ESA highlights 2019 (4’)

This Year at NASA (9’)

The Best Space  Events of the Year!!! The 2019 Astro Awards by the Everyday Astronaut (40’)

Satellite News

Maxar to sell Canadian unit for $765 million

Maxar Technologies announced Dec. 30 it would sell its Canadian subsidiary to private equity firms, turning it into a standalone company while providing Maxar with much-needed debt relief.

Liftoff for Cheops, ESA’s exoplanet mission

ESA’s Cheops mission lifted off on a Soyuz-Fregat launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 09:54:20 CET on 18 December on its exciting mission to characterise planets orbiting stars other than the Sun.

Exploration News

India confirms plans for second lunar lander mission

by Jeff Foust — January 1, 2020

The head of India’s space agency confirmed Jan. 1 that it will attempt a second lunar landing, making that mission one of the top priorities of India’s space program.

Starliner lands in New Mexico

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft landed safely in New Mexico in the early morning hours Dec. 22, wrapping up an uncrewed test flight cut short by a timer glitch avoiding the capsule to reach the ISS. After landing, NASA leadership stated that the problem, once understood and corrected, would not necessarily prevent Boeing from proceeding with a crewed test flight.

SpaceX reaches parachute testing milestone

SpaceX said Dec. 23 that it completed the tenth successful consecutive test of the new parachute design for its Crew Dragon spacecraft, a milestone that NASA previously said was critical before the agency would allow astronauts to fly on the vehicle.

SLS core stage declared ready for launch in 2021

NASA declared the long-delayed core stage for the first Space Launch System rocket complete Dec. 9, although the rocket’s launch is still more than a year away.

Launcher News

Successful Long March 5 launch opens way for China’s major space plans

China is clear to embark on ambitious exploration and space station missions following a successful return-to-flight Friday of the Long March 5.

Rocket Lab to build second launch pad in New Zealand

Just days after marking the completion of a new launch site in Virginia, Rocket Lab announced Dec. 18 that it has started work on a second pad at its original launch site in New Zealand.

NewSpace  News

Virgin Orbit plans orbital launch in early 2020

After falling short of plans to begin launches in 2019, Virgin Orbit now expects to perform its first orbital launch attempt in early 2020, a key year for the burgeoning small launch vehicle industry.

French component suppliers demo constellation hardware with ANGELS cubesat

A cubesat launched Dec. 18 is testing hardware from French component makers jockeying for smallsat constellation work.

Mitsubishi Electric, eyeing constellation market, to build demo smallsat for JAXA

Mitsubishi Electric said Dec. 22 that it will build the Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration-2 as prime contractor for JAXA. The satellite is scheduled to launch on a Japanese Epsilon rocket by the end of March 2022. 

Elbit Launches to Space a Nanosatellite for Commercial Communication Applications

Elbit Systems announced today that NANOVA™, the Company’s nanosatellite was successfully launched to space. NANOVA was developed in collaboration with a U.S. company as part of the BIRD foundation initiative and is planned to be a part of a nanosatellite…

Space Safety News

Iridium would pay to deorbit its 30 defunct satellites — for the right price

Iridium Communications completed disposal of the last of its 65 working legacy satellites Dec. 28, while leaving open the possibility of paying an active-debris-removal company to deorbit 30 that failed in the decades since the operator deployed its first-generation constellation.

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