Space

Lessening Litter: New Initiatives Aim to Reduce Space Debris

Lessening Litter: New Initiatives Aim to Reduce Space Debris

First FLight to Orbit Eartch Fully Crewed by Tourists Launches

Joy Finnegan

The first orbital flight solely crewed by space tourists has launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The launch took place Wednesday, September 15, 2021. There are four passengers aboard the SpaceX flight and the four will have a three day stay on the Crew Dragon capsule Inspiration4. They will orbit at a 350-mile altitude —…

Lockheed Martin Outlines SaxaVord Satellite Launch Plans

Joy Finnegan

Lockheed Martin has outlined its plans for conducting northern Europe’s first vertical satellite launch from SaxaVord Spaceport next year. Representatives from the company’s UK and US based space business have been meeting local community representatives and Shetland Islands council to share latest developments in the program, known as UK Pathfinder Launch, and solicit local opinions…

Billionaires Battle for Commercial Space Firsts

Billionaires Battle for Commercial Space Firsts

Joy Finnegan

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spacecraft successfully reached space, completing the company’s fourth rocket-powered spaceflight Sunday, July 11, 2021. Meanwhile, Blue Origin, Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’s space company, successfully completed their first human flight just nine days later in a rocket dubbed New Shepard, with four private citizens onboard. The crew included Jeff Bezos,…

TTTech Aerospace’s High-Performance Radiation-Hardened TTEthernet Network Controllers for Space Entering Series production

Joy Finnegan

TTTech Aerospace and its semiconductor partner STMicroelectronics have completed the development, industrialization, and qualification of highly integrated, radiation-hardened TTEthernet Systems on Chip (SoCs) network controllers. They are used in deterministic, fault-tolerant, Ethernet-based networks for space applications. The successfully qualified TTE-Switch Controller HiRel and TTE-End System Controller HiRel are already being used in the avionics systems…

Ariane 5 Launches Reprogrammable Telecommunications Satellite

Joy Finnegan

Europe’s Ariane 5 delivered two telecom satellites, Star One D2 and Eutelsat Quantum, into their planned transfer orbits. Arianespace announced liftoff at 22:00 BST (23:00 CEST, 18:00 local time) on Friday, July 30, 2021 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, for a mission lasting about 37 minutes. Star One D2, with a launch mass…

Space Station Stable After Earlier Unplanned MLM Thruster Firing

Joy Finnegan

Following the docking of the Multipurpose Laboratory Module (MLM), named Nauka, to the International Space Station on July 29, 2021 Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station conducted leak checks between Nauka and the service module. At 12:45 pm, the flight control team noticed the unplanned firing of MLM thrusters that caused the station to move out of orientation….

Blue Origin’s New Shepard Rocket First Human Launch and Return a Success

Joy Finnegan

The crew capsule carrying Jeff Bezos and three others landed successfully. He was flying on the New Shepard, the rocket ship made by his space company, Blue Origin. The flight took a total of 11 minutes achieving an apogee of 65 miles above Earth. The astronauts aboard were able to unbuckle from their seats and briefly…

Magdrive Expands Lab Space and Team

Joy Finnegan

Magdrive has recently expanded its R&D capabilities following a £1.4M investmentfrom prestigious VCs that include Founders Fund. Previously based in a small start-up lab at Harwell Innovation Campus, Magdrive has now relocatedto a larger 2000 sq ft laboratory. This has enabled the company to bring major diagnostic equipment on-site, such as its own vacuum chamber,…

Virgin Galactic Successfully Completes First Fully Crewed Spaceflight

Joy Finnegan

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity successfully reached space, completing the Company’s fourth rocket-powered spaceflight Sunday, July 11, 2021. The flight was the 22nd test flight of VSS Unity and the first test flight with a full crew in the cabin, including the company’s founder, Sir Richard Branson. The crew fulfilled a number of test objectives related…

FAA Activates System to Track Space Launch, Reentry Vehicles

Joy Finnegan

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) can now track a space launch or reentry vehicle in near-real time as it travels through the National Airspace System. This new capability increases safety for all airspace users and assists the FAA in efficiently managing air traffic during space operations. The Space Data Integrator (SDI)…

FAA Approves Virgin Galactic for Full Commercial Launch License After May Test Flight Success

Joy Finnegan

Virgin Galactic announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated the Company’s existing commercial space transportation operator license to allow the spaceline to fly customers to space. The Company also announced that it has completed an extensive review of data gathered from its May 22 test flight and confirmed that the flight performed well against…

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