This article originally appeared in the Jan. 21, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. Everyone seemed calm at the annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) conference in Phoenix, sharing research and discussing public policy, until someone mentioned commercial weather data. Suddenly voices grew louder, one speaker interrupted another and tempers flared. The annual American MeteorologicalSociety conference met
Weeks after NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made the farthest-ever visit to an object, located more than 4 billion miles from Earth, the probe beamed home an unprecedented photo. The image (below) is devoid of colour and looks somewhat fuzzy, but it represents the most detailed look yet at the object. Researchers say there are more
WASHINGTON — OneWeb founder Greg Wyler says a self-funded side project of his has developed an antenna module costing $15, paving the way for user terminals priced between $200 and $300. Wyler, in an interview, said he invested just under $10 million into Wafer LLC, a Danvers, Massachusetts-based company that has created a prototype antenna.
WASHINGTON — As Blue Origin breaks ground on a new factory for producing rocket engines, the company says development of its BE-4 engine will be completed later this year. Blue Origin held a groundbreaking ceremony in Huntsville, Alabama, Jan. 25 to formally mark the start of construction of a factory that will be used for
A few years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope did something amazing: over the course of 841 orbits and hundreds of exposures, it imaged a tiny region of space in the constellation of Fornax, peeling back the layers of time by 13 billion years, to just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. It’s
This article was first published in the SN Military.Space newsletter. If you would like to get our news and insights for national security space professionals every Tuesday, sign up here for your free subscription. Few people in the Pentagon or the space industry have heard of Col. Russell Teehan. In July, he was named “portfolio architect” of the Air Force
Earth’s oldest known rock may have been found, in the last place anyone would have thought to look for it: in samples of rock from the Moon, brought back home to Earth by Apollo 14 astronauts in 1971. We’re not talking about a “Moon was once part of Earth” rock (that’s just one hypothesis for
CBO estimated the Pentagon will have to budget $77 billion from 2019 to 2028 to maintain and update the nuclear early warning, command, control and communications systems, known as NC3. WASHINGTON — A new report by the Congressional Budget Office projects the United States will need to spend $494 billion over the next decade to
HELSINKI — Chinese private companies OneSpace and iSpace are making progress with plans to attempt their first orbital launches in the first half of 2018. OneSpace is currently working toward a launch of its OS-M rocket that could come as early as late March, following engine tests for the four stages of the launch vehicle
The ingredients that created the conditions for life on Earth might not be native to our home planet. According to a new hypothesis, the essential elements for life were carried in on a Mars-sized planet that collided with Earth 4.5 billion years ago. This hypothetical planet is called Theia, and it’s also believed, by some,
WASHINGTON — A partial government shutdown now nearly five weeks old is affecting a growing number of space companies and organizations as well as the agencies themselves shuttered by the lapse in funding. Much of the federal government has been shut down since a continuing resolution, or stopgap appropriations bill, funding them lapsed Dec. 22.
President Donald Trump once offered NASA “all the money you could ever need” to land on Mars during the first term of his presidency, according to a New York magazine report citing a coming memoir from a former White House communications official. According to the magazine, in Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in
WASHINGTON — The European Commission is preparing a series of programs aimed at fostering space startups and encouraging them to stay in Europe rather than leaving for the United States. Commissioners speaking this week at the Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels said the continued reservations of European investors about financing space startups is
Stainless steel won’t just make the SpaceX Starship rocket look cool – it’ll help it stay cool, too. On Tuesday, Popular Mechanics published an interview with CEO Elon Musk focused on SpaceX’s decision to build its massive new rocket out of stainless steel instead of the previously planned carbon fiber. Not only is the material
BERLIN — The European Commission allocated another 96 million euros ($109 million) for the European Space Agency to spend on the Copernicus Earth-observation program in the next two years. The agreement was announced this week during the Conference on European Space Policy in Brussels, Belgium. Similar to NASA’s Landsat program, Copernicus provides Earth-observation data for free.
A ‘super blood Moon’ eclipse might sound cool enough, but the total lunar eclipse of January 2019 has now gone down in history. For the first time, astronomers and eclipse-watchers around the globe caught sight of a piece of space debris – most likely a meteoroid – slamming into the surface of the Moon as it passed
WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle developer Rocket Lab will launch an experimental satellite for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency in February, the first of a planned dozen launches in 2019. Rocket Lab announced Jan. 22 that it will launch a small satellite for DARPA on the company’s Electron rocket from its launch site in
WASHINGTON — NASA announced Jan. 22 that it is replacing an astronaut who was scheduled to fly on a commercial crew test flight later this year because of a medical issue. The agency said that Eric Boe has been taken off the crew of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner crewed test flight, and will be replaced
WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency has awarded a contract to a group that includes Europe’s largest launch services provider and a former Google Lunar X Prize competitor to study a concept for a mission to mine lunar regolith. ArianeGroup announced Jan. 21 that it has received a one-year contract from ESA to study a
Things are officially getting exciting. New science has just come in from the collaboration to photograph Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way, and it’s ponying up the secrets at our galaxy’s dusty heart. The image below is the best picture yet of Sgr A* (don’t worry, there’s more