Space

Scientists say that something mysterious punched gigantic, cosmic “bullet holes” in parts of the Milky Way. There’s a string of holes in a long stream of stars called GD-1 that suggests that some yet-undiscovered thing blasted its way through, according to research presented to the American Physical Society last month. Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Ana Bonaca, the
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WASHINGTON — The European Space Agency gave contracts to ArianeGroup and MT Aerospace on May 14 to develop a prototype upper stage that could lead to an advanced carbon-composite upgrade for the Ariane 6 rocket. ArianeGroup, the Franco-German company building Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket, and subcontractor MT Aerospace of Augsburg, Germany, received funding repurposed from
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To receive FIRST UP Satcom, a weekly SpaceNews newsletter for satellite and telecom professionals, sign up here. TOP STORIES Singtel reported its lowest profit in 16 years, citing increasing competitive pressure in India and Indonesia. The company’s net profit was 773 million Singaporean dollars ($565 million) for the quarter ended March 31, roughly flat compared to the same three
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WASHINGTON — Eutelsat’s introduction of satellite broadband across Africa faced a string of deployment issues, including a government shutting off internet access during an election, wiping out revenue expectations from that new business line for the year. Eutelsat executives said the challenges getting Konnect Africa off the ground since 2016 are now largely in the
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This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s future satellite constellations are likely to look far different from the current ones, particularly in low Earth orbit where small satellites of various sizes could gather targeted observations. That is one of the conclusions leaders
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At the University of California, Santa Barbara, researchers with the UCSB Experimental Cosmology Group (ECG) are currently working on ways to achieve the dream of interstellar flight. Under the leadership of Philip Lubin, the group has dedicated a considerable amount of effort towards the creation of an interstellar mission consisting of directed-energy light sail and
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VICTORIA, British Columbia —  The Canadian government has selected MDA to design, build and deliver 10 search-an- rescue repeaters for its Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue system to be hosted on the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation GPS satellites. The Medium Earth Orbit Search and Rescue (MEOSAR) system repeater contract is worth 39 million Canadian ($28
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WASHINGTON — An incident involving a test of parachutes for one commercial crew vehicle has heightened awareness of the challenges involved in developing those systems, as well as determining what constitutes an anomaly. During a line of questions at May 8 hearing of the House space subcommittee, a top NASA official said that the parachute
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FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia — The majority of Inmarsat’s shareholders voted May 10 in favor of a $3.3 billion acquisition offer by a consortium of buyers. Some 77 percent of London-based Inmarsat’s shareholders voted in favor of the takeover proposed by private equity firms Apax and Warburg Pincus and Canadian pension firms CPPIB and OTPP. Those shareholders
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WASHINGTON — The governments of the United States and Luxembourg, two of the biggest proponents of space commercialization, signed an agreement May 10 that could lead to greater cooperation between the two countries on a variety of space initiatives. At a ceremony in Luxembourg, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister Étienne
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SAN FRANCISCO — Maxar Technologies reported a decrease in quarterly revenues May 9 due to lackluster geostationary communication satellite sales, completion of a radar satellite constellation and the loss of the Worldview-4 high-resolution imaging satellite. The firm reported revenues of $504 million for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $557.7 million for the first
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Shanahan joined the administration in April 2017 after a 30-year career at Boeing. WASHINGTON — Since Congress in late 2017 put him in charge of restructuring the military’s space organizations, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has led the charge to make President Trump’s Space Force a reality. Trump informed Shanahan on Thursday that he wants
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WASHINGTON — A test of parachutes for SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft did not go as planned last month, NASA and SpaceX confirmed May 8. During a hearing of the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee on NASA’s exploration plans, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) quizzed agency officials on the testing of parachutes for commercial crew vehicles, zeroing
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WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin’s Verge ground station network should have coverage for satellites passing over the continental United States next year, with the timeline for a global build out determined by what antenna technology the company chooses next. Joseph Portale, a senior program manager at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, said the company plans to have
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WASHINGTON — Senators voted overwhelmingly to confirm three nominees for the board of the Export-Import Bank May 8, giving the bank the ability to approve large deals, including for the space industry, for the first time in years. In a series of votes, senators confirmed the nomination of Kimberly Reed to be president of the
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For a satellite industry torn between traditional geostationary comsats and LEO megaconstellations, GEO smallsats are emerging as a happy medium This article originally appeared in the May 6, 2019 issue of SpaceNews magazine. When Swedish broadband service provider Ovzon began shopping around for a small communications satellite that would work in geostationary orbit, the designs
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WASHINGTON — SpaceX’s first launch to carry a large number of Starlink broadband satellites is scheduled for May 15, according to a company executive. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, said the launch will carry “dozens of satellites,” adding more prototypes to the two currently in low Earth orbit. “This next batch of
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WASHINGTON — Satellite electric propulsion startup Apollo Fusion is expanding its product line through an agreement with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, giving it access to advanced Hall thruster technology. The Silicon Valley-based company said May 7 that it signed a deal that gives it an exclusive worldwide commercial license for JPL’s Magnetically Shielded Miniature, or
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WASHINGTON — Malaysian satellite operator Measat on May 6 said it selected Airbus Defence and Space to build a single satellite that will replace two aging satellites it has in geostationary orbit. European satellite manufacturer Airbus Defence and Space will build Measat-3d, a new communications satellite that will “progressively replace” the 13-year-old Measat-3 and the 10-year-old
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WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle developer Relativity announced May 6 it has signed an agreement with Spaceflight for a series of smallsat rideshare launches. The launch services agreement between the two companies includes an order for one launch of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket in the third quarter of 2021, with an option for an unspecified
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