Exotrail wins ESA contracts • SmartSky suing ATG equipment contractor • Eutelsat executive steps down
To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES French propulsion startup Exotrail has signed two contracts with the European Space Agency for its smallsat electric propulsion technology. Under the first contract, Exotrail said it will “accelerate the qualification and flight demonstration” of its 150-Watt ExoMG-Micro thruster. The second contract calls for [...]
WASHINGTON — Intelsat has signed a satellite contract with Maxar Technologies, placing the final order in a one-time surge in manufacturing deals triggered by the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming C-band spectrum auction. Maxar will build the Intelsat-37 communications satellite at its Palo Alto, California, factory on a 1300-class platform, Intelsat said Sept. 17. Intelsat-37 is the last of 13 satellites [...]
WASHINGTON — Mangata Networks, a broadband megaconstellation venture created by former OneWeb Satellites CEO Brian Holz, is one of 16 startups newly added the 5G Open Innovation Lab, an ideas-and-partnership incubator founded earlier this year by T-Mobile, Intel and NASA to help unleash the potential of 5G mobile networks. Mangata said Sept. 16 that inclusion in the nontraditional accelerator will [...]
The updated policy, which is effective immediately, increases flexibility with lactation breaks and also mandates access to a refrigerator for the purpose of storing human milk.
HELSINKI — China has initiated preparations to launch Chang’e-5, a mission seeking to collect and return the first lunar samples since the 1970s. Chang’e-5 aims to collect and return around two kilograms of lunar samples and was earlier slated for launch before the end of 2020. Ship tracking and satellite data now indicate that China is readying for launch in [...]
SAN FRANCISCO – Xage Security, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity startup, announced a contract Sept. 17 to develop evaluate and prepare a data protection strategy for the U.S. Space Force Xage won a $743,000 phase two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from AFWERX, the U.S. Air Force organization charged with spurring innovation. Under the contract awarded in June, Xage will [...]
WASHINGTON — The longtime president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is stepping down next month to become an executive with one of the organization’s member companies. The CSF announced Sept. 17 that Eric Stallmer will leave the organization in late October to become executive vice president for government relations and public policy at Voyager Space Holdings, a holding company [...]
WASHINGTON — The Department of Energy and NASA are meeting regularly to investigate how they can cooperate on technologies that go beyond their long-standing work on nuclear power systems. The two agencies held a roundtable Sept. 15 at the University of Tulsa to discuss both how they are working together as well as how they can cooperate with university researchers [...]
WASHINGTON — Pacific theater Air Force commander Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach said one of the items on his wish list are low-orbiting surveillance satellites to help track targets on the ground, at sea and in the air. “Yes, I am absolutely in favor of more space-based ISR,” said Wilsbach, the commander of Pacific Air Forces at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. ISR is [...]
WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman received a $298 million contract to develop a jam-resistant military satellite to supplement and eventually replace the existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellites made by Lockheed Martin. The Space and Missile Systems Center announced the contract award Sept. 16 for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program, known as Evolved Strategic Satcom. The satellite has to [...]
In addition to the discussion of fitness and testing, the session also touched on issues ranging from the force’s resilience and mental health, to how the Air Force will cope with budget uncertainty this fall and winter, diversity, and how to reshape the service to confront peer adversaries, among others.
WASHINGTON — As Nanoracks puts the finishing touches on an airlock that will be installed on the International Space Station later this year, the company is finalizing a new funding round. The Bishop airlock module is undergoing final preparations at Nanoracks’ headquarters in Houston. The module will be shipped later this month to Florida to be integrated with a SpaceX [...]
WASHINGTON — The AEHF-6 military communications satellite launched March 26 has completed on-orbit testing and will be turned over to U.S. Space Command for additional tests before the spacecraft can be declared operational, the program manager told SpaceNews Sept. 16. “We are going to start operational testing with the users,” said Col. John Dukes, head of the Space Production Corps’ [...]
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass spoke via live broadcast on Sept. 16 during the Air Force Association 2020 Virtual Air, Space & Cyber conference.
During his Matrix-inspired virtual keynote, Roper discussed the accomplishments and the future of acquisition for the Department of the Air Force while calling for disruptive agility in order to remain competitive in an ever-innovating global security environment.