Space

Capt. Benjamin Leaf, program manager of the Space Enterprise Consortium: “We are changing space acquisitions in multiple ways.” WASHINGTON — The Air Force just over a year ago formed a Space Enterprise Consortium to expedite the development and prototyping of satellites, ground systems, space sensors and other technologies that U.S. adversaries are advancing at a
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LAUREL, Md. — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is ready to perform the most distant flyby ever of a solar system object, an event largely unaffected by the ongoing government shutdown. New Horizons will make its closest approach to the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule, at 12:33 a.m. Eastern Jan. 1. The spacecraft
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VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia — With an exasperated hiss and engulfing roar, the sounds of a Soyuz rocket pierced the wild, windswept expanse of Russia’s far eastern taiga in a dramatic signal that Russia’s newest cosmodrome has finally opened for business.  After years of delays, construction mishaps and outrageous corruption scandals, Russia’s new premier space launch
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“Foust Forward” appears in every issue of SpaceNews magazine. This column runs in the Dec. 17, 2018 issue. At least Wall Street is paying attention to the space industry again. In December, CNBC profiled Adam Jonas, a former automotive industry analyst at Morgan Stanley who has shifted to analyze the space industry. His coverage of
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WASHINGTON —  A startup designing a constellation of orbiting cloud data centers has arranged a $100 million investment from Hughes China Holdings Company Limited (HCH Group) of Hong Kong. Cloud Constellation CEO Cliff Beek said the commitment from HCH Group, though not yet finalized, is awaiting the “final strokes” and should close in the first
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This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17, 2018 issue of SpaceNews magazine. The first thing to remember about Moon Village is that it’s not a village on the moon. That disclaimer comes up in nearly every presentation about the concept of an open partnership supporting lunar exploration. “I’m not looking at building some houses,
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What would convince you that aliens existed? The question came up recently at a conference on astrobiology, held at Stanford University in California. Several ideas were tossed around – unusual gases in a planet’s atmosphere, strange heat gradients on its surface. But none felt persuasive. Finally, one scientist offered the solution: a photograph. There was
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Black holes are vast, matter-annihilating objects that seem to defy physics by their very existence. They’re so weird, that when Albert Einstein’s equations first predicted the existence of these beasts, he didn’t believe they could actually be real. And you can’t really blame him, because the idea that we have these singularities of space-time intent
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This article originally appeared in the Dec. 17, 2018 issue of SpaceNews magazine. Sometime in 2028, competing for attention alongside a presidential election and the return of the Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, NASA will return humans to the surface of the moon. A lunar lander will depart the cluster of modules in an elliptical
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WASHINGTON — A cyberattack that may have compromised information about current and former NASA employees is only the latest sign of ongoing information security problems that have plagued the agency for years. In a Dec. 18 memo to NASA employees, Bob Gibbs, assistant administrator for the office of human capital management, said that the agency
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MT LAUREL, New Jersey — SpaceX launched the U.S. Air Force’s newest GPS satellite Dec. 23 on a Falcon 9 rocket, completing the company’s 21st and final launch of the year. The rocket lifted off at 8:51 a.m. Eastern from Cape Canaveral, Florida, following technical and weather-related delays that pushed the mission out five days.
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WASHINGTON — Swarm Technologies will pay $900,000 to settle an investigation by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission into the startup’s launch of four picosatellites on an Indian rocket this January without regulatory approval, the FCC announced Dec. 20. Swarm defied the FCC by launching the satellites after the agency dismissed its application for an experimental
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SANTA FE, N.M. — A bill designed to reform commercial space regulations and extend the life of the International Space Station failed to win approval in the House Dec. 21 amid lackluster support for the bill and opposition from some Democrats. The Space Frontier Act, S. 3277, failed to win approval on a 239–137 vote.
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A partial government shutdown that started Dec. 22 will once again force NASA to halt most of its non-essential activities and could hinder coverage of spaceflight events planned for the end of the year. Missions Policy & Politics CongressNASAshutdown A satellite-deorbiting program the European Space Agency that’s been struggling to gain traction with its member
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WASHINGTON — The Senate approved legislation Dec. 20 to reform commercial space regulations and extend the life of the International Space Station, but the passage may be too late for this bill to become law. The Senate approved by unanimous consent the Space Frontier Act, S. 3277, a bill introduced in July by Sen. Ted
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WASHINGTON — A European Space Agency satellite-deorbiting program that’s been struggling to gain traction with its member states and with industry has been redesigned to be more appealing. ESA is seeking to revive its e.Deorbit program from 2013 by expanding the mission beyond deorbiting a single satellite. Furthermore, the agency is not stipulating that the
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