The Wall Street Journalreports that Richard Branson has hired Credit Suisse Group AG and LionTree LLC to take Virgin Orbit public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) at a valuation of up to $3 billion.
Rollout of Second Spaceship Scheduled to Take Place on March 30
Announced Expected Timing of Revenue-Generating Flight with the Italian Air Force
Next Rocket-Powered Spaceflight Targeted to Occur in May
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic” or the “Company”), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020.
At least 32 people infected from illegal gathering that violated state and local restrictions
Event held while Southern California ICUs were at full capacity
Diamandis says he’s learned masks and social distancing really are important
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
On Saturday, I received an email from XPRIZE Chairman Dr. Peter Diamandis, holder of a medical degree from Harvard, about a super spreader event he held in Los Angeles last month that resulted in at least 32 people becoming infected with the deadly COVID-19. The email, sent to members of the Abundance 360 mailing list, was based on a blog post he had published the previous day.
I was impressed with how candid Diamandis was in admitting how his Abundance 360 Summit with nearly 100 participants had turned into a complete cluster expletive. Well, I was impressed until I found this MIT Technology Review story online only a short time later:
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has replaced the minister who oversees the nation’s space program as part of a shakeup of his cabinet that also involved the first Canadian to travel to space.
Trudeau named minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne to replace Navdeep Bains as minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. The position involves overseeing the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) among other duties.
Despite the Covid-19 global pandemic impacting certain segments of the commercial space market, government spending remains unaffected.
Paris, Washington D.C., Montreal, Yokohama (Euroconsult PR) – In its latest research product “The Space Economy Report 2020″, Euroconsult estimates that the consolidated space economy, including both government space investments, as well as commercial space, totaled $385 billion in 2020, a record amount. Commercial revenues of $315 billion in 2020 were down 2% from 2019’s $319 billion evaluation, due partially to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting certain commercial markets – in particular satellite communication sub-segments focused on high mobility such as, aero, maritime, offshore oil and gas, though other factors, such as video-related revenues continuing their pre-Covid downward trend contributed to the decrease.
NASA needs to strengthen its management oversight of the lunar landing program to minimize delays and cost overruns as the space agency moves beyond the Artemis I flight test scheduled for November 2021, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
GAO’s program review also found that schedule for the maiden flight of the Space Launch System and second Orion spacecraft does not account for delays resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The outgoing year 2020 has become a difficult test for the entire world marked by the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Many world economic players have encountered objective difficulties in the implementation of previously outlined plans.
Unfortunately, Roscosmos also had to correct a number of plans, including those related to launch activities. Nevertheless, Roscosmos management put the quality of production and the safety of personnel working at the Russian rocket and space industry enterprises and cosmodromes at the forefront.
With the disruption and deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t the easiest year to get things done. Keeping that in mind, let’s see how the companies did in 2020. (Spoiler Alert: they came up a little short.)
LONGUEUIL, Que. (CSA PR) — It’s an understatement to say that 2020 was an exceptional year. As the year draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the most compelling, inspirational and incredible moments for Canada in space. Happy New Year!
MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, Roscosmos Director General, wishes a Happy New Year!
“We see off this year and welcome 2021 with high hopes. We hope that the Vostochny Cosmodrome will start operating at full capacity,” Rogozin said.
In 2021, Roscosmos expects to ensure the new Nauka orbital module launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and send the Luna-25 automatic interplanetary station from the Vostochny Cosmodrome to Earth’s natural satellite.
According to the head of Roscosmos, 2020 was a difficult year for the Russian rocket and space industry due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions in the world and Russia in particular.
“Nevertheless, Russia’s rocket and space industry worked uninterrupted. We ensured all our planned launches, including crewed launches from Baikonur,” Rogozin noted.
Next year, apart from Luna-25, Roscosmos plans to carry out about six launches of the British OneWeb communications satellites from Vostochny. In 2020, only one rocket launch took place from this cosmodrome – on December 18, 36 spacecraft of the OneWeb satellite company went into orbit.
In total, in 2020, Roscosmos conducted 17 launches of space rockets from the Baikonur, Plesetsk, Vostochny and Guiana spaceports.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2020, NASA made significant progress on America’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, met mission objectives for the Artemis program, achieved significant scientific advancements to benefit humanity, and returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, all while agency teams acted quickly to assist the national COVID-19 response.
Virgin Orbit has postponed the second flight of its LauncherOne booster scheduled for Dec. 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company announced on Saturday.
“Our latest round of contact tracing Friday evening led to a new batch of precautionary quarantines,” Virgin Orbit tweeted. “Consequently, we’ve fallen below the number of staff we feel we require to prudently and safely proceed with pre-launch operations….
PTIreports that India’s human space flight program is likely to be delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the mandate of Gaganyaan, two uncrewed missions would be undertaken prior to the manned mission. Accordingly, the unmanned missions were slated for launch in December 2020 and July 2021, and the first manned mission was scheduled in December 2021.
“That will be delayed because of COVID,” ISRO Chairman, Kailasavadivoo Sivan, told PTI. “We are targeting for sometime next year-end or the subsequent year,” he said on the expected time-line for the first of the two proposed uncrewed missions.
The Gaganyaan project has the objective of demonstrating human space flight capability to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with three crew members in orbit and safely recovering them after the mission.
COVID-19 has significantly slowed India’s space program this year. ISRO typically launches about six times annually. The space agency launched for the first time and only time this year on Nov. 7. ISRO’s second and possibly final launch of 2020 is scheduled for Nov. 14.
PARIS (ESA PR) — For the past 20 years, astronauts have been performing experiments on the International Space Station. Science in low Earth orbit is not only hugely important in preparation for continued space exploration, the research also benefits life on Earth. We’ve seen discoveries that have advanced Earth-bound medicine, engineering and agriculture, and from this weekend onwards, microgravity will help us in our fight against COVID-19, with European commercial experiments launched to the International Space Station on the 21st SpaceX cargo mission.