2013 Year in Review | August

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NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, a polarizing figure at times but often credited as the most influential deputy ever to work at the agency, resigns after four years.

After more than a year without launching, the Russian-Ukrainian Dnepr rocket, a converted silo-launched missile, places South Korea’s Kompsat-5/Arirang-5 radar Earth observation satellite into orbit.

The U.S. Air Force releases its final request for proposals for a hosted payload contracting vehicle designed to standardize the processes for placing dedicated military capabilities aboard commercial satellites.

NASA announces it will reactivate the dormant Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope for a three-year mission to hunt for asteroids — including possible targets for the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.

A failed reaction wheel effectively ends the Kepler Space Telescope’s primary mission to search for faraway worlds. However, NASA allows the Kepler team to craft a proposal to continue operations in its hobbled state.

The U.S. Air Force shuts down its existing Space Surveillance System network of ground-based radars, informally known as the space fence, in a cost-cutting move.

U.S. President Barack Obama nominates former NASA astronaut Kathryn Sullivan to become the permanent head of NOAA. Sullivan took over as acting administrator in February from Janet Lubchenco, who resigned.

Ellen Stofan, a planetary geologist, takes over as NASA’s chief scientist. 

The U.S. Air Force successfully launches its sixth WGS X- and Ka-band communications satellite, which was funded by the Australian government, aboard a Delta 4 rocket.

The U.S. Air Force says in a memo that it will award an overdue contract for its next-generation Space Fence in March 2014, more than a year later than previously planned. 

Arabsat of Saudi Arabia and Es’hailSat of Qatar form a strategic partnership as Es’hailSat launches its first satellite, to be shared with Eutelsat of Paris.

Armadillo Aerospace, founded in 2000 by video-game pioneer John Carmack, suspends launch vehicle development work indefinitely.