Satellite News

Private US spaceship takes off for the Moon

Intuitive Machines, the Houston company leading mission “IM-1,” hopes to become the first non-government entity to achieve a soft touchdown on the Moon, and to land the first US robot on the surface since the Apollo missions more than five decades ago. Its hexagonal-shaped Nova-C lander named “Odysseus” blasted off on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket shortly after 1:00 am local time (0600 GMT).

Eutelsat scales back OneWeb Gen 2 upgrade plan

 Eutelsat has decided to hold off deploying significantly upgraded OneWeb broadband satellites to instead focus on adding continuity of service capacity for customers with long-term contracts,

SpaceX launches batch of satellites for Space Systems Command

The Space Systems Command (SSC) of the U.S. Space Force, in coordination with SpaceX, has completed the successful launch of six critical satellites aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral

Next generation satellite systems continue to disrupt satellite capacity pricing landscape

Euroconsult, the leading global consulting firm specializing in satellite-enabled markets, has released the latest edition of its FSS Capacity

Launcher News

Japan successfully launches next-gen H3 rocket

Japan’s space agency toasted a successful blast-off for its new flagship rocket on Saturday, making it third time lucky after years of delays and two previous failed attempts. The next-generation H3 has been mooted as a rival to SpaceX’s Falcon 9, and could one day deliver cargo to bases on the Moon.

First Ariane 6 flight model ships to Europe’s Spaceport

The main stage for the first Ariane 6 flight being packed into a container at ArianeGroup facilities in Les Mureaux, France, on 6 February 2024.

Exploration News

NASA seeks candidates for yearlong simulated Mars mission

NASA said Friday it is seeking applicants for a simulated yearlong Mars mission. The second of three planned ground-based missions under the Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) program is slated for spring 2025.

NewSpace  News

True Anomaly’s 1st Jackal AOVs are ready for launch

True Anomalys first two Jackal autonomous orbital vehicles (AOVs) have arrived at Vandenberg Space Force Base and have completed functional testing, fueling, and mating to the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rideshare plate. The satellites are officially ready for launch as part of SpaceX’s Transporter-10 mission no earlier than March of 2024.

DLR awards Exolaunch million€€ launch services contract

Exolaunch was recently awarded a government contract under the Small Satellite Initiative run by the German Space Agency at DLR on behalf of the German Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK). This novel initiative, aimed at providing wide-ranging launch opportunities for smallsats and payload manufacturers on European microlaunchers, marks a significant milestone in the fast-growing German commercial space industry

AI company developing software to detect hypersonic missiles from space

The Space Development Agency selected California-based EpiSci to develop a tool capable of detecting hypersonic missiles in flight from satellite data, a challenging task given the extreme speeds of these weapons.

Sidus Space on schedule to launch their next wwo LizzieSat™ satellites

LizzieSat’s flexible hybrid 3D printed design allows Sidus to enhance capabilities brought to market during the successful LS-1 build and test campaign. Design modifications from LS-1 include additional space situational awareness (SSA) customer payloads and upgraded Sidus Earth Observation (EO) sensors that target specific needs of its own Space Data as a Service customers. 

LeoLabs secures $29M to expand space safety using AI-based solutions

LeoLabs, a pioneering company recognized for compiling the most extensive commercial catalog of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO), has recently announced a significant financial milestone, securing an additional $29 million in funding. 

Electron/Curie | On Closer Inspection

Rocket Lab’s ‘On Closer Inspection’ mission launched on an Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand, on Feb. 19 at 3:52 AM NZDT (14:52 UTC on Feb. 18). Onboard was the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) spacecraft, which was selected by JAXA as the initial phase of their Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project.

Space Safety News

Can astronomers use radar to spot a cataclysmic asteroid?

There is currently only one system in the world concentrating on these efforts, NASA’s Goldstone Solar System Radar, part of the Deep Space Network (DSN). However, a new instrument concept from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) called the next generation RADAR (ngRADAR) system will use the National Science Foundation’s Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and other current and future facilities to expand on these capabilities.

European satellite to crash back to Earth within week

A large satellite which ended its mission 13 years ago will come crashing down to Earth in an uncontrolled manner within the next week, but there is almost zero chance it will hurt anyone, the European Space Agency has said. The ESA’s ERS-2 satellite, which launched in 1995 on a mission to observe Earth, was slowly but deliberately brought down to avoid creating more debris orbiting the planet. 

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