NASA awards funding to three commercial space station concepts
NASA issued awards Dec. 2 valued at more than $400 million to three groups of companies to advance development of commercial space stations, keeping those efforts on track to succeed the International Space Station by the end of the decade despite skepticism from the agency’s inspector general.
Russian node module docks with ISS
A node module billed as the final Russian element of the International Space Station docked with the station Nov. 26.
SpaceX grapples with Raptor production problems
Problems increasing production of the Raptor engines that power SpaceX’s Starship vehicle have led to personnel shakeups at the company and a warning from founder Elon Musk that the company risked “bankruptcy” if the company could not resolve them.
Test Tanks Fuelled for ESA’s Themis Reusable 1st Stage
Through the Themis programme, ESA aims to assess the economic value of reusability for Europe while investing in new technologies for potential use in ESA’s future fleet of launch vehicles. The Themis experimental approach promotes learning by hardware testing. This Agile methodology focuses on activities of greatest value and works to short timescales. To accelerate development, technologies are being tested early in the development cycle
Rocket Lab Closes Acquisition Of Space Hardware Company Planetary Systems Corporation
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, announced today that it has closed the previously-announced transaction to acquire Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC), a Maryland-based spacecraft separation systems company, for $42 million in cash and 1,720,841 shares of the Company’s common stock, plus the potential for an additional 956,023 shares of common stock for a performance earnout based on PSC’s CY 2022
SpaceX breaks annual launch record as it deploys 48 more Starlink satellites
SpaceX deployed 48 more satellites for its Starlink broadband constellation Dec. 2, along with two remote sensing spacecraft for BlackSky in a mission that breaks the record for Falcon 9 launches in a calendar year.
This marks SpaceX’s 27th Falcon 9 mission so far this year, beating the previous record of 26 that the company set in 2020.
Skykraft Air Traffic Management Constellation To Launch Aboard The SpaceX Transporter-5 Mission
Skykraft and SpaceX have agreed to a follow-on to the Transporter-5 launch for Skykraft’s Air Traffic Management constellation. (L to R) Dr. Craig Benson, Dr. Doug Griffin, Mark Skidmore – Skykraft Team The second tranche of Air Traffic Management satellites will fly on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 launch in October of 2022 under a recently signed contract.
Three startups win prize money from U.S. Space Force accelerator
Varda Space Industries, SCOUT and Neutron Star Systems were the top three startups in the Hyperspace Challenge
DARPA to launch DoD’s first in-space manufacturing research program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in a new program will explore options to conduct biomanufacturing in space, using biological systems like microbes to construct materials for use in orbital operations.
Space Safety News
India’s Chandrayaan-2 maneuvered to avoid close approach to NASA’s LRO
India’s Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter maneuvered in October to avoid a close approach to NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft, a conjunction both agencies have acknowledged but have said little more about.
NASA postpones ISS spacewalk because of debris
NASA postponed a spacewalk outside the International Space Station by two astronauts just hours before it was scheduled to start after getting a warning that debris would pass close to the station.
Science & Technology News
Alan Shepard’s Daughter Will be Flying on the Next New Shepard Flight
For the 19th mission of the New Shepard rocket, Blue Origin has offered a seat to Alan Shepard’s eldest daughter – Laura Shepard Churchley! The post Alan Shepard’s Daughter Will be Flying on the Next New Shepard Flight appeared first on Universe Today.