Industry News

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Industry News 2016-12-22T11:38:44+00:00

A test for Air Force space technology buyers: Fast prototyping

WASHINGTON — Two words that come up in every conversation about reforming military procurement: Fast. Prototyping. “Instead of automatically defaulting to very large exquisite programs of record, we want to do more prototyping and experimentation,” said Lt. Gen. John Thompson, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. SMC is now at the center of a broad Air [...]

Eutelsat completes 302 million euro Hispasat divestiture

WASHINGTON — French fleet operator Eutelsat finished a lengthy 302 million euro ($372.9 million) sale of its stake in Spanish fleet operator Hispasat after gaining long-awaited approval from Spain’s government. The divestiture was first announced last May and expected to close that year, but required approval from Spain’s Council of Ministers, which didn’t occur until two weeks ago. Hispasat on [...]

DARPA announces responsive launch prize competition

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced a prize competition April 18 to demonstrate the ability to rapidly launch small satellites, a competition whose regulatory challenges may tower over its technical ones. The DARPA Launch Challenge, formally announced at the 34th Space Symposium here but previewed at a February conference, will offer a top prize of $10 [...]

Op-ed | P3 or not P3: What can space ventures learn from terrestrial infrastructure projects?

At the recent FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, if you were given a dollar every time the term “public-private partnership” was mentioned, you could have broken even on the annual gathering’s increasingly substantial registration fee. Such partnerships, known as P3s, are alliances between a government entity and private enterprise to accomplish a common purpose. P3s have been used [...]

Proton launches Russian defense comms satellite

WASHINGTON — Russia’s Proton rocket launched for the first time this year April 18 with a military communications satellite for the federation’s ministry of defense. Liftoff took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:12 p.m. Eastern. Russian state corporation Roscosmos confirmed separation of the satellite from the rocket’s Breeze-M upper stage in its intended orbit approximately 10 hours later. [...]

Taco Bell Space Station? It’s possible, panelists say

COLORADO SPRINGS —  Future private space stations may be sponsored by major corporations, which prompted a spirited discussion during a panel on the future of low Earth orbit at the 34th Space Symposium here. “I don’t want the Taco Bell International Space Station,” said Erin MacDonald, modeling and simulation engineer for Engility’s Space and Mission Systems Group. “I think it goes [...]

As space business grows, Ruag ramps up U.S. manufacturing

Swiss aerospace firm Ruag is a major supplier of components to the U.S. space industry. In anticipation of more business from rocket and satellite manufacturers, the company is ramping up investments in its U.S. operations in Alabama, Florida and in a research center in California’s Silicon Valley. Ruag space revenues last year were around $380 million, one third of which [...]

York Space Systems to use Ruag Space small satellite payload adapter

COLORADO SPRINGS — York Space Systems, a Denver-based satellite manufacturer, announced plans April 18 to work with Swiss satellite and rocket component supplier Ruag Space on payload adapters for its satellites. “We’ve worked with York on a payload adapter for a small satellite mission,” Magnus Engström, Ruag head of marketing sales, told SpaceNews at the 34th Space Symposium here. “This [...]

Boeing to accelerate production of WGS satellites

COLORADO SPRINGS — In a surprise move last month, Congress inserted $600 million into the Pentagon’s 2018 budget for the procurement of two Wideband Global Satcom satellites made by Boeing. The company already has produced 10, and is making preparations to begin work on the 11th and 12th satellites. The production of  two new satellites for the Air Force will [...]

Boeing bows out of GPS 3 competition

COLORADO SPRINGS — Boeing has decided to not challenge Lockheed Martin for the next production lot of up to 22 GPS 3 satellites. “We have not put in a proposal for GPS 3,” said Rico Attanasio, Boeing’s director of Department of Defense and civil navigation and communications programs. Bids were due this week. “As you can imagine, this was a [...]

International SSA agreements could pave the way for further space cooperation, panelists said

COLORADO SPRINGS — Countries establishing bilateral agreements to share Space Situational Awareness (SSA) data with U.S. Strategic Command hope the deals pave the way for future cooperation, according to speakers at the 34th Space Symposium here. STRATCOM had established 82 international  sharing agreements with nations, companies and intergovernmental organizations prior to the 34th Space Symposium. During the Symposium, STRATCOM plans [...]