French Space Agency Donates 90,000 Face Masks to Hospitals
Hospitals in Toulouse, France, received 90,000 face masks from the French space agency CNES this week in an effort to help limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the agency’s president. In an interview March 24, Jean-Yves Le Gall said CNES had a stockpile of face masks because of a French policy initiative roughly a decade ago directing government agencies to keep masks on hand in the event of a global pandemic. Many of the masks are beyond their designated three-to-five-years.
Satellite Stocks See Sharp Decline
A 35-50% decline in stock prices among several major satellite operators is likely indicative of deeper concerns than the coronavirus, according to Northern Sky Research. Smaller business backlogs, shorter capacity contracts and limited product differentiation are other factors that likely spooked investors, the research firm said. NSR estimates that negative impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, which have battered stocks in and outside of the satellite industry, will continue for at least two to three financial quarters
Farnborough Air Show Canceled
Other coronavirus updates: The Farnborough International Airshow 2020 has been canceled. Event organizers said Friday it reached the decision to cancel the event, scheduled for July 20-24, because of « the unprecedented impact » of the pandemic that « make it impossible for us to create and host the Airshow this July. »
In a recent test, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully deployed its primary mirror into the same configuration it will have when in space. As Webb progresses towards liftoff in 2021
For the third time in less than five months, a prototype of SpaceX’s Starship next-generation launch vehicle was destroyed in a test at the company’s South Texas facilities April 3, although this failure may an issue with the test itself.
NASA has completed the crew for the first operational SpaceX commercial crew mission to the International Space Station, one that will not include any Russian cosmonauts after Roscosmos officials said they would not fly on what they consider an unproven vehicle.
Virgin Orbit announced April 2 it has identified an airport in Japan as a potential site for launch operations, joining airports in the United States and Great Britain as hosts for the air-launch company.
Stratolaunch, the company founded by the late billionaire Paul Allen as an air-launch company, announced March 30 it is developing a reusable hypersonic vehicle designed to be launched from the company’s giant aircraft.
The U.S. Space and Missile Systems Center awarded satellite component supplier Space Micro a $3 million contract for a laser communications terminal designed to transmit data at a rate of 100 gigabits per second.
Momentus, a Silicon Valley in-space transportation startup, announced a launch service agreement April 1 with Odysseus Space, a satellite applications startup based in Taiwan.
NASA announced March 30 it will fund the development of a cluster of six cubesats that will fly in formation above geostationary orbit to study solar storms.
Space Safey News
Venezuela confirmed its first and only government-operated communications satellite, VeneSat-1, suffered a mission-ending failure that its Chinese builder blamed on a solar array problem.
A startup that seeks to create refueling facilities in orbit for satellites has received a government grant to develop one essential technology for that system.