GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft unfurled its robotic arm Tuesday, and in a first for the agency, briefly touched an asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from the surface for delivery to Earth in 2023.
This well-preserved, ancient asteroid, known as Bennu, is currently more than 200 million miles (321 million kilometers) from Earth. Bennu offers scientists a window into the early solar system as it was first taking shape billions of years ago and flinging ingredients that could have helped seed life on Earth. If Tuesday’s sample collection event, known as “Touch-And-Go” (TAG), provided enough of a sample, mission teams will command the spacecraft to begin stowing the precious primordial cargo to begin its journey back to Earth in March 2021. Otherwise, they will prepare for another attempt in January.
SANTA CLARA, Calif., October 20th, 2020 (Momentus PR) — Momentus Inc. (“Momentus” or the “Company”), a commercial space company offering in-space infrastructure services, and Kepler Communications Inc. (“Kepler”), developer and operator of next-gen satellite communications technologies, have signed a launch service agreement to deploy two additional satellites for Kepler’s GEN1 constellation in 2021. Momentus’ rideshare service will include launch provisions and delivery to the customer’s desired orbital altitude while maintaining the SSO inclination using Momentus’ Vigoride transfer vehicle.
Astrobotic, space robotics company, opens one of the largest private facilities in the world dedicated to lunar operations
PITTSBURGH (Astrobotic PR) — Astrobotic officially opened its new headquarters in Pittsburgh in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday. The 47,000 square foot complex is the largest private facility in the world dedicated to lunar logistics. Astrobotic’s Peregrine and Griffin lunar landers will be built on-site, with Peregrine set to become the first commercial mission to the Moon, and the first American lander on the Moon since the Apollo missions.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — When the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft touches asteroid Bennu, it will capture NASA’s first sample from an asteroid and provide rare specimens for research that scientists hope will help them shed light on the many mysteries of our solar system’s formation.
The sample is scheduled for return to Earth in 2023 to be examined and stored in state-of-the-art curation facilities now under construction at Johnson Space Center in Houston. The labs will be managed by NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science division, also known as ARES. The division is home to the world’s greatest astromaterials collections — including lunar rocks, solar wind particles, meteorites, and comet samples — and some of the experts who research them.
WASHINGTON, DC, OCTOBER 20, 2020 (Nanoracks PR) – Nanoracks is pleased to announce that both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have pre-purchased Bishop Airlock Cycles for agency and third-party use. The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock, launching this Fall to the International Space Station (ISS), is the first-ever commercially built, owned, and operated airlock on the ISS and provides five times the existing payload volume currently available on station.
ESA has pre-purchased five airlock cycles, and NASA six, with an option for four additional cycles at a discounted rate.
CEDAR PARK, Texas, Oct. 20, 2020 (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a leading provider of economical and dependable launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, today announced the successful acceptance test of the first stage of its Alpha launch vehicle for its inaugural flight later this year, and the execution of new customer agreements.
Firefly has signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with Spire Global (Spire) for the launch of Lemur spacecraft on the Alpha launch vehicle. The LSA will provide for the launch of Spire spacecraft on multiple Alpha missions over the contract period. Firefly has also executed an LSA with Geometric Space Corporation for the full payload capacity of an Alpha launch vehicle.
SpaceX accomplished the first hot fire of a Starship prototype outfitted with three Raptor engines. The vehicle is being prepared for a flight to 15 km (~50,000 ft) from its test site at Boca Chica Beach in Texas.
SEATTLE (Microsoft PR) — Microsoft is moving into the final frontier with Azure Space, a new initiative that will deliver innovation to serve the mission needs of the space industry, and collaborating with industry leaders to bring new and enhanced offerings to organizations across the public and private sector.
As barriers to space access fall, organizations across a multitude of industries are taking advantage of the opportunities that satellites and other space technologies can offer for endeavors such as earth observation and global satellite communications. This creates rich opportunities as well as challenges.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will broadcast coverage of a first for the agency as its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:12 p.m. EDT.
Live coverage of the spacecraft’s descent to the asteroid’s surface for its “Touch-And-Go,” or TAG, maneuver, which will be managed by Lockheed Martin Space near Denver, will begin at 5 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Boom Supersonic’s recent rollout of its XB-1 supersonic demonstrator aircraft marked a milestone in an accelerating race to revive an era of civilian supersonic travel that ended when the Concorde jetliner was retired in 2003.
XB-1, aka Baby Boom, is set to begin flight tests next year from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. The Mach 2.2 (2,717 km/h, 1,688 mph) vehicle is the precursor to Boom’s 55-seat Overture airliner, which is scheduled to begin carrying passengers in 2029.
BRASILIA (Brazilian Space Agency PR) — It is a consultation with society regarding the proposal for a National Space Policy, to be established by presidential decree.
A country’s competence in space activities is a strategic asset that generates significant focus for national and international investments. An increasing number of nations, including developing ones, have invested in their space programs to assert their sovereignty, to increase national security and economic and social development through the use of space systems.
1. Monday, Oct. 19, 2020; 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT) NO PROGRAM TODAY.
2. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): We welcome AMANDA DRESCHLER and MICHAEL LIVINGSTON to discuss their Covid lockdown special film, ” We Can’t Go On.” For details see the upcoming show menu and the blog.
3. Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020; Hotel Mars TBA pre-recorded. See upcoming show menu on the home page for program details.
4. Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020: No program today.
5. Friday, Oct. 23, 2020; 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT: We welcome back TORY BRUNO, CEO of ULA.
6. Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome DR. ERIK SEEDHOUSE to discuss his latest books and more.
Innovative silicon solution will provide significant cost and performance advantages for next-generation satellite designs
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (mPower Technology) — Innovative solar technology company, mPower Technology, announced that its DragonSCALES™ solar cell prototype has completed integration and testing on a Sparkwing in-orbit solar array technology demonstrator in preparation for inclusion on Momentus’ Vigoride transfer vehicle launch taking place in the fourth quarter of 2020.
ORLANDO, Fla., (Tupperware Brands PR) — Tupperware Brands announces the issuance of a U.S. patent for PONDS (Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System) a unique device designed to grow vegetables in low earth orbit with minimal maintenance.