With help from a cryocooler, Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument has dropped down to just a few degrees above the lowest temperature matter can reach and is ready for calibration.
NASA cut short a third attempt to load propellants onto the Space Launch System for a countdown rehearsal April 14 after encountering several problems, including a hydrogen leak.
NASA announced late April 16 it will roll back the Space Launch System from the launch pad for various repairs, further delaying the rocket’s long-anticipated first launch.
Falcon 9 has seemingly overachieved on its promises of rapid reuse with little to no refurbishment between flights. Ian breaks down data from SpaceX’s workhorse showing how Falcon 9 Block 5 surpassed even SpaceX’s expectations. Click he. (4/8)
Astronomers have always sought out remote and isolated spots from which their precision observations of the surrounding universe can be made. Now, add one more far-flung location – the moon.
A new entrant in the space tourism market promises customers views of the Earth’s curvature from the comfort of a luxury cabin, lifted to the upper atmosphere with a giant balloon. Space Perspective on Tuesday revealed illustrations of its swish cabins, which it hopes to start launching from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida from late 2024. More than 600 tickets have so far been sold, at $125,000 each.
The debut SpaceVan mission will launch onboard a Falcon 9 rideshare mission in October 2023 following a launch service agreement signed between Exotrail and SpaceX. The SpaceVan uses Exotrail’s space proven ExoMG propulsion system which is a key differentiator from its chemical propulsion OTVs counterparts and offers up to 1 km/s of deltaV for a payload capacity of up to 400 kg. The SpaceVan is able to perform a typical constellation plane change maneuver in less than 3 months and a 100 km change in just two weeks.
Kepler Communications has successfully tested inter-satellite links with a terminal designed to tap into the Aether data-relay constellation it plans to start deploying early next year, an executive for the Canadian company said.
Capella Space unveiled three products April 14 that automate tasking of the company’s constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.
Space Safety News
NASA has hailed an agreement with the Space Force to share information on near Earth object impacts as a key step forward in planetary defense, even as the agency defers work on a mission it says is critical to tracking such objects.
KBR, a Defense Department and NASA contractor with $6 billion in annual sales, paid $800 million in 2020 to acquire Centauri, a company focused on space sensors and satellite tracking. The acquisition gave KBR an entry into the business of “space domain awareness,” a military term for the capability to track objects in space and predict potential threats.
A new federal strategy seeks to coordinate activities among agencies and interaction with the private sector to advance work making and repairing spacecraft in space.
Science &Technology News
The Chemical Propulsion Flight Programs Group at the Air Force Research Laboratory has successfully completed the Advanced Spacecraft Energetic Non-toxic Propellant (ASCENT) monopropellant 1 Newton (1N) thruster testing in the Chemical in-Space Thruster Test and Research Site test facility.
Diverse microbial life existed on Earth at least 3.75 billion years ago, suggests a new study led by UCL researchers that challenges the conventional view of when life began