Orion Hot Fire Test Blazing Safe Trail for NASA Moon Missions

Hot fire of the attitude control motor on Orion’s launch abort system (LAS), the second to last test before it’s qualified for Artemis 2 – the first flight with astronauts. (Credit: NASA)

The Northrop Grumman built attitude control motor (ACM) on Orion’s launch abort system was successfully tested on August 22, at their facility in Elkton, Maryland.

The 30-second trial by fire was the second to last test before it’s qualified for human spaceflight on Artemis 2 — the first mission with astronauts. During the static test, the ACM produced more than 7,000 pounds of thrust from eight valves, providing enough force to steer Orion and its crew to a safe distance.

Hot fire of the attitude control motor on Orion’s launch abort system. (Credit: NASA)

The launch abort system is designed to transport Orion and its crew to safety in the event of an emergency during launch or ascent. It consists of three solid rocket motors: the abort motor pulls the crew module away from the launch vehicle; the ACM steers and orients the capsule; then the jettison motor ignites to separate the launch abort system from Orion for parachute deployment and a safe crew landing.

All three motors will be certified for future crewed flights after qualification tests are completed later this year. The launch abort system was stress tested earlier this year during the successful Ascent Abort-2 test.

These achievements brings Orion closer to safe flights with astronauts, paving the way for the first woman and the next man to land on the Moon by 2024.

SHOGAKUKAN Becomes Media Partner of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Lunar Program

Latest HAKUTO-R Lander and Rover design. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO, August 22, 2019 (ispace PR) – SHOGAKUKAN Inc. (“SHOGAKUKAN”), a leading Japanese publisher of manga, picture books, dictionaries, educational guides and other “edu-tainment” material, and ispace, inc. (“ispace”), a lunar exploration company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, are pleased to jointly announce that SHOGAKUKAN has become a Media Partner of HAKUTO-R, the world’s first commercial lunar exploration program.

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Hunk-O-Mania to Send First Stripper to Space

A view from SpacehipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

The Male Strip Revue Club in Talks with Virgin Atlantic to Send Dancer to Strip in Space

NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2019 (Hunk-O-Mania PR — An interstellar strip show is in the works. Armand Peri, entrepreneur and founder of Hunk-O-Mania, a nationwide chain of male strip revues, is making history by sending one his dancers, Rudy Bundini, to space.

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NASA-JPL Names ‘Rolling Stones Rock’ on Mars

The Rolling Stones took the stage at the Rose Bowl on Aug. 22, 2019. NASA’s Mars InSight lander team named a Martian rock “Rolling Stones Rock.” (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — For decades, the music of The Rolling Stones has had a global reach here on Earth. Now, the band’s influence extends all the way to Mars. The team behind NASA’s InSight lander has named a Martian rock after the band: ‘Rolling Stones Rock.’

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Momentus to Provide In-Space Transportation Service to Customers on SpaceX Smallsat Rideshare Launch

Vigoride (Credit: Momentus)

SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 22, 2019 (Momentus PR) — Momentus (http://www.momentus.space), provider of in-space shuttle services that move satellites between orbits, today announced plans to provide orbital shuttle service to its customers on SpaceX’s first dedicated SmallSat Rideshare mission.

Momentus’ Vigoride orbital shuttle will carry multiple customer satellites, with a total mass up to 250 kg, each to its own custom orbit on a mission scheduled to launch no earlier than late 2020. As part of this launch, Momentus will offer its customers the ability to access multiple destination orbits through its in-space last-mile transportation services.

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Australia Set to Welcome JAXA’s Hayabusa2 Return Capsule

Figure 2: Touchdown image overlapped with the planned touchdown site. The white dot at the end of the arrow is the target marker. (Credit: JAXA, University of Tokyo, Kochi University, Rikkyo University, Nagoya University, Chiba Institute of Technology, Meiji University, University of Aizu, AIST)

CANBERRA (Australian Space Agency PR — To learn more about the solar system’s origin and evolution, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is investigating typical types of asteroids. Analysing samples from asteroids enables us to study organic matter and water in the solar system.

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ispace Makes Mission Timeline Adjustments for HAKUTO-R Lunar Program

Latest HAKUTO-R Lander and Rover design. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO, August 22, 2019 (ispace PR) – ispace, inc. (“ispace”), a lunar exploration company, announced an adjusted mission schedule for its HAKUTO-R program, a commercial lunar exploration program consisting of the company’s first two lunar missions. The schedule includes a lunar landing in 2021 for Mission 1, and a landing and deployment of a rover for surface exploration in 2023 for Mission 2.

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Deep Space Systems Files Protest Over NASA CLPs Task Order

The Moon as seen from the International Space Station (Credit: ESA/NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Deep Space Systems has filed an appeal with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) over NASA’s decision to award Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) contracts to three rival companies.

On May 31, NASA awarded contracts worth $253.5 million to Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines and OrbitBeyond to carry up to 23 payloads to the moon on three commercial missions scheduled for launch between September 2020 and July 2021.

Deep Space Systems, which is based in Littleton, Colo., filed a bid protest with GAO on June 24. The government watchdog is scheduled to render a decision on the protest on Oct. 2.

The GAO website does not provide any details on the reason for the protest. Deep Space Systems has not responded to requests for comment.

NASA terminated its $97 million contract with OrbitBeyond on July 28 after the company informed the space agency that internal corporate challenges would prevent it from delivering its payloads to the lunar surface in a timely manner. The company had targeted a landing in September 2020.

NASA’s CLPS program pays companies to deliver payloads to the moon rather than having the space agency commission and build its own landers and orbiters. Nine companies are qualified to bid on CLPS task orders.

ispace Adds 3 Corporate Partners, Delays Moon Missions

Latest HAKUTO-R Lander and Rover design. (Credit: ispace)

TOKYO, August 21, 2019 (iSpace PR) — Today, the lunar exploration company, ispace, announced new partnerships with three leading Japanese companies who will join ispace’s HAKUTO-R commercial lunar exploration program as Corporate Partners, as well as updates to the program’s mission timeline.

Notably, each of these partners are 100-year old companies with long established success on Earth, now edging toward the expansion of their business to the Moon.

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Kleos Space Funding Will Start Procurement of 2nd Cluster of Satellites

Kleos Scouting mission. (Credit: Kleos Space)
  • Binding term sheet for equivalent of EUR 1,834,477 secured convertible note agreed
  • First tranche of EUR 1.22 million, due on 2 September 2019 is subject to the execution of definitive documentation
  • Second tranche of EUR 611 443 is available on the same terms at the discretion of investors
  • Both tranches at 6-months term
  • Funding will start procurement of 2nd cluster of satellites and their 2020 launch

LUXEMBOURG, 22 August 2019 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, is pleased to announce it has entered into a binding term sheet for a EUR 1.83 million debt instrument, to be issued in the form of secured convertible notes.

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Delta IV Launches USAF GPS III Satellite

A ULA Delta IV rocket carrying the GPS III Magellan mission for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37 at 9:06 a.m. ET. (Credit: ULA)

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 22, 2019 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the second Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite, designated Magellan, for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on August 22 at 9:06 a.m. EDT. This mission marked the 29th and final flight of the Delta IV Medium rocket and the 73rd GPS launch by a ULA or heritage vehicle.

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Soyuz Spacecraft with Skybot F-850 Robot Launched to ISS

Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launched to the International Space Station. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — On August 22, 2019 at 03:38:32 UTC, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft successfully lifted off from the launch pad No. 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The spacecraft will deliver scientific equipment for the experiments, medication, containers with food supplies, packages for the crew, as well as the Skybot F-850 humanoid robot. The Russian cosmonauts will test the robot systems under the spaceflight conditions. The main purpose of the robot is to use it during the hazardous tasks onboard the spacecraft including spacewalks.

After the ship’s separation from the third stage of the carrier rocket the Chief Operating Control Group of the Russian segment of the ISS took over the flight control.

The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket inserted the spacecraft into the orbit with the following parameters:

  • the minimum height above the Earth surface — 200 km;
  • the maximum height above the Earth surface — 243 km;
  • the orbit period — 88.64 min;
  • the orbit inclination — 51.67 deg.

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft approach to the station and its berthing to the Poisk research module is planned to be performed automatically under control of the Chief Operating Control Group of the Russian segment of the ISS at the Mission Control Center and Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov. The docking is scheduled at 05:30 UTC on August 24, 2019.

GITAI Completes $4.1M Fund-raising Round to Develop Space Robots

TOKYO (GITAI PR) — GITAI (HQ: San Francisco, US; Japan Branch: Meguro, Tokyo), developing task substitution robots specifically for space applications, has completed fundraising activities as of June 2019, successfully raising an additional US$4.1 million (approximately JP¥450 million) from lead investors Spiral Ventures Japan, new investors DBJ Capital (Development Bank of Japan Group) and J-Power (Electric Power Development Co., Ltd.), as well as existing investors 500 Startups Japan (now Coral Capital).

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Optus Business, Myriota Sign Agreement to Bolster Remote IoT Coverage

ADELAIDE, South Australia, Aug. 20, 2019 (Optus Business PR) – Optus Business today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Myriota, the global leader in nanosatellite Internet of Things (IoT), with a view to providing remote and regional connectivity for IoT devices and applications.

An Australian first, the major telco-nanosatellite provider agreement will bring together Optus’ premium national networks and digital enablement capabilities with Myriota’s direct-to-orbit technology to allow for massive scale, low-cost communications for IoT devices across remote Australian geographies.

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