Backing Australian Businesses to be Part of Future Space Missions

CANBERRA, Australia (Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology PR) — The Morrison Government is providing a $4 million [US $3 million] funding boost to Australian space researchers and businesses to help them develop new technologies for use in future NASA missions to the Moon and beyond.

The Moon to Mars Demonstrator Feasibility grants will see 20 organisations receive up to $200,000 [US $150,000] each to conduct feasibility testing and to transform their concepts into the next generation of space products and services.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said growing Australia’s space manufacturing sector was a key priority for the Morrison Government and the grants will enable local organisations to capitalise on emerging economic opportunities.

“These grants are part of the Morrison Government’s flagship space program – the $150 million [US $112.5 million] Moon to Mars initiative – which is providing pathways for Australian organisations to play an important part in NASA’s plans to return to the Moon and go beyond to Mars,” Minister Porter said. 

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A Video Comparison Between China’s Space Station and the ISS

Since the launch of ISS in 1998, for the past 20 years, for most of the time It was the only manned laboratory which locates in space. However, ISS and their crews are no longer alone with the launch of a crew to China’s first permanent space station.

Today, we will compare the ISS and the Chinese space station, which is still under construction.

QUT and MDA to Develop Robot for Space Application

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — QUT robotics researchers will join the push to take humanity back to the Moon in designing and demonstrating a logistics robot for space application.

Researchers from QUT’s Centre for Robotics will partner with Canadian-based space technology company MDA and Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth in designing a logistics robot prototype that may be used inside the International Space Station (ISS) or the Lunar Gateway.

The Lunar Gateway, a collaborative project involving NASA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, will serve as a rendezvous point for astronauts on missions to the surface of the Moon and as a springboard for robotic and human expeditions on to Mars.

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ESA-led Space Propulsion Test Facility Passed to UK Owner

National Space Propulsion Facility (Credit: ESA)

AYLESBURY, UK (ESA PR) — The UK’s new National Space Propulsion Facility has been declared open. ESA oversaw the design, assembly and commissioning of the facility – equipped to test-fire the most powerful classes of rocket engines used aboard spacecraft.

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Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company, Announces Successful Commissioning of Tyvak-0130 Satellite in Partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Composite false-color image of the Andromeda galaxy created by stacking 12 Medium FOV channel images for a total exposure of 19.2 seconds. This image demonstrates the exceptional stability obtained by the Tyvak-0130 satellite. (Credit: Tyvak)

IRVINE, Calif., June 17, 2021 (Tyvak PR) — Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company is pleased to announce the successful completion of in-orbit system checkout and commissioning of its Tyvak-0130 satellite. These necessary check points begin soon after launch and focus primarily on testing the satellite’s essential systems and protocols. Tyvak-0130 was launched as a rideshare on SpaceX Starlink L-26 on May 15, 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and has already transmitted over 4,000 pictures back to earth.

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Hydrosat Raises $5M to Take on Climate Change from Space

Funding Led by Cultivation Capital to Power First Space Mission

WASHINGTON (Hydrosat PR) — Hydrosat, a company creating an infrared satellite constellation, announced that it raised a $5 million seed round led by Cultivation Capital, bringing its total raised to date to over $10 million. The round was led by Cultivation Capital with participation by Freeflow Ventures, the Yield Lab, Expon Capital, Techstars, Industrious Ventures, and Synovia Capital.

Hydrosat is flying a multi-spectral and thermal infrared mission with Loft Orbital on a SpaceX Falcon 9 in 2022. The company plans to launch an additional 16-satellite constellation with the capacity to scan the entire globe on a daily basis, generating science quality infrared data and an analytics-ready land surface temperature product.

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SpaceX Launches GPS III Satellite From Florida

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. — A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched the GPS III SV-05 satellite from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on Thursday afternoon.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04. It was the first time that a previously flown first stage was used to launch a military payload.

Following stage separation, the Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship located in the Atlantic Ocean.

With the year not quite half over, SpaceX has conducted 19 launches. The company’s record is 25 launches in a single year, which it accomplished in 2020.

NASA, Roscosmos Congratulate China on Crewed Launch

Bill Nelson

NASA and Roscosmos sent congratulations to the China National Space Administration for its launch of three astronauts on Shenzhou-12 to the nation’s first permanent space station on Thursday.

NASA

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement Thursday regarding the China National Space Agency’s launch of the first crew to its Tiangong space station:

“Congratulations to China on the successful launch of crew to their space station! I look forward to the scientific discoveries to come.”

Roscosmos

Roscosmos sends sincere congratulations to China on the successful launch of three taikonauts on the Shenzhou 12 crewed spacecraft to the new Chinese Tianhe space station.

The Chinese space technologies are developing actively, and another success in China’s crewed space program is just a further proof to that!

China has made another confident step forward and together we can achieve even more! As was previously announced, together we will jointly develop the new International Lunar Research Station. Russia and China will become lasting and reliable partners in long-term colonization of near-Earth and outer space.

Senate Confirms Pam Melroy as NASA Deputy Administrator

Pamela Melroy

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The following are statements from Pam Melroy and Administrator Bill Nelson on Thursday’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Melroy as deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

“It’s an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as NASA Deputy Administrator, and I am humbled by President Biden and Vice President Harris’ confidence in me,” Melroy said. “I look forward to returning to the NASA family and working with Administrator Nelson to ensure the United States continues to lead in space and beyond – exploring the wonders of the universe, expanding the Earth science research critical to combatting climate change, unlocking scientific discoveries that will change the world as we know it, and inspiring the next generation of discoverers and dreamers.”

“Pam is a pioneer and veteran of NASA, and will be an outstanding leader as we venture farther out to the stars,” said Nelson. “We certainly are lucky to have her on board, and I look forward to leading NASA with her as a team.”

For information about NASA’s missions, discoveries, and activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

Chinese Astronauts Enter Space Station Core

Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, 54 and Tang Hongbo have entered the Tianhe core the nation’s first permanent space station for a three-month stay.

A Purposeful Passenger Prepares for Mission Aboard Orion Spacecraft

Moonikin set to fly aboard Orion. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — When NASA’s Orion spacecraft launches aboard the powerful Space Launch System rocket for the spacecraft’s first mission around the Moon later this year, a suited manikin will be aboard outfitted with sensors to provide data on what crew members may experience in flight. As part of the uncrewed Artemis I flight test, NASA is seeking to learn how best to protect astronauts for Artemis II, the first mission with crew.

In this image, engineers use a suited manikin that will fly on Artemis I to conduct vibration testing at Kennedy Space Center on Orion’s seat and energy dampening system – called the Crew Impact Attenuation System – for qualification ahead of Artemis II. 

The manikin flying on Artemis I will occupy the commander’s seat inside Orion, be equipped with two radiation sensors, and wear a first-generation Orion Crew Survival System suit – a spacesuit astronauts will wear during launch, entry, and other dynamic phases of their missions. The manikin’s seat will be outfitted with two sensors – one under the headrest and another behind the seat – to record acceleration and vibration throughout the mission.

NASA is holding a naming contest beginning Wednesday, June 16 for the manikin that will fly on an upcoming mission around the Moon. Find out about how you can participate in the Name the Moonikin contest.

Learn more on Tumblr: Name the Artemis Moonikin! Choose your player!

SpaceX Set to Launch GPS III Satellite

Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Thursday, June 17 for Falcon 9’s launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 05 mission from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The 15-minute launch window opens at 12:09 p.m. EDT, 16:09 UTC, and a backup launch opportunity is available on Friday, June 18 with a 15-minute launch window opening at 12:05 p.m. EDT, 16:05 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported launch of GPS III Space Vehicle 04. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

NASA, SpaceX Update Crew Launch and Return Dates

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX have adjusted target launch and return dates for upcoming crew missions to and from the International Space Station based on visiting vehicle traffic.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission now is targeting launch no earlier than Sunday, Oct. 31, with NASA astronauts Raja ChariTom Marshburn and  Kayla Barron and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. Crew-3 will launch on a new Crew Dragon spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to begin a six-month science mission at the space station.

Crew-3 astronauts will arrive at the space station for a short handover period with the Crew-2 astronauts and other crew members on Expedition 66. Crew-2 NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet are targeting early-to-mid November for a return to Earth inside Crew Dragon Endeavour off the coast of Florida.

Following Crew-3, the next crew rotation mission is targeted for no earlier than mid-April 2022 with the partner spacecraft and launch vehicle to be determined at a later date.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with industry through a public-private partnership to provide safe, reliable, and cost-effective transportation to and from the International Space Station, which will allow for additional research time and will increase the opportunity for discovery aboard humanity’s testbed for exploration. The space station remains the springboard to space exploration, including future missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

NASA and Boeing Progress Toward July Launch of Second Starliner Flight Test

Technicians prepare Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner for the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) in the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 2, 2021. Part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program, OFT-2 is a critical developmental milestone on the company’s path to fly crew missions for NASA. (Credits: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA and Boeing are continuing preparations ahead of Starliner’s second uncrewed flight to prove the system can safely carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

Teams inside the Starliner production factory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently began fueling the Starliner crew module and service module in preparation for launch of Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) at 2:53 p.m. EDT on Friday, July 30. The fueling operations are expected to complete this week as teams load propellant inside the facility’s Hazardous Processing Area and perform final spacecraft checks.

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