Daily coverage of the global space industry with an emphasis on business and political news.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched a Bulgarian communications satellite June 23, a mission that marked the second time the company reused the rocket’s first stage.
Despite the ongoing development of a fleet of small launch vehicles, both launch providers and customers continue to see demand for flying small satellites as secondary payloads on larger rockets.
The companies signed the contract Thursday with the European Space Agency, which procures the satellites on behalf of the EU.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted June 22 to make OneWeb the first of what will likely be several new non-geosynchronous orbit (NGSO) satellite constellations granted regulatory approval to operate in the United States.
Citing a long-term drought in satellite orders, Space Systems Loral has laid off a number of employees at its California satellite manufacturing facility, the company confirmed June 22.
Rep. Mike Rogers says Air Force "better shape up or they’ll figure out who is in charge here," while Gen. David Goldfein says "now’s not the time to build seems and segregate and separate."
The European Space Agency began funding a reusable rocket engine anticipated to be ready for a test-fire demonstration in 2020, the same year as the first launch of the future Ariane 6 rocket.
Europe’s Space Rider reusable spaceplane is three years or so from its debut, but the European Space Agency is already making plans to privatize the unmanned orbital vehicle. ESA officials said Space Rider could be operating commercially by 2025, flying science payloads and bringing them back to Earth for roughly $9,200 per kilogram.
Scheduled lift off is at 11:59 p.m. Eastern carrying a Cartosat-2 remote-sensing satellite. Also on board will be 30 smallsat secondary payloads from 15 countries.
ESA’s director of telecommunications and integrated applications, Magali Vaissiere, joined 16 European satellite industry leaders at the Paris Air Show June 21 to sign a joint statement on collaborating on the Satellite for 5G initiative. 5G networks will offer extremely low latencies and high capacity, enabling widespread deployment of Internet of Things technologies including autonomous cars, connected factories and smart infrastructure.
Advocates of small satellites argue that such systems could offer a much-need “layer of resiliency” for national security space applications for as little as one percent of current spending on such programs.
SES says its 14-year-old satellite that malfunctioned and strayed from its orbit over the weekend poses no collision or interference danger to other satellites in the vicinity.
Glavkosmos Director General Denis Lyskov said at the Paris Air Show Tuesday that future missions could fly two tourists and one professional cosmonaut, possibly visiting the ISS.
The European Space Agency has formally selected an ambitious space-based gravitational-wave observatory as its next large space science mission, scheduled for launch by 2034.
Mobile satellite services provider Iridium is willing to use pre-flown Falcon 9 first stage boosters for the second half of its fleet replacement if SpaceX can show that reuse will shorten Iridium’s wait for launches.