Satellite News

ESA Embracing Commercial Space Stations with Airbus and Voyager Space Partnership

Starlab Space LLC is a planned transatlantic joint venture between Voyager Space and Airbus that is designing, building and will operate the Starlab commercial space station. Starlab will serve a global customer base of space agencies, researchers and companies, ensuring a continued human presence in low-Earth orbit and a seamless transition of microgravity science and research from the ISS into the new commercial space station era.

Galileo Second Generation satellite aces first hardware tests

The new Galileo satellite model from Thales Alenia Space underwent mechanical and signal performance testing this summer at ESA’s ESTEC Test Centre.

Amazon’s Project Kuiper completes successful tests of broadband connectivity

Initial testing of Amazon’s Project Kuiper was successful, putting the project on track to begin offering high-speed Internet to select customers next year, the company announced Thursday.The Protoflight mission launched from Cape Canaveral on Oct. 6, with two test satellites, Kuipersat-1 and Kuipersat-2. The company aims to install 3,236 satellites into low Earth orbit by the end of 2026 to provide broadband to areas with little or no Internet access.

Launcher News

After upgrades, Starship achieves numerous successes during second test flight

Unlike the maiden flight, Starship stuck to the plan, with a clean liftoff and all 33 Raptor 2s running without issue as the vehicle flew out of South Texas.Hotstaging – debuting on this flight – also worked as planned, with Ship 25 firing up its six Raptors and moving away from the booster.Booster 7, having completed its primary task, then attempted a boostback burn, before letting go during that attempted relight. Ship 25 got very close to orbital velocity before it too was destroyed by the Flight Termination System (FTS), although both losses of vehicle should not detract from the numerous successes achieved during this second flight.

ULA gearing up for first Vulcan launch

Besides sending Peregrine on its way to the moon, ULA will test this upgraded version of the Centaur, called Centaur 5. “There will be additional maneuvers performed just to give us an opportunity to exercise the Centaur 5; really verify but mostly learn about its quirks as we go put it through its paces in preparation for missions that’ll come later.”

Exploration News

NASA still studying Orion heat shield erosion from Artemis 1

A year after the launch of the Artemis 1 mission, NASA is continuing to study the performance of the heat shield on the Orion spacecraft, a review that may take several more months to complete.

Starship lunar lander missions to require nearly 20 launches

SpaceX’s concept of operations for the Starship lunar lander it is developing for the Human Landing System (HLS) program requires multiple launches of the Starship/Super Heavy system. One launch will place a propellant depot into orbit, followed by multiple other launches of tanker versions of Starship, transferring methane and liquid oxygen propellants into the depot. That will be followed by the lander version of Starship, which will rendezvous with the depot and fill its tanks before going to the moon.

Blue Origin reveals mockup of Blue Moon lunar lander prototype

The first flight of Blue Moon Mark 1 will be what the company calls the “Pathfinder Mission,” designated MK1-SN001. “MK1-SN001 proves out critical systems, including the BE-7 engine, cryogenic fluid power and propulsions systems, avionics, continuous downlink communications, and precision landing,” the company stated on its website.

NewSpace  News

Spire Global unveils Constellation Management Platform

Spire Global, Inc. has unveiled the firm’s Constellation Management Platform, a web-based app that simplifies satellite constellation operations through a user-friendly interface — the development of the platform is co-funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the agency’s ARTES Core Competitiveness (CC) Program with a 1.5 million euros award to Spire, along with support from the Luxembourg […]

Quantum Space readies Scout-1 for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission

Quantum Space has unveiled the company’s Sentry mission, the first in a series of milestone demonstrations to prove out end-to-end communications and data generation capabilities — the company is creating a modern, high-speed connectivity network, dubbed QuantumNet, that will deliver always-on, fast connectivity everywhere in deep space, from GEO and cislunar space and well beyond

EnduroSat’s new satellite Space Centre enables satellite modules delivery within two weeks

EnduroSat is able to now ship the company’s standard satellite modules to customers within two weeks of receiving an order, the fastest turnaround in EnduroSat’s history — this milestone follows the recent opening of EnduroSat’s new Space Centre in Bulgaria as well as a significant investment in production and AIT capabilities

Space Safety News

Airbus’ patented “Detumbler” designed to tackle on-orbit debris

Airbus’ patented Detumbler device designed to prevent satellites at the end of their lives from tumbling, was launched on Saturday, November 11, and will be tested in space in association with Exotrail and EnduroSat early in 2024. Developed in 2021 by Airbus, and supported by the French Space Agency CNES under their Tech4SpaceCare initiative,

Science & Technology News

Heat Shield demo passes the test dubbed ‘Just flawless’

Nov 20, 2023 A little more than a year ago, a NASA flight test article came screaming back from space at more than 18,000 mph, reaching temperatures of nearly 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. The LOFTID team recently held a post-flight analysis assessment of the flight test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia

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