Space

TAMPA, Fla. — OneWeb is using drones from Danish startup QuadSat to accelerate ground segment tests as it aims to bring part of its low Earth orbit broadband constellation online this year. QuadSat’s quadcopters helped calibrate OneWeb’s gateway in Scanzano, Italy, and will now test its antennas elsewhere as the operator races to launch initial
0 Comments
The Space Warfighting Analysis Center will brief industry representatives Oct. 27 on the results of its first “force design” study focused on space-based missile warning and missile tracking NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond said a new Space Force office called Space Warfighting Analysis Center (SWAC) will brief industry representatives
0 Comments
HELSINKI — China’s Tianzhou-3 cargo spacecraft docked in orbit with the Tianhe space station module Monday following launch from the coastal Wenchang launch center. A Long March 7 rocket lifted off from Wenchang at 3:10 a.m. Eastern September 20. Tianzhou-3 separated from the second stage after 597 seconds, having entered orbit and on track to
0 Comments
WAILEA, Hawaii — The growing number of satellites in orbit is leading to calls to develop formal “right of way” rules, although there is no consensus on what those rules should be and how they should be established. Several close approaches of satellites in recent years, in some cases exacerbated by disagreements or communications breakdowns
0 Comments
KIHEI, Hawaii — SpaceX’s first private crewed mission ended with the splashdown of the Crew Dragon spacecraft off the Florida coast Sept. 18. The Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience splashed down off the coast from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 7:06 p.m. Eastern. The splashdown took place 50 minutes after the spacecraft started its deorbit burn. “Inspiration4,
0 Comments
KIHEI, Hawaii — Turksat will launch its first domestically built communications satellite on a SpaceX Falcon 9, the Turkish government announced Sept. 17. The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure said it awarded SpaceX a contract for the launch of Turksat 6A, scheduled for the first quarter of 2023. The ministry did not disclose the terms
0 Comments
TAMPA, Fla. — CesiumAstro expects to be building satellites mostly by itself in two years to house the active phased arrays it has been developing, aiming to shift the paradigm for electronically steered antennas with commercial-like industrialization processes that lower costs and speed up production. Austin, Texas-based CesiumAstro bought parts from small satellite manufacturers for
0 Comments
WAILEA, Hawaii — Space situational awareness data used by satellite operators isn’t accurate enough to support the decisions they need to make on whether and how to maneuver their spacecraft to avoid potential collisions. In a paper presented at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies, or AMOS, Conference here Sept. 15, officials with
0 Comments
KIHEI, Hawaii — The European Space Agency has signed a contract with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) to be the anchor customer on a commercial lunar communications satellite that company is developing. Officials with SSTL and ESA signed the agreement Sept. 15 where ESA will buy communications services and fly payloads on Lunar Pathfinder, a
0 Comments
WAILEA, Hawaii — A Space Force general endorsed the development of commercial systems for removing space debris, saying they can address congestion in Earth orbit without the policy concerns a government-run alternative might have. Maj. Gen. DeAnna Burt, vice commander of the Space Force’s Space Operations Command, told an audience of space traffic management experts
0 Comments
The rocket went sideways, so the stock went down. Astra Space made its third orbital launch attempt from Kodiak, Alaska, Aug. 28, using an upgraded version of its small launch vehicle known as Rocket 3.3. The launch was the first of two under a U.S. Space Force contract, carrying a test payload designed to monitor
0 Comments
TAMPA, Fla. — OneWeb is about halfway through deploying its low Earth orbit constellation, after Arianespace successfully launched another 34 satellites for the broadband operator Sept. 14. The satellites launched on a Soyuz rocket at 2:07 p.m. Eastern from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, expanding OneWeb’s network to 322 satellites of a planned 648-strong constellation. Arianespace said
0 Comments
TAMPA, Fla. — Newly listed small satellite constellation operator Spire Global is buying Canadian ship-tracking company exactEarth in its first major acquisition, inflating expectations of more space consolidation amid a surge of companies going public. Vienna, Virginia-based Spire, which provides data-gathering and analysis services in maritime and other markets with more than 110 Lemur satellites
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — BAE Systems announced Sept. 14 that it will acquire In-Space Missions, a company that recently won a contract to build a British military satellite. BAE Systems it will acquire In-Space Missions to enhance its abilities to develop small satellites for both government and commercial customers. The companies declined to disclose the value of
0 Comments
SEOUL, South Korea — SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service will be available in Japan’s remote areas starting in 2022. Japan’s major mobile provider, KDDI, announced Sept. 13 a partnership with SpaceX to “offer an urban mobile connectivity experience to its rural mobile customers” via its 1,200 remote mobile towers. The pair will start by offering
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover has collected and stored the first samples of Martian rock for later return to Earth, but exactly when those samples will arrive on Earth remains uncertain. At a Sept. 10 news briefing, NASA officials and project scientists hailed the collection of two samples from a rock dubbed “Rochette” as
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic is further delaying its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital flight in order to check a potential issue the company says is unrelated to an ongoing Federal Aviation Administration investigation. In a statement issued late Sept. 10, Virgin Galactic said a third-party supplier, which it did not identify, notified the company of a potential
0 Comments
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The current wave of space startups going public through mergers with special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) might lead to a round of industry consolidation as they snap up suppliers to obtain their technologies or personnel. Speaking at a Sept. 9 panel during the Satellite 2021 conference, Chris Kemp, chief executive of small
0 Comments
HELSINKI — China conducted its 33rd launch of 2021 early Thursday, successfully sending the ChinaSat-9B communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit. A Long March 3B lifted off from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, southwest China, at 7:50 a.m. Eastern, September 9. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) announced ChinaSat-9B, also known as Zhongxing-9B,
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO –Attracting and retaining a diverse workforce may take effort but it can help companies succeed, according to panelists at the Satellite 2021 conference. Diverse teams perform better, said Debra Facktor, head of Space Systems for Airbus US Space and Defense Inc. “It’s just a fact. Their stock price is higher. Their returns are
0 Comments
A new solicitation from the Defense Innovation Unit seeks “mature commercial technologies that can provide power and propulsion in the near term” WASHINGTON — The Defense Innovation Unit last week issued a call for bids for small nuclear-powered engines for space missions beyond Earth orbit. DoD wants “lightweight, portable and long-duration power sources that can
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — SpaceX is gearing up for its first purely commercial human spaceflight, but many details about the mission remain unclear. A SpaceX Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch a Crew Dragon spacecraft on the Inspiration4 mission next week. Four people will fly on the mission, announced in February, spending three days in orbit but
0 Comments
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — The good news for the Earth observation industry is that their capabilities to collect and analyze imagery are better than ever. The bad news for the industry is that many prospective customers don’t understand those capabilities. During a panel session of the Satellite 2021 conference Sept. 9, industry officials lamented that,
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — The House Science Committee approved its portion of a massive budget reconciliation spending bill Sept. 9, making no major changes to its NASA provisions. The full committee voted 21-17 after a daylong markup to advance its portion of the package, allocating $45.51 billion to agencies under its jurisdiction, including NASA, the National Oceanic
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Optical communications startup Xenesis signed a memorandum of understanding with MBS Lab, the research group for Germany’s Media Broadcast Satellite (MBS), Germany’s largest teleport operator. “Having a demonstration at the MBS Lab facility is a best-case scenario for us in terms of how we position ourselves for market adaption and market traction,”
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is finally scheduled to launch Dec. 18 on an Ariane 5 from French Guiana after years of development delays. NASA, the European Space Agency and Arianespace announced Sept. 8 that they had selected Dec. 18 as the formal targeted launch date for the giant space observatory. ESA is
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Optical communications startup BridgeComm announced a strategic partnership with satellite component supplier Space Micro to work together on the design, development and testing of optical communications technology for U.S. government and commercial customers. BridgeComm is working to establish a global network of ground stations and a laser communications constellation in low Earth
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – York Space Systems plans to rely on Exotrail electric propulsion for a mission to provide Earth-to-moon communications services from cislunar orbit. French startup Exotrail plans to deliver its ExoMG – cluster² thruster to York Space Systems in 2022, under a contract signed in August. York plans to integrate the thruster into its S-class
0 Comments
SAN FRANCISCO – Bradford Space is updating its Comet electrothermal propulsion technology and transferring production of the small satellite thrusters from the United States to Luxembourg. “The Luxembourg ecosystem allows more supportive financing of the venture of improving the technology, transferring the technology and building a facility,” said Patrick van Put, Bradford Space managing director.
0 Comments
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Companies that operate both geostationary satellites and low Earth orbit constellations say they see opportunities to acquire complementary firms but cautioned that a long-projected consolidation of the industry isn’t likely in the near future. In a panel discussion at the Satellite 2021 conference here Sept. 7, Bret Johnsen, chief financial officer
0 Comments
China’s moon-sampling mission spacecraft is continuing its extended mission with its destination currently unknown. HELSINKI — The Chang’e-5 orbiter module which facilitated China’s complex lunar sample return last year is on its way to the moon following deep space tests. The orbiter, one of four distinct Chang’e-5 mission spacecraft, delivered a return module containing 1.731
0 Comments
The program office for the Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System extended the competition to spring 2022, said Col. Brian Denaro, program executive officer at the Space Systems Command WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force was expected this year to choose which vendors will build next-generation weather satellites for the Defense Department. But the competition is being
0 Comments