Space

After what SpaceX’s founder Elon Musk called an “embarrassing” glitch with Starhopper, an experimental rocket ship, the company pulled off an impressive launch and landing on Tuesday. “Congrats SpaceX team!!” Musk tweeted shortly after the attempt. “One day Starship will land on the rusty sands of Mars.” Starhopper is a roughly 60-foot-tall (18 meters) vehicle
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This article originally appeared in the Aug. 19, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. When the Aerospace Corp. launched the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration in 2017, one mission objective was to test water-fueled thrusters. At the time, the idea was fairly novel. Two years later, water-based propulsion is moving rapidly into the mainstream. Capella Space’s
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WASHINGTON — An uncrewed Soyuz spacecraft successfully docked with the International Space Station Aug. 26, nearly 72 hours after aborting its original attempt to dock with the station. The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft docked with the aft port on the Zvezda service module at 11:08 p.m. Eastern. Flight controllers reported no issues with the automated docking
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WASHINGTON — A Florida senator is asking the White House to revise existing policy regarding the launch of government hosted payloads on commercial satellites, a move some in the industry fear could further restrict the use of such payloads. In an Aug. 23 letter to Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked that
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The consortium manages the development of pre-production prototypes of space systems, including satellites, payloads and ground systems. WASHINGTON — The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center is looking to make changes in the management of its fast growing Space Enterprise Consortium. In a Request for Information posted Aug. 20, SMC announced it is “performing
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“We’re not against doing another SSO-A type mission. If the market demands that, we know how to do it.” This article originally appeared in the August 19, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine under the title “Herding cubesats: Spaceflight’s SSO-A mission a logistical headache.” The concept of large-scale rideshare missions, where dozens of cubesats or other
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WASHINGTON — Radio astronomers say OneWeb has not, until recently, paid attention to their concerns about interference, but that it is not too late to avoid a spectrum conflict.  OneWeb has resumed conversations about potential interference from its planned megaconstellation after talks stalled out three years ago, according to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which
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WASHINGTON — A rare uncrewed flight of a Soyuz spacecraft took another twist Aug. 24 when the spacecraft failed to make an automated docking with the International Space Station. The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft was scheduled to dock with the station’s Poisk module at about 1:30 a.m. Eastern. While the spacecraft’s initial approach to the station
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WASHINGTON — Swedish company Ovzon left a contract with SpaceX for a Falcon Heavy launch in favor of an Ariane 5 mission from European launch provider Arianespace.  In an earnings report Aug. 23, Ovzon said it had “recently contracted Arianespace to launch our satellite in 2021.”  “[W]e have thus left the preliminary agreements we had,”
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