The first half of 2020 has been sluggish for the commercial launch industry, but its problems can’t be explained solely by the coronavirus pandemic.
This was the first time SpaceX recovered a booster following a National Security Space Launch mission.
German launch services provider Exolaunch announced contracts June 29 with Lithuanian nanosatellite manufacturer NanoAvionics to integrate two cubesats on SpaceX’s rideshare missions.
SpaceX on June 30 is scheduled to make its first attempt to recover the Falcon 9 booster after launching a military satellite.
A White House official said June 22 that while the administration supports commercial space transportation, companies with ambitions of high-speed point-to-point suborbital spaceflight should focus on near-term goals instead.
NASA will allow SpaceX to reuse Crew Dragon spacecraft and the Falcon 9 first stages for launching them as soon as next year.
In-space transportation provider Momentus announced agreements June 16 with Bulgaria’s EnduroSat to provide transportation for two cubesats scheduled to launch in February 2021 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare flight.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission remains unconvinced that low Earth orbit satellite internet constellations are worth subsidizing through its $16 billion rural broadband program despite tweaking the rules for that program to give LEO constellations a better chance to qualify for funding.
German launch services provider Exolaunch announced an agreement to launch two Loft Orbital microsatellites on SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare missions.
SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is performing well enough on orbit to give NASA confidence that the mission can last until August, an agency official said June 9.
For the second time in less than 18 months, SpaceX has abandoned plans to build a manufacturing facility at the Port of Los Angeles for its next-generation Starship launch vehicle.
Planet unveiled a cloud-based dashboard and API June 9 to allow customers to task the firm’s growing SkySat constellation.
The successful launch of the first crewed orbital flight from the United States in nearly nine years has met with a mixed reaction from Russia, with formal congratulations from Russian leadership but skepticism from others.
After the SpaceX rideshare, BlackSky has another four satellites booked to launch on India’s new Small Satellite Launch Vehicle this year, though delays with that program have made a launch date unclear, Merski said.