WASHINGTON — Virgin Orbit is suing OneWeb for refusing to pay a termination fee for canceling all but the initial four of the 39 launches it ordered from Virgin Orbit in 2015 to fill gaps in its planned constellation of at least 648 broadband satellites. According to a complaint Virgin Orbit filed June 4 in U.S.
A colossal magnetic field stretching between two clusters of galaxies has been observed for the first time. Roughly a billion light-years away, the ‘bridge’ of radio-emitting plasma spans 10 million light-years, following a filament in the mysterious cosmic web that connects the Universe. The space between clusters of galaxies isn’t completely dark and empty. Long
SBIRS-4 has been declared fully operational. Next-gen OPIR has passed several design reviews. WASHINGTON — The fourth satellite of the Space Based Infrared System constellation has been declared fully operational, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced June 6. The billion-dollar SBIRS GEO-4, built by Lockheed Martin, launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force
WASHINGTON — NASA plans to take new steps later in June to try and resolve a problem with one of the key instruments on the Mars InSight lander. In a June 5 statement, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory said it will use the lander’s robotic arm, designed to place instruments onto the Martian surface, to lift
Astronomers peering into the dark heart of the Milky Way galaxy have seen a vast, rotating disc of cool gas, circling the supermassive black hole that therein resides. Long has this disc been hypothesised; now, it is revealed in all its turbulent glory. “We were the first to image this elusive disk and study its
WASHINGTON — World View announced June 5 it performed the longest flight to date of its stratospheric balloon, demonstrating its ability to carry out missions traditionally reserved for satellites. The company said its Stratollite balloon system recently completed a 16-day test flight, taking off May 18 from the company’s headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, and landing
WASHINGTON — The U.K. Space Agency and a local government announced plans June 4 to invest in facilities at a British airport to support launch operations by Virgin Orbit. The investment by the U.K. Space Agency and Cornwall Council, totaling up to £20 million ($25.4 million), will fund the development of “facilities and operational capabilities”
The 50th anniversary of You-Know-What is coming up and LEGO is getting in on the celebration. The much-beloved company has released a replica of the Apollo 11 Eagle Lunar Lander. The new lander is part of LEGO’s Creator Expert collection. LEGO teamed up with NASA on this effort, and the model boasts quite a few
SAN ANTONIO — Mapping technology giant Esri announced a new imagery exploitation tool, ArcGIS Excalibur, in addition to partnerships with BAE Systems, Harris Geospatial, HawkEye 360 and Microsoft. ArcGIS Excalibur is designed to streamline search, discovery and image analysis for Esri ArcGIS enterprise customers, Esri announced May 31, ahead of the 2019 GEOINT Symposium here.
PDS 70, the star that last year gave us the first ever confirmed direct image of a planet being born, had an extra trick up its protoplanetary disc. In follow-up observations, astronomers have found a second planet – and managed to take photographs of both. This gives it the added honour of being only the
Lockheed senior fellow Mark Pritt: “Today there’s still a lot of manual labor involved in identifying what you’re seeing in those images.” SAN ANTONIO — Lockheed Martin is marketing a new artificial intelligence product that helps analysts identify objects in satellite imagery. In a demonstration, it searched the entire state of Pennsylvania and in two
WASHINGTON — An industry advisory group will recommend significant changes to a proposal to revise commercial remote sensing regulations, arguing the current proposal falls short of what’s needed to keep up with the industry’s capabilities and needs. Members of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing, or ACCRES, spent half of their day-long meeting at
NASA’s Chris Scolese and Gen. Raymond breezed through the hearing where senators praised the nominees’ track records and qualifications for the job. WASHINGTON — “You both will do a great job,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Christopher Scolese and Gen. John Raymond on Tuesday at the conclusion of their confirmation hearing.
A huge discovery that was incompatible with our current theories of dark matter and galaxy formation may have just been resolved. After a new analysis, astronomers have determined that NGC1052-DF2 – found last year to contain absolutely no dark matter – is a lot closer to us than previous calculations estimated. Which means that it
Strategic Forces subcommittee Chairman Jim Cooper is a Space Force advocate but HASC Chairman Adam Smith publicly has been ambivalent about it. SAN ANTONIO — The House Armed Services Committee subcommittee on strategic forces on Monday released its proposed language to be considered in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. The bill
The first film of a total solar eclipse has been restored by specialists at the British Film Institute (BFI) and made available for viewing. The film was taken in North Caroline in 1900 by Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne was a British man who was a magician turned film-maker. He took the film as part of a
SAN ANTONIO — The National Reconnaissance Office awarded commercial imagery study contracts to BlackSky Global, Maxar Technologies and Planet, Troy Meink, who leads NRO’s Geospatial Intelligence Directorate, announced June 3. If all goes as planned, procurement contracts could follow in six to 12 months, he said at the 2019 GEOINT Symposium here. The National Geospatial
NGA Director Vice Adm. Robert Sharp said the agency needs to change its business practices. SAN ANTONIO, Texas — In the data arms race, it’s not about how much data you have but what you do with it. That about sums up the challenge facing the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA), a giant organization of
Death, for stars, isn’t always a straightforward affair. In fact, it can get downright weird. Astronomers have just identified a star made from the remnants of two dead stars that fused together, which reignited fusion in the core – bringing the new star back to life. The star is called J005311, 10,000 light-years away in
WASHINGTON — NASA is suffering growing problems with cost and schedule on its major programs, driven by continued issues with two of its highest profile efforts. In its annual “Assessments of Major Projects” report issued May 30, the Government Accountability Office found that average cost growth and schedule delay for large NASA programs grew in