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U.S. government warns of foreign intelligence threats to the space industry

Companies in the U.S. space industry are being increasingly targeted by foreign intelligence operations, U.S. intelligence agencies warn. “Foreign intelligence entities recognize the importance of the commercial space industry to the U.S. economy and national security, including the growing dependence of critical infrastructure on space-based assets,” said a bulletin published Aug. 18 by the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.


BAE Systems to acquire Ball Aerospace for $5.5 billion

BAE Systems, a defense and security conglomerate based in the United Kingdom, announced Aug. 17 it intends to acquire Ball Aerospace for $5.5 billion. The acquisition would give BAE Systems “strong growth potential in areas aligned with the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense’s highest priorities.”

Terran Orbital expects $180 million payment from Rivada Space this year

Terran Orbital expects to get $180 million this year from Rivada Space as it prepares to build 300 satellites for the venture, even as plans to fund the full $2.4 billion manufacturing contract remain under wraps.

Japanese SAR company iQPS to launch with Rocket Lab after Virgin Orbit bankruptcy

A Japanese firm developing a constellation of SAR satellites is the latest to turn to Rocket Lab after the bankruptcy of rival launch company Virgin Orbit.


Rocket Lab sees Virgin Orbit facility as “scaling enabler” for Neutron

Rocket Lab says a Virgin Orbit facility it acquired at a bankruptcy auction in May will allow the company to scale up production of its Neutron rocket in development.

Rocket Lab to launch pair of NASA Earth science cubesats

NASA selected Rocket Lab to launch a pair of cubesats in 2024 to monitor energy entering and exiting the polar regions of the planet.

NASA developing larger cubesat payload adapter for SLS

NASA is developing a larger payload adapter for cubesats flying on the next version of the Space Launch System, although it’s unclear if upcoming SLS launches will carry any such secondary payloads.

China launches first geosynchronous orbit radar satellite

China launched what is thought to be the world’s first geosynchronous orbit synthetic aperture radar satellite on Saturday.

SpaceX to offer mid-inclination smallsat rideshare launches

SpaceX is offering a second class of rideshare missions on its Falcon 9 rocket to serve customers seeking to go to mid-inclination orbits.


Space Development Agency to consider commercial LEO options to augment DoD network

SpaceX, Kuiper Government Solutions and Aalyria Technologies were selected for market-research studies on how commercial systems could add capacity to the military’s future low Earth orbit constellation.

Northrop Grumman to get sole-source contract for Space Force radar sites

The U.S. Space Force intends to award Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract to develop two ground-based radar sites to track space objects.

DARPA to study integrated lunar infrastructure

DARPA is kicking off a study to develop an “analytical framework” to guide development of integrated lunar infrastructure over the next decade.

U.S. deactivates GSSAP surveillance satellite, two new ones in the works

A geosynchronous surveillance satellite operated by the U.S. Space Force reached the end of its lifespan and was recently taken out of service.

Brian Berger is editor in chief of and the SpaceNews magazine. He joined in 1998, spending his first decade with the publication covering NASA. His reporting on the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia accident was...