 seconds of blastoff in early 2001, but that day’s scrub was just one chapter in the long saga of delays.A full recap about the satellite’s infamous hard luck can be read , along with another from the day DMSP F16 eventually launched.The memories about trying to get the satellite into space come flooding back now that its successful mission transitions into a new phase. Having surpassed its design life, the Air Force will make DMSP F18 the new leader in F16’s orbit.At the moment of today’s launch, DMSP F16 was 461 nautical miles over the Middle East in its pole-to-pole orbit.DMSP satellites circle around the planet to collect global weather data for the U.S. military to use in planning operations across the world. The satellites are built by Lockheed Martin with an expectation to last four years but normally operate much longer.”F16 will be the one that this satellite replaces, although F16 will not stop working,” Pluntze said. The DMSP F18 satellite. Credit: Lockheed MartinThe U.S. military has a constellation of two primary DMSP satellites and older backups working in space. Once the new DMSP F18 spacecraft is checked out, it should be ready for full service by December as the main bird in its distinct orbit. The DMSP F16 will remain in service, albeit as a secondary craft, for the remainder of its usefulness. “You know, it would be nice to be able to wait until one breaks before you replace it, then you are not losing anything, you’ve used up one totally and then the next one comes online and it takes over the mission. There’s really no way to predict when the ones up there are going to fail. If you waited until they fail, it takes quite a long time to get a satellite ready for launching and we don’t wait on the pad with the satellite ready to go. We tend to launch them before they are needed but there’s really no way around that,” Pluntze said.”It’s a little bit of an art, not a science to figuring out when the older ones are old and when you need a new one. F16 is in decent shape. There were some improvements made to that satellite, so it’s doing okay. But it’s down now to its last gyroscope, which is what keeps the upside up and the downside down. So it is time to launch this one. The one that’s up there won’t break immediately, but it’s getting to the point we realize it is time.”The military currently uses four DMSP satellites ranging in age from the extraordinarily long-lived F13 launched in 1995 to the youngest, F17, deployed in 2006. The quartet is separated into pairs operating in two different orbits. Their instruments provide visible and infrared imagery of clouds, day or night, plus measure winds, soil moisture, ice and snow coverage, pollution, fires and dust storms.”We only need one satellite in each orbit to be working. We’re lucky that we have more than that. So in this orbit we’ll have F15, F16 and F18, after it gets up. The other orbit we have F13 and F17,” Pluntze said. An artist’s concept of a DMSP satellite in space. Credit: Lockheed MartinThe U.S. military has been operating weather satellites for decades. Rejuvenating the constellation with new observatories ensures the continued flow of data for long-term forecasting and real-time inputs to leaders on the battlefield.”We do two missions — terrestrial weather and space weather. The intent being you take data, you send it the ground and it’s used for a couple of things. You can either improve your forecast models, being able to look out further in time, or you can use the data real-time to tell the warfighters where the weather is, what is going to happen to it and how you can use that on the battlefield,” Pluntze said.”Space weather data, that’s not like a forecast for the Earth or the planetary surface. You are still trying out what’s going to happen hours or days ahead, but our space forecasting models are not as good as our terrestrial models. So any and all data we get improves those models. That’s probably the most important thing right now. In the future, as we get better with the models and we can predict where space weather is going to act up, then we can tell people using radios and radars and power facilities on the ground where and when they may act up.”There are two more DMSP satellites built to fly in the coming years. Tentative plans call for F19’s launch in October 2012 and F20’s in May 2014.”We’ve have been able to make the old ones last quite a long time. I applaud the ground crews who are very flexible and taking instruments that should not have lasted this long and figuring out new ways, sometimes with software, sometimes with on-orbit fixes, to keep them going a long time. They are all to be congratulated, but eventually you need the new ones and we’re fortunate to have some new ones to go up,” Pluntze said.”We are very proud of the DMSP legacy in providing this weather mission for the nation.” The Atlas 5 rocket’s pad at Vandenberg is Space Launch Complex 3 on a clear, sunny day. Credit: Spaceflight NowSee a larger image Today’s launch was the 600th for an Atlas vehicle dating back to 1957, a history that began with the country’s first operational intercontinental ballistic missile and later became the booster behind the first American astronaut to orbit the planet, John Glenn, in 1962. The rocket has morphed into countless versions and configurations as it grew more powerful for carrying unmanned satellites and payloads into Earth orbit and beyond.”From its begins in the late 1950s, the Atlas program has evolved to meet the challenges of spacelift into the 21st century,” Moran said.Launch No. 601 is targeted for the early morning hours of November 14 from Florida’s Cape Canaveral with the Intelsat 14 satellite, a commercial spacecraft to provide communications services to the Americas, Africa and Europe.The next Atlas slated to fly from Vandenberg will be a classified National Reconnaissance Office mission next October, Moran said.Additional coverage for subscribers:VIDEO:ATLAS 5 ROCKET LAUNCH DMSP F18 STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.U.S. military’s second X-37 space plane due for launch SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 3, 2011 An Atlas 5 rocket crowned with a covert U.S. Air Force space plane rolled to a Florida launch pad Thursday to begin final preps for blastoff with a secret cache of military experiments. The Atlas 5 rolled to the launch pad Thursday afternoon. Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AllianceThe metallic gold-colored rocket, topped by a bulbous white nose cone, rolled from an integration building to the launch pad at Complex 41 Thursday afternoon.Liftoff from Cape Canaveral is scheduled for a launch window opening at 2039 GMT (3:39 p.m. EST) Friday. The exact launch time will be announced around 8 a.m. EST Friday, according to the Air Force.But breezy weather and cumulus clouds at Cape Canaveral threaten to thwart Friday’s launch plans. There is a 70 percent the weather conditions will prohibit an on-time launch, according to Air Force meteorologists.The outlook remains iffy over the weekend until a cold front pushes through the region, bringing more favorable conditions to the Space Coast by Monday.When the 20-story launch blasts off, it will be hauling a stubby-winged spaceship called the Orbital Test Vehicle several hundred miles above Earth. Also known as the X-37B, the space plane is carrying a number of classified experiments inside its cargo bay, which is about the size of the bed of a pickup truck.Resembling a mini-space shuttle, the OTV’s purpose is shrouded in secrecy, but the vehicle itself is not classified. It features a powerful main engine to change its orbit, uses a solar array for power production and is covered in ceramic heat-resistant tiles to protect the craft during re-entry.The craft could ferry into orbit materials science payloads, experimental reconnaissance sensors, innovative communications instruments, or a variety of other potential cargo.Friday’s launch will the start second flight of the Air Force’s robotic space plane program, coming three months after an identical ship glided back to Earth and landed on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The second X-37B space plane is enclosed inside the Atlas 5 rocket’s nose fairing. Credit: U.S. Air ForceThe of the first X-37B craft was the first time an unmanned U.S. space vehicle fell back to Earth and made a precision landing on a runway.This follow-up mission will attempt to achieve the same feat, but the OTV 2 flight will take advantage of lessons learned from the experience of the first X-37 sortie, according to Maj. Tracy Bunko, an Air Force spokesperson at the Pentagon.”Like all flight test programs, OTV 2 will build on the on-orbit demonstration of OTV 1, so we’re expanding and fine tuning our test parameters,” Bunko told Spaceflight Now.The X-37B stretches 29 feet long and has a wing span of 14 feet. It can weigh up to 11,000 pounds fueled for launch.Built by Boeing’s Phantom Works division, the space plane was initially conceived by NASA. The program was handed off to DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development unit, in 2004 after NASA funding dried up.The Air Force took over in 2006 and brought the space plane to the launch pad last year. The first X-37B flight April 22 and spent more than 224 days in space.The project is managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, a top-level group reporting to a board of senior branch officials including the secretary of the Air Force, the Air Force chief of staff, and the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics.The office “expedites development and fielding of select Department of Defense combat support and weapon systems by leveraging defense-wide technology development efforts and existing operational capabilities,” according to an Air Force fact sheet.Many of the Rapid Capabilities Office’s projects are implemented on accelerated timelines, the fact sheet said.The spacecraft can stay in orbit for up to nine months and will return to Earth for landing at Vandenberg, the Air Force said.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.United Launch Alliance preparing for its 75th mission SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: August 13, 2013 Assembly of United Launch Alliance’s next Atlas 5 rocket is underway in the towering integration facility at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 pad to deploy an ultra-secure U.S. communications satellite in September. File image of last Atlas 5 with AEHF satellite. Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch AllianceThe rocket is taking the shape of the 531 configuration in the Atlas 5 family, which will feature a five-meter-diameter nose cone, three strap-on solid fuel boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.That power will lift the Air Force’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite No. 3 into a supersynchronous transfer orbit from the Florida spaceport.Liftoff is scheduled for Sept. 25 at 2:36 a.m. EDT (0636 GMT). However, officials are looking at the possibility to move up the launch by few days.The AEHF satellite series, built by Lockheed Martin, is a growing constellation in space that will ring the globe to link civilan leadership with military forces anywhere on the planet.”We depend on this satellite system in existential circumstances for the United States. When communications from the President and the National Command Authority has to get through to our forces to execute options and in circumstances that are just the worst imaginable, this is the system we depend on,” said Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command. An artist’s concept of the AEHF satellite in space. Credit: U.S. Air ForceULA Atlas 5 rockets successfully launched AEHF 1 on Aug. 14, 2010 and AEHF 2 on May 4, 2012. A constellation of at least six satellites in the series is planned.Considered among the Defense Department’s most critical spacecraft, the AEHF satellites will ensure a survivable line of contact between the president, military commanders and troops on the battlefield even in nightmarish scenarios of nuclear war.”This is the satellite that provides the president the capability to communicate with deployed forces when there’s a nuclear environment, either nuclear attack in progress or post-nuclear attack when the atmosphere is simulated from the nuclear effects. It is the satellite, again, that just has to be there,” Shelton said.The AEHF constellation is the next-generation replacement to the aging MILSTAR line, offering faster data speeds and expanded capacity for secure communications across the world.Assembly of the launch vehicle began on Friday, Aug. 2 when the first stage was lifted aboard the mobile platform at the Vertical Integration Facility.The three solid rocket boosters were attached last week and the Centaur upper stage was hoisted into place today. File image of Centaur lift for mating to Atlas 5. Credit: NASA-KSCAEHF 3, which arrived in Florida on July 10 from Lockheed Martin’s satellite facility in Sunnyvale, Calif., is proceeding through its own processing at a separate cleanroom facility.The craft is undergoing final testing, the loading of maneuvering propellants and encapsulation in the two halves of the rocket’s nose cone. The payload will be moved to the Atlas assembly building and mated to the launcher to complete the 196-foot-tall rocket for flight.It will be the sixth Atlas of the year, the 40th overall since 2002, the 15th in service to the Defense Department and United Launch Alliance’s 75th flight since its formation in 2006.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.Unprecedented fourth launch in four months for Atlas 5 SPACEFLIGHT NOWPosted: March 19, 2013 Launching. Just launching. That’s been the mantra for the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket program, which successfully completed its fourth flight in four months on Tuesday by boosting a surveillance satellite into orbit for the Pentagon. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight NowThe pace is unprecedented in the decade-long history of the Atlas 5 family, and each of the four missions since December lifted off in the opening moment of their launch windows on the first attempt.The streak spans the X-37B mini space shuttle launch on , a NASA science-relay spacecraft deployment on , and the latest Landsat from California on .Tuesday’s countdown unfolded as scheduled, kicking off activities by powering up the Atlas-Centaur, conducting standard testing and then loading the vehicle with supercold rocket fuel.The main engine ignited at 5:21 p.m. EDT (2121 GMT) to generate 860,000 pounds of thrust, sending a thunderous roar reverberating across the Florida coast as the 19-story rocket departed Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41.The second Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 2 for short, rode the rocket to the prescribed drop off orbit, separating from the launcher into its preliminary perch 43 minutes after liftoff.”This spacecraft will provide next-generation missile warning, missile defense and battlespace characterization for the next two to three decades,” said Lt. Col. David Ashley, the 5th Space Launch Squadron commander at the Cape. Atlas 5 departs the Florida spaceport. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight NowBuilt by Lockheed Martin, the craft will be maneuvered in the next 9 days to a circular orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, matching the planet’s rotation to appear fixed above one spot of the globe.”We really hope it never has to do its primary mission — to warn the president and secretary of defense if there is an attack on the United States homeland,” said Col. Jim Planeaux, director of the Infrared Space Systems Directorate at the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center.The craft will bolster and upgrade the U.S. military’s infrared surveillance system that continuously scans the world looking for enemy missile launches and sounding the alarm to fight back against an incoming threat.”At a time when this capability is more vital than ever, the addition of GEO 2 will further enhance our nation’s capabilities for early warning detection of ballistic missile launches around the globe, support our nation’s ballistic missile defense system, greatly expand our technical intelligence-gathering capability and provide enhanced situational awareness for warfighters on the battlefield,” said Dave Sheridan, Lockheed Martin’s SBIRS program director in Sunnyvale, Calif.Born in the Cold War and modernized to face today’s threats, the surveillance network scans the planet with infrared eyes to spot heat plumes, the telltale indicator of ascending missiles and boosters.”While our current constellation of Defense Support Program satellites has served the nation and our allies well for over 40 years, SBIRS is bringing unprecedented new capabilities into service,” said Planeaux.”SBIRS improved sensor technology and ground processing capabilities enable us to respond to growing needs, evolving threats, and will serve us as the foundation of the nation’s overhead infrared constellation for many, many years to come.” Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight NowThose upgrades, which conclude an additional onboard telescope to stare at a specific spot on the globe, offer the ability to make quicker detections of fainter objects than ever before.”Each (SBIRS) GEO satellite includes highly sophisticated scanning and staring sensors that will deliver enhanced infrared sensitivity and a reduction in area revisit times over the current constellation. The scanning sensors provide a wide-area surveillance of missile launches and natural phenomena across the Earth, while the staring sensors can be tasked to observe smaller areas of interest with enhanced sensitivity,” Sheridan said.The remaining legacy DSP satellites that remain in use, the number of which the Air Force does not disclose for security reasons, is joined in geosynchronous orbit by SBIRS GEO 1 that launched in May 2011. GEO 2 should finish its orbital maneuvering and arrive at its final altitude next week.The Air Force expects to have both GEO satellites fully certified and accepted into the network to provide early-warning data by the end of this year. Credit: Walter Scriptunas II/Spaceflight NowAlso flying and already entrusted to provide operational detection data are two “hosted” SBIRS sensor packages piggybacking on a pair of National Reconnaissance Office spy satellites in highly elliptical orbits as part of the advanced surveillance system’s layered approach.”I would argue that the nation’s missile warning system is critical now, or perhaps even more so, than it was even during Cold War,” said Planeaux.”Certainly strategic and tactical missile threats have proliferated in both number and type, the number of countries that own these systems has increased. So with SBIRS our core mission continues to be that missile warning, and we’re modernizing the nation’s systems so that we remain highly capable against today’s threats, just as we have through the 40 years of DSP legacy, and we’ll continue to meet the needs of our national leadership, decision makers, our warfighters and our allies.”In 2011, the surveillance system was used “to alert our forces and those of our global partners to nearly 200 missile launches and to report an additional 7,100 special infrared events,” Planeaux said.The next Atlas 5 launch is planned for May 15 from the Cape to deploy the latest Global Positioning System navigating satellite.An annual maintenance period will be performed between Tuesday’s SBIRS launch and the May GPS mission, creating a slight lull before the next Atlas will fly.Still, it will be the rocket’s fifth launch in six months, with four additional to go this year.John Glenn Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The historic first orbital flight by an American is marked by this commemorative patch for John Glenn and Friendship 7.Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is available in our store. Get this piece of history!Celebrate the shuttle programFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This special commemorative patch marks the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.WGS 2 readied for launch aboard Atlas 5 rocketThis collection of photos shows the Wideband Global SATCOM 2 satellite being encapsulated into the rocket’s nose cone at the Astrotech preparation facility on February 26. The payload was transported to the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 for mounting atop the Atlas 5 rocket on March 4.Photo credit: United Launch Alliance Photo credit: United Launch AllianceFinal Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Ares 1-X PatchThe official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.Project OrionThe Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA’s first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.Fallen Heroes Patch CollectionThe official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.WGS fact sheetAIR FORCE FACT SHEETWideband Global SATCOM (WGS)爌rovides flexible, high-capacity communications for the Nation’s warfighters through operationalization of the Wideband Global SATCOM and associated control systems. WGS will provide a quantum leap in communications bandwidth for marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen. Illustration shows a WGS satellite in space. Credit: BoeingWGS is a multi-Service program that leverages commercial methods and technological advances in the satellite industry to design, build, launch and support a constellation of highly capable military communications satellites. Upon its first launch into geosynchronous orbit in 2007, WGS Space Vehicle (SV) 1 will be the Department of Defense’s highest capacity communications satellite. A constellation of five satellites will provide service in both the X and Ka-band frequency spectrums. WGS will supplant X-band communications now provided by the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and one-way Ka-band service provided by the Global Broadcast Service (GBS). Additionally, WGS will provide a new two-way Ka-band service. These digitally channelized and transponded satellites provide a quantum leap in communications capacity, connectivity and flexibility for U.S. military forces while seamlessly integrating with existing and programmed X- and Ka-band terminals. BackgroundWGS will provide essential communications services for Combatant Commanders to command and control their tactical forces. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity into the terrestrial portion of the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN). The first three WGS satellites will be launched in 2007 and 2008. Both the Delta 4 and Atlas 5 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV) will be used. Satellites 4 and 5 are anticipated for launch in 2011 and 2012. The Wideband Global SATCOM system is composed of three principal segments: Space Segment (satellites), Control Segment (operators) and Terminal Segment (users). The MILSATCOM Systems Wing (MCSW) is responsible for development, acquisition fielding and sustainment of the WGS Program. General Characteristics:Primary Function: High-capacity military communications satellitePrimary Contractor: Boeing Satellite Development CenterSatellite Bus: Boeing 702Weight: Approximately 13,000 lbs at launch, 7,600 lbs on-orbitOrbit Altitude: 22,300 milesPayload: Transponded, cross-banded-X and Ka-band communications suiteAntennas: 8 beam, transmit and receive X-band Phased arrays and 10 Ka-band Gimbaled Dish Antennas, 1 X-band Earth coverageCapability: 39 125-MHz Channels via digital channelizer/routerNumber of Terminals Supported: 92Launch Vehicle: Delta 4 and Atlas 5 EELVsInventory: 5 on contractUnit Cost: Approximately $350 million(Current as of August 2007)STS-134 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!Final Shuttle Mission PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!Apollo CollageThis beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.STS-133 PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!The final planned flight of space shuttle Discovery is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-133. Available in our store!Anniversary Shuttle PatchFree shipping to U.S. addresses!This embroidered patch commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Program. The design features the space shuttle Columbia’s historic maiden flight of April 12, 1981.Mercury anniversaryFree shipping to U.S. addresses!Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alan Shephard’s historic Mercury mission with this collectors’ item, the official commemorative embroidered patch. | | | | 2014 Spaceflight Now Inc.With leaky valve replaced, Atlas ready to try againSPACEFLIGHT NOW

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