Science

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force on Dec. 31 officially terminated launch technology partnerships signed in October 2018 with Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman. The Air Force awarded Launch Service Agreements to Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance. These were six-year public-private partnerships where both the government and the contractors agreed to invest
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Less than a week after leaving the agency, former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is joining a private equity firm that invests in the aerospace and defense industries. Acorn Growth Companies, a private equity firm based in Oklahoma City, said Jan. 25 that it had hired Bridenstine as a senior adviser, assisting the company
0 Comments
The SDA will consider funding research-and-development projects for technologies it might not be able to find in the open market.  WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s Space Development Agency issued an open call for information from the space industry on a laundry list of technologies.  The “broad area announcement” published Jan. 25 asks companies to submit pitches
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — A recent NASA mission successfully demonstrated the performance of a non-toxic “green” propellant, creating opportunities for its use in a wide range of future spacecraft. NASA flew the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) spacecraft as one of the payloads on the Space Test Program 2 mission that launched on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched 143 small satellites for a wide range of customers Jan. 24 on the company’s first dedicated rideshare mission, a service that poses a competitive threat to emerging small launch vehicles. The Falcon 9 lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — After fraying relations in recent years, officials with the European Union and European Space Agency say they’re committed to rebuilding a more cooperative relationship on space programs. At the 13th European Space Conference Jan. 12, Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market at the European Union, extended an olive branch to ESA, saying
0 Comments
Northrop Grumman’s and L3Harris’ satellite designs were selected from a field of four competitors. WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman and L3Harris were selected by the Defense Department’s Missile Defense Agency to each build a prototype sensor satellite capable of tracking hypersonic and ballistic missiles. The Missile Defense Agency awarded Northrop Grumman a $155 million contract Jan.
0 Comments
HELSINKI — French startup ThrustMe has performed the first on-orbit tests of an innovative iodine-fueled electric propulsion system, proving its ability to change a CubeSat’s orbit. ThrustMe’s NPT30-I2-1U, the first iodine electric propulsion system sent into space, is aboard the Beihangkongshi-1, a 12U CubeSat developed by Chinese commercial satellite maker Spacety.  A Long March 6
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Google announced Jan. 21 it is shutting down Loon, a venture to provide wireless connectivity by balloon that has been seen as both complementary to and competitive with satellite networks. In a blog post, Astro Teller, head of X, the advanced projects or “moonshot factory” division of Google parent company Alphabet, announced that
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Earth observation company Satellogic announced Jan. 19 it signed a contract with SpaceX covering several rideshare launches of its satellites through next year. The multiple launch services agreement makes SpaceX Satellogic’s preferred provider for launching its constellation of microsatellites, after previously relying on Chinese, European and Russian vehicles, including a launch of 10
0 Comments
Austin: “If confirmed, I will ensure the space domain is carefully considered across the range of upcoming strategic reviews.” WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for defense secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers Jan. 19 that China is the United States’ “most concerning competitor” and in written testimony identified space as a growing national security concern.
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — NASA officials expressed confidence that a key test of the Space Launch System scheduled for Jan. 16 will go well, keeping open the chances that the vehicle will make its long-delayed debut before the end of the year. NASA has scheduled a full-duration static-fire test of the SLS core stage at the Stennis
0 Comments
WASHINGTON — Broadband satellite company OneWeb announced Jan. 15 it has raised $400 million from SoftBank and Hughes Network Systems, allowing the company to continue deployment of its constellation. The new round includes $350 million from SoftBank, who was the biggest shareholder in OneWeb before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2020. The
0 Comments
Updated 7:20 p.m. Eastern with post-launch comments from Virgin Orbit. COVINGTON, La. — Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket reached orbit on its second flight Jan. 17, demonstrating the performance of the air-launch system after years of development. The company’s Boeing 747 aircraft, called Cosmic Girl, took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California
0 Comments
Updated 11:30 p.m. Eastern after post-test briefing. BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — NASA performed a hotfire test of the core stage of the Space Launch System Jan. 16, but the stage’s four main engines shut down a little more than a minute into a test designed to last eight minutes. The core stage ignited its
0 Comments