Satellite News

Intelsat aiming to cut debt in half through bankruptcy

Intelsat hopes it can eliminate around half of its $15 billion debt load through bankruptcy, a move that would free the company to invest in next generation satellite technologies, according to a company executive. 

Airbus Supplies EU With Satellite Communications

Airbus has won the new satellite communications framework contract for military and civil missions of the European Union and its member states. This four-year framework contract was awarded by the European Defence Agency (EDA) and is estimated to be worth tens of millions of euros. “With this satellite communications programme, Airbus contributes to the construction of joint capabilities for European defence and to its missions to preserve civil and military peacekeeping”

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully stowed

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has been successfully folded and stowed into the same configuration it will have when loaded onto an Ariane 5 rocket for launch next year.


Exploration News

OHB and IAI plan commercial lunar lander mission in late 2022

German space company OHB is moving ahead with plans to launch a commercial lunar lander mission in cooperation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in late 2022 as it looks for government and commercial

Roscosmos confirms signing contract for NASA Astronaut’s flight to ISS

NASA will pay more than $90 million for an additional seat on a Soyuz spacecraft launching to the International Space Station this fall, an insurance policy in the event of any additional commercial crew delays.

UAE to select next astronauts in January

The United Arab Emirates plans to double the size of its astronaut corps by early next year with the selection of two new astronauts from a pool of more than 4,000 applicants.


Launcher News

X-37B Spaceplane to Carry DoD and NASA Experiments on May 16 Launch 

The sixth mission of the U.S. Air Force’s reusable X-37B spaceplane is scheduled to launch May 16 from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida. The X-37B Operational Test Vehicle 6 will be launched to low Earth orbit on a ULA Atlas 5 rocket. The Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office owns the Boeing-made spaceplane, which flies and lands autonomously. 

First SLS launch now expected in late 2021

NASA now expects the first launch of the Space Launch System to take place in late 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic at least partially contributing to the latest delays.


NewSpace  News

Capella to supply U.S. Navy with airborne imagery

Capella Space announced a contract May 13 to provide airborne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery and analytics services to the U.S. Navy.

Space  Safety News

Debris from a Chinese rocket may have landed in Africa. 

The core stage of the Long March 5B satellite reentered over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of west Africa Monday, but there have been reports from Côte d’Ivoire of finding metallic debris that appears to have come from the rocket. The debris was found along the trajectory the rocket followed, suggesting it survived re-entry and made it to the ground.

Space Force troops preparing for possibility of having to rescue NASA astronauts

The unit known as Detachment 3 is responsible to rescue astronauts if they have to abort the mission.

“Det 3 been working on tactics, techniques and procedures for the last five years to be ready to support SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing as well,


Technology News

LeoLabs unveils automated Collision Avoidance service

Silicon Valley space mapping startup LeoLabs unveiled a service May 13 to help commercial and government satellite operators avoid collisions with debris and other satellites in low Earth orbit.

Astronaut Urine for Building a Moon Base

A recent ESA research showed that urea, the main organic compound found in our urine, would make the mixture for lunar concrete more malleable before hardening into a final, sturdy shape for future lunar habitats. Researchers found that adding urea to the lunar geopolymer mixture, a construction material similar to concrete, worked better than other common plasticisers, such as naphthalene or polycarboxylate to reduce the need for water. 

Laser-powered Rover to Explore Moon’s Dark Shadows

A laser light shone through the dark could power robotic exploration of the most tantalising locations in our Solar System: the permanently-shadowed craters around the Moon’s poles, believed to be rich in water ice and other valuable materials. ESA’s Discovery & Preparation programme funded the design of a laser system to keep a rover supplied with power from up to 15 km away while it explores some of these dark craters.

Hundreds of hackers sign up for chance to break into a DoD satellite

Air Force procurement chief Will Roper said hacking competitions help the military identify flaws in its systems before they are deployed

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