Space

SAN FRANCISCO – Rather than pushing the state-of-the art, Boeing, Maxar Technologies and Northrop Grumman are emphasizing reliability in satellites they are manufacturing to help Intelsat and SES clear C-band spectrum, according to speakers at the Satellite Innovation 2020 conference. “Schedule is king,” said Jordan Bletscher, Boeing Space Launch chief strategist. “We want to get
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WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates plans to send a small rover to the moon in 2024, the latest step in the country’s growing space ambitions. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president and ruler of Dubai, formally announced the Emirates Lunar Mission Sept. 29. That mission will place a small rover on the moon carrying
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The United States must work with long-time Arctic partners to increase vigilance in this increasingly vital region. China has published an Arctic strategy making clear the government’s desire to control infrastructure along Arctic routes.   Geographically, the terrestrial Arctic region consists of the area north of the Arctic Circle, including the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas and
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SAN FRANCISCO – Colorado startup ExoTerra Resources announced plans Oct. 5 to develop a solar electric upper stage to boost small satellites traveling on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne beyond low Earth orbit. With ExoTerra’s Solar Electric Propulsion Upper Stage, LauncherOne customers could reach destinations including geostationary orbit, trans-lunar injection orbit, Earth-Moon Lagrange points and low lunar
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The contract is for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom WASHINGTON — Boeing received a $298 million contract to build a satellite payload prototype and develop a secure communications architecture for the U.S. Space Force’s Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program, the company announced Oct. 1. The ESS will replace the
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SAN FRANCISCO – In-space transportation startup Momentus announced service agreements Oct. 2 with Australia’s Skykraft and French spacecraft engineering company Mecano ID. Santa, Clara, California-based Momentus revealed plans to deploy a pathfinder for Skykraft’s microsatellite constellation on a Vigoride flight in June 2021. Momentus plans to send the Skykraft microsatellite into orbit via EOS, a
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WASHINGTON — A federal bankruptcy court approved Oct. 2 the sale of broadband megaconstellation company OneWeb to the British government and Indian telecommunications company Bharti Global. At a confirmation hearing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, judge Robert D. Drain approved the reorganization plan for OneWeb, which filed
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WASHINGTON — A Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station after a successful launch on the company’s Antares rocket Oct. 2. The Antares 230+ rocket lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, at 9:16 p.m. Eastern. The NG-14 Cygnus spacecraft separated from the rocket’s
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VALLETTA, Malta — German startup Rocket Factory Augsburg has selected the Norwegian launch facility Andøya Spaceport for a 2022 maiden flight of the company’s RFA One small-satellite launch vehicle. Rocket Factory Augsburg, founded in 2018 as the launch arm of German space technology company OHB SE, is in the process of developing its three-stage RFA
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SAN FRANCISCO – The four-satellite NetSat mission launched Sept. 28 on a Russian Soyuz rocket is designed to showcase technology for formation flight. NetSat’s four cubesats will “demonstrate formation flight in a three-dimensional configuration,” Klaus Schilling, University of Wurzburg robotics and telematics chair, told SpaceNews by email. “This promises huge potential for innovative approaches to future
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The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate is looking for companies with which to partner. WASHINGTON — The Pentagon contracting process can be a major deterrent to tech companies interested in selling products to the military. The U.S. Space Force is aware of that problem and is trying to incentivize suppliers that are developing
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SAN FRANCISCO — SWISSto12 is working with Thales Alenia Space to expand the use of additively manufactured parts for geostationary communications satellites. Swissto12, a Lausanne, Switzerland, telecommunications component startup, has worked for years to design, manufacture and test waveguide signal interconnects for Thales Alenia Space communications satellites. Thales Alenia Space plans to install the 3D-printed
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WASHINGTON — NASA and SpaceX are finalizing reviews of minor changes to the Crew Dragon spacecraft that they expect will be complete before the first operational mission launches to the International Space Station at the end of October. During a series of press conferences Sept. 29 about the upcoming Crew-1 mission to the ISS, officials
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Upgrades will include mix of new phased array antennas, commercial services and capacity from other U.S. government agencies. WASHINGTON – In a test this summer at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, an electronically steered phased array antenna made by Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace communicated with four military satellites across multiple orbits. This was a
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SAN FRANCISCO – Swarm Technologies, a Silicon Valley startup seeking to connect sensors in a low-cost, global internet-of-things (IoT) network, announced prices for its satellite communications products Sept. 29, including data services starting at $5 per device per month.. Swarm launched its first 12 operational Spacebee satellites in early September aboard an Arianespace Vega rocket.
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WASHINGTON — NASA says they are still not sure of the source of a small air leak on the International Space Station after the crew spent a second weekend confined to a single module there. The Expedition 63 crew of NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner remained inside the
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Congress for years has been critical of the U.S. Air Force’s weather satellite programs. WASHINGTON — The Space Force has completed a report mandated by Congress on its plans to acquire weather satellites to fill a growing military demand for meteorological data, a senior official told SpaceNews. The report is done and is being submitted
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WASHINGTON — The British government, seeking a replacement for the Galileo satellite navigation system, said it will consider alternatives to an original plan to develop its own satellite constellation. In a Sept. 24 statement, the British government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said an ongoing study to examine the feasibility of a U.K.
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WASHINGTON — NASA has delayed the launch of a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan by a year, citing budget challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. In a Sept. 25 statement, NASA said the Dragonfly mission, which had been scheduled to launch in 2026, will instead launch in 2027. The change in launch date will not
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VALLETTA, Malta — Launch startup HyImpulse successfully tested its 16,800-pounds-force hybrid rocket motor this month at German space agency DLR’s Lampoldshausen facility. Headquartered in Neuenstadt am Kocher, Germany, HyImpulse is developing its three-stage SL1 launch vehicle designed to carry payloads of up to 500 kilogram to Sun-synchronous orbit. The light-lift launch vehicle will be powered
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WASHINGTON — Italy is the latest country to sign an agreement to cooperate with NASA on the Artemis human lunar exploration program, although the details of Italy’s participation have yet to be worked out. In a Sept. 25 ceremony held by videoconference, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Riccardo Fraccaro, undersecretary to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe
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When Capella Space’s first operational synthetic aperture radar satellite launched from New Zealand last month on a Rocket Lab Electron, a team of agriculture specialists at The Climate Corporation watched with excitement. “We were really happy,” said Steven Ward, the director of geospatial sciences at The Climate Corporation, a San Francisco-based subsidiary of life sciences
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The 18th Space Control Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base is now providing “more meaningful” data on approximately 25,000 space objects. WASHINGTON — U.S. Space Command starting Sept. 24 is providing more precise data about the location and potential interaction between objects in space, which could help predict collisions involving space junk, officials told SpaceNews.  The
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WASHINGTON — Several NASA astrophysics missions in various stages of development are likely facing delays because of the coronavirus pandemic, an agency official said. At a Sept. 21 meeting of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee, Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said the agency anticipated a number of missions, big and small, will
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The goal would be to produce Toyota-like satellites, said Roper, “easy to build but reliable and hard working.” WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s top acquisition official Will Roper wants future aircraft, missiles and satellites to be designed entirely in virtual environments using computer-generated models. That’s how commercial airplanes and automobiles are made, and it’s
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WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine urged Senate appropriators to provide full funding of Artemis as some members questioned the agency’s emphasis on its lunar exploration program. Bridenstine, testifying before the commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee Sept. 23, said that NASA needed the full $3.2 billion it requested in its
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WASHINGTON — The International Space Station maneuvered to avoid a potential collision with a piece of space debris Sept. 22, an incident the head of NASA used to advocate for more funding for the agency directed to handle space traffic management. NASA announced on the afternoon of Sept. 22 that it was working with U.S.
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A “program integration council” run by the Space and Missile Systems Center will include representatives from DoD space-buying agencies and the National Reconnaissance Office. WASHINGTON — The Space Force announced in June that one of its major field organizations will be an acquisition command that will unify the current mishmash of agencies that handle space
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WASHINGTON — Commercial spaceflight company Blue Origin is considering development of commercial space stations, with NASA as a potential early customer. Blue Origin posted a job opening Sept. 18 for am “Orbital Habitat Formulation Lead” at its headquarters in the Seattle suburb of Kent, Washington. That individual will be charged with leading the company’s development
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SAN FRANCISCO – Radar satellite operator Iceye raised $87 million in a Series C round announced Sept. 22, boosting the Finnish startup’s total investment tally to $152 million. “We’re grateful to have closed a great round,” Mark Matossian, Iceye US CEO, told SpaceNews. “Now, we can stand on the accelerator.” With the Series C round
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