Satellite News

NASA Ends $2 Billion Satellite Refueling Project Amid Challenges

The OSAM-1 project, led by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, with Maxar Space Systems as the main contractor, aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of on-orbit satellite servicing. This decision, revealed on March 1, 2024, follows nearly a decade of development and an investment of around $2 billion, including refueling missions for the Landsat 7 imagery satellite and capabilities for assembling and manufacturing components in space. The project planned to use a Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot (SPIDER) for these tasks, including the in-space fabrication of a 32-foot carbon fiber composite beam .

Experimental orbital services vehicle Optimus set for launch

The Space Machines Company has announced the completion of Optimus, Australia’s largest-ever private satellite. This Orbital Servicing Vehicle (OSV) represents a significant leap in Australia’s sovereign space capabilities, poised to provide critical life-extension services, inspections, and assistance to the existing space infrastructure.

Launcher News

Flight 2 Mishap Investigation closed as SpaceX preps for another WDR

SpaceX could be ready for another Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) attempt as early as next week.. 

For Ship 25, SpaceX stated that during a planned Liquid Oxygen (LOX) dump near the end of the burn, a leak developed, which led to an ignition and fires onboard in the engine section. Booster 9 failure mode was more interesting .When the booster tried to relight the middle ring of 10 engines, some engines began to shut down one after another until a single engine exploded. This explosion caused a chain reaction, which led to the loss of the booster.

Exploration News

American spaceship facedown on the Moon after dramatic touchdown

The historic Odysseus moon landing mission was cut short Tuesday as flight controllers expected to lose contact with the private spacecraft after it toppled over during last week’s botched landing. Intuitive Machines, the Houston space company that built the unmanned Odysseus, said it planned to collect data “until the lander’s solar panels are no longer exposed to light,” which is two to three days earlier than planned.

Japan Moon lander revives after lunar night /Japan Moon lander put to sleep after surviving lunar night

Japan’s Moon lander has been put back to sleep after it surprisingly survived the freezing, two-week lunar night, the country’s space agency said, with another operation attempt scheduled for later this month. 

MSR problems illustrative of challenges for NASA flagship missions, audit concludes

The report did not identify any major new issues with MSR beyond the assessment of an independent review board in September 2023, which concluded the program’s cost and schedule estimates were unrealistic and that the total cost of the effort would likely be in the range of $8 billion to $11 billion. That led NASA to start a reassessment of the overall MSR architecture that is ongoing.

To the Moon and back: NASA’s Artemis II crew rehearses splashdown

Their mission around the Moon is not expected until September 2025 at the earliest, but the four astronauts on NASA’s Artemis II mission are already preparing for their splashdown return.

NewSpace  News

UNSEENLABS fundraises million$$

Unseenlabs has closed a fundraising round of €85 million. This new funding round brings together leading investors: Supernova Invest, ISALT via its Strategic Transition Fund, and UNEXO. All of Unseenlabs’ historical partners, including 360 Capital, OMNES, Bpifrance, Breizh Up managed by UI Investissement, and S2G Ventures, also reaffirm their support for this new phase. The […]

AAC Space Africa wins 1st satellite order

AAC Clyde Space‘s subsidiary AAC Space Africa has won its first satellite order. AAC Space Africa will assemble, integrate and test two satellites. The order, valued at 4.1 million South African Rands (approx. SEK 2.3 M), is scheduled for delivery in June of 2024.  “We are delighted that AAC Space Africa has received its first […]

Alba Orbital receives pocket-sized satellites launch contract

Alba Orbital has closed a large, multi-launch contract with Hello Space to launch four ‘rubik’s-cube-sized’ satellites via SpaceX — these PocketQubes, will be used to enhance global connectivity through IoT, following the success of Hello Space’s previous demo satellite mission with Alba Orbital named ‘Istanbul‘ in 2023.  Under this new contract, Alba Orbital will deploy four […]

EnduroSat appoints a new Head of Space Services

EnduroSat kicked its Space Services into high gear last year, raising capital to scale, securing Vyoma as a new customer in situational awareness missions and signing missions for space exploration and remote sensing.

Space Safety News

NASA studying issues with Orion hatch design

A NASA safety panel says the agency is studying issues with the design of the side hatch of the Orion spacecraft that could affect its ability to be opened in an off-nominal situation.

Science & Technology News

Proba-3 Mission Prepares for Precision Formation Flying with Laser Metrology Tests

In a significant step toward realizing the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ambitious Proba-3 mission, a crucial laser-based test campaign is currently underway at Redwire Space’s facilities in Kruibek

Could fiber optic cable help scientists probe the deep layers of the moon?

An increasing number of seismologists are using fiber optic cables to detect seismic waves on Earth-but how would this technology fare on the Moon, and what would it tell us about the deep layers of our nearest neighbor in space?

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