Space

TAMPA, Fla. — Canadian startup Exodus Orbitals plans to launch its first satellite in March to take the software-defined space trend a step further, providing a platform for third parties to upload and run their applications from orbit. Software-defined satellites can be reprogrammed in space, enabling operators on the ground to reconfigure them for different
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EL PASO, Texas — The Federal Aviation Administration has revised its criteria for awarding astronaut wings to those flying on commercial spacecraft, making the requirements stricter while including a significant loophole. The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation issued an order July 20 describing its FAA Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program and the criteria for
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EL PASO, Texas — Russia launched a long-delayed module for its segment of the International Space Station July 21, but that module reportedly suffered technical problems after reaching orbit. A Proton-M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 10:58 a.m. Eastern carrying the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka. The module separated from the rocket’s
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TAMPA, Fla. — Tracker Capital, a venture capital firm linked to the group that bought hypersonic vehicle maker Stratolaunch, has taken a majority stake in space propulsion startup Accion Systems. New York-based Tracker Capital acquired 51% of Accion Systems after leading its $42 million funding round, supporting plans to scale up its Tiled Ionic Liquid
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Lockheed Martin’s Jennifer Warren: Federal agencies, industries, academia and non-governmental organizations  “have to all get together to drive a common set of norms.” WASHINGTON — Safe deployment of satellites by governments and commercial companies is going to be increasingly difficult in the absence of globally accepted rules and incentives to make space a sustainable environment,
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EL PASO, Texas — Investors accounting for more than half the money in a funding round concurrent with in-space transportation company Momentus’s merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dropped out of the deal when given the opportunity by a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a July 16 filing with the SEC,
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TAMPA, Fla. — Lynk aims to launch multiple operational satellites on a SpaceX ride-share mission in December, ahead of plans to provide connectivity services with the constellation directly to unmodified cellphones next year. The Virginia-based startup booked a place on a SpaceX transporter mission through ride-share service provider Spaceflight, Lynk CEO Charles Miller told SpaceNews.
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WASHINGTON — Blue Origin is on track to perform the first crewed launch of its New Shepard vehicle July 20, carrying company founder Jeff Bezos and three others on a suborbital spaceflight. At a July 18 news conference, company officials said they had successfully completed a flight readiness review for the NS-16 mission that will
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SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Air Force awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to 29 companies including Umbra, Kymeta, Hughes Network Systems and Hypergiant Galactic Systems to support the Defense Department’s campaign to ensure sensors from all the services feed data into a common network. The 29 companies will compete for portions of a Joint All-Domain Command
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope returned to science operations July 17 after a hiatus of more than a month as controllers successfully switched the orbiting observatory to a backup payload computer. NASA said the instruments of the 31-year-old telescope are now operational nearly five weeks after a payload computer, which commands those instruments, malfunctioned.
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Hunter, director of the defense industrial initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, would be the Department of the Air Force’s senior acquisition executive. WASHINGTON — The White House announced July 16 that President Biden intends to nominate defense procurement expert Andrew Hunter to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for
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TAMPA, Fla. — Malaysian operator Measat has likely lost control of an aging satellite that has been drifting westward in geostationary orbit for nearly a month, according to analysts at space tracking company ExoAnalytic Solutions.  The ExoAnalytic space tracking system detected an anomaly for Measat-3 on June 21, after which it started drifting out of
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TAMPA, Fla. — Satellite operator SES is leading a consortium to design a system for guarding communications in Luxembourg against cyberattacks, which could feed into Europe’s broader plan for a network that is also protected by quantum technology. The consortium will devise a satellite and terrestrial network for Luxembourg’s Quantum Communications Infrastructure (LuxQCI) project, which
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WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill July 15 that leaves intact overall funding for NASA but tweaks language regarding the Human Landing System and nuclear thermal propulsion. The committee voted 33–26 to advance the commerce, justice and science (CJS) appropriations bill to the full House. The bill allocated $81.3 billion in
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WASHINGTON — An 18-year-old Dutch man will fly on Blue Origin’s first crewed New Shepard suborbital flight, taking the place of the unidentified winner of an auction last month for the seat. Blue Origin announced July 15 that Oliver Daemen will be the fourth and final member of the crew of the New Shepard flight
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TAMPA, Fla. — Facebook said it remains committed to using space-based technology for improving global connectivity, after agreeing to transfer a group of satellite experts to work on Amazon’s low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation Project Kuiper.  More than a dozen employees including physicists and engineers moved from the social media giant in April to work on the constellation,
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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed that Defense Secretary Austin received Brown’s letter expressing his desire to withdraw.  WASHINGTON — President Biden’s pick to serve as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, Michael Brown, has withdrawn his nomination. Brown is the director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the Pentagon’s commercial outreach office based in
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TAMPA, Fla. — Space startup investor Seraphim Capital’s investment trust started trading on the London Stock Exchange July 14, raising about $250 million for larger international acquisitions. The listing gives the group “the firepower to become really impactful in this market,” Seraphim Capital CEO Mark Boggett told SpaceNews. Seraphim Space Investment Trust, which now trades
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MDA’s cubesats were two of seven government and commercial payloads launched in Virgin Orbit’s second operational mission. WASHINGTON — Two Missile Defense Agency cubesats launched June 30 aboard Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne successfully began communicating with ground stations last week, the agency announced July 12. The satellites are the first of a series of network communications
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TAMPA, Fla. — Israeli fleet operator Spacecom has secured an extension to use AsiaSat-8 until 2024, filling a coverage gap left by the loss of its Amos-6 satellite in 2016. The company agreed to lease Hong Kong-based AsiaSat’s satellite, which it calls Amos-7, for an extra two years for an annual fee of $14 million.
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SPACEPORT AMERICA, N.M. — Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson and five other people flew to the edge of space on the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle July 11, the culmination of an effort that started nearly 17 years ago. The SpaceShipTwo vehicle, named VSS Unity, took off from Spaceport America in the southern New Mexican desert
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WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency has resumed tests of the parachutes for its ExoMars lander, a system whose problems contributed to a two-year delay in the mission’s launch. ESA conducted two high-altitude drop tests using balloons flown from Kiruna, Sweden, in late June. Those tests were designed to see if the parachutes could be
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WASHINGTON — A growing number of spacecraft missions, as well as NASA’s Artemis program, are putting new pressures on the agency’s Deep Space Network of antennas that communicate with them. In a July 7 presentation to the steering committee of the planetary science decadal survey, Brad Arnold, manager of the Deep Space Network (DSN) at
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WASHINGTON — Astranis announced that the first in its line of very small geostationary orbit satellites is entering its final assembly phase for launch in early 2022. The San Francisco-based company said July 8 that the communications payload for the satellite it’s building for Pacific Dataport Inc. (PDI), called Arcturus, passed an end-to-end test that
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HELSINKI — China launched a Tianlian data tracking and relay communications satellite Tuesday, marking the country’s third successful mission in four days. A Long March 3C lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China, at 11:53 a.m. Eastern July 6, sending the Tianlian-1 (05) satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. China’s main space contractor
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WASHINGTON — Planet announced July 7 it will go public in a $2.8 billion deal with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), the second SPAC deal in the Earth observation sector in as many days. Planet said it will merge with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV, a SPAC that raised $345 million in a public offering
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SAN FRANCISCO – IRT Saint Exupéry, Mbryonics, Morpheus Space, Oledcomm and R3-IoT were the winners of OneWeb’s 2021 Innovation Challenge, a campaign to designed to “rethink satellite connectivity” and establish new partnerships, according to London-based OneWeb. OneWeb announced the winners July 1 during an online event tracking the launch of 36 broadband communications satellites on
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Updated 5:30 p.m. Eastern to revise location of company headquarters. WASHINGTON — Earth imaging company Satellogic announced July 6 it will go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), raising the funding it needs to build out a constellation of 300 spacecraft. Satellogic said it will merge with CF Acquisition Corp.
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We’ve known about different types of supernovas for some time, but researchers now believe they have observed a previously unseen kind! And, sadly, the odds of life on Venus may not be as high as we once believed. Hosted by: Hank Green SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It’s called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at
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WASHINGTON — The James Webb Space Telescope is one step closer to launch after a review of its Ariane launch vehicle, while NASA continues a separate review of the name of the spacecraft itself. The European Space Agency announced July 1 that it, along with Arianespace, had successfully completed the final mission analysis review for
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The memorandum with Libre Space Foundation is Space Command’s 100th commercial space situational awareness data sharing agreement. WASHINGTON — U.S. Space Command announced July 1 it has signed a data-sharing agreement with the Libre Space Foundation, a non-profit that promotes open access to information about space. “Space situational awareness, which requires these types of cooperative
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