A Senate appropriations bill approved last week provides a modest increase in funding for the federal office that licenses commercial launches, but industry officials argue that the office requires more funding, particularly after the recent SpaceX launch failure.
As interest in the use of cubesats continues to grow, U.S. government agencies are taking very different approaches regarding their use, with some openly embracing them as useful scientific tools and others more skeptical about their effectiveness.
A NASA program originally established to provide suborbital flights for experiments is now expanding its scope to include development of key technologies for the vehicles themselves.
The June 28 failure of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is almost certain to deal a blow to the revenue projections of numerous SpaceX commercial customers that had been basing their results on being in orbit this year or early in 2016.
The cargo lost on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft when its Falcon 9 launch vehicle failed June 28 range from a key piece of hardware for future commercial crew spacecraft to an experiment developed by middle school students, but NASA officials said none of the cargo was critical to the near-term operations of the International Space Station.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket suffered a failure about two minutes after liftoff June 28 on a mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.
OneWeb announced $500 million in equity coming from Indian and Mexican telecommunications providers, ground segment builders, the satellite prime contractor and even from an ostensible competitor in satellite fleet operator Intelsat. Intelsat will now be a OneWeb partner, with the two companies sharing customers and spectrum.
The chairman the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee wants the U.S. Air Force and launch industry to focus narrowly on replacing the Russian-made main engine on United Launch Alliance’s workhorse Atlas 5 rocket, as opposed to investing in various launch vehicle technologies.
NASA’s plan to simplify the Mars 2020 rover’s mission by letting the Curiosity-clone dig up and drop surface samples instead of babysitting them until a fetch rover arrives is starting to win hearts and minds within the agency, NASA’s Mars czar said in a June 25 interview.
The U.S. Defense Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are planning a second space traffic management center to serve as a backup to the existing facility in light of what government officials say are rising threats from China and Russia.
In a June 26 video posted to Kickstarter, Bill Nye announced that the Planetary Society surpassed its stretch goal of $1.24 million to fund the 2016 LightSail mission.
Arianespace won the largest commercial launch contract ever signed — a $1-billion-plus deal to launch between 650 and 720 of OneWeb LLC’s low-orbiting satellites aboard Russian Soyuz rockets — by offering launch bases both at Europe’s spaceport in South America and Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, OneWeb and Arianespace officials said June 25.
Virgin Galactic’s deal for 39 launches of OneWeb satellites is the company’s first contract for its LauncherOne system, its chief executive said June 25.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s plan to launch an experimental weather cubesat in 2016 is in doubt because the agency staked funding for the effort to a program that fared poorly in recent budget bills.