Satellite News

Thales Alenia Space Partners With Hellas Sat for the 5G Satellite Backhauling Demo

Thales Alenia Space, and Hellas Sat performed a successful 5G demonstration in Greece in the presence of the Ministry of Digital Governance, represented by Athanassios Staveris-Polykalas, Secretary General of Telecommunications & Posts. As operator, Hellas Sat aims to provide 5G network to remote areas in Greece and Cyprus.

QinetiQ Satellite to Support European Union Horizon 2020 Programme

The European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed the appointment of QinetiQ to deliver and operate an important new satellite that will support technological innovation, de-risking and concept testing for public agencies and commercial enterprises in Europe.  The EU Horizon 2020 IOD/IOV initiative will provide organisations with new opportunities to capitalise on affordable access to space demonstration and validation. Such services are essential for driving advances in new space technologies

NASA and ESA sign agreement on climate science cooperation

NASA and the European Space Agency have agreed to cooperate on future Earth science missions and related activities in an effort to better understand climate change.

Exploration News

Blue Origin reveals fourth crew member for Bezos spaceflight

An 18-year-old Dutch student will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and aviation pioneer Wally Funk next Tuesday when they blast off aboard the Amazon founder’s New Shepard rocket for its first sub-orbital flight to space with passengers on board.

Zhurong rover visits parachute and backshell

The China National Space Administration published on Thursday three pictures taken recently by its Zhurong Mars rover that showed the parachute and bowl-shaped back shell used in the rover’s landing

NASA seeks proposals for commercial space station development

NASA is seeking proposals for a program to support the development of commercial space stations, even as funding is in jeopardy in Congress.

NASA awards contract to Northrop Grumman to build Gateway module

NASA has awarded a contract worth $935 million to Northrop Grumman to build and integrate the first habitation module for the lunar Gateway.

Launcher News

China Suborbital aerospace plane makes maiden flight

The unnamed prototype was lifted by a carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and flew for a certain period of time before making a conventional landing at the Alxa Right Banner Airport. The flight test was successful, the State-owned conglomerate said in a statement, adding that the cutting-edge vehicle incorporates both aviation and space technologies.

New SpaceX drone ship arrives at Port Canaveral

A new SpaceX drone ship named “A Shortfall of Gravitas” was towed into Port Canaveral Thursday, completing a shuffling of SpaceX’s rocket landing platforms to support upcoming launches from Florida and California.

Blue Origin reveals fourth crew member for Bezos spaceflight

An 18-year-old Dutch student will join Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark and aviation pioneer Wally Funk next Tuesday when they blast off aboard the Amazon founder’s New Shepard rocket for its first sub-orbital flight to space with passengers on board.

Upper stage added to SLS stack in Vehicle Assembly Building

The upper stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System was installed on top of the heavy-lift rocket earlier this month, moving the agency one step closer to liftoff of the Artemis 1 test mission to the moon.

Ariane 6 Targets New Missions With Astris Kick Stage

ESA will enhance the versatility of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket with a kick stage called Astris in a €90 m development contract with prime contractor, ArianeGroup. This is part of ESA’s strategy to extend Ariane 6’s capabilities to serve a wider range of space transportation requirements. Astris is planned to fly by mid 2024 as an optional add-on to Ariane 6’s upper stage and will interface directly with the payload. This will enable Ariane 6 to offer a range of new space transportation

Chinese rocket companies are preparing for hop tests

A number of Chinese rocket firms are preparing to carry out first hop tests in a bid to develop reusable launch vehicles.

NewSpace  News

Blackjack Program Successfully Deploys Two Mandrake 2 Satellites

DARPA successfully deployed two satellites on June 30 as part of the SpaceX Transporter 2 launch. Both Mandrake 2 spacecraft, Able and Baker, are functioning well and progressing through checkout and commissioning. Conceived as an early risk-reduction flight for DARPA’s Blackjack program, the Mandrake 2 mission will prove out advanced laser communications technologies for a broad government stakeholder team that includes DARPA, Space Development Agency (SDA), Air Force Research Laboratory Space

Facebook underlines satellite commitment after team joins Amazon’s Project Kuiper

Facebook said it remains committed to using space-based technology for improving global connectivity, after agreeing to transfer a group of satellite experts to work on Amazon’s low-Earth-orbit megaconstellation Project Kuiper. 

Astranis accelerates production with four more small GEO satellites 

Astranis has started building four very small geostationary orbit satellites as it gears up to produce dozens and later hundreds of them simultaneously.

Space Safety News


The occasion makes Germany the fourth NATO power in the last two years to establish a space command.

In a speech at the German Space Situational Awareness Centre in Uedem, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said “space has become a critical infrastructure that we need to secure.”

Hubble returns to normal operations after switch to backup computer

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope returned to science operations July 17 after a hiatus of more than a month as controllers successfully switched the orbiting observatory to a backup payload computer.

Malaysia’s Measat-3 satellite tumbling in GEO

Malaysian operator Measat announced July 17 it has maintained continuous telemetry and command control of an aging satellite that ExoAnalytic Solutions, a space tracking company, said has been drifting westward in geostationary orbit for nearly a month.

Rescuing Integral: No thrust? No problem

A year ago tomorrow, a failure on the Integral spacecraft meant it fired its thrusters for likely the last time. By using a specially designed sequence of manoeuvres, the control team realised they could redistribute the angular momentum stored onboard the satellite using two different reaction wheels spinning in opposing directions, causing the spacecraft to flip. After long and intensive discussions with colleagues at the Science Operations Centre in ESAC, Madrid, the team of scientific mission planners came up with a sequence of objects for Integral to observe that would fit within its new range of motion. The mission was fortunately back to (somewhat more limited) science operations.

Science & Technology News

40-Year Mystery Solved: Source of Jupiter’s X-Ray Flares Uncovered

Planetary astronomers combined measurements taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter, with data from ESA’s (the European Space Agency’s) Earth-orbiting XMM-Newton mission, to solve a 40-year-old mystery about the origins of Jupiter’s unusual X-ray auroras. For the first time, they have seen the entire mechanism at work: The electrically charged atoms, or ions, responsible for the X-rays are “surfing” electromagnetic waves in Jupiter’s magnetic field down into the gas giant’s

NASA issues contracts for nuclear thermal propulsion studies

NASA has selected three teams of companies to perform concept studies of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) reactors while making plans to fund similar studies for nuclear surface power systems.

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