During the first week of January, U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told SpaceX founder Elon Musk to tell him that it would take another six months to certify the Falcon 9, effectively taking SpaceX out of the running for a U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launch contract worth more than $100 million.
QinetiQ will supply the main computers and avionics for the two-satellite Proba-3 formation-flying mission under a contract with the European Space Agency.
Developing new space capabilities, including low-cost responsive launch, remains a priority for DARPA even as it also works on terrestrial alternatives to critical space-based systems.
More than three months after being directed by Congress to explore new ways of procuring commercial satellite capacity using an unusual and specially authorized funding account, the U.S. Defense Department is struggling to make headway on the initiative.
Dmitry Savin was fired from his post managing construction of the Vostochny Cosmodrome in Russia’s Far East.
NASA said March 28 it welcomed a Russian commitment to continue operations of the International Space Station beyond 2020, but indicated there were no firm plans to work together on a successor space station.
A Europeanized Russian Soyuz rocket on March 27 successfully delivered two European Galileo navigation satellites into orbit, stabilizing a program that was knocked off balance in August when the same vehicle put the two previous Galileo spacecraft into a badly off-target orbit.
The contract in which Orbital ATK will build one, and possibly three, JPSS spacecraft, is just the sort of medium-sized spacecraft the company hoped to compete for when it bought the Gilbert, Arizona, plant.
The Boeing contract is the first for the ComSpoc, which tracks satellite orbits and space debris using a network of optical and radio-frequency sensors combined with proprietary software.
The U.S. Air Force plans to release a final request for proposals in the coming weeks for modems compatible with a new protected tactical waveform that the service developed as part of a long-term strategy to bolster its ability to provide protected communications via military or commercial satellites.
A senior European Commission official said the commission is determined to have 30 Galileo navigation satellites in orbit by 2020, implicitly endorsing the expenditure of 200 million to 300 million euros to purchase four to six more spacecraft this year or next.
Picking an option for the robotic portion of its Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) allows NASA to proceed with development, but does not appear to have won over those skeptical of the mission’s overall utility.