Space

TAMPA, Fla. — British operator Inmarsat plans to add at least 150 low-Earth-orbit satellites to its global fleet, stepping up competition against OneWeb and others developing megaconstellations for mobility markets.  The company is investing $100 million over the next five years to lay the groundwork for deploying 150-175 LEO spacecraft. They aim to join satellites
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We are on the verge of a new era in space security: the age of diverse and highly capable dual-use space systems that can serve both peaceful and anti-satellite (ASAT) purposes. These new systems, such as spacecraft capable of undertaking rendezvous and proximity operations (RPOs), ground-based lasers capable of interacting with space objects, and actions
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WASHINGTON — Isar Aerospace, a German small launch vehicle company, has raised an additional $75 million that will allow the company to expand its manufacturing and launch capabilities. The company announced July 29 that it added $75 million to a Series B round it raised in December 2020. The new funding brings the size of
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WASHINGTON — NASA and Boeing say a second test flight of the company’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle remains on track for launch July 30, with weather the biggest concern. A launch readiness review for the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) 2 mission July 27 confirmed that both the Starliner spacecraft and its Atlas 5
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Astroscale: ‘We are considering future opportunities that could include joint technology development or missions’ WASHINGTON — Astroscale, an orbital debris removal and satellite servicing company based in Japan, announced July 27 that it will be working with rocket maker Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on technologies to help clean up space junk. The collaboration between Astroscale and
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DoD’s John Hill: ‘The U.S. government’s view is that we should be pursuing voluntary, non-binding norms’ WASHINGTON — A set of guidelines issued by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin for responsible space operations should be part of a wider conversation about how to maintain safety and security in space, a senior Pentagon official said July 26.
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TAMPA, Fla. — NorthStar Earth & Space, a startup developing a constellation for tracking other satellites, has secured Canadian government funding for a prototype Earth observation monitoring system to combat climate change. Montréal-based NorthStar said July 22 it is working with the Canadian Coast Guard on the project, using an airborne hyperspectral sensor system to
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy to launch its Europa Clipper mission to a potentially habitable moon of Jupiter, a choice that appeared inevitable once NASA was no longer required to use the Space Launch System. NASA announced July 23 that it awarded a launch services contract to SpaceX for the October 2024
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WASHINGTON — NASA approved plans July 22 for the launch of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a second uncrewed test flight that seeks to demonstrate that the company has corrected the problems seen on the first. At the conclusion of the flight readiness review, NASA gave the go-ahead for a July 30 launch of Starliner
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WASHINGTON — Members of a Senate space subcommittee argued that the Commerce Department was not doing enough to implement policies on space traffic management (STM) or staffing the office responsible for it. At the July 22 hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee, senators said they were worried that slow action by the Commerce
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TAMPA, Fla. — Canadian startup Exodus Orbitals plans to launch its first satellite in March to take the software-defined space trend a step further, providing a platform for third parties to upload and run their applications from orbit. Software-defined satellites can be reprogrammed in space, enabling operators on the ground to reconfigure them for different
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EL PASO, Texas — The Federal Aviation Administration has revised its criteria for awarding astronaut wings to those flying on commercial spacecraft, making the requirements stricter while including a significant loophole. The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation issued an order July 20 describing its FAA Commercial Space Astronaut Wings Program and the criteria for
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EL PASO, Texas — Russia launched a long-delayed module for its segment of the International Space Station July 21, but that module reportedly suffered technical problems after reaching orbit. A Proton-M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 10:58 a.m. Eastern carrying the Multipurpose Laboratory Module, or Nauka. The module separated from the rocket’s
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TAMPA, Fla. — Tracker Capital, a venture capital firm linked to the group that bought hypersonic vehicle maker Stratolaunch, has taken a majority stake in space propulsion startup Accion Systems. New York-based Tracker Capital acquired 51% of Accion Systems after leading its $42 million funding round, supporting plans to scale up its Tiled Ionic Liquid
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Lockheed Martin’s Jennifer Warren: Federal agencies, industries, academia and non-governmental organizations  “have to all get together to drive a common set of norms.” WASHINGTON — Safe deployment of satellites by governments and commercial companies is going to be increasingly difficult in the absence of globally accepted rules and incentives to make space a sustainable environment,
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EL PASO, Texas — Investors accounting for more than half the money in a funding round concurrent with in-space transportation company Momentus’s merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) dropped out of the deal when given the opportunity by a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a July 16 filing with the SEC,
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TAMPA, Fla. — Lynk aims to launch multiple operational satellites on a SpaceX ride-share mission in December, ahead of plans to provide connectivity services with the constellation directly to unmodified cellphones next year. The Virginia-based startup booked a place on a SpaceX transporter mission through ride-share service provider Spaceflight, Lynk CEO Charles Miller told SpaceNews.
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WASHINGTON — Blue Origin is on track to perform the first crewed launch of its New Shepard vehicle July 20, carrying company founder Jeff Bezos and three others on a suborbital spaceflight. At a July 18 news conference, company officials said they had successfully completed a flight readiness review for the NS-16 mission that will
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SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Air Force awarded indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts to 29 companies including Umbra, Kymeta, Hughes Network Systems and Hypergiant Galactic Systems to support the Defense Department’s campaign to ensure sensors from all the services feed data into a common network. The 29 companies will compete for portions of a Joint All-Domain Command
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope returned to science operations July 17 after a hiatus of more than a month as controllers successfully switched the orbiting observatory to a backup payload computer. NASA said the instruments of the 31-year-old telescope are now operational nearly five weeks after a payload computer, which commands those instruments, malfunctioned.
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TAMPA, Fla. — Satellite operator SES is leading a consortium to design a system for guarding communications in Luxembourg against cyberattacks, which could feed into Europe’s broader plan for a network that is also protected by quantum technology. The consortium will devise a satellite and terrestrial network for Luxembourg’s Quantum Communications Infrastructure (LuxQCI) project, which
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Hunter, director of the defense industrial initiatives group at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, would be the Department of the Air Force’s senior acquisition executive. WASHINGTON — The White House announced July 16 that President Biden intends to nominate defense procurement expert Andrew Hunter to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for
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TAMPA, Fla. — Malaysian operator Measat has likely lost control of an aging satellite that has been drifting westward in geostationary orbit for nearly a month, according to analysts at space tracking company ExoAnalytic Solutions.  The ExoAnalytic space tracking system detected an anomaly for Measat-3 on June 21, after which it started drifting out of
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WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill July 15 that leaves intact overall funding for NASA but tweaks language regarding the Human Landing System and nuclear thermal propulsion. The committee voted 33–26 to advance the commerce, justice and science (CJS) appropriations bill to the full House. The bill allocated $81.3 billion in
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The sun may have thousands of stellar siblings, many of them probably just like it, elsewhere in the galaxy. Find out how astronomers are looking for them, and learn about a match that could be our star’s long-lost sibling! ———- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your
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WASHINGTON — An 18-year-old Dutch man will fly on Blue Origin’s first crewed New Shepard suborbital flight, taking the place of the unidentified winner of an auction last month for the seat. Blue Origin announced July 15 that Oliver Daemen will be the fourth and final member of the crew of the New Shepard flight
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TAMPA, Fla. — Facebook said it remains committed to using space-based technology for improving global connectivity, after agreeing to transfer a group of satellite experts to work on Amazon’s low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation Project Kuiper.  More than a dozen employees including physicists and engineers moved from the social media giant in April to work on the constellation,
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TAMPA, Fla. — Space startup investor Seraphim Capital’s investment trust started trading on the London Stock Exchange July 14, raising about $250 million for larger international acquisitions. The listing gives the group “the firepower to become really impactful in this market,” Seraphim Capital CEO Mark Boggett told SpaceNews. Seraphim Space Investment Trust, which now trades
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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed that Defense Secretary Austin received Brown’s letter expressing his desire to withdraw.  WASHINGTON — President Biden’s pick to serve as undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, Michael Brown, has withdrawn his nomination. Brown is the director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the Pentagon’s commercial outreach office based in
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WASHINGTON — NASA has selected three teams of companies to perform concept studies of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactors while making plans to fund similar studies for nuclear surface power systems. Jim Reuter, NASA associate administrator for space technology, announced the awards in a presentation at the American Astronautical Society’s Glenn Memorial Symposium July 13.
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MDA’s cubesats were two of seven government and commercial payloads launched in Virgin Orbit’s second operational mission. WASHINGTON — Two Missile Defense Agency cubesats launched June 30 aboard Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne successfully began communicating with ground stations last week, the agency announced July 12. The satellites are the first of a series of network communications
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