2020-09-21

Satellite News

OHB to build ESA’s Hera asteroid mission

The European Space Agency on Sept. 15 finalized a contract worth 129.4 million euros ($153.3 million) with German satellite manufacturer OHB to build its Hera asteroid spacecraft with a pan-European consortium. 

Exploration News

China is quietly preparing for November launch of the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission

China has quietly initiated preparations to launch Chang’e-5, a mission seeking to collect and return the first lunar samples since the 1970s.

Dynetics to use in-space refueling for NASA lunar lander

The lunar lander under development by Dynetics for NASA’s Artemis program will make use of in-space refueling of cryogenic propellants and require three launches in quick succession, company officials revealed.

New Small Satellite Mission to Rendezvous with Binary Asteroids

The University of Colorado Boulder and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will soon lead a new space mission to capture the first-ever closeup look at a mysterious class of solar system objects: binary asteroids. These bodies are pairs of asteroids that orbit around each other in space, much like the Earth and Moon. In a project review on Sept. 3, NASA gave the official go-ahead to the Janus mission, named after the two-faced Roman god.

Launcher News

PLD Space raises €7 million as it aims for sounding rocket’s 2021 debut

Launch startup PLD Space of Spain raised 7 million euros ($8.2 million) this week from Madrid-based investment bankers Arcano Partners to continue development of its Miura family of partially reusable rockets.

China successfully launches satellites from ocean-going platform

A solid-fueled Long March 11 launcher delivered nine small Chinese Earth observation satellites to orbit Tuesday after firing off a ship positioned in the Yellow Sea.

With DUST-2 Launch, NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program is Back on the Range

The DUST-2 mission was successfully launched at 2 p.m. EDT on Sep. 8.  The two-stage Black Brant IX suborbital sounding rocket carried the payload to an apogee of approximately 215 miles before descending by parachute. The payload was recovered and good data was received during the mission. NASA is preparing for the first launch of a sounding rocket since the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States.

 NewSpace  News

Exotrail wins ESA contracts

French propulsion startup Exotrail has signed two contracts with the European Space Agency for its smallsat electric propulsion technology.

Megaconstellation startup Mangata Networks joins T-Mobile-backed 5G incubator

angata aims to launch its first eight satellites into a highly elliptical orbit in 2023 or 2024. Another 24 satellites would follow in 2024 or 2025 in medium Earth orbit.

Nanoracks finalizing space station Bishop airlock and new funding round

Nanoracks is completing work on its Bishop airlock, which will launch to the International Space Station later this fall on a SpaceX Dragon cargo mission.the company is finalizing a new funding round.

Blue Canyon selects Orbion electric thrusters for DARPA’s Blackjack satellites

Orbion is a four-year-old startup in Houghton, Michigan, that specializes in Hall-effect plasma thrusters for small satellites.

Brandywine Photonics conducts design study of constellation of hundreds of weather satellites

Brandywine Photonics is conducting a design study for the NOAA of a constellation of hundreds of small weather satellites.

 Science & Technology News

Possible Marker of Life Spotted on Venus

An international team of astronomers today announced the discovery of a rare molecule — phosphine — in the clouds of Venus. On Earth, this gas is only made industrially or by microbes that thrive in oxygen-free environments. Astronomers have speculated for decades that high clouds on Venus could offer a home for microbes — floating free of the scorching surface but needing to tolerate very high acidity. The detection of phosphine could point to such extra-terrestrial “aerial” life. 

Mesh Reflector for Shaped Radio Beams

This prototype 2.6-m diameter metal-mesh antenna reflector represents a big step forward for the European space sector: versions can be manufactured to reproduce any surface pattern that antenna designers wish, something that was previously possible only with traditional solid antennas. “This is really a first for Europe,” says ESA antenna engineer Jean-Christophe Angevain. “China and the US have also been working hard on similar shaped mesh reflector technology.

General Atomics Delivers Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Concept to NASA

General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has delivered a design concept of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) reactor to power future astronaut missions to Mars for a NASA-funded study. The study, managed by Analytical Mechanics Associates (AMA), explored a design space defined by key performance parameters as well as figures of merit. The GA-E

Design for a Space Habitat With Artificial Gravity That Could Be Grown

There are two main approaches that humanity can take to living in space.  The one more commonly portrayed is of us colonizing other celestial bodies such as the Moon and Mars.  That approach comes with some major disadvantages, including dealing with toxic soils, clingy dust, and gravity wells. The alternative is to build our own … Continue reading « Design for a Space Habitat With Artificial Gravity That Could Be Grown Larger Over Time to Fit More People » The post Design for a Space Habitat With Artificial Gravity That Could Be Grown Larger Over Time to Fit More People appeared first on Universe Today.

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