NASA is mulling plans to replace the International Space Station’s Zvezda propulsion module in case the Russian government makes good on its recently announced plan to abandon the orbital outpost after 2024, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said March 5.
Space debris experts at the European Space Agency said March 4 that they have concluded the explosive breakup of a U.S. Air Force weather satellite last month does not present a threat to nearby ESA spacecraft.
The British government March 3 trimmed a list of potential sites for a commercial spaceport to six, although the public corporation that operates two airports on the list says it is not interested in pursuing a spaceport.
Although the U.S. Air Force hasn’t concluded its investigation of the Feb. 3 incident that caused a 20-year-old military weather satellite to strew debris, experts say the public details are consistent with a catastrophic battery failure.
United Launch Alliance intends to phase out all but the heavy-lift version of its Delta 4 rocket as early as 2018 as it seeks to sharpen its competitiveness in the face of a challenge by SpaceX.
Iridium Communications has pushed back the inaugural launch of its second-generation constellation to October, saying payload-software issues need more time to validate.
In April 2004, a 13-year-old Defense Meteorological Satellite Program spacecraft dubbed DMSP-F11 experienced a similarly catastrophic failure that produced 56 pieces of cataloged space debris.