With the size and growth of commercial markets uncertain, launch companies are looking to government agencies to varying degrees for stability and funding for the development of new vehicles.
A NASA space science mission grounded for nearly two years by problems with its Pegasus rocket is now set to launch in October amid questions about the future of that rocket.
Vector on Aug. 26 withdrew as the contractor for the Air Force Agile Small Launch Operational Normalizer (ASLON)-45 space lift mission.
SpaceX received a contract to launch the first seven O3b mPower satellites using Falcon 9 rockets, the companies announced Sept. 9.
The prospect of thousands — potentially more than 10,000, depending on what systems actually get launched — of satellites in low Earth orbit raises concerns about collisions and the creation of orbital debris that could render such orbits all but useless for any satellite.
A commercial Kuaizhou-1A rocket launched two satellites late Friday, continuing a recent intense period of light launch vehicle activity in China.
The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Monday that it lacks jurisdiction to hear SpaceX’s complaint that the Air Force has put it at a disadvantage to win future launch service contracts by denying it a share of the $2.2 billion it awarded rivals Blue Origin, Northrop Grumman and United Launch Alliance to prepare for the competition.
Foust Forward | Worldwide, there are 131 small launch vehicles in the works. Most of these will fizzle out.
There’s almost universal agreement in the industry that there are far many more small launchers under development than can be supported by even the most optimistic forecasts of smallsat development.
Astranis CEO John Gedmark said in an Aug. 26 blog post that the company reserved a Falcon 9 launch in the fourth quarter of 2020 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The FAA’s former commercial space transportation describes what he thinks a 21st century licensing system should look like — at the very top level — and offers some ideas on the best way to implement such a regime.
Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, said DoD supports Air Force plans for Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement.
SpaceX and Blue Origin both have already taken legal action against the Air Force, arguing that it has failed to create a level playing field for them and other companies to be able to challenge heavily favored ULA.