Satellite News

White House: Space Force “absolutely has the full support of the Biden administration”

Airbus awarded €650 million contract to build three more Orion service modules

The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a €650 million ($790 million) contract with Airbus Space and Defence to produce three more service modules for NASA’s Orion crewed spacecraft.

MDA announces Radarsat-2 Continuity Mission

MDA is designing the follow-on to Radarsat-2, the C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite the Canadian firm built through a public-private partnership with the Canadian government

Exploration News

Thales Alenia Space to Provide the Study for ESA’s Cis-lunar Transfer Vehicle – CLTV

Thales Alenia Space, has signed a contract with European Space Agency (ESA), worth € 4,5 Million, for the study of Cis-Lunar Transfer Vehicle (CLTV), a transportation logistic space vehicle to be used for a variety of missions: from the logistic resupply of Lunar Gateway pressurized modules, to the transportation of space infrastructure in low Earth orbit, and the potential use in future missions in support of the European Large Logistic

Firefly wins NASA CLPS lunar lander contract

NASA has selected Firefly Aerospace to deliver a set of 10 research payloads to the moon in 2023, the latest award in its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program.

NASA’s Psyche Mission Moves Forward, Passing Key Milestone

The mission to explore a metal-rich asteroid will soon begin assembling and testing the spacecraft. Psyche won clearance to progress into what NASA calls Phase D with a scheduled launch in August 2022.  

Launcher News

Second high-altitude Starship test flight ends in landing explosion

Starship completed a successful climb to approximately 10 kilometers altitude and then descended horizontally toward the landing site. It appeared to lose control as it was in the process of flipping back to a vertical position and exploded as it bellyflopped onto the landing pad. Watch a replay of the test flight.

NewSpace  News

GHOSt Constellation Deployment Plans Finalized By Orbital Sidekick

Orbital Sidekick (OSK) has finalized plans to deploy their Global Hyperspectral Observation Satellite constellation, known as GHOSt. The hyperspectral imaging (HSI) constellation consists of six, 100 kg, ESPA class satellites designed and manufactured by Astro Digital, with Maverick Space Systems providing mission integration and management services for the launches on SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

Omnispace raises $60 million to fund hybrid network

Omnispace, a company developing a hybrid space and ground network to provide 5G and internet of things services, announced Feb. 2 it raised $60 million to fund the rollout of its system.

Umbra raises $32 million for radar satellite constellation

Earth observation startup Umbra raised $32 million in its latest investment round.

Startup tests hybrid engine for small launch vehicle

A Maine startup made its first, albeit small, step towards space Jan. 31 with the successful launch of a rocket testing the engine technology it plans to use on future small launch vehicles.

General Atomics acquires Tiger Innovations

General Atomics announced the acquisition Feb. 1 of Tiger Innovations, a Herndon, Virginia small business focused primarily on satellite systems and related hardware and software.

Laser communications company Mynaric opens Washington office

Mynaric, a Germany-based manufacturer of optical satellite terminals, is expanding its footprint in the United States and opening an office in Washington D.C.

Space Safety News

FAA approves Starship test after saying SpaceX violated safety rules on last flight

SpaceX defied public safety rules on its most recent Starship launch over South Texas in December, the Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday as it approved a license for SpaceX’s next high-altitude Starship test flight scheduled for the same day.

Space Force eyes closer ties with civil space: ’It’s good for taxpayers’

Gen. John Raymond said he expects greater collaboration between the U.S. Space Force, NASA and other agencies, and that cooperation can save U.S. taxpayers money.

Science & Technology News

Propelling satellites into the future

Two green propellants called LMP-103S – flight-tested on Sweden’s Prisma formation flying mission – and HTP – high-test peroxide, previously used in past UK rockets – were shown to have compatibility with up to ten welded materials (while HTP was incompatible with titanium).

It comes in response to the European Commission’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) regulation, that seeks to limit industry’s use of chemical substances that may be hazardous to human health or the environment.

Study: Sea levels to rise faster than models predict

Most models underestimate the rate of sea level rise, according to a new study.

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