HUNTINGTON Beach Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) – US small satellite launch company Rocket Lab has launched its third orbital mission of 2018, successfully deploying satellites to orbit for NASA. The mission, designated Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa)-19 , took place just over a month after Rocket Lab’s last successful orbital launch, ‘It’s Business Time.’ Rocket Lab has launched a total of 24 satellites to orbit in 2018.
SpaceNewsreports that Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin has drafted DARPA to help put together the DOD’s Space Development Agency, which is designed to help cut through red tape to develop new systems rapidly.
In a Dec. 6 memo titled, “Space Development Agency Study Team Direction and Tasking,” Griffin directed Fred Kennedy, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, to lead a study team and come up with recommendations for the “implementation of the Space Development Agency.”
A DoD source shared the contents of the memo with SpaceNews. The memo was sent to key leaders across the department, including the secretaries of the military services, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Strategic Command, as well as the director of the National Reconnaissance Office.
Kennedy was not given a lot of time to complete the study. “I expect this effort will require 45 to 60 days,” Griffin wrote. The DARPA team has to provide an “interim progress report” within 30 days to Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and the space governance committee.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on Dec. 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface. The agency is planning to test new human-class landers on the Moon beginning in 2024, with the goal of sending crew to the surface in 2028.
Video Caption: Virgin Group founder, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides talk with CNBC’s “Power Lunch” team about the latest space mission on the forefront of galactic tourism.
Statement of FAA Assistant Administrator Bailey Edwards on the Successful Virgin Galactic Flight
Let me start by congratulating Virgin Galactic on a successful flight and return from space for the first time since 2004. We applaud your determination and pioneering spirit that delivered today’s milestone flight.
This year, it seems that we continue to reach new milestones within an industry that truly seems to see no earthly bounds. If you’re looking for the next big thing, commercial space is it. Safely growing this aerospace sector is a priority of President Trump, Vice President Pence and Transportation Secretary Chao who represents us with the President’s National Space Council.
DARMSTADT, Germany (ESA PR) — The ESA Council held its 277th meeting at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt on 12 and 13 December 2018.The Council welcomed NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who presented NASA’s vision for future space exploration. Mr Bridenstine praised the long-standing cooperation between ESA and NASA over the past 40 years through more than 260 major agreements including the iconic Hubble Space Telescope.
He strongly advocated international cooperation with ESA regarding space science, Earth science, the extension of the International Space Station operations and recognised the leading role of ESA on space safety and protection of space assets.
Prometheus is a very low cost and potentially reusable European engine demonstrator intended for use by Europe’s launchers by 2030
Testing of the 3D-printed gas generator is under way at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen, Germany
The engine’s Design Review began on 30 November at the Vernon and Ottobrunn sites and is scheduled to close in January 2019
LAMPOLDSHAUSEN, Germany (ArianeGroup PR) — Exactly one year after the signing of the Prometheus demonstrator development contract between the European Space Agency (ESA) and ArianeGroup, testing of the 3D-printed gas generator has started at the DLR site in Lampoldshausen, Germany.
Prometheus is a European demonstrator for a very low cost reusable engine operating on liquid oxygen (LOx) and methane. It is the precursor of the future engines for Europe’s launchers by 2030.
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (NanoRacks PR) – Last weekend, Dragon, the spacecraft from the sixteenth SpaceX contracted resupply mission, berthed with the International Space Station carrying educational experiments, CubeSats, and industry science research from NanoRacks’ customers into orbit. Within this mission, the NanoRacks team delivered payloads for four of the Company’s commercial platforms on Space Station.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — RNASA will enable the launch of 10 small research satellites, or CubeSats, selected through the CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) for launch on Rocket Lab’s first mission for NASA. The CubeSats were built by three NASA centers, seven universities, and a middle school as part of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellite XIX (ELaNa-19) mission.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — More than 250 students have been involved in the design, development and construction of the CubeSats scheduled to be flown as payloads on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket. This mission will be the first launch under NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) contracts, which aims to provide a dedicated launch capability for smaller payloads such as CubeSats on smaller rockets.
Rocket Lab is now targeting the ELaNa-19 launch Dec. 15 with a launch window opening at 11 p.m. EST from the company’s launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. (more…)
President Donald Trump’s nominee to head NOAA remains in limbo as the current Congress prepares to go out of business this month and the administration approaches its second year in January, The New York Times reports.
Barry Lee Myers, the chief executive of AccuWeather, a private forecasting firm that relies largely on data from the agency’s National Weather Service, has been a controversial figure since President Trump first nominated him to lead the agency in October 2017. Democrats have said that Mr. Myers has significant conflicts of interest, including his past eagerness to privatize the National Weather Service. For several years, Mr. Myers fought government programs that would compete with AccuWeather services….
Under Senate rules, any nomination not approved or rejected during one session of Congress must be resubmitted by the president unless the Senate unanimously agrees to waive the rule. It’s unclear whether Mr. Trump will put Mr. Myers’s name forward a third time. An attorney for AccuWeather who has been representing Mr. Myers, Tom Fahy, referred questions to the White House, which did not respond to requests for comment.
In addition to predicting the weather, the agency is charged with monitoring oceans, helping coastal communities protect themselves from storms and managing fisheries. The agency is also responsible for launching and maintaining satellites that provide data for climate trends and weather forecasts for severe events like hurricanes.
Scientists said the administration’s failure to install permanent leaders in top positions underscored its disinterest in science.
HELSINKI, December 14 (ICEYE PR) –ICEYE, an Earth observation company creating the world’s largest Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation, today announced it has received a 10M€ [$11.3 million] capital loan from Business Finland that is meant for the orchestration of Growth Engines. Business Finland is the most important public funding agency for research funding in Finland, and it is directed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The received funding is used for SAR satellite manufacturing during 2019 and for establishing the Internet of Locations ecosystem originating from Finland.
ICEYE successfully launched its second SAR satellite, ICEYE-X2, on 3rd of December. The satellite launch is an initial step of creating the necessary SAR satellite constellation of ICEYE for frequent and reliable satellite-based information about any location on Earth. ICEYE is establishing the Internet of Locations to support vast economic growth in Finland in the various parts of generating, analyzing, and consuming satellite data for operational uses.
Well, it looks like somebody is peeved over being left out of all the fun here in Mojave yesterday.
Not sure what media outlets are being referred to here (although I could take a pretty good guess), but I would recommend a .re-reading of the coverage accompanied by a review of the NSTB accident report. Might clarify the situation out here a bit.
In any case, not everyone gets invited to these events. Reuters couldn’t get a photographer to the gathering beside the tower because Virgin limited attendees to reporters. Ultimately, it’s their shindig; they have a right to control who is there. They did provide a running commentary on Twitter as the flight progressed.
I’ve seen a SpaceShipTwo flight from next to the tower with Branson and his team. It’s great and adds a lot to the experience. I’ve also seen flights from out in the desert on the edge of nowhere. And here’s one thing I’ve learned: it’s what’s happening in the sky that matters. It’s the only thing that matters. I’ve seen what happens when things go sideways. It’s heartbreaking.
I’m relieved everything went well yesterday. Congratulations to everyone at Virgin Galactic for achieving this milestone. I wish them nothing but success in the future. Here’s to many more flights like the one we witnessed on Thursday.