Space News

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Op-ed | Ensuring peaceful use of space an important goal for U.S. and allies

Fifty years ago this summer, when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, space was the realm of peaceful human exploration, budding commercial development and growing but comparatively limited military use. Today, space is the engine of global commerce and vital to American military operations on land, sea and in the air. So it is fitting [...]

Op-ed | Ensuring peaceful use of space an important goal for U.S. and allies2019-04-19T14:10:26-06:00

U.S. military Electron launch first test for York satellite

This article was updated April 19 at 3:38 p.m. Eastern to correct launch timing. The 14-day launch window opens May 4.  COLORADO SPRINGS and FREMONT, Calif. – Rocket Lab is preparing to launch in May three U.S. military satellites including the Army Harbinger mission as part of the Defense Department’s Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. Harbinger [...]

U.S. military Electron launch first test for York satellite2019-04-19T14:10:27-06:00

Virgin Galactic expects rapid conclusion of SpaceShipTwo test flights after downtime

COLORADO SPRINGS — Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot believes the company will be able to go through the remainder of its SpaceShipTwo test program fairly quickly once test flights of the suborbital spaceplane resume. In an interview during the 35th Space Symposium here April 9, Dave Mackay said the SpaceShipTwo vehicle called VSS Unity, which he [...]

Virgin Galactic expects rapid conclusion of SpaceShipTwo test flights after downtime2019-04-19T14:10:30-06:00

Intelsat-29e declared a total loss

WASHINGTON — Fleet operator Intelsat said its first high-throughput satellite, Intelsat-29e, is a “total loss” after attempts to save the malfunctioning satellite proved unsuccessful. Intelsat-29e suffered a fuel leak April 7 after just three years in geostationary orbit. Most geostationary communications satellites last 15 years if not longer.  After the fuel leak, a subsequent problem [...]

Intelsat-29e declared a total loss2019-04-19T14:10:28-06:00

ArianeGroup starting Ariane 6 production after new ESA agreement

WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency’s 22 member states agreed April 17 to a workaround to get Ariane 6 production in full swing despite a dearth of public sector launch contracts. ArianeGroup had reached an impasse with ESA, which is paying the Franco-German company to design and build the Ariane 6 rocket, after the number [...]

ArianeGroup starting Ariane 6 production after new ESA agreement2019-04-18T14:08:02-06:00

Satixfy prepares release of flat panel antennas this year

WASHINGTON — British and Israeli satellite antenna developer Satixfy says it is nearing the release of flat-panel products designed first for connecting internet of things devices, with variants for other markets following shortly. Rajanik Mark, Satixfy’s chief operating officer, said the company has created its own chipsets that it can build in-house to bring down [...]

Satixfy prepares release of flat panel antennas this year2019-04-18T14:08:03-06:00

Independent report concludes 2033 human Mars mission is not feasible

WASHINGTON — An independent report concluded that NASA has no chance of sending humans to Mars by 2033, with the earliest such a mission could be flown being the late 2030s. The report, while completed prior to the March 26 speech where Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to return humans to the moon by [...]

Independent report concludes 2033 human Mars mission is not feasible2019-04-18T14:08:09-06:00

Antares launches Cygnus on ISS cargo mission

Updated 9:00 p.m. Eastern WASHINGTON — A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket successfully launched a Cygnus spacecraft April 17 carrying nearly three and a half metric tons of cargo bound for the International Space Station. The Antares lifted off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at 4:46 p.m. Eastern after a countdown marred by only a brief [...]

Antares launches Cygnus on ISS cargo mission2019-04-18T14:08:06-06:00

Iridium makes GMDSS progress • Kepler’s next cubesat to test new radiator • Scisys breaks ground in Germany

To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES Iridium moved closer to launching an emergency maritime communications service by signing a public services agreement with the International Mobile Satellite Organization. The agreement sets the regulatory framework for IMSO to oversee Iridium’s provision of Global Maritime Distress [...]

Iridium makes GMDSS progress • Kepler’s next cubesat to test new radiator • Scisys breaks ground in Germany2019-04-18T14:08:05-06:00

Op-ed | Lunar Gateway or Moon Direct?

This op-ed originally appeared in the April 8, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. NASA has proposed to build a lunar orbiting space station, called the lunar Gateway, to use as a base for lunar exploration. This plan is severely defective. The Gateway project may be compared to a deal in which you are offered a [...]

Op-ed | Lunar Gateway or Moon Direct?2019-04-17T14:09:11-06:00