Space

WASHINGTON — Boeing said April 17 that the next test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle won’t take place until at least August, confirming a lengthy delay widely expected because of the schedule of other launches and International Space Station missions. In a statement, Boeing said that the company and NASA are projecting
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WASHINGTON — NASA now plans to attempt a first flight of the Mars helicopter Ingenuity early April 19 after finding a workaround to a software problem that delayed the flight earlier this month. The agency announced April 17 that the first flight of the 1.8-kilogram helicopter will take place at 3:31 a.m. Eastern. Images and
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WASHINGTON — NASA managers approved plans to launch a SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station next week, pending the resolution of one minor issue with the Falcon 9 rocket. NASA officials said April 15 that, after the completion of a flight readiness review, they approved plans for the launch April 22 of
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Updated 8 p.m. Eastern with comments by Beyer and Bridenstine. WASHINGTON — The White House announced April 16 it will nominate former astronaut Pam Melroy to be NASA’s deputy administrator. Melroy’s nomination was one of eight the White House announced to fill positions across the government. The position will require confirmation by the Senate. Melroy
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TAMPA, Fla. — Private investors deployed another $1.9 billion in SpaceX, OneWeb and other space infrastructure companies in the first three months of 2021, according to data from New York-based Space Capital. The company, which invests in early-stage ventures in addition to providing market intelligence, includes rocket and satellite builders in how it defines space
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected SpaceX as the sole company to win a contract to develop and demonstrate a crewed lunar lander, while keeping the door open for others to compete for future missions. NASA announced April 16 that it awarded a contract to SpaceX for Option A of the Human Landing System (HLS) program,
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SAN FRANCISCO – Iceye has established a satellite manufacturing facility, research and development laboratory, and mission operations center for U.S.-licensed spacecraft at its new Iceye U.S. headquarters in Irvine, California. “A huge part of our nation’s space industrial base and centers for innovation are located here in Southern California,” Jerry Welsh, Iceye U.S. CEO told
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Derek Tournear: ‘I’m really interested in industry feedback when we when they see our acquisition strategy’ WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency is considering buying its next 150 satellites from three different vendors, but that could change after the agency evaluates companies’ bids, SDA director Derek Tournear said April 14. Speaking at the Washington
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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin announced a new line of satellites designed for space-based surveillance. The mid-size satellite bus is aimed at the military market and would be interoperable with military weapons systems such as fighter jets and air defense systems. The company is pitching the new mid-size satellite as an alternative to tactical surveillance platforms
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SAN FRANCISCO — Orbital Sidekick announced a $16 million Series A funding round April 13 led by Singapore investment giant Temasek that clears the way for the company to complete development of its first constellation of hyperspectral imaging satellites. “Temasek is a great foothold within the Asia Pacific region,” Daniel Katz, Orbital Sidekick CEO and
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WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates doubled the size of its astronaut corps April 10 with the selection of two new astronauts, including the first woman, who will train at NASA starting later this year. The UAE government announced it picked Nora AlMatrooshi and Mohammad AlMulla from a pool of 4,305 applicants to join the
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WASHINGTON — NASA announced April 10 it was postponing the first flight attempt of the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars by at least three days after detecting a problem during a final pre-flight test. In a brief statement, NASA said that the command sequence for an April 9 test of the vehicle’s rotors, where they would
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General Atomics’ Christina Back: Nuclear thermal propulsion “will enable spacecraft to travel immense distances quickly” WASHINGTON — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency awarded a $22 million contract to General Atomics to design a small nuclear reactor for space propulsion, the agency announced April 9. General Atomics, based in San Diego, California, was selected for
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WASHINGTON — A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one American astronaut arrived at the International Space Station April 9, a few hours after its launch from Kazakhstan. A Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 3:42 a.m. Eastern, placing the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft into orbit. That spacecraft docked with the station’s
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WASHINGTON — The new chief executive of OneWeb says the company is still pursuing some kind of navigation capability for its broadband satellite constellation, although a full-fledged service may have to wait until a second-generation system. Neil Masterson, a former executive with Thomson Reuters who was named chief executive of OneWeb when it emerged from
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Global Trends 2040 predicts governments will routinely conduct on-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing activities WASHINGTON — The Office of the Director of National Intelligence in a new report released April 8 projects that by 2040 China will be the most significant rival to the United States in space, competing on commercial, civil and military fronts.
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HELSINKI — The coastal cities of Ningbo and Wenchang are planning construction of new commercial spaceports to meet growing demand for launch in China. The eastern port city of Ningbo in eastern Zhejiang province has committed a total investment of 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) to establish a spaceport at Xiangshan, according to reports Wednesday.
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The key is developing a 10-ton lander The triumphant landing of the Perseverance rover has inspired all Americans, and indeed much of the world. President Biden should follow it up by launching the program to send humans to Mars. While robotic rovers are wonderful, they cannot resolve the fundamental scientific questions that Mars poses to
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Video call is first meeting between new ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher and CNSA head Zhang Kejian. HELSINKI — The heads of the European Space Agency and China National Space Administration held a video call April 1 to outline respective plans for the coming years. Zhang Kejian, administrator of the CNSA, and new ESA Director General
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SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft announced plans April 6 to move automated satellite image processing technology developed by Thales Alenia Space into its Azure Orbital platform. With Thales Alenia’s DeeperVision software, “images downlinked by Earth observation satellites can be immediately and systematically analyzed as soon as they are produced,” according to a Thales Alenia news release.
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TAMPA, Fla. — CAES, the former electronics unit of British defense and aerospace contractor Cobham, has forged an alliance to bring Swiss 3D printed satellite RF technology to the U.S. market. Arlington, Virginia-based CAES (formerly known as Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions) is partnering with Switzerland-based additive manufacturing specialist Swissto12 to target U.S. government and commercial
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WASHINGTON — SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk said an engine on the company’s latest Starship prototype suffered a “hard start” that caused the vehicle to explode when attempting to land on a test flight last week. The Starship SN11 vehicle lifted off in dense fog March 30 from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas, test site, flying
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Numerica won a $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research award and later received an additional $2.25 million to mature the technology WASHINGTON — Numerica, a company that operates a network of ground-based telescopes to track objects in deep space, is deploying new sensors that can observe orbiting satellites in broad daylight. The telescopes were funded with
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WASHINGTON — The Russian space agency Roscosmos anticipates additional negotiations with China at a conference in June, building upon an agreement on lunar exploration announced in February. The February agreement, in the form of a memorandum of understanding, announced the intent of China and Russia to develop an “International Lunar Research Station,” likely at the
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WASHINGTON — Michael Brown, a veteran tech industry executive who has led the Pentagon’s commercial outreach office since 2018, is President Biden’s pick for the Defense Department’s top procurement job, the White House announced April 2. Brown was nominated to serve as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment. He is currently the director of
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Space Command: “This arrangement codifies the relationship by placing a Japanese liaison officer directly into the conversations we are having on space operations.” WASHINGTON — U.S. Space Command announced April 1 it has signed an agreement with Japan that will increase collaboration on space security. Under the agreement, an officer from the Japan Air Self-Defense
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The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency started the accelerator program last year to strengthen ties with entrepreneurs WASHINGTON — A technology accelerator program funded by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency has selected eight startups that will receive $100,000 grants, mentoring and coaching from government officials and venture investors.  The program organizers, the venture investment firm Capital
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Investment in space exploration and development has become a significant global phenomenon in recent years. NASA’s budget has seen several years of healthy back-to-back increases. Silicon Valley and Wall Street are pouring billions into space startups. This largesse has prompted several notable thinkers to raise important questions about investing public and private money into aspirational
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