NASA Selects Astrobotic, Honeybee and Lockheed Martin to Advance Solar Power on Moon

Vertical solar arrays, pictured in this illustration, will help power exploration of the Moon under Artemis. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected three companies to further advance work on deployable solar array systems that will help power the agency’s human and robotic exploration of the Moon under Artemis.

Through Artemis missions, NASA will return humans to the Moon and establish a long-term presence near the lunar South Pole. A reliable, sustainable power source is required to support lunar habitats, rovers, and even construction systems for future robotic and crewed missions. To help provide this power, NASA is supporting development of vertical solar arrays that can autonomously deploy up to 32 feet high and retract for relocation if necessary.

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The Upcoming Week in Launches: Artemis I and Some Other Ones

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

The Wikipedia orbital launch page lists six launches to close out August. The big one, of course, is NASA’s Artemis I mission next Monday. The others, not so momentous but still worth listing.

Disclaimer: This schedule is subject to change without notice. Parabolic Arc takes no responsibility for delays, changes, additions or what have you. And, as always, no wagering.

Tuesday, August 23

Launch Vehicle: Long March 11
Launch Site: Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Payload: TBA

Wednesday, August 24

Launch Vehicle: Long March 2D 
Launch Site: Taiyuan Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: CASC
Payload: TBA

Saturday, August 27

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Vandenberg Space Force Base
Launch Company: SpaceX
Payloads: 46 Starlink broadband satellites
Webcast: www.spacex.com

Sunday, August 28

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station
Launch Company: SpaceX
Payloads: 53 Starlink broadband satellites
Webcast: www.spacex.com

Monday, August 29

Launch Vehicle: Space Launch System Block 1
Launch Site: Kennedy LC-39B
Launch Window: 8:33-10:33 a.m. EDT (12:33-14:33 UTC)
Launching Agency: NASA
Payloads: Orion spacecraft and 10 secondary payloads
Webcast: www.nasa.gov

Artemis I Secondary Payloads

SatelliteOrganizationOrbitPurpose
ArgoMoonItalian Space AgencyHeliocentricSpacecraft will demonstrate capacity of CubeSats to conduct precise maneuvers in deep space by providing detailed images of the SLS’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage 
BioSentinelNASAHeliocentricSpacecraft will use budding yeast to detect, measure, and compare the impact of deep space radiation on DNA repair
CuSP NASAHeliocentricSpace weather measurements
EQUULEUSUniversity of TokyoEarth-moon L26U CubeSat will measure the distribution of plasma around Earth
LunaH-MapNASASelenocentricLunar polar orbiter will search for evidence of frozen water deposits
Lunar IceCubeNASASelenocentricLunar orbiter will search for frozen water deposits
LunIRLockheed Martin SpaceHeliocentricDemonstration technology to collect surface spectroscopy and thermography
Near-Earth Asteroid ScoutNASAHeliocentricTechnology demonstration of solar sail to rendezvous with asteroid
OMOTENASHIJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)SelenocentricSmallest vehicle to attempt lunar lander
Team MilesFluid and Reason, LLCHeliocentricTechnology demonstration of plasma thrusters

Late August       

Launch Vehicle: Kuaizhou 1A
Launch Site: Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Launch Company: ExPace
Payloads: Centispace-1 S3 and Centispace-1 S4 navigation satellites

Navy Helicopters and Air Force Pararescue Forces Conduct Astronaut Recovery Exercise

Air Force pararescue forces from the 48th rescue squadron remove a mock-astronaut from a SpaceX Dragon capsule during a validation exercise. The exercise was meant to validate the joint-capability of Navy helicopter squadrons and Air Force Guardian Angel Pararescue forces in their shared mission to recover astronauts at sea. (Credit: U.S. Space Command/Sean Castellano)

PETERSON SPACE FORCE BASE, Colo.  (U.S. Space Command PR) –  U.S. Space Command held an exercise Aug. 1-5 at Patrick Space Force Base, Fl., in preparation for the upcoming launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-5, targeted for no earlier than September 29, 2022.

As the Department of Defense’s Human Space Flight Support Manager, USSPACECOM coordinates global DoD support for the rescue and recovery of human exploration events for NASA’s Artemis and Commercial Crew Program missions.

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Launch Dates Set for Artemis I Mission

The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, on 27 August 2022. The new ESA logo and NASA’s ‘worm’ logo will be along for the ride on the first full mission of the powerful Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — With the rocket now on the launchpad, the Artemis I Moon mission is getting real: 29 August is the first opportunity for the SLS rocket to blast off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’s launchpad 39B in Florida, USA.

This first Artemis mission will put NASA’s Orion spacecraft and its European Service Module to the test during a journey beyond the Moon and back. The spacecraft will enter lunar orbit, using the Moon’s gravity to gain speed and propel itself almost half a million km from Earth – farther than any human-rated spacecraft has ever travelled.

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NASA Identifies Candidate Regions for Landing Next Americans on Moon

Shown here is a rendering of 13 candidate landing regions for Artemis III. Each region is approximately 9.3 by 9.3 miles (15 by 15 kilometers). A landing site is a location within those regions with an approximate 328-foot (100-meter) radius. (image Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, (NASA HQ PR) — As NASA prepares to send astronauts back to the Moon under Artemis, the agency has identified 13 candidate landing regions near the lunar South Pole. Each region contains multiple potential landing sites for Artemis III, which will be the first of the Artemis missions to bring crew to the lunar surface, including the first woman to set foot on the Moon.

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NASA to Announce Candidate Landing Regions for Artemis III Moon Mission

South Pole-Aitken basin (Credit: NASA)

NASA Program Update

NASA will hold a media teleconference at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 19, to announce regions near the lunar South Pole the agency has identified as potential areas for astronauts to land as part of the Artemis III mission, targeted for 2025. This will be the first time astronauts will set foot on the Moon since NASA’s Apollo 17 mission in 1972.

Audio of the briefing will livestream on NASA’s website.

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Artemis I Moon Rocket Arrives at Launch Pad Ahead of Historic Mission

Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion capsule at Launch Complex 39B. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

Around 7:30 a.m. EDT the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I mission arrived atop Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a nearly 10-hour journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building. 

In the coming days, engineers and technicians will configure systems at the pad for launch, which is currently targeted for no earlier than Aug. 29 at 8:33 a.m. (two hour launch window). Teams have worked to refine operations and procedures and have incorporated lessons learned from the wet dress rehearsal test campaign and have updated the launch timeline accordingly.  

Join Our Virtual NASA Social to Experience the Launch of the Artemis I Mission

Artemis I mission rolled out to the launch pad. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

Social media users are invited to register to take part in our global virtual NASA Social for the Artemis I launch of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA is targeting launch on August 29, 2022 during a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT.

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Terran Orbital Wins Mission Of The Year For CAPSTONE Spacecraft

The satellite is flying a historic pathfinding mission to the Moon in support of NASA’s Artemis program
CAPSTONE is the Small Satellite Conference’s Mission of the Year (Image Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)

BOCA Raton, Fla., (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, is humbled to share in the Mission of the Year Award presented to the CAPSTONE mission team at the Small Satellite Conference. Competition entrants were chosen for their ability to demonstrate a significant improvement in the capability of satellites, spacecraft structural design, scientific instrument development, and communications capabilities. The contest was informed by the public and administered by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Small Spacecraft Technical Committee. CAPSTONE topped ten other highly technical satellites to win the award.

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Sidus Space Reports Second Quarter 2022 Results and Business Update

Revenue Increased 695% in Second Quarter 2022 from Second Quarter 2021

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.–(Sidus Space PR)– Sidus Space, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIDU), a Space-as-a-Service satellite company focused on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection, today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2022 and provided company business updates.

Q2 2022 Financial Highlights

  • Revenue increased to $1.85 million for the three months ended June 30, 2022 from $232,000 in the comparable period of 2021, an increase of 695%.
    • This increase is primarily attributed to increased customer confidence as a result of previous deliveries and increased contract flow driven by sales efforts from an expanded sales team.
  • Gross Profit increased to $347,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2022 from a loss of $56,000 in the comparable period of 2021, attributable to an increase in revenue, a decrease in labor intensive contracts and an increase in our higher margin Satellite-as-a-Service business line.
  • Operating Expenses increased to $2.7 million for the three months ended June 30, 2022 compared to $418,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2021, resulting from expansion of our staff and facilities, as well as increased insurance, investor relations, legal and accounting fees that are associated with being a publicly traded company.
  • During the quarter, the Company’s principal shareholder forgave approximately $1.624 million of debt, consisting of the entire unpaid principal amount and accrued interest owed by the Company to the shareholder.
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Sidus Space Fabricates Hardware in Support of NASA’s Artemis Program and Space Launch System

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Sidus Space PR) — Sidus Space, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIDU), a Space-as-a-Service company focused on mission critical hardware manufacturing; multi-disciplinary engineering services; satellite design, production, launch planning, mission operations; and in-orbit support, is proud to announce that it has completed the fabrication of the first set of hardware in support of NASA’s Artemis Program and their Space Launch System (SLS) Manned Vehicle.

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Cash-strapped Masten Space Furloughs Employees, Moon Landing Mission at Risk

Masten’s XL-1 lunar lander will deliver science and technology payloads to the Moon’s South Pole. (Credits: Masten Space Systems)

Updated on July 15 to clarify layoffs and furloughs.
Updated on July 15 with a statement from NASA.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

MOJAVE, Calif. — Cash-strapped Masten Space Systems has furloughed all of its staff, putting at risk both the company and a $75.9 million NASA-funded mission to deliver the MoonRanger rover and eight scientific payloads to the lunar surface aboard Masten’s XL-1 lander late next year.

“XL-1 is basically dead. To my knowledge, everyone who was working exclusively on XL1 has been laid off,” a source familiar with the situation told Parabolic Arc in a written response to questions. The source requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the matter.

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KBR to Support $3.5B Next-Generation Spacesuit Development for Return to the Moon and Beyond

HOUSTON (KBR Inc. PR) — KBR (NYSE: KBR) is pleased to announce it is a major partner to Axiom Space, which NASA selected as one of two companies eligible to support the development of NASA’s next-generation spacesuit and spacewalk systems through the Exploration Extravehicular Activity Services (xEVAS) contract. This comprehensive contract includes a full range of services, including design, testing, and verification of manufacturing and processing of the new spacesuits. KBR will co-locate with Axiom Space in their facilities.

The xEVAS contract, which advances extravehicular activity capability for low-Earth orbit, on the lunar surface, and future human missions to Mars, is managed out of NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) through the Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Human Surface Mobility Program. The milestone-based contract’s period of performance continues through 2034 with a potential total value of $3.5 billion across the life of the program.

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Terran Orbital Successfully Completes CAPSTONE’s First TCM Burn

The NASA Artemis program satellite is charting a new path to the Moon

CAPSTONE approaches Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (Image Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the successful completion of CAPSTONE’s first TCM burn (TCM-1). As the first statistical maneuver of the mission, TCM-1 is designed to clean up expected dispersions from the launch vehicle injection – enabling CAPSTONE to continue its pathfinding lunar journey in support of NASA’s Artemis program.

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CAPSTONE Satellite, Designed and Built by Terran Orbital, Successfully Deploys from Rocket Lab Lunar Photon into Lunar Transfer Orbit

CAPSTONE approaches Near-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (Image Credit: Terran Orbital Corporation)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the successful deployment of the CAPSTONE spacecraft from a Rocket Lab Lunar Photon into a Lunar Transfer Orbit. Terran Orbital designed, built, and integrated Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, otherwise known as CAPSTONE, and is flying a pathfinding mission to the moon in support of NASA’s historic Artemis program. With deployment complete, Terran Orbital will now commence the satellite’s mission operations. CAPSTONE is owned and operated by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA.

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