Satellite News

Quebec invests in Telesat Lightspeed constellation

The Quebec government will invest 400 million Canadian dollars ($315.5 million) in Telesat’s Lightspeed low-Earth orbit communications network and MDA will produce the constellation’s phased array antennas.

Exploration News

Touchdown! NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover Safely Lands on Red Planet

The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST)

A variety of image data from the Mars Express (MEX) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) missions were used to create the interactive map of the rover landing site in Jezero Crater. The HRSC map product HMC30, produced by the Global Topography and Mosaic Generation Task Group (GTMTG) of the HRSC science team, serves as the reference dataset for all other datasets. The original HMC30 map sheets can be downloaded here and viewed in an interactive map environment here.

DART Launch Moves to Secondary Window

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), NASA’s first flight demonstration for planetary defense, seeks to test and validate a method to protect Earth in case of an asteroid impact threat. The mission aims to shift an asteroid’s orbit through kinetic impact – specifically, by impacting a spacecraft into the smaller member of the binary asteroid system Didymos to change its orbital speed. At the request of Science Mission Directorate (SMD) senior leadership, a risk assessment was performed.

Chinese Astronauts training for space station missions

The 18 new astronauts-17 men and one woman-are in three groups. In the coming months, the station’s core module will be lifted into space by a Long March 5B rocket launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province. The module, named Tianhe, or Harmony of Heavens, will have three parts-a connecting section, a life-support and control section and a resources section. It will be equipped with three docking hatches reserved for visiting manned or cargo spacecraft, and two berthing locations used to connect with space laboratories. There will also be a hatch for astronauts’ extravehicular activities.

Morpheus opens U.S. office and names chief revenue officer

German propulsion startup Morpheus Space has opened a Los Angeles office and named a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer and fighter pilot as its chief revenue officer.

Launcher News

NASA, Boeing update Starliner orbital flight test date

NASA and Boeing now are targeting no earlier than Friday, April 2, for launch of the agency’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 to the International Space Station

NewSpace  News

Axiom Secures $130 Million to Build Massive Privately-Owned Space Station

Axiom was founded in 2016 with the purpose of building “Axiom Station,” a privately-owned space station that the company believes will serve as the center of space commerce in orbit. In January 2020, NASA selected Axiom to begin attaching its own space station modules to the International Space Station (ISS) starting in 2024.

Satellite imagery and data firm BlackSky to go public in latest SPAC deal

The merger with Osprey Technology Acquisition Corp. will bring a $450 million cash infusion to BlackSky.

Hiber Launches Via SpaceX One of the Most Responsible CubeSat Constellation Satellites

Hiber successfully launches second generation satellite via SpaceX’s Transporter-1 This European company, Hiber, has successfully launched it’s second generation satellite developed inhouse. The new on-board propulsion system allows Hiber’s ground engineers to adjust the satellite’s orbit, safeguarding against collisions and, enabling de-orbit at the end-of-life, making Hiber one of the most responsible CubeSat constellation operators.

NOAA expands purchase of commercial radio occultation data for weather models

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced plans Feb. 19 to dramatically expand the number of daily radio occultation soundings it acquires from commercial satellites operated by GeoOptics and Spire Global.

Landspace closes in on orbital launch with liquid methane rocket

Chinese private firm Landspace is working towards a potential first orbital launch attempt with a methane-fueled launch vehicle later this year. This was preceded by a payload fairing separation test and a series of 400-second hotfire tests of the 80-metric-ton thrust engines in late January. The launcher will be capable of delivering a 4,000-kilogram payload capacity to a 200-kilometer LEO

Dragonfly Aerospace’s Imagers To Pixxel For EO Satellite Constellation

Dragonfly Aerospace has signed a contract for the development and delivery of high resolution electro-optical imagers for Pixxel’s planned satellite constellation. The constellation will follow the upcoming launch of Pixxel’s first satellite ‘Anand’, which also happens to be India’s first private Earth imaging satellite. The planned constellation of satellites will provide global coverage every 24h . The constellation will follow the upcoming launch of Pixxel’s first satellite ‘Anand’, which also happens to be India’s first private Earth imaging satellite.

Space Safety News

SpaceX launches Starlink satellites, loses booster in sea

It was Starlink’s 19th mission sending satellites into orbiOn returning to Earth, the rocket’s first-stage booster, however, failed to land on the Of Course, I still Love You drone ship and seemingly crashed into the Atlantic Ocean , it would have been the sixth successful retrieval of that particular booster.

French village says ‘non’ to Elon Musk’s space-age internet

Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron, population 350, is none too thrilled to have been picked as a ground station for Musk’s Starlink project for broadband from space.France’s national radio frequency agency ANFR, which approved Starlink’s stations, says they present no risks to residents, not least because they will be emitting straight up into the sky. That hasn’t convinced Jean-Marc Belloir, 57, who worries that his cows will start producing less milk.

U.S. Space Command to recommend investments in space infrastructure

Space mobility and logistics will be part of a $90 million research and development program that Congress directed in the U.S. Space Force 2021 budget

Science & Technology News

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