2020-03-01

Satellite News

Two private satellites just docked in space in historic first for orbital servicing

In a historic first for satellite operations, one spacecraft « helper » docked with a working satellite to provide life-extension services.

NGC Successfully Completes Historic 1st Docking of MEV-1 with Intelsat 901 Satellite

Northrop Grumman Corporation and the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, have successfully completed the first docking of the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) to the Intelsat 901 (IS-901) spacecraft in order to provide life-extension services. This historic accomplishment marks the first time two commercial satellites have docked in orbit and the first time that mission extension services will be offered to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. MEV-1,

Pleiades Neo Well on Track for Launch Mid-2020

The first two Airbus-built Pléiades Neo imaging satellites have started comprehensive environmental testing, to ensure they are ready for in-orbit operationEntirely funded, manufactured, owned and operated by Airbus, Pléiades Neo will provide institutional and commercial customers with high-level insights for the next 12 years. Each satellite will be adding half a million km² per day at 30cm resolution to Airbus’ offering. The images will be streamed into the OneAtlas on-line platform.

Telesat sides with SES against Intelsat’s request for more C-band money

Telesat and SES are urging the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to reject Intelsat’s request for a larger share of the $9.7 billion in incentive payments the FCC plans to offer satellite operators to hasten the clearing of C-band spectrum the United States wants to repurpose for 5G cellular networks.

Spanish power company Red Eléctrica says its acquisition of Hispasat is boosting earnings.

The Hispasat acquisition closed in October and added 200 people to Red Electrica’s head count, which numbered 2,056 employees at the end of 2019

Launcher News

SpaceX’s next Starship prototype moves to launchpad for testing (video)

Thu, 27 Feb 2020 19:05:28 +0000

Look at that Starship go! A new time-lapse video shows a prototype of SpaceX’s Mars-colonizing ship moving toward the launchpad for testing.

March 2020 Could Bring First Polar-Orbit Launch From Florida in Over a Half Century
Argentinian space agency CONAE says that both its SAOCOM 1B satellite and SpaceX are on track for a type of launch that the United States’ East Coast hasn’t supported in more than half a century. 

Northrop Grumman test fires new OmegA rocket second stage motor in Utah

The second stage for Northrop Grumman’s new OmegA rocket roared to life in a test that sent flame and smoke billowing out against the snow-capped mountains of Utah.

Sea Launch’s mobile Odyssey launchpad moved from california

Loaded onto a cargo ship, the Xin Guang Hua, the 46,000-ton launchpad, last used in 2014, is expected to arrive near Vladivostok, Russia, in March. Russian aviation company S7 Group completed its purchase of Sea Launch in 2018.

Lockheed Martin will acquire the satellite technology assets of Vector

 Lawyers handling the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Vector said Monday they received no qualifying bids for the GalacticSky technology by a Feb. 21 deadline, and thus Lockheed would acquire them with its “stalking horse” bid of $4.25 million

NewSpace  News

Relativity Space will 3D-print rockets at new autonomous factory in Long Beach, California

Relativity Space, which aims to revolutionize spaceflight with its 3D-printed rockets, will soon be based out of a 120,000-square-foot (11,150 square meters) space in Long Beach, California, company representatives announced Friday (Feb. 28).

Space Safety News

Boeing implementing more rigorous testing of Starliner after software problems

As the independent review of last December’s test flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle nears completion, the company said it will perform more rigorous testing to catch errors that slipped through on that flight.

Protecting Earth from Asteroids: Airbus has a Solution

It’s a scenario worthy of a Hollywood movie thriller: an approaching asteroid threatens the Earth, and an industry team is busily working on converting a telecommunications satellite into a kinetic interceptor to deflect this incoming menace. At Airbus, fiction has become reality, as the company’s Defence and Space operation in Germany is developing the Fast Kinetic impactor Deflection mission concept (FastKD)

Technology News

General Atomics used a ground-based observatory to test an optical laser link with a GEO satellite.

The test demonstrated how Tesat-Spacecom’s LCT 135 laser terminal could connect drones with 300 times the capacity of traditional radio-frequency links.

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