SpaceX announced Sept. 17 that a Japanese billionaire will be paying an undisclosed but significant sum to buy a flight of the company’s next-generation rocket for a flight around the moon carrying a group of artists.
Ten years after then-U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne called for maximizing use of secondary payload adapters to launch small satellites on large rockets, the Air Force, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working together to make that happen.
The launch, India’ first in five months, highlighted the United Kingdom’s desire to bolster trade with India as well as India’s desire to further commercialize production of the PLSV, a rocket often used for smallsat missions.
With orders for geostationary orbit satellites declining, potentially permanently, commercial launch service providers are looking to government and other markets to make up for lost business.
Fleet operator Eutelsat of Paris signed a contract with Arianespace to launch five satellites on the future Ariane 6 rocket by 2027.
United Launch Alliance beat out SpaceX and Arianespace to win a launch contract for an upcoming Viasat satellite.
Chinese launch startup OneSpace successfully performed its first launch from a national launch site Sept.7, following a similar feat by competitor iSpace days earlier.
The first flight of Exos Aerospace’s suborbital launch vehicle was “very successful” despite a malfunction that kept the vehicle from reaching its planned peak altitude.
European rocket builder ArianeGroup, the company leading development and production of the Ariane 5 and upcoming Ariane 6 rockets, on Sept. 4 awarded a contract to a Swedish supplier for a reusable engine program.
GAO’s Cristina Chaplain: The Air Force will be challenged to sustain two suppliers, let alone three or four.
Russia has suspended development of the Proton Medium rocket that U.S.-based International Launch Services (ILS) began marketing two years ago as its answer to SpaceX’s Falcon 9.
SN Military.Space | Air Force wants new GPS in orbit before year’s end • DoD big on OTAs • Space Force by 2020 a long shot
If all goes as planned, the Air Force should have one new GPS 3 satellite in orbit before the end of 2018.