Vector’s GalacticSky GSky-1 Satellite Ready for Launch Later This Year

GalacticSky GSky-1 satellite.(Credit: Vector)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Vector PR) Vector, the space access company, today announced its GalacticSky division, which has been in stealth mode since 2016. Led by veterans from VMWare and Citrix, as well as satellite innovators, GalacticSky has achieved a major milestone on its path to launch its first GalacticSky software-defined satellite, GSky-1.

GSky-1 successfully completed integration at the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and will validate GalacticSky’s mission to enable innovators to easily and effectively deploy space application technology in space.


Debate Rages Over Usefulness of Pentagon’s New Space Development Agency

Mike Griffin

A debate has raged in the Pentagon over whether the new Space Development Agency will transform the acquisition of new systems, or merely unnecessarily duplicate existing capabilities within the Defense Department’s sprawling bureaucracy.

On one side of the argument are the agency’s champions, Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin and Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan. Griffin oversees the new agency, which is run by Fred Kennedy.


OneWeb to Launch Satellites on Ariane 6, Options 2 Additional Launches

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)

EVRY, France (Arianespace PR) — OneWeb is the developer of a new global, high-speed, low latency satellite-based network designed to address the most demanding global connectivity challenges worldwide. Ariane 6 will be available to OneWeb from the second half of 2020 to provide launch capacity that supports the full deployment and replenishment of the OneWeb constellation.

The launch service agreement specifies the use of the qualification launch of the Ariane 62 version, scheduled for the second half of 2020; the two Ariane 6 options (either in its 62 version, accommodating up to 36 OneWeb satellites, or in the 64 version, up to 78 OneWeb satellites) will be utilized starting in 2023.


Chinese Private Company OneSpace Plans Launch Attempt This Week

Editor’s Note: OneSpace says their attempt to launch the OS-M orbital booster is scheduled for Wednesday, March 27. If successful, it will be the first privately-backed Chinese rocket company to place a payload into space. (An attempt by LandSpace failed last year.)

The booster will be carrying a small satellite built by the Chinese company ZeroG Technology. The OS-M booster is capable of payloads weighing 205 kg (452 lb) into low-Earth orbit or 143 kg (315 lb) into sun-synchronous orbit.

This will be OneSpace’s third launch attempt. It twice flew its OS-X booster on suborbital flights in 2018.

This Week on The Space Show

This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

1 Monday, March 25, 2019; 2-3:30 PM PDT (4-5:30 PM CDT, 5-6:30 PM EDT): No show for today. Monday is for special and timely programs only.

2. Tuesday, March 26, 2019: 7-8:30 PM PDT (9-10:30 pm CDT; 10-11:30 PM EDT): We welcome IAN FICHTENBAUM of Bradford Space regarding space industry acquisitions such as Deep Space Industries.

3. Wednesday, March 27, 2019: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.

4. Friday, March 29, 2019; 9:30-11 AM PDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT; 12:30-2 PM EDT. We welcome authors JOHN YOUSKAUSKAS & MEL CROFT regarding their book “Come Fly With Us” which tells the story of the NASA Payload Specialist Program.

5 .The Sunday, March 31, 2019 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. CHRISTOPHER MORRISON regarding space nuclear propulsion news and developments..

Space Access 2019 Registration & Room Discount Deadlines This Tuesday 3/26

Space Access 2019 will be the next round of Space Access Society’s conference on the technology, business, and politics of radically cheaper space transportation, brought to you this year by the Bay Area’s own Experimental Rocket Propulsion Society with SAS’s cooperation and support.

And it’s coming up fast! Three weeks from this Thursday SA2019 gets underway.

Conference Registration goes up after this Wednesday March 27th, from the current $180 advance rate for Regular membership to $220, other rates also rising. Register now, save money, and avoid the At-Door Registration line!

Hotel Rooms: There’s no guarantee the Marriott will honor our special $130 room rates after this Tuesday March 26th – our rate block is already sold out for Wednesday night, and Thursday-Saturday are going fast, so book your room soon also!  (Right now it looks like post-3/26 Marriott rates will be considerably higher for Thursday, but probably about the same for Friday and Saturday – for now.  No guarantees, unless you book your room now.)

And, our Hospitality Space needs your help!  We’ve run into local budget problems with putting on our traditional Hospitality spread – Learn How You Can Help!

SA2019 conference schedule: On Thursday 4/18, we feature the current  Entrepreneurial Revolution in Smallsat Launch. On Friday 4/19, the near-future transition to Reusable-Rocket Transport Networks in Cislunar Space. And on Saturday 4/20, the eventual transition to Getting There Faster: Advanced High-Energy Space Propulsion.  See the full schedule at SA2019  program.

Latest SA2019 conference info is at

NASA’s JPL Seeking Applicants for First Space Accelerator

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s first aerospace accelerator program, co-sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will select 10 startup companies to take part in a three-month pilot program to develop new technologies for space. Applications will be accepted through April 7.

Organized by Techstars with support from Starburst Aerospace, the pilot program will enable the selected companies to collaborate with engineers and subject matter experts from JPL and from co-sponsors Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Air Force, Maxar Technologies, SAIC and Israel Aerospace Industries North America.


Super Low Altitude Tsubame Satellite Transitions to Orbit Keeping Operations

The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite. (Credit: JAXA)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — National Research and Exploration Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched Tsubame (*1), The Super Low Altitude Test Satellite, on December 23, 2017. The Tsubame satellite completed its orbit transfer phase and will transition on April 2 to the orbit keeping phase, powered by the ion engines.


Flying to the Moon Without Taking Off – SIRIUS-19 Isolation Experiment Begins in Moscow

On 19 March at 14:00 local time in Moscow, the SIRIUS crew started their journey towards the orbital lunar station. From left to right: Reinhold Povilaitis (USA), Daria Zhidova (Russia), Commander Yevgeny Tarelkin (Russia), Anastasia Stepanova (Russia), Allen Miradkyrov (USA) and Stephania Fedeye (Russia). (Credit: IBMP)
  • 19 March 2019 marked the start of the SIRIUS-19 isolation study with three female and three male ‘cosmonauts’ in the habitat at the Institute for Biomedical Problems in Moscow.
  • For 122 days, they will simulate a mission to an orbital lunar station, during which they will conduct six German-developed experiments, and even land on a simulated lunar surface.
  • Focus: Spaceflight, health, robotics, social benefits

MOSCOW (DLR PR) — A special experiment will begin at the Institute of Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBMP RAS) in Moscow on 19 March 2019 at 14:00 local time. Just four months before the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of the first Moon landing by the Apollo 11 astronauts, three female and three male ‘cosmonauts’ will embark on a simulated journey to our terrestrial neighbour. Closed off from the outside world, they will live, work and research in conditions of complete isolation in the Moscow NEK Habitat.


Rocket Lab Scrubs Electron Launch

Watch Natalie Portman Goes Astro Crazy in “Lucy in the Sky”

Video Caption: In LUCY IN THE SKY, Natalie Portman plays astronaut Lucy Cola, who returns to Earth after a transcendent experience during a mission to space – and begins to lose touch with reality in a world that now seems too small.

Editor’s Note: This appears to be (very loosely) based on the Lisa Nowak story. Hence, the unofficial monkier, “Lucy in the Sky with Diapers.”

Sorry, I couldn’t resist….

UK Scientists Get $9.25 Million to Study Space Weather

LONDON (UKSA PR) — New national space funding worth £7 million [$9.25 million] will ensure UK scientists play a leading role in a new space weather mission, the Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced on the first day of British Science Week (8 March).

The Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) mission will study how the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetosphere, which can impact on satellites, power grids and communications networks integral to our modern lives.