Celebrate Yuri’s Night 2020 online with Bill Nye, astronauts and more this weekend!

This Saturday (April 11), 50 years after Apollo 13 launched to the moon, you can celebrate human spaceflight with a Yuri’s Night livestream event.

Watch tonight! NASA premieres free documentary ‘Apollo 13: Home Safe’

NASA will broadcast the free Apollo 13 documentary “Home Safe” tonight (April 10) to kick off the mission’s 50th anniversary this weekend. Here’s how to watch live.

Satellite News

Thales Alenia Space to build two prototype satellites for constellation venture

Omnispace, a company planning a satellite constellation to keep mobile asset trackers, sensors and other smart devices constantly connected using common cellular standards, ordered two prototype spacecraft from Thales Alenia Space, the companies announced April 9. 

NOAA awards first contracts for future satellite constellation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded eight contracts with a combined total of nearly $4.5 million to companies developing mission concepts, spacecraft and instruments for the agency’s future Earth observation constellation.L3Harris claimed two of the eight awards, garnering total funding of nearly $1.25 million. Maxar won the largest individual contract worth nearly $1 million. NOAA also awarded nearly $850,000 to Leidos, $575,000 to GeoMetWatch, $376,000 to BAE Systems, nearly $370,000 to York Space Systems and $60,000 to Brandywine Photonics.

White House looks for international support for space resource rights

An executive order by the White House April 6 seeks to establish international support for the U.S. position that space resources can be used by companies and organizations, and to head off alternative international legal regimes.

General Atomics opens satellite factory in Colorado

The new 33,514 square foot facility in Colorado triples the company’s capacity for satellite production.

Exploration News

Soyuz launches new crew to the International Space Station

A Soyuz rocket successfully launched a new crew to the International Space Station April 9 on a mission that overcame complications from a global pandemic and a change in crew members.

Boeing to fly second Starliner uncrewed test flight

Boeing announced April 6 that it has decided to fly a second uncrewed test flight of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle later this year to confirm it has corrected problems encountered in a test flight last December.

Bartolomeo Connected to Columbus

te first European external commercial facility on the International Space Station arrived at its new home last week: the Columbus laboratory module. Bartolomeo, named after the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, was installed by robotic arm on the forward-facing side of the space laboratory on 2 April 2020. The platform, with blue hinges centre-right of the photo, is at the end of the Dextre attachment that is part of Canada’s 16-m robotic arm for the International Space Station

Here are 10 Alternative Ideas for What NASA Could Do with its Moon Budget 
One year ago, NASA embarked upon a journey to send humans back to the Moon for the first time since the Apollo Program. At the direction of the White House, NASA seeks to land astronauts at the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. Only recently, in February, did the space agency put a price on this Artemis Moon plan—$35 billion over the next five years above its existing budget.

Launchers News

Rocket Lab tests Electron stage recovery

Rocket Lab announced April 8 it had successfully tested its ability to catch a falling Electron rocket stage in mid-air, a key step in the company’s efforts to recover and reuse the stage.

Virgin Orbit’s VOX Space wins $35 million U.S. Space Force launch contract

The contract is for three dedicated launches to deliver 44 small satellites to low Earth orbit.

NewSpace  News

SAS Global enters bankruptcy-like status

by Caleb Henry — April 7, 2020

Cash-strapped startup Sky and Space Global transferred control of the company April 6 to an accounting firm in an effort to preserve some or all of its business. 

Australian IoT startup Myriota raises $19 million

by Caleb Henry — April 6, 2020

Founded in 2015 to commercialize cheap, narrowband signal transmitters developed at the University of South Australia, Myriota has raised $37 million total.

Space  Safety News

Long March 3B fails during Indonesian satellite launch

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket failed April 9 while attempting to launch a commercial communications satellite meant to provide broadcast and broadband services to Indonesia and beyond, according to China’s Xinhua News Agency. 

Parachutes guide China’s rocket debris safely to earth

China has been testing high-tech parachutes to control rocket debris and make space launches safer, according to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT). During the March 9 launch of a Long March-3B rocket carrying a satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, a booster was equipped with parachutes and control devices

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