Space

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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Vice President Mike Pence came to the Pentagon one day after announcing that President Trump directed the Defense Department to establish U.S. Space Command as a four-star combatant command. WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence visited the Pentagon on Wednesday to receive a briefing on space operations and cyber defense. One of the topics was
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WASHINGTON — A pair of new deals shows that, despite the growing number of small launch vehicles under development, demand from smallsat developers for rideshares on larger vehicles remains high. NanoRacks announced Dec. 19 that it had signed up its first customer for rideshares on India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Spire, the San Francisco-based
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WASHINGTON — Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has won NASA approval to begin full-scale production of its Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft scheduled to make its first flight in about two years. The company announced Dec. 18 that it completed a milestone in its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) 2 contract called Integrated Review 4. With that milestone,
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Vice President Mike Pence announced the presidential decision on Tuesday during an appearance at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, along with Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday directed the Department of Defense to establish a U.S. Space Command as a unified combatant command. Vice President Mike Pence announced the presidential decision
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SAN FRANCISCO – Earth observation company Planet plans to acquire Boundless Spatial Inc., a geospatial software specialist, “to accelerate the adoption by government and enterprise customers of commercial geospatial information services,” said Robbie Schingler, Planet co-founder and chief strategy officer. The terms of the deal announced Dec. 18 were not disclosed. Planet’s U.S. government group
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When the world watched Neil Armstrong take that one small step onto the lunar surface almost 50 years ago, no one could have dreamed how space would one day become an integral part of daily life on earth. Today, a robust commercial space industry is taking off with huge economic potential. Whether or not they
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WASHINGTON — Swedish startup Ovzon, which in October bought a Falcon Heavy launch from SpaceX, has now purchased a satellite for that mission from Maxar Technologies’ Space Systems Loral division. The manufacturing contract, announced Dec. 17, is for a geostationary communications satellite designed for mobile broadband services. In a press release, Ovzon said the satellite
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WASHINGTON — A Rocket Lab Electron rocket successfully launched a group of cubesats Dec. 16 on a mission funded by NASA as the company looks ahead to more frequent launches in the next year. The Electron rocket lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 1:33 a.m. Eastern. The
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This article was first published in the SN Military.Space newsletter. If you would like to get our news and insights for national security space professionals every Tuesday, sign up here for your free subscription. The U.S. Air Force’s first GPS 3 satellite was encapsulated within a SpaceX payload fairing at Astrotech Space Operations on Dec. 7 in preparation
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Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin directed Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, to lead a study team and come up with recommendations for the “implementation of the Space Development Agency.” WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — an organization known for its unconventional approach to solving military
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WASHINGTON — The NASA Advisory Council has recommended that NASA review its existing planetary protection guidelines to balance the needs of science and exploration, an effort that could set the stage for a similar revision at the international level. The council, during a two-day meeting at NASA Headquarters Dec. 10–11, adopted a recommendation calling on
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SAN FRANCISCO — Business Finland, a Finnish trade and economic development agency, awarded a 10 million Euro ($11.36 million) grant to radar satellite operator ICEYE. The grant, announced Dec. 14, will help ICEYE “maintain the very tight launch schedule ahead,” Rafal Modrzewski, ICEYE chief executive and co-founder, said by email. ICEYE launched the first SAR
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WASHINGTON — Satellite broadband startup OneWeb, now three months from the launch of its first satellites, is reducing the size of its initial low Earth orbit constellation by a third. Greg Wyler, OneWeb’s founder, said the company will need only 600 satellites or so instead of 900 after ground tests of the first satellites demonstrated better
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The service, called FlexAir, is targeted at government and military aircraft operators that only want to pay for the broadband they use, without having to make a long-term commitment. WASHINGTON — Satellite communications provider Intelsat announced on Thursday it is launching a new in-flight broadband service aimed at military and government aircraft. The service, called
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