Space

PASADENA, Calif. — With congressional funding and industry support, nuclear thermal propulsion technology is making progress for potential use on future NASA deep space missions, although how it fits into the agency’s exploration architectures remains uncertain. The House Appropriations Committee approved May 22 a commerce, justice and science (CJS) appropriations bill that offers $22.3 billion
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PASADENA, Calif. — Despite a surge in Chinese launch activity and growth of commercial Chinese launch developers, executives with American companies said they’re not worried about potential competition with them. The issue of Chinese competition has become a particular concern in the last year for small launch vehicle developers. Several private Chinese companies are working
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WASHINGTON — Tethers Unlimited is designing a satellite servicing vehicle that would leverage technologies developed for the U.S. Defense Department and NASA to service spacecraft in low Earth orbit. Tethers Unlimited already has many of the technologies needed for the servicer either completed or in development under Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, CEO Robert
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PASADENA, Calif. — A supplier base of hardware and service vendors sees opportunities for new business from the growing number of satellite and launch vehicle ventures, even if space remains a small part of their overall business. Unlike many other space conferences, the exhibit hall of the Space Tech Expo conference, which opened here May
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ARCADIA, Calif. — SpaceX filed a bid protest in federal court against the government May 17, but most details about the protest, including the specific award being protested, remain undisclosed. SpaceX filed the complaint with the Court of Federal Claims, but requested that the details of the complaint be kept under seal. Even the specific
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WASHINGTON — EchoStar Corp. on May 20 agreed to sell its waning broadcast satellite services business to Dish Networks for $800 million, reshaping EchoStar as a company whose primary focus is on internet connectivity. The sale includes nine satellites — half of EchoStar’s fleet when counting leased payloads — plus employees who handled satellite operations,
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WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency gave contracts to ArianeGroup and MT Aerospace on May 14 to develop a prototype upper stage that could lead to an advanced carbon-composite upgrade for the Ariane 6 rocket. ArianeGroup, the Franco-German company building Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket, and subcontractor MT Aerospace of Augsburg, Germany, received funding repurposed from
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WASHINGTON — A House appropriations subcommittee approved a spending bill May 17 that provides NASA with more than $22.3 billion but largely ignores an administration request for an additional $1.6 billion to support plans for a 2024 human return to the moon. The commerce, justice and science (CJS) subcommittee approved a spending bill for fiscal
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WASHINGTON — NASA announced May 16 it has selected 11 companies to begin studies and initial prototype development of portions of lunar landers the agency hopes can help it meet its 2024 human landing goal. The awards are part of NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) series of broad agency announcements that support
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WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee released a spending bill May 16 that adds more than $1 billion to NASA’s original request but offers little in the way of additional funding for exploration priorities included in the agency’s recent budget amendment. The commerce, justice and science (CJS) appropriation bill, released a day before a markup
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Scientists say that something mysterious punched gigantic, cosmic “bullet holes” in parts of the Milky Way. There’s a string of holes in a long stream of stars called GD-1 that suggests that some yet-undiscovered thing blasted its way through, according to research presented to the American Physical Society last month. Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Ana Bonaca, the
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Each batch of 60 Starlink satellites will bring about a terabit of usable broadband capacity, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. Credit: SpaceX WASHINGTON — SpaceX shared details about its largely secretive Starlink constellation program March 15, providing updated targets for commercial service, details about satellite design and the thought process behind why the company’s
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To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES Singtel reported its lowest profit in 16 years, citing increasing competitive pressure in India and Indonesia. The company’s net profit was 773 million Singaporean dollars ($565 million) for the quarter ended March 31, roughly flat compared to the same three
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WASHINGTON — Eutelsat’s introduction of satellite broadband across Africa faced a string of deployment issues, including a government shutting off internet access during an election, wiping out revenue expectations from that new business line for the year. Eutelsat executives said the challenges getting Konnect Africa off the ground since 2016 are now largely in the
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This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s future satellite constellations are likely to look far different from the current ones, particularly in low Earth orbit where small satellites of various sizes could gather targeted observations. That is one of the conclusions leaders
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VICTORIA, British Columbia —  The Canadian government has selected MDA to design, build and deliver 10 search-an- rescue repeaters for its Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue system to be hosted on the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GPS satellites. The Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system repeater contract is worth 39 million Canadian ($28
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At the University of California, Santa Barbara, researchers with the UCSB Experimental Cosmology Group (ECG) are currently working on ways to achieve the dream of interstellar flight. Under the leadership of Philip Lubin, the group has dedicated a considerable amount of effort towards the creation of an interstellar mission consisting of directed-energy light sail and
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WASHINGTON — An incident involving a test of parachutes for one commercial crew vehicle has heightened awareness of the challenges involved in developing those systems, as well as determining what constitutes an anomaly. During a line of questions at May 8 hearing of the House space subcommittee, a top NASA official said that the parachute
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FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia — The majority of Inmarsat’s shareholders voted May 10 in favor of a $3.3 billion acquisition offer by a consortium of buyers. Some 77 percent of London-based Inmarsat’s shareholders voted in favor of the takeover proposed by private equity firms Apax and Warburg Pincus and Canadian pension firms CPPIB and OTPP. Those shareholders
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