Space

WASHINGTON — NASA and SpaceX officials said after a final pre-launch review they had no major issues about the upcoming Demo-2 commercial crew launch beyond one over which they have no control: the weather. NASA concluded a launch readiness review May 25 for the Demo-2 mission, the final pre-launch review for a mission that will
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Updated 5:00 p.m. Eastern. WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne failed to reach orbit in its first launch attempt May 25, with the mission “terminated” moments after the rocket’s release from its aircraft. The company’s “Cosmic Girl” aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California at 2:56 p.m.
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Raytheon and a Northrop Grumman/Ball Aerospace team designed competing sensor payloads for the Next-Gen OPIR geosynchronous satellites. WASHINGTON — Two sensor payloads for the U.S. Space Force’s new missile warning satellites have passed a key design review. One of them will be selected for the first Next-Generation Overhead Infrared satellite scheduled to launch in 2025.
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WASHINGTON — While both the president and vice president plan to attend the Demo-2 commercial crew launch, there will be far fewer people attending the first American human orbital spaceflight in nearly a decade than once expected. The White House announced May 22 that President Donald Trump will go to the Kennedy Space Center for
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit says that it’s ready for its first orbital launch attempt, scheduled for May 24, while acknowledging potentially long odds of successfully placing a payload into orbit. Company executives said in a May 23 media call that final preparations for the inaugural LauncherOne mission are proceeding, with a “green board” and no
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SpaceNews in Conversation withMAJ. GEN. JOHN SHAWU.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command———Thursday, May 282 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacificvia Zoom As NASA prepares to launch astronauts from U.S. soil for the first time since the space shuttle retired in 2011, the U.S. military is reviving the astronaut-rescue role it has been performing since the Apollo era.
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Oakman Aerospace hasn’t furloughed anyone. In fact, the Colorado company is training two recent hires thanks in part to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a U.S. Small Business Administration initiative designed to limit the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We likened it to winning the Powerball,” said Oakman Aerospace CEO Maureen O’Brien. That’s because
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WASHINGTON — Satellite imaging companies are embracing long-awaited reforms to commercial remote sensing regulations, although one member of Congress doesn’t think the changes go far enough. The Commerce Department, which regulates commercial remote sensing satellite systems through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released a final rule revising commercial remote sensing regulations May 19. The
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WASHINGTON — The Senate Commerce Committee backed the nomination of Neil Jacobs to be the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration May 20, despite some lingering concerns by some members. On a voice vote, the committee voted to favorably report the nomination of Jacobs as NOAA administrator and undersecretary of commerce for oceans
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Space Force will have a field command focused on acquisition that will bring together several existing organizations WASHINGTON — One unfinished piece of business for the leaders of the U.S. Space Force is figuring out the organization of space acquisition agencies that currently operate independently. A plan to consolidate diverse procurement organizations under a single
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit announced May 20 it will make the first flight of its LauncherOne air-launched vehicle as soon as May 24, but is setting modest expectations about the probability of success. The company said in a statement that it current plans to perform its inaugural LauncherOne mission May 24, with “Cosmic Girl,” the
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WASHINGTON — The inaugural launch of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket appears all but certain to slip into 2021 because of development delays the European Space Agency and the rocket’s manufacturer ArianeGroup attribute to the coronavirus pandemic. Daniel Neuenschwander, the director of space transportation at the European Space Agency, told SpaceNews the coronavirus slowed or halted
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WASHINGTON — Doug Loverro, the NASA official responsible for human spaceflight programs, left the agency May 18 after less than six months on the job. In a May 19 statement, NASA said that Loverro resigned from his position as associate administrator for human exploration and operations effective May 18. Ken Bowersox, Loverro’s deputy, will serve
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The contract announced May 18 is for two Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared missile warning satellites to be deployed in polar orbits. WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman received a $2.37 billion contract to develop two satellites that will be part of a future constellation that provides the U.S. military early warning of incoming missiles. The contract announced
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SAN FRANCISCO – Isotropic Systems won two defense contracts in two months, an important sign the satellite terminal developer is diversifying its customer base, John Finney, Isotropic founder and CEO, told SpaceNews. On May 18, Isotropic announced a contract with the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), an organization established in 2015 to help the U.S.
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WASHINGTON — Intelsat hopes it can eliminate around half of its $15 billion debt load through its recent bankruptcy, a change that would free the company to invest in next generation satellite technologies, according to a company executive.  “This was something that we’ve had to deal with for a while,” Samer Halawi, Intelsat’s chief commercial
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The flag is derived from the Space Force seal that Trump approved in January. WASHINGTON — President Trump on May 15 was presented with the official flag of the U.S. Space Force by Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond and senior enlisted adviser Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman. In attendance at the Oval Office
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HELSINKI — China’s commercial satellite sector is expecting to see a boost after satellite internet was added to a list of “new infrastructures” to receive government support. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) added ‘satellite internet’ to a list of “new infrastructures” in an April meeting (Chinese). The NDRC provided a clearer definition of
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WASHINGTON — Three satellite operators whose fleets have at least some C-band coverage of the United States are taking the Federal Communications Commission to court over their exclusion from an upcoming spectrum auction that stands to transfer billions of dollars to competitors with larger shares of the market.  Bermuda-based ABS and Hispasat of Spain have
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MT LAUREL, New Jersey — Swarm says it has obtained the last regulatory approvals it needed to start an internet-of-things service with its tiny Spacebee satellites, closing a high-profile chapter in the company’s development.  Since receiving the necessary FCC approvals last month, Swarm is turning its attention to a challenge smallsat startups are more acquainted
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WASHINGTON — Maxar Technologies said this week it has received a contract to build multiple geostationary communications satellites for an undisclosed customer. The announcement was made in tandem with an earnings report showing that the coronavirus pandemic roiling the global economy put a crimp in Maxar’s satellite manufacturing revenue even as its satellite imagery division
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WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic and the transition launch providers are making to new rockets is complicating EchoStar’s reservation of a launch slot for its Jupiter-3 broadband satellite, according to company executives.  Since ordering the 500 gigabit-per-second Ka-band satellite from Maxar Technologies in 2017, EchoStar has planned to launch it in 2021 to bring growth
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WASHINGTON — Richard Branson, the founder and largest shareholder of suborbital spaceflight company Virgin Galactic, will sell more than a fifth of Virgin Group’s majority stake in the company to raise funds to aid its other companies affected by the pandemic. In a statement May 11, the company announced that Vieco 10, the Virgin Group
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WASHINGTON — The United Arab Emirates plans to double the size of its astronaut corps by early next year with the selection of two new astronauts from a pool of more than 4,000 applicants. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre announced May 10 that it received 4,305 applications from citizens of the UAE to become
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected an official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s satellite division to lead its Earth science programs, a search that took more than a year to complete. Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, announced May 5 that the agency had hired Karen St. Germain as the new director of
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WASHINGTON — Despite sticker shock from some quarters, Aerojet Rocketdyne says a new contract for producing engines for NASA’s Space Launch System will result in cost reductions compared to the engines used on the space shuttle. NASA announced May 1 it had awarded a contract to Aerojet valued at $1.79 billion to produce 18 RS-25
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WASHINGTON — Seven members of the European Parliament, the legislative branch of the European Union, are pushing for a recovery plan for space companies hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.  The parliamentarians wrote to Thierry Breton, a commissioner overseeing space in the EU’s executive branch, the European Commission, estimating that the European space sector could contract
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