Satellite News

USSF awards Viasat contract for Proliferated Low Earth Orbit satellite services

Viasat, Inc.has announced that Inmarsat Government, now part of Viasat, was awarded a Proliferated Low Earth Orbit (PLEO) Satellite-Based Services (SBS) contract by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) on behalf of the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) — Inmarsat Government is one of 16 companies selected for the $900 million ceiling, 10 year, Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract.

Psyche on track for liftoff next month

Bound for a metal-rich asteroid of the same name, the Psyche mission is targeting Oct. 5 to launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Project Kuiper partners with Vodafone in Europe and Africa

The companies said Sept. 5 they agreed on a partnership that would use Amazon’s envisioned network of 3,200 satellites in low Earth orbit to bring 4G and 5G connectivity to areas where it would be too challenging or expensive to deploy terrestrial networks.

Launcher News

SpaceX’s Starship to remain grounded

SpaceX’s Starship, the most powerful rocket ever built, must remain grounded while Elon Musk’s company completes dozens of corrective actions to prevent a repeat of the spectacular explosion that marred its first orbital test flight, regulators said Friday. The 63 steps include “redesigns of vehicle hardware to prevent leaks and fires, redesign of the launch pad to increase its robustness,” additional testing of safety systems and more, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement after completing a months-long review. “The closure of the mishap investigation does not signal an immediate resumption of Starship launches at Boca Chica,”

Fuelled-up dress rehearsal for Ariane 6

At Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, ESA’s new Ariane 6 launch vehicle, consisting of its upper and core stage has been fuelled up and its core stage engine fired.

The European Space Agency plans to set a target launch period for the first Ariane 6 in October, with the hopes that vehicle can finally take flight “not too late” into 2024.

Sea launch 1st by Chinese private entity

Galactic Energy has become the first Chinese private company to carry out a sea-based launch mission.

The Beijing-based company announced on Tuesday evening that the sea-borne variant of its CERES 1 carrier rocket conducted its first liftoff at 5:34 pm that day from a mobile launch platform – a modified deck barge – in the Yellow Sea off the eastern province of Shandong. It then sent four satellites into an orbit about 800 kilometers above Earth

Exploration News

South Africa joins China’s moon base project

The agreement will see CNSA and SANSA carry out extensive cooperation in the demonstration, implementation, operation and application of the ILRS, as well as training and other areas. The ILRS project aims to construct a permanent lunar base in the 2030s. The initiative is seen as a China-led, parallel project and potential competitor to the NASA-led Artemis Program.

Virgin Galactic notches fourth spaceflight in four months

Virgin Galactic on Friday announced it had sent three paying customers on an hour-long journey to space and back, racking up its fourth successful flight in as many months. The private astronauts aboard the Galactic 03 mission were among the first people to buy their tickets from the company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2004.

NASA’s completes Oxygen-Generating Experiment MOXIE

Riding with the Perseverance rover, the instrument has proved to be a viable technology for astronauts on Mars to produce oxygen for fuel and breathing.

NewSpace  News

Wyvern and Loft Orbital join forces to expand Dragonette satellite constellation

Wyvem is teaming with Loft Orbital to expand the capacity of the Dragonette constellation. Loft is unlocking the power of space for data collection with a deep understanding of how to develop, manage, launch, and operate the satellites that make up their infrastructure. This gives seamless access to on-orbit satellites that gather the hyperspectral  data customers need.
Wyvem’s mission is set to fly on Loft’s 2Gen satellite platform, which consists of the Longbow bus, derived from the flight-proven OneWeb bus, and the Hub, a modular payload interface that allows for the turnkey accommodation of any customer mission. Wyvern will operate the mission using Cockpit, Loft’s mission operations software.

Umbra partners with EUSI to offer SAR Imagery to European remote sensing projects

EUSI 30 cm. optical paired with Umbra 16 cm. SAR Umbra has engaged in a strategic partnership with European Space Imaging (EUSI), a leading provider of Very High Resolution (VHR) optical satellite imagery — this partnership will allow customers to purchase Umbra’s industry-leading Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data directly through EUSI.

This collaboration offers a significant benefit to remote sensing data users across Europe and North Africa, as they can now acquire the world’s highest resolution, space-based, optical and SAR imagery – 30 and 25 cm. resolutions, respectively – from a single, local source.

SpaceChain pivots to combine AI with Earth imagery

SpaceChain, a Singapore startup with blockchain nodes in orbit, is rolling out a service that integrates artificial intelligence with Earth imagery. I-Sat, from SpaceChain’s U.S.-based SC Solutions, is designed to simplify the process of answering questions with Earth observation data.

Space Safety News

Science & Technology News

Redwire demonstrates bioprinting human tissue in space

The company said Sept. 7 that a human knee meniscus, printed on its 3D BioFabrication Facility (BFF) on the International Space Station, was now in the lab on Earth after returning on the Crew Dragon spacecraft that brought Crew-6 back to Earth Sept. 4. The meniscus was printed on the station in July.

India’s lunar lander finds 1st evidence of a moonquake in decades

The possible moonquake was detected by India’s Chandrayaan-3 mission on its third day on the lunar surface. India’s moon rover may have just detected the first evidence of a “moonquake” since the 1970s. The Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA) attached to the Vikram lander detected the seismic activity on the surface of the moon Aug. 26. Vikram landed on the moon’s south pole Aug. 23 as part of the Chandrayaan-3 mission — India’s first mission to the lunar surface.

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