Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…
Artemis I to Launch First-of-a-Kind Deep Space Biology Mission
NASA’s BioSentinel mission will go beyond the Moon to perform the first long-duration deep space biology experiment. Set to launch with the first flight of the Space Launch System rocket, Artemis I, the spacecraft will study the effects of space radiation on yeast cells. The results could inspire solutions to keep future astronauts healthy during deep space exploration. (Credits: NASA/Ames Research Center)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Poised to launch on Artemis I from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,  BioSentinel – a shoebox-sized CubeSat – will perform the first long-duration biology experiment in deep space. Artemis missions at the Moon will prepare humans to travel on increasingly farther and longer-duration missions to destinations like Mars, and BioSentinel will carry microorganisms, in the form of yeast, to fill critical gaps in knowledge about the health risks in deep space posed by space radiation.

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  • August 12, 2022
NASA Offers Up to $200 Million to Help Push New Technologies to Market
OSAM-1 mission (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Companies with technologies that may advance exploration but need a little extra push to finalize development have two new opportunities to partner with NASA to make it over the finish line.

Through Tipping Point, NASA seeks to support space technologies that can foster the growth of commercial space capabilities and benefit future agency missions. NASA is also offering businesses a chance to work with agency experts or use facilities to complete their work through a separate Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity.

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  • February 15, 2022
ESA, GomSpace Sign Contract for Juventas CubeSat in Support of Hera Mission
Juventas CubeSat (Credit: ESA/GomSpace)

LUXEMBOURG (GomSpace PR) — GomSpace Luxembourg SARL and the European Space Agency (ESA), today signed a contract to continue development and implementation of the Juventas CubeSat in support of the Hera mission.

The contract value is approximately EUR 11,000,000, focused on delivery of the Juventas spacecraft and its associated payloads for launch with Hera in 2024. The amount will be divided between several partners, whereof GomSpace share is about EUR 6,100,000.

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  • August 10, 2020
First KiboCUBE Satellite Deployed from the International Space Station

Japanese KIBO module

VIENNA, 11 May (United Nations Information Service PR) – The first cube satellite (CubeSat) developed under the KiboCUBE programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been deployed from the International Space Station (ISS). The deployment took place on 11 May 2018 from the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) of the ISS with the Kibo robotic arm.


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  • May 12, 2018
Loss of Weather Satellite Adds to Russia’s Near Decade of Launch Failures

Another fine day for Russia’s space program. A Proton crashes with three GLONASS satellites in July 2013. (Credit: Tsenki TV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

For the second year in a row, Russia came tantalizingly close to breaking a string of launch failures extending back nearly a decade.

In three days, the nation’s space program would have gone 12 months without botching a launch. Thirty days after that, an entire calendar year would have passed without a full or partial launch failure. Last year, Russia came within four days and 30 days of those marks, respectively.


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  • November 28, 2017
ESA Narrows Finalists for Lunar CubeSat Mission

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

PARIS (ESA PR) — If you could fly a CubeSat to the Moon, what could such a tiny satellite do there? ESA posed this question – and now four proposals will be studied in more detail for possible flight over the coming decade.

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  • May 12, 2017
ESA’s First Technology CubeSat Launched from Space Station

ESA’s GomX-3 CubeSat plus the smaller student-built AAUSat-5 after being deployed from the NanoRacks dispenser on Japan's Kibo module of the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. They entered space together but a spring system pushed them away from each other. By the end of the week they were orbiting upwards of 100 km apart. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

ESA’s GomX-3 CubeSat plus the smaller student-built AAUSat-5 after being deployed from the NanoRacks dispenser on Japan’s Kibo module of the International Space Station on 5 October 2015. They entered space together but a spring system pushed them away from each other. By the end of the week they were orbiting upwards of 100 km apart. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s first technology-testing CubeSat, released last week from the International Space Station, is in good health and is set to start work on its six-month mission.

“This tiny satellite was developed in only a year and now we are very pleased with the rapid progress made during the first few days in orbit to check its readiness for its mission,” notes Roger Walker, overseeing ESA’s technology CubeSat effort.


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  • October 19, 2015
Firefly Awarded NASA Venture Class Launch Services Contract

firefly_space_systems_logoCEDAR PARK, Texas, October 14, 2015 (Firefly PR) — Firefly Space Systems, Inc., a New Space leader in the development of dedicated small satellite launch vehicles has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct a demonstration CubeSat launch by March 2018. The Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contract to Firefly is valued at $5.5M.

Mark Wiese, chief of the Flight Projects Office for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP), based at Kennedy Space Center, described VCLS contracts as representing “NASA’s investment in the future of the commercial launch industry for SmallSats.”

Since there hasn’t been a dedicated launcher available, CubeSats have flown into orbit as auxiliary payloads that are released after the booster has achieved the primary mission. They have also been sprung into the orbital void from canisters aboard the International Space Station to conduct research missions. In both cases though, the CubeSats are at the mercy of the primary payload and the orbit it must fly in.


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  • October 14, 2015
Andrews Space to Manufacture Dutch CubeSat Dispenser

SEATTLE, WA, 11 October 2012 (Andrews Space PR) — Andrews Space (Andrews) today announced it signed an agreement with ISIS of the Netherlands to begin manufacturing a US version of the ISIPOD, branded the EZPOD, in the United States.  Under the terms of the agreement, Andrews will manufacture and integrate the EZPODs domestically with initial units available as early as January 2013.


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  • October 11, 2012
UKSA Seeks Indian Cooperation on TechDemoSat, Launches CubeSat Payload Competition

Following up on a visit to India by Prime Minister David Cameron, British Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts visited the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) this week to explore deeper space collaboration between the two nations. The Deccan Herald reports:

As a first concrete example of this strengthened partnership, Willetts invited India to partner with the UK in its TechDemoSat programme.

TechDemoSat is an industry-led technology demonstration satellite which aims to provide a low-Earth-orbit test bed to help demonstrate the technical maturity and commercial viability of innovative new space technology.


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  • November 17, 2010