SpaceX is gearing up for its first purely commercial human spaceflight, but many details about the mission remain unclear.
At the end of October 2021, the German ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, together with the NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas H. Marshburn and Kayla Barron, are expected to launch to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Dragon space capsule from the US company SpaceX
Rocket Lab USA, Inc (“Rocket Lab” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch provider and space systems company, today announced it has been awarded a contract to deploy an entire satellite constellation across five dedicated Electron missions for Kinéis, a global Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider. Scheduled for launch beginning in the second quarter of 2023, the constellation will enable Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the Frenc
The $50 million invested by a South Korean consortium was part of $650 million Relativity Space raised in a Series E funding round in June.
German launch startup Isar Aerospace has signed a contract with OroraTech to launch the company’s wildfire-monitoring cubesat constellation.
Bradford Space is updating its Comet electrothermal propulsion technology and transferring production of the small satellite thrusters from the United States to Luxembourg.
Space Safety News
Virgin Galactic’s statements in response to the report are being taken to task by their longtime pilot who was fired after the flight: Mark Stucky. In 2018, he flew the first SpaceShipTwo mission to surpass the 50-mile mark. “The most misleading statement today was Virgin Galactic’s,” Stucky said. “The facts are the pilots failed to trim to achieve the proper pitch rate, the winds were well within limits, they did nothing of substance to address the trajectory error, and entered Class A airspace without authorization.”
Firefly Aerospace says the premature shutdown of one of its Alpha rocket’s four main engines, apparently triggered by an electrical issue, caused the launcher to lose control as it reached supersonic speed during a test flight over California last week. The company emphasized lessons learned from the mission will boost chances the next test flight will reach orbit.
Science & Technology News
The Defense Innovation Unit last week issued a call for bids for small nuclear-powered engines for space missions beyond Earth orbit.