2013 Year in Review | September

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Orbital launches its Cygnus spacecraft to the international space station for the first time. The spacecraft reaches the outpost to deliver its first cache of cargo and pick up trash for disposal.

Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, says a contract award to support the service’s two main launch ranges has been delayed to the second quarter of 2014. 

Blue Origin protests NASA’s plan to lease former space shuttle launch pad 39A.

Japan’s Epsilon small-satellite launch vehicle successfully completes its inaugural flight.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration produces a draft safety document intended to guide future discussions of commercial spaceflight regulations.

An MIT study concludes there is no clear link between solar activity and the failure of satellite solid-state power amplifiers, but says more research is needed.

The third in a series of Lockheed Martin-built AEHF secure U.S. military communications satellites launches aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

Telesat of Canada selects Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ H-2A rocket to launch the Telstar 12 Vantage high-throughput satellite, a rare commercial win for H-2A.

The GAO reports the U.S. government expects to spend nearly $44 billion on launch costs over the next five years.

Former space shuttle pilot Gregory H. Johnson takes over as executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages non-NASA science aboard the space station.

Orbital sues Virginia for $16.5 million the company says it shelled out to help cover cost overruns incurred in building the Antares launch pad on Wallops Island, Va. 

A German court and international arbitration panel side with SES against Eutelsat regarding 500 megahertz of disputed spectrum at 28.5 degrees east.