SpaceX Appeals FCC Denial of Rural Broadband Subsidies for Starlink

SpaceX has appealed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to deny $885.5 million in subsidies that Elon Musk’s company was preliminarily awarded to provide broadband services to rural areas using its Starlink satellite constellation. The company disputed the FCC’s rationale that the system is too slow and costs too much.

“The Wireline Competition Bureau’s decision to exclude Starlink from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) is flawed as a matter of both law and policy,” wrote SpaceX attorney Dan Goldman. “It fails legally because it contradicts the record—including SpaceX’s and Starlink’s proven capabilities—it contradicts the Commission’s stated rules for the program, and it rests on unsupported conjecture and outside-the-record information apparently cherry-picked from somewhere on the Internet.”

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GAO Report: DOD, IC Lack of Strategy to Acquire and Use Commercial Satellite Imagery

The Department of Defense (DOD) and intelligence community (IC) need to better define roles and responsibilities for the acquisition of commercial satellite imagery in order to avoid wasteful overlap, incorporate emerging capabilities and meet the growing military and competitive challenges posed by China, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

“The IC and DOD have established requirements for future commercial acquisitions focused primarily on foundational intelligence but have limited ability to incorporate emerging commercial satellite capabilities in a timely manner,” the report said. “Although they have explored utilizing emerging capabilities, the IC and DOD have not developed an effective approach to bring these capabilities into geospatial-intelligence (GEOINT) operations. “Without doing so, the U.S. may lose ground in space to competitors such as China, and the U.S. commercial industry may be limited in their ability to compete with foreign competitors.”

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Spire Global Appoints Boyd Johnson as Chief Legal Officer

Former GC of SPS Commerce Brings Decades of Public Company Experience to Spire’s Leadership Team

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR)Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or the “Company”), a leading global provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced that it has appointed Boyd Johnson as Chief Legal Officer. As an expert in corporate compliance, governance, and securities law, Johnson brings more than 25 years of experience to the role. He will serve on the company’s executive team and report to Peter Platzer, CEO and Co-Founder of Spire.

As Chief Legal Officer, Mr. Johnson will act as the company’s legal representative, lead its legal team, and work closely with Spire’s executives and board of directors in the deployment of the company’s strategic plan. Mr. Johnson will replace Ananda Martin, who served as General Counsel since 2018.

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Blue Origin Taps OROS for Advanced Thermal Materials in Space

OROS Insulation Tech will Allow Human Cells to Remain at Desired Temperatures Longer

PORTLAND, Ore. (OROS PR) — OROS, a leading next-gen thermal materials business, has provided Blue Origin superior insulation technology that will support vital science being carried on the aerospace company’s latest mission, scheduled to launch August 31. Batteries used to keep human cells at viable livable temperatures aboard the Blue Origin NS-23 will be insulated with OROS’ technology to vastly prolong operable life.

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Firefly Aerospace Names Bill Weber as CEO

Experienced A&D Executive to Lead Firefly’s Next Phase of Expansive Growth

CEDAR PARK, Texas (Firefly Aerospace PR) — Firefly Aerospace (“Firefly” or “Company”), an emerging leader in economical launch vehicles, spacecraft, and in-space services, announced today that long-time aerospace and defense executive, Bill Weber, has been named the Company’s CEO, effective immediately. Firefly is a portfolio company of AEIndustrial Partners (“AEI”), a U.S.-based private equity firm specializing in aerospace, defense & government services, space, power & utility services, and specialty industrial markets.

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Sierra Space Enters Agreement with Yuri to Launch ScienceTaxi to Space

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser® Spaceplane to Bring Yuri’s Life Science Incubator to International Space Station for Microgravity Research

Sierra Space’s new agreement with Yuri will allow the Dream Chaser® Spaceplane to Bring Yuri’s Life Science Incubator to the International Space Station for Microgravity Research (Image Credit: Business Wire)

LOUISVILLE, Colo. & MECKENBEUREN, Germany (Sierra Space PR)Sierra Space, a leading commercial space company at the forefront of creating and building the future of space transportation and infrastructure for low-Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization, and Yuri, a Germany-based space biotech company, announced today a new agreement to further medical research in microgravity for the benefit of life on Earth. The arrangement includes plans to launch Yuri’s ScienceTaxi on board Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane beginning in 2024, on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS), where the incubator will be used for a variety of life sciences experiments.

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CAPSTONE Goes the Distance for NASA’s Artemis Program

The satellite reached its highest altitude at an apogee of 1.538 million km from Earth – the highest any Terran Orbital developed vehicle has ever flown

The pathfinding CAPSTONE lunar satellite reaches apogee – its farthest point from Earth (Image Credit: NASA)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, today announced the CAPSTONE spacecraft successfully achieved its highest altitude – a point known as apogee – at 2:35 p.m. E.T. on August 26. Terran Orbital developed and co-operates the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, otherwise known as CAPSTONE, in cooperation with NASA and led by Advanced Space.

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Velontra Contracts with Venus Aerospace to Deliver a Propulsion System Enabling Airflights Around the Globe in One Hour

Velontra Ohio headquarters (Image Credit: Velontra)

CINCINNATI (Velontra PR) — Cincinnati/Dayton-based Velontra has partnered with Venus Aerospace in Houston, Texas, to develop a revolutionary propulsion system. Velontra’s after-burner system will enable Venus’hypersonic aircraft to take off from any airport in the world where it will travel to any destination on Earth in about one hour.

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Ursa Major Awarded U.S. Air Force Contract to Develop Flight-Ready Rocket Engine for Launch in 2022

Leading American Rocket Propulsion Company to Provide 5,000-Pound Thrust Oxygen-Rich Staged Combustion “Hadley” Engine to Launch Satellites into Low Earth Orbit

An Ursa Major propulsion engineer works on a 5,000-pound thrust “Hadley” rocket engine (Image Credit: IUrsa Major)

DENVER (Ursa Major PR) Ursa Major, America’s only privately funded company that focuses solely on rocket propulsion, today announced a contract under the U.S. Air Force Tactical Funding Increase (TACFI) program. Under the agreement, Ursa Major will provide a flight-qualified 5,000-pound thrust, oxygen-rich staged combustion “Hadley” rocket engine, suited for both the booster and upper-stage phases of launch for satellites into low-earth orbit.

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SOFIA Finds More Water in the Moon’s Southern Hemisphere

This illustration highlights the Moon’s Clavius Crater with an illustration depicting water trapped in the lunar soil there, along with an image of NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) that found sunlit lunar water. (Credits: NASA)

COLUMBIA, Md. (USRA PR) — In 2020, Universities Space Research Association scientists and their team, using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), announced they had discovered water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. Now, they’ve confirmed it – and found even more. The findings were published in Geophysical Research Letters

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Astra Announces Spacecraft Engine Contract with Airbus OneWeb Satellites

ALAMEDA, CA (Astra Space, Inc. PR) — Astra Space, Inc. (“Astra”) (Nasdaq: ASTR), a provider of space products and launch services to the global space industry, today announced that it has been selected by Airbus OneWeb Satellites, LLC (“AOS”) to supply the Astra Spacecraft Engine for integration into the portfolio of Arrow commercial small satellites manufactured by AOS.

Airbus OneWeb Satellites LLC is a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb. AOS manufactures satellites for the OneWeb commercial constellation and Airbus customers in Merritt Island, Florida. AOS is producing satellites for Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc., in support of U.S. government programs.

About Astra

Astra’s mission is to Improve Life on Earth from Space® by creating a healthier and more connected planet. Today, Astra offers one of the lowest cost-per-launch dedicated orbital launch services of any operational launch provider in the world, and one of the industry’s first flight-proven electric propulsion systems for satellites, Astra Spacecraft Engine™. Astra delivered its first commercial launch to low Earth orbit in 2021, making it the fastest company in history to reach this milestone, just five years after it was founded in 2016. Astra (NASDAQ: ASTR) was the first space launch company to be publicly traded on Nasdaq. Visit astra.com to learn more about Astra.

This Week on The Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

Tuesday, August 30 — 7 PM PDT (9 PM CDT; 10 PM EDT): Guests: Dr. David Livingston For those of you wanting to be a guest on TSS, tonight’s your night. Call us at a-866-687-7223

Wednesday, August 31 — 10 PM PDT (12 AM CDT; 1 AM EDT): Guests: John BatchelorDr. David LivingstonRand Simberg Post SLS launch discussion and more

Friday, September 2 — 9:30 PDT (11:30 AM CDT; 12:30 EDT): Guests: Grant Blaisdell Grant introduces us to his company Grant Blaisdell Copernic Space. See Grant Blaisdell www.opernicspace.com for additional information

World View Collaborates with NASA for Annual TechRise Student Challenge

Space tourism and remote sensing company selected to provide high-altitude flights for student experiments in esteemed science competition

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) — Stratospheric exploration company World View has been selected by NASA as one of two commercial space flight providers for winners of the agency’s TechRise Student Challenge.  This year’s competition invites student teams from grades six through 12 to design, build, and launch experiments using stratospheric balloons. Student teams submit science and technology experiment proposals for the chance to turn their ideas into reality and launch their technology to the edge of space using World View’s cutting-edge remote sensing technologies and high-altitude capabilities.

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ATLAS Space Operations Secures $26M in Series B Funding Led by Mitsui

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (ATLAS Space Operations PR)ATLAS Space Operations, a global leader in cloud-based space communications solutions, today announced $26 million in Series B Funding led by Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The investment round reaffirms confidence in ATLAS’ Ground Software as a Service™ (G-SaaS) approach as a critical solution within the space economy.

The funding round is a part of strategic initiatives for both Mitsui and ATLAS. For ATLAS, this investment accelerates its plan for international growth, as well as its Ground Software as a Service business model. This is ATLAS’ industry disruptive software (Freedom™) solution which integrates complex disparate networks for government and commercial clients across a federated network.

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