Space

“All problems become smaller when you confront them instead of dodging them.” — William F. Halsey Once a safe haven, the space above Earth’s atmosphere is congested and contested — and the problem is getting worse. A determined adversary can disable or eliminate a satellite it views as a threat. As the national security of
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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spacecraft that provides space weather data and Earth imagery is back in service, nine months after suffering a technical problem. NOAA announced March 2 that the Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, spacecraft had resumed normal operations. That includes providing key data used in space weather
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Technology advances. Nations sometimes lead the way, sometimes struggle to keep up, and sometimes fall behind. Government officials make choices that enable technology to flourish in their country, cause it to wither on the vine, or force it to flee overseas. While some government leaders create barriers that slow down innovation, other nations adopt leap-frog
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WASHINGTON — A top NASA official said Feb. 28 he expects the first flight of the Space Launch System to take place in the second half of 2021, a later date than prior agency statements. Speaking at the kickoff meeting of the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, NASA
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WASHINGTON — A second prototype of SpaceX’s Starship launch vehicle was destroyed in a pressurization test Feb. 28 at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas, facility. Video from several observers showed the vehicle bursting at about 11 p.m. Eastern. The vehicle, without its nose cone or with any Raptor engines yet installed, was on a test
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The award is for a new program named MOSSAIC, short for maintenance of space situational awareness integrated capabilities. WASHINGTON — L3Harris has been awarded a 10-year $1.2 billion contract by the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center to maintain and modernize the military’s network of space surveillance sensors. The award is for a
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Elon Musk insisted reusable launch vehicles are “absolutely fundamental” to achieving whatever space ambitions the military might have, including staying ahead of China. ORLANDO, Fla. — In his first appearance at a military conference since the establishment of the U.S. Space Force, SpaceX founder Elon Musk gave his usual pitch on the virtues of reusable
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TOP STORIES Sea Launch’s mobile Odyssey launchpad was loaded onto a cargo ship, the Xin Guang Hua, for transport from California. The 46,000-ton launchpad, last used in 2014, is expected to arrive near Vladivostok, Russia, in March. Russian aviation company S7 Group completed its purchase of Sea Launch in 2018. [Gazettes/TASS/@MXSOCAL] EchoStar, Khosla Ventures and OneWeb
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WASHINGTON — NASA is asking companies in its commercial lunar landing services program to bid on delivering a NASA rover whose launch has been slightly delayed. NASA announced Feb. 25 it was asking the 14 companies that are part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program to bid on a task order for sending
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WASHINGTON — Virgin Galactic executives suggested Feb. 25 that the beginning of commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle might slip again, even as the company starts planning to resume ticket sales. The company, which became publicly traded in October after closing a merger with special-purpose acquisition company Social Capital Hedosophia, released its fourth quarter
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Northrop Grumman is the only bidder for GBSD after Boeing dropped out of the competition. WASHINGTON — Defense and space contractor Kratos and the engineering firm Bechtel have joined Northrop Grumman’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent team to develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile for the U.S. Air Force. Bechtel will provide launch system design, construction
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WASHINGTON — Australia’s nascent launch industry says it would like to see the country’s government provide more financial and regulatory support to help it get established in the global market. In a panel discussion during the Ninth Australian Space Forum in Adelaide Feb. 18, leaders of launch vehicle companies and spaceport operators in the country
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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin will acquire the satellite technology assets of Vector by default after a bankruptcy court received no qualified bids by a deadline last week. In a Feb. 24 filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, lawyers overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings for Vector said that they received no
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WASHINGTON — Engineers plan to use the robotic arm on its InSight Mars lander to push a heat flow probe into the surface, acknowledging that they have “few alternatives” if that effort fails. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument team has spent nearly a year trying to get the instrument’s probe, or “mole,”
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Civil aviation is one of the premiere success stories of the 20th century. Airmail was authorized by the US government in 1911 and began scheduled service in 1918. The federal government then authorized private contractors to carry the mail in 1925. An aviation boom followed. With the establishment of passenger airline service — initiated by
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Satellite builders booked more commercial orders in 2019 than the prior two years combined, but the industry remains in flux This article originally appeared in the Jan. 20, 2020 issue of SpaceNews magazine. Manufacturers are hopeful that 2019 marked the beginning of a turnaround for geostationary satellite orders, even though their market remains fraught with
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Building a military space culture may not require mass transfers of Army, Navy units to the Space Force The creation of the U.S. Space Force is a historic event, but many years of hard work lie ahead before we know what form the new service will take. One unanswered question that will shape the new
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WASHINGTON — Spaceflight Industries’ decision to sell its rideshare launch services company, Spaceflight, to two Japanese firms will benefit both Spaceflight and its parent company, executives of the two companies say. Spaceflight Industries announced Feb. 11 that it had an agreement to sell Spaceflight to Japanese companies Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Yamasa Co., Ltd.,
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WASHINGTON — Arianespace completed its third launch of the year Feb. 18, sending a Japanese communications satellite and a South Korean weather satellite into geostationary transfer orbits.  An Ariane 5 rocket lifted off at 5:18 p.m. Eastern from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana with Sky Perfect JSAT’s JCSAT-17 satellite and the South
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WASHINGTON — Space Adventures announced Feb. 18 that it has an agreement with SpaceX to fly a dedicated Crew Dragon mission that would send four space tourists on a mission to a relatively high Earth orbit. Virginia-based Space Adventures, best known for arranging flights of private individuals to the International Space Station on Soyuz spacecraft,
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