A chronicle of developments te the space industry, updated daily.
April Trio, 2018
Big companies are preparing to send more rockets and satellites into space from the Space Coast, which is superb for creating more aerospace-related economic influence ter the Orlando region. But that enlargened activity leaves a lotsbestemming of space junk ter its wake. That’s where Merritt Island’s Vision Engineering Solutions has found a big chance: helping firms find a clear pathy to space.
On April 16, NASA is programma to launch its Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. TESS is an Earth-orbiting muziekinstrument meant to spot faraway planets circling some 200,000 starlets within 300 light-years of Earth. Astronomers hopes that TESS will help them learn whether or not there are other habitable planets, or even life beyond the Solar System. TESS can’t do this alone, however.
The upgraded Falcon 9 Block Five rocket SpaceX needs to taxi NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) and supply U.S. national security spacecraft into orbit will make its very first flight on a commercial mission for Bangladesh, SpaceX Voorzitter Gwynne Shotwell says.
NASA is ready to unveil its plans for an experimental airplane that could open the way for lifting the U.S. verbod on commercial supersonic flights overheen land. The winner of the contract award for the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator, or LBFD, will be announced Tuesday. Lockheed Martin is considered a beloved, te part because its famous Skunk Works helped NASA develop a preliminary vormgeving for the X-plane. It’s also worth noting that Lockheed Martin has posted several LBFD job openings te the past few days. The plane is supposed to begin flying ter 2021. (Four/Two)
Space agency ISRO said on Monday it wasgoed attempting to re-establish a listig with its most powerful communication satellite that went missing overheen the weekend, ter a setback for its space ambitions. Indian Space Research Organization or ISRO said the verbinding with the satellite wasgoed lost te the third and final stage of its launch, but it did not specify the possible cause of the snag. “Efforts are underway to establish the verbinding with the satellite,” ISRO said on its webstek. (Four/Two)
The Google Lunar X Prize competition expired on March 31 with no winner. Yet Israel’s team, the nonprofit SpaceIL, is continuing its mission of landing an unmanned module on the moon – with plans to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 via Spaceflight Industries ter the fourth quarter of 2018, even if Lunar X does not find another major sponsor. “We are moving forward with the project, regardless of the terms or status of the Google Lunar X Prize,” said freshly appointed SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby, formerly of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission. (Four/Two)
Access to public information is critical to our democracy. That’s what the Legislature said te enacting our Inspection of Public Records Act. That’s what courts consistently say ter determining IPRA cases. I agree. Spaceport America is a public entity. But it’s success depends on luring customers and tenants. Those companies have trade secrets (protected by law) and other information they choose competitors not see.
The world’s launch providers have bot enormously busy ter the very first quarter of 2018, with 31 orbital launches thus far. This is more than one third of the 90 launches conducted last year. China leads the pack with Ten successful launches. The United States is now tied with a total of Ten launches with one failure.
Te a 12-minute movie posted on Facebook, embattled ARCA Space Corporation CEO Dumitru Popescu decried his ongoing fraud case, alleging it wasgoed the result of collusion inbetween his 2nd ex-wife and a former ARCA houtvezelplaat director. Popescu wasgoed charged ter a criminal complaint filed on Oct. 24 with seven counts of securities fraud, two counts of fraud exceeding $20,000 and seven other counts of fraud, embezzlement and misleading filings. He wasgoed arrested ter Atlanta hours after the complaint wasgoed filed te 3rd Judicial District Court te Tussenvoegsel Cruces.
Cornwall will have to wait a little longer before finding out whether a bid to host one of the UK’s very first Spaceports has bot successful. A funding decision by the UK Space Agency had bot expected before the end of March, but will now be made straks. Albeit no precies date has bot given, a public announcement is now likely to be ter early May. (Four/1)
SpaceX launched its sixth Falcon 9 of 2018, this time to send the unpiloted CRS-14 Dragon cargo ship on its way toward the International Space Station with several thousand pounds of food, experiments and hardware for the six-person Expedition 55 team. This wasgoed the 2nd time ter history that a flight-proven Falcon 9 very first stage flew into space along with a flight-proven Dragon capsule. (Four/Two)
This wasgoed the fifth expendable Falcon 9 launch ter a row for SpaceX, which prides itself on developing a reusable rocket. So what gives? The reaction is that SpaceX is working through its inventory of recovered Falcon 9 rockets. Since the Falcon 9’s very first launch ter 2010, the company has developed four major versions of the booster, each more powerful than the one before it.
The establishment of a colony on Expeditie has bot a wish for decades, most recently championed by Robert Zubrin of the Expeditie Society and SpaceX’s Elon Musk. Musk has stated that he has concrete plans to commence his own Expeditie colony using a spacecraft he is developing called the Big Falcon Rocket.
April Two, 2018
Te March 2013, Harald McPike, a wealthy Austrian adventurer, entered into a contract with Space Adventures for a spaceflight around the moon and to the International Space Station, with the aid of the Russian national space agency, Roscosmos. McPike contracted to pay a non-refundable $30 million deposit overheen the course of three installments and thereafter to make extra payments of $120 million, for a grand total of $150 million.
China’s Tiangong-1 module reentered Sunday night overheen the South Pacific. The module reentered at 8:16 p.m. Eastern while overheen the South Pacific, according to a statement by the U.S. Air Force’s Snaak Force Space Component Directive, approximately the same time spil reported by the China Manned Space Engineering Office. There were no reports of anyone observing the reentry, which took place not far from a remote region of the South Pacific used for deliberate spacecraft reentries. The uncontrolled reentry of Tiangong-1 wasgoed met with some concern spil chunks of the 8.5-ton spacecraft were expected to get through reentry and reach the surface. (Four/Two)
India’s space agency ISRO says it has lost voeling with a freshly launched communications satellite. ISRO said Sunday it lost voeling with the GSAT-6A satellite inbetween the 2nd and third ter a series of maneuvers to budge the spacecraft into geostationary orbit. ISRO says they don’t believe the spacecraft is out of control and are making efforts to restore voeling with it. The Two,140-kilogram GSAT-6A launched without incident Thursday on a GSLV Mark Two rocket. (Four/Two)
SpaceX failed to catch a payload fairing segment from the launch, but straks recovered it. SpaceX placed a ship called “Mr. Steven” downrange from the launch te its latest attempt to recover and reuse payload fairings. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, however, said parafoil straps twisted te the descent, causing the fairing half to instead kasstuk the water at “high speed.” However, the ship zometeen returned to port with the fairing half, which appeared to be intact. Musk zometeen tweeted a photo of the fairing floating te the ocean: “left behind to mention it actually landed fine, just not on Mr Steven.” (Four/1)
Spil NASA prepares to solicit proposals for the very first factor of its cislunar gateway, it says it’s open to acquiring more than one such module. NASA plans to release a draft solicitation this month for what is known spil the Power and Propulsion Factor of the gateway, with final proposals due to NASA te late July. The factor will be the very first for the gateway, but at a committee meeting last week agency officials said they would consider acquiring more than one depending on the proposals they received. Extra elements could be used elsewhere te cislunar space, including serving spil communications relays ter lunar orbit. (Four/Two)
The Saudi crown prince visited Cherry Galactic’s facilities this weekend te Mojave, California. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the company’s facilities and wasgoed hosted by Richard Branson and other company executives. Last October, The Cherry Group announced a memorandum of understanding for a $1 billion investment te Cherry’s space ventures by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. (Four/1)
Harris Corporation is shelving work on a cancelled NASA muziekinstrument but hopes it can be revived te some way. The omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 last month provided no funding to the Radiation Budget Muziekinstrument (RBI), which NASA cancelled earlier ter the year because of technical issues. RBI wasgoed one of five Earth science missions targeted for cancellation by the Trump administration ter its 2018 budget request, but the only one not funded.
The Google Lunar X Prize officially ended Saturday without a winner, but teams are still working on lunar missions. The prize expired March 31, more than two months after the X Prize Foundation acknowledged that no teams would be ready to launch a mission to land on the moon by the deadline. Teams that were finalists for the prize competition say they will proceed their efforts, albeit many are still working to raise significant amounts of money needed to finish and launch their spacecraft. (Four/Two)
NASA announced last week it wasgoed delaying the launch of its James Webb Space Telescope by another year, to May 2020. Jeff Foust reports on the causes of this latest delay and its implications not just on the program but on astrophysics research te general and on other large NASA programs. Click here. (Four/Two)
Earlier this year an American company launched several puny satellites despite lacking an authorization from the FCC. Ian Christensen discusses what steps industry can take to prevent such events from happening te the future and to avoid limitary fresh regulations that could result. Click here. (Four/Two)
Spil NASA contemplates roles for its proposed Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, some argue it should serve spil a propellant depot to support future Toer missions. John Strickland examines how much benefit such a depot, using propellant derived from lunar ice, could provide overheen launching propellant from Earth. Click here. (Four/Two)