With three missions launched in 2014 and two scheduled to fly in January 2015, NASA is making significant progress reinvigorating its fleet of Earth observation satellites and space-based instruments.
"I think the characterization of this as a massive leap and the first step on our way to Mars is disingenuous," former NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver told MSNBC.
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is putting up a $5 million prize purse to encourage private teams to send small satellites to and beyond lunar space as ride-along payloads on the first launch of the SLS and Orion.
Aspiring private weather satellite operators who want to sell data to NOAA pitch their services as a supplement, not a competitor, to the government-operated satellites that contribute most of the space-based data used in U.S. weather forecasting.
Thales Alenia Space will build the SWOT ocean-altimetry satellite as part of a U.S.-French collaboration and Airbus Defence and Space will build the Merlin methane-detecting satellite as part of a joint Franco-German program under contracts expected to be signed in the coming weeks.
The European Space Agency has created a board of inquiry to determine the cause of a last-minute decision by French authorities to cancel the launch of an experimental suborbital vehicle because of range-safety concerns.
The second of the two navigation satellites will be moved by late December.
Eumetsat is funding Jason CS for Continuity of Service, as an optional program, meaning nations contribute as they see fit.