The final two spacecraft in Airbus’s four-satellite, 600 million-euro commercial Pléiades Neo Earth observation fleet crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after launch from French Guiana Tuesday night, falling victim to a failure of a European Vega C rocket.
SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Wednesday with 54 more Starlink internet satellites, a mission to begin populating a new orbital shell authorized by federal regulators earlier this month for the company’s Starlink Gen2 network.
NASA said on Wednesday that the large mast and antenna panels on its new Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite successfully unfurled last week over a four-day process
China is aiming to grow cooperation with emerging space nations including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
SpaceX has successfully launched three Falcon 9 rockets less than 34 hours apart, leaving the company only one mission shy of CEO Elon Musk’s ambitious target of 60 launches in 2022. The period was almost even more intense, with two launches briefly scheduled minutes apart and all three set to launch in the space of 10-11 hours.
The U.K. Civil Aviation Authority has issued launch and range control licenses to Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) to undertake the first satellite launch from UK soil. The granting of these licenses represents a major step forward for the historic Start Me Up mission, and reflects the CAA’s concurrence that all reasonable steps have been taken by Virgin Orbit to ensure the desired safety, security, and environmental stewardship of what is expected to be the first orbital launch ever conducted from UK Soil
NASA has officially ended the mission of the InSight Mars lander after power levels on the spacecraft dropped to the point where it could no longer communicate with Earth.
Another roll-out solar array was installed and deployed by astronauts Frank Rubio and Josh Cassada outside the International Space Station on on a spacewalk Thursday, a day later than previously planned after the space station needed to dodge a piece of space junk.
China’s private company GalaxySpace is accelerating the research and development of flat-panel stackable satellites, for rapid construction of a satellite internet constellation. Chinese satellite internet startup GalaxySpace has raised new funding which the company says puts its value at $1.58 billion.
Unseenlabs has signed a launch services agreement (LSA) with Exolaunch to deploy their BRO-8 smallsat on SpaceX’s Transporter-6 rideshare mission, which is to launch no earlier than (NET) January of 2023. Manufactured by GOMSpace, BRO-8 (Breizh Reconnaissance Orbiter-8) is a 6U satellite designed to provide customers with data and analytics based on the interception of of radio frequency (RF) signals (detection of electromagnetic waves emitted by electronic devices from Earth’s surface). It is to be the eighth satellite of Unseenlabs’ constellation, designed for high-precision maritime vessel tracking.
Space Safety News
The Vega C launch vehicle lifted off as scheduled on December 20, 2022 at 10:47 pm (local time in French Guiana). The lift-off, the mission and the separation of the first stage (P120C) were nominal. Following the nominal ignition of the second stage’s (Zefiro 40) engine around 144 seconds after lift-off, a decrease in the pressure was observed leading to the premature end of the mission. Under standard procedure, the order of destruction of the launcher was given by CNES, the launch safety
Russian managers are assessing whether a damaged Soyuz spacecraft docked at the International Space Station can safely carry its three-man crew back to Earth in late March as planned or whether a replacement must be launched to take its place, officials said Monday.
The non-exclusive SpaceX study regarding the possibilities of reboosting the Hubble Space Telescope is ongoing. On Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022, NASA issued a Request for Information to seek additional information about commercial capabilities available to reboost a satellite in orbit, using Hubble as a demonstration, at no cost to the government
U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper applauded Senate passage of his Orbital Sustainability (ORBITS) Act, a bipartisan bill to establish a first-of-its-kind demonstration program to reduce the amount of space junk in orbit. The bill passed the Senate unanimously.
Science &Technology News
Uncrewed rather than crewed spacecraft will be key to realizing an emerging in-orbit manufacturing industry, according to a European venture that has tasked Thales Alenia Space to develop a vehicle called REV1 for missions starting in late 2025.