NASA announced the selection of nine instruments it plans to fly on a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa May 26, but agency officials were vague about whether the instruments, or the overall mission, could meet an aggressive schedule sought by some in Congress.
The chairman of small-satellite pioneer Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) on May 26 said market enthusiasm for small satellites may have gone too far, with satellite development accelerating beyond sustainable business models.
The willingness of United Launch Alliance’s parent companies to fund a next-generation rocket hinges on winning relief from the ban on the Russian-made engine that powers its current government workhorse, the Atlas 5.
The space agency wants to avoid a repeat of what has happened with two of its Earth Explorer missions, ADM-Aeolus and EarthCare.
The Indian government’s Union Cabinet on May 21 approved a budget of $484 million to build and launch 15 PSLV rockets between 2017 and 2020, meeting a demand for 4-5 launches per year “with the possibility of clinching commercial launch service contracts,” according to the office of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
The House of Representatives passed a bill with a number of commercial space policy provisions May 21, despite objections from some Democratic members about the bill’s language and warnings that the Senate is unlikely to adopt it.
Jeffrey R. Tarr says those that survive the inevitable shakeout could become DigitalGlobe imagery partners.
Aquila Space and Astro Digital are preparing to launch four digital imagery satellites in 2016 as they begin forming the Landmapper-BC and Landmapper-HD constellations to gather multispectral imagery for agricultural applications.
The head of the European Space Agency on said the agency’s space debris-mitigation practices will be scrapped unless other space powers follow suit, and that ESA’s one-nation, one-vote principle may need review given the disparity in member contributions.
The Senate Commerce Committee swiftly approved a commercial launch bill May 20 as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on a more expansive, and also more controversial, version of the bill later this week.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill May 20 that provides $18.5 billion for NASA in fiscal year 2016, despite criticism from some members about reductions in the agency’s science and commercial crew programs.
ViaSat said it is facing capacity limits on more than half the beams on its ViaSat-1 satellite and that the situation will worsen until ViaSat-2, slated to launch on a Falcon Heavy rocket next year, is in orbit.
A harmful algal bloom in Lake Erie last summer left Toledo, Ohio, scrambling for bottled water. Now NASA is leading a 5-year campaign to find out how satellites and smartphones can keep other communities from being blindsided by bad water.
Draper Laboratory is getting a fresh $250,000 from NASA to test gravity-imitating spacesuit technology on a commercial parabolic research flight perhaps as soon as this fall.