UPDATE: Virgin Orbit says the launch was scrubbed because the LauncherOne “propellant temperature was slightly out of bounds.” The company has not announced a new launch date.
Virgin Orbit Launch
Launch Vehicles: LauncherOne/Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl Payloads: 7 small satellites Customer: U.S. Space Force Launch Site: Pacific Ocean off California Launch Origination: Mojave Air and Space Port | Mojave, Calif. Launch Window: 10 p.m. PDT on June 29 | 1 a.m. EDT/0500 UTC on June 30 Livestream: 9:45 p.m. PDT on June 29 | 12:45 p.m. EDT/0445 UTC on June 30 Mission Name:Straight Up Mission Number: STP-28A
The launch will carry seven satellites from multiple government agencies that are experiments intended to demonstrate novel modular satellite bus, space domain awareness, and adaptive radio frequency technologies.
The U.S. Space Force has procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), with payloads provided by the DoD Space Test Program (STP).
CTIM-FD: CubeSat will measure radiation Earth receives from the Sun. (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Lonestar: U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command satellite focused on experimental tactical space support.
MISR-B: spacecraft will demonstrate two-way communications with ground devices and experiment with methods to leverage small satellite capabilities. (Department of Defense)
NACHOS-2: will allow scientists to detect, map, and quantify Earth’s trace gasses more easily, which is critical for volcanology and climate change research. (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Recurve: satellite propels CubeSat technology forward by demonstrating adaptive radio frequency system capability from low Earth orbit, evaluating mesh network behavior across multiple nodes to route data wherever it needs to go. (U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)
Slingshot 1: CubeSat will advance on-orbit experiments using modular & autonomous technologies on next-gen satellite systems with SatCat5, a data interface which implements Ethernet-type communication between payloads using low power serial communications. (The Aerospace Corporation)
BOULDER (University of Colorado at Boulder PR) — Billions of years ago, a series of volcanic eruptions broke loose on the moon, blanketing hundreds of thousands of square miles of the orb’s surface in hot lava. Over the eons, that lava created the dark blotches, or maria, that give the face of the moon its familiar appearance today.
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s University Nanosatellite Program (UNP) has selected 10 universities to participate in the upcoming 2-year partnership to design, fabricate and test small satellites.
Fresh off the success of the Hope Mars orbiter, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the University of Colorado Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric Science and Physics (LASP) will team again on an ambitious mission to explore Venus and seven asteroids.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has extended a contract to companies around the United States to provide spaceflight hardware, software, and mission integration and operations services on a commercial basis for the agency’s International Space Station Program in support of the commercialization of low-Earth orbit.
This Research, Engineering, Mission Integration Services Contract (REMIS) contract funded by the International Space Station Program supports NASA’s Strategic Plan for the Commercialization of Low-Earth Orbit. The plan seeks to foster the development of a robust, self-sustaining, and cost-effective supply of United States commercial services to, in, and from low-Earth orbit that accommodates both public and private demands.
REMIS is a multiple award, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract with firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee task orders. The contract’s base period began Sept. 6, 2017, and runs through Sept. 5, 2022. NASA will extend the contract by exercising a two-year option. The maximum potential value of the contract, including all options and incentives, is $500 million.
The companies that have been awarded this contract are:
Barrios Technology LTD of Houston.
Boeing of Houston.
Craig Technologies of Merritt Island, Florida.
CSS of Fairfax, Virginia.
KBRwyle of Houston.
LEIDOS Innovation Corporation (LEIDOS) of Webster, Texas.
MEI Technologies Inc. of Houston.
Oceaneering Space Systems Division of Houston.
Sierra Nevada Corporation of Sparks, Nevada.
Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies of Greenbelt, Maryland.
Techshot, Inc. of Greenville, Indiana.
Tec-Masters, Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama.
Teledyne Brown Engineering Inc. of Huntsville, Alabama.
The University of Colorado (BioServe Space Technologies) of Boulder, Colorado.
ZIN Technologies Inc. of Middleburg Heights, Ohio.
The awardees will perform work under the contract at their respective sites unless otherwise specified in the task order.
For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 14 small research satellites from nine states – including a first-time selected state, Nebraska – to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard rockets launching between 2022 and 2025. The selected CubeSats were proposed by educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and NASA centers in response to NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) call for proposals issued in October 2020.
MOJAVE, Calif. — Ten NASA-sponsored CubeSats are preparing to fly on the agency’s next Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) mission, making this the first payload carried by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket.
With the small satellites safely secured inside the payload fairing, and the fairing mated to the rocket, Virgin Orbit is gearing up for ELaNa 20, the Launch Demo 2 flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.
SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — As an agency, NOAA’s science isn’t just limited to Earth and its atmosphere. NOAA’s reach goes from the surface of the Sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them. So, what sort of instruments help scientists detect what’s going on in the Sun in the first place?
The twin-spacecraft Janus project will study the formation and evolutionary implications for small “rubble pile” binary asteroids.
DENVER, Sept. 10, 2020 (Lockheed Martin PR) — The University of Colorado Boulder and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) will soon lead a new space mission to capture the first-ever closeup look at a mysterious class of solar system objects: binary asteroids.
MOJAVE, Calif. (Masten Space Systems PR) — Imagine having the opportunity to send your payload to the lunar surface. Not next decade, but in 2022!
Well, that’s the incredible opportunity that the NASA Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) project — and Masten Space Systems — has presented for 8 visionary teams and their instruments. Each and every one is cool in their own way and we couldn’t be prouder to be the lunar lander company that will set them down safely on the surface of the Moon.
Internationally agreed upon fees to put satellites in orbit could boost value of the space industry.
BOULDER, Colo. (CIRES PR) — Space is getting crowded. Aging satellites and space debris crowd low-Earth orbit, and launching new satellites adds to the collision risk. The most effective way to solve the space junk problem, according to a new study, is not to capture debris or deorbit old satellites: it’s an international agreement to charge operators “orbital-use fees” for every satellite put into orbit.
DENVER (Lockheed Martin PR) — Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) has been selected to design dual small deep space spacecraft to visit near-earth asteroids in a mission called Janus, led by the University of Colorado Boulder.
On April 9, NASA announced the appointment of Mark Sirangelo as a special assistant to Administrator Jim Bridenstine for the purpose of overseeing the space agency’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024.
On Thursday, Bridenstine announced that his new assistant is departing the agency. Sirangelo’s tenure lasted 44 days.
In announcing the appointment last month, Bridenstine said Sirangelo would
lead the planning for the proposed agency restructuring to create the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate that will manage the programs to develop the Gateway, human rated lander and surface systems to return to the Moon and establish a permanent presence. The new proposed Directorate will also manage the Exploration Research and Technology programs to enable capabilities for exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.
Yesterday, the NASA administrator blamed House and Senate members for refusing to approve the creation of the Moon to Mars Mission Directorate.
The proposal was not accepted at this time, so we will move forward under our current organizational structure within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEO). We are exploring what organizational changes within HEO are necessary to ensure we maximize efficiencies and achieve the end state of landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.
As you also may know, Mark Sirangelo has been serving as an advisor on our lunar exploration plan and the reorganizational proposal that went forward to Congress. Given NASA is no longer pursuing the new mission directorate, Mark has opted to pursue other opportunities. I want to personally thank Mark for his service and his valuable contributions to the agency.
Sirangelo previously served as head of Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Space Systems and CEO of SpaceDev, its predecessor company. He resigned from the company in July 2018 and became a scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Boulder.
The announcement came on the same day NASA announced the awarding of a $375 million contract to Maxar Technologies for the power and propulsion element of the human-tended Lunar Gateway. The facility will serve as a base for human missions to and from the lunar surface.
Throughout the Space Age, suborbital flight has been the least exciting segment of the launch market. Operating in the shadow of their much larger orbital cousins, sounding rockets carrying scientific instruments, microgravity experiments and technology demonstrations have flown to the fringes of space with little fanfare or media attention.
The suborbital sector has become much more dynamic in recent years now that billionaires have started spending money in it. Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic both made significant progress last year in testing New Shepard and SpaceShipTwo, respectively. Their achievements have raised the real possibility of suborbital space tourism flights in 2019. (I know. Promises, promises…. But, this year they might finally really do it. I think.)
BOULDER, Colo. (NASA PR) — On Thursday evening, NASA’s Kepler space telescope received its final set of commands to disconnect communications with Earth. The “goodnight” commands finalize the spacecraft’s transition into retirement, which began on Oct. 30 with NASA’s announcement that Kepler had run out of fuel and could no longer conduct science.