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Industry News2016-12-22T11:38:44-07:00

Axelspace prepares to expand Earth-observation constellation

SAN FRANCISCO – With four satellites scheduled to launch in 2021, Tokyo-based Axelspace Corp. is moving toward its goal of capturing daily, global Earth imagery. “The additional satellites will help us jump the curve by elevating the revisit rate to up to 1.4 days,” Yasunori Yamazaki, Axelspace chief business officer, told SpaceNews by email. Alexspace began commercial operations in 2019 [...]

Virgin Orbit planning second LauncherOne mission for December

WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit is preparing to perform a second flight of its LauncherOne small launch vehicle in the second half of December, carrying a set of NASA-sponsored cubesats. A Nov. 24 “Local Notice to Mariners” by the U.S. Coast Guard stated that Virgin Orbit “will conduct hazardous operations” offshore from San Nicolas Island, California, between Dec. 18 and 21. [...]

AF Week in Photos

This week's photos feature Airmen from around the globe involved in activities supporting expeditionary operations and defending America. This weekly feature showcases the men and women of the Air Force.

Japan’s new H3 launcher delayed by rocket engine component issues

HELSINKI — The first launches of the new Japanese H3 launch vehicle are being delayed by issues with two components of the rocket’s main engine, the country’s space agency confirms. The Japanese space agency JAXA told SpaceNews that problems were found with the new LE-9 engine’s combustion chamber and turbopump. “Fatigue fracture surfaces were confirmed in the apertural area of [...]

Air Force selects next C-130J locations

The Air Force has selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky; McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas; and Savannah ANGB, Georgia as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending the outcome of environmental assessments.

SpaceX ready for Starship suborbital flight as FAA begins new environmental study

WASHINGTON — As SpaceX prepares for the first high-altitude test flight of its Starship reusable launch vehicle, the Federal Aviation Administration is starting a new environmental review required for the company’s future launch vehicle plans. SpaceX performed a brief static-fire test of its Starship SN8 prototype Nov. 24 at its Boca Chica, Texas, test site. After the test, company founder [...]

SpaceX sets new Falcon 9 reuse milestone on Starlink launch

WASHINGTON — SpaceX set a new milestone in Falcon 9 reuse with the latest Starlink satellite launch Nov. 24 as the company seeks permission to deploy Starlink satellites into a new orbit. The Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:13 p.m. Eastern. The rocket’s upper stage released [...]

Traditional launch services may not suit the needs of the future Space Force

WASHINGTON — SpaceX and United Launch Alliance were selected as U.S. national security launch providers based on their ability to deliver spacecraft to specific Earth orbits. How the Pentagon buys launch services in the future could change, however, as the military considers using emerging technologies and services known as “space mobility and logistics.” Col. Robert Bongiovi, the director of the [...]

Telesat and Loral to form Canadian public company

SAN FRANCISCO – Canadian satellite fleet operator Telesat and Loral Space & Communications announced plans Nov. 24 to combine to form Telesat Corp., a Canadian public company, in a deal expected to close next year. Under an agreement with Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), Loral Space & Communications and Telesat Canada will become subsidiaries of Telesat Corp., [...]

Rocket Lab declares success in Electron rocket recovery

WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab says its attempt to recover the first stage from its latest Electron launch was a “complete success,” but that the company still has work to do before it’s ready to attempt to reuse the stage. On Rocket Lab’s latest launch Nov. 19, the rocket’s first stage made a controlled reentry after stage separation, then released a [...]

Germany to become the first foreign military buyer of U.S. jam-resistant GPS receivers

WASHINGTON — Germany has ordered jam-resistant Global Positioning System receivers from the United States military, becoming the first buyer of the advanced GPS user equipment under the Foreign Military Sales program, the U.S. Space and Missile Systems Center announced Nov. 23. Foreign Military Sales is the U.S. government’s program for transferring defense articles, services, and training to international partners. The [...]

Relativity Space raises $500 million

WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle startup Relativity Space has raised a $500 million funding round that the company says will enable it to accelerate its long-term vision of reshaping aerospace manufacturing. Relativity announced Nov. 23 that it raised the $500 million Series D round, led by hedge fund Tiger Global Management. Several new investors joined the round, including Fidelity, Baillie [...]