Exploration News

Crew Dragon splashes down to end successful test flight

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico Aug. 2, successfully completing a test flight and crossing the finish line of the decade-long commercial crew program.

Atlas 5 launches Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission

NASA’s most sophisticated Mars rover yet is on its 7 months journey the red planet after a successful launch July 30.

NASA and ESA outline cost of Mars sample return

NASA and the European Space Agency expect to spend at least $7 billion to collect samples of Mars and return them to Earth, a process that will start with the impending launch of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission.

Japan’s ispace updates design of lunar lander

Japanese company ispace has updated the design of its commercial lunar lander while delaying its first flight by a year.

Satellite News

Amazon to invest $10 bn in space-based internet system

Amazon says it will invest $10 billion for its planned space-based internet delivery system after winning US regulatory approval to deploy more than 3,000 low-orbit satellites. 

Amazon’s Kuiper constellation gets FCC approval

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on July 30 approved Amazon’s request to operate a constellation of roughly 3,200 internet satellites in low Earth orbit. 

Launchers News

Astra ready for first in a series of orbital launch attempts

Small launch vehicle developer Astra says it’s ready for an orbital launch attempt as soon as Aug. 2, but warns that it’s “pretty unlikely” that launch will actually achieve orbit.

NewSpace  News

Open Cosmos selected to build Spanish smallsat constellation

Spanish startup Sateliot on July 28 selected Open Cosmos to build and operate a constellation of up to 100 small satellites, but stopped short of a firm contract for the full system.

Momentus to fly hosted payloads in 2021

In-space transportation startup Momentus announced plans Aug. 3 to begin flying hosted payloads for customers in 2021.

Belgian company SpaceBel forms hyperspectral imaging spinoff

SpaceBel, a space systems and software company, will seek to raise around 10 million euros ($11.8 million) in 2021 to initiate development of the constellation and prepare for a demonstration satellite launch in 2023.

Space Safety News

Rocket Lab blames Electron launch failure on electrical problem

Rocket Lab said July 31 an investigation concluded that an “anomalous electrical connection” caused the failure of an Electron rocket launch nearly four weeks earlier, as the company makes plans to return to flight.

Science & Technology News

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