D-Orbit Has Been Busy Signing Up Satellite Customers

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

Italian in-space transportation company D-Orbit had a busy couple of months with the announcement of deals with six companies to deploy satellites and hosted payloads into Earth orbit using the company’s ION Satellite Carrier orbital transfer vehicle.

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Rocket Lab Creates Subsidiary to Serve Defense & Intelligence Launch Needs

Electron rocket launches on Nov. 4, 2022. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced it has created a U.S.-based wholly owned subsidiary to serve the defense and intelligence community. Rocket Lab National Security LLC (RLNS) will deliver reliable launch services and space systems capabilities to the U.S. government and its allies.

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AST SpaceMobile Reports Third Quarter Results

AST SpaceMobile reported a net loss of $22.29 million for the third quarter with revenue of 4.17 million as the company launched its first communications satellite into orbit.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) test satellite into orbit on Sept. 10. The spacecraft has since unfurled its massive antenna that measures 64 square meters (689 square feet). It is the largest communications satellite array ever deployed in Earth orbit.

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AST SpaceMobile Upsizes Common Stock Offering

BlueWalker 3’s solar arrays deployed in the clean room. (Credit: AST SpaceMobile)

Space communications company AST SpaceMobile (NAS: ASTS) has upsized its offering of Class A common stock from $65 million to $75 million.

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Broadband Beamed from Space to Isolated UK Areas Under Plans to Boost Countryside Internet Connections

Credit: UK government

Work also begins on biggest ever £100 million Project Gigabit contract to connect 60,000 rural homes and businesses in Cumbria, delivered by Fibrus.

  • Mountain rescue base and 12th Century abbey to benefit in government tests of satellites to connect remote locations
  • Broadband voucher scheme to help people get better connections to be tripled in value to £4,500 –  funding gigabit connections in more rural communities

LONDON (UK Government PR) — Some of the UK’s most remote homes and businesses will be connected to better broadband, beamed to earth by satellite, as part of new government plans to ensure everyone can access fast and reliable coverage wherever they live or work.

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The Year in Launches in Five Tables

The final Delta IV Heavy launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. (Credit: ULA)

The world is setting a new record for orbital launches this year. Let’s look at where things stand as we head into December.

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ESA Boosts Spending on Space Commercialization

The ScaleUp programme is part of ESA’s directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement which works with all directorates in ESA to help deliver new commercialisation opportunities in European space thereby increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s space economy and bringing socio-economic benefits to European citizens.

ScaleUp, which has two elements, supports a company along its entire life cycle. First, it assists in the development of the enterprise with business incubation, business acceleration, intellectual property and technology transfer services (ScaleUp Innovate), and then, it facilitates the scaling up of their products on new markets (ScaleUp Invest).

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Redwire Reports Increased Revenue in Third Quarter

Redwire reported a 14 percent increase in third quarter revenues to $37.2 million and a net loss of $10.4 million. Revenues were $4.6 million above those during the same period in 2021 while the net loss was $13.8 million less than during the same period.

Redwire reported revenue of $106.8 million through the first nine months of 2022. It was an increase of $10.3 million over revenue $96.5 million reported during the first three quarters of last year. The company’s total backlog of business increased to $304 million from $251.7 million at the end of the second quarter.

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IAU Raises Concerns About Brightness of AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 Satellite

Trail left by BlueWalker 3 over Kitt Peak National Observatory. (Credit: IAU)

Global astronomy community troubled by unprecedented brightness and use of terrestrial frequencies from space of recently launched BlueWalker 3 satellite

PARIS (IAU PR) — The International Astronomical Union Center for the Protection of the Dark and Quiet Sky from Satellite Constellation Interference expresses concern about the recently launched prototype Blue Walker 3 satellite’s impact on astronomy. New measurements reveal that this low Earth orbiting satellite is now one of the brightest objects in the night sky, outshining all but the brightest stars. In addition, the satellite’s use of terrestrial radio frequencies poses a new challenge to radio astronomy. On 10 September 2022 AST SpaceMobile launched a prototype satellite called BlueWalker 3 into low Earth orbit. This satellite, which has a 64-square-meter (693-square-foot) antenna system (the largest commercial antenna system ever deployed into low Earth orbit), is the first of what is expected to be more than a hundred similar or even larger satellites.

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SpaceX to Launch Private Mission to the Moon Wednesday Morning

HAKUTO-R lander on the moon. (Credit: ispace)

UPDATE: The launch has been delayed until Thursday, December 1 at 3:37 a.m. EST.
UPDATE 2: The launch on Thursday has been postponed. Launch date TBA.

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, November 30 for a Falcon 9 launch of ispace’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1 – the first privately-led Japanese mission to land on the lunar surface – from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Also onboard this mission is NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Lunar Flashlight. The instantaneous launch window is at 3:39 a.m. ET (08:39 UTC), and a backup opportunity is available on Thursday, December 1 at 3:37 a.m. ET (08:37 UTC).

The first stage booster supporting this mission previously launched SES-22 and three Starlink missions. Following stage separation, the first stage will land on Landing Zone 1 (LZ-1) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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

AST SpaceMobile Launches Offering of $65 Million of Class A Common Stock

MIDLAND, Texas, November 29, 2022 (AST SpaceMobile PR) — AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTS) (the “Company” or “AST SpaceMobile”) announced today the launch of a public offering of $65,000,000 of its Class A common stock, par value $0.0001 per share (the “Class A Common Stock”). The Company will grant the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $9,750,000 of shares of Class A Common Stock at the public offering price, less the underwriting discounts and commissions, solely to cover over-allotments, if any. The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering for general corporate purposes.

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This Week on The Space Show

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

Tuesday, November 29. 7 PM PST ( 9 PM CST; 10 PM EST): We welcome TOM GARDNER to the program from Advanced Space to discuss the CAPSTONE Project – Cubesats and the Moon!

Wednesday, November 30. The John Batchelor Hotel Mars Program. Please see the Upcoming Show Menu on our home page, www.thespaceshow.com, for details for this week’s program. The Upcoming Show Menu is to the far right side of our home page. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor.

Friday, December 02. 9:30-11 AM PST; 11:30 AM- 1 PM CST; 12:30-2 PM EST: We welcome back Dr. Pete Worden for Breakthrough updates and much much more. Don’t miss this discussion!

Sunday, December 04. 12-1:30 PM PST, (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): We welcome GURBIR SINGH back to the show regarding his new book. For details, please see the Upcoming Show Menu on our home page.