Credit: NASA

The head of the Roscosmos said he expects Russia to cooperate with NASA and ESA on development of a cislunar “gateway” station.

Igor Komarov, speaking at the Paris Air Show Monday, said he expected Roscosmos to participate in the Deep Space Gateway, NASA’s concept for a crew-tended facility that would operate in lunar orbit or elsewhere in cislunar space to serve as a testbed for later missions to Mars.

Komarov said specific roles for Roscosmos and other agencies in the project have yet to be determined. [TASS]

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An SES communications satellite is drifting in geosycnhronous orbit after suffering a “significant anomaly.” SES said it is moving customers off its AMC-9 satellite after the spacecraft malfunctioned over the weekend. The spacecraft is slowly drifting from its position at 83 degrees west in GEO, and the company is notifying others who operate satellites in the vicinity. The company said that if the 14-year-old satellite is declared a loss, it would cost the company $22 million in revenue this year, plus a one-time impairment charge of $42 million. [SpaceNews]

Arianespace has won a contract for the Vega launch of an Italian remote sensing satellite. A Vega will launch the Precursore Iperspettrale della Missione Applicativa (PRISMA) satellite on a Vega in mid-2018 under the deal announced Monday. The Italian Space Agency will use 900-kilogram PRISMA for monitoring natural resources, agriculture and other uses. [SpaceNews]

Legislation enabling spaceports is expected to be included in a speech by Queen Elizabeth Wednesday. The “Queen’s Speech,” which marks the start of the parliamentary year, will include plans for legislation to enable licensing and operation of spaceports in the country, is part of a broader emphasis on transportation. Drafts of such legislation were circulated earlier this year. [Politics Home]

China’s Tianzhou-1 spacecraft has completed its second docking with the Tiangong-2 module. Tianzhou-1 undocked from Tiangong-2 early Monday and flew around the module before redocking earlier in the day. Tianzhou-1 is a cargo spacecraft designed to transport supplies and fuel China’s upcoming space station. [Xinhua]

China is reportedly buying technology originally developed for a Soviet-era lunar lander. Chinese officials have asked Ukrainian firm KB Yuzhnoe to build the propulsion system it originally built for the LK lunar lander, developed by the Soviet Union for human missions to the moon but never flown. The system will be modernized with advanced electronics. What China plans to do with the propulsion system isn’t known, but could factor into the country’s long-term plans for human missions to the moon. [Popular Mechanics]

A British startup is offering to develop and launch cubesats for a fraction of standard prices. Open Cosmos says its use of standardized hardware and software allows it to offer cubesats ranging in size between 3U and 12U for as little as one-tenth the cost of traditional suppliers. The company recently signed a contract with ESA to receive technical support and to fly a telecommunications demonstration payload on a future satellite. [SpaceNews]

A British developer of deployable space structures has raised more than $1 million in an oversubscribed funding round. Oxford Space Systems raised $1.4 million in the round from existing investors and Space Angels. The company is developing technologies for deployable antennas, boom and panels for small satellites, and recently successfully tested its AstroTube boom technology in space. [Satellite Applications Catapult]

Orbital ATK has hired a NASA astronaut to work on its commercial cargo program. Rick Mastracchio has joined the company as senior director of operations for its Commercial Resupply Services program of delivering cargo to the ISS. Mastracchio flew on three shuttle missions and one ISS expedition. [Orbital ATK]

An instrument to study neutron stars is now installed on the ISS. The Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer, or NICER, flew to the station on a Dragon cargo mission earlier this month, and the station’s robotic arm installed the instrument on the station’s truss last week. NICER consists of an array of X-ray mirrors to collect and measure the energy of arriving X-ray photons emitted by neutron stars. [Spaceflight Now]

The final catalog from NASA’s Kepler mission includes more than 4,000 likely exoplanets. Astronomers released what it said will be the final results from the original four-year Kepler mission, detecting 4,034 objects that they believe with at least 90 percent certainty to be planets orbiting other stars. The results show that smaller planets can be grouped into two classes: rocky Earth-sized worlds and larger, and likely gaseous, “mini-Neptune” planets. The Kepler spacecraft is continuing to operate in an extended mission, K2, that involves a series of short-term searches in different regions of the sky. [New York Times]

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...