NASA administrator unveils $24.8 billion 2022 budget request

The Biden administration’s $24.8 billion fiscal 2022 budget request for NASA will keep the agency on track to send the first woman and the next man to the moon as early as 2024, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said Friday, but he warned that target date is far from certain.

Satellite News

ESA to Unveil its Plans for Satellites Around the Moon

ESA is backing a bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of satellites around the Moon. Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are planning to send missions to the Moon, envisaging a permanent human lunar presence. Using a shared telecommunications and navigation service would reduce the design complexity of future individual missions and make them lighter, freeing space for more scientific instruments or other cargo, making each individual mission

Exploration News

Chinese rover drives onto surface of Mars

The Chinese solar-powered Zhurong rover has driven onto the surface of Mars, making China the second nation to operate a mobile robot on Mars.

Surviving an in-flight anomaly: what happened on Ingenuity’s 6th flight

On the 91st Martian day, or sol, of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed its sixth flight.

Tianzhou-2 docks with China’s space station module

China’s Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft docked with the Tianhe space station module in low Earth orbit Saturday, eight hours after launch from Wenchang

European space program seeks first disabled astronaut

ESA wants to recruit the first astronaut with a significant physical disability as one way to broaden the pool of talent for space exploration.

Launcher News

Russia Plans Launches From Kourou Spaceport (Source: TASS)

Russia has plans for launches from the Kourou space center in French Guiana in the coming years, Dmitry Loskutov, the director general of Glavkosmos (part of the Roscosmos state corporation), said. “So far, I would like to say that there are plans for space launches from Kourou for the coming years,” he said. In his words, Russia has good cooperation with its European and French partners regarding launches from the Kourou facility, which went into operation in 20

Japan Moves Toward Point-To-Point Suborbital Transport (Source: The Mainichi)

The Japanese government wants to develop point-to-point suborbital transportation. A plan released last week by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology called for developing vehicles capable of carrying people around the world within two hours by the early 2040s. That effort will start by introducing reusability into the new H3 rocket, followed by a next-generation launch vehicle that will enter service by 2030. The plan did not disclose budgets for those efforts, but noted it expected the private sector to lead development of those suborbital passenger vehicles. (5/17)

PLD Space receives ESA contract to study reusing MIURA 5 boosters

The new project by PLD Space and the European Space Agency (ESA), known as Liquid Propulsion Stage Recovery 2 (LPSR 2), is a continuation of the previous contract awarded by ESA to PLD Space in 2017.

Aevum Launcher Could Also Provide Point-to-Point Cargo Transport (Source: Space News)

Air-launch startup Aevum says the drone it is building as a launch platform will be used for other applications as well. The company received a patent this month for an “adaptive autonomous aircraft system with modular payload systems,” which would allow the company’s large drone in development, Ravn X, to be converted from a space launcher to a cargo delivery aircraft and vice vers

NewSpace  News

Cubesat Telescope Was Rideshare Payload on Recent Starlink Launch (Source: Space News)

A mysterious secondary payload on a Falcon 9 launch this weekend is a cubesat with a small telescope. Neither SpaceX nor Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems offered details about Tyvak-0130 when it was launched as a rideshare payload on a Falcon 9 Saturday. The company’s new CEO, Christian “Boris” Becker, said in an interview the satellite is a 6U cubesat that contains a compact telescope jointly developed by Tyvak and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Becker said Tyvak plans to test the optical imaging payload and then decide if remote sensing services can be made available to customers.

China establishes company to build satellite broadband megaconstellation

The Chinese government has created a company dedicated to creating and operating a 13,000-satellite broadband constellation.

NanoAvionics Reveals Their Growth + Biz Development Plans

NanoAvionics has laid out its ambitious growth and business development plans for the USA via its existing facility in Columbia, Illinois. The smallsat bus manufacturer and mission integrator will develop the only satellite manufacturing facility in the state to become its main hub in the US. Through this hub, NanoAvionics will further grow the portfolio […]

Space Safety News

Engine Problem to Blame on Rocket Lab Failure (Source: Space News)

Rocket Lab said Monday that an issue with the second stage engine on its Electron rocket caused the failure of a launch Saturday. Initial reviews of the data suggest an issue of some kind with the engine triggered a shutdown command by the stage’s computer system.

Space Debris Mission Contract Assigned to AAC Clyde Space By Astroscale UK Ltd.

AAC Clyde Space has been selected by Astroscale UK Ltd. to co-engineer their satellite platform for a UK-based space debris removal program known as End-of-Life Services by Astroscale (ELSA-M) — the contract, valued at £260,000, is expected to be completed by the start of 2022.

AFRL opens SWORD lab for space warfighting operations research

“One of the reasons we stood up the U.S. Space Force was to ensure our nation has the capabilities to deter any threats in space,” said Felt. “Our job in the SWORD lab will be to continue to develop resilient and innovative technologies that will protect our nation and allies from threats by our adversaries. Recognizing that space is an emerging domain for warfighting, we want to make sure there is never a war in space.”

Science & Technology News

Quantum Communication in Space Moves Ahead

A new generation of supercomputing power, delivered by quantum computers, is currently being developed that will be almost unimaginably powerful at cracking the most complex problems upon which encryption is based. ESA has formed a Partnership Project with Arqit – a leader in the quantum encryption field, based in the UK – to keep information safe in a world where quantum computers are becoming commonplace.

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