Space

WASHINGTON — Firefly Aerospace has signed a contract with Spaceflight to be the primary customer for a rideshare mission on Firefly’s Alpha small launch vehicle in 2021. Under the launch services agreement announced April 22, Spaceflight will provide the payloads for the “majority” of the payload capacity of the Alpha mission, projected to take place
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting Spacebit to rethink some elements of its strategy for building and testing robotic vehicles like the miniature rover scheduled to reach the moon next year. London-based Spacebit plans to ward off supply chain disruption with two rover designs. The firm also is expanding its engineering staff and
0 Comments
Survival of the fittest? COVID-19 is a global Darwinian event for businesses around the world, including space development. Just as a revolution was underway in the space field that was destined to transform all aspects of our relationship to the heavens, the hand of nature has knocked down many of the very dreamers making it
0 Comments
Ellen Lord: “We’re looking where the greatest pain points are, and again, it’s really aviation, shipbuilding and small space launch.” WASHINGTON — Among the domestic industries that provide equipment and services to the Pentagon,  suppliers in the aviation, shipbuilding and small space launch sectors have been the most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, top procurement
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — With OneWeb’s drive to cover the globe with hundreds of mass-produced satellites halted by last month’s Chapter 11 filing, some of the bankrupt megaconstellation’s component suppliers are looking to repurpose the investments they made in expanded manufacturing capabilities.  Many of OneWeb’s suppliers began working on hardware several years ago for what was expected
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — World View, the stratospheric ballooning company, has put on hold new business initiatives and furloughed some staff because of the coronavirus pandemic. The company, which has developed a high-altitude balloon platform called Stratollite intended to provide remote sensing and other services traditionally provided by spacecraft, announced in March it would start flying a
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) office responsible for licensing commercial launches and reentries has completed a reorganization announced nearly a year ago intended to improve its efficiency. In an April 3 memo, Wayne Monteith, associate administrator for commercial space transportation at the FAA, said the reorganization of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation,
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — A 19-year-old Intelsat satellite resumed service April 2 after getting a new lease on life through Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 satellite servicer, the companies announced Friday.  Intelsat transferred 30 commercial and government communications customers to the Intelsat-901 satellite, which now uses the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 for propulsion. The transfer took six hours to complete,
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — The leaders of the House Science Committee are asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay an April 23 vote to introduce stricter space debris regulations opposed by the satellite industry. “Regulatory action by the FCC at this time, without clear authority from Congress, will at the very least create confusion and undermine the
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – NASA employees, contractors and teams working on NASA-funded research will have access to Planet Earth observation imagery under a $7 million contract option the San Francisco company announced April 16. “We have unlimited access to all PlanetScope data,” Kevin Murphy, program executive for NASA’s Earth Science Data System, told SpaceNews. “We found
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, one of the agency’s highest priorities during the coronavirus pandemic, remains on schedule for a launch in mid-July, officials said April 15. The $2.4 billion mission, which will search for evidence of past life on Mars and cache samples for return to Earth by future missions using a
0 Comments
U.S. Space Command said the test showed that Russia’s missiles are capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit. WASHINGTON — U.S. Space Command said Russia test fired an anti-satellite missile on April 15. The command said the test is proof that Russia’s space weapons threaten American satellites. “Russia’s direct-ascent anti-satellite test provides yet another
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – GeoOptics developed a new data processing system to improve the accuracy of weather data from its CICERO radio occultation satellite constellation. The new system, GeoOptics Processor for Radio Occultation (GeoPRO),  is designed to address an inherent challenge in employing radio occultation data. Two signals traveling through the atmosphere sometimes reach a receiver
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Japanese synthetic aperture radar (SAR) company Synspective announced April 14 it will launch its first satellite with Rocket Lab after initially selecting Arianespace for that mission. Rocket Lab said it signed a contract with Synspective to launch the StriX-α SAR satellite on an Electron rocket from New Zealand in late 2020. Terms of
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle startup Launcher has signed an agreement with the Stennis Space Center to test engines at the Mississippi facility. The New York-based company signed a Space Act Agreement with Stennis at the end of March to use the E-1 test stand at the center for tests of its engine, coincidentally named
0 Comments
HELSINKI — Chinese space propulsion startup Space Pioneer has raised $14 million in funding for completing a series of next-generation liquid engines. ZJU Joint Innovation Investment, linked to Zhejiang University, led the pre-Series A round. Innoangel Fund and Eagles Fund, both based in Beijing, joined the round announced Monday. Space Pioneer, full name Beijing Tianbing
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO — German launch services provider Exolaunch announced plans April 14 to send multiple small satellites into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission scheduled for December. Exolaunch has integrated payloads and arranged launches for almost 100 satellites, but this is the company’s first launch services agreement with SpaceX, Exolaunch Commercial Director Jeanne
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Omnispace, a company planning a satellite constellation to keep mobile asset trackers, sensors and other smart devices constantly connected using common cellular standards, ordered two prototype spacecraft from Thales Alenia Space, the companies announced April 9.  Omnispace is in the process of selecting a launch provider for the satellites in the hope of
0 Comments
The Fort Collins, Colorado-based startup has expanded its telescope network with new sites. WASHINGTON _ Numerica, a space data provider that operates a network of deep space telescopes, is launching a new service aimed at government and commercial satellite operators, the company announced April 9. Numerica’s space data services have evolved from basic object tracking
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — The manufacturer of Russia’s workhorse Soyuz-2 rocket said it has paused production to keep factory workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic.  In a transcript released by the Kremlin April 10, Dmitry Baranov, general director of Energia’s Progress Rocket Space Center, said the company has 52 Soyuz rockets already built — 40 in storage
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Two senators have asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to review the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to exempt satellite constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink from an environmental review, given those satellites’ effect on the night sky. In an April 2 letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
0 Comments
The new 33,514 square foot facility in Colorado triples the company’s capacity for satellite production. WASHINGTON — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems, based in San Diego, California, has opened a spacecraft development, integration and test factory in Centennial, Colorado, the company announced April 9. A longtime defense contractor, General Atomics in recent years has expanded its
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — A Chinese Long March 3B rocket failed April 9 while attempting to launch a commercial communications satellite meant to provide broadcast and broadband services to Indonesia and beyond, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency.  After lifting off from China’s inland Xichang launch center, the Long March 3B suffered a malfunction with its third
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is issuing letters to help contractors and their subcontractors inform local authorities their work is essential to national security and should continue in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. Space technology is one of five focus areas for DIU, an organization designed to give the U.S. military rapid
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab announced April 8 it had successfully tested its ability to catch a falling Electron rocket stage in midair, a key step in the company’s efforts to recover and reuse the stage. In a test performed in early March in New Zealand, one helicopter carried a replica Electron first stage aloft and
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Cash-strapped startup Sky and Space Global transferred control of the company April 6 to an accounting firm in an effort to preserve some or all of its business.  The internet-of-things startup, which had hoped to deploy a constellation of 200 cubesats, filed for “voluntary administration,” a bankruptcy-like procedure in Australia where it is
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Boeing announced April 6 that it has decided to fly a second uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle later this year to confirm it has corrected problems encountered in a test flight last December. In a brief statement, Boeing said it would perform a second Orbital Flight Test (OFT)
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Myriota announced April 6 it raised $19.3 million to continue developing a constellation of at least 25 satellites to connect internet-of-things devices globally. Australian investors Hostplus and Main Sequence Ventures led Myriota’s Series B round, with participation from Boeing HorizonX, In-Q-Tel, Right Click Capital, Singtel Innov8 and the South Australian Venture Capital Fund. 
0 Comments