Northrop Grumman and Intelsat Make History with Satellite Docking of Second Mission Extension Vehicle

An image of Intelsat 10-02 taken by MEV-2’s infrared wide field of view camera at 15m away. (Credit: SpaceLogistics)

DULLES, Va., April 12, 2021 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SpaceLogistics LLC, have successfully completed the docking of the Mission Extension Vehicle-2 (MEV-2) to the Intelsat 10-02 (IS-10-02) commercial communications satellite to deliver life-extension services. The docking was completed at 1:34 p.m. EST.

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Russia Marks 60th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin Flight

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin congratulates all the Russian rocket and space industry and related industries’ employees on Cosmonautics Day!

Russia not only looks back to the past, but also focuses on the future, while being on the verge of important changes in the space industry, Dmitry Rogozin said.

‘Today our industry is not only celebrating the anniversary and remembering the past, we also focus on the future, we are on the verge of very important changes in our industry,’ said Dmitry Rogozin.

Head of Roscosmos stressed that the Russian Federation expects transition to new rocket and space technology, the beginning of lunar research – starting with automatic stations and continued by cosmonaut crews. According to Rogozin, the space industry sees tremendous opportunities for international cooperation, while the technologies demonstrated speak in favor of the fact that ‘many people want to be friends and work with the Russian Federation’.

‘We believe in our space, in Russian space. We believe that the industry is capable of solving all the tasks set by the president and our people,’ Dmitry Rogozin added.

Head of Roscosmos also recalled that the first manned flight into space was completed despite the colossal human and material losses during the Great Patriotic War.

“This indicates that not everything is due to the circumstances, a lot depends on people, their will and professionalism, on their focus on achieving results,’ he concluded.

Retired Astronaut Bob Crippen on the 40th Anniversary of STS-1 and the Beginning of the Shuttle Program

These two astronauts were the prime crewmen for the first flight in the Space Transportation System (STS-1) program. Astronauts John W. Young, left, commander, and Robert L. Crippen, pilot, manned the space shuttle orbiter 102 Columbia for the first orbital flight test on April 12, 1981. (Credit: NASA)

KENNED SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The Space Shuttle Columbia began a new era of human spaceflight when STS-1 lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 12, 1981, for the inaugural flight of the nation’s Space Shuttle Program. To mark the occasion, NASA is providing historical b-roll footage of the launch and landing as well as recently recorded soundbites from retired astronaut Bob Crippen.

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Exolaunch Introduces Eco Space Tug Program

Reliant orbital transfer vehicle (Credit: Exolaunch)

New Fully Sustainable Orbital Transfer Vehicles Will Launch Small Satellites to Custom Orbits and Remove Space Debris 

BERLIN, Germany, April 12, 2021 (Exolaunch PR) – Exolaunch, the leading rideshare services provider for the NewSpace industry and trendsetter in deployment solutions, today introduced its space tug program, featuring a new line of revolutionary orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) that will launch satellites to custom orbits in an environmentally responsible way – the first of its kind in the OTV industry. The company’s space tug testing and flight qualification will begin in 2022 on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rideshare missions.

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DARPA Selects Performers for Phase 1 of Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) Program

Credit: DARPA

Industry teams to develop propulsion design, spacecraft concepts for demonstrating on-orbit Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system

ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA has awarded contracts for the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. The goal of the DRACO program is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system above low Earth orbit in 2025. The three prime contractors are General Atomics, Blue Origin, and Lockheed Martin.

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OneWeb, The AST Group Partner to Broaden Access to Fast, Seamless Connectivity at Sea

LONDON (AST Group PR) — As part of its mission to deliver low latency, ‘fibre-like’ connectivity to the maritime and offshore industries, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company OneWeb, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The AST Group (AST), a global leader in satellite communications systems.

By working together, AST and OneWeb will offer fixed-land and maritime customers access to OneWeb’s fast, flexible and affordable connectivity solutions seamlessly in even the most remote locations on land and at sea. Customer beta trials will be undertaken with AST before the end of the year and will be focused on delivering fixed services to support remote connectivity in Northern Europe.

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This Week on The Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, April 13 — 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): We welcome back DR. MARTIN ELVIS to the program.

Wednesday, April 14 — Hotel Mars is pre-recorded. See upcoming show menu on the home page for program details.

Friday, April 16 — 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM- 1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT: We welcome back DAVIDE SIVOLLA from Spain re his new book, “Space Mining and Manufacturing: Off-World Resources and Revolutionary Engineering Techniques.”

Sunday, April 18 — 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back MICHAEL GLEASON OF THE Aerospace Corp to discuss his new and very influential space policy paper.

mu Space Granted BOI Investment Incentives to Compete in Global Space Industry

  • mu Space is granted A1 level of investment promotion incentives and privileges, the highest rank of any eligible incentives, with the manufacturing of its small satellite components in a category of high technology industry; Manufacture or repair of Aircraft, or Aerospace Devices and Equipment section. 
  • Board of Investment incentives and privileges will benefit mu Space’s business operations as well as the development of the country’s economy.
  • The company aims to enhance Thailand’s competence as a strong player to equally compete in the global space industry.

BANGKOK (mu Space PR) — Satellite and space technology company, mu Space and Advanced Technology Co., Ltd., has secured a Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) investment promotion to take on the international space technology market.

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NASA Funds Research into Breakthrough Space Telescope for Prospecting Asteroids

Credit: Peter Gural

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts 2021 Phase II Award
Amount: $500,000

Peter Gural
Trans Astronautica Corporation
Lakeview Terrace, Calif.

There are 3 key reasons why it is vital for NASA to develop better ways to locate and characterize Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

1: NEOs are an impact hazard to the Earth.

2: Measuring NEO population distributions will unlock the answers to critical questions dealing with the formation and evolution of the solar system.

3: Most importantly, low ∆V NEOs can be targets for human exploration and resource mining.

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Jacobs Mango One Satellite on Orbit, Laying Pathway for Next Generation, Affordable Space Solutions

Mango One satellite (Credit: Jacobs)

Successful on-orbit performance marks another major milestone for Jacobs in advanced, affordable space radar payloads for military, civil and commercial customers

DALLAS (Jacobs PR) — Jacobs (NYSE:J) began a new era of advanced, affordable space radar payloads with its Mango One satellite achieving a successful on-orbit performance. On Jan. 24, 2021, Jacobs’ Mango One satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter One rideshare mission to a sun synchronous orbit.

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Space Impulse Industry Platform Welcomes Advanced Rockets Corporation

LOMITA, Calif. — Advanced Rockets Corporation (ARC) is an engineering pioneer developing a new class of rocket designed for 400+ flights per rocket and $100 per kg into low earth orbit. The design achieves more than 700% gains in efficiency over current technology by taking advantage of ARC’s patents in  advanced aerodynamics and air-breathing propulsion solutions. 

ARC’s innovative propulsion system combines rocket and hypersonic air-breathing technology into a single engine, massively reducing deadweight. The gains in efficiency this system affords translate into improved rates of utilization, an expanded envelope for safe intact abort, and mission-specific modifications among many other features essential to the goal of reliable and affordable commercial space flight. 

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Pure Capital Solutions Announces Acquisition, New Funding, And Focus On Space Economy

Nova Space Inc., a Space Economy Professional Development Provider, to Become Publicly Traded Through Merger with Pure Capital Solutions

SALT LAKE CITY, April 9, 2021 (Pure Capital Solutions PR) — Pure Capital Solutions (OTC Ticker symbol: PCST) a Utah corporation, announced the acquisition of Nova Corps, LLC, a Minnesota limited liability company through a merger with PCST in exchange for the issuance of 87,779,000 shares of restricted common stock. The shares issued will represent 80% of the issued and outstanding shares of PCST, with Nova Corps becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of PCST under the new name Nova Space – a Wyoming Incorporation (Nova Space).

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ESA’s Agenda 2025 Focuses on Improved EU Cooperation, Commercial Markets, Green Tech and Space Security

ESA has published Agenda 2025, a strategy that focuses on making the space agency more agile by assisting commercial ventures, developing green technologies, ensuring space security and working more closely with the European Union in devising new flagship programs to benefit the continent’s 500 million citizens.

The plan also includes negotiating with NASA to place the first European astronaut on the moon by the end of the decade as part of the U.S. space agency’s Artemis program.

Agenda 2025 Full Report | Agenda 2025 Executive Summary

A summary of ESA Agenda 20215 follows.

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Blue Origin Plans Suborbital Flight Later This Week

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has posted a temporary flight restriction (TFR) for a New Shepard suborbital flight from its test facility in west Texas for later this week. The TFR is in place starting Wednesday, April 14 at 1200 UTC (8 a.m. EDT/7a.m. CDT) until Saturday April 17 at 2000 UTC (4 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. CDT).

It would be the 15th flight of a New Shepard spacecraft and the second flight of New Shepard No. 4, which is designed to carry passengers. The most recent flight without people on board occurred on Jan. 14.

Blue Origin has not yet formally announced the flight. It is likely to be another uncrewed launch carrying scientific experiments.