Satellite News

SDA begins market research for its next batch of satellites to be launched in 2024

The Space Development Agency’s Transport Layer is a mesh network of satellites in low Earth orbit that will talk to each other and relay data to military forces on the groundTranche 1 is envisioned to have about 100 to 150 space vehicles, developed and manufactured by multiple vendors.

Exploration News

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Successfully Touches Asteroid

NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft unfurled its robotic arm Tuesday, and in a first for the agency, briefly touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023. This well-preserved, ancient asteroid, known as Bennu, is currently more than 200 million miles (321 million kilometers) from Earth. Bennu offers scientists a window into the early solar system

NASA works to head off losing too much Osiris-Rex asteroid dust

NASA said Friday that its robotic spacecraft Osiris-Rex had succeeded in collecting a large sample of particles from the Bennu asteroid this week – but so much that it was leaking

Axiom Space finalizing first commercial ISS mission

Axiom Space hopes to soon finalize its first commercial mission to the International Space Station, scheduled for late 2021, as it continues development of a commercial module for the station. Axiom has not disclosed who those customers are, although there has been widespread speculation that they will include the actor Tom Cruise. NASA previously confirmed it has been in discussions with Cruise about shooting a movie on the station.

China Focus: 18 reserve astronauts selected for China’s manned space program

China’s manned space program has entered the mission preparation stage with the selection of a new group of 18 reserve astronauts.

Launcher News

Shetland spaceport boosts UK’s plans for launch

Following a thorough process of due diligence, the UK Space Agency has confirmed that Lockheed Martin’s plans to move its UK Pathfinder Launch to the Shetland site at Lamba Ness on Unst would continue to deliver long-term value and help establish a sustainable, commercial launch market as part of the UK’s spaceflight programme – LaunchUK. Shetland Space Centre anticipates that by 2024, the spaceport site could support a total of 605 jobs in Scotland including 140 locally and 210 across the wider Shetland region

SpaceX reaches 100 successful launches with Starlink mission

SpaceX launched another set of Starlink satellites Oct. 24, marking the 100th time the company has placed payloads into orbit.

SpaceX Starship Passes Static Fire Test With Three Raptor Engines, Finally Gets Nose Cone!

The Starship is coming together, literally and figuratively! With its three Raptor engines test fired, and nosecones and fins attached, the vessel is ready for its highest hop test yet!

All Solid Motors for Vega-C Complete Qualification Tests

Europe’s new-generation Vega-C small launch vehicle developed by ESA will increase performance and extend current launch capabilities at Europe’s Spaceport. The solid rocket motors built for Vega-C under contract to Avio have all completed the hot fire tests to qualify them for flight. The first stage P120C, second stage Zefiro-40 and the third stage Zefiro-9 are all fueled by solid propellant.

NewSpace  News

International consortium to launch tiny hyperspectral camera

An international consortium plans to launch a hyperspectral camera built by South Africa’s Dragonfly Aerospace on a NanoAvionics rideshare mission scheduled to launch in 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Airbus Ventures adds Zero-Error Systems to space portfolio

Airbus Ventures invested 2.5 million Singapore dollars ($1.85 million) in Zero-Error Systems, a Singapore startup developing radiation hardened integrated circuits.

SpaceX, SES to provide broadband for Microsoft’s Azure Space mobile data centers

Microsoft will offer mobile cloud computing data centers that can be deployed anywhere in the world and connect to SpaceX’s Starlink and SES’ O3B internet satellites.

Space Safety News

Designer of Failed Oxygen Supply System on Russian Side of ISS Rules Out Production Defect

Designer of Electron-BM, an oxygen supply system mounted on the (ISS), Alexey Kochetkov on Thursday told Sputnik that the system failure was not caused by technical issue.

Senate bill would assign space traffic management work to Commerce Department

The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced a bill Oct. 21 to formally give the Commerce Department space traffic management (STM) responsibilities, but the funding required to carry out that work remains uncertain.

About 3% of Starlinks Have Failed So Far

A new analysis indicates that 3% of Starlink satellites have failed which could mean an increased risk of collisions down the road.

Science & Technology News

NASA prototype can diagnose multiple illnesses by analyzing breath

 NASA researchers have created a prototype of a technology that can diagnose a variety of illnesses and abnormalities just by analyzing compounds in a person’s breath

Antarctic ozone hole is one of the largest and deepest in recent years

Measurements from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite show that this year’s ozone hole over the Antarctic is one of the largest and deepest in recent years. A detailed analyses from the German Aerospace Center indicates that the hole has now reached its maximum size. The size of the ozone hole fluctuates on a regular basis. From August to October, the ozone hole increases in size – reaching a maximum between mid-September and mid-October.

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