After weather and equipment delays earlier in the week, NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) successfully launched Jan. 31 aboard one of the last remaining United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rockets. SMAP launched at 9:22 a.m. from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base and separated from Delta 2's upper stage about an hour after liftoff.
The X Prize Foundation awarded more than $5 million in intermediate prizes to five teams competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition Jan. 26, but those teams’ achievements varied widely, even in the same category of the competition.
The level of mistrust and disdain between the European Space Agency and the European Commission shows no sign of subsiding despite European governments’ reaffirmation that ESA would remain an independent body.
The U.S. Air Force called off a high-profile competition to launch a spy satellite but now intends to put as many as 10 individual launch contracts up for bid between now and the end of 2017.
The U.S. Air Force plans to order two more GPS 3 satellites under its existing contract with Lockheed Martin but envisions putting subsequent positioning, navigation and timing satellites up for bid.
The head of Boeing said Jan. 28 that SpaceX’s growing presence in the space industry will force his company to be more competitive in some segments of the market, but that Boeing would retain its edge in more advanced segments.
Satellite fleet operator SES said it is likely to trade its midyear launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for a slot later in the year rather than be the first to fly a Falcon 9 with Merlin 1D engines adjusted for improved thrust.
Launch of NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite has again been another 24 hours, this time because of an issue with the satellite’s Delta 2 launch vehicle, launch provider United Launch Alliance announced late Thursday (Jan. 29).
Spire expects its constellation of 100-plus cubesat-class satellites to do for weather forecasts what online mapping did for getting directions.
More than one-third of the critical components embedded in European satellites, when measured by cost, are non-European, most of them provided by U.S. companies.