Space

The contract is to upgrade and expand the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System that track objects in geostationary orbits. WASHINGTON — L3Harris Technologies received a $119.1 million contract to upgrade and expand the network of U.S. military telescopes known as the Ground-based Electro-Optical Deep Space Surveillance System that track objects in geostationary orbits. The
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Demand for data fusion and analytics keeps growing, says NGA’s head of commercial operations David Gauthier U.S. military and homeland security organizations rely on the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) for critical data that commanders use to make decisions on the battlefield or in domestic emergencies. David Gauthier, director of NGA’s commercial and business operations
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A secure system that allows troops at the tactical edge to communicate securely The U.S. Space Force acquires, operates and maintains a constellation of Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellites that are reserved for strategic, high-priority military missions, providing secure, jam-resistant communications. While tactical military forces do use AEHF, its primary mission is to provide 100% assured
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WASHINGTON — Intelsat has signed a satellite contract with Maxar Technologies, placing the final order in a one-time surge in manufacturing deals triggered by the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction. Maxar will build the Intelsat-37 communications satellite at its Palo Alto, California, factory on a 1300-class platform, Intelsat said Sept. 17. Intelsat-37 is
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To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES French propulsion startup Exotrail has signed two contracts with the European Space Agency for its smallsat electric propulsion technology. Under the first contract, Exotrail said it will “accelerate the qualification and flight demonstration” of its 150-Watt ExoMG-Micro thruster.
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WASHINGTON — Astranis, a startup developing small geostationary satellites, has brought onboard former NASA administrator Dan Goldin as an adviser.  Astranis announced Sept. 17 that Goldin will chair the company’s new technical advisory board, and recently oversaw the critical design review of the company’s first satellite ahead of a mid-2021 launch.  In an interview, Astranis
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WASHINGTON — A smallsat mission to study the atmosphere of Mars is looking for a new ride after being removed as a secondary payload on the launch of a NASA asteroid mission. The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers, or EscaPADE, mission, was one of three smallsat missions selected by NASA in 2019 for
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WASHINGTON — The NASA directorate responsible for human spaceflight efforts has completed a long-anticipated internal reorganization intended to better align activities ranging from the International Space Station to Artemis. At a Sept. 16 Washington Space Business Roundtable webinar, Kathy Lueders, who took over as NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations three months ago,
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WASHINGTON — “We couldn’t believe they went so fast,” Telesat executive Don Brown said of the Space Development Agency’s first major contract award for 20 satellites. Brown, general manager of government services for the Canadian communications satellite operator Telesat, said he and many colleagues in the space industry expected that the SDA would take years
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SAN FRANCISCO – Xage Security, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity startup, announced a contract Sept. 17 to develop evaluate and prepare a data protection strategy for the U.S. Space Force Xage won a $743,000 phase two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force organization charged with spurring innovation. Under the contract
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Lockheed Martin will start the process of migrating a SBIRS geosynchronous satellite to the next-generation Enterprise Ground System WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin announced Sept. 16 it received a $51.2 million contract to begin integrating U.S. missile warning satellites with a new ground system that is being developed to command and control all military satellites in
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WASHINGTON — The lunar lander under development by Dynetics for NASA’s Artemis program will make use of in-space refueling of cryogenic propellants and require three launches in quick succession, company officials revealed. In a Sept. 15 webinar held by Dynetics in cooperation with the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, the company discussed the overall
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The 1,250-kilogram NTS-3 satellite is being built by L3Harris under an $84 million contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory. WASHINGTON — An experimental navigation satellite developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory will fly to orbit in 2022 on USSF-106, a mission recently awarded to United Launch Alliance under the national security space launch
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Orbion is a four-year-old startup in Houghton, Michigan, that specializes in Hall-effect plasma thrusters for small satellites. WASHINGTON — Small satellite manufacturer Blue Canyon Technologies announced Sept. 15 it selected Orbion Space Technology to supply the electric propulsion system for the U.S. military’s Blackjack constellation. Blue Canyon is producing four satellites for the Defense Advanced
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WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested Sept. 14 that NASA would be open to sending the first Artemis human landing mission to a location other than the south pole of the moon. In remarks at an online meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG), Bridenstine said there could be benefits to sending a
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Intelligence analysts, operators and map-makers require the best foundational data and analytics to improve mission planning. As the leading source for high-resolution satellite imagery and geospatial analytics, Maxar offers a spectrum of products and services that quickly meet and exceed your mapping and geospatial intelligence needs over any AOI—with unmatched accuracy, consistency and clarity. Evolve
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WASHINGTON — The House is slated to pass a space weather bill this week, culminating a five-year effort to turn a put elements of a space weather strategy and action plan into law. A schedule released Sept. 11 by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) listed the Promoting Research and Observations of Space Weather to
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HELSINKI — Launch of a Kuaizhou-1A satellite carrying a remote sensing satellite ended in failure following liftoff from Jiuquan Saturday. The Kuaizhou-1A solid rocket lifted off from a transporter erector launcher at Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert at 01:02 a.m. Eastern Saturday. Amateur footage of the apparent launch appeared on Chinese social media shortly after.
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WASHINGTON — Astra launched its Rocket 3.1 vehicle late Sept. 11, but the flight ended during the small launch vehicle’s first-stage burn. The rocket lifted off from Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska on Kodiak Island at approximately 11:20 p.m. Eastern, according to a series of tweets by the company, which did not provide live video of
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WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance is looking at a three-core version of its Vulcan Centaur rocket, although an executive said that such a vehicle is “pretty far out on the horizon.” In a Sept. 9 keynote at the Secure World Foundation’s Summit for Space Sustainability online conference, Mark Peller, vice president of major development at
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WASHINGTON — The Japanese space agency JAXA announced Sept. 11 that the first launch of the country’s new H3 rocket will be delayed to no earlier than the spring of 2021 because of problems with the rocket’s main engine. JAXA said that the first flight of the rocket is now scheduled for some time in
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Raytheon is one of several major defense contractors selected by the U.S. Air Force for the program known as “defense experimentation using commercial space internet.” WASHINGTON — Raytheon Technologies on Sept. 10 received a $13 million contract to test the use of commercial space internet services on military aircraft. Raytheon is one of several major
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Sen. Cramer: The Space Force caucus will provide an avenue to craft bipartisan legislative ideas. WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators announced they have formed a Space Force Caucus to help the new military branch advance issues on Capitol Hill. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) will chair the group.
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WASHINGTON — One of the two co-founders of launch vehicle company Relativity Space is stepping down as the company’s chief technology officer to create a new startup. In a series of tweets Sept. 9, Jordan Noone announced he was transitioning from chief technology officer to “executive advisor” at Relativity “in preparation for starting my next
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HELSINKI — Chinese firm Landspace has raised $175 million in series C+ round funding for development of its Zhuque-2 series of methane-liquid oxygen launch vehicles. The round was jointly led by Sequoia Capital China, Country Garden Venture Capital, Matrix Partners China and Cornerstone Capital. Additional investment came from the National SME Development Fund and others.
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GOES-13 has been repurposed as the Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System – Geostationary. WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force announced that a geostationary weather satellite previously owned by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now in service for the military providing coverage over the Indian Ocean. A satellite that NOAA first launched in 2006 and
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WASHINGTON — Newcomer satellite operator MonacoSat is close to ordering its second geostationary communications satellite, and could complete the process by year’s end, its chief executive said Tuesday.  “You cannot stop with one satellite, so now we are developing the new satellite,” Ilhami Aygün, CEO of MonacoSat, said during a Sept. 1 webinar for the
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WASHINGTON — NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully tested Sept. 2 a solid rocket booster developed for the Space Launch System that incorporates improvements intended for future SLS missions. The five-segment booster, built by Northrop Grumman for the Flight Support Booster 1 test, ignited at 3:05 p.m. Eastern at a company test site in Promontory, Utah.
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WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab announced Sept. 3 that it has placed its first Photon satellite into orbit, demonstrating the spacecraft’s technologies and the company’s ability to provide end-to-end space solutions. The satellite, called “First Light,” was launched as the kick stage of the Electron rocket that placed Capella Space’s Sequoia radar imaging satellite into orbit
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WASHINGTON — The White House released a new space policy directive Sept. 4 intended to improve cybersecurity of space systems. Space Policy Directive (SPD) 5 is billed as the first comprehensive government policy related to cybersecurity for satellites and related systems, and outlines a set of best practices, but not firm requirements, that agencies and
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HELSINKI — China launched an experimental reusable spacecraft Friday following months of low-key preparations at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. A Long March 2F launch vehicle delivered the spacecraft into orbit following launch at an unspecified time.  Chinese state media Xinhua reported mission success just under three hours after the opening of the launch window
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New CSIS report looks at three key governance issues: orbital debris mitigation, rendezvous and proximity operations, and insurance requirements WASHINGTON — Commercial and government activities in space keep growing and yet nations are making little progress in establishing rules and norms of behavior, says the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a new report
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