Space

WASHINGTON — NASA currently has no plans to trade any of its Apollo-era lunar samples with those returned by China’s Chang’e-5 mission, although then agency’s chief scientist held out hope for such an exchange in the future. Speaking at the annual meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group Aug. 31, Jim Green said that the
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The rapid commercialization of space and the establishment of the U.S. Space Force have created ideal conditions for change in the national security space business, says Steve Isakowitz, CEO of the Aerospace Corp. and former president of Virgin Galactic. Aerospace Corp. CEO Steve Isakowitz previously held senior  positions at the White House Office of Management
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SAN FRANCISCO – Blue Canyon Technologies selected ExoTerra Resources to provide electric propulsion for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency’s Blackjack Phase 2 and Phase 3 satellites. Blue Canyon, a Raytheon subsidiary, won a $14.1 million DARPA contract in 2020 to manufacture four Blackjack satellites, with options to build 16 additional small satellites for a
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The launch of NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) on September 15, 2018, from Space Launch Complex-2 (SLC-2) at Vandenberg Air Force Base, now a Space Force base, marked the end of a remarkable era for the venerable Delta II launch vehicle and SLC-2. This was the 155th launch overall for the Delta
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WASHINGTON — SpaceX performed its first Falcon 9 launch in two months Aug. 29, sending a cargo Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 3:14 a.m. Eastern after a one-day delay because of weather. The Dragon spacecraft separated from the
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Updated 8:40 p.m. Eastern with comments from media call. WASHINGTON — Astra’s third attempt to reach orbit failed Aug. 28 when its Rocket 3.3 vehicle struggled to get off the launch pad because of an engine shutdown and eventually failed in flight. The small launch vehicle, designated LV0006 by Astra, ignited its five first-stage engines
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A new study provides mathematical evidence that dark matter could be much older than we thought and we’ve found a weird glitch in a neutron star. Host: Hank Green SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It’s called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at http://www.scishowtangents.org ———- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ———- Huge
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COLORADO SPRINGS — While most of the cubesats manifested to launch as secondary payloads on the first Space Launch System mission have arrived, at least one of them will miss its flight. NASA selected 13 cubesats several years ago to fly as secondary payloads on the Artemis 1 mission, launching no earlier than November. The
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HELSINKI — The National Natural Science Foundation of China has outlined a five-year project for researchers to study the assembly of ultra-large spacecraft. Scientists are being directed to meet the “urgent need” for the construction of ultra-large spacecraft. Preliminary research is to include studying the challenges of developing lightweight structures and subsequent on-orbit assembly and
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COLORADO SPRINGS — Currently more known for the high-resolution cameras it builds than for spacecraft, Dragonfly Aerospace’s plan to move into microsatellite manufacturing got a major boost in April when it was sold to serial entrepreneur Max Polyakov.  The deal helps fund the development of satellite buses and upgrade Dragonfly Aerospace facility in South Africa,
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COLORADO SPRINGS — Defense Department satellite programs are feeling the effects of the widespread microchip shortage that has stymied carmakers and consumer electronic manufacturers. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is hoping to launch as many as 12 satellites into low Earth orbit next year for the Blackjack program, but supply shortages are creating schedule
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COLORADO SPRINGS — Amazon is urging the Federal Communications Commission to dismiss SpaceX’s revised plans for its second-generation Starlink constellation, saying they are too broad and speculative. SpaceX proposed two potential configurations for nearly 30,000 follow-on satellites Aug. 18, which Amazon said breaks FCC rules that require details of a proposed amendment to be settled
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COLORADO SPRINGS — From hiking the price of cars to impacting the readiness of militaries, the havoc that COVID-19 wreaks across supply chains is far-ranging and sometimes surprising. Pandemic-related uncertainty is driving demand for space companies that promise to deliver better insights about the world. Commercial and government customers are increasingly leveraging geospatial intelligence services
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COLORADO SPRINGS — A widespread shortage of liquid oxygen linked to the latest wave of the pandemic could affect SpaceX’s launch schedule, a company executive said Aug. 24. Speaking on a panel at the 36th Space Symposium here, Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, cited difficulties in securing supplies of liquid oxygen
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COLORADO SPRINGS – Phase Four plans to fuel its Maxwell engine with a green propellant developed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, under a contract the Southern California startup won Aug. 18 at the U.S. Space Force’s first SpaceWERX Pitch Day. By fueling Maxwell engines with the green propellant, called Advanced Spacecraft Energetic Non-Toxic
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COLORADO SPRINGS – In addition to testing a unique orbit for NASA’s lunar Gateway, Colorado small business Advanced Space is preparing to demonstrate a new approach for cislunar navigation. As part of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission, scheduled to launch later this year on a Rocket Lab Electron
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COLORADO SPRINGS — Small launch vehicle developer Virgin Orbit will go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in a deal that includes an investment by Boeing, the company announced Aug. 23. Virgin Orbit will merge with NextGen Acquisition Corp. II, a SPAC that holds $383 million in capital. A concurrent private
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RI&S to develop cloud-enabled, collaborative NOAA system NASA Goddard’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System, or EOSDIS, developed and maintained by Raytheon Technologies, shows a map of the U.S. on June 27, 2021. RI&S is working with NOAA to improve weather modeling and provide further accuracy in forecasting. (Credit: NASA) Severe weather is dangerous
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The welding process usually involves pretty extreme levels of heat. But it turns out that in the cold vacuum of space, metals can weld together… automatically. Hosted By: Hank Green SciShow has a spinoff podcast! It’s called SciShow Tangents. Check it out at http://www.scishowtangents.org ———- Support SciShow Space by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SciShowSpace
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In early August, Russian media reported that the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, had yet to order new spacesuits for its cosmonauts to replace the aging suits required for space station spacewalks. Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, turned to Twitter to refute the claims, saying that cosmonauts “will not have to perform spacewalks in their underwear.”
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The recent report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General on the agency’s efforts to develop a viable Extravehicular Activity (EVA) spacesuit to support a lunar landing in 2024 focused on the cost and schedule implications of a government led design and development program. That scope excluded any consideration of the substantial privately led work that
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The world watched with excitement as former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and three others lifted off July 20 toward the farthest edge of Earth’s atmosphere aboard the Blue Origin New Shepard. This mission took place only nine days after Virgin Group founder Richard Branson boarded the Virgin Galactic VSS Unity, embarking on the first fully
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SANTA FE, N.M. — Shareholders of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) voted Aug. 20 to merge with Rocket Lab, giving the small launch vehicle and spacecraft developer an infusion of cash. Vector Acquisition Corporation announced that its shareholders approved a series of motions at its annual general meeting to merge the SPAC with Rocket Lab.
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HELSINKI — Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming embarked on a second Shenzhou-12 spacewalk late Thursday to carry out work on a space station robotic arm. Shenzhou-12 mission commander Nie opened the hatch of the Tianhe module at 8:38 p.m. Eastern Aug. 19 to begin a planned near seven-hour extravehicular activity, the China Manned
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SAN FRANCISCO – TransAstronautica, a startup founded by Joel Sercel, the former Momentus chief technology officer, is raising money for a competing space logistics venture. TransAstra’s business plan starts with transportation for satellites in orbit and extends to refueling rockets with resources harvested from asteroids. “We’re going to build the transcontinental railroad of space,” Sercel,
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SEOUL, South Korea — Satrec Initiative, a satellite maker under South Korea’s Hanwha Group, will send a high-resolution imaging satellite called SpaceEye-T into low Earth orbit by the first quarter of 2024, in the first step toward building its own constellation of Earth observation satellites. The company unveiled the plan Aug. 18, saying SpaceEye-T will
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WASHINGTON — Firefly Aerospace has hired a former SpaceX and Blue Origin engineer as its new chief operating officer to guide the company’s shift from development to production, although exactly when the company’s first launch will take place remains unclear. Firefly announced Aug. 17 that Lauren Lyons will become chief operating officer of the company,
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TAMPA, Fla. — Shares in Spire Global, the small satellite constellation operator, closed down 5.2% to $9.41 at the end of its first day as a public company Aug. 17. The operator is now trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the “SPIR” ticker, after shareholders of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) NavSight approved
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Download the digital edition of the August 16 issue of SpaceNews magazine, provided compliments of Boeing. Inside the August 16 issue: 1. Is suborbital space tourism on a suborbital trajectory?The era of commercial suborbital human spaceflight may finally be here, but whether it lasts isn’t certain. 2. The proof is in the thrustMore than a
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WASHINGTON — A Finnish cubesat designed to test satellite deorbiting technologies will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron after delays with its original launch on a Momentus tug. Rocket Lab announced Aug. 16 that it signed a contract with Aurora Propulsion Technologies to launch its AuroraSat-1 spacecraft on an Electron in the fourth quarter of
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TAMPA, Fla. — Arianespace launched a second satellite for the Pléiades Neo imaging constellation Aug. 16 on a Vega rocket. The Pléiades Neo 4 satellite lifted off from French Guiana 9:47 p.m. Eastern, successfully separating from the rocket about an hour later. The satellite will join Pléiades Neo 3, which launched on a Vega April
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