Space 4.0 News

  • French startup demonstrates iodine propulsion in potential boost for space debris mitigation efforts
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    HELSINKI — French startup ThrustMe has performed the first on-orbit tests of an innovative iodine-fueled electric propulsion system, proving its ability to change a CubeSat’s orbit. ThrustMe’s NPT30-I2-1U, the first iodine electric propulsion system sent into space, is aboard the Beihangkongshi-1, a 12U CubeSat developed by Chinese commercial satellite maker… Read more »
  • ESA and EU mend relations
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    WASHINGTON — After fraying relations in recent years, officials with the European Union and European Space Agency say they’re committed to rebuilding a more cooperative relationship on space programs. At the 13th European Space Conference Jan. 12, Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market at the European Union, extended an… Read more »
  • Google to shut down Loon
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    WASHINGTON — Google announced Jan. 21 it is shutting down Loon, a venture to provide wireless connectivity by balloon that has been seen as both complementary to and competitive with satellite networks. In a blog post, Astro Teller, head of X, the advanced projects or “moonshot factory” division of Google… Read more »
  • Green propellant successfully demonstrated on NASA mission
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    WASHINGTON — A recent NASA mission successfully demonstrated the performance of a non-toxic “green” propellant, creating opportunities for its use in a wide range of future spacecraft. NASA flew the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) spacecraft as one of the payloads on the Space Test Program 2 mission that launched… Read more »
  • Northrop Grumman test fires solid motor for ULA’s Vulcan rocket
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    WASHINGTON — Northrop Grumman announced Jan. 21 it completed a static firing of the strap-on solid booster it developed for United Launch Alliance’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket.  The test fire of the extended length 63-inch-diameter Graphite Epoxy Motor (GEM 63XL) took place on Thursday at the company’s facility in Promontory,… Read more »
  • Air Force Academy to produce more officers for Space Force
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    WASHINGTON — As many as 116 graduates of the U.S. Air Force Academy this year will join the U.S. Space Force. That is an increase from last year when 86 graduates went to the space service. The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is working to become a space… Read more »
  • Space industry executive calls on Biden to keep the National Space Council
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    WASHINGTON — The chief executive of  Virgin Orbit’s sister company VOX Space called on the Biden administration to continue the National Space Council that former president Donald Trump revived in 2017. “Keeping the National Space Council intact is a good thing to do,” Mandy Vaughn said Jan. 21. VOX Space markets… Read more »
  • Airbus, Thales win second-generation Galileo satellite contracts
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    WASHINGTON — The European Commission announced Jan. 20 it will award contracts to Airbus Defence and Space and Thales Alenia Space to build an initial set of next-generation Galileo navigation satellites, shutting out incumbent manufacturer OHB. Airbus and Thales will each build six of the second-generation Galileo satellites under contracts… Read more »
  • Satellogic signs multi-launch contract with SpaceX
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    WASHINGTON — Earth observation company Satellogic announced Jan. 19 it signed a contract with SpaceX covering several rideshare launches of its satellites through next year. The multiple launch services agreement makes SpaceX Satellogic’s preferred provider for launching its constellation of microsatellites, after previously relying on Chinese, European and Russian vehicles,… Read more »
  • Space challenges for President Biden: Four issues for the next four years
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    As Joe Biden begins the first year of his presidency, there is still much we don’t know about where he and his vice president, Kamala Harris, stand on major issues in civil and national security space. The pandemic and economic recovery are sure to drive Biden’s initial agenda. There are,… Read more »
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