Space

SAN FRANCISCO – Revenues for Lithuanian Nanosatellite manufacturer NanoAvionics tripled in the last 12 months as the company signed contracts with startups and industry veterans. “As the market for nanosatellites and cubesats matures, NanoAvionics is very well placed with its price points and capability,” NanoAvionics US CEO Brent Abbott told SpaceNews. NanoAvionics, a spin-off from
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WASHINGTON — Commercial satellite operator SES has selected SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to each launch two geostationary satellites designed to replace C-band capacity in the United States that the Federal Communications Commission is repurposing for 5G cellular networks.  SpaceX’s agreement includes room to launch one additional “contingency satellite” that has not yet been ordered. 
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SAN FRANCISCO – Satellite propulsion startup Benchmark Space Systems announced an agreement Aug. 4 to provide non-toxic chemical propulsion for rideshare provider Spaceflight Inc.’s next-generation orbital transfer vehicle, Sherpa-NG. At the same time, Burlington, Vermont-based Benchmark revealed a permanent licensing partnership with Tesseract Space, a California propulsion startup. Under the terms of the deal, Vermont-based
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USC students will build the satellites and integrate them with Lockheed Martin’s SmartSat mission payload. WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin and the University of Southern California are collaborating on a small satellite program with the goal to launch four cubesats over the next two years. Students at USC’s Information Sciences Institute will build the satellites and
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Download the digital edition of the Aug. 3 issue of SpaceNews magazine, provided compliments of Raytheon Space & Intelligence as part of our special coverage of this week’s free-to-attend 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference.  Inside the Aug. 3 issue: Inflection point  From launch failures to global pandemic, a small launch industry long buoyed by optimism
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SAN FRANCISCO — General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems won a $32.9 million contract to build NASA’s Total and Spectral solar Irradiance-2 (TSIS-2) spacecraft, a small satellite scheduled to launch in 2023. Under the firm-fixed price, time and materials contract awarded July 6, General Atomics will develop and test the TSIS-2 spacecraft, integrate instruments, and support the
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Updated 6:30 p.m. Eastern with post-splashdown press conference. WASHINGTON — SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico Aug. 2, successfully completing a test flight and crossing the finish line of the decade-long commercial crew program. The Crew Dragon, named Endeavour by its crew, splashed down about 70 kilometers south of Pensacola,
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WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts on a test flight undocked from the International Space Station Aug. 1 ahead of a splashdown less than 24 hours later. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Endeavour by the crew of the Demo-2 mission, undocked from the station’s Harmony module at 7:35 p.m. Eastern
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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed a spending bill July 31 that includes $22.6 billion for NASA, making no major changes to what appropriators had previously approved. On a 217–197 vote falling largely on party lines, the House approved a “minibus” spending bill that combined six separate bills, including the commerce, justice and science
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WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab said July 31 an investigation concluded that an “anomalous electrical connection” caused the failure of an Electron rocket launch nearly four weeks earlier, as the company makes plans to return to flight in August. The company announced that an internal accident investigation board, working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, determined
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The moon is again the object of competition between major space powers. These powers aim — perhaps even in this decade — to establish a permanent human presence on the moon’s surface and in its orbit, and exploit lunar resources for economic benefit. This renewed competition for the moon is the basis for the rise
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WASHINGTON — The first Proton launch of the year took place July 30 carrying two satellites for the Russian Satellite Communications Company.  Proton lifted off at 5:25 p.m. Eastern from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on an 18-hour mission to deploy the geostationary satellites, Express-80 and Express-103, according to Roscosmos.  The launch was originally scheduled
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on July 30 approved Amazon’s request to operate a constellation of roughly 3,200 internet satellites in low Earth orbit.  The FCC said Amazon has until July 30, 2026 to launch at least 50% of its satellites in order to maintain its authorization, and until July 30, 2029 to
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s most sophisticated Mars rover yet is on its way to the red planet after a successful launch July 30. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:50 a.m. Eastern. The liftoff took place on schedule with no issues
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WASHINGTON — NASA and the European Space Agency expect to spend at least $7 billion to collect samples of Mars and return them to Earth, a process that will start with the impending launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. Mars 2020 will deliver to the surface of Mars a rover named Perseverance, whose primary mission
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has passed its final review ahead of a July 30 launch that will kick off an ambitious effort to return samples of the red planet to Earth. NASA announced July 27 that Mars 2020 completed its launch readiness review, confirming that the spacecraft and its Atlas 5 launch vehicle
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WASHINGTON — The British government expects to soon release a comprehensive set of regulations that will enable companies to perform commercial launches from spaceports in the country. During a July 22 webinar by the U.K. Space Agency, part of series of virtual events held in place of the Farnborough International Airshow, government officials said they
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WASHINGTON — Members of a NASA safety panel expressed continued concern about quality issues with Boeing’s commercial crew spacecraft while cautiously supporting SpaceX’s plans to fly reused spacecraft on future crewed missions. During a July 23 teleconference by the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, members discussed several reviews of issues with the uncrewed flight of Boeing’s
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WASHINGTON — A U.K. parliamentary committee said it will review the steps that led to the government’s bid for struggling megaconstellation startup OneWeb, arguing that the $500-million investment decision was rushed and jeopardizes British taxpayer dollars.  Darren Jones, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in Parliament, said Wednesday that the decision to
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Hyvinkää, FINLAND — China’s Tianwen-1 Mars mission launched successfully Thursday, initiating a phase of deep space and interplanetary exploration. A Long March 5 rocket launched the Tianwen-1 orbiter and rover from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 12:41 a.m. Eastern.  Successful Trans-Mars injection was confirmed around 40 minutes later by the China Aerospace Science and Technology
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WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle developer Astra said July 20 it’s now planning to make its next orbital launch attempt in early August, five months after a previous attempt was scrubbed a minute before liftoff. The company announced on Twitter that the window for its Rocket 3.1 vehicle will open Aug. 2 from Pacific Spaceport
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SAN FRANCISCO – Near Space Labs is selling high-resolution imagery of major Texas cities for prices ranging from $10 to $50 per square kilometer. The New York startup, which gathers the imagery with instruments hanging from weather balloons, seeks to attract business and government customers by offering weekly imagery updates and transparent pricing. “Our aim
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