From the Magazine
In the days since the May 3 release of the Air Force’s formal call for proposals for the National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Procurement, new squabbles have arisen as bidders scrutinize the final solicitation for anything that might tilt the competition in a rival’s favor.
NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service is requesting nearly $17.3 million in 2020 funding for a series of initiatives to explore the potential contributions of new data partnerships, small satellites and advanced technologies.
China has recently made it clear it intends to contend aggressively over this important industry and it is worth noting that extremely lax regulation has often played a critical role that nation’s ability to undercut other U.S. industries.
Do small launcher companies need megaconstellation business to survive? How should they approach a market that sometimes feels like its changing faster than the rockets themselves? Five launch companies discussed these topics March 13 at a Washington Space Business Roundtable discussion moderated by SpaceNews.
The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s future satellite constellations are likely to look far different from the current ones, particularly in low Earth orbit where small satellites of various sizes could gather targeted observations.
America must continue to be a leader, willing to invest real and intellectual capital, to develop a balanced space exploration program.
It’s been nearly six weeks since Vice President Mike Pence charged NASA with landing humans on the moon by 2024. Since then, the space industry, as well as members of Congress, have been seeking answers to two questions: how will NASA carry this out, and for how much?
There is no slowdown in the pace of satellite innovations: reading the press, it seems that every week brings another new example of how satellite industry could have profound impact on improving people’s lives.
Regulators worry that the ITU’s current bring-into-use rules make it too easy for companies to warehouse spectrum, potentially tying up valuable non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) frequencies for years without introducing new satellite services.
When Swedish broadband service provider Ovzon began shopping around for a small communications satellite that would work in geostationary orbit, the designs that satellite manufacturers trotted out weren’t exactly “small.”
A “hybrid” architecture that allows users to tap into commercial and military satellites without knowing the difference has been a much discussed but elusive goal.
Moore’s Law has come home to roost in the space business. Taking seven to 10 years to develop and deploy operational space systems is no longer efficient nor acceptable.
Chinese startup Linkspace succeeded with a vertical takeoff and landing test late last month on the same day fellow private launch firm OneSpace failed to reach orbit with its OS-m rocket. Also that week, two other Chinese companies declared success with engine tests as they push to develop new launch vehicles.
Griffin has scoffed at SDA naysayers. “I’m not personally trying to shake up anybody or anything."
There’s little doubt, though, that JWST will eventually launch, even if the March 2021 date slips. The same isn’t the case for the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), NASA’s next flagship astrophysics mission.