Terran Orbital Integrates LunIR into NASA’s Space Launch System

The satellite will launch from Kennedy Space Center with Artemis I

LunIR is fully integrated within the Orion Stage Adapter aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (Image Credit: NASA)

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, integrated the Lunar Infrared imaging spacecraft, also known as LunIR into NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS is the only rocket that will be able to send the Orion capsule, astronauts, and cargo directly to the Moon on a single mission. LunIR will fly by the Moon and collect surface thermography as a secondary payload on Artemis 1 – a test mission for SLS. After the flyby, the 6U satellite will conduct technology demonstrations related to deep-space operations for future Mars missions.

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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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Artemis I Carries the Future of NASA with It

The Space Launch System rocket fairing with ESA and NASA logos on the launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. 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)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Of the six launches known to be scheduled to close out August, there’s only one – Artemis I — that truly matters in any real sense. The others will be duly recorded but little remembered in what could be the busiest launch year in human history.

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Terran Orbital Delivers LunIR to Cape Canaveral for Artemis 1 Launch

Artemis 1 will launch from Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

LunIR is a 6U satellite that will fly by the Moon and collect surface thermography as a secondary payload on Artemis 1 (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, has delivered LunIR to Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. LunIR is a 6U satellite that will fly by the Moon and collect surface thermography as a secondary payload on Artemis 1 – a test mission for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Offering more payload mass, volume capability, and energy, SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket to date, can carry more payload to deep space than any other vehicle. SLS also houses the Orion capsule – NASA’s spacecraft that will take humans deep into space. After the flyby, LunIR will conduct technology demonstrations related to deep-space operations.

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The Best Laid Plans: Europe’s Ambitious Launch Year Goes Awry Due to International Tensions, Schedule Delays

The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December 2021 on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.

There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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NASA Awards Contracts to Lockheed Martin and Maxar for NOAA GeoXO Spacecraft Phase A Study

Credit: NOAA

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — On behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NASA has selected two firms for the Geostationary Extended Observations (GeoXO) Spacecraft Phase A Study. These contracted firms will help meet the objectives of NOAA’s GeoXO Program.

The firms selected are Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, and Maxar Space LLC of Palo Alto, California. The total value of each of these ten-month firm-fixed-price contracts is approximately $5 million. The work will be performed at the contractors’ facilities.

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Rocket Lab to Supply Solar Power for United States Space Force’s New Missile Warning Satellites

Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites. (Credit: Raytheon Intelligence & Space)

The solar cell assemblies will power three Lockheed Martin spacecraft designed to provide resilient space-based global missile warning capabilities to meet evolving threats from adversaries under the United States Space Force’s Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (Next Gen OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) program

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, announced that its high-efficiency, radiation-hardened Coverglass Interconnected solar Cell (CIC) assemblies will power the three Lockheed Martin Next Gen OPIR GEO (NGG) satellites for the United States Space Force (USSF). The NGG program will deliver resilient global missile warning capabilities to counter emerging missile and counter-space threats and is part of the latest evolution of the USSF’s missile warning system, following the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) program, which was supported by SolAero, a space solar power company acquired by Rocket Lab in January 2022.

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NASA’s Webb Sheds Light on Galaxy Evolution, Black Holes

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

NASA Mission Update

  • In an enormous new image, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals never-before-seen details of galaxy group “Stephan’s Quintet”
  • The close proximity of Stephan’s Quintet gives astronomers a ringside seat to galactic mergers, interactions
  • Webb’s new image shows in rare detail how interacting galaxies trigger star formation in each other and how gas in galaxies is being disturbed
  • The image also shows outflows driven by a black hole in Stephan’s Quintet in a level of detail never seen before
  • Tight galaxy groups like this may have been more common in the early universe when superheated, infalling material may have fueled very energetic black holes

Stephan’s Quintet, a visual grouping of five galaxies, is best known for being prominently featured in the holiday classic film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Today, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals Stephan’s Quintet in a new light. This enormous mosaic is Webb’s largest image to date, covering about one-fifth of the Moon’s diameter. It contains over 150 million pixels and is constructed from almost 1,000 separate image files. The information from Webb provides new insights into how galactic interactions may have driven galaxy evolution in the early universe.

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NASA’s Webb Reveals Cosmic Cliffs, Glittering Landscape of Star Birth

Credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

NASA Mission Update

  • NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals emerging stellar nurseries and individual stars in the Carina Nebula that were previously obscured
  • Images of “Cosmic Cliffs” showcase Webb’s cameras’ capabilities to peer through cosmic dust, shedding new light on how stars form
  • Objects in the earliest, rapid phases of star formation are difficult to capture, but Webb’s extreme sensitivity, spatial resolution, and imaging capability can chronicle these elusive events

This landscape of “mountains” and “valleys” speckled with glittering stars is actually the edge of a nearby, young, star-forming region called NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula. Captured in infrared light by NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope, this image reveals for the first time previously invisible areas of star birth.

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NASA Announces Artemis Concept Awards for Nuclear Power on Moon

Artist’s concept of a fission power system on the lunar surface. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are working together to advance space nuclear technologies. The agencies have selected three design concept proposals for a fission surface power system design that could be ready to launch by the end of the decade for a demonstration on the Moon. This technology would benefit future exploration under the Artemis umbrella.

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UK Satnav Signal Generated in New Test to Provide Future Resilient, Precise, Safety-Critical Capabilities

  • Team comprising Inmarsat, Goonhilly, GMVNSL demonstrates platform for future sovereign UK Position, Navigation and Timing capability
  • UK not part of Galileo satnav system, cannot use European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) safety of life (SOL) services since leaving European Union

LONDON (Inmarsat PR) — An Inmarsat-led team of companies in the UK, building on national expertise and prior experience within the group, has begun broadcasting a satellite navigation signal as part of a programme to explore the creation of a sovereign national capability in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) for the aviation and maritime sectors. The signal, being broadcast in coordination with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union Space Programme Agency (EUSPA), is now stable and operational, enabling on-going testing and validation by industry, regulators, and users.

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MDA Selected by Lockheed Martin for Space Development Agency’s Tranche 1 Transport Layer Constellation

Contract will see MDA design and build antennas and control electronics for 42 low Earth orbit satellites

BRAMPTON, ON (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced it has been awarded a contract from Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) as part of the Space Development Agency (SDA) Tranche 1 Transport Layer (T1TL) program. 

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Panel Urges Government, Industry Action to Improve Battered Space Supply Chain

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The question of how to strengthen the U.S. space industry’s weakened supply chain, which has been battered over the past two years by the global COVID-19 pandemic, was the subject of a panel discussion at the Space Tech Expo last week. The answers boiled down to the Pentagon adopting an agile approach to developing and acquiring technology, and reversing a decades-old trend by industry of outsourcing manufacturing abroad.

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AFA Congratulates StellarXplorers VIII Champions

Team Panther #3 from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., pose with AFA President Lt. Gen. Bruce “Orville” Wright, USAF (Ret.) and Space Force Maj. Gen. Shawn Bratton after winning the StellarXplorers VIII Competition on April 23, 2022.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Air & Space Forces Association PR) — AFA’s StellarXplorers Space STEM program capped its eighth season by declaring Team Panther #3 from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., the champion of its National Space Design Competition Finals held at Space Center Houston.

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UAE and US Mars Missions to Collaborate on Science Data Analysis

An artist’s impression of the United Arab Emirates’ Hope spacecraft in orbit around Mars, where it will arrive in February 2021 after launching in July from Japan. (Credit: MBRSC)

DUBAI, April 12, 2022 (UAE Government Media Office) — The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has finalised a science data analysis collaboration initiative with NASA’s MAVEN Mars Mission, which will pave the way towards greater scientific collaboration and data exchange between the two missions.

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