Space

SAN FRANCISCO – Capella Space unveiled the new design Jan. 21 for its Whitney constellation of seven synthetic aperture radar satellites scheduled to launch in 2020. Weighing in at 100 kilograms, the new satellites are about twice the size of Denali, Capella’s 48-kilogram technology demonstration spacecraft launched in December 2018. “We spent a lot of
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WASHINGTON — As Stratolaunch ramps up operations after being sold last year, it says it remains interested in providing launch services as well as supporting hypersonic vehicles. In a Jan. 21 statement to SpaceNews, Stratolaunch spokesperson Art Pettigrue confirmed the company was interested in “reliable, routine access to space” while also confirming the company was
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SAN FRANCISCO – Radar satellite operator Iceye released a product Jan. 20 to detect dark vessels, ships at sea that are not identifying themselves with Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders. Iceye combines observations from its constellation of three synthetic aperture radar satellites with other data sources to provide customers with radar satellite images of vessels
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ARLINGTON, Va. — A consortium established last year to develop a rating to measure how well satellites comply with space sustainability guidelines expects to have an initial version of its rating system ready by late this year or early next year. The World Economic Forum (WEF) announced in May 2019 it selected a group that
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WASHINGTON — NASA and SpaceX are ready to perform a test of the launch abort system of the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft that will also serve as a dress rehearsal of sorts for upcoming crewed flights of the vehicle. At a Jan. 17 briefing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, officials with NASA and SpaceX said
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WASHINGTON — The government of Luxembourg has invested in a new fund intended to support space startups in the country, a move that will be one of the last for the country’s most prominent backer of the industry. Étienne Schneider, deputy prime minister of Luxembourg and the country’s economy minister, said Jan. 16 that the
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WASHINGTON — SpinLaunch, a startup pursuing an alternative approach for placing payloads into orbit, has raised $35 million in a new funding round disclosed Jan. 16. The company, headquartered in Long Beach, California, said the new round featured several funds that included Airbus Ventures, the venture capital arm of aerospace company Airbus. Other investors include
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WASHINGTON — European launch provider Arianespace completed its first launch of the year Jan. 16, sending two communications satellites into geostationary transfer orbits.  The Ariane 5 rocket lifted off from the Guiana Space Center at 4:05 p.m. Eastern with the 3,600-kilogram Eutelsat Konnect satellite and the 3,400-kilogram GSAT-30 satellite.  Eutelsat Konnect separated from the rocket’s
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WASHINGTON — With its funding secured for the next three years, the head of the European Space Agency is now focused on implementing those key programs while establishing a new cooperative agreement with the European Union. At a press briefing Jan. 15 at ESA’s Paris headquarters, ESA Director General Jan Woerner reviewed the outcome of
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BOSTON – Spire Global shared early data from new Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Reflectometry cubesats at the American Meteorological Society conference here. Spire launch two GNSS Reflectometry cubesats Dec. 11 on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The spacecraft, equipped with bistatic radars to observe how GNSS signals scatter after bouncing off Earth surface
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Is the future of spaceflight female?  Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir captured the world’s attention with their historic all-woman spacewalk at the end of 2019. The 2020s is beginning with the duo scheduled to repeat their historic first twice more by the end of January. Is the future of spaceflight female? If popular culture
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WASHINGTON — As Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) continues production of its first Dream Chaser vehicle, the company is looking for ways to leverage that system for other applications. In a call with reporters Jan. 9 to discuss its plans for the coming year, executives with SNC’s Space Systems division discussed a variety of efforts, such
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BOSTON – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is preparing to update its aging space weather fleet with instruments to gather imagery of coronal mass ejection and monitor solar winds. Congress provided NOAA funding in the 2020 budget for Space Weather Follow On (SWFO), a satellite destined for Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1. The Commerce Department also
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Technologies of interest include synthetic aperture radar, hyperspectral imaging, electro-optical imaging, infrared imaging and radio frequency sensing. WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s technology arm, the Defense Innovation Unit, is soliciting bids from U.S. companies that operate commercial remote sensing satellites and can provide both imagery and data analytic services. DIU on Jan. 13 released a solicitation
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WASHINGTON — Arianespace will launch the United Arab Emirates’ Falcon Eye 2 reconnaissance satellite on a Soyuz in March instead of waiting for the company’s much smaller Vega rocket to return to flight, Arianespace and Airbus Defence and Space told SpaceNews.  Vega has been grounded since a July failure that destroyed the UAE’s Falcon Eye
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