Webb in Full Focus
Alignment of the James Webb Space Telescope is now complete. After full review, the observatory has been confirmed to be capable of capturing crisp, well-focused images with each of its four powerful onboard science instruments. Upon completing the seventh and final stage of telescope alignment, the team held a set of key decision meetings and unanimously agreed that Webb is ready to move forward into its next and final series of preparations, known as science instrument commissioning
South Korea’s double-digit space budget boost
South Korea is boosting its space spending this year by 19% over 2021 levels as it seeks to bounce back from October’s failed attempt to prove it can put up a satellite without Russian rocket hardware.
NASA selects six companies to demonstrate commercial successors to TDRS
Six companies, including both traditional satellite operators and constellation developers, have won NASA awards to demonstrate services that could ultimately replace the agency’s existing fleet of communications satellites.
Rocket Lab’s snag a booster mass simulator mid-air / Rocket Lab ‘There And Back Again’ Launch
SpaceX launches Falcon 9 booster for second time in three weeks
SpaceX continued throttling up its launch rate with another Starlink mission from Cape Canaveral Friday, completing a rapid recycle with a Falcon 9 first stage booster flying for the second time in 21 days.
Vega-C: Launcher Integration Begins for Inaugural Flight VV21
Launcher integration for the inaugural flight of Vega-C began with the P120C solid-fuel first stage being delivered to the Vega Launch Zone (Zone de Lancement Vega, or ZLV) at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 15 April 2022. P120C will also fly on Ariane 6, with two or four units serving as boosters depending on mission requirements. The interstage segment to join the P120C first stage with the Z40 second stage followed on the 22nd.
FAA delays SpaceX Starship environmental review for 4th time
The review was initially supposed to be completed Dec. 31, 2021. It was pushed back to Feb. 28, then March 28, then April 29, before the latest date — May 31.
OneWeb signs contract to launch satellites from India in 2022
OneWeb has signed a contract to use India’s largest launch vehicle to deploy at least some of its remaining LEO broadband satellites this year, according to a company executive.
Cosmonauts activate European Robotic Arm on 250th space station spacewalk
Two Russian cosmonauts unlocked the European Robotic Arm from its launch moorings on a spacewalk Thursday, allowing the manipulator to move around outside the International Space Station for the first time.
UAE to send astronaut on six-month ISS mission
The United Arab Emirates announced Friday it will send an astronaut on a six-month mission to space, as it seeks to become a major player in the industry.
Ingenuity helicopter captures images of its parachute on Mars
NASA released images of the parachute and backshell that helped the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter land on Mars last year.
Astrobotic lunar lander on track for late 2022 launch
Astrobotic Technology showed off its nearly complete lunar lander it is building for NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program and said the spacecraft remains on schedule to launch this year.
Prométhée Contracts NanoAvionics To Build Their 1st EO Smallsat
Satellite operator Prométhée has contracted mission integrator NanoAvionics to build the first smallsat for the French company’s planned constellation of Earth Observation (EO) smallsats and image analysis platform. “ProtoMéthée-1” will be based on NanoAvionics’ flight-proven 16U nanosatellite bus, M16P. NanoAvionics M16P smallsat bus. The aim of France’s Prométhée, located in Paris and Toulouse, is to bring less expensive space applications to emerging countries, in particular to Latin America and Africa. The company recently raised 4.7 million euros after a first fundraising in September of 2020 of 2.2 million euros that was achieved through business angels, financials and three companies specialized in the space industry, Hemeria, Comat and ADF.
Cosmic Shielding To Test Radiation Shielding Aboard Space Forge Satellite
Cosmic Shielding Corporation (Cosmic Shielding), a leading space radiation management company and creator of Plasteel technology, has an agreement with European, in-space, manufacturing tech start-up Space Forge to test Cosmic Shielding’s radiation shielding technology aboard Space Forge’s new small class vehicle. The ForgeStar-0 will be launching on Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne this summer from Spaceport Cornwall. […]
Orbital Insight + Satellogic Share Their Expertise
Orbital Insight has partnered with Satellogic and the company’s will integrate the latter’s high-frequency, high-resolution collections of satellite imagery and full-motion video (FMV) into the Orbital Insight platform and offer customers better access to high quality data, improve the revisit rate and reduce the cost of running analytics.
Lonestar emerges from stealth with plans for lunar data centers
Cloud computing startup Lonestar said April 19 it has contracted commercial lunar lander developer Intuitive Machines to deploy a mini proof-of-concept data center on the moon next year.
Chinese reusable rocket startup secures new funding round
Chinese launch firm Deep Blue Aerospace announced A+ round financing April 19, with funding in the Chinese commercial sector apparently on the rise.
Space Safety News
Booming fireball spotted in the skies above 3 states this week, NASA says
A loud boom and a fireball streaking across the sky. That’s the sight that dozens of people across three states saw this week, scientists said.
China to conduct asteroid deflection test around 2025
China will aim to change the trajectory of a potentially threatening asteroid with a kinetic impactor test as part of plans for a planetary defense system.
U.S. ASAT ban meant to support U.N. discussions on space threats
A State Department official said the Biden administration’s announcement of a ban of one kind of ASAT weapon tests was timed to support discussions at an upcoming United Nations forum on norms of behavior in space.
Canada’s answer to Space Force
Canada’s military will establish a new space division later this year as it further develops its capabilities and skills for space operations.
Science &Technology News
NASA, Partner Decide to Conclude SOFIA Mission
NASA and its partners at the German Space Agency at the Deutsches Zentrum fu¨r Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) will conclude the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) mission, after a successful eight years of science. SOFIA will end operations no later than Sept. 30, 2022, at the conclusion of its current mission extension. SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP airplane modified to carry a reflecting telescop
A New Kind of Stellar Explosion Has Been Discovered: Micronovae
The most energetic explosions in the Universe come from stars called supernovae. These galactic bombs have the energy of about 1028 mega-tons. After they detonate, the only thing left behind is either a neutron star or black hole. Another type of stellar explosion is known as a nova which has much less energy and covers the … Continue reading “A New Kind of Stellar Explosion Has Been Discovered: Micronovae”