Video: Vice President Kamala Harris Calls NASA Astronaut Victor Glover on International Space Station

Video Caption: U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris placed a special phone call to space this week when she spoke with astronaut Victor Glover who is aboard the International Space Station.

Glover, a crew member of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission, is the first African American astronaut to fly on a commercial spacecraft, and the first African American to fly a long-term mission aboard the orbiting laboratory. This is his first spaceflight since being selected as a NASA astronaut in 2013.

Learn more about Glover by visiting https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biogr…

Download Link: https://images.nasa.gov/details-Vice%..

Virgin Galactic Stock Plunges as Company Delays Space Tourism Flights to 2022

SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity arrives at Spaceport America aboard WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Shares of Virgin Galactic plunged sharply on Thursday as the company announced that it was postponing the start of commercial suborbital space tourism flights until 2022 due to additional delays in completing SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity‘s test program.

Shares plunged in after hours trading to $36.69 after opening the day at $45.04. Most of the decline occurred in after hours trading following the release of Virgin Galactic quarterly and full year 2020 earning report.

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Virgin Galactic Replaces CFO

The engine continued to fire for 60 seconds. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

LAS CRUCES, NM (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic”), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced the appointment of Doug Ahrens as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective March 1, 2021. Ahrens will succeed Jon Campagna, who is stepping down as Chief Financial Officer following Virgin Galactic’s successful transition from private to public company.

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Virgin Galactic Announces Engineering & Aerospace Hires Ahead of Quarterly Earnings Call

SpaceShipTwo Unity on its second glide flight over Spaceport America. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

LAS CRUCES, NM (Virgin Galactic PR) — Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE), a vertically integrated aerospace and space travel company, today announced the appointments of Swami Iyer as its President of Aerospace Systems and Stephen Justice as its Vice President of Engineering.

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In Lieu of Spaceflight, Virgin Galactic Presents….

SpaceShipTwo fires its engine. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Monday marked the second anniversary of Virgin Galactic’s most recent flight above 50 miles, the altitude the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) judges to be the boundary of space.

In the days leading up to the anniversary, I kept thinking Virgin Galactic will announce something on Monday. Some bit of news to distract people from 24 months without a spaceflight. Something to show forward progress ahead of what is likely to be yet another quarterly earnings call on Thursday soaked in red ink.

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NASA to Host Briefings, Interviews for Next Crew Rotation Mission with SpaceX

Members of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station participated in training in Hawthorne, California, on Jan. 11, 2021. Pictured from left are ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will highlight the second crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station with a pair of news conferences beginning 12:30 p.m. EST Monday, March 1. The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The full astronaut crew flying on the mission also will be available for interviews.

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Childhood Cancer Survivor Named to Inspiration4 Space Mission

Hayley Arceneaux (Credit: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Inspiration4 space mission has named a childhood cancer survivor and physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as the second crew for the orbital flight scheduled for late this year.

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Rogozin Says 29 Launches, Lunar Lander & New ISS Modules on the Manifest for 2021

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — General Director of the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities Dmitry Rogozin reported to President Vladimir Putin on the corporation’s performance in 2020 and plans for the near term.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rogozin, let us have an in-depth discussion on the corporation’s performance in 2020. The issues we will discuss include carrier rocket launches, the state of the orbital group, your plans, fundamental space research, and, of course, the financial indicators. Please, go ahead. 

General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin: Mr. President, last year we posted good results overall. For a second year running since 1993, there were no accidents. This is certainly a positive indicator – I hope we will continue in the same manner – of improved discipline in the sector as a whole and the reliability of our rocket and space technology.

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Join the New Era of Exploration as an ESA Astronaut

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on the International Space Station working with equipment for the Airway Monitoring investigation. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — For the first time in over a decade, the European Space Agency (ESA) is seeking new astronauts to join humankind’s greatest adventure for the benefit of Earth.

Applications open 31 March 2021 and ESA’s Astronaut Selection webpage provides everything you need to know to prepare a strong application and apply. This site is the hub for all ESA astronaut selection content and will be updated throughout the campaign.

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Axiom Space Raises $130 Million in Series B Funding

Axiom space station (Credit: Axiom Space)
  • Capital will accelerate growth of workforce and development of world’s first commercial space station
  • NASA selected Axiom to begin attaching its privately developed space station modules to the International Space Station as early as 2024
  • Axiom recently revealed the first-ever private astronaut ISS crew, launching in January 2022

HOUSTON, TX, February 16, 2021 — Axiom Space, Inc., which is developing the world’s first commercial space station, has raised $130M in Series B funding. The round was led by C5 Capital and includes TQS Advisors, Declaration Partners (the investment firm backed by David M. Rubenstein), Moelis Dynasty Investments, Washington University in St. Louis, The Venture Collective, Aidenlair Capital, Hemisphere Ventures, and Starbridge Venture Capital.

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For Humans to Reach Mars, Advances Are Needed in Space Nuclear Propulsion Technologies

Illustration of a Mars transit habitat and nuclear propulsion system that could one day take astronauts to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) — Using nuclear propulsion technologies to support a human mission to Mars in 2039 will require NASA to pursue an aggressive and urgent technology development program, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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Italy Takes First Steps Towards the Moon

Lunar multi-purpose module (Credit: Italian Space Agency)

The Italian Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space Italia are at work for the American lunar exploration program Artemis.

ROME (Italian Space Agency PR) — Italy is taking its first steps towards the Moon. The country system is preparing for the great leap on the surface of our natural satellite also thanks to the international relations between Italy and the United States and between the respective space agencies ASI and NASA, which have recently intensified on the basis of the mutual interest in collaborating on the program of Artemis exploration.

Within this strategic framework, a contract was born between the Italian Space Agency and Thales Alenia Space Italia, (JV between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%) dedicated to the feasibility study and preliminary design (phases A / B) of a multi-purpose module linked to NASA’s Artemis mission which provides a human crew on the Moon.

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NASA’s $85 Billion Artemis Program

Credit: NASA OIG

The NASA Office of Inspector General released this snap shot of the space agency’s Artemis program to land astronauts on the moon. Total projected cost through fiscal year 2025: $85.7 billion. Only $35.2 billion has been obligated. An addition $50.5 billion has been requested.

Credit: NASA OIG

TIME Studios Wins Exclusive Documentary Rights to Inspiration4, the World’s First All-Civilian Mission to Space

TIME Studios & Known to Produce with “30 for 30” Creator Connor Schell as Executive Producer for the Groundbreaking Project

(New York, NY — February 11, 2021) TIME’s Emmy award-winning television and film division TIME Studios has partnered with the studio division of Emmy & Peabody award-winning marketing firm Known to acquire the competitive documentary rights to Inspiration4, the first all-civilian mission to space.

Announced last week and featured at this year’s Super Bowl, the Inspiration4 mission will be commanded by Jared Isaacman, the 37-year-old founder and chief executive officer of Shift4 Payments and an accomplished pilot, philanthropist and adventurer. Isaacman is donating the three mission seats alongside him to members of the public who best exemplify the humanitarian pillars of the mission. Two of these seats are currently open to the public through a fundraising contest and an online competition using Shift4’s new ecommerce platform, Shift4Shop.com.

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Goddard’s Core Flight Software Chosen for NASA’s Lunar Gateway

An Orion spacecraft approaches the lunar Gateway. (Credit: NASA)

By Katherine Schauer and Karl Hille
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — NASA is improving a flight software system to help create and certify essential software for the lunar Gateway.

As part of the Artemis program, NASA will send astronauts to the Moon and establish a sustained lunar presence by the end of the decade. The Gateway will provide a waypoint for lunar exploration and allow astronauts to live and work in lunar orbit as well as host science instruments and experiments.

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