Syzran Oil Refinery. Credit: DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe reported a small loss in its fiscal first quarter.

The company said Tuesday that it suffered a net loss of $2.2 million on revenue of nearly $210 million in the quarter, compared to net income of $8.6 million on $175.4 million in revenue in the same quarter of 2016.

The company said costs of its planned merger with MDA, announced in February, played a role in the net loss.

DigitalGlobe, citing the ongoing merger activities, did not hold an earnings call with analysts after releasing its financial results. [DigitalGlobe]

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Geospatial analytics firm Orbital Insight has raised $50 million to fuel its expansion. The company combines satellite imagery with other data sources to create new information for a range of industries, from retail to oil and gas. The company plans to use the additional capital to expand its workforce and create new data products. The Series C round, led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, brings the total raised by the company to $78.7 million. [SpaceNews]

Increased demand has led an Australian company to muster a backup broadband satellite into service.The state-owned National Broadband Network (NBN) said that its second Sky Muster satellite, launched in October 2016 originally as an on-orbit spare for the first satellite, is now in service to keep pace with growing user demand. The two satellites are providing broadband service to more than 70,000 Australian households that aren’t served by terrestrial systems. NBN said it’s improved the installation process for satellite broadband users, reducing user complaints by 80 percent. [SpaceNews]

The Senate unanimously passed a space weather bill Tuesday. The Senate approved by unanimous consent the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act, which cleared the Senate Commerce Committee in January. The bill establishes roles and responsibilities for federal agencies to predict space weather and respond to solar storms that can disrupt communications and the power grid. It also directs NOAA to develop a replacement for the SOHO spacecraft that monitors solar conditions. [SpaceNews]

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited United Launch Alliance for a safety violation in a launch pad incident that injured one worker. An administrative law judge upheld OSHA’s citation for a “serious violation” of a safety standard after a 2015 accident on a Cape Canaveral launch pad. In that incident, a worker lost two fingers when his hand slipped off a grate and into the path of a capture piston. The judge in the case assessed a $5,000 penalty to ULA. [Bloomberg]

Growth in orbital debris requires a “paradigm shift” in space situational awareness, attendees at a recent conference argued. Monitoring satellites and debris in orbit is today largely the role of military organizations, but those at the Military Space Situational Awareness Conference said they expected that to shift over time to civil organizations. Others called for “active” space traffic management, analogous to air traffic control, citing the predicted growth in mega-constellations of satellites. [SpaceNews]

NASA’s Deep Space Network is preparing for a traffic jam of Mars missions in the early 2020s. Current plans call for the launch in 2020 of missions by NASA, ESA, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, as well as SpaceX’s Red Dragon. Most of those missions will seek to use the DSN for communications, putting a strain on the system. The network is looking at ways to handle this increased traffic, including the ability to track multiple spacecraft with a single antenna. [SpaceNews]

NASA has extended its contract with Delaware North to operate the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The extension, made with three years left on the current contract, allows Delaware North to run the visitor’s center through 2028. The company, which opened the “Heroes and Legends” attraction at the center last year, said it plans to add another major attraction to the center during the next phase of the contract. Delaware North has operated the center since 1995. [Florida Today]

Cassini detected less material in the gap between Saturn and its rings than scientists expected. The lack of dust in the gap is a relief for engineers, who can worry less about dust impacts damaging the spacecraft, but puzzles scientists who noted Cassini had detected more dust in previous, more distant passages through the ring plane. One possibility is that there is dust in the region, but that it consists of particles too small to be detected by the radio and plasma wave science instrument on the spacecraft. [Los Angeles Times]

A Captain Kirk action figure that flew in space is up for auction. William Shatner included the figure in an auction for the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. The figure flew on the EFT-1 Orion mission in 2014, making two orbits of the Earth before splashing down. Bidding opened at $50 and, as of early Wednesday, had exceeded $1,000. The online auction remains open through June 4. [collectSPACE]

Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...