An FAA advisory panel approved a recommendation April 28 calling for no change in current policy that restricts the use of excess intercontinental ballistic missile motors for commercial launch vehicles.
Satellite fleet operator Intelsat on April 28 said tests of its first Epic-class satellite, Intelsat 29e, have confirmed the performance increases the company had been predicting and that the satellite would enter service by late May.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium Communications on April 28 said the contracting team for its second-generation Iridium Next constellation had put past delays behind it and would be ready for a first launch of 10 satellites in late July aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Satellite fleet operator SES on April 29 said it had taken a controlling interest in medium-Earth-orbit broadband constellation O3b Networks, upping its stake to 50.5% from 49.1 percent, for $20 million.
An Arizona company developing stratospheric balloons for tourism and research announced April 28 it has raised $15 million to develop a new type of high-altitude balloon that could serve missions usually handed by satellites.
Internet satellite constellation startup OneWeb LLC on April 28 said it had submitted its license application with U.S. regulators as part of what likely will be a multi-year slog through the world’s capitals as the company seeks global operating rights.
The U.S. Air Force would have access to as many as 18 Russian RD-180 rocket engines under a bill the House Armed Services Committee approved April 28.
Geospatial imagery provider DigitalGlobe Inc. on April 27 reported a sharp increase in business from its 10 Direct Access Partner (DAP) governments in the three months ending March 31 and signed an initial agreement for an 11th DAP customer.
SpaceX has won an $82.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to launch a next-generation GPS satellite aboard its Falcon 9 rocket in May 2018, the first of nine competitive launch awards the Defense Department plans to make in the next three years.
NASA is cutting funding for a Mars landing technology demonstration project by about 85 percent in response to budget reductions to its space technology program and the need to set aside funding within that program for a satellite servicing effort.
Satellite fleet operator SES on April 27 said Internet social-media giant Facebook had leased capacity on three in-orbit SES satellites to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in sub-Saharan Africa.
A draft version of a House policy bill would authorize $3 million for the Air Force to determine if commercial weather data could help meet a wide-range of Defense Department weather requirements.
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