ESA, GomSpace Sign Contract for Juventas CubeSat in Support of Hera Mission

Juventas CubeSat (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)

LUXEMBOURG (GomSpace PR) — GomSpace Luxembourg SARL and the European Space Agency (ESA), today signed a contract to continue development and implementation of the Juventas CubeSat in support of the Hera mission.

The contract value is approximately EUR 11,000,000, focused on delivery of the Juventas spacecraft and its associated payloads for launch with Hera in 2024. The amount will be divided between several partners, whereof GomSpace share is about EUR 6,100,000.

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Earth Observant Inc. Wins Air Force Contract to Further Development of VLEO Optical Payload

SAN FRANCISCO (Earth Observant PR) — Earth Observant Inc. (EOI) received this award under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and is working with AFWERX, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Selected from a competitive line-up of start-up companies, EOI is eager to apply the SBIR award toward advancing its vision for a VLEO satellite imaging platform.

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Air University Teaches Space as a Warfighting Domain

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) — Air University is changing the way it educates about space.

In all levels of professional military education and select professional continuing education curricula, the university will now be presenting space curriculum that is focused on developing joint-minded graduates who are prepared for joint, all-domain conflict, where the space domain is likely to be contested, degraded and operationally limited.

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PredaSAR Chooses SpaceX to Launch its First Synthetic Aperture Radar Satellite

BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 4, 2020 (PredaSAR Corporation PR) — PredaSAR Corporation, today announced that its first of 48 advanced commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites will launch on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. is the launch integration provider in addition to manufacturer of the spacecraft.

As part of the agreement, PredaSAR, Tyvak, and SpaceX will be working together to optimize the deployment plan for the remainder of PredaSAR’s groundbreaking constellation – the world’s largest and most advanced commercial SAR satellite constellation.

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Novel Startup, Global Space Exchange, Inc. Exits Stealth Mode

WASHINGTON, Aug. 4, 2020 (Global Space Exchange PR) — Global Space Exchange, Inc. officially exits stealth mode this week during Utah State University’s Small Satellite Conference to serve the space industry with a first-of-its-kind information platform as a service.

The company offers a next-generation collaboration platform that drives efficiency and speed into the operations of space organizations. Members can use the platform to build new relationships, increase sales, derive competitive business insights, modernize their supply chains, or guide technology investment.  

The platform hosts a comprehensive collection of aggregated space organization information covering the global stage with more than 50 countries, 690 organizations, and thousands of product and service offerings.

Global industry members may obtain free organizations profiles to increase exposure to their product and service offerings.

Global Space Exchange, Inc. aims to accelerate the advancement of space technology through information transparency. The company provides information services through their online platform, publishes an annual report on the global space marketplace, and offers technical and business support services.

For more information, visit: www.globalspaceexchange.com.

SwRI-led Lucy Mission One Step Closer to Trojan Asteroids

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (SwRI PR) — NASA’s Lucy mission, led by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), has achieved an important milestone by passing its System Integration Review and clearing the way for spacecraft assembly.

This NASA Discovery Program class mission will be the first to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, ancient small bodies that share an orbit with Jupiter and hold important insights to understanding the early solar system.

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Brazilian Space Agency Receives 14 Proposals for Use of Alcantara Spaceport

Alcantara Space Center

BRASILIA (AEB PR) — The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), an autarchy linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI), informs that companies registered in the Public Call aimed at carrying out launch activities using the Alcântara Space Center (CEA) in Maranhão, you have until 5 pm (Brasília time), on August 31, 2020, to send your proposals for analysis. Altogether 14 companies signed up.

 The proposals will be verified by the Special Analysis Commission, formed by members of the AEB and the Air Force Command (COMAER). The commission was created through an act by the President of AEB, Carlos Moura. CEA may be used in launch operations from 2021.

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Northrop Grumman Disappointed by Loss in Launcher Procurement

OmegA will be Northrop Grumman’s first heavy-lift rocket, adding to the company’s current lineup of small- and medium-class vehicles. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman Statement on the U.S. Space Force’s Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement Decision

FALLS CHURCH, Va., August 2, 2020 — The following is a statement by Northrop Grumman Corporation:

We are disappointed by this decision. We are confident we submitted a strong proposal that reflected our extensive space launh experience and provided value to our customer, and we look forward to our debriefing from the customer.

Editor’s Note: The decision to award launch agreements to SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) likely means the cancellation of Northrop Grumman’s OmegA launcher. The booster probably needed U.S. Space Force contracts to be viable.

That doesn’t mean the company is completely out of the business. Northrop Grumman already supplies solid rocket motors (SRBs) to ULA for use on the Atlas V and Delta IV Heavy launchers. It is also developing a new SRB for ULA’s new Vulcan booster.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn was not selected either. However, Jeff Bezos’ company announced it would continue of the Saturn V-class rocket and supply BE-4 engines for ULA’s Vulcan launcher.

Blue Origin BE-4 to Support ULA National Security Launches, Continue New Glenn Development

BE-4 engines (Credit: Blue Origin)

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Today, Blue Origin issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Space Force’s National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement (LSP) announcement: 

“We are disappointed in the decision that New Glenn was not selected for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 Launch Services Procurement (LSP). We submitted an incredibly compelling offer for the national security community and the U.S. taxpayer. Blue Origin’s offer was based on New Glenn’s heavy-lift performance, unprecedented private investment of more than $2.5 billion, and a very competitive single basic launch service price for any mission across the entire ordering period. We are proceeding with New Glenn development to fulfill our current commercial contracts, pursue a large and growing commercial market, and enter into new civil space launch contracts. We remain confident New Glenn will play a critical role for the national security community in the future due to the increasing realization that space is a contested domain and a robust, responsive, and resilient launch capability is ever more vital to U.S security. 

Blue Origin is very proud that our BE-4 engine will power United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle in support of the Space Force’s NSSL program and end reliance on Russian-built engines. The BE-4 is the most powerful liquefied natural gas-fueled rocket engine ever developed and the first oxygen-rich staged combustion engine made in the U.S. We look forward to supporting ULA’s long-standing role in launching national security payloads.” 

– Bob Smith, CEO, Blue Origin

Space Flight Laboratory Announces New Line of Cost-Effective CubeSats to Expand its Current Satellite Offerings

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, 27 July 2020 – Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of microspace missions for 22 years, has announced a new line of high-performance, low-cost CubeSat buses. The 3U (“THUNDER”), 6U (“SPARTAN”) and 12U/16U (“JAEGER”) CubeSats complement SFL’s legacy suite of space-heritage nano- and microsatellites, fulfilling mission size requirements from 3 kg to 500 kg.

SFL was among the first in the world to launch CubeSats including the CanX-1 CubeSat in 2003 and CanX-2 in 2008, with capabilities that exceeded the state-of-the-art at that time. Since then SFL focused on somewhat larger, more capable satellites for more challenging missions, garnering a reputation for “quality at low cost.” As SFL delivered high-performance, high-quality microsatellites for more than two decades, the CubeSat market matured, and the number of commercial opportunities increased.

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Aerospace Prairie: A Platform for Next-Gen Space Operators

With Prairie, Aerospace is pioneering the use of Agile and DevSecOps methods for satellite development. (Credit: The Aerospace Corporation)

Prairie combines Aerospace’s unrivaled technical and historical space operation data with the most innovative gaming engines available in the commercial market, and is presented to the user with stunning visual graphics.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — The rapid growth of the space enterprise, from commercial interests in space exploration to a potentially adversarial domain, has created a demand for faster, more agile tools for space operations. The ability to simulate multiple scenarios and test models with pinpoint accuracy and rich interactive data visualization can serve as an invaluable advantage for operators to maintain space domain awareness.

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ULA Wins Multi-Year Competitive Contract Award to Launch Critical National Security Space Missions for U.S. Space Force

Artist’s conception of Vulcan Centaur rocket. (Credit: ULA)

CENTENNIAL, Colo., Aug. 7, 2020 (ULA PR) – The U.S. Space Force announced today that United Launch Alliance (ULA) was awarded a firm, fixed-price, indefinite-delivery contract to launch 60 percent of the missions on its newest launch procurement contract. This contract resulted from a competitive award under the Space Force’s National Security Space Launch (NSSL) Phase 2 procurement.

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Space Force Awards National Security Space Launch Phase 2 Launch Service Contracts to SpaceX & ULA

WASHINGTON, (AFNS) — The Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), in partnership with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), competitively awarded two Firm-Fixed-Price, Indefinite Delivery Requirement contracts for National Security Space launch services today to ULA and SpaceX.

“This is a groundbreaking day, culminating years of strategic planning and effort by the Department of the Air Force, NRO, and our launch service industry partners,” said Dr. William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. “Maintaining a competitive launch market, servicing both government and commercial customers, is how we encourage continued innovation on assured access to space. Today’s awards mark a new epoch of space launch that will finally transition the Department off Russian RD-180 engines.”

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Trump Withdraws Nomination of O’Rielly to Serve as FCC Commissioner

President Donald Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Michael P. O’Rielly for another five-year term on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

SpaceNews reports the White House withdrew the nomination because O’Rielly opposed a petition by the Trump Administration asking the FCC to re-examine section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Section 230 provides free speech protections to Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Conservatives have accused the companies of censoring their views and want the immunity removed.

O’Rielly’s nomination was already on hold in the Senate at the time it was withdrawn. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced on July 28 that he had put a hold on the nomination until O’Rielly publicly committed to overturning the FCC’s Ligado order.

In April, FCC commissioners approved a modification to Ligado’s license to operate L-band communications services. The approval was opposed by the Trump Administration, the Defense Department, and other agencies that believe it will interfere with Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation signals.

“I understand that O’Rielly has stated that he would give ‘due consideration to a stay’ ‘based on new data or evidence’ – but that isn’t enough,” Inhofe said in a statement. “This isn’t just about our military, but all users of GPS are united in opposition. All of America can’t be wrong, and he understands that. I need his commitment in plain English to vote to overturn the order, not just consider it, before I will allow his nomination to proceed.”