Parabolic Arc Fund-raising Campaign Launched

Hi everyone.

I want to thank all of you for being loyal readers of Parabolic Arc. Over the years, I’ve striven to bring you the latest in space news, commentary and analysis. It’s been a great pleasure to do so and to interact with you on this website and on Twitter.

Now, I’m asking your help. I’m launching a fund-raising appeal so I can continue to maintain Parabolic Arc. I’m appealing for whatever you can provide, in whatever amount, to help keep the site going and assist in paying the bills. Funding is urgently needed.

You can give via the link below:

https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/ParabolicArc

Please give generously so I can continue publishing Parabolic Arc.

Thank you for all your support.

Doug

NASA Plans Maiden Flight of SLS/Orion for February

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA announced on Friday that the space agency is planning to long-delayed maiden flight of its massive Space Launch System (SLS) during a 15-day window in February. The rocket will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on flight test around the moon.

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Blue Canyon Technologies Delivers First of Four CubeSats to NASA’s Ames for Starling Technology Demo

LAFAYETTE, Colo., October 20, 2021 (Blue Canyon PR) — Small satellite manufacturer and mission services provider Blue Canyon Technologies LLC (“BCT” or “Blue Canyon”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, delivered the first of four 6U CubeSats to NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. The CubeSats will support a technology demonstration called Starling. NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology program within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate funds the demonstration. Under the current contract agreement, in addition to designing and manufacturing the spacecraft buses, BCT will also provide engineering and support to Starling mission operations for the four flight-qualified 6U CubeSats.

“The delivery of CubeSats will allow Ames to continue with payload integration and testing of the integrated flight unit,” said Stephanee Borck, senior program manager at Blue Canyon Technologies. “A lot of hard work from both teams has gone into making it thus far in the project. We look forward to delivering the next three CubeSats and seeing what the technology demonstration can do on-orbit.”

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Ariane 5 Launch Postponed

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Due to additional checks on the ground support equipment, the flight VA255 – initially scheduled for October 22 – has been scrubbed. Investigations are ongoing in order to identify a new launch date. The Ariane 5 launch vehicle and its two spacecraft are in stable and safe conditions on the launch pad.

Arianespace will orbit two geostationary satellites: SES-17, a high throughput satellite operated by SES and SYRACUSE 4A, a telecommunications satellite developed for the French Ministry of Armed Forces.

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NASA Sets Coverage for SpaceX Crew-3 Briefings, Events, Broadcasts

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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Orbex Set to Launch World’s Most Environmentally Friendly Space Rocket

Prime rocket launch from Sutherland spaceport. (Credit: Orbex/Anders Bøggild)
  • New scientific study confirms Orbex Prime’s carbon footprint up to 96 per cent lower than fossil fuelled alternatives
  • Orbex commits to offsetting all residual carbon emissions from launch operations

FORRES, UK, October 21, 2021 – The carbon footprint of launching the new Orbex Prime space rocket will be up to 96 per cent lower than comparable space launch programmes, a new scientific study has revealed.

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NASA Mission Helps Solve a Mystery: Why Are Some Asteroid Surfaces Rocky?

Closeup of the rocky surface of the Bennu asteroid. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

by Mikayla Mace Kelley
The University of Arizona

Scientists thought Bennu’s surface was like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. Past telescope observations from Earth had suggested the presence of large swaths of fine-grained material smaller than a few centimeters called fine regolith.  But when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu in late 2018, the mission saw a surface covered in boulders. The mysterious lack of fine regolith became even more surprising when mission scientists observed evidence of processes potentially capable of grinding boulders into fine regolith.

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NASA Announces Winners of Deep Space Food Challenge

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have coordinated to open the Deep Space Food Challenge, targeted at developing novel food system technologies for long-duration deep space missions. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Variety, nutrition, and taste are some considerations when developing food for astronauts. For NASA’s Deep Space Food Challenge, students, chefs, small businesses, and others whipped up novel food technology designs to bring new solutions to the table.

NASA has selected 18 U.S. teams to receive a total of $450,000 for ideas that could feed astronauts on future missions. Each team will receive $25,000. Additionally, NASA and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) jointly recognized 10 international submissions.

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ESA Names First Director of Commercialization, Fills Earth Observation & Navigation Posts

Europe and the Mediterranean Basin as seen from the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) flown on board ERS-2 , the second European Remote-sensing Satellite of ESA. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — As of today, ESA has appointed three new Directors – for Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement, Earth Observation Programmes and Navigation. The new Directors were appointed by ESA Council at its meeting on 21 October; they will support the Director General with responsibility for activities and overall objectives in their respective directorates.

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Rogue Space Moves Forward with Seed Round Offering and Closes Pre-Seed Round to Provide Orbital Services

Laura spacecraft (Credit: Rogue Space)

Rogue Space Systems is developing a smart spacecraft program to offer transport, and in-space services to the growing space market today announced it has closed its initial round of investment to support the development of their spacecraft programs

LACONIA, NH, October 20, 2021 (Rogue Space PR) — Rogue Space Systems Corporation, a U.S. company that is developing a smart spacecraft program and is planning to offer transport, and in-space services to the growing space market today announced it has closed its initial round of investment to support the development of their spacecraft programs. Rogue’s first generation of orbital servicing vehicles, (Orbots™) Laura, Charlie, Fred, and Bob are equipped with highly sophisticated sensors, cameras, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) software.

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Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin Teaming to Develop Commercial Space Station

Starlab, a commercial low-Earth orbit space station is being planned for use by 2027. (Credit: Nanoracks)

DENVER, Oct. 21, 2021 (Nanoracks PR) – Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has formed a team to develop the first-ever free flying commercial space station. The space station, known as Starlab, will be a continuously crewed commercial platform, dedicated to conducting critical research, fostering industrial activity, and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth orbit. Starlab is expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2027.

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U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center Signs Collaborative Research Agreement with Capella Space

Capella Space and Army SMDTC will integrate on-demand, persistent SAR service into Army networks and platforms to satisfy tactical user needs for rapid tasking and delivery of space data

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space, an information services company  that provides an operational, high-quality, Earth observation data service, today announced it  has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Technical Center (SMDTC). Through this agreement, Capella  Space integrates its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data into the U.S. Army’s Payload  Development Lab, exploring this and other space-based technology concepts within both  simulated and test environments. 

Capella’s SAR data is unique in that it collects high-quality imagery easily, quickly, and securely.  Capella Space is the first U.S. commercial SAR constellation operator and an industry leader in  SAR data. Capella’s SAR systems image in most weather, day or night, and capture amplitude  and phase history data, enabling the extraction of highly valuable intelligence, such as material  properties, moisture, elevation, and small changes and movements, which are not available with  electro-optical imagery. Multiple U.S. Department of Defense agencies have shown interest in  using Capella’s SAR imagery for a variety of purposes, including national security, humanitarian  assistance, disaster relief, infrastructure and transportation monitoring, and reliable monitoring  for indications and warnings of potential natural and security threats.

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South Korean Satellite Launch Fails as Third Stage Falters

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The maiden flight of South Korea’s first domestically produced satellite launch vehicle failed on Thursday due to the premature shutdown of the rocket’s third stage, the nation’s space agency said.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said the Nuri’s rocket’s first and second stages performed nominally after liftoff from the Naro Space Center at 5 p.m. local time. The failure of the booster’s third stage meant it was unable to place a dummy payload into low Earth orbit. Engineers are analyzing data from the flight to determine what caused the premature shutdown.

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Scottish Space Strategy Launched

Ambitious plan aims to create 20,000 jobs.

EDINBURGH (Scotland Government PR) — A new strategy to secure a £4 billion share of the global space market for the Scottish economy has been published. [Download PDF]

The Scottish Space Strategy sets out plans to develop a network of satellite launch sites, pursue green technologies and build on existing strengths in data analysis and research.

A collaboration between the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies, industry group Space Scotland and the Scottish Space Academic Forum, its main aims include:

  • Positioning Scotland as a global leader for commercial space developments.
  • Establishing a range of managed launch and orbital services, supporting the largest launch capability in Europe.
  • Developing a world-leading environmental strategy for Scotland’s space industry, from reducing emissions to supporting the use of satellite data for environmental monitoring.
  • Building Scotland’s international economic opportunities through increased exports and target inward investment to plug critical gaps in capability.
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Oleg Novitsky, Klim Shipenko and Yulia Peresild Recount Expedition to ISS

Actress Yulia Peresild, cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky and film director Klim Shipenko discuss their stays aboard the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild returned to Earth on October 17, 2021 on the “Yu.A. Gagarin” (Soyuz MS-18). Now they are undergoing post-flight rehabilitation at the Cosmonaut Training Center, where one of the sites for an online press conference was organized.

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NASA Requests Information for American Crew Transportation to Space Station

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA released a request for information from American industry capable of providing safe, reliable, and cost-effective human space transportation services to and from the International Space Station to ensure a continuous human presence aboard the microgravity laboratory.

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