SCOUT Wins Phase II AFWERX SBIR to Advance Space Domain Awareness

Real-time position and orientation analysis of a CubeSat using a SCOUT fly-by digital twin. (Credit: SCOUT Space)

FRL/RIE and Space Force Delta 2 will work with SCOUT to advance SDA metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22, 2022 (SCOUT Space PR) — SCOUT Space Inc., a spaceflight hardware, software, and data provider developing solutions for improved safety and transparency in space today announced they have been granted a Phase II SBIR contract through AFWERX, the Technology Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the innovation arm of the Department Air Force. SCOUT will work with AFRL/RIE (Intelligence Systems Division) and the Space Operations Command (SpOC) Delta 2 to advance classical space domain awareness (SDA) metric observation tasking and catalog augmentation using space-based sensing.

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Air Force Research Laboratory Recurve Satellite Launched on Virgin Orbit Mission

Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate’s spacecraft Recurve was launched into low Earth orbit July 2, 2022, from the Mojave Air and Space Port, Rutan Field, Mojave, California, on a Virgin Orbit U.S. Space Force Space Test Program mission. (Credit: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

by Jeanne Dailey
Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) — The Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate spaceflight experiment Recurve was launched July 2, 2022, from the Mojave Air and Space Port on the Virgin Orbit space system in California. The launch supported the U.S. Space Force’s STP-S28A mission and carried six additional payloads for the Department of Defense Space Test Program (STP).

Recurve is the latest in several low-cost CubeSats designed, built and operated entirely in house at the Space Vehicles Directorate located on Kirtland AFB.

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Reaction Engines Begins Testing of Breakthrough High-mach Propulsion Technology Under Contract with U.S. Department of Defense

Engine on the test stand. (Credit: Reaction Engines)

ABINDON, UK (Reaction Engines PR) — Reaction Engines today revealed the start of a new testing campaign to expand the performance envelope of their high-Mach enabling technology through the Foreign Comparative Testing (FCT) Program at the Department of Defense and supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

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Virgin Orbit Set to Launch 7 Satellites Tonight

UPDATE: Virgin Orbit says the launch was scrubbed because the LauncherOne “propellant temperature was slightly out of bounds.” The company has not announced a new launch date.

Virgin Orbit Launch

Launch Vehicles: LauncherOne/Boeing 747 Cosmic Girl
Payloads: 7 small satellites
Customer: U.S. Space Force
Launch Site: Pacific Ocean off California
Launch Origination: Mojave Air and Space Port | Mojave, Calif.
Launch Window: 10 p.m. PDT on June 29 | 1 a.m. EDT/0500 UTC on June 30
Livestream: 9:45 p.m. PDT on June 29 | 12:45 p.m. EDT/0445 UTC on June 30
Mission Name: Straight Up
Mission Number: STP-28A

Mission Overview

The launch will carry seven satellites from multiple government agencies that are experiments intended to demonstrate novel modular satellite bus, space domain awareness, and adaptive radio frequency technologies.

The U.S. Space Force has procured this launch for the Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP), with payloads provided by the DoD Space Test Program (STP). 

Payloads

CTIM-FD: CubeSat will measure radiation Earth receives from the Sun. (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Lonestar: U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command satellite focused on experimental tactical space support.

MISR-B: spacecraft will demonstrate two-way communications with ground devices and experiment with methods to leverage small satellite capabilities. (Department of Defense)

NACHOS-2: will allow scientists to detect, map, and quantify Earth’s trace gasses more easily, which is critical for volcanology and climate change research. (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Recurve: satellite propels CubeSat technology forward by demonstrating adaptive radio frequency system capability from low Earth orbit, evaluating mesh network behavior across multiple nodes to route data wherever it needs to go. (U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

Slingshot 1: CubeSat will advance on-orbit experiments using modular & autonomous technologies on next-gen satellite systems with SatCat5, a data interface which implements Ethernet-type communication between payloads using low power serial communications. (The Aerospace Corporation)

LEO Network Brings High-Speed, Low Latency Connectivity to Remote Thule Air Base

At the snowy outpost, 2 Intellian terminals dot the landscape connecting with the OneWeb satellites that orbit overhead. (Credit: Hughes)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes PR) — It was just one year ago that Hughes announced its selection by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to design and deploy a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network at Thule Air Base, Greenland.

Thule is the northernmost U.S. military installation, situated a little less than 1,000 miles from the North Pole. Built in the 1950s, the strategic base is used today for force projection, space superiority, and scientific research. The remote outpost at 76.32’ North latitude is situated well outside the footprint of a typical geostationary satellite, which orbits the earth above the Equator. Coupled with limited terrestrial connectivity, it was a veritable desert when it comes to connectivity…until now.

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NASA Marshall Team Delivers Tiny, Powerful ‘Lunar Flashlight’ Propulsion System

Lunar Flashlight is a low-cost, innovative CubeSat set to investigate the shadowy surface of the Moon’s South Pole. The Lunar Flashlight mission was developed and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. (Credits: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have built some of the largest rocket engines ever to light up the icy reaches of space. Now Marshall and its commercial partners have delivered one of the smallest propulsion systems in its history, designed to help propel an upcoming NASA mission to shed new light on the Moon’s South Pole – in search of a much more useful type of ice.

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BlueHalo Awarded $11M Air Force Research Laboratory Contract for Optical Laser Communications Flight Terminals and Ground Station

BlueHalo Laser Communications Concept (Image Credit: BlueHalo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (BlueHalo PR) — BlueHalo has been awarded a contract to deliver a pair of optical laser communications proto-flight terminals and a ground station to demonstrate on-orbit processing of satellite positioning and timing for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base.  Work will be performed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by February 2025.  The contract will support the development and demonstration of key technologies: GEO-to-LEO Optical Uplinks and Downlinks, Space-to-Ground Links, Positioning and Timing Accuracies over Optical Communication Links, and interoperability with multiple optical communications standards.

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Space Industrial Base Workshop Finds U.S. Falling Behind China in Key Areas

Credit: State of the Space Industrial Base Workshop

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (SSIB Conference PR) — Industry and government thought leaders gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the fourth annual State of the Space Industrial Base (SSIB) Workshop between May 31-June 3, 2022 to assess the health of, and provide recommendations to sustain, the United States’ leadership and advantage in space. Previous SSIB reports provided in-depth assessments and actionable recommendations for U.S. leadership. This year’s theme was “Prosperity & Sustainability: Winning the New Space Race.”  

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AFRL Sponsorship Recipient Wins NASA Space Manufacturing Contract

United Semiconductors, LLC facility in Los Alamitos, Calif. (Credit: United Semiconductors)

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH. (AFRL PR) — Air Force Research Laboratory research sponsorship recipient, United Semiconductors, LLC (USLLC), is one of eight companies selected to work on a three-year, $21 million NASA contract to manufacture tools in space.

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Hughes Announces Distribution Agreement with OneWeb Technologies

Turnkey managed LEO services available now to DoD for single- and multi-transport SATCOM implementations worldwide

Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes
Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes (Image Credit: Hughes Network Systems, LLC)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes Network Systems PR) — Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced it signed a distribution agreement with OneWeb Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of OneWeb, to deliver managed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The agreement follows the launch of the industry’s first managed LEO satellite communications (SATCOM) network for the DoD, an implementation led by Hughes in the Arctic region for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

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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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AFRL/AFOSR Conducts Successful Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonic Research

AFRL/AFOSR BOLT II Rocket launching from NASA/Wallops Flight Facility on March 21, 2022. (Credit: NASA/Wallops/Brian Bonsteel)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL PR) – The BOLT II “In memory of Mike Holden” flight experiment, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFRL/AFOSR), launched on the evening of March 21 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Dr. Michael Holden, who, up until his passing in 2019, had been a leader in the hypersonics field since the 1960s. The flight experiment successfully flew the planned flight path and acquired tremendous scientific data to further our understanding of boundary layer transition, turbulent heating, and drag at hypersonic conditions.

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AFRL’s Cislunar Highway Patrol System Seeks Industry Collaboration

Artist’s conception of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System. (Credit: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AFB, New Mexico (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate is seeking partners to design and inform the capabilities of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) satellite, to provide space domain awareness beyond Geosynchronous orbit, in the region of the moon that is experiencing increasing activity.

A draft Request for Proposals was posted last week, on the NSTXL.org website, and companies who are part of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) are encouraged to submit ideas by the deadline of 11 a.m. MST on April 1, 2022.

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D-Orbit Announces April Launch of SPACELUST, its Fifth ION Satellite Carrier Mission

D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier is a flexible in-orbit transportation system for CubeSats and microsatellites. (Credit: D-Orbit UK)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, March 21 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, announced today the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit.

ION will lift off from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. The launch is scheduled for April 2022.

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AFRL/AFOSR to Conduct Sound Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonics Research

Sounding rocket lifts off from Wallops Flight Facility. (Credit: NASA/Allison Stancil-Ervin)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – A launch of a two-stage suborbital sounding rocket for the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s BOLT II flight experiment is set to take place the evening of March 21 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch will be provided on NASA Wallops YouTube channel. Officials at NASA Wallops project the launch to be visible anywhere from 10 to 120 seconds from parts of seven states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as Washington, D.C.

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