Key Updates for HAKUTO-R Announced as Mission 1 Lander Prepares to Enter Final Stage of Integration

A fuel tank being installed into the lander. (Credit: ispace)

M1 and M2 currently planned for launch as early as Q4 2022* and 2024*, respectively, and an early look at a new micro rover planned for first deployment on M2, among other updates

TOKYO – January 25, 2022 – Today, ispace, inc. (ispace), a lunar exploration company with its headquarters in Japan and regional offices in the United States and Europe, shared key developments related to the company’s HAKUTO-R program, which consists of its planned first and second lunar missions, Mission 1 (M1) and Mission 2 (M2).

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Astra Space Conducts Static Fire for Upcoming Launch From Cape Canaveral

ELaNa 41 Mission
NASA Fact Sheet

NASA is preparing to launch four small research satellites, known as CubeSats, that were developed by three universities and NASA’s John­son Space Center. The CubeSats, selected through NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative  (CSLI), are fly­ing on the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa 41) mission. The launch of ELaNa 41 will be Astra Space Inc’s first operational satellite launch. The company is targeting January 2022 for liftoff of its Rocket 3.3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

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PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, Selected for NRO Geospatial Intelligence Contract

BOCA RATON, Fla. (PredaSAR PR) — PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, has been selected for contract award under the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Systems Acquisition Directorate’s Closed Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Strategic Collection Enhancements (SCE) in the Commercial Radar focus area.

PredaSAR is fielding one of the most technologically advanced commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems available in the satellite imaging industry. The PredaSAR constellation will offer robust capabilities to commercial and national security customers, including a flexible and responsive remote sensing platform, low latency, frequent revisit times, and the ability to host secondary payloads.

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Orbital Insertion Burn a Success, Webb Arrives at L2

Artist rending showing light reflecting off of the primary and secondary mirrors of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, after it has deployed in space. (Credits: NASA/Mike McClare)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Today, at 2 p.m. EST, Webb fired its onboard thrusters for nearly five minutes (297 seconds) to complete the final postlaunch course correction to Webb’s trajectory. This mid-course correction burn inserted Webb toward its final orbit around the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, or L2, nearly 1 million miles away from the Earth.

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Deep Blue Aerospace Raises Nearly $31.5 Million for Partially Reusable Launch Vehicle

Grasshopper test vehicle in flight. (Credit: Deep Blue Aerospace)

Translated from Chinese by Google Translate

NANTONG CITY, China (Jiangsu Deep Blue Aerospace PR) — On January 18th, Jiangsu Deep Blue Aerospace Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as: Deep Blue Aerospace) announced the completion of the A round of financing of nearly 200 million yuan. This round of financing was led by Zhencheng Investment, Detong Capital, Ou Rui Capital, Galaxy Ventures, Zhuoyuan Capital co-invested. 

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Galactic Energy Raises $200 Million to Continue Development of Reusable Pallas-1 Launch Vehicle

Ceres-1 booster (Credit: Galactic Energy)

Translated from Chinese by Google Translate

BEIJING (Galactic Energy PR) — From July to December 2021, Galactic Energy (Beijing) Space Technology Co., Ltd. completed B and B+ rounds of financing totaling 1.27 billion yuan [$200.6 million]. This round of financing was led by Dongfang Fuhai and Huaqiang Capital, AVIC Aviation Finance, China Military Financial Investment, Anhui Jiangnan Construction Investment, Chengdu New Economy Fund, Zhongtian Huifu, Yunding Capital, Tianhong Investment, Maiqiu Venture Capital, Hexin Fangce, Jiusong Heze, Tianqiong Xuanji, Zhidao Capital, Taicang Hongli, Haiyang Ruiming, Looking Up at the Starry Sky, Bright Starry Sky, and old shareholders Meihua New Potential Energy Fund, Yuanhang Capital, etc. joined the investment. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the new and old shareholders for their trust and support.

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Five Space Station Research Results Contributing to Deep Space Exploration

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst works on the MICS experiment aboard the International Space Station. Observations of how cement reacts in space during the hardening process may help engineers better understand its microstructure and material properties, which could improve cement processing techniques on Earth and lead to the design of safe, lightweight space habitats. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than 3,000 experiments have been conducted aboard the  International Space Station during the 21 years humans have been living and working in space. These experiments have provided insights helping improve life back on Earth and explore farther into the solar system. Researchers have shared these results in thousands of scientific publications.

Over the past few months, scientists shared the outcomes of space station studies that could help us recover more water from life support systems, construct Moon bases, grow plants in space, and more.

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Future Trillion Dollar ‘Space Economy’ Threatened by Debris, WVU Researcher Says

Piyush Mehta has earned the prestigious CAREER award for his research in upper atmosphere variability (Credit: WVU/Paige Nesbit)

MORGANTOWN, W.V. (West Virginia University PR) — The space economy is on track to be valued at a trillion dollars by the end of 2030, according to Piyush Mehta, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University. Yet space assets–equipment that is placed in space such as navigation, weather and communication satellites that serve our society daily–are threatened by space debris. 

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Spire and Dragonfly Aerospace Announce Partnership to Support Australian Office of National Intelligence

Spire’s LEMUR satellite will explore the on-board application of advanced machine learning capabilities

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) – Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“the Company” or “Spire”), a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced a partnership with Dragonfly Aerospace to support the Australian Government’s Office of National Intelligence (ONI) with a second satellite as a part of its ongoing National Intelligence Community Satellite (NICSAT) program. The follow-up program, NICSAT2, will see Spire designing, building, and launching the company’s Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver (LEMUR), a 6U satellite platform, with the capability of on-board computing and processing of machine learning and artificial intelligence across multi-modal data. Dragonfly Aerospace will provide a high-performance Gecko camera using its proprietary space-proven electronics and ruggedized optics for an easy-to-integrate imaging solution for the satellite.

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Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Wins NRO SAR Study Contract

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Airbus U.S. Space & Defense PR) – The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Commercial Systems Program Office (CSPO) has partnered with Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc to evaluate Airbus’ market leading Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data and its potential to support U.S national security and defense missions.

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Axiom Space’s Private Flight to Space Station Delayed to End of March

Pilot Larry Connor, mission commander Michael López-Alegría, mission specialist Mark Pathy, and mission specialist Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

Axiom Space’s plan to send four private astronauts to the International Space Station has been delayed from Feb. 21 to March 31, NASA announced last week.

“Axiom Mission 1, the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is now targeting to launch March 31 to account for additional spacecraft preparations and space station traffic,” NASA said in a blog post. “Once aboard the orbiting laboratory, the four-person Axiom Space crew will conduct science, outreach, and commercial activities for eight days before their return to Earth.”

Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who is an Axiom vice president, will command the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission known as Ax-1. The spacecraft will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Lopez-Alegria will be joined by: American Larry Connor, who will serve as pilot; Israeli mission specialist Eytan Stibbe; and Canadian mission specialist Mark Pathy. Stibbe will be the second Israeli to fly to space.

Japan Postpones Maiden Flight of H3 Launch Vehicle Due to Turbopump Redesign

H-III launch vehicle variants (Credit: JAXA)

Translated from Japanese by Google Translate

TOKYO, January 21, 2022 (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is currently developing a new core rocket, the H3 rocket.

Although we have a certain prospect of responding to the technical issues confirmed in the LE-9 engine newly developed for the first stage engine of this H3 rocket, in order to ensure a reliable launch, we have decided not to launch a test flight in 2021.

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Clickbait and BS: As FAA Review of SpaceX’s Starbase Plan Heats Up, Debate Sinks into the Swamp

Herb’s BS

So, last week I wrote a story about serious concerns being raised by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service about the impact of SpaceX’s plan to launch Super Heavy/Starship rockets from its Starbase facility:

Report: SpaceX’s Boca Chica Plans Face Serious Objections from FWS, NPS

It generated a lot of discussion and debate (212 comments to date) and alerted my readers to a potentially serious obstacle to SpaceX’s plans in Texas in regards to the environmental assessment being done by the Federal Aviation Administration. I don’t think the issue was broadly understood.

I discovered a few days later that the story some guy named Herb was trashing the story and me on some other website. He declared the story to “clickbait garbage.” Why? Apparently they had discussed the matter on that forum a couple of months earlier.

What the Eff? This guy has no grasp of what clickbait is. I don’t do clickbait. I write things for my audience. The fact it was discussed on some other website’s forum has no impact on what I do. I don’t think the matter discussed is settled.

It just so happens I’m banned from commenting on that site. I really could care less. It’s their site, they can do what they want. I mean, whatever. Based on the above, I don’t think I’m missing much. I understand the moderator ended up locking the forum because the subsequent discussion sunk into the muck.

I understand that I get trashed periodically over at that site on the forums. Sort of frustrating not to be able to respond. But, whatever.


NASA to Discuss Webb’s Arrival at Final Destination, Next Steps on Monday

Artist rending showing light reflecting off of the primary and secondary mirrors of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, after it has deployed in space. (Credits: NASA/Mike McClare)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Scientists and engineers operating NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will answer questions about the mission’s latest milestones in a NASA Science Live broadcast at 3 p.m. EST Monday, Jan. 24, followed by a media teleconference at 4 p.m.

The broadcast will air live online on the NASA Science Live website, as well as YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter. Audio of the teleconference will stream live on the agency’s website.

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EnduroSat & Mission Space Redefine Space Weather Data Infrastructure

LUXEMBOURG & SOFIA, Bulgaria (Mission Space/EnduroSat PR) — Mission Space, leading enabler and provider of satellite-based space weather monitoring and EnduroSat, leading provider of software-defined NanoSats and space services for business and academia sign a commercial agreement to launch Mission Space’s first space weather payload on EnduroSat CubeSat platform.

The planned launch is scheduled for Q4 2022 and will carry Mission Space’s set of high energy particle detectors to monitor the conditions of the sun. The new level of data and intelligence will enhance Mission Space proprietary space weather cloud platform and help satellite operators detect solar storms early, quantify risks and monitor increased levels of radiation for better asset protection.

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