Space

WASHINGTON — After a difficult year that saw its stock price plummet and the future of its geostationary satellite business questioned, the head of Maxar Technologies says he’s optimistic about the future of both that satellite business and the overall company. Speaking at the G.research Aerospace & Defense Conference Sept. 5 in New York, Dan
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PARIS — Boeing has joined the growing list of manufacturers offering smaller satellites for geostationary orbit, saying new digital payload technology can reduce the weight of its typical communications spacecraft by half. Boeing’s small GEO satellites will weigh roughly 1,900 kilograms unfueled, relying on reprogrammable, software-defined payloads that are considerably smaller than earlier technologies, Eric
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WASHINGTON — Shareholders in British satellite operator Avanti voted overwhelmingly to remove the company from the London Stock Exchange, agreeing with management that the company is better off privately held. Avanti is the third satellite operator to withdraw from public trading this year, following AsiaSat, which delisted from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Sept. 5, and
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India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission lander descended as planned to an altitude of 2.1 kilometers above the lunar surface before communications were lost. HELSINKI — India’s bid to become the fourth country to land on the moon ended with loss of contact with the Chandrayaan-2 mission lander during the final stages of the Sept. 6 landing attempt.
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NCISCO — Xenesis, a Chicago laser communications startup, announced an agreement Sept. 3 with Hartwell Capitol Consulting of Woodbridge, Virginia, to sell optical transceivers in key markets. Under the four-year, $212.5 million deal, Hartwell Capitol will distribute Xen-Hub, Xenesis’ optical communications transceiver, in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Israel, India, Australia, Nigeria, Mexico, Singapore and
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The US President has tweeted an American spy satellite image. After some sleuthing, astronomers were able to figure out which satellite it came from: a (formerly) top-secret satellite called USA 224, an optical reconnaissance satellite. Trump’s tweet unwittingly revealed some of the capabilities of American satellite imagery. USA 224 has been kept top-secret for national security
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WASHINGTON — Eutelsat Communications has quit the C-Band Alliance, fracturing the group of global satellite operators as a regulatory decision on their spectrum plan nears.  Paris-based Eutelsat did not say why it chose to leave the alliance, now comprised only of Intelsat, SES and Telesat. In a brief Sept. 3 statement, Eutelsat said it “announces
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WASHINGTON — The telescope for a major NASA astrophysics mission has passed a key review that the agency says keeps it on track for launch in the mid-2020s despite uncertainty about its funding for 2020 and beyond. NASA announced Aug. 28 that the telescope assembly for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission passed
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Third Kuaizhou-1A mission follows a period of new companies and light launch vehicles reaching the pad and competing for limited commercial contracts in China. HELSINKI — A commercial Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched two satellites late Friday, continuing a recent intense period of light launch vehicle activity in China. The Kuaizhou-1A launched from a mobile platform at
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Here’s a simple how-to on how to construct a traversable cosmic wormhole that could send your spaceship to the furthest reaches of space: take two charged black holes, place them back to back, and thread two cosmic strings through both. Stretch both strings to infinity and presto! You’ve got yourself a traversable wormhole. Confused yet?
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WASHINGTON — NASA’s partners in the International Space Station remain committed to participating in the lunar Gateway despite changes to the program earlier this year that could delay their contributions to the outpost. In an Aug. 28 statement, members of the station’s Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), which includes the five space agencies involved in the
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Last Wednesday, a gravitational wave detection gave astronomers quite the surprise. As researchers were going about their work at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a pair of gravitational waves rolled in just minutes apart. The first, labelled S190828j, was picked up by all three of LIGO’s gravitational wave detectors at 06:34 am, coordinated universal time. The
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WASHINGTON — Members of the InSight mission team are using a break in spacecraft operations to study new ways to get one of the spacecraft’s key instruments to resume burrowing into the Martian surface. Scientists and engineers involved with InSight’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument have been working for the last several months
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WASHINGTON — Japanese satellite operator Sky Perfect JSAT said it is focusing on a wide range of growth initiatives as fiber optic cable expansion and smartphone video viewing habits make its satellite broadcasting business increasingly difficult.  JSAT has lost more than half a million satellite television subscribers since 2013, when that business reached 3.83 million
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WASHINGTON — Orbion Space Technology announced Aug. 28 it raised a $9.2 million Series A round to develop and mass produce Hall-effect plasma thrusters for small satellites.  Material Impact, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments, led the round, with Invest Michigan, Invest Detroit, Wakestream Ventures, Ann Arbor Spark, and Boomerang Catapult also participating. 
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SAN FRANCISCO – Capella Space, a startup building a constellation of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites, is joining SpaceNet, a nonprofit focused on geospatial applications for artificial intelligence. Since SpaceNet was established in 2016 by CosmiQ Works, the In-Q-Tel organization focused on commercial space, it has provided free high-resolution electro-optical satellite imagery, advertised challenges and
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