Satellite News

SpaceX performs in-flight abort test of Crew Dragon spacecraft

SpaceX successfully tested the abort system of its Crew Dragon spacecraft Jan. 19, one of the final milestones before a crewed test flight that could take place as soon as this spring.

NASA considering extended Crew Dragon test flight to ISS

NASA will decide in the coming weeks whether to extend a crewed SpaceX test flight to the International Space Station, a move that could help alleviate a crew time crunch on the station.

Launcher News

Boeing drops out of DARPA Experimental Spaceplane program

Boeing has decided to no longer continue development of an experimental suborbital spaceplane for DARAPA, the latest setback for DARPA’s long-running efforts in space access.

Firefly, Innovative Space Logistics sign launch agreement • Viasat nabs $90M IDIQ contract

Dutch launch broker Innovative Space Logistics and Firefly Aerospace signed a launch services agreement for launch opportunities on multiple Firefly Alpha missions starting this year.

EU to invest 200 million euros into space industry

The European Union will provide 200 million euros ($222 million) to support Europe’s space industry, in the form of a loan to help fund development of the Ariane 6 and investment in space startups.

Stratolaunch confirms interest in launch services and hypersonic vehicles

As Stratolaunch ramps up operations after being sold last year, it says it remains interested in providing launch services as well as supporting hypersonic vehicles.

Rocket Lab to launch small satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office

Named “Birds of a Feather,” the mission is scheduled to lift off Jan. 31 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

NewSpace  News

Satellite propulsion startup Dawn Aerospace developing small launch vehicle

A green propulsion startup with more than $1 million in sales says it is gaining traction in the smallsat market while funding its own small launch vehicle. 

Capella unveils radar satellite design

Capella Space unveiled the new design Jan. 21 for its Whitney constellation of seven synthetic aperture radar satellites scheduled to launch in 2020.

Made In Space expands facilities, moves headquarters to Florida

Made In Space announced plans Jan. 17 to move its corporate headquarters from Mountain View, California, to Jacksonville, Florida.

Startup Skylo seeks to connect millions of devices, vehicles, vessels via satellite

Startup Skylo emerged from stealth mode Jan. 21 with $116 million in the bank and plans to connect devices by transferring data over existing geostationary communications satellites.

Space Safety News

Firefly suffers anomaly during launch vehicle test

Firefly Aerospace says it had an “anomaly” during a Jan. 22 static-fire test of the first stage of its Alpha rocket under development, an incident that prompted evacuations and road closures in the vicinity in the test site.

DirecTV fears explosion risk from satellite with damaged battery

DirecTV is racing to move its Spaceway-1 satellite out of the geostationary arc after the 14-year-old satellite suffered a crippling battery malfunction that the company fears could cause it to explode. 

Work advances on space sustainability rating

A consortium established last year to develop a rating to measure how well satellites comply with space sustainability guidelines expects to have an initial version of its rating system ready by late 2020

Power loss halves Eutelsat 5 West B capacity, hosted payload spared

Eutelsat said an investigation into the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite, launched in October, concluded that one of its two solar arrays was unusable, reducing power to support communications services. 

Technology News

Two Moon rovers are better than one

ESA has signed a deal with space engineering company COMEX in France to develop an innovative double-rover architecture for lunar surface exploration, based on a tractor and trailer concept. Read more here

ESA opens oxygen plant – making air out of moondust

ESA’s technical heart has begun to produce oxygen out of simulated moondust.

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