NASA, Partners to Host CAPSTONE Prelaunch Media Teleconference

CAPSTONE (Credit: Terran Orbital)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference with partners Advanced Space and Rocket Lab at 3 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 25, in advance of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) launch, scheduled for no earlier than Tuesday, May 31. The teleconference audio will be livestreamed on NASA’s website.

Participants will discuss and answer questions about CAPSTONE launch preparations, its technology demonstrations, and how CAPSTONE will serve as a pathfinder for Gateway and future Artemis missions.  

The teleconference participants include:

  • Christopher Baker, Small Spacecraft Technology program executive, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate
  • Bradley Cheetham, Advanced Space CEO/principal investigator, CAPSTONE
  • Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO
  • Nujoud Merancy, chief, Exploration Mission Planning Office, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston

The microwave oven-size CubeSat will serve as the first spacecraft to test a unique lunar orbit that has never been flown before. The orbit, formally known as a near rectilinear halo orbit, is an elongated orbit located at a precise balance point between the gravities of Earth and the Moon. CAPSTONE will help reduce risk of future long-term deep space missions – like the Moon-orbiting outpost Gateway – by validating innovative navigation technologies and verifying the dynamics of this orbit. 

For more information about CAPSTONE, visit:

https://go.nasa.gov/3PteW7P

First Female Chief Flight Director to Join NASA’s Gateway Leadership

Holly Ridings, the first female chief of NASA’s flight directors, will help lead the agency’s Gateway Program to establish humanity’s first space station around the Moon.
(Image Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA Johnson PR) — Holly Ridings, the first female chief of NASA’s flight directors, will now help lead the agency’s Gateway Program, an international partnership to establish humanity’s first space station around the Moon.

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Terran Orbital Ships CAPSTONE Satellite to New Zealand to Prepare for Integration into Rocket Lab Launch Vehicle

CAPSTONE satellite (Credit: Terran Orbital)

Designed and built by Terran Orbital, CAPSTONE will support NASA’s Artemis program in reducing the risk for future Lunar bound spacecraft while propelling space exploration for all humankind

IRVINE, Calif., May 10, 2022 (Terran Orbital PR) – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, today announced it has shipped its CAPSTONE satellite to a launch site on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. CAPSTONE will launch on a Rocket Lab Electron rocket using a Lunar Photon satellite upper stage to send the spacecraft on its planned lunar transfer trajectory. This historic pathfinding mission supports NASA’s Artemis program which includes landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.

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MDA Completes First Commercial Sale of Canadarm3 Technology to Axiom Space

Contract for robotic interfaces another important milestone as company brings full suite of commercial space products to market

BRAMPTON, ON (MDA Inc. PR) – MDA Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced the first commercial sale of its Canadarm3 technology to Axiom Space. The contract is for the delivery of 32 external robotic interfaces for Axiom Space’s Axiom Station which is now under construction and on schedule to be the world’s first commercial space station in orbit.

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Small Spacecraft Electric Propulsion Opens New Deep Space Opportunities

An image of Northrop Grumman’s small electric propulsion thruster first light during testing at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Electric Power and Propulsion Laboratory. (Credits: Northrop Grumman)

CLEVELAND (NASA PR) — The path to the Moon, Mars, and beyond will require a fleet of spacecraft in many different shapes and sizes, including everything from massive rockets that produce millions of pounds of thrust to pioneering small electric propulsion thrusters that fit in the palm of your hand.

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JAXA Astronaut Selection Attracts More Than 4,000 Applicants

JAXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi is pictured inside the newly arrived upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle on December 7, 2020. Safety goggles and masks are required when a crew member opens the hatch and enters a new spacecraft for the first time due to dust and debris that may have been dislodged during the ascent to space. (Credits: NASA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is a new candidate for Japanese astronauts assuming activities on the International Space Station (ISS), the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo”, the lunar manned base “Gateway”, and the lunar surface. The deadline for recruitment is noon on Monday, April 4, 2022. We are pleased to inform you that we have received the final application as shown below.

Total number of applications: 4,127

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Northrop Grumman Successfully Tests Abort Motor for NASA’s Orion Spacecraft

The abort motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System completes its final qualification test at the Northrop Grumman Promontory, Utah, test area. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Full-scale static test concludes qualification testing for Orion spacecraft abort motor.

PROMONTORY, Utah (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Lockheed Martin successfully performed the final full-scale ground test of the abort motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft Launch Abort System (LAS) at Northrop Grumman’s Promontory test facility. The 17-foot-tall abort motor is one of three motors comprising the LAS that sits atop the Orion spacecraft aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and is designed to increase astronaut safety on the pad and through initial ascent.

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Satellites Around the Moon Come Another Step Closer

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is going to the Moon – in collaboration with its international partners – and seeks to build a lasting lunar link to enable sustainable space exploration.

The agency has now evaluated initial ideas to create a network of lunar telecommunications and navigation satellites.

Creating a commercial telecommunications and navigation service for the Moon will allow many of the dozens of planned lunar missions to share the same infrastructure to communicate with Earth, as well as to find their way on the lunar surface.

The service is needed because the planned missions are becoming regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions.

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Terran Orbital Begins Trading On The New York Stock Exchange Under Ticker Symbol “LLAP” And Announces Revenue Backlog Now Exceeds $200 Million

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 28, 2022 – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP) (“Terran Orbital” or the “Company”), a leading small satellite manufacturer primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, announced that its common stock and warrants will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, March 28, 2022, under the ticker symbols “LLAP” and “LLAP WS”, respectively. 

Terran Orbital has made significant progress over recent months as it prepared to emerge as a public company. Some of the Company’s recent accomplishments include:

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NASA Provides Update to Astronaut Moon Lander Plans Under Artemis

An illustration of a suited Artemis astronaut looking out of a Moon lander hatch across the lunar surface, the Lunar Terrain Vehicle and other surface elements. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As NASA makes strides to return humans to the lunar surface under Artemis, the agency announced plans Wednesday to create additional opportunities for commercial companies to develop an astronaut Moon lander.

Under this new approach, NASA is asking American companies to propose lander concepts capable of ferrying astronauts between lunar orbit and the lunar surface for missions beyond Artemis III, which will land the first astronauts on the Moon in more than 50 years.

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New UK Space Funds to Pioneer New Approaches to Energy, Communication and Resources

British space technology will help pioneer new approaches to energy, communications and resources, thanks to new projects from the UK Space Agency

LONDON (UK Space Agency PR) — Science and Innovation Minister George Freeman announced the £2 million boost for 13 new projects during British Science Week (11-20 March), which aims to inspire interest in and celebrate science, engineering, technology and maths for people of all ages.

The projects include Rolls-Royce developing a power station for space that could power the generation of water, breathable oxygen and fuels for solar exploration.

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Canada Begins Design Phase of Canadarm3 for Lunar Gateway

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

LONGUEUIL, Quebec, March 10, 2022 (CSA PR) — Canada is a global leader in the space robotics market thanks to strategic investments by the Government of Canada. Today the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced that Brampton-based company MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) will receive $268.9 million to execute the second phase of Canadarm3. Through this design work, Canadian industry will push its capabilities and know-how in space robotics further than ever before.

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MDA Unveils New Global HQ, Space Robotics Centre of Excellence

State-of-the-art facility will be home to Canadarm3 and over 700 highly-skilled employees at the forefront of the global space economy

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today revealed details of its new purpose-built global headquarters and Space Robotics Centre of Excellence in Brampton, Ontario, a facility that will support the company’s ongoing growth and lay the groundwork for long-term success in the evolving commercial space robotics market.

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MDA Awarded CAD $269 Million Contract for Next Phase of Canadarm3 Program

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3’s large arm on the Lunar Gateway. (Credits: Canadian Space Agency, NASA)

Phase B preliminary design contract awarded to MDA as market demand for next-generation technology in the global space economy accelerates

BRAMPTON, Ont. (MDA PR) — MDA Ltd. (TSX:MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced that it is receiving $269M [USD $210.76 million] from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) for the next phase of the Canadarm3 program.

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NASA Funds Research into Large, Rotating Structures Providing Artificial Gravity

A high-expansion-ratio auxetic structure can be stowed inside a single Falcon Heavy fairing and deployed to a final length of one kilometer on orbit as part of a large space station. The station can then be spun at 1-2 RPM to generate 1g artificial gravity at its ends while still maintaining a microgravity environment at its center near the spin axis, providing the crew with the flexibility of living in a 1g environment while performing some work in microgravity. (Credits: Zachary Manchester, graphic by Tzipora Thompson)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA is funding research into how to launch kilometer-wide space structures that would be allow astronauts to live in artificial gravity.

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