Space

WASHINGTON — A reusable suborbital sounding rocket launched by Exos Aerospace malfunctioned shortly after liftoff Oct. 26, causing the vehicle to crash back to Earth minutes later. The Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE, or SARGE, sounding rocket lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at approximately 1:40 p.m. Eastern. The rocket cleared its launch
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WASHINGTON — On the heels of the first flight of an Emirati in space, the United Arab Emirates’ space agency expects to soon expand its small corps of astronauts in anticipation of future missions in the next several years. In a panel discussion at the 70th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 25, Salem Al Marri,
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WASHINGTON — A partnership between small launch vehicle company Firefly Aerospace and propulsion developer Aerojet Rocketdyne, highlighted by Firefly’s potential use of Aerojet’s AR1 engine, also has more immediate benefits for the companies. Firefly and Aerojet announced a partnership Oct. 18 headlined by Firefly’s consideration of the AR1, an engine Aerojet originally developed for potential
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WASHINGTON – NSLComm, an Israeli startup that launched its first cubesat in July, is building two more cubesats with funding from customers including a major multinational corporation. “We have a working satellite in orbit with more than 90 percent success of the mission goals,” Raz Itzhaki, NSLComm CEO and co-founder, told SpaceNews. “The satellite is
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit, while preparing for the first flight of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket, is in the process of choosing an engine for a three-stage variant that would be capable of sending payloads to other planets.  John Fuller, Virgin Orbit advanced concepts director, said the company is deciding between three “highly energetic third stage”
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic will go public next week after shareholders in a holding company approved a merger with the suborbital spaceflight firm Oct. 23. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH), the special-purpose acquisition company that announced plans to merge with Virgin Galactic in July, reported that
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WASHINGTON – Nanoracks is moving ahead with its plan to turn rocket second stages into Nanoracks Space Outposts thanks to an agreement with Canada’s Maritime Launch Services and an upcoming test test of a critical technology. NanoRacks announced an agreement Oct. 23 at the International Astronautical Congress here with Canada’s Maritime Launch Services to work on
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WASHINGTON – Entrepreneurs and international government agencies will play important roles in NASA’s future lunar exploration, according to speakers at the 2019 International Astronautical Congress here. While previous lunar campaigns were directed and funded by the U.S. government, future missions will involve many private companies and international partners, said Ryan Whitley, National Space Council civil
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WASHINGTON — Leaders of several national space agencies endorsed continued cooperation in space exploration, including missions to the moon, and said that effort should not come into conflict with separate work to address climate change. Speaking at a panel of agency leaders during the 70th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 21, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
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WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence told an international audience that the United States intends to lead in space but seeks cooperation in space exploration with “freedom-loving” nations. Pence, speaking at the opening ceremony of the 70th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 21, made no new announcements about national space policy or international cooperation in
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WASHINGTON — The Japanese government plans to join NASA in its Artemis program of lunar exploration, although the details about how it will contribute remain to be worked out. In an Oct. 18 statement posted on Twitter, the office of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe said that his government’s Strategic Headquarters for National Space Policy
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WASHINGTON — An independent report is calling on NASA to update decades’ old planetary protection policies to reflect changing knowledge of solar system habitability and to enable future exploration by both the space agency and commercial entities. The report by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board, released by NASA Oct. 18, called for reassessing existing
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WASHINGTON — Two NASA astronauts successfully replaced a faulty battery charger during the agency’s first all-female spacewalk Oct. 18, an event that at times appeared to go better in orbit than on the ground. NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir spent seven hours and 17 minutes outside the International Space Station during a spacewalk,
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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA said he remains unconvinced of the need to accelerate NASA’s plans to return humans to the moon because of its uncertain cost. At a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee’s commerce, justice and science subcommittee, Rep. José Serrano (D-N.Y.), chairman of the subcommittee,
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WASHINGTON — A Rocket Lab Electron rocket launched a single cubesat for Astro Digital Oct. 16, placing the satellite into a much higher orbit than previous Electron launches. The Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab’s launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 9:22 p.m. Eastern, a launch delayed two days by poor weather at
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WASHINGTON — A startup planning a constellation of small satellites to link Internet of Things devices says a recent test using another operator’s spacecraft will help it compete with more advanced startups despite not having any satellites in orbit.  OQ Technology of Luxembourg used GomSpace’s two GOM-X4 cubesats in low Earth orbit to demonstrate waveforms
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Recent articles outline a general dissatisfaction with geospatial innovation in the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Part of the issue, contracting for commercial imagery purchases, resides with the National Reconnaissance Office. Both agencies face challenges in dealing with the volume of geospatial data from space, increasing mission complexity and incorporating software, hardware, and data being created by
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SAN FRANCISCO – The National Reconnaissance Office announced the award Oct. 15 of a commercial imagery contract of undisclosed value to Planet Labs Federal, a subsidiary of Planet, the Earth observation company with about 150 imaging satellites in orbit. In April, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency exercised a $5.9 million option to buy current and
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The former head of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space office says the government should create a policy that promotes the development of spaceports as not just launch sites but also as hubs for economic development. In an Oct. 10 presentation at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS)
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SAN FRANCISCO — Within a year, Astroscale plans to begin a complex series of demonstrations to show the startup’s spacecraft can grab a piece of space debris and dispose of it in the atmosphere. If the 2020 End-of-Life Service by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission is successful, it could prompt satellite operators to begin designing spacecraft for
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk eased two weeks of tension between them Oct. 10, saying they were on the same page regarding development of commercial crew systems. Bridenstine toured SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and told media afterwards that development of vehicles to carry astronauts to
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak during the opening ceremony of the 70th International Astronautical Congress here Oct. 21, the IAC’s organizers announced this week. Pence chairs the National Space Council the Trump administration reestablished in 2017 to guide and coordinate civil, commercial, national security and international space policy matters.
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HOUSTON — Stratolaunch, the venture founded by the late Paul Allen to develop an air-launch system, has “transitioned” ownership, but the company is not disclosing who the new owner is. In a brief statement Oct. 11, Stratolaunch said that it “transitioned ownership and is continuing regular operations.” The company had been owned by Vulcan Inc.,
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — NASA expects to buy at least one more Soyuz seat from Russia to provide assured access to the International Space Station should commercial crew vehicles suffer additional delays. In a media briefing after a visit to SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, Oct. 10, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said NASA was in
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In early September 1859, something world-changing occurred. Earth was wracked by a monumental solar storm, which lashed our magnetosphere with a coronal mass ejection, the like of which had never before occurred in recorded history. It’s called the Carrington Event, and it occurred right on the cusp of the Technological Revolution. It temporarily knocked out telegraph
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — A long-delayed NASA space science satellite finally reached orbit Oct. 10 on a Pegasus rocket, a launch vehicle with an uncertain future. The Pegasus XL rocket was released from its L-1011 carrier aircraft at 9:59 p.m. Eastern off the Florida coast and ignited its motors to ascend to orbit. Its payload,
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It’s been a busy week for astrophysicist Michel Mayor. On Tuesday, he won a Nobel Prize for his work detecting exoplanets. Then, on Wednesday, he crushed the dreams of anyone hoping to one day colonize those planets. “If we are talking about exoplanets,” Mayor told Agence France-Presse when asked about off-world colonization, “things should be clear: we will not migrate there.”
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