TOULOUSE, France, 12 September 2018 (Airbus PR) – Airbus Defence and Space has entered into a partnership with Orbital Insight, a U.S.-based geospatial analytics company, to build a suite of geospatial analytics services and tools. The agreement will provide Orbital Insight with access to Pleiades and SPOT satellite imagery at scale and provide Airbus with analytics services, making Orbital Insight the first analytics partner for the Airbus Digital Platform, “OneAtlas.”
SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM (NASA PR) — Three NASA technology demonstration payloads launched aboard UP Aerospace’s SpaceLoft 12 mission from Spaceport America in New Mexico on Sept. 12.
The suborbital rocket carried an umbrella-like heat shield called Adaptable Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT). Developed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, ADEPT’s unique design could be used for planetary lander and sample return missions. The flight tested the heat shield’s deployment sequence and entry performance.
Another Ames payload called Suborbital Flight Environment Monitor (SFEM-3) measures the internal environment of suborbital rockets carrying experiments. The system monitored acceleration, temperature and pressure within the payload bay during flight and could benefit future suborbital launches.
The third technology is from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is the Autonomous Flight Termination System (AFTS). While the termination device was not active during launch, the payload tested hardware and software performance in the high dynamics of suborbital flight.
The payload flight tests were funded by the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s Flight Opportunities program, managed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.
LUXEMBOURG (Ministry of the Economy PR) — The Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) officially launched operations today with the goal of promoting the further economic development of the Grand Duchy’s space industry by attracting businesses, developing human resources, providing innovative financial solutions and supporting educational and research infrastructur
Unlike many similar organisations abroad, Luxembourg’s space agency will not directly conduct research or launch missions, but foster collaboration between key players in the space industry, with the core mission of accelerating the emergence of innovation-driven businesses.
Editor’s Note: This is clearly an attempt to knock down rapidly spreading rumors in Russia that one of the International Space Station crew members drilled a hole in the side of a Soyuz orbital module that is attached to the facility.
The following is a joint statement from NASA and the Russian space agency Roscosmos about the investigation into a pressure leak on the International Space Station Aug. 29-30:
“NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin met for the first time yesterday via teleconference to discuss the status of International Space Station (ISS) operations in response to a request from Roscosmos.
“As part of their discussion, Dmitry Rogozin informed his American counterpart about Roscosmos’ decision to establish a Roscosmos-led Commission to investigate the cause of the leak in the Soyuz (MS-09/55S) spacecraft currently docked to the station.
“The Administrator and the General Director noted speculations circulating in the media regarding the possible cause of the incident and agreed on deferring any preliminary conclusions and providing any explanations until the final investigation has been completed.
“They affirmed the necessity of further close interaction between NASA and Roscosmos technical teams in identifying and eliminating the cause of the leak, as well as continuation of normal ISS operations and NASA’s ongoing support of the Roscosmos-led Soyuz investigation. They acknowledged the entire crew is dedicated to the safe operation of the station and all docked spacecraft to ensure mission success.
“The Administrator and the Roscosmos General Director agreed to conduct their first face-to-face meeting at the Baikonur Cosmodrome on or about Oct. 10 when the NASA Administrator will visit Russia and Kazakhstan in conjunction with the upcoming Soyuz crew spacecraft launch of American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexy Ovchinin.”
For information about the International Space Station, and its research and crews, visit:
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (Coalition) today announced Christen Kapavik has joined the nonprofit organization as its new Director of Strategic Alliances and Operations. A long-time Congressional staffer, Kapavik will manage overall operations for the Coalition, as well as serve as the main liaison to the organization’s 70+ members, including space industry businesses, advocacy groups, and other interested organizations.
That’s the assessment of SpaceX President & COO Gwynne Shotwell, who was asked about her boss Elon Musk’s erratic behavior in recent months during World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris. Bloomberg reports:
“Elon is a brilliant man,” Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said Tuesday after speaking at a satellite industry conference in Paris. “He is as lucid and capable as he has ever been. I wish people would not focus on triviality.”
There’s “no chance” that Musk’s conduct will impact SpaceX’s ability to win contracts, and there’s been “no impact at all” on the level of confidence in him on the part of the closely held company’s backers, Shotwell said.
“Look at the work that Elon’s companies do and focus on that. Not on what he does” in his own time, she said.
Shotwell also said that although she loves cars, she has no interest in taking a similar position at Musk’s struggling car company, Tesla Motors.
TOKYO (JAXA PR) — Due to an unfavorable weather forecast for the launch day, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have postponed the launch of the H-IIB Launch Vehicle No. 7 (H-IIB F7) which carries aboard the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI7” (HTV7), the cargo transporter to the International Space Station (ISS) from the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center. The launch was rescheduled for September 14, 2018. Below is the updated schedule.
MHI and JAXA will consider the weather forecast for the coming days and determine if the updated launch date is available.
Launch Date: September 15, 2018 Launch Time: around 6:00 a.m. (Japan Standard Time, JST) *1
Reserved Launch Period: September 16 through October 31, 2018 *2
*1: Launch time is determined by the latest update of the ISS operations. *2: Launch time and date during this period are pending, to be determined by the ISS operations and other status.
Spaceport America, NM and Greenville, TX (EXOS Aerospace/Spaceport America PR) – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport and EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of reusable space launch vehicles based in Greenville, Texas, announce a successful test launch of their newest vehicle, SARGE.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Sept. 12, 2018 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta II rocket is in final preparations to launch NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) spacecraft from Space Launch Complex-2 on Sept. 15. This marks the final launch of the Delta II rocket, which first launched on Feb. 14, 1989.
PARIS (IAI PR) — IAI and Effective Space – a company pioneering last mile logistics in space – today announced that they have signed a term sheet for cooperation, including both technological and financial partnerships. Under the conditions of the term sheet,
Effective Space will appoint IAI as the primary contractor of its SPACE DRONETM spacecraft, while IAI will work to complete the necessary approvals for equity investment in Effective Space. The term sheet follows more than a year of cooperation, during which both companies have been jointly working on the SPACE DRONETM spacecraft design.
WASHINGTON, D.C./TORONTO, September 10, 2018 (Phasor/Kepler Communications PR) – Phasor, the developer of leading, enterprise-grade electronically-steerable antenna systems, and Kepler, a low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite operator and telecommunication services provider today announce successful tests between Kepler’s first in-orbit LEO nanosatellite and Phasor’s wideband electronically-steered antenna.
Kepler’s satellite, KIPP, launched in January, represents the first example of a wideband LEO satellite to have been auto-acquired, auto-tracked, and communicated with, by a commercial flat panel, electronically-steerable antenna.
CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2018 (Boeing PR) — Boeing [NYSE: BA] today announced its investment in Denver-based BridgeSat Inc., an optical communications solutions company enabling the future of connectivity in space through a network of ground stations and proprietary space terminals.
BridgeSat is developing a global network of optical ground stations (OGS) to transmit large amounts of data into space quickly and reliably. Its stations support low Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary (GEO) satellite optical communications, enabling secure transmissions between satellites, other spacecraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and high-altitude aircrafts.
In association with Taconic Biosciences and BioServe Space Technologies, selected concepts from this Request for Proposals will support Rodent Research Reference Mission-1, a CASIS-sponsored initiative to support biospecimen research onboard the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory
Kennedy Space Center, Fla, September 11, 2018 (CASIS PR)—The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for investigators seeking to access biological specimens from its Rodent Research Reference Mission-1, Applications for Spaceflight Biospecimens, to support fundamental biomedical inquiries sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.