Astroscale Awarded Up To US $4.5 Million Grant From Tokyo Metropolitan Government

End-of-Life Service by Astroscale demonstrator (ELSA-d) satellite. (Credit: Astroscale UK Ltd)

TOKYO, January 23, 2020 (Astroscale PR) – Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market-leader in developing technology and services to remove space debris and secure long-term orbital sustainability, today announced it has been awarded a grant of up to US $4.5 million from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s “Innovation Tokyo Project” to build a roadmap for commercializing active debris removal (ADR) services.

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Video: Long March 5’s YF-77 Engine Hot Fire

Video Caption: The YF-77 rocket engine for the Long March-5 Y4 launch vehicle was tested for 100 seconds on CASC’s rocket engine test facility in Beijing, China, on 19 January 2020. Wang Shuguang, director of engine test, presented the facility and Wang Weibin, deputy chief designer of the Long March-5 rockets, explained the test. YF-77 is China’s first cryogenic rocket engine that burns liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as fuel. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) is the main contractor for the China’s space program.

Credit: China Central Television (CCTV)

NASA Administrator Names Director for Goddard Space Flight Center

Dennis Andrucyk

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has named Dennis Andrucyk director of its Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, effective immediately. Andrucyk has been serving as the acting director of Goddard since Dec. 31.

“I look forward to working with fellow Terp Dennis Andrucyk in his new role as the director of the Goddard Space Flight Center. We are glad to have him back in Greenbelt,” said Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. “Strong, thoughtful leadership at Goddard is essential for its 10,000-strong workforce of employees and contractors, who play such an important role in the exploration projects that are at the heart of NASA.”

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New Space Force Seal Looks Very Familiar

President Donald Trump tweeted out this brand new seal for the Space Force, which he said was developed “after consultation with our Great Military Leaders, designers, and others.”

It didn’t take long for folks to point out its close resemblance to the seal of another much more famous space force.

This is a fairly small matter among the larger issues involved in making the Space Force an effective branch of the Armed Services. But, still you would think they would have come up with something that didn’t look like a rip off of Star Trek.

U.S. Air Force Awards Viasat $90 Million to Expand Tactical Data Networking Capabilities

CARLSBAD, Calif., January 21, 2020 (ViaSat PR) -– Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced today it was recently awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract worth a maximum ceiling of $90 million, to provide special warfare operators of the United States Air Force (USAF) with Viasat’s Battlefield Awareness Targeting System—Dismounted (BATS-D) handheld Link 16 radios (also known in the U.S. Department of Defense nomenclature as the AN/PRC-161 radio). In addition to equipment, the IDIQ award covers associated operator training and maintenance.

BATS-D is the world’s first and only handheld Link 16 radio. It bridges a critical gap between air and ground forces by providing warfighters at the tactical edge with real-time, secure, reliable access to integrated air and ground information for improved situational awareness and enhanced close air support communications.

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Aethera’s RF Power Unit for VASIMR Engine Completes Tests in Texas

WEBSTER, Texas and Halifax, NS (Ad Astra Rocket Co. PR) – A new generation radio-frequency (RF) Power Processing Unit (PPU) for the VASIMR engine, built for Ad Astra Rocket Company by Aethera Technologies Ltd. of Canada, has completed a full-power test in vacuum at Ad Astra’s Texas facility near Houston. The test, conducted on January 20th, involved operating the unit in hard vacuum and thermal steady-state at its full power rating of 120 kW. As part of the test, the PPU was also subjected to the magnetic field of the VASIMR engine to verify that there is no magnetic effect on the PPU performance.

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Next Cygnus Spacecraft Named After First African American Astronaut

Robert Henry Lawrence Jr.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (Northrop Grumman PR) — Northrop Grumman will launch the NG-13 mission on February 9, 2020. The company’s Antares rocket will launch the Cygnus spacecraft from Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia with the 5-minute launch window opening at 5:39 p.m. ET.

Northrop Grumman is proud to name the NG-13 Cygnus spacecraft after former astronaut Robert Henry Lawrence Jr. It is the company’s tradition to name each Cygnus after an individual who has played a pivotal role in human spaceflight. Major Lawrence was selected in honor of his prominent place in history as the first African-American astronaut.

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Tethers Unlimited Announces Successful Operation of Space-Debris Removal Device

The Terminator Tape Deorbit Module interacts with the space environment to rapidly drag a satellite out of orbit. (Credit: Tethers Unlimited)

BOTHELL, Wa. (Tethers Unlimited PR) – Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) announced that it has successfully demonstrated on-orbit operation of the Terminator Tape, an affordable, lightweight solution for removing space debris from on orbit.

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Second Space Data Highway Satellite Set to Beam

EDRS-C is prepared for launch. (Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace Optique Vidéo du CSG – S Martin)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The second satellite in the European Data Relay System has reached its intended orbit and completed its in-orbit tests.

Dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway” by its commercial operator Airbus, EDRS uses innovative laser technology to enable Earth-observation satellites to deliver their information to users on the ground in near real-time, accelerating responses to emergency situations and spurring the development of new services and products.

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Skylo Emerges From Stealth With $116 Million in Funding for Most Affordable IoT Satellite Data Network

SAN MATEO, Calif. & BANGALORE, India & TEL AVIV, Israel, January 21, 2020 (Skylo PR) — Skylo, maker of the world’s most affordable and ubiquitous network that connects any machine or sensor, today announced that the company has emerged from Stealth with $116 million in total funding. The company previously raised $13 million in a Series A round that was co-led by DCM and Innovation Endeavors, and joined by Moore Strategic Ventures. The new Series B round raised $103 million, led by SoftBank Group and joined by all existing investors.

Skylo will bring instant, affordable and ubiquitous Internet of Things connectivity to millions of machines, sensors and devices, even in the most remote geographies. It is the world’s first company to leverage the cellular Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) protocol via satellite, making it possible to instantly connect billions of sensors on objects and machines in remote areas.

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NASA Awards Contract for Intelligent Systems Research

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, LLC, a KBRwyle business unit, of Greenbelt, Maryland, for a contract for intelligent systems research and development support services at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

This is a cost-plus-fixed-fee (CPFF) hybrid contract consisting of firm-fixed-price (FFP) contract line item numbers (CLINs) for phase-in and core management requirements; and CPFF or FFP CLINs for core technical and indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity requirements. It will begin on March 15 with a 60-day phase-in period followed by a two-year base period and three two-year options. The contract has a maximum value of $400 million.

The contractor will provide resources and technical expertise to support the Intelligent Systems Division on scientific research, technologies and applications development in a variety of research domains and infusion of advanced information systems technology on NASA missions and other projects within the federal government.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

OSIRIS-REx Completes Closest Flyover of Bennu Sample Site Nightingale

During the OSIRIS-REx Reconnaissance B flyover of primary sample collection site Nightingale, the spacecraft left its safe-home orbit to pass over the sample site at an altitude of 0.4 miles (620 m). The pass, which took 11 hours, gave the spacecraft’s onboard instruments the opportunity to take the closest-ever science observations of the sample site. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Preliminary results indicate that NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully executed a 0.4-mile (620-m) flyover of site Nightingale yesterday as part of the mission’s Reconnaissance B phase activities. Nightingale, OSIRIS-REx’s primary sample collection site, is located within a crater high in asteroid Bennu’s northern hemisphere.

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Descartes Labs Launches First Cloud-Based Geospatial Data Refinery and Modeling Platform

SANTA FE, N.M., Jan. 22, 2020 (Descartes Labs PR) — Descartes Labs, a New Mexico-based geospatial analytics company, today announced the availability of the Descartes Labs Platform, the industry’s first-ever cloud-based geospatial analytics platform. It provides enterprises with a real-time geospatial data catalog and flexible modeling environment – all in one complete package.

By handling nearly all geospatial modeling functions through one secure solution in the cloud, organizations can quickly evaluate the output of models, speed development and proof-of-concept creation, and ultimately, transform their decision-making.

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