Space

WASHINGTON — The commercial space industry hopes to continue recent progress in regulatory reform even if there is a new president or a change in party control in Congress after the election. The last six months have seen two major milestones in government regulation of commercial space activities: the publication of revised commercial remote sensing
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has secured material it collected from the asteroid Bennu into a sample return capsule, a process the mission accelerated after images showed material leaking into space. At an Oct. 29 briefing, project officials said they had stowed a sample collection device called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) into a
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WASHINGTON — A Rocket Lab Electron rocket successfully placed 10 satellites into orbit for two customers who lost payloads on a launch failure earlier this year. The Electron rocket lifted off from the company’s launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 5:21 p.m. Eastern Oct. 28. The rocket’s kick stage deployed its payload of
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Air Force Col. Michael “Hopper” Hopkins, commander of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, will be commissioned into the U.S. Space Force. WASHINGTON — NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, a U.S. Air Force colonel and the commander of the upcoming SpaceX Crew Dragon mission, is transferring to the U.S. Space Force and is expected to be commissioned aboard
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WASHINGTON — NorthStar Earth and Space, a Canadian company planning a satellite constellation to track other satellites, has selected Thales Alenia Space to build its first satellites. Montréal-based NorthStar announced Oct. 27 that Thales will build its first three Skylark satellites, working in conjunction with LeoStella, its smallsat manufacturing joint venture with BlackSky. The satellites,
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The $10 million five-year contract is for professional services for the Peterson-Schriever Garrison in Colorado Springs. WASHINGTON — Peraton received a $10 million five-year contract extension from the U.S. Space Force for orbital analysis services, the company announced Oct. 26.  The contract is for professional services for the Peterson-Schriever Garrison, a Space Force unit in
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WASHINGTON — More than two years after Lockheed Martin announced it would be one of the first customers of a proposed spaceport in Scotland, the company has decided to move to another proposed spaceport there. The U.K. Space Agency announced Oct. 22 that it backed a proposal by the company to shift its planned U.K.
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SAN FRANCISCO – An international consortium plans to launch a hyperspectral camera built by South Africa’s Dragonfly Aerospace on a NanoAvionics rideshare mission scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in 2021. The mission, called HyperActive, is designed to demonstrate the performance of Dragonfly’s miniature hyperspectral imager plus a high-gain X-band antenna and
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WASHINGTON — Axiom Space hopes to soon finalize its first commercial mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for late 2021, as it continues development of a commercial module for the station. During a panel discussion at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) Oct. 13, Michael Suffredini, president and chief executive of Axiom Space, said his
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected so much material from the surface of the asteroid Bennu that the lid of its sampling head is jammed open, causing material to leak out and changing the agency’s plans for the mission. At a media briefing called by NASA on short notice Oct. 23, three days after the
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HELSINKI — Two young Chinese rocket have secured deals with local governments for the establishment of major launch vehicle research and production facilities.  The agreements made in September demonstrate ongoing and deepening support of commercial space endeavors by Chinese provincial and local governments. Beijing-based Galactic Energy will construct a base in Jianyang, a county-level city
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SAN FRANCISCO — Two years after acquiring mobile satellite services provider Thuraya Telecommunications, Emerati fleet operator Yahsat is prepared to begin updating its L-band fleet. In August, Yahsat announced a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for Thuraya-4 NGS that includes an option for a second identical satellite, Thuraya-5 NGS. Yahsat plans to spend approximately
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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced a bill Oct. 21 to formally give the Commerce Department space traffic management (STM) responsibilities, but the funding required to carry out that work remains uncertain. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) announced he had introduced the Space Preservation and Conjunction Emergency, or SPACE, Act, a bill
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SAN FRANCISCO — Airbus Ventures invested 2.5 million Singapore dollars ($1.85 million) in Zero-Error Systems (ZES), a Singapore startup developing radiation-hardened integrated circuits. With the funding, ZES will “scale its operations, and work with international customers to deploy its products into space, as well as explore new applications, including self-driving vehicles with high levels of
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WASHINGTON — NASA and the Department of Energy announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) Oct. 20 that is the latest in a series of measures by the two agencies to expand cooperation. The MOU, signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette and announced at a meeting of the Secretary of
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SpaceX will use Microsoft Azure’s orbital emulator — a digital environment that allows the user to visualize an entire satellite architecture, test satellite designs and artificial intelligence algorithms.  WASHINGTON — SpaceX earlier this month won a $149 million contract from the Defense Department’s Space Development Agency to build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and
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HELSINKI — Chinese large state-owned enterprise CASIC laid out a new set of commercial space plans for the next five years at a conference Monday. The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC) outlined plans for developing launch services, satellite constellations and a reusable space plane at the 6th China International Commercial Aerospace Forum, which
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SAN FRANCISCO — AAC Clyde Space announced plans Oct. 15 to acquire SpaceQuest, a satellite technology developer based in Fairfax, Virginia, for $8.4 million, pending the approval of shareholders and the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Luis Gomes, AAC Clyde Space CEO, and Craig Clark, AAC Clyde Space chief strategy officer,
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One of the most anticipated announcements is the official name of Space Force members WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force plans to make “a lot of announcements” during the month of December as the service approaches its one-year anniversary, Deputy Chief of Space Operations Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman said Oct. 16. “We’re going to
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SAN FRANCISCO – Orbital Sidekick is speeding up its campaign to build and launch a constellation of six hyperspectral imaging satellites thanks to a $16 million U.S. government contract announced Oct. 15. The government funding, which Orbital Sidekick matched with private investment, comes from the U.S. Air Force commercial investment group AFVentures’s Strategic Financing program
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WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration released Oct. 15 the final version of updated commercial launch and reentry regulations, although those in industry say the regulatory reform process is far from over. The FAA released the final version of its Streamlined Launch and Reentry Licensing Requirements, or SLR2, regulations on its website, with formal publication
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WASHINGTON — NASA is planning a hotfire test of the core stage of the Space Launch System in the middle of November, a schedule it says keeps it on track for its first launch late next year. During an Oct. 13 media teleconference, officials with NASA, Boeing and Aerojet Rocketdyne said they are making good
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WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency has awarded contracts for work on elements of its moon and Mars exploration program, ranging from modules for the lunar Gateway to a mission to return Mars samples to Earth. ESA’s announcement of the contracts was tied to an Oct. 14 session of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), where
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected its first human-tended commercial suborbital research payload, clearing the way for the biggest advocate of such research to fly on a future Virgin Galactic mission. NASA announced Oct. 14 it selected a proposed experiment by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) as part of its Flight Opportunities program for testing technologies
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WASHINGTON — A Soyuz spacecraft launched to the International Space Station Oct. 14 on what will likely be the last mission where NASA pays Russia for a seat, but not necessarily the last time NASA astronauts fly on the spacecraft. The Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:45 a.m. Eastern, placing the
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WASHINGTON — Seven countries have joined the United States in signing the Artemis Accords, a set of principles governing norms of behavior for those who want to participate in the Artemis lunar exploration program. During a session of the International Astronautical Congress Oct. 13, NASA announced that Australia, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, the United Arab
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WASHINGTON — The head of Russia’s space agency said that the lunar Gateway, part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration program, is too “U.S.-centric” for it to participate in, even though the Gateway leverages the existing International Space Station partnership. During a panel featuring the heads of seven space agencies at the International Astronautical Congress Oct.
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