Satellite News

Telesat and Loral to form Canadian public company

Canadian satellite fleet operator Telesat and Loral Space & Communications announced plans Nov. 24 to combine to form Telesat Corp., a Canadian public company, in a deal expected to close next year.

Exploration News

China launches Chang’e-5 Moon sample return mission

A Long March 5 rocket launched China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft Monday to kick off a 23-day mission to deliver the first lunar samples to Earth since the 1970s.

Moon mission tasked with number of firsts for China

The Chang’e 5 lunar mission will need to overcome a succession of challenges and difficulties before it can be declared a complete success, project insiders said

Russia’s Energia suggests building national space station

The International Space Station’s systems are likely to keep breaking down after 2025, Energia company, which manages the Russian module, said and suggested building a national station instead. 

Launcher News

SpaceX ready for Starship suborbital flight as FAA begins new environmental study

As SpaceX prepares for the first high-altitude test flight of its Starship reusable launch vehicle, the FAA is starting a new environmental review required for the company’s future launch vehicle plans.

SpaceX sets new Falcon 9 reuse milestone on Starlink launch

SpaceX set a new milestone in Falcon 9 reuse with the latest Starlink satellite launch Nov. 24 as the company seeks permission to deploy Starlink satellites into a new orbit.

Virgin Orbit planning second LauncherOne mission for December

Virgin Orbit is preparing to perform a second flight of its LauncherOne small launch vehicle in the second half of December, carrying a set of NASA-sponsored cubesats.

Rocket Lab declares success in Electron rocket recovery

Rocket Lab says its attempt to recover the first stage from its latest Electron launch was a “complete success,” but that the company still has work to do before it’s ready to attempt to reuse the stage.

NewSpace  News

Axelspace prepares to expand Earth-observation constellation

With four satellites scheduled to launch in 2021, Tokyo-based Axelspace Corp. is moving toward its goal of capturing daily, global Earth imagery.

EOS Data Analytics to launch satellite with Dragonfly Multispectral Imagers in 2022

EOS Data Analytics has announced the conclusion of an agreement with Dragonfly Aerospace for the delivery of two HR-250 high-performance multispectral imagers

Capella sends first task order through Inmarsat data relay

Fleet operator Inmarsat and communications technology firm Addvalue Innovation announced success Nov. 23 relaying data between Capella Space’s operations center on the ground and Capella’s Sequoia synthetic aperture radar satellite.

Space Safety News

ESA and ClearSpace SA sign contract for world’s first debris removal mission

ESA is signing an 86 million euro contract with an industrial team led by the Swiss start-up ClearSpace SA to purchase a unique service: the first removal of an item of space debris from orbit. As a result, in 2025, ClearSpace SA will launch the first active debris removal mission,

Science & Technology News

Turning Moon dust into oxygen

British engineers are fine-tuning a process that will be used to extract oxygen from lunar dust, leaving behind metal powders that could be 3D printed into construction materials for a Moon base. It could be an early step to establishing an extra-terrestrial oxygen extraction plant. This would help to enable exploration and sustain life on the Moon while avoiding the enormous cost of sending materials from Earth.

Research provides new insights on health effects of long-duration space flight

The historic NASA Twins Study investigated identical twin astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly and provided new information on the health effects of spending time in space

Japan launches JDRS-1 optical data relay satellite for military, civilian use

Japan has a new data relay satellite headed for geostationary orbit following successful launch of JDRS-1 on a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-IIA rocket Sunday.

Why NASA Wants to Put a Nuclear Power Plant on the Moon  NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy will seek proposals from industry to build nuclear power plants on the moon and Mars to support its long-term exploration plans. The goal is to have a flight system, lander and reactor ready to launch by 2026. Anthony Calomino, NASA’s nuclear technology portfolio lead within the Space Technology Mission Directorate, said that the plan is to develop a 10-kilowatt class fission surface power system for demonstration on the moon by the late 2020s. The facility will be fully manufactured and assembled on Earth, then tested for safety and to make sure it operates correctly.

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