Blue Origin Rehearses Passenger Procedures with New Shepard

By Mark Carreau Apr 14, 2021
Blue Origin simulated pre- and post-launch passenger operations as its 15th suborbital launch of the New Shepard lifted off on April 14.
Defense and Space
Orbital Sidekick Completes $16M Series A Round
Orbital Sidekick, a San Francisco-based startup aiming to offer satellite-based hyperspectral imaging and data analytics for the energy sector and others, has wrapped up a $16 million series A investment round, as expected.
guy.ferneyhoug… Wed, 04/14/2021 - 09:12
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Astrobotic Buys Falcon Heavy For Water-Hunter’s Ride To Moon
Astrobiotic’s Griffin lunar lander, carrying NASA’s water-hunting VIPER rover, will fly on a Falcon Heavy, perhaps in late 2023.
michael.stearn… Tue, 04/13/2021 - 15:56
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NASA Mars Helicopter Flight Test On Hold
Fixing an issue with NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter will require a slight modification to the vehicle’s software, delaying the first flight test. 
guy.ferneyhoug… Tue, 04/13/2021 - 09:06
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Northrop’s MEV Docks With Active Intelsat Satellite To Extend Its Life
The second Mission Extension Vehicle, MEV-2, autonomously docked with the Intelsat 10-02 satellite on April 12 in its operational GEO location at 1 deg. West longitude.
jeff.morris@av… Tue, 04/13/2021 - 04:28
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Weekly Debrief: A Memorial To The Father Of The Space Force
In the broad sweep of history, imagine the roughly 70-year path to the creation of the U.S. Space Force as a single line on a blank page.
michael.stearn… Mon, 04/12/2021 - 20:33
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Darpa Taps Blue Origin, Lockheed For Draco Craft Designs
The announcement confirmed the spacecraft designers in Track B of Phase 1 of DARPA’s Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (Draco) program. 
steve.trimble@… Mon, 04/12/2021 - 20:27
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The Weekly Debrief: A Memorial to the Father of the Space Force
Gen. Thomas Moorman pressed a decades-long campaign through a minefield of bureaucratic and geopolitical obstacles to elevate a fractured and often dysfunctional space enterprise to a status equivalent to the naval, land and air domains.
steve.trimble@… Mon, 04/12/2021 - 19:34
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NASA Signs Agreement For Study Of Reality TV Show On ISS
Space Hero Partnerships has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to study sending a reality TV show winning contestant to the ISS.
michael.stearn… Mon, 04/12/2021 - 19:33
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Exolaunch Targets 2022 Demo Flight For Eco Space Tug

By Thierry Dubois Apr 12, 2021
Exolaunch, which specializes in rideshare brokerage and equipment, is planning a space tug for orbit-customization and debris-deorbiting.
Defense and Space

Space SPACs: It Is Different This Time—For Real

By Michael Bruno Apr 12, 2021
Do SPACs herald a brave new world for space dreamers or a repeat of the dot-bomb era of the early 2000s and the space flops of the 1990s?
Commercial Space

General Atomics Wins Draco Nuclear Reactor Design Contract

By Steve Trimble Apr 12, 2021
The award begins a two-track Phase 1 for the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Opeations (Draco) demonstration program. 
Space

Mars Helicopter Flight Test Delayed After Rotor Checkout Issue

By Irene Klotz Apr 11, 2021
Ingenuity was preparing to spin its dual rotors at full speed—the last in a series of preflight checkouts—late on April 9 when the issue occurred.
Space

Australia Advances Laser Space Debris Removal

By Graham Warwick Apr 09, 2021
Australia’s Electro Optic Systems has demonstrated technology that is key to tracking and moving space debris in low Earth orbit that uses a laser-generated guide star and adaptive optics to remove atmospheric distortion and increase the laser power on target.
Space

Former NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer Fires Up TexSpace

By Mark Carreau Apr 09, 2021
Former NASA astronaut and U S. Air Force test pilot Jack Fischer has joined with the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) to provide the emerging Houston Spaceport with TexSpace, a future nonprofit focused on facilitating innovation within the space enterprise.
Commercial Space
Industrial IoT Forerunner OrbComm To Be Taken Private For $1.1B
OrbComm, the low Earth orbit constellation provider of industrial connectivity services whose roots date to 1990s commercial space efforts, will be acquired by GI Partners, a U.S.-based investor in data infrastructure businesses, in an all-cash deal worth around $1.1 billion, including net debt.
andy_savoie@av… Fri, 04/09/2021 - 18:31
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New ESA Chief Calls For European Space Policy Summit
The EU, the European Space Agency and their member states should convene in a high-level summit next year and define a European ambition in space, says Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s new director general.
andy_savoie@av… Fri, 04/09/2021 - 18:26
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Biden Wants $24.7B For NASA
The Biden administration is requesting $24.7 billion for NASA for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, a 6.3% hike over the agency’s current funding level.
andy_savoie@av… Fri, 04/09/2021 - 17:58
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U.S., Russian Soyuz Crew Launches, Docks To Space Station

By Mark Carreau Apr 09, 2021
Russia’s Soyuz MS-18 capsule carrying NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov docked to the International Space Station early April 9.
Space

NASA Invests In Lunar Radio Observatory, Other Space Tech

By Mark Carreau Apr 08, 2021
NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts 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.
Space

Rocket Lab Schedules Next Flight Test Of Electron Reuse

By Irene Klotz Apr 08, 2021
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.
Commercial Space
U.S. Space Force To Establish New Acquisition Command
The U.S. Space Force intends to establish a Space Systems Command this summer, pending the nomination and Senate confirmation of a three-star commander.
andy_savoie@av… Thu, 04/08/2021 - 19:15
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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.
andy_savoie@av… Thu, 04/08/2021 - 18:48
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Airbus Takes Lead On Aircraft-Based Laser Communication Terminal

By Tony Osborne Apr 08, 2021
Airbus and the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) are to develop a terminal for aircraft to receive laser-based communications. 
Connected Aerospace
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.
guy.ferneyhoug… Thu, 04/08/2021 - 10:49
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