Satellite News

Antonov shortage threatens delivery delays for the biggest satellites

A shortage of Ukrainian Antonov aircraft raises the prospect of more delays for satellite projects already bogged down by supply chain issues.

L3Harris Selected to Lead Advanced International Weather Satellite Study

L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has been awarded a contract by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for an advanced study which will significantly improve the accuracy and timing of Japan’s weather forecasting. L3Harris will lead the geostationary hyperspectral infrared (IR) sounder study for the JMA’s future enterprise. The six-month design study began last month and allows L3Harris to evaluate geostationary sounder instrument concepts.

Space Development Agency to accelerate deployment of missile-tracking satellites

The U.S. Space Force is requesting an additional $200 million in fiscal year 2023 to launch satellites for the Space Development Agency’s missile-tracking constellation.

Launcher News

Amazon signs record-breaking launch deals for its Kuiper internet megaconstellation …

The company announced today (April 5) that it has signed contracts for up to 83 launches, which will loft the bulk of Amazon’s 3,236 “Project.

Rocket Lab to Attempt 1st Mid-Air Helicopter Capture of the Electron Rocket During Next Mission

Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab”), a leading launch and space systems company, has announced today that during its next Electron launch, a commercial rideshare mission currently scheduled in April 2022, the company will attempt a mid-air helicopter capture of the Electron launch vehicle for the first time.

NASA to delay, modify SLS countdown rehearsal

After discovering a problem with a valve on the Space Launch System’s upper stage, NASA is delaying a countdown rehearsal and fueling test and modifying it to limit fueling of the upper stage

Exploration News

Axiom Private Astronauts Headed to ISS

Four private astronauts are in orbit following the successful launch of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the first all private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. Axiom Space astronauts lifted off at 11:17 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 8, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket propelled the Dragon Endeavour spacecraft carrying Ax-1 crew members Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy, and Eytan Stibbe into orbit.

ESA Astronaut Performs Simulated Polar Moon Landing

The ESA-led ‘Human-In-the-Loop Flight Vehicle Engineering’ technology study investigated the added performance benefit offered by human oversight of lunar landings to improve robustness and reliability of the flight system. As part of the project, Roberto Vittori – a veteran astronaut of three space flights – boarded a unique motion simulator based at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) Institute of System Dynamics and Control at Oberpfaffenhofen

NewSpace News

SpinLaunch signs Space Act Agreement to test innovative mass accelerator launch system

“SpinLaunch is offering a unique suborbital flight and high-speed testing service, and the recent launch agreement with NASA marks a key inflection point as SpinLaunch shifts focus from technology development to commercial offerings,” said Jonathan Yaney, Founder and CEO of SpinLaunch. SpinLaunch’s Orbital Accelerator will accelerate a launch vehicle containing a satellite up to 5,000 miles per hour using a rotating carbon-fiber-arm within a 300-ft diameter steel vacuum chamber

E-Space sheds more light on sustainable megaconstellation plan

Megaconstellation startup E-Space is preparing to deploy the first of potentially hundreds of thousands of satellites on a Rocket Lab mission slated for no earlier than April 19.

Spaceport construction set to begin on UK’s northernmost island

The SaxaVord spaceport aims to host the first vertical orbital launch from the UK later this year.

Japanese satellite laser-comm startup Warpspace draws bead on U.S. market

Warpspace, a Japanese space startup developing an inter-satellite laser communications system, is establishing a U.S. presence to partner with American companies and compete for government and military contracts. 

BlackSky looks to expand its military business amid growing interest in satellite imagery

Amid a surge in demand for satellite imagery, BlackSky is looking to expand its national security and defense business.

New Chinese small sat manufacturing capacity could have international ramifications

Two new Chinese factories capable of producing hundreds of small satellites per year could help China achieve space objectives and impact the international market.

Space Safety News

Lockheed Martin Releases Open-Source Interface Standard for On-Orbit Docking

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has released an open-source, non-proprietary interface standard to support on-orbit docking within the industry. With unity of effort in mind, Lockheed Martin has published this Mission Augmentation Port (MAP) interface standard online to support industry approaches to on-orbit servicing and mission augmentation. Those interested in incorporating the standard in their space vehicles can download the necessary documents at www.LockheedMartin.com/MAP. The MAP

Space debris found in rural India likely from ‘China rocket’

A large metal ring and sphere that villagers in rural western India said fell from the sky over the weekend could be from a Chinese rocket launched into space last year, officials told local media.

Science &Technology News

Thales Alenia Space and Aiko Team Up to Develop Advanced Software for Space Applications

Thales Alenia Space and the start-up AIKO S.r.l. signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop advanced software for space systems. Their partnership will primarily study the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies to enhance the autonomous operation of satellites and space infrastructures, working in conjunction with the companies’ research and engineering teams.

Thales Alenia With Help from Microsoft Demo On-Orbit Compute Technologies Onboard ISS

Thales Alenia Space announced a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to explore the enablement of new capabilities in the Space Edge Computing (SEC), Artificial Intelligence Space Observation tools (DeeperVision) and Digital Ground Segment. In particular, Thales Alenia Space plans to deliver advanced connectivity, analytics and compute in space with Space Edge Computing (SEC)

Differences between the moon’s near and far sides linked to colossal ancient impact

The face that the Moon shows to Earth looks far different from the one it hides on its far side. The nearside is dominated by the lunar mare – the vast, dark-colored remnants of ancient lava flows.

DARPA, AFRL, Lockheed Martin And Aerojet Rocketdyne team up for Hypersonics test

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) and Aerojet Rocketdyne team successfully flight tested the Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept (HAWC). This historic flight reached speeds in excess of Mach 5, altitudes greater than 65,000 feet and furthers the understanding of operations in the high-speed flight regime

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