AST SpaceMobile and NASA Sign Joint Agreement to Improve Spaceflight Safety

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

Space Act Agreement formalizes existing cooperation to protect assets in low Earth orbit

MIDLAND, Texas, December 15, 2022 (AST SpaceMobile PR) – AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced that its subsidiary, AST & Science, LLC, and NASA recently signed an agreement to formalize both organizations’ dedication to maintaining and improving safety in the shared environment of space.

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Dynetics Bidding on NASA Lunar Lander Contract

Artist concept of the Dynetics Human Landing System on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: Dynetics)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Dec. 7, 2022 (Dynetics PR) — Dynetics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Leidos, today announced it has submitted a bid on the Human Landing System (HLS) Sustaining Lunar Development (SLD) contract for NASA’s Artemis Mission. Northrop Grumman will join the Dynetics team in this pursuit.

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NASA Plans Artemis Launch for Wednesday, ABL Space Eyes Maiden Launch of RS1 Booster

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen during sunrise atop a mobile launcher at Launch Pad 39B as preparations for launch continue, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis I flight test is the first integrated test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, and supporting ground systems. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA will make another attempt to launch the Artemis I mission to the moon on Wednesday as small-satellite launch provider ABL Space Systems prepares for the maiden flight of its RS1 booster from Alaska.

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NASA, SpaceX to Study Hubble Telescope Reboost Possibility

Hubble Space Telescope (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX signed an unfunded Space Act Agreement Thursday, Sept. 22, to study the feasibility of a SpaceX and Polaris Program idea to boost the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope into a higher orbit with the Dragon spacecraft, at no cost to the government.

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ESA TV to Livestream Artemis I Launch on Monday

Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion capsule at Launch Complex 39B. (Credit: NASA)

ESA Mission Update

The countdown has started for the first human-rated launch to the Moon in over half a century. ESA’s European Service Module will be powering the Orion spacecraft to our natural satellite and back.

Watch the most powerful rocket ever built launch on 29 August from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA. Teams on Earth have a two-hour window from 14:33 CEST to initiate liftoff, so the orbits of our planet and the Moon are aligned for the Artemis I mission.

Follow the livestream on ESA Web TV starting at 12:30 CEST (11:30 BST).

Two more dates are available if liftoff is not possible on 29 August. The Artemis Moon mission can also be launched on 2 and 5 September.

The countdown to launch includes a large amount of fuel loaded into NASA’s Space Launch System rocket SLS. Tanking starts eight hours before launch with the flight director asking for a “go” 15 minutes before launch.

This journey will serve as a test of both the Orion spacecraft and its SLS rocket ahead of crewed flights to the Moon. No crew will be on board Orion this time, and the spacecraft will be controlled by teams on Earth. The second Artemis mission will see four astronauts travel around the Moon on a flyby voyage around our natural satellite.

The European Service Module – or ESM – provides for all astronauts’ basic needs, such as water, oxygen, nitrogen, temperature control, power and propulsion. Much like a train engine pulls passenger carriages and supplies power, the European Service Module will take the Orion capsule to its destination and back.

BlackSky Awarded $1.7M NASA Contract to Advance Earth Science Research

BlackSky’s Dynamic Monitoring to provide data for innovative research on global change

HERNDON, Va. (BlackSky Technology Inc. PR) — BlackSky Technology Inc. (NYSE: BKSY) received its first call order, worth $1.7 million, from NASA to evaluate accessibility, accuracy, quality and utility of the Company’s imaging data services for the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition (CSDA) Program.

“New discoveries in Earth science can be accelerated with innovative research methods and real-time dynamic data sets that keep up with the increasingly rapid pace and scale of change on our planet,” said Dr. Patrick O’Neil, BlackSky chief innovation officer.

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NS-23 to Fly 36 Payloads and Tens of Thousands of Club for the Future Postcards to Space

New Shepard (NS-14) lifts off from Blue Origin’s Launch Site One in West Texas. (Credits: Blue Origin)

SEATTLE (Blue Origin PR) — On August 31, New Shepard’s 23rd mission, a dedicated payloads flight, will fly 36 payloads from academia, research institutions, and students across the globe. The launch window opens at 8:30 AM CDT / 13:30 UTC from Launch Site One in West Texas. 

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Terran Orbital Integrates LunIR into NASA’s Space Launch System

The satellite will launch from Kennedy Space Center with Artemis I

LunIR is fully integrated within the Orion Stage Adapter aboard NASA’s Space Launch System (Image Credit: NASA)

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Terran Orbital Corporation PR) — Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP), a global leader in satellite solutions, primarily serving the United States and Allied aerospace and defense industries, integrated the Lunar Infrared imaging spacecraft, also known as LunIR into NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). With its unprecedented power and capabilities, SLS is the only rocket that will be able to send the Orion capsule, astronauts, and cargo directly to the Moon on a single mission. LunIR will fly by the Moon and collect surface thermography as a secondary payload on Artemis 1 – a test mission for SLS. After the flyby, the 6U satellite will conduct technology demonstrations related to deep-space operations for future Mars missions.

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NASA Selects Astrobotic, Honeybee and Lockheed Martin to Advance Solar Power on Moon

Vertical solar arrays, pictured in this illustration, will help power exploration of the Moon under Artemis. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected three companies to further advance work on deployable solar array systems that will help power the agency’s human and robotic exploration of the Moon under Artemis.

Through Artemis missions, NASA will return humans to the Moon and establish a long-term presence near the lunar South Pole. A reliable, sustainable power source is required to support lunar habitats, rovers, and even construction systems for future robotic and crewed missions. To help provide this power, NASA is supporting development of vertical solar arrays that can autonomously deploy up to 32 feet high and retract for relocation if necessary.

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New Water Map of Mars will Prove Invaluable for Future Exploration

Mars global map of hydrated minerals. [Credit: ESA/Mars Express (OMEGA) and NASA/Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (CRISM)]

PARIS (ESA PR) — A new map of Mars is changing the way we think about the planet’s watery past, and showing where we should land in the future.

The map shows mineral deposits across the planet and has been painstakingly created over the last decade using data from ESA’s Mars Express Observatoire pour la Mineralogie, l’Eau, les Glaces et l’Activité (OMEGA) instrument and NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) instrument.

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Planet to Provide Real-Time Data and Connectivity Solutions for NASA’s CSP

Planet Selected as Subcontractor for SES Government Solutions and Telesat Government Solutions to Help Build Real-time Connectivity Solutions

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet Labs PR) — Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced that it has been selected by two companies, SES Government Solutions and Telesat Government Solutions, to demonstrate real-time space-to-space connectivity solutions from LEO satellites to other in-space communication satellites operated by SES and Telesat for NASA’s Communication Services Project, or “CSP”.

With NASA’s plans to decommission its owned and operated satellites which are a part of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) in the coming years, the agency will evaluate the feasibility of commercial networks to reliably support future near-Earth missions. As part of Planet’s involvement in CSP, Planet will accelerate its R&D for near-Earth space communication capabilities on its future earth-observation satellites. Planet will work to demonstrate its state-of-the art communication technology stack involving real-time satellite connectivity for NASA’s CSP, with the goal of further building its relationship with the agency and enabling low latency solutions for Planet customers.

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NASA is “Go” to Launch Artemis I on Monday Morning

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

The Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s Artemis I mission has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, August 29, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B in Florida. 

Live coverage of events will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Monday, Aug. 22. The launch countdown will begin Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10:23 a.m.

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