ICBM Replacement Completes Early Schedule, Cost Review
Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force have checked a key box on the list of post-contract award activities for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program, the company said on April 7. A required Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) was conducted to verify that both sides have a complete understanding of the schedule and costs of the decade-long program to field a replacement for the Boeing Minuteman III. Credit: Northrop Grumman
Next CNES President To Put Emphasis On Space Data Use
Philippe Baptiste, an engineer by training with experience in science, industry and politics, is to succeed Jean-Yves Le Gall at the helm of French space agency CNES after the country’s parliament approved the nomination. Credit: Remy Gabalda / AFP / Getty Images
Japan Suspends Spending On F-15J Upgrade, Reports Say
The Japanese defense ministry has suspended spending on the upgrade of the F-15J fighter due to cost overruns, according to multiple news reports. The initial contract, to be financed by 39 billion yen ($355.6 million) budgeted in fiscal 2020, has been canceled, according to several unnamed defense ministry sources, the Asahi newspaper says. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi ordered a detailed review of the upgrade program. Credit: Angelique Perez
Rocket Lab Schedules Next Flight Test Of Electron Reuse
Rocket Lab plans to conduct its second parachute-assisted booster splashdown next month, as it works to evolve the Electron small satellite launch vehicle into a reusable rocket, the company said on April 8. The primary goal of the mission—the company’s 20th—will be to deploy two Earth-observation satellites for BlackSky. Following liftoff from the company’s New Zealand spaceport, expected in mid-May, the rocket’s first stage will separate from the upper stage, which will take over delivery of the satellites into orbit. Credit: Rocket Lab
NASA Invests In Lunar Radio Observatory, Other Space Tech
NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) initiative has awarded $5 million in grants to seven innovators, among them a Jet Propulsion Laboratory researcher investigating the possible construction of a lunar far side radio telescope using wire mesh embedded in an impact crater by small climbing robots. Credit: Vladimir Vustyansky
Russia Prepares For Long-Distance Space Missions
The launch of the Luna-25 automatic lander planned for October will mark Russia’s return to lunar exploration. But this time, the final goal will be to provide a long-term presence on the Moon with the use of local resources in order to perfect the technologies for the next long-distance mission–Mars. Credit: Energia Corp.
U.S. Space Force To Establish New Acquisition Command
The U.S. Space Force intends to establish a Space Systems Command (SSC) this summer, pending the nomination and Senate confirmation of a three-star commander. The service unveiled new details April 8 on establishing SSC to oversee the development of cutting-edge technologies and purchasing launch services and satellites. Credit: SSC
Electric Aircraft Shows Dramatic Noise Reductions
Flight tests of an aircraft converted to electric propulsion from piston power have shown noise energy levels at least 100 times lower, highlighting the potential for electric aircraft to reduce airport noise pollution. Electric propulsion system developer MagniX has released the noise figures as it wraps up envelope expansion flight testing with the eBeaver, a De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver modified to electric propulsion in a joint effort with British Columbia-based Harbour Air Seaplanes. Credit: Harbour Air Seaplanes
Airbus Takes Lead On Aircraft-Based Laser Communication Terminal
Airbus and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) are to develop a terminal for aircraft to receive laser-based communications. The terminal, called UltraAir, will be capable of receiving a laser communication connection from a satellite in a geostationary orbit some 36,000 km (22,000 mi.) from Earth using a stabilized optical mechatronic system. Credit: Airbus
Japan suspends spending on F-15J upgrade, Rocket Lab schedules next flight test of Electron reuse, Russia prepares for long-distance space missions, U.S. Space Force to establish new acquisition command and more. A roundup of aerospace, space and defense news powered by Aviation Week Intelligence Network (AWIN).
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