CesiumAstro Raises $12.4 Million in Series A Round

AUSTIN, Texas (CesiumAstro PR)– CesiumAstro, Inc., pioneer of “out-of-the-box” high-performance multi-beam active phased array communication systems for space and airborne platforms, has announced the closing of a $12.4 million Series A funding round led by Airbus Ventures.

Additional investors in the round include Kleiner Perkins, Franklin Templeton Venture Fund, Lavrock Ventures, Honeywell Ventures, and Analog Devices Ventures. Funds will be used to scale the team and expand the development of a wide range of frequency offerings and system configurations to meet the growing demand for affordable, high-throughput aerospace plug-and-play communications systems.

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More Details on UAE National Space Strategy 2030

ABU DHABI, UAE (UAE Cabinet PR) — The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has adopted the National Space Strategy 2030 during its meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The Cabinet meeting was attended by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Sheikh Mohammed asserted that the UAE has established an economic powerhouse and advanced infrastructure by young Emirati talents, which enabled it to be at the forefront of the space exploration industry today.

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Musk Tweets About Hopper, Flight Tests & Boca Chica Plans

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches WGS-10 Mission

A Delta IV rocket carrying the tenth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite lifts off from Cape Canaveral. (Credit: ULA)

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., March 15, 2019 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the tenth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite for the U.S. Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 on March 15 at 8:26 p.m. EDT. ULA has been the exclusive launch provider for all ten WGS satellites.

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Pentagon Seeks $14.1 Billion for Military Space Programs

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Department of Defense (DOD) has requested to spend $14.1 billion on space programs in FY 2020, an amount that includes the establishment of a Space Force within the U.S. Air Force and a new Space Development Agency.

“The FY 2020 budget accelerates our efforts to move to a defendable space posture, which is critical as our adversaries continue to develop capabilities to counter our advantages in space,” the DOD said in budget documents. “This budget invests in the survivable and resilient Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared system and continues modernization of our GPS satellites communications systems and space warfighting enterprise.”

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Made In Space Completes Ground-based Manufacturing & Assembly Testing for Archinaut Program

Archinaut manufacturing and assembly unit enters the Thermal Vacuum Chamber (TVAC) at teammate Northrop Grumman’s facility in Redondo Beach, Calif. TVAC simulates the thermal and pressure environment of low Earth orbit. (Credit: Made in Space)

MOFFETT FIELD, CA, March 12, 2019 (Made in Space PR) — As part of a NASA Tipping Point contract, Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) has reached a significant milestone for their Archinaut program by successfully demonstrating its additive manufacturing and robotic assembly capabilities in a space-like environment.

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UAE Cabinet Approves National Space Strategy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Cabinet has approved a National Space Strategy to guide the UAE until 2030, The National reports.

The strategy includes 79 projects in the areas of science and space research, manufacturing, assembly and testing in addition to the commercial space service sector, Sheikh Mohammed [bin Rashid] said.

“Last year we celebrated the launch of the first satellite fully built by young Emirati engineers, and in the very near future we will see them operating international space technology centers, based in the UAE,” he said in a news release from the Cabinet office.

“We will see Emirati cadres, highly skilled and specialised in space science, achieving scientific breakthroughs that serve the entire humanity.

“We are investing in the space industry, with ambitious projects and initiatives that will benefit our citizens and contribute to key sectors of the national economy. This is an important milestone for our country, and we are aiming to become a model for countries seeking to launch ambitious space programmes.”

Meanwhile, two Emirati astronauts — Hazza Al Mansouri, 34 and Sultan Al Neyadi, 37 — are in training in Russia for a spaceflight to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in September. It has not been announced which astronaut will fly with Russian commander Oleg Skripochka and American astronaut Chris Cassidy.

ISS National Lab Announces Request for Proposals to Access Space Flown Rodent Research Specimens

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), March 15, 2019 – The International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for investigators seeking biological specimens from mice to support fundamental biological and biomedical inquiries related to the effects of age on health after exposure to microgravity.

Due to a tremendous response from the research community after an initial Rodent Research Reference Mission in 2018, the ISS National Lab will provide a second opportunity to access space flown biospecimens.

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NASA Announces Tenth Round of Candidates for CubeSat Space Missions

EagleSat-1 CubeSat (Credits: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — An inflatable space antenna and a solar sail material test are among 16 small research satellites from 10 states NASA has selected to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

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A Region of Bennu’s Northern Hemisphere Close Up

Closeups of asteroid Bennu taken by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

This trio of images acquired by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows a wide shot and two close-ups of a region in asteroid Bennu’s northern hemisphere. The wide-angle image (left), obtained by the spacecraft’s MapCam camera, shows a 590-foot (180-meter) wide area with many rocks, including some large boulders, and a “pond” of regolith that is mostly devoid of large rocks.

The two closer images, obtained by the high-resolution PolyCam camera, show details of areas in the MapCam image, specifically a 50-foot (15 meter) boulder (top) and the regolith pond (bottom). The PolyCam frames are 101 feet (31 meters) across and the boulder depicted is approximately the same size as a humpback whale.

The images were taken on February 25 while the spacecraft was in orbit around Bennu, approximately 1.1 miles (1.8 km) from the asteroid’s surface. The observation plan for this day provided for one MapCam and two PolyCam images every 10 minutes, allowing for this combination of context and detail of Bennu’s surface.

UAE Eyeing Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Flights

A view from SpacehipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to host flights of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, The National reports.

Mohammad Al Ahbabi, director of the UAE Space Agency, said the organisation is working with Virgin Galactic on a bid to operate tourist space flights from Al Ain International Airport in the coming years….

“The reason why the company opted for Al Ain airport is that it is less crowded than other UAE airports, which are scheduled with thousands of flights.”

Airbus has used Al Ain airport to stress test its new aircraft in high summer temperatures, including the wide-body A350.

It was chosen for its hot, dry conditions and relatively quiet runways.

Abu Dhabi is part-owner of Virgin Galactic having invested $390 million in the company through its sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Company (formerly known as aabar Investments).

ESA Completes Further Design Validation of Reaction Engine’s SABRE™ Rocket Engine

SABRE engine (Credit: Reaction Engines)

WESTCOTT, UK (Reaction Engines PR) — The development programme of the world’s first air-breathing rocket engine has taken an additional significant step forward, which will lead to major testing milestones being undertaken within the next 18 months.

Reaction Engines has received further endorsement of its revolutionary SABRE™ engine design via its collaboration with ESA and the UK Space Agency (UKSA). The two agencies recently reviewed the preliminary design of the demonstrator engine core of the Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE), which Reaction Engines will use to undertake ground-based testing at its under-construction test facility at Westcott, Buckinghamshire.

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Space Access 2019 Seeks to Open the Doors of Affordable, Reliable Access to Space

Three Days of Making the Future Happen

FREMONT, Calif., March 14, 2019 (Space Access Society PR) — “Make orbit and you’re halfway to anywhere in the solar system,” science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said. The Space Access Conference focuses on how to make this routinely affordable, so the many different space dreams we’ve all grown up with can start becoming reality.

After a 3-year hiatus, the Space Access Conference comes to the Bay Area from its historic home in Phoenix, AZ, as “Space Access 2019” this April 18th-21st.  It has been described as a “Hackers” conference for rocket people, with three days of total immersion in making the future happen. It is known for its intensive all-day-and-evening program, building camaraderie among attendees ranging from amateur enthusiasts to industry leaders, from veterans of the field to students just arrived.

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NASA is With You When You Fly, Even on Mars

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — According to the 1958 law that established NASA, where the first “A” in NASA stands for aeronautics, the agency is charged with solving the problems of flight within the atmosphere.

But the law doesn’t say which planet’s atmosphere.

In that spirit, when the decision was made to add a small helicopter to the Mars 2020 rover mission to the Red Planet, experts at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California looked to the agency’s finest aeronautical innovators on this planet for help.

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ESA Helps Business Fly in Space

On 29 April 2016, ESA astronaut Tim Peake controlled, from the International Space Station, a rover nicknamed Bridget at Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage, UK, as part of an international experiment to prepare for human–robotic missions to the Moon, Mars and beyond. In this image, the rover experiment control team located at ESA’s ESOC mission control centre, Darmstadt, Germany, watch closely as Tim commands Bridget. (Credit: ESA)

DARMSTADT, Germany (ESA PR) — New ‘cubesat’ technology and falling launch costs mean that businesses, universities and other organisations are increasingly able to launch their own small satellites. Now ESA is offering facilities and know-how to help them fly.

In an innovative offering for Europe’s emerging space ecosystem, ESA is providing access to ground facilities – control rooms and ground stations – as well as know-how for those aiming to get their own small satellites into space.

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