Space

WASHINGTON — Defense contractor Leidos said Dec. 17 that it is acquiring Dynetics for $1.65 billion as it seeks growth opportunities in hypersonics, space solutions, autonomy and advanced sensors. Dynetics will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Reston, Virginia-based Leidos, and will bolster the company’s presence in Huntsville, Alabama, where Dynetics is headquartered, Leidos said. 
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WASHINGTON — Language in a fiscal year 2020 spending bill suggests that Congress is unlikely to act soon on the future of the Office of Space Commerce or the Commerce Department’s proposed role in handing civil space traffic management. A “minibus” spending bill released Dec. 16 that includes funding for the Commerce Department provides $2.3
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WASHINGTON — Isar Aerospace, a German startup developing a small launch vehicle, has raised $17 million in a Series A round led by Airbus Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital.  Munich-based Isar Aerospace is developing Spectrum, a two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket designed to launch 1,000 kilograms to low Earth orbit.  One of the company’s advisers and investors
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Finally Taking Major Steps to Rein in Space Debris When Intelsat became a founding member of the Space Data Association (SDA) 10 years ago, we and other leading satellite operators were perhaps a bit naïve in thinking that by working together, we could have a major impact on the accumulation of orbital space debris. Indeed,
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WASHINGTON — NASA announced Dec. 12 that it has selected the site on a near Earth asteroid where a spacecraft will touch down and collect samples, a task that has become more difficult than mission planners originally expected. NASA said that its Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer, or OSIRIS-REx, spacecraft will
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SpaceNews announced the winners of its third annual SpaceNews Awards for Excellence & Innovation at a Dec. 10 awards luncheon in Washington. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Air Force Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, commanders of U.S. Space Command and Air Force Space Command, were in attendance to accept government leader of the year awards.
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WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle company Vector filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Dec. 13 as part of an agreement that could see some of its satellite technology assets sold to Lockheed Martin. The company filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, the state where the
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WASHINGTON — NASA gave its approval Dec. 12 to proceed with the launch later this month of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew spacecraft on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station. At the end of a Flight Readiness Review at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA officials approved plans to launch the Starliner on
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force will be the first customer for a Rocket Lab Electron launching in 2020 from a new launch site in Virginia, the company announced Dec. 12. Rocket Lab formally opened Launch Complex (LC) 2, a launch pad at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at Wallops Island, Virginia, adjacent to the pad
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SAN FRANCISCO – NASA will continued to buy Earth observation data gathered by commercial satellite constellations in the wake of a pilot program, said Kevin Murphy, program executive for NASA’s Earth Science Data System. NASA wants to obtain more data from Maxar and Planet satellites after determining the information was of sufficient quality and utility,
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Barrett said the Air Force is reviewing the NDAA conference agreement and discussing next steps WASHINGTON — In her first comments since the release of the conference agreement on the the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said service leaders are reviewing the language that would pave the
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SAN FRANCISCO – NASA Earth Science leaders are enthusiastic about the potential for principal investigators to take advantage of current and anticipated low-cost launch options. “Venture Class Launch Services is starting to bear fruit,” said Sandra Cauffman, NASA Earth Science Acting Division Director, referring to NASA’s campaign to encourage development of small rockets by buying
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SAN FRANCISCO – TriSept Corp., a U.S. launch integration company, announced plans to open an office at the United Kingdom’s Harwell Space Cluster as part of a comprehensive teaming agreement with the Satellite Applications Catapult, a government-backed nonprofit. “Together, the duo expects to build a mission manifest for new vertical and horizontal launch sites in
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NEW ORLEANS — The federal government issued updated guidelines Dec. 9 to mitigate the creation of orbital debris, but many in the space safety community were disappointed with the limited scope of the changes. The revised Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices (ODMSP), announced in conjunction with an orbital debris conference near Houston, are the first
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SAN FRANCISCO — Near Space Labs, a New York startup, unveiled an application programming interface Dec. 9 offering access to high-resolution imagery captured by instruments flying on weather balloons. The company plans to offer persistent observation of major metropolitan areas and sell imagery at prices low enough to attract real estate, insurance and logistics customers. “We see an
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WASHINGTON — SpaceX will conduct an in-flight abort test of its Crew Dragon spacecraft in early January as the launch of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on an uncrewed test flight slips another day, NASA announced Dec. 6. In one statement, NASA said the in-flight abort test for Crew Dragon is currently scheduled for no earlier than
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Ron Lopez, president of Astroscale U.S.: ‘The Air Force is talking about safety, congestion and how that affects resilience’ LOS ANGELES — Astroscale, a Japanese company that recently stood up an American subsidiary, sees the U.S. military as a potential customer for the company’s debris removal and other in-orbit services. Astroscale is preparing to demonstrate
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The contracts are the latest awarded under a project called Defense Experimentation Using the Commercial Space Internet LOS ANGELES — The Air Force announced Dec. 6 it awarded L3Harris and Northrop Grumman $17.9 million and $9.9 million contracts, respectively, to integrate commercial space internet services on military aircraft. The contracts are the latest awarded under
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WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab successfully launched several smallsats Dec. 6 on an Electron mission also designed to test technologies to make the rocket’s first stage reusable. The Electron lifted off from the company’s launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 3:18 a.m. Eastern after more than a week of delays caused by ground equipment
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WASHINGTON — Kacific Broadband Satellites, a startup that ordered a geostationary satellite from Boeing despite reservations about the absence of U.S. export-credit financing, on Dec. 5 said it tapped European and Asian lenders to refinance loans used to buy the satellite.  Kacific’s first satellite, Kacific-1 launches Dec. 15 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Kacific-1
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Launch director Bongiovi says anywhere from eight to 11 national security launches could take place in 2020 LOS ANGELES — At least twice as many national security launches are projected for 2020 compared to 2019, according to U.S. Air Force projections. “It’s really going to be an exciting year,” Col. Robert Bongiovi, director of the
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Fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 moon landing changed how the world viewed space exploration. For the millions of people who watched Neil Armstrong take his first step on the moon’s surface, it inspired new horizons for the human spirit and imagination and even offered the possibility of life beyond our pale blue dot. It’s
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SAN FRANCISCO – York Space Systems, a small satellite manufacturer and spacecraft operator, opened an office and mission operations center Dec. 5 in the Washington area. The five-person office, based in Arlington, Virginia, will handle government relations, business development and mission planning for commercial and government customers. In addition, customers visiting the new mission operations center
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SAN FRANCISCO – The Founder Institute, an accelerator with operations in 180 cities globally, is establishing a new program with ties to the NASA Ames Research Center. The Founder Institute announced open applications Dec. 3 for the Advanced Technologies Accelerator for aerospace, space and frontier technologies firms that have not yet raised seed funding. (Frontier
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WASHINGTON — Sky and Space Global, a startup planning a constellation of 200 cubesats for low-data-rate communications, has narrowed its near-term focus to raising enough money for an initial eight satellites. Difficulty obtaining financing has delayed Sky and Space Global’s target launch, once anticipated for late 2019, to the end of 2020, the company said
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WASHINGTON — Globalstar executives on Dec. 2 said the recent refinancing of its $342 million debt and new loans secured with help from EchoStar ensures sufficient cash flow through 2025.  Covington, Louisiana-based Globalstar, which has attempted for the past three years to monetize some of its S-band satellite spectrum by cultivating cellular applications within those
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SAN FRANCISCO – TriSept Corp., a launch integration and mission management company, announced Dec. 2 an $18 million indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to support NASA cubesat launches. Under the new contract, NASA will have the option of turning to TriSept of Chantilly, Virginia, for mission integration services and dispenser hardware in support of cubesat
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RBC Signals sees ground infrastructure business following path forged by cellular network expansion Ron Faith is well acquainted with high-tech startups. Before becoming president and chief operating officer of RBC Signals in 2018, Faith co-founded and served as chief operating officer of Clonefone, a mobile web services company. He was also the CEO of enterprise
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SEVILLE, Spain — Italy, one of the largest contributors to the European Space Agency, is pleased with the outcome of the recent ministerial meeting that provided funding for a number of its priorities, including a reusable spacecraft. In a finally tally of contributions provided by ESA at the end of the Space19+ ministerial meeting here
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In December, Cloud Constellation was finalizing receipt of a $100 million investment that would help the startup deploy a ring of secure data-storage satellites in low Earth orbit. By spring, Cloud Constellation had walked away from the deal, citing a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, as one
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For Telespazio Vega Deutschland, a subsidiary of the spaceflight services company Telespazio of Rome, the challenges faced by a new generation of space companies present enticing opportunities. Based on its experience helping space agencies, institutions and commercial customers conduct space operations, Telespazio Vega has developed Enable, a cloud-based platform for space operations. At the 2019
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