An Israeli team participating in the Google Lunar X Prize competition has a contract to launch its spacecraft on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2017, the first launch contract officially confirmed by the prize’s organizers.
Orbital ATK will be the sole provider of solid-rocket boosters for United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 and next-generation Vulcan rockets starting around 2019, the companies announced Sept. 22.
A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office Sept. 21 concluded that the Federal Aviation Administration has not provided enough information about the workload of its commercial space office to justify the $1.5 million in additional funding it requested for 2016.
Despite passing legislation that would extend key provisions of commercial launch law, the House and Senate have yet to start efforts to reconcile their separate bills, a leading House Democrat said Aug. 25.
The U.S. Senate approved a bill Aug. 4 that extends two key provisions of commercial launch law as well as authorizes operations of the International Space Station beyond 2020, but the bill will have to be reconciled with a House bill that is more generous to industry.
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.
Op-ed | Congress Can Help the Commercial Launch Industry This Week if We’re All Willing To Work Together
An amendment offered by Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) would replace the text of the House Republicans' SPACE Act with the bipartisan Senate commercial space bill.
The Russian Satellite Communications Co. (RSCC) said its large Express-AM6 satellite is fully operational six months after a launch during which the upper stage of its Proton rocket was suspected of underperforming.
Developing new space capabilities, including low-cost responsive launch, remains a priority for DARPA even as it also works on terrestrial alternatives to critical space-based systems.