Satellite News

OneWeb to resume launches in December after bankruptcy

Seeking to clear bankruptcy under new ownership before the end of the year, OneWeb announced Monday it is set to resume launching satellites for its global broadband network in December under a modified 16-launch contract with Arianespace.

SEOSAT/INGENIO Spanish Satellite Ready for Shipment, The Journey to Kourou Begins

On Thursday, September 24, the Spanish optical Earth observation satellite SEOSAT/INGENIO will begin its journey from Torrejón air base in Madrid (Spain) to Kourou, for a launch on a Vega rocket. SEOSAT, acronym for Spanish Earth Observation Satellite, is a high resolution optical satellite.

Airbus Selected for ESA’s New Polar Ice and Snow Topography Mission

The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus to develop and build the Copernicus polar ice and snow topography mission (CRISTAL). With two satellites the CRISTAL mission will ensure the long-term continuation of radar altimetry ice elevation and change records. It is one of six new missions to expand the current capabilities of the Copernicus space component for the benefit of all European citizens

Thales Alenia Space Will Provide the IRIS Altimeter for the Copernicus CRISTAL Mission

Thales Alenia Space, a Joint Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %) has today signed a close to €88 million contract with Airbus Defence and Space, prime contractor of the satellite, to develop the two IRIS flight models (Interferometric Radar Altimeter for Ice and Snow) of the Copernicus polaR Ice and Snow Topography ALtimeter (CRISTAL) mission. The CRISTAL mission is part of the expansion of the Copernicus Space Component programm

U.K. to revise strategy for satellite navigation system

The British government, seeking a replacement for the Galileo satellite navigation system, said it will consider alternatives to an original plan to develop its own satellite constellation.

Exploration News

Axiom finalizing agreements for private astronaut mission to space station

The chief executive of Axiom Space says agreements with NASA, SpaceX, and fare-paying passengers should be finalized in the coming weeks for the launch of the first all-private crew to the International Space Station in October 2021, and former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria is set to command the mission.

NASA delays Dragonfly launch by a year

NASA has delayed the launch of a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan by a year, citing budget challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

NASA working with cosmetics company on space station commercialization

NASA is taking the next small step in its efforts to promote commercialization of low Earth orbit by flying a cosmetics company’s product to the International Space Station, a project that has prompted questions from one senator.

Launcher News

HyImpulse hybrid rocket motor roars to life for the first time

HyImpulse completed the first hot-fire test of the company’s 16,800-pounds-force hybrid rocket motor on Sept. 15. Credit: HyImpulse

NewSpace  News

Kratos Collaborates with Microsoft to Enable Cloud-based Satellit Services for Azure Orbital

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that it has joined with Microsoft to enable the launch of Microsoft Azure Orbital, a groundbreaking platform that provides Ground Station-as-a-Service (GSaaS) to the satellite industry. Azure Orbital is Microsoft’s managed service designed to deal with the growing flood of data from Earth Observation (EO) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Hemeria seeks niche in microsat manufacturing

French space and defense company Hemeria is taking steps to quickly scale beyond cubesats and find a niche building slightly larger classes of small satellites.

BlackSky to add high-resolution satellites in 2022,  signs deal with U.S. Army

BlackSky’s Gen-3 satellites will provide imagery with 50-centimeter resolution

Spire adding cross links to cubesat constellation

Spire Global will launch its first cubesats with cross links over the next few months, beginning a refresh that will eventually replace its full constellation. 

Space Safety News

School Bus-Size Asteroid to Safely Zoom Past Earth

A small near-Earth asteroid (or NEA) will briefly visit Earth’s neighborhood on Thursday, Sept. 24, zooming past at a distance of about 13,000 miles (22,000 kilometers) above our planet’s surface. The asteroid will make its close approach below the ring of geostationary satellites orbiting about 22,000 miles (36,000 kilometers) away from Earth. Based on its brightness, scientists estimate that 2020 SW is roughly 15 to 30 feet (5 to 10 meters) wide – or about the size of a small school bus.

Science & Technology News

A new view of Enceladus

A global infrared mosaic of Saturn’s moon Enceladus created using a complete dataset from the Cassini spacecraft has revealed new detail on the moon’s surface. Cassini orbited Saturn and its moons from 2004 to 2017. The mission ended when the spacecraft was intentionally plunged into the planet’s atmosphere, but new discoveries are still being made with the data. During the mission lifetime, Cassini flew by Enceladus 147 times, with 23 close encounters of the icy moon. 

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