Satellite News

Ontario’s government invests in Lightspeed constellation

Telesat has struck a deal with Ontario’s government to partly fund its Lightspeed constellation, which will dedicate some of its satellite capacity to improving connectivity in the Canadian province.

Europe’s meteorological satellite agency makes first commercial data acquisition

Europe’s meteorological satellite agency is buying commercial data for the first time, raising hopes that it will open up more agency and government contracts to the private sector.

Exploration News

China’s space station emerges as competitor to commercial ventures

Chinese officials have said they are open to cooperating with other countries regarding use of the station. Ji Qiming, assistant director of the China Manned Space Agency, told China Daily in June that it had selected nine scientific projects from 17 countries to fly on the station, and was working with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

to identify others. That could also include flying astronauts from other countries to the station.

Virgin Galactic re-opens ticket sales, first commercial flight slips to late ’22

Virgin Galactic, buoyed by a successful July 11 suborbital test flight with founder Richard Branson on the company’s winged rocket plane, re-opened ticket sales Thursday for rides to space starting at $450,000 per seat.

Boeing’s Starliner capsule returns to hangar for valve troubleshooting

Ground teams at Cape Canaveral wheeled Boeing’s Starliner crew capsule and a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket back inside their assembly hangar Thursday for further troubleshooting of misbehaving valves inside the Starliner propulsion system. Without a quick fix, technicians will have to remove the spacecraft from the Atlas 5 rocket for more extensive work, potentially delaying the Starliner test flight by months.


“After reviewing the current state of the Russian section of the ISS, the council of chief designers has noted that due to the significant part of the station’s equipment getting old, further use of the Russian section of the ISS after 2024 poses additional risks,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

Launcher News

Boeing postpones Starliner capsule launch attempt over valve issue

Boeing has staked its aerospace reputation on a successful test flight of the capsule to the International Space Station. The capsule failed to reach the space station in a similar test in December 2019 due to software malfunctions. “We’re disappointed with today’s outcome and the need to reschedule our Starliner launch,” John Vollmer, Boeing vice president and program manager, said in a news release.

SpaceX briefly puts together largest rocket in history at Texas base
SpaceX surges Starship work despite FAA environmental review uncertainty

The unstoppable force of SpaceX’s recent surge in development of its Starship vehicle for its first orbital flight is in danger of colliding with an immovable object: an ongoing environment review that has no clear end date.


Three projects in particular are making Germany a serious player in the race to provide mini-launchers for the increasing number of small satellites which observe the Earth and provide connectivity for the internet of things and smart vehicles. Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA), Baden-Wuerttemberg based HyImpulse, Isar Aerospace, which is run from just outside Munich

Tory Bruno says the challenges with BE-4 are real but the engine is moving forward

United Launch Alliance underestimated the challenges Blue Origin would face in the development, testing and manufacturing of the BE-4 rocket engine, said ULA’s CEO Tory Bruno.

NewSpace  News

Japanese lunar lander company ispace raises $46 million

by Jeff Foust — August 4, 2021

Japanese lunar lander developer ispace raised $46 million in a new funding round Aug. 4 to support future missions to the moon.

Ursa Space Now Offering BlackSky EO Imagery

Ursa Space Systems (Ursa Space) customers can now access BlackSky’s high quality 1-meter resolution electro-optical (EO) imagery, thanks to a new agreement between the two companies. Ursa Space will make the EO imagery available on its Image Services platform, offering an additional outlet for acquiring BlackSky products

Nanoracks Names Their Senior VP Of Commercial Space Stations

 Nanoracks has appointed Marshall Smith, the former Deputy Associate Administrator (DAA) for NASA’s Systems Engineering and Integration (SE&I), Human Exploration and Operations (HEO), as the firm’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Space Stations. Nanoracks recently announced a new office in Huntsville, Alabama, which Smith will lead. He will also coordinate and direct the Nanoracks Outpost […]

Axelspace + JX Press Demo Fast Satellite Imagery Distribution Service For The Media

Axelspace Corporation and JX Press Corporation will jointly conduct a demonstration experiment for a next generation news service using satellite data — as the first step, Axelspace and JX Press delivered satellite images of the large-scale landslide in Japan caused by the heavy rain on July 3, 2021. Axelspace has been constructing an Earth Observation […]

Launch Services Agreement Signed Between Momentus + Danish Students Cubesat Program

Momentus Inc. (“Momentus” or the “Company”) has announced a launch services agreement with the Danish Students CubeSat Program (DISCO). The launch services agreement was formally signed earlier this year and is focused on a mid- 2022 launch and delivery of a 1U cubesat to its LEO destination aboard a Momentus Vigoride service vehicle. Artistic rendition […]

Rocket Lab Spacecraft Enroute To The Moon Via NASA’s CAPSTONE Smallsat Mission Launch

Rocket Lab will launch the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand from Q4 2021 — this will be Rocket Lab’s first launch to the Moon. CAPSTONE (the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment) aids NASA’s Artemis program

Space Safety News

New Zealand and LeoLabs sign multiyear deal for Space Regulatory platform

LeoLabs and the New Zealand Space Agency (NZSA) are working together to develop a cloud-based software platform for monitoring space activity.

Space station situation with Russian module misfire more …

“So it turns out there’s more to the Nauka story than first thought. Firstly, ISS was out by way more than 45 degrees – it sounds more like it was full-on tumbling. Secondly, Nauka’s thrusters were unable to be turned off for a full 70 minutes(!),

Chinese commercial launcher fails during climb to orbit

The launch of a solid-fueled rocket developed by the Chinese commercial space firm iSpace failed Tuesday, the second launch failure in three orbital attempts by the startup company

Science & Technology News

New details of Russian “movie in space” emerge as producers seek funding

New information has emerged about the Russian movie “The Challenge” planned to be filmed partly on the International Space Station in October.

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