Space

WASHINGTON — Shareholders in British satellite operator Avanti voted overwhelmingly to remove the company from the London Stock Exchange, agreeing with management that the company is better off privately held. Avanti is the third satellite operator to withdraw from public trading this year, following AsiaSat, which delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Sept. 5, and
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The US President has tweeted an American spy satellite image. After some sleuthing, astronomers were able to figure out which satellite it came from: a (formerly) top-secret satellite called USA 224, an optical reconnaissance satellite. Trump’s tweet unwittingly revealed some of the capabilities of American satellite imagery. USA 224 has been kept top-secret for national security
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WASHINGTON — The Australian government has enacted new regulations regarding the launch and reentry of commercial vehicles as part of an effort to help promote development of a domestic launch industry. The revised regulations, which took effect Aug. 31, update regulations first put into place two decades ago for licensing launches and launch sites, streamlining
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WASHINGTON — NASA has updated a draft solicitation for crewed lunar landers, adjusting details about how it plans to procure landers to meet the agency’s goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024. NASA published Aug. 30 a second draft of a broad agency announcement for what the agency calls the Human Landing System,
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WASHINGTON — Eutelsat Communications has quit the C-Band Alliance, fracturing the group of global satellite operators as a regulatory decision on their spectrum plan nears.  Paris-based Eutelsat did not say why it chose to leave the alliance, now comprised only of Intelsat, SES and Telesat. In a brief Sept. 3 statement, Eutelsat said it “announces
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WASHINGTON — The telescope for a major NASA astrophysics mission has passed a key review that the agency says keeps it on track for launch in the mid-2020s despite uncertainty about its funding for 2020 and beyond. NASA announced Aug. 28 that the telescope assembly for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission passed
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WASHINGTON — Less than a month after announcing a new effort to provide low-cost launch services for small satellites, SpaceX says it will increase the number of flight opportunities and reduce the prices it offers. The revamped smallsat rideshare program, the company announced late Aug. 28, will provide launch opportunities at least once per month
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Here’s a simple how-to on how to construct a traversable cosmic wormhole that could send your spaceship to the furthest reaches of space: take two charged black holes, place them back to back, and thread two cosmic strings through both. Stretch both strings to infinity and presto! You’ve got yourself a traversable wormhole. Confused yet?
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Third Kuaizhou-1A mission follows a period of new companies and light launch vehicles reaching the pad and competing for limited commercial contracts in China. HELSINKI — A commercial Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched two satellites late Friday, continuing a recent intense period of light launch vehicle activity in China. The Kuaizhou-1A launched from a mobile platform at
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Last Wednesday, a gravitational wave detection gave astronomers quite the surprise. As researchers were going about their work at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a pair of gravitational waves rolled in just minutes apart. The first, labelled S190828j, was picked up by all three of LIGO’s gravitational wave detectors at 06:34 am, coordinated universal time. The
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WASHINGTON — Orbion Space Technology announced Aug. 28 it raised a $9.2 million Series A round to develop and mass produce Hall-effect plasma thrusters for small satellites.  Material Impact, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments, led the round, with Invest Michigan, Invest Detroit, Wakestream Ventures, Ann Arbor Spark, and Boomerang Catapult also participating. 
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WASHINGTON — Japanese satellite operator Sky Perfect JSAT said it is focusing on a wide range of growth initiatives as fiber optic cable expansion and smartphone video viewing habits make its satellite broadcasting business increasingly difficult.  JSAT has lost more than half a million satellite television subscribers since 2013, when that business reached 3.83 million
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WASHINGTON — Members of the InSight mission team are using a break in spacecraft operations to study new ways to get one of the spacecraft’s key instruments to resume burrowing into the Martian surface. Scientists and engineers involved with InSight’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument have been working for the last several months
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s partners in the International Space Station remain committed to participating in the lunar Gateway despite changes to the program earlier this year that could delay their contributions to the outpost. In an Aug. 28 statement, members of the station’s Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), which includes the five space agencies involved in the
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SAN FRANCISCO – Capella Space, a startup building a constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, is joining SpaceNet, a nonprofit focused on geospatial applications for artificial intelligence. Since SpaceNet was established in 2016 by CosmiQ Works, the In-Q-Tel organization focused on commercial space, it has provided free high-resolution electro-optical satellite imagery, advertised challenges and
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Esper: ‘I’m excited for tomorrow’s activation of the United States Space Command.’ WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday gave the United States Space Command a forceful endorsement and described the standup of the new command as the “next crucial step” in the Pentagon’s reorganization of space forces. Esper spoke on Wednesday in his
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After what SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk called an “embarrassing” glitch with Starhopper, an experimental rocket ship, the company pulled off an impressive launch and landing on Tuesday. “Congrats SpaceX team!!” Musk tweeted shortly after the attempt. “One day Starship will land on the rusty sands of Mars.” Starhopper is a roughly 60-foot-tall (18 meters) vehicle
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This article originally appeared in the Aug. 19, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. When the Aerospace Corp. launched the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration in 2017, one mission objective was to test water-fueled thrusters. At the time, the idea was fairly novel. Two years later, water-based propulsion is moving rapidly into the mainstream. Capella Space’s
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