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MHI says H3 rocket development on track for 2020

WASHINGTON — Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the prime contractor for Japan’s next-generation launch vehicle, the H3, says it is on schedule for a first launch in 2020, and will soon learn if the cost-cutting efforts pursued over the past three years will meet the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s goal of halving launch prices compared to the [...]

OHB, Surrey Satellite win contract for eight more Galileo navigation satellites

OHB and Surrey Satellite have won a contract for another eight Galileo navigation satellites. The companies signed the contract Thursday with the European Space Agency, which procures the satellites on behalf of the EU. The companies won the contract despite Brexit-related complications for U.K.-based SSTL, which will require some kind of agreement to allow the [...]

Space Corps proposal becoming flashpoint in DoD budget negotiations

WASHINGTON – In the past three months alone, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein have found themselves before the Senate Appropriations Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and Senate Armed Services Committee. It’s an unusually busy congressional appearance schedule that reflects budget season in the nation’s capital: no one wants [...]

ESA aims to privatize Space Rider unmanned spaceplane by 2025

LE BOURGET, FRANCE — Although Europe’s Space Rider reusable spaceplane is three years or so from its debut, the European Space Agency is already making plans to privatize the unmanned orbital vehicle. By 2025, ESA officials said, Space Rider could be operating commercially, flying science payloads and bringing them back to Earth for roughly $9,200 per [...]

Op-ed | Turning technology inside our adversaries

This commentary originally appeared in the June 19, 2017 issue of SpaceNews magazine.  From the dawn of warfare, the key warfighting precepts of “hold the high ground” and “keep the sun behind you” have evolved and become more subtle, but they are still valid today. As air power in World War II evolved, battles moved [...]

Smallsats promoted as “insurance” for national security space systems

WASHINGTON — Advocates of small satellites argue that such systems could offer a much-need “layer of resiliency” for national security space applications for as little as one percent of current spending on such programs. At a June 21 discussion about small satellites at the Center for Strategic and International Studies here, developers of launch systems [...]

Wilson talks milspace priorities at national security space budget forum

WASHINGTON — “We are heavily dependent on space, and our adversaries know it. In any future conflict, space will be contested,” Heather Wilson, who was sworn in last month as the 24th secretary of the U.S. Air Force, told a Capitol Hill audience June 16. Wilson, an Air Force academy graduate who represented New Mexico in [...]

Russia studying dedicated space tourism missions using its Soyuz spacecraft

Russia is studying dedicated space tourism missions using its Soyuz spacecraft. Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov said at the Paris Air Show Tuesday that future missions could fly two tourists and one professional cosmonaut, possibly visiting the ISS. The head of RSC Energia, meanwhile, said he thought Soyuz missions could continue to fly even after [...]

House panel takes first step towards military “Space Corps”

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers on Tuesday took the first step towards establishing a ‘Space Corps’ within the Air Force — similar to the way the Marine Corps functions in the Navy — by drafting legislation that would require the new organization to be set up by January 1, 2019. As the House Armed Services Committee prepares to [...]

B612 studying smallsat missions to search for near Earth objects

WASHINGTON — The B612 Foundation, which once sought to privately develop a large space observatory to search for potentially hazardous near Earth objects (NEOs), is now studying an alternative approach that uses much smaller spacecraft. The California-based non-profit organization unveiled plans in 2012 for Sentinel, a spacecraft that would go into a Venus-like orbit around [...]