China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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NanoRacks Opens Office in United Arab Emirates

ABU DHABI, UAE (NanoRacks PR) – NanoRacks, the world’s leading provider of commercial access to space, is pleased to announce that it’s opening and staffing its first office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi’s Hub71, a global tech ecosystem driven by Mubadala Investment Company, backed by the Abu Dhabi Government’s Ghadan 21 program.

This expansion highlights NanoRacks commitment to the growing space sector in the UAE and will offer end-to-end customer service and technical advice for a fast-developing customer base in the Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia region.

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NASA Announces New Tipping Point Partnerships for Moon and Mars Technologies

Astrobotic is one of 14 companies selected for NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation. This illustration depicts CubeRover, an ultra-light, modular and scalable commercial rover.(Credit: Astrobotic/Carnegie Mellon University)

Astrobotic, Blue Origin, ExoTerra, Paragon and SpaceX among contract awardees for advanced technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 14 American companies as partners whose technologies will help enable the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach.

The selections are based on NASA’s fourth competitive Tipping Point solicitation and have a combined total award value of about $43.2 million. This investment in the U.S. space industry, including small businesses across the country, will help bring the technologies to market and ready them for use by NASA.

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NASA Awards CubeSat Dispenser Hardware, Mission Integration Services 3 Contract

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida has selected five companies to provide commercial CubeSat dispenser hardware and mission integration services.

The five companies are:

  • Maverick Space Systems, Inc. of San Luis Obispo, California
  • NanoRacks, LLC of Webster, Texas
  • TriSept Corporation of Chantilly, Virginia
  • Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc. of Irvine, California
  • Xtenti, LLC of Dallas, Texas
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Cygnus Departs Space Station, Begins 4-Month Secondary Mission

Cygnus departs the International Space Station. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

DULLES, Va. (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced that its Cygnus™ spacecraft has successfully unberthed and departed from the International Space Station (ISS), beginning its secondary mission before it reenters Earth’s atmosphere. The NG-11 Cygnus spacecraft, named in honor of Apollo 1 astronaut and space visionary Roger Chaffee, left the ISS after a 109 day stay at the station.

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Momentus and NanoRacks Announce Working Relationship

SANTA CLARA, Calif., August 5, 2019 (Momentus PR) — Momentus (http://www.momentus.space), a provider of in-space shuttle services that move satellites between orbits, today announced a working relationship with NanoRacks to utilize the Bishop Airlock Module for Vigoride services from 2021 when the module will be installed on the International Space Station. The companies also plan to have a test launch of Vigoride in Q2-Q3 of 2020 using NanoRacks’ existing Kaber microsatellite deployer.

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NASA to Broadcast Departure of Cygnus Cargo Ship From Station

April 19, 2019: International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than three months after delivering several tons of supplies and scientific experiments to the International Space Station, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft, the SS Roger Chaffee, will depart the orbiting laboratory Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Live coverage of the craft’s release will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website beginning at noon EDT, with release scheduled for 12:15 p.m.

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NanoRacks Flies Science Mission for First Emirati Astronaut, Commercial, Educational Customers on SpaceX ISS Launch

WEBSTER, Texas, July 29, 2019 (NanoRacks PR) — The 18th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from SpaceX delivered a historic mission for NanoRacks. NanoRacks, the leading provider of commercial access to low-Earth orbit, transported the materials for the science experiments that will be conducted by the first Emirati astronaut upon his arrival to the International Space Station (ISS) in late September, 2019.

NanoRacks also launched the first-ever microgravity experiment from Young Living – the world-leader in essential oils, amongst other educational research. Collectively, this amounts to NanoRacks’ single largest mission to the Space Station to date.

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Space Station Astronauts to Get Home-Baked Cookies

Astronaut with DoubleTree cookie (Credit: Hilton)

MCLEAN, Va. (Hilton Hotels PR) — DoubleTree by Hilton will take its iconic warm welcome to new heights when its famous chocolate chip Cookie becomes the first food baked in space inside a prototype oven designed to make long-duration space travel more hospitable.

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CraigX Launch Scheduled for October 2019 on Cygnus Spacecraft

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Craig Technologies PR) -– Craig Technologies Aerospace Solutions (Craig) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of CraigX, their on-orbit external experimental facility hosted on the NanoRacks International Space Station External Platform (NREP). The mission is scheduled to launch in October2019 on the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket mission NG-12 under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) contract.

The CraigX Flight Test Platform (FTP) is designed to mount externally to the International Space Station (ISS) and promote electronics testing to raise Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) at a low cost and a reduced time frame. The interchangeable panel design minimizes hardware changes between missions while maximizing flexibility to accommodate customer requirements. Additive manufactured hardware is used internally to reduce manufacturing cost and schedule.

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NASA-Funded LEO Commercialization Studies Yield Diverse Results

Credit: Axiom Space

Last week, NASA released the results of low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization studies the space agency commissioned 12 companies to conduct. The space agency is looking to become a tenant in LEO as it aims to return astronauts to the moon in 2024.

Credit: Blue Origin

The studies were conducted by a diverse group of companies ranging from big aerospace such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to up and comers like Blue Origin and NanoRacks to business consultants Deloitte and McKinsey&Company.
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Study Input Informs NASA Course for a Vibrant Future Commercial Space Economy

International Space Station (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — New insights from companies in the growing space economy are helping NASA chart a course for the future of commercial human spaceflight in low-Earth orbit. Input the companies provided to NASA as part of the studies will inform NASA’s future policies to support commercial activities that enable a robust low-Earth orbit economy.

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NanoRacks Announces European Company, Hires Veronica La Regina as Director

May 2, 2019 – Torino, Italy – NanoRacks is pleased to announce Veronica La Regina as the Director of Global Engagement (Europe) and will be directing NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l, an Italian company, co-located at ALTEC in Torino. She will be moving to Torino along with NanoRacks Head of European Operations, Peter Bak. NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l. officially opened its doors for business on April 1, 2019.

NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l, along with NanoRacks, DreamUp, and soon to be announced companies, are all under the parent company XO Markets, the Holding Company of Space.
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NanoRacks Joins With MBRSC to Fly Student Research in Emirati Astronaut Mission

DUBAI, UAE, 3 April 2019 (NanoRacks PR) — To support its efforts to empower and encourage youth to take an interest in space science, The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) launched the ‘Science in Space’ competition, in coordination with NanoRacks  LLC. This initiative is under the umbrella of the UAE Astronaut Programme, where schools can apply to participate in conducting scientific experiments to study the impact of microgravity.

MBRSC will choose 15 schools based on their efforts to promote the study of STEM fields and the reasons for participating in this competition. The winning schools will be able to nominate students to attend and participate in workshops organised by MBRSC to conduct 15 scientific experiences, where students can learn how to prepare scientific experiments and its phases.

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NanoRacks Completes First CubeSat Mission on India’s PSLV, Launches Spire’s 100th Satellite

SATISH DHAWAN SPACE CENTRE – April 1, 2019  (NanoRacks PR) –  NanoRacks, the world’s leading commercial space station company, completed its first CubeSat deployment mission on the India Space Research Organization’s (ISROs) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). This mission was brokered on behalf of Spire, which now has four more of their LEMUR 3U CubeSats in orbit.

Notably, this mission included the launch of Spire’s 100th Lemur satellite.

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