The present-day debate about a policy change to allow the use of ICBM motors to provide lower cost commercial launches mirrors one from the early 1990s.
A battle between two companies over what they thought would be a large contract with the Canadian government for satellite-based maritime surveillance turned out to be a contest for peanuts in which the winner appeared to suffer more than the loser.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket on May 6 successfully placed Sky Perfect JSat’s JCSat-14 commercial telecommunications satellite into transfer orbit, with the rocket’s first stage landing gracefully on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman separate $5 million contracts to demonstrate their ability to build the next batch of GPS 3 positioning, navigation and timing satellites, according to a May 5 announcement from the service.
Satellite and rocket builder Orbital ATK on May 5 said its re-engined Antares medium-lift launch vehicle likely would make its first flight in July and would be nicely profitable for Orbital even if it wins no other customers beyond its current NASA space station resupply business.
MDA Corp. of Canada on May 4 said bidding activity for commercial telecommunications satellites is at record levels and that the company had received seven requests for information (RFI) on terabit-per-second-throughput satellites from prospective customers.
Wednesday's briefing begins with SpaceX disclosing it has been approached by customers interested in flying aboard the maiden launch of Falcon Heavy.
Harris Corp. on May 3 said it has successfully tested a software patch that will upgrade thousands of U.S. military tactical radio terminals to use the higher-throughput MUOS satellite system.
Airbus Defence and Space UK will build the European Space Agency’s Biomass forest-carbon-monitoring satellite under a contract valued at 229 million euros ($260 million), the two parties announced May 3.
The White House has endorsed a proposal where the FAA would provide oversight of “non-traditional” commercial space activities, eliminating a policy barrier for proposed missions beyond Earth orbit.
The European and Russian space agencies on May 2 said their joint ExoMars 2018 mission carrying a rover and an experiment-filled landing platform to Mars would not be ready in time and would be delayed to July 2020.
SpaceX’s new price chart shows the performance cost incurred when making the Falcon 9 Full Thrust and Falcon Heavy rockets partially reusable.
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.