Space 4.0 News

  • ESA restores operations of space science missions
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    WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency has restored operations of four space science missions it placed on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, a move that illustrated how one agency’s actions can affect others. ESA announced March 24 it had suspended operations of the Cluster, ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, Mars… Read more »
  • NASA report outlines vision for long-term human lunar exploration
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    WASHINGTON — NASA released a report April 2 outlining its long-term approach to lunar exploration that involves establishing a “base camp” at the south pole of the moon, but with few details about cost and schedule. NASA prepared the report, “NASA’s Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development,” for the… Read more »
  • Chinese commercial rocket sells for $5.6 million in April Fool’s Day auction
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    HELSINKI — A Chinese commercial Kuaizhou-1A rocket sold for $5.6 million in a live streamed auction hosted by e-commerce platform Taobao Wednesday. Chinese launch service provider Expace combined with Taobao for the April Fool’s Day stunt. 800 people placed a 500,000 yuan down payment inside five minutes, according to CGTN.… Read more »
  • Third Starship prototype destroyed in tanking test
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    WASHINGTON — For the third time in less than five months, a prototype of SpaceX’s Starship next-generation launch vehicle was destroyed in a test at the company’s South Texas facilities April 3, although this failure may an issue with the test itself. The Starship SN3 vehicle was on the pad… Read more »
  • Top enlisted leader Towberman officially joins the U.S. Space Force
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    WASHINGTON — Chief Master Sgt. Roger Towberman on April 3 was sworn in as the top enlisted leader of the U.S. Space Force. In a small enlistment ceremony at the Pentagon, Towberman became the second official member of the U.S. Space Force. Until now, the Space Force only has had… Read more »
  • Space Development Agency to seek bids for its first constellation
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    WASHINGTON — The Space Development Agency intends to select two or more companies later this year to design, build and test a mesh network of up to 20 satellites in low Earth orbit by 2022. This will be the Pentagon-based space agency’s first step toward building a much larger constellation… Read more »
  • Webinar | OneWeb’s Bankruptcy: Impacts and Implications for the Satellite Industry
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    OneWeb, the megaconstellation startup that aimed to deploy 650 LEO satellites to provide global broadband service, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy March 27 with just 74 satellites in orbit. Why did OneWeb fail? What’s likely to become of its assets? Who is positioned to benefit from OneWeb’s bankruptcy? Who stands… Read more »
  • Virgin Orbit selects Japanese airport as launch site
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    WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit announced April 2 it has identified an airport in Japan as a potential site for launch operations, joining airports in the United States and Great Britain as hosts for the air-launch company. Virgin Orbit said that, working with ANA Holdings and Space Port Japan Association, it… Read more »
  • Limited work continues on JWST
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    WASHINGTON — While NASA has resumed some work on the James Webb Space Telescope, project officials say even that limited level of activity will soon come to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic. NASA announced March 20 that it suspended work on the space telescope, which had been undergoing… Read more »
  • NASA planning reorganization of human spaceflight directorate
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    WASHINGTON — NASA is planning to implement changes in the structure of its human spaceflight directorate in the coming weeks, including moving a scientific research program to another part of the agency. During an April 1 presentation at an online meeting of the National Academies’ Committee on Biological and Physical… Read more »
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