Team members of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) have filled the spacecraft with fuel, have performed many of the final tests, and are running rehearsals as they approach DART’s scheduled launch on Nov. 23. DART will be the world’s first planetary defense test mission, heading for the small moonlet asteroid Dimorphos, which orbits a larger companion asteroid called Didymos, and intentionally crashing into the asteroid to slightly change its orbit
This year’s edition of the United Nations climate change conference – COP26 – takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November. The summit aims to inspire faster and more ambitious action from the international community to achieve the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C. As set out in its recently released vision for European space activities, ESA is stepping up its efforts to use space to combat the climate crisis.
The planned launch of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule Wednesday carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station has been delayed to at least Saturday because of a “minor medical issue” with one of the crew members, NASA announced Monday.
Four astronauts are scheduled to return to Earth from the International Space Station early Monday after spending more than six months in space, NASA announced. The four members of the Crew-2 mission, including a French and a Japanese astronaut, will therefore return to Earth before the arrival of a replacement crew, whose take-off was delayed several times due to unfavorable weather conditions
A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Blue Origin over NASA’s award of a $2.9 billion lunar lander contract to SpaceX, clearing the way for the agency to move forward in a partnership with Elon Musk’s space company on a craft to transport astronauts to the surface of the moon.
Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced it reached a major milestone with the successful completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) of their Blue Ghost lunar lander. This CDR paves the way for construction of the Blue Ghost lander, which is scheduled to touch down in the Mare Crisium lunar basin in September of 2023 carrying ten NASA payloads as part of the $93.3-million Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS)
China is working on a complex mission to collect Mars rock samples and deliver them to Earth by building on the successes of recent moon and Mars missions.
irgin Orbit has entered an agreement with the owner of Japan’s All Nippon Airways for the procurement of 20 flights of Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket from an airport in Japan.
Rocket Pi of China has signed a deal with a liquid rocket engine maker for supply of engines to power its Darwin-1 reusable launch vehicle.
HySpecIQ, a company involved in the development of space-based hyperspectral imagery, recently announced that the firm has closed its Series B funding with an investment from prominent venture capitalist Peter Thiel. The investment accelerates the development and launch of 12 LEO satellite constellations (slated to begin in 2023).
Digantara Research and Technologies Pvt. Ltd., (Digantara) has signed a contract with Orbital Astronautics Ltd. (OrbAstro) to fly the SCOT (Space–based space Climate and Object Tracker) payload onboard an ORB-6 satellite platform launching toward the end of 2022. The mission will focus on demonstration of a novel LiDAR-based technology developed by Digantara, and will serve as the pilot for their LEO constellation providing a space situational awareness service.
Jeff Bezos and his Project Kuiper team will launch the first test satellites later in 2022, ahead of his planned 3,236 LEO broadband constellation. Project Kuiper will use rocket company ABL Systems to launch the two satellites (named KuiperSat-1 and KuiperSat-2) and not Bezos’s own Blue Origin rockets. The launches will take place from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Small launch vehicle developer Astra Space filed an application with the FCC Nov. 4 to deploy a constellation of more than 13,600 satellites that would provide broadband services. The plan involves launching 132 satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO) at 1,056 kilometers, with the rest placed between 27,355 and 44,221 kilometers for global services to residential, commercial, institutional, governmental and enterprise customers.However, the FCC dismissed Boeing’s request to operate inter-satellite links in Ka-band and other parts of the V-band to address concerns it had received in the application process.
FCC has approved Boeing’s application to develop and operate 147 non-geostationary (NGSO) broadband satellites.
Redwire, a company built up by acquiring a series of space technology companies, has purchased space biotechnology company Techshot.
Space Safety News
Tue, 02 Nov 2021 09:24:00 +0100
NASA is continuing to investigate why the instruments in the Hubble Space Telescope recently went into safe mode configuration, suspending science operations. The instruments are healthy and will remain in safe mode while the mission team continues its investigation. Hubble’s science instruments issued error codes at 1:46 a.m. EDT Oct. 23, indicating the loss of a specific synchronization message
U.S. space tracking has detected a new object for unknown purposes orbiting along with China’s recently launched Shijian-21 space debris mitigation technology satellite.
SpaceWERX plans to select at least one team to conduct an on-orbit demonstration of active debris removal within the next two years
The U.S. Space Force is kicking off a new initiative, called Orbital Prime, to fund commercial technologies for in-space operations
Science & Technology News
A new discovery is shedding light on how fluorine — an element found in our bones and teeth as fluoride — is forged in the Universe. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is a partner, a team of astronomers have detected this element in a galaxy that is so far away its light has taken over 12 billion years to reach us. This is the first time fluorine has been spotted in such a distant star-forming galaxy.
In late 2022, NASA will send an ice-mining experiment attached to a robotic lander to the lunar South Pole on a ridge not far from Shackleton crater – a location engineers and scientists have assessed for months. NASA and Intuitive Machines, an agency partner for commercial Moon deliveries, announced the location selection Nov. 3.