Five Space Station Research Results Contributing to Deep Space Exploration

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst works on the MICS experiment aboard the International Space Station. Observations of how cement reacts in space during the hardening process may help engineers better understand its microstructure and material properties, which could improve cement processing techniques on Earth and lead to the design of safe, lightweight space habitats. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — More than 3,000 experiments have been conducted aboard the  International Space Station during the 21 years humans have been living and working in space. These experiments have provided insights helping improve life back on Earth and explore farther into the solar system. Researchers have shared these results in thousands of scientific publications.

Over the past few months, scientists shared the outcomes of space station studies that could help us recover more water from life support systems, construct Moon bases, grow plants in space, and more.

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Axiom Space’s Private Flight to Space Station Delayed to End of March

Pilot Larry Connor, mission commander Michael López-Alegría, mission specialist Mark Pathy, and mission specialist Eytan Stibbe. (Credit: Axiom Space)

Axiom Space’s plan to send four private astronauts to the International Space Station has been delayed from Feb. 21 to March 31, NASA announced last week.

“Axiom Mission 1, the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station, is now targeting to launch March 31 to account for additional spacecraft preparations and space station traffic,” NASA said in a blog post. “Once aboard the orbiting laboratory, the four-person Axiom Space crew will conduct science, outreach, and commercial activities for eight days before their return to Earth.”

Former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, who is an Axiom vice president, will command the SpaceX Crew Dragon mission known as Ax-1. The spacecraft will be launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Lopez-Alegria will be joined by: American Larry Connor, who will serve as pilot; Israeli mission specialist Eytan Stibbe; and Canadian mission specialist Mark Pathy. Stibbe will be the second Israeli to fly to space.

SpaceX Receives $102 Million Contract for Military Rocket Cargo Delivery

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded SpaceX a $102 million contract to provide more concrete data on how the company’s reusable Super Heavy/Starship vehicles could be used to rapidly deliver cargo to remote locations on Earth. C4ISRNET reports:

The U.S. Air Force in its fiscal 2022 budget request designated the program one of AFRL’s Vanguard efforts, boosting its profile as a potentially transformational technology. [Program manager Greg] Spanjers told C4ISRNET in an email this week the program represents “a big-bet [science and technology] investment,” noting its designation as a Vanguard effort is a recognition it could offer a “game-changing capability.”

To date, AFRL has awarded several Rocket Cargo contracts for analytics, landing material research, wind tunnel sensors and command-and-control systems development, but this week’s award to SpaceX is the first deal with a launch vehicle provider. According to Spanjers, the lab is engaged with other launch providers and will consider awarding additional contracts later in the program.

Spanjers said the SpaceX work is focused in four areas: collecting data from commercial orbital launches and landings; exploring cargo bay designs compatible with U.S. Transportation Command containers and support rapid loading and unloading; researching landing systems that can operate on a variety of terrain; and demonstrating the heavy cargo launch and landing process.

Scientific Hardware, Experiments Return to Earth on SpaceX CRS-24 Dragon

Cargo Dragon docked at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Editor’s Note: Do to adverse weather in the recovery zone, SpaceX and NASA are now targeting 10:40 a.m. EST on Sunday, Jan. 23 for undocking from the International Space Station of a SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft filled with more than 4,900 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST.

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — A retired microscope and samples from studies on colloids and cellular signaling are among the cargo returning from the International Space Station aboard the 24th SpaceX commercial resupply services mission. The Dragon craft, which arrived at the station Dec. 22, 2021, is scheduled to undock Jan. 22 with splashdown the next afternoon off the coast of Florida.

These quick return flights allow scientists to make additional observations and analyses of their experiments at Kennedy Space Center, minimizing the effects of gravity on samples. Investigators then can conduct more in-depth analyses back at their home labs.

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NanoAvionics Launched 3 Satellites, Including One of the largest CubeSats Ever Built, Aboard SpaceX Transporter-3 Mission

  • Satellites for Sen (16U), Dubai Electricity & Water Authority and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are all operational
  • Company plans launch of 14 satellites in 2022, including the industry’s first commercially available modular microsat bus (MP42)

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 20 January 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – NanoAvionics, a leading smallsat manufacturer and mission integrator, confirmed the reception of signals and healthy telemetry data from all of the three satellites launched into low Earth orbit via the successful SpaceX Transporter-3 mission. The rideshare mission that went into orbit on 13 January 2022 included one of the largest and heaviest CubeSats ever built and launched. The 16U small satellite, is the first of five satellites, contracted to NanoAvionics by British company Sen, to establish video streaming media to provide real-time Ultra-High Definition (UHD) videos of Earth.

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SpaceX to Launch 49 Starlink Satellites Tonight

Credit: SpaceX

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting today, Tuesday, January 18, for a Falcon 9 launch of 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The instantaneous launch window is at 7:04 p.m. EST (00:04 UTC on January 19).

The booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and six Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. Each of Falcon 9’s fairing halves previously supported one Starlink mission.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

Alpha Blue Ocean Announces the Launch of WiSeSat by WiSeKey on the Space X’s Transporter 3 mission

DUBAI (Alpha Blue Ocean PR) — Alpha Blue Ocean, the family office founded by Pierre Vannineuse and financial partner of WISeKey (Tickers: SW: WIHN and US: WKEY), announces the new technological breakthrough of the Swiss group led by Carlos Creus Moreira. On January 13, 2022, WISeKey launched the audacious project to generate the first NFT from space…

On January 13, 2021, WISeKey launched its first WISeSat pico satellite via SpaceX’s (*) Falcon 9 rocket as part of the Transporter 3 mission to generate the first NFT from space.

The NFT will be captured by the WISeSat satellite station in La Linea in south of Spain and minted on WISe.ART NFT Marketplace.

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Sen Appoints Meagan Crawford to its Board of Directors

Meagan Crawford (Credit: Sen)

LONDON (Sen PR) — Sen announces that it has appointed Meagan Crawford, Managing Partner of U.S. venture capital firm SpaceFund, to its Board of Directors. The appointment follows SpaceFund’s investment in Sen’s seed round. Sen raised £3.7M ($5M) during the round which closed in 2021.

Sen’s first satellite, which will capture Ultra High Definition video of Earth, is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station this January aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

Charles Black, Founder & CEO of Sen, said “We’re thrilled that Meagan has joined the Board. Meagan’s enthusiasm for Sen, business experience and knowledge of the space sector will be valuable to the Board. Meagan will help support the executive management team in the execution of Sen’s ambitious plans.”

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USC Launches its 3rd Satellite into Space

Rendering of Dodona, USC’s third satellite in space. (Credit: USC SERC)

LOS ANGELES (USC PR) — Ridesharing remains a popular way to get around in Los Angeles, but what about ridesharing to get to space? The SpaceX Smallsat Rideshare program offers a viable and affordable option to launch up to 200 kg into a sun-sychronous, low Earth orbit. That is why, along with approximately 80-90 other satellites, USC’s Dodona satellite—it’s third ever—hitched a ride on SpaceX’s latest mission, Transporter 3 this week.

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New Chairman Takes Charge as India Space Agency Struggles to Launch Satellites and Begin Human Spaceflight

New ISRO Chairman Shri. S. Somanath (left) takes over from K. Sivan. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new chairman has taken over the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a crucial time as the space agency continues to struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of becoming only the fourth nation capable of launching astronauts into orbit.

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Sen Launches First Satellite of its UHD Video Constellation

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-3 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

LONDON (Sen PR) — Sen announces its first satellite, which will stream Ultra High Definition videos of Earth, is now in orbit.

The satellite, ETV-A1, launched aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 rideshare mission that lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station today [Thursday] at 15.25 UTC, 10.25 EST.

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NASA TV to Air SpaceX Cargo Dragon Departure from Space Station

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon spacecraft is set to depart the International Space Station on Friday, Jan. 21, for a splashdown Saturday, Jan. 22, off the coast of Florida. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — A SpaceX Dragon cargo resupply spacecraft is set to depart the International Space Station Friday, Jan. 21. NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will provide live broadcast of the spacecraft’s undocking and departure beginning at 10:15 a.m. EST.

Ground controllers at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, will send commands at 10:40 a.m. for Dragon to undock from the space-facing port of the station’s Harmony module and fire its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the station. Controllers will command a deorbit burn the following day.

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44 SuperDove Satellites Successfully Launch on SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket

SAN FRANCISCO, January 13, 2022 (Planet Labs PR) — Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced the successful launch of its 4x Flock, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, into orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The company has established contact with all of the SuperDove satellites, many within two minutes of the final deployment, upholding Planet’s record of successfully connecting with 100% of all Planet satellites launched.

These 44 satellites will join Planet’s existing fleet of roughly 200 satellites in orbit. Planet has now launched 127 satellites across eight launches with SpaceX, and over 500 satellites total since the company’s founding 10 years ago. This marks Planet’s first launch with SpaceX under their new multi-year, multi-launch rideshare agreement signed in 2021.

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ICEYE Expands World’s Largest SAR Satellite Constellation; Launches First U.S.-built Spacecraft

ICEYE successfully launched its fifteenth and sixteenth synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites into orbit, including the first satellite built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US.

IRVINE, Calif., January 13, 2022 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring with radar satellite imaging and an expert in NatCat solutions, has successfully launched two new SAR satellites into orbit. The launch included the first satellite built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US. Both satellites were launched on the SpaceX Transporter-3 smallsat rideshare mission with Exolaunch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Communication has successfully been established with each spacecraft. In total, ICEYE has now deployed 16 satellites since 2018, including both commercial and dedicated customer missions.

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D-Orbit Launches New ION Satellite Carrier Mission

Falcon 9 launches the Transporter-3 rideshare mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

The space logistics and orbital transportation company launched its latest satellite carrier on January 13th aboard SpaceX Transporter-3 mission

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, 13-01-2022 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the leading company in space logistics and orbital transportation, announced today the launch of the latest mission of its orbital transportation vehicle (OTV), ION Satellite Carrier, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX’s Transporter-3 mission launched today at 15:25 UTC (10:25 a.m. EST) from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida. On the same day, 1 hour 24 minutes 30 seconds after liftoff, the ION vehicle was successfully deployed into a 500 km Sun synchronous orbit (SSO).

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