OSIRIS-REx mission team wins 2022 Swigert Award for Space Exploration

TUCSON, Ariz. (University of Arizona PR) — The NASA and University of Arizona OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission team has been selected to receive the 2022 John L. “Jack” Swigert Jr. Award for Space Exploration by the Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for space exploration and space-inspired industries.

The award will be presented April 4 during the opening ceremony of the 37th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

(more…)

Pierre-Yves Tissier Appointed Chief Technical Officer at Arianespace

  • Arianespace announces the appointment of Pierre-Yves Tissier as Chief Technical Officer, effective January 19, 2022.
  • Pierre-Yves Tissier will succeed Roland Lagier after his retirement. He will report to Stéphane Israël, Chief Executive Officer of Arianespace, and will join the company’s Executive Committee.

ÉVRY-COURCOURONNES, France (Arianespace PR) — Pierre-Yves Tissier began his career in 1985 at Bertin Technologies, in the turbo-machinery and thermodynamics department before joining the SNPE (today, ArianeGroup) research center, five years later, as Head of the Internal Ballistics Laboratory, a position in which he led numerous projects in civil and military launcher propulsion, in collaboration with the French space agency, CNES, and the French defense procurement agency, DGA.

(more…)

Rosalind Franklin Mars Rover Passes Latest Tests Ahead of September Launch

An artist’s impression of the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover on the surface of Mars. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK-built ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover is set for launch in September after a series of successful tests, including driving off its landing platform.

The European Space Agency (ESA) rover starts the year with months of successful maintenance and functional tests behind it. All its instruments are go for flight, with some minor tuning left to complete this month.

(more…)

Being in Space Destroys More Red Blood Cells

Astronaut Tim Peake’s first blood draw completed in space. The sample was taken as part of the MARROW experiment. (Credit: NASA)

OTTAWA, Ont. (The Ottawa Hospital PR) — A world-first study has revealed how space travel can cause lower red blood cell counts, known as space anemia. Analysis of 14 astronauts showed their bodies destroyed 54 percent more red blood cells in space than they normally would on Earth, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

(more…)

Kaboom! Smallsat Launch Company Destroys Second Stage in Test at Mojave

ABL Space Systems lost a second stage during a test in Mojave on Jan. 19, 2022. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

MOJAVE, Calif. — The sound of an explosion echoed across California’s Mojave Desert on Wednesday afternoon. I would normally pay little attention to it given how common such things are in Mojave. But, this one was different: instead of nearly daily boom-boom of jet fighters from nearby Edwards Air Force Base going supersonic, this one was a single large BOOM!

And oh, there was a giant cloud of black smoke rising from the rocket test area at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Someone’s engine test had clearly gone awry.

(more…)

SpaceX Launches 49 Starlink Satellites into Orbit in Third Falcon 9 Flight of 2022

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Tuesday, January 18 at 9:02 p.m. EST, Falcon 9 launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This was the tenth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which has launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and now seven Starlink missions.

Chamath Palihapitiya Comments on Chinese Human Rights Abuses Embarrasses Virgin Galactic

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Well, this isn’t good for Virgin Galactic or the Virgin brand it represents. Gizmodo reports:

Chamath Palihapitiya, the chairman of Virgin Galactic and CEO of Social Capital, doesn’t care about the plight of Uyghurs—a Muslim-majority ethnic group that’s faced persecution by the Chinese government. Numerous reports out of China have documented how the Uyghurs have been subject to forced abortionssystematic rapetorture, and internment in concentration camps. But Palihapitiya says “nobody” cares about the Uyghurs, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Palihapitiya, who’s reportedly worth roughly $1.2 billion and is a co-owner of the [Golden State] Warriors basketball team, made the comments Saturday on his podcast, titled All In, which he co-hosts with tech industry veteran Jason Calacanis.

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs,” Palihapitiya said. “You bring it up because you really care, and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care.”

(more…)

Good News, Everyone! SSTO is Back!

An artist’s rendering of Radian Aerospace’s fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing, single-stage to orbit spaceplane flying over Earth. (Credit: Radian Aerospace)
  • Radian Aerospace emerges from stealth, announces seed funding led by Fine Structure Ventures
  • Development of the world’s first fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing, single-stage to orbit spaceplane takes critical step forward with investment

RENTON, Wash., Jan. 19, 2022 (Radian Aerospace PR) — Radian Aerospace (Radian), the developers of the world’s first fully reusable horizontal takeoff and landing, single-stage to orbit spaceplane, announced today that the company recently closed $27.5 million in seed funding. The recent round was led by Fine Structure Ventures, a venture capital fund affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments, with additional investment from EXORThe Venture CollectiveHelios CapitalSpaceFundGaingelsThe Private Shares FundExplorer 1 FundType One Ventures as well as others.

(more…)

Wyvern Brings Business Intelligence to New Markets Using Compact Satellites

Wyvern raises USD $4.5M and enters Y Combinator, paving the way for access to affordable hyperspectral imagery from space

EDMONTON, Alberta, January 17, 2022 (Wyvern PR) — Wyvern, a space data company making hyperspectral imagery accessible and affordable, announced today its acceptance into the Y Combinator accelerator after closing an oversubscribed USD $2.25M seed round led by MaC Venture Capital, with an additional USD $2.25M raised through earlier pre-seed funding and support from the Government of Canada. Soma Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Gaingels, Unpopular Ventures, and Matt Mickiewicz invested alongside lead MaC Venture Capital.

The world has been waiting for hyperspectral imaging to become commercially accessible. An advanced spectral imaging technique that collects hundreds of images at different wavelengths to form 3D data blocks, hyperspectral imaging has the power to detect incredible details invisible to conventional imaging standards.

(more…)

Atomos Space Finalizes $5M Investment to Advance In-space Transportation Services

DENVER (Atomos Space PR) — Atomos Space announces an investment from Cantos Ventures bringing the total capital raised in 2021 to $5M. Cantos, an experienced deep tech investor, joined this round with another undisclosed aerospace investor to realize the future of space mobility and logistics. Atomos Space, based in Denver, Colorado, is building orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) to help satellite operators get to their place in space. Founded by Vanessa Clark and William Kowalski in late 2017, Atomos has won and executed over $2M in contracts with NASA, the US Air Force, and US Space Force, and currently has over $200M of customer interest for in-space mobility.

While the barrier to entry for satellites to get to space has decreased significantly, many applications require orbits unavailable to satellites ridesharing with a larger payload. Enter Atomos’ OTVs. By capturing client satellites and transporting them to their target operational orbit, Atomos solves the last-mile problem in space at a fraction of the cost of dedicated launch. “Some customers need to procure multiple dedicated launches to deploy their constellation,” said Atomos co-founder and COO, William Kowalski. “Our services halve their launch costs.”

(more…)

HawkEye 360 Announces Kate Zimmerman as Chief Data Scientist

HERNDON, Va., Jan. 18, 2022 (HawkEye 360 PR) — HawkEye 360 Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of space-based Radio Frequency (RF) data and analytics, has hired Kate Zimmerman as its first-ever Chief Data Scientist.

In this new role, Zimmerman will develop HawkEye 360’s analytics strategy, identifying and pursuing focus areas for analytics enhancement to further differentiate the company from its competitors. Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Zimmerman will develop leap-ahead capabilities to provide customers with more value from the company’s RF data.

(more…)

Space Foundation Releases “The Space Report 2021 Q4,” Reflecting on Record-breaking Year in Space

  • Global launch attempts reached a record 145 in 2021, exceeding 143 in 1967
  • Successful launches globally totaled 134, breaking previous record of 128
  • U.S. tallied highest percentage of global commercial launches with 32

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Jan. 18, 2022 (Space Foundation PR) — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, today released “The Space Report 2021 Q4,” which looks back at the historic level of launch activity that took place globally last year and breaks down orbital launch attempts by each spacefaring nation.

Summarizing the latest edition, Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor commented, “The space ecosystem has been buzzing with excitement about an emergent space renaissance for several years. This edition unequivocally validates that we have reached a new high point. I always say, ‘There is no better time to be a part of the space economy,’ and with record-breaking growth in 2021 and so many promising new initiatives already underway in 2022, that has never been a truer statement.”

(more…)

Arianespace to Launch Microcarb on Vega C

Vega rocket in flight (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Microcarb is a science satellite that will trace CO2 sinks and sources on a global scale.
  • The requested performance for this launch planned in 2023 is 190kg on a sun-synchronous orbit at 650km.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, January 18, 2022 (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by ESA, on behalf of the European Commission, to launch Microcarb in 2023 on Vega C. Microcarb is a 190kg satellite developed by CNES that will be delivered into a sun-synchronous orbit, 650km above the Earth.

(more…)

Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s Liberty Strategic Capital to Invest $150 Million in Satellogic and CF Acquisition Corp. V

  • Investment will support Satellogic as it scales its constellation, with the goal of weekly remapping of the entire Earth’s surface in 2023 and daily remapping thereafter, unlocking countless commercial, sustainability, and government applications
  • Secretary Mnuchin to serve as Non-Executive Chairman of Satellogic Board of Directors
  • Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald and CFV, to join Satellogic Board of Directors
  • Satellogic satellites have the capacity to collect more images than the closest four satellite competitors combined, changing the way we see our Earth by delivering data that helps analyze and develop solutions for the world’s most pressing problems within a $140 billion TAM opportunity1
  • Total committed capital of $265 million; merger slated to close in Q1 2022

NEW YORK (Satellogic PR) — Satellogic, a leader in sub-meter resolution satellite imagery collection, currently 70 centimeters, and CF Acquisition Corp. V (Nasdaq: CFV) (“CFV”), a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald, today announced that they have secured an additional $150 million private placement commitment from Liberty Strategic Capital (“Liberty”), a private equity firm founded and led by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.

(more…)