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

Policy experts named for DoD space, missile defense posts

WASHINGTON — David Zikusoka, aerospace research fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, will serve as special assistant at the office of the assistant secretary of defense for space policy, CSBA announced Jan. 20.  The assistant secretary of defense for space policy is a new post under the undersecretary of defense for policy that Congress directed in the [...]

SpaceX surpasses 1,000-satellite mark in latest Starlink launch

WASHINGTON — SpaceX launched its latest set of Starlink satellites Jan. 20, bringing the total number of spacecraft launched so far for that broadband constellation to more than 1,000. The Falcon 9 lifted off at 8:02 a.m. Eastern from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. The rocket’s upper stage deployed the payload of 60 Starlink satellites 65 minutes [...]

Bridenstine, departing NASA, hopes Artemis continues

WASHINGTON — Jim Bridenstine used part of his final full day as NASA administrator to call on the incoming administration to continue the Artemis program and return humans to the moon. A Jan. 19 briefing on the Green Run static-fire test of the Space Launch System three days earlier became an opportunity for Bridenstine, who leaves the agency Jan. 20 [...]

Rocket Lab launches secretive communications satellite for OHB

Updated 2:45 p.m. Eastern with OHB statement. WASHINGTON — Rocket Lab successfully launched a communications satellite for German company OHB Group Jan. 20 in the first Electron mission of the year. The Electron lifted off from the company’s Launch Complex 1 at Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, at 2:26 a.m. Eastern after a brief delay because of gusty winds. Rocket Lab [...]

Biden’s Defense nominee embraces view of space as a domain of war

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. “If confirmed, I will ensure the space domain is carefully considered across the range of upcoming strategic reviews,” Austin said in a statement submitted [...]

Former U.S. Air Force secretary Heather Wilson joins Maxar’s board of directors

WASHINGTON — Former secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson has joined the board of directors of Maxar Technologies, the company announced Jan. 19.  Wilson currently is president of the University of Texas El Paso. She was the Air Force’s top civilian from May 2017 through May 2019 and previously was a congresswoman representing New Mexico.  Wilson was appointed to [...]

SLS Green Run static fire cut short by “intentionally conservative” test limits

WASHINGTON — A static-fire test of the Space Launch System core stage ended early Jan. 16 when a hydraulic system for one its four engines hit an “intentionally conservative” limit during the test. In a Jan. 19 statement, NASA said the hydraulic system for Engine 2 on the core stage “exceeded the pre-set test limits that had been established” for [...]

Redwire acquires Oakman Aerospace

SAN FRANCISCO – Redwire has acquired Oakman Aerospace, a Littleton, Colorado firm known for digital engineering and spacecraft development. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition announced Jan. 19 is the latest sign that Redwire is continuing to move rapidly to establish a multifaceted space company. “Oakman Aerospace adds a critical capability in digital engineering that will significantly [...]

China’s iSpace advances with IPO plans, reusable launcher landing leg tests

HELSINKI — Chinese private rocket firm iSpace is planning an IPO while also making progress on technology for a reusable launch vehicle. Beijing-based iSpace is planning to file an initial public offering on the Science and Technology Innovation Board (STAR Market), a market established in 2019 to support tech companies. STAR Market announced the move Jan.12 (Chinese) naming CITIC Securities [...]

Boeing Starliner completes software requalification

WASHINGTON — Boeing has completed a requalification of software on its commercial crew spacecraft as it prepares to launch the vehicle on a second test flight as soon as late March. Boeing announced Jan. 18 it completed a “formal requalification” of the software on its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. That work included reviews of the software itself as well as the [...]

Aurora Insight to launch cubesats for RF sensing

SAN FRANCISCO – Aurora Insight, a Denver startup that gathers data on terrestrial and satellite communications, plans to launch the first of two cubesats on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission scheduled for liftoff Jan. 22. Satellite manufacturer NanoAvionics built the six-unit cubesats, Bravo and Charlie, and integrated them with Aurora Insight sensors. “We deploy sensors at fixed sites like [...]

Virgin Orbit reaches orbit on second LauncherOne mission

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 at 1:38 p.m. Eastern with [...]