Space

WASHINGTON — Three regional satellite operators with C-band coverage over the United States have complained to U.S. telecom regulators about being left out of a group led by four of the world’s largest satellite operators to arrange a proposed spectrum transfer to the wireless industry. The three operators, Hispasat of Spain, ABS of Bermuda and
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To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES Intelsat invested in Africa Mobile Networks (AMN), a U.K.-headquartered group of companies with telecom infrastructure in Africa, to reach “ultra-rural” parts of the sub-Saharan side of the continent. Intelsat did not disclose the size of the investment. AMN
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WASHINGTON — As NASA evaluates proposals for commercially developed small lunar landers, the agency is now seeking payloads that could fly on those spacecraft despite concerns from some scientists that they don’t know if their experiments are compatible with those landers. NASA released Oct. 18 a formal solicitation for “Lunar Surface Instrument and Technology Payloads”
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This article originally appeared in the Oct. 8, 2018 issue of SpaceNews magazine. SMM Hamburg, the biennial international maritime conference in Germany Sept. 4-7, attracted not only shipbuilders but also satellite operators eager to offer global communications for autonomous vessels. “Without staff onboard the ships, it is important to have true visibility on where they
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Bruno: The Air Force is “looking into the future and the flexibility they might need.” CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — United Launch Alliance employees on Wednesday were celebrating another flawless Atlas 5 mission, placing an Air Force communications satellite into a customized geosynchronous transfer orbit after coasting for more than three hours. It
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To connect the masses, megaconstellations will need mega antennas mega cheap. Antenna makers need mega orders to make that happen. Projects like LEOSat’s planned constellation of 84 broadband satellites in low Earth orbit are driving investments in flat panel antenna technology. Credit: Thales Alenia Space When an entrepreneur building a constellation of low Earth orbit
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WASHINGTON —  A Swedish company with plans for a geostationary communications satellite announced Oct. 16 a contract with SpaceX for a Falcon Heavy launch no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2020. Ovzon of Solna, Sweden, has not yet purchased the satellite, but paid Eutelsat $1.6 million earlier this year to move one of its
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WASHINGTON — ThinKom’s recent collaborations with satellite operators Telesat and SES have the antenna builder jockeying to compete with Viasat, Isotropic Systems and others in the race to build affordable high-tech antennas that can link with satellite constellations in non-geosynchronous orbits. Hawthorne, California-based ThinKom tested a phased array antenna with SES in August, practicing links
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WASHINGTON — Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft who backed the winning entry in a suborbital spaceflight competition and later funded development of a massive air-launch system, passed away Oct. 15. In a statement, Vulcan Inc., Allen’s holding company, said that Allen, 65, passed away Oct. 15 in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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The launch of the Air Force AEHF-4 satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will be Brig. Gen. Schiess’ first national security mission as the commander of the world’s busiest spaceport. CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — The launch early Wednesday of a U.S. Air Force $1.8 billion communications satellite will be
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WASHINGTON — Eric Béranger, former chief executive of satellite constellation venture OneWeb, has left the company entirely, OneWeb confirmed Oct. 15. “Eric has moved on to pursue new opportunities,” OneWeb spokesperson Katie Dowd said by email. Dowd did not respond to subsequent questions about his departure. Béranger, who was named OneWeb’s CEO in July 2016,
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Updated 6:30 p.m. Eastern with reaction. LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The Senate confirmed James Morhard to be NASA’s deputy administrator late Oct. 11. In a voice vote without debate, the Senate confirmed Morhard’s nomination to be the agency’s second-in-command. The Senate Commerce Committee had favorably reported the nomination, also on a voice vote, Sept. 5.
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For almost two centuries, scientists have theorized that life may be distributed throughout the Universe by meteoroids, asteroids, planetoids, and other astronomical objects. This theory, known as Panspermia, is based on the idea that microorganisms and the chemical precursors of life are able to survive being transported from one star system to the next. Expanding on
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It’s been a big week for NASA. First the much-loved Hubble Space Telescope entered “safe mode” after one of the gyroscopes that points it in the right direction failed. Then there was a mid-flight failure of a Russian Soyuz rocket on Thursday morning, resulting in the (safe!) emergency landing of cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and astronaut Nick
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — With the International Space Station likely to have only a three-person crew for an extended period, researchers expect there will be less time devoted to research. The Oct. 11 failure of a Soyuz rocket two minutes after launch, forcing the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft to abort and make an emergency landing, leaves
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LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Virgin Galactic’s chief executive says the company is approaching the “next phase” of the flight test program for the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle as the company’s founder predicts the company reaching space in “weeks.” Speaking at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight here Oct. 10, George Whitesides, chief executive
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WASHINGTON —  Arianespace said Oct. 11 it’s too soon to say whether the Soyuz-ST rockets it uses to launch satellites from South America will be grounded following the failure of a Russian Soyuz-FG rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station. Preparations for Arianespace’s planned November launch of a Soyuz-ST rocket carrying a European weather
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An astronaut and cosmonaut survived a harrowing mid-flight failure of a Russian Soyuz rocket on Thursday morning. But human access to space is now on hold indefinitely while authorities investigate the launch failure. After NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011 without a replacement, the US had no American spaceship to fly people to and from the International
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What does it mean that SpaceX did not receive a contract? “SpaceX does not need development money for Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy,” said Charles Miller, president of NextGen Space. WASHINGTON —  The immediate reaction to the news on Wednesday — that Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance won over $2 billion in
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MOSCOW — Thursday’s dramatic launch abort that returned the crew of Soyuz MS-10 safely to Earth after a still-unidentified booster anomaly was the first time a crewed spacecraft bound for the International Space Station has suffered a mission critical failure. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California –SES is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore ways to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to simplify operation of its communications satellite fleet. “We have a very large fleet and tens of thousands of telemetry signals on each of our satellites,” Valvanera Moreno, SES system architecture and innovation
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — The next two to three years will be a time of adjustment in the space launch industry, according to panelists at Satellite Innovation 2018 here. “People are making a lot of bets on new companies and concepts,” said Dan Hart, Virgin Orbit president and chief executive. “Some will take. Some will
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, California – While there may be enough customer demand for two or three megaconstellations, it will be difficult for the ventures to attract enough financing, according to analysts speaking at the Satellite Innovation conference here. Chris Quilty, president of Quilty Analytics, a financial services firm based in St. Petersburg, Florida, sees demand for
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