Iridium Communications announced June 24 it received a U.S. Army contract to develop a payload that could be used to broadcast data such as timing or location signals.
China has released landing process footage from its Zhurong rover as well as video and sounds of the vehicle roving on Mars.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says the company is “shooting for July” for the first orbital launch of the company’s Starship vehicle despite lacking the regulatory approvals needed for such a launch.
The FAA has granted permission to Virgin Galactic to fly customers, and not just employees, on its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, a move that could allow the company’s founder to fly to the edge of space soon.
Masten Space Systems is pushing back the launch of its first lunar lander mission by nearly a year, the latest in a series of delays by companies with NASA contracts to transport payloads to the moon.
ULA’s Vulcan Rocket Debut Slips to 2022 (Source: Aviation Week)
The debut launch of ULA’s Vulcan rocket is slipping to 2022 as customer Astrobotic needs more time to prepare its Peregrine lunar lander. “Covid presented a lot of problems for the entire space supply chain,” CEO John Thornton tells Aviation Week. “We’re just doing the best we can.” Vulcan was previously slated for late 2021 launch, with Blue Origin BE-4 engines, now in pre-qual testing, the pacing item. “We like the performance—
Fully Reusable Rockets Will Crush Supersonic Planes (Source: Next Big Future)
Every two weeks, SpaceX can produce enough Raptor engines for a complete production Starship. The SpaceX plan is to speed up production by four times to make 100 Starships every year. A SpaceX staff of 3000 will produce the 100 Starships and their Raptor engines every year. This means the cost of the Starship will be about $20 million and the plan is to bring the price down to $5 million.
|Space is adding three ground stations to the company’s global Leaf Line Network — these new stations will be installed in Sri Lanka, the Azores and Scotland and will enhance Leaf Space’s capability to provide Ground Stations as a Service (GSaaS) solutions to their growing list of customers.|
|LeoStella, a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturing company, delivered its first satellite to Loft Orbital Solutions Inc. (Loft Orbital). LeoStella delivered the “Yet Another Mission-3” (YAM-3) satellite to Cape Canaveral for an upcoming SpaceX launch. The YAM-3 satellite will host a variety of payloads, including a demonstration for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Blackjack|
|D-Orbit has signed a contract with Aistech Space for the launch and deployment of a 6U cubesat aboard ION Satellite Carrier (ION), D-Orbit’s orbital transportation vehicle. D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier. The smallsat, named Guardian, carries a multi-spectral telescope designed by Aistech Space, with a variety of sensors from the visible (RGB), near infrared (NIR)|
Swiss startup Astrocast is considering becoming a public company to expand its constellation for connecting internet of things (IoT) devices.
Space Safety News
|LeoLabs, Inc. has revealed that the Azores is the location selected for the company’s next space radar. As a strategic addition to LeoLabs expanding global constellation of LEO sensors, the Azores Space Radar will go operational in the first half of 2022. LeoLabs’ Azores Space Radar investment also reflects alignment with Portugal’s goals at the national and regional levels. The company’s investment in Portugal represents an important addition to LeoLabs’ global radar constellation, and a key element of infrastructure to inform satellite operators, defense, space and regulatory agencies,|
by Jeff Foust — June 25, 2021
A National Academies committee has endorsed a NASA proposal to change the radiation exposure limits the agency sets for its astronauts but cautioned that the revised limit is still insufficient for human Mars missions.
Science & Technology News
A new paper finds more radar signals suggesting the presence of subsurface ‘lakes,’ but many are in areas too cold for water to remain liquid. In 2018, scientists working with data from ESA’s (the European Space Agency’s) Mars Express orbiter announced a surprising discovery: Signals from a radar instrument reflected off the Red Planet’s south pole appeared to reveal a liquid subsurface lake.