2020-11-23

Satellite News

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite launched on Falcon 9

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the latest in a series of spacecraft designed to monitor our oceans, was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. 

Astroscale announces March 2021 Launch Date for Debris Removal Demonstration

Astroscale Holdings Inc. (« Astroscale »), the market-leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, has announced that its End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d)

Exploration News

Crew Dragon docks to ISS on first operational mission

Okapi : Orbits releases its first collision avoidance product

Since Germany startup Okapi:Orbits released its first space traffic management product for satellite operators, the response has been overwhelming, Kristina Nikolaus, Okapi:Orbits co-founder and managing director told SpaceNews.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft with four astronauts on board successfully docked with the International Space Station Nov. 16, a day after launch on the first operational commercial crew mission.

Northrop Grumman completes PDR for NASA’s Gateway Crew Module

The design for HALO is based on Northrop Grumman’s flight-proven Cygnus spacecraft, a human-capable vehicle that delivers supplies, equipment and experiments to the International Space Station. Design upgrades for HALO include command and control systems, as well as environmental control and life support systems.

ESA engineers assess Moon Village habitat

Renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, originator of many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, has been working on an even more challenging design: a habitat for a future Moon

Launcher News

Vega Flight VV17 SEOSAT-Ingenio / TARANIS Mission Failure

8 minutes after liftoff of Vega mission VV17, following the first ignition of the engine of the Avum upper stage, a deviation of trajectory was identified, entailing the loss of the mission. Telemetry data analyses are in progress to determine the cause of this failure. There will be a press conference Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 at 10:00 am Kourou time/2:00 pm Paris time. The call-in number will be provided to the media by

Astra to make second orbital launch attempt

Small launch vehicle developer Astra will make its second orbital launch attempt in December, three months after an initial launch attempt failed shortly after liftoff.

Rocket Lab’s “Return to Sender” Successfully Launches With 30 Smallsats

Rocket Lab has successfully launched their 16th Electron mission and deployed 30 small satellites to orbit, the largest number of satellites deployed by Electron to date on a single mission.  The ‘Return to Sender’ mission also saw Rocket Lab complete a successful splashdown and recovery of the first stage of an Electron launch vehicle for the first time.

 NewSpace  News

Orbital Sidekick to develop daily pipeline monitoring tools

Hyperspectral satellite startup Orbital Sidekick (OSK) announced a contract Nov. 19 to work with an industry-led consortium to develop tools for monitoring of oil and gas pipelines.

BRO-2 and BRO-3

are the second and third satellites in French company Unseenlabs’ planned constellation of about 20 satellites dedicated to maritime surveillance. With three satellites in orbit, Unseenlabs’ clients can now benefit from the shortest revisit time available on the satellite RF geolocation market.

Space Flight Laboratory to build three more GHGSat satellites

The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) announced a contract Nov. 16 to build three greenhouse gas monitoring satellites for GHGSat, the Canadian company focused on methane monitoring.

Space Safety News

Human error blamed for Vega launch failure

Arianespace executives said Nov. 17 that the failure of a Vega launch the previous day was caused when the rocket’s upper stage tumbled out of control due to incorrectly installed cables in a control system.

Okapi : Orbits releases its first collision avoidance product

Since Germany startup Okapi:Orbits released its first space traffic management product for satellite operators, the response has been overwhelming,

ISS crew successfully patched hull crack Roscosmos confirms

NSF to decommission Arecibo Observatory due to safety concerns

Following a review of engineering assessments that found damage to the Arecibo Observatory cannot be stabilized without risk to construction workers and staff at the facility, 

Science & Technology News

Maxar taps MDA for robotic satellite servicing technologies

MDA signed multiple contracts with its former owner Maxar Technologies to provide hardware and software for the Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER), a technology demonstration planned for NASA’s On‑orbit Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing 1 mission.

Orbit Fab to launch first fuel tanker in 2021 with Spaceflight

Under the agreement, Orbit Fab’s first operational fuel depot, Tanker-001 Tenzing, will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 as early as June 2021. Tanker-001 Tenzing will store a green propellant in sun synchronous orbit to refuel other spacecraft, Orbit Fab CEO Daniel Faber

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