NASA receives $23.271 billion in fiscal year 2021 omnibus spending bill

Congress will provide NASA with nearly $23.3 billion in the final fiscal year 2021 omnibus spending bill, restoring several science programs but falling far short of the funding sought for a lunar lander program.

Satellite News

Arianespace Clears Soyuz for Launch With France’s CSO-2 Earth Observation Satellite

The year-ending Arianespace flight has been authorized for tomorrow, December 28, with France’s CSO-2 satellite passenger – which is to be deployed during a mission lasting just under one hour following its 1:42 p.m. liftoff (local time) from the Spaceport in French Guiana

Arianespace/Starsem Delivers Debut Mission from Vostochny for  36 OneWeb Satellites

With another successful Soyuz launch performed at the service of UK-based OneWeb, Arianespace has once again underscored its position as a key player in the growth market of satellite constellations. The 36 OneWeb spacecraft – produced by the OneWeb Satellites joint venture of OneWeb and Airbus Defence and Space – were deployed into a circular low Earth orbit during a flight lasting nearly 3 hours and 52 minutes from liftoff to final payload separation. They will join the 74 already in-orbit constellation

Exploration News

Chang’e-5 orbiter embarks on extended mission to Sun-Earth Lagrange point

China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is heading for a gravitationally stable point in space on an extended mission after delivering fresh lunar samples to Earth.

NASA moves Mars Sample Return program into next phase of development

NASA is moving ahead with work on a pair of Mars sample return missions, although some in the planetary science community worry how the cost of that effort will affect other projects.

China’s lunar rover travels about 600 meters on moon’s far side

China’s lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, has survived 719 Earth days and traveled 600.55 meters on the far side of the moon as of Tuesday.

Launcher News

China’s new Long March-8 rocket makes first flight

China’s new carrier rocket, the Long March-8, made its maiden flight on Tuesday, the country’s space agency said, the first phase of a strategy to deploy launch vehicles that can be reused.

Space Launch System Exploration Upper Stage Passes CDR

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Dec. 21, 2020 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] and NASA have successfully completed a critical design review for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), confirming the EUS design for continued development and transition to hardware build. Boeing has already started fabrication activities that will support building the first EUS at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. 

NewSpace  News

Firefly Aerospace and Adaptive Launch Solutions Sign Multi-Launch Agreement

Mon, 28 Dec 2020 09:24:00 +0100

Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, and Adaptive Launch Solutions (ALS), a designer of multi-manifest hardware, avionics and sequencers, and an integrator of single and multiple satellites, today announced they have signed a multi-year Launch Services Agreement (LSA) which includes four Alpha launches beginning in 2021. 

Space Safety News

ESA Clean Space tackles space junk one component at a time

The European Space Agency’s Clean Space initiative is assisting in the development of satellite components that are designed for demise, an approach to satellite development that advocates for the safe disposal of spacecraft by destructive atmospheric reentry.

The more things change: Ansys acquisition isn’t likely to alter AGI or Comspoc

AGI announced plans to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ansys in late October in a deal expected to close by the end of the year. In preparation, AGI is spinning off its Commercial Space Operations Center subsidiary as an independent company: Comspoc Corp.

Science & Technology News

Thales Delivers its Newest Generation of Cryocoolers for the TRISHNA Satellite Mission

Thales has recently signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the delivery of two cryocoolers dedicated to the TRISHNA (Thermal infraRed Imaging Satellite for High-resolution Natural resource Assessment) satellite. Thales Cryogenics, European leader in cryogenic technology and supplier of cryogenic coolers, demonstrates its ability to meet the demand for affordable high-performance cryocooling in space instruments.

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