2020-06-01

Launcher News

Dragon Endeavour Docks At Space Station

A SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying two NASA astronauts docked Sunday with the International Space Station. « Soft capture, » 

SpaceX rocket lifts off on historic private crewed flight

A SpaceX rocket carrying two veteran NASA astronauts was headed for the International Space Station on Saturday on the first ever crewed flight by a private company, ushering in a new era in space travel Trump spoke inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center a little more than 90 minutes after the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley on board, reached orbit in the first human orbital spaceflight from the United States in nearly nine years.

Watch the astronauts give a tour of their new Crew Dragon spacecraft

Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken give a video tour of their new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft as they close in on a docking with the International Space Station on May 31, 2020.

Virgin Orbit first launch attempt fails , Mission Safely Terminated

Virgin Orbit, the California-based satellite launch company, conducted a launch demonstration of its innovative air-launched rocket today in the skies over the Pacific Ocean just off the California coast. After being released from the carrier aircraft, the LauncherOne rocket successfully lighted its booster engine on cue — the first time the company had attempted an in-air ignition. An anomaly then occurred early in first stage flight, and the mission safely terminated. The carrier aircraft Cosmic Girl and all of its crew landed safely at Mojave Air and Space Port, concluding the mission

SpaceX Starship test vehicle explodes moments after test-firing

A full-size prototype of SpaceX’s Starship violently exploded in South Texas moments after a test-firing of its Raptor engine Friday, dealing a setback to the company’s next-generation reusable rocket program.

SpaceX gets FAA approval for Starship flight tests

SpaceX has received a license from the Federal Aviation Administration allowing the company to carry out suborbital flight tests of its Starship next-generation launch vehicle.

Satellite News

Intelsat asks bankruptcy to clear roadblock for Spaceflight launch business sale

Intelsat is asking its bankruptcy court for authorization to modify a $50 million loan to Spaceflight Industries’ Earth-observation business BlackSky that could become a snag in Spaceflight’s sale of its launch rideshare business. 

Viasat, lured by broadband subsidy opportunity, eyes 300-satellite LEO constellation

Viasat says it is open to building a constellation of nearly 300 satellites in low Earth orbit if it can qualify for some of the $20.4 billion in broadband subsidies the U.S. Federal Communications Commission intends to dole out under the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund. 

Thales Alenia Space Espana is leading a team of companies in designing all-European satellite chipsets.

Under the three-year Programmable Mixed Signal Electronics, or PROMISE, program, Thales Alenia Space and the small businesses Menta of France and Integrated Systems Development of Greece will work with European research institutions to create Application-Specific Integrated Circuits.

Exploration News

Airbus wins ESA contract to construct third European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft

By ordering this additional service module, ESA ensures the necessary continuity in NASA’s Artemis programme. The third European Service Module (Artemis III Mission) will be used to fly astronauts to Earth’s neighbour in space in 2024 – the first to land on the Moon since Apollo 17 following a hiatus of more than 50 years.

Thales Alenia Space to supply thermomechanical systems for Orion European Service Module

Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %) has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor for US space capsule Orion service module, to develop and produce the thermomechanical systems for the third model of the European Service Module (ESM) on the Orion spacecraft. Orion is NASA’s human transportation vehicle for deep space exploration.

China outlines intense space station launch schedule, new astronaut selection

China is preparing to carry out 11 missions in two years to construct a space station and will soon select a new batch of astronauts for the project.

Rocket arrives as China targets July for Tianwen-1 Mars mission launch

China is gearing up to launch its Tianwen-1 Mars mission following the delivery of a Long March 5 launch vehicle to Wenchang launch center.

 

NewSpace  News

OneWeb told the FCC May 26 that it wants to increase its constellation size to 48,000 satellites

Despite having filed for bankruptcy over an inability to fund a smaller broadband megaconstellation. OneWeb is authorized for a constellation of 720 satellites, but declared bankruptcy in March after launching just 74 satellites. The British company said a 48,000-satellite constellation will “allow for greater flexibility to meet soaring global connectivity demands.” OneWeb said it has received “considerable interest from parties worldwide,” in its effort to sell its spectrum assets. [OneWeb]

EOS completes acquisition of Audacy

Electro Optic Systems Holdings Ltd. of Australia completed its acquisition May 28 of Silicon Valley startup Audacy and announced plans to spend approximately $1.2 billion Australian dollars ($800 million) to create the EOSLink satellite communications constellation.

Roccor completes key tests of Link 16 satellite antenna

Roccor has completed radio frequency testing of the antenna scheduled for launch later this year on the satellite housing Viasat’s Link 16 military communications terminal.

 

Science & Technology News

Maybe the Elusive Planet 9 Doesn’t Exist After All

Oh Planet Nine, when will you stop toying with us? Whether you call it Planet Nine, Planet X, the Perturber, Jehoshaphat, “Phattie,” or any of the other proposed names—either serious or flippant—this scientific back and forth over its existence is getting exhausting. Is this what it was like when they were arguing whether Earth is … Continue reading « Maybe the Elusive Planet 9 Doesn’t Exist After All » The post Maybe the Elusive Planet 9 Doesn’t Exist After All appeared first on Universe Today.

Powerful Telescope Confirms There’s an Earth-Sized World Orbiting Proxima Centauri

There is an Earth-sized planet only four light years from Earth. Whether it has life is yet to be known. The post Powerful Telescope Confirms There’s an Earth-Sized World Orbiting Proxima Centauri appeared first on Universe Today.

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