Satellite News

MIRI and Spitzer Comparison Image

The James Webb Space Telescope is aligned across all four of its science instruments, as seen in a previous engineering image showing the observatory’s full field of view. Now, we take a closer look at that same image, focusing on Webb’s coldest instrument: the Mid-Infrared Instrument, or MIRI. The MIRI test image (at 7.7 microns) shows part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way provided a dense star field to test Webb’s performance. 

SpaceX passes 2,500 satellites launched for Starlink internet network

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket Friday afternoon from California’s Central Coast with another batch 53 Starlink internet satellites, pushing the total number of spacecraft launched in the network above 2,500, including testbeds and prototypes already cycled out of the fleet.


A lesson from the Ukraine war is the resiliency provided by large proliferated constellations, said Gen. David Thompson. Russia in a cyberattack in February managed to disrupt satcom services provided by a Viasat satellite. But SpaceX’s broadband constellation Starlink has continued to provide internet services in Ukraine despite attempts to disrupt it. According to Elon Musk, the Starlink network “has resisted Russian cyberwar jamming and hacking attempts so far, but they’re ramping up their efforts.”

As U.S. blames Russia for KA-SAT hack, Starlink sees growing threat

Elon Musk says Russian hackers are increasing efforts to take down SpaceX’s Starlink broadband service amid the war in Ukraine.

SES mulls direct-to-handheld 5G satellite business

SES is considering plans to provide 5G services directly to handheld devices after rescuing spectrum rights for 62 proposed satellites that were about to expire. The proposed Cleosat constellation uses multiple frequency bands from around 1.5 GHz to 29 GHz, covering 62 satellites across eight planes in non-geostationary orbits between 519 and 8,062 kilometers. SES’s O3b Networks constellation of 20 medium-Earth-orbiting satellites operates at 8,063 kilometers over the equator, using 17-19 GHz frequencies for high-speed broadband services to mainly enterprise and government customers. The company also operates satellites in geostationary orbit for broadband and broadcast. 

Launcher News

Northrop Grumman says it has backup plan for ISS resupply, but silent on details

Northrop Grumman says it has a backup plan to fulfill the company’s contract to resupply to the International Space Station if the war in Ukraine continues to disrupt the supply of Russian engines and Ukrainian booster cores for the company’s Antares rocket.

Chinese rocket company suffers third consecutive launch failure

An orbital launch attempt by Chinese startup iSpace ended in failure early Friday, following on from two failures last year.

Astra reveals details of next, larger rocket

Astra disclosed details about its new launch vehicle that will be capable of carrying heavier payloads and flying more frequently.

The Orbex Prime Orbital Space Rocket Debuts

For the first time, Orbex has unveiled the first full-scale prototype of their Prime orbital space rocket on its dedicated launch pad. The unveiling of the first of a new generation of European launch vehicles – designed to launch a new category of smallsats to orbit – represents a major step forward for the British industry.

Virgin Orbit To Launch The QPS-SAR-5 Satellite

Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) has signed a launch services agreement with Japanese Earth Observation (EO) constellation operator Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (“iQPS”) — the satellite is expected to join Virgin Orbit’s manifest for early 2023. Selected for LauncherOne’s proven ability to provide direct access to diverse orbits, Virgin Orbit expects to launch the QPS-SAR-5 satellite into a tailored, mid-inclination orbit to allow iQPS to expand the coverage of their constellation and revisit rate. 

Exploration News

Scientists successfully grow plants in soil from the Moon

That’s one small pot of soil, one giant leap for man’s knowledge of space agriculture: scientists have for the first time grown plants in lunar soil brought back by astronauts in the Apollo program.


TESSERAE (an acronym for Tessellated Electromagnetic Space Structures for the Exploration of Reconfigurable, Adaptive Environments) is Ekblaw’s unique design for future space habitats, based on a system of magnetic, self-assembling tiles. The basic idea is that, once deployed in space, wall-sized tiles would connect autonomously to create spacious, habitable, and reconfigurable structures.

NewSpace  News

NanoAvionics’ Solar Sail Selected For NASA’s ACS3 Mission

NanoAvionics was recently selected to build a 12U nanosatellite bus for an on-orbit demonstration of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3). This a result of a contract between NASA Ames Research Center and AST for a 12U bus to carry NASA’s payload into LEO, including an approximately 800 square foot (74 square meter) composite boom and solar sail system.

Space Safety News

Science &Technology News

Astronomers Reveal 1st Image of the Black Hole at the Heart of Our Galaxy

Today, at simultaneous press conferences around the world, including at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) headquarters in Germany, astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the centre of most galaxies. The image was produced by a global research

InSight Just Detected a Record-breaking Marsquake: Magnitude 5!

May 4th is unofficially known in sci-fi circles as Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth Be With You”) here on Earth. But, on another planet, far, far away, the date is now infamous to one of its robotic inhabitants. That’s the day the Mars InSight lander felt one of the strongest marsquakes ever to hit … Continue reading “InSight Just Detected a Record-breaking Marsquake: Magnitude 5!” The post InSight Just Detected a Record-breaking Marsquake: Magnitude 5!

Powering the moon: Sandia researchers design microgrid for future lunar base

This is not the first time Sandia has partnered with NASA to power equipment on the moon. In fact, Sandia provided the technical direction for the radioisotope thermoelectric generators that powered the lunar experiments placed by many of the Apollo missions.

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