NASA Awards Facilities Engineering Design, Inspection Services Contract

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded the Facilities Engineering Design and Inspection Services (FEDIS) II contract to Vanguard Pacific LLC of Foley, Alabama, to provide architect and engineering design services at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract has a potential mission services value of $25.6 million and a maximum potential IDIQ value of $22.5 million, for a total value of $ 48.1 million. The contract begins on Aug. 1, 2022, with a one-year base period, followed by four one-year option periods that may be exercised at NASA’s discretion.

Under the scope of work specified in the contract, Vanguard Pacific will be responsible for design services in support of the Minor Construction Contract for projects of $1 million or less. The scope also includes master planning, surveillance, and inspection services.

Telespazio and BlackSky Strengthen Global Partnership

  • Newly signed reseller agreement enables Telespazio’s companies worldwide to commercialize BlackSky products and services
  • Telespazio Group to enrich its Geoinformation offering with BlackSky’s dynamic, high-resolution, high-revisit imagery

ROME, 24 June 2022 (Telespazio PR) — Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), has signed an updated global, non-exclusive reseller agreement with BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) enabling Telespazio Group to make BlackSky geospatial products and services commercially available to customers world-wide.

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Xplore’s Major Tom Software Delivers Satellite Operations Testing for NOAA with Microsoft Azure Orbital

Major Tom dashboard showing pass timeline for satellites over ground stations around the world. (Credit: Xplore)

Xplore’s Major Tom ground station solutions utilize the cloud and demonstrate sustainability and resiliency capabilities

REDMOND, Wash., June 23, 2022 (Xplore PR)  — Xplore Inc., a commercial space company providing Space as a Service®, completed a satellite testing initiative using Microsoft Azure Orbital to conduct satellite operations for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s NOAA-18 satellite. Xplore is operating over a dozen satellites on orbit; the company completed its work with Azure and became one of the first cloud-based ground control software to operate a NOAA satellite.

Xplore integrated Azure Orbital as part of a first-ever Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to demonstrate how commercial services and cloud operations can be used to securely control satellites and acquire data with NOAA satellites.

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NASA Announces Launch Delay for Psyche Asteroid Mission

This illustration depicts NASA’s Psyche spacecraft (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA announced Friday the Psyche asteroid mission, the agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid, will not make its planned 2022 launch attempt.

Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft’s flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on Oct. 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight.

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SatixFy Names David Ripstein as CEO to Lead its Next Phase of Growth

Co-Founder Yoav Leibovitch to remain as SatixFy’s Chairman and CFO

Business combination with Endurance Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: EDNC) on track to close in 2H 2022

NEW YORK & REHOVOT, Israel (SatixFy Communications Ltd. PR) — SatixFy Communications Ltd. (“SatixFy”), a developer of state-of-the-art satellite communication equipment and systems, today announced that it has appointed David Ripstein, previously CEO of RADCOM (Nasdaq: RDCM) and GreenRoad Technologies, as its new CEO, effective June 27, 2022. Mr. Ripstein will succeed Yoav Leibovitch, SatixFy’s Co-Founder, Chairman, Interim CEO and CFO, who will remain the company’s Chairman and CFO.

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Virgin Orbit on Target for Next Launch Window to Open June 29

Highlights: 

  • Dress rehearsals complete, payload-rocket mating successful 
  • June 29 marks the opening of the launch window for the company’s fourth overall mission  
  • Is lead-in to historic U.K. launch planned for later this year

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB)’s launch system is in place at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The dress rehearsals are complete, and the company remains on track for its upcoming Straight Up launch, with a launch window opening on June 29 at 10 pm PDT.

The launch will support the United States Space Force’s STP-S28A mission and carry payloads for the Department of Defense (DOD) Space Test Program (STP). The target orbit for Straight Up is approximately 500 km above the Earth’s surface at a 45-degree inclination. Virgin Orbit is the first company to achieve this feat from California through its Above the Clouds launch which was completed earlier this year.

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Rocket Lab Prepares to Launch CAPSTONE Mission to the Moon for NASA

Rocket Lab will launch a microwave oven-sized CubeSat dubbed CAPSTONE to a never-before-flown orbit around the Moon, blazing a new efficient deep space route that NASA hopes to use for future human spaceflight missions

Electron Launch Vehicle at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 for the NASA CAPSTONE lunar mission. (Image Credit: Business Wire)

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab USA, Inc. PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing to launch a satellite to the Moon for NASA as early as June 27th.

The launch will take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The launch window opens 09:50 UTC on June 27th (21:50 NZST, June 27th). Back-up opportunities are available through July 27th to accommodate potential weather or technical delays to the launch.

Designed and built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, a Terran Orbital Corporation, and owned and operated by Advanced Space on behalf of NASA, the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat will be the first spacecraft to test the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) around the Moon. Researchers expect this orbit to be a gravitational sweet spot in space – where the pull of gravity from Earth and the Moon interact to allow for a nearly-stable orbit – allowing physics to do most of the work of keeping a spacecraft in orbit around the Moon. NASA has big plans for this unique type of orbit. The agency hopes to park bigger spacecraft – including the lunar-orbiting space station Gateway – in an NRHO around the Moon, providing astronauts with a base from which to descend to the lunar surface as part of the Artemis program.

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For the First Time NanoAvionics has Sold One of its Orbital Satellites

Purchased nanosatellite provides data on climate change, hidden resources, agricultural improvement and other valuable processes on Earth

COLUMBIA, Ill., June 23, 2022 (NanoAvionics PR) – Mission integrator and smallsat bus manufacturer NanoAvionics has sold, for the first time, one of its operational satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) including ongoing mission operations. Launched last year, NanoAvionics’s shared 6U satellite mission “D2 / Atlacom-1” includes one of the world’s first 1U-sized hyperspectral imager for remote sensing, which will be used by a yet unnamed Earth observation company to provide orbital imagery services. Prior to selling the satellite, all indented missions, none of which included the buyer, had been accomplished and fulfilled.

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NASA Sets Live Launch Coverage for CAPSTONE Mission to Moon

CAPSTONE (Credit: Terran Orbital)

NASA Mission Update

NASA will air live launch coverage of the agency’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE), the first spacecraft to fly a specific unique lunar orbit ahead of future missions with crew.

CAPSTONE is targeted to launch no earlier than Monday, June 27, aboard a Rocket Lab Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The instantaneous launch opportunity is at 6 a.m. EDT (10:00 UTC). Live coverage will begin at 5 a.m. on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

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NASA Passes Go, Moves Toward Late August Artemis I Launch

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has decided that the Space Launch System (SLS) wet dress rehearsal earlier this week that ended prematurely was sufficient for the agency to move forward with having the giant rocket launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to the moon later this summer.

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NASA Introduces 2022 Class of Flight Directors

A photo of NASA’s 2022 class of flight directors who will oversee operations of the International Space Station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon. The inductees from left to right: Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Garrett Hehn, Diana Trujillo, Elias Myrmo, Chris Dobbins, Nicole McElroy. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected seven new additions to the team of flight directors to oversee operations of the International Space Station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon. The inductees in the class of 2022 include Heidi Brewer, Ronak Dave, Chris Dobbins, Garrett Hehn, Nicole McElroy, Elias Myrmo, and Diana Trujillo. 

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UK Government Announces Package of New Measures to Drive Space Sustainability

The scales of the space debris problem (Credit: ESA)

The new measures will demonstrate the UK’s commitment, ambition and drive to improve the UK’s sustainable use of space.

  • Science Minister George Freeman announces new Plan for Space Sustainability to demonstrate UK leadership in sustainable space, in line with ambitions set out in the National Space Strategy
  • UK industry will work in partnership with government to develop a new Space Sustainability Standard, which will incentivise companies to adopt best practice
  • government will also review the regulatory framework, including exploring ways of lowering insurance costs for sustainable missions

LONDON (UK Government PR) — Science Minister George Freeman has today (Thursday 23 June) launched a new Plan for Space Sustainability, a raft of measures which will demonstrate the UK’s commitment, ambition and drive to improve the UK’s sustainable use of space.

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Kuaizhou-1A Rocket Launches Tianxing-1 Satellite

The Kuaizhou-1A rocket made a successful return to flight on Wednesday, launching the Tianxing-1 test satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Chinese media said satellite’s purpose is to research the space environment. Officials released no other details about the spacecraft, which was built by the China Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Mechanics.

Kuaizhou-1A failed during its previous launch in December, destroying the GeeSAT-1A and 1B navigation augmentation system satellite. The solid-fuel rocket, which can launch 200 kg into a Sun-synchronous orbit, has a record of 13 successes and two failures.

NSSA Release Report on “United States Space Command: Progress and Opportunities”

ARLINGTON, Va., June 22, 2022 (NSSA PR) — The National Security Space Association (NSSA) today released a report entitled “United States Space Command:  Progress and Opportunities”. Produced by the Association’s Moorman Center for Space Studies, the report notes the importance of the USSPACECOM mission to U.S. national security and economic well-being, describes recent progress of the Command in reaching an “initial operational capability” (IOC), and highlights key challenges and opportunities facing the Command.

The report notes that, for the Command to reach its full potential, expanded cooperation with and support from other Department of Defense organizations and the Congress is required in the following areas:

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Orbital Sidekick to Monitor Pipeline Assets for Energy Transfer Using Satellite Technology

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 23, 2022 (Orbital Sidekick PR) – Orbital Sidekick (OSK) announced today it has been selected by Dallas-based Energy Transfer to monitor its assets in the Permian Basin through satellite technology. Energy Transfer is one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in North America with more than 120,000 miles of pipeline and related assets crossing 41 states. OSK is the first company to commercially deploy hyperspectral sensors in space.

Energy Transfer selected OSK to monitor its Permian Basin assets as part of its Partnership-wide pipeline integrity programs designed to ensure the continued safety of its pipelines. The use of OSK’s satellite technology allows Energy Transfer to go above and beyond the minimum regulatory requirements in monitoring the integrity of its pipelines, something Energy Transfer has done for decades. OSK’s satellite technology enables earlier detection and prevention of leaks along pipeline rights of way, using hyperspectral data analysis to drive broad improvements in community safety, environmental performance, and overall operating efficiency. 

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