Virgin Orbit Formally Establishes New Brazilian Subsidiary and Receives Operator’s License for Launch Operations in Alcântara

The subsidiary and license for launch operations are expected to enable launches from Brazil to space as early as 2023. Operations at Alcântara Space Center closely align with Virgin Orbit’s mission to open space for everyone, from everywhere, as the locale is geographically one of the most advantageous places in the world from which to launch satellites into orbit.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit (Nasdaq: VORB) alongside the Brazilian Space Agency (Agência Espacial Brasileira; AEB) is pleased to announce that Virgin Orbit has been formally granted an operator’s license to allow LauncherOne launch operations in Brazil. The license is granted to Virgin Orbit Brasil Ltda. (VOBRA), a newly formed and wholly owned Brazilian subsidiary dedicated to bringing the LauncherOne air-launch rocket system to the Alcântara Launch Center (Centro de Lançamento de Alcântara, CLA).

The formation of the VOBRA entity for dedicated Brazilian space activities is designed to bring an important new capability to the country and economic value to the region. Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system, which uses a customized 747 aircraft, Cosmic Girl, as its flying and fully reusable launch pad, will conduct launches from the existing airbase at the Brazilian site, flying hundreds of miles before releasing the rocket directly above the equator — a global sweet spot — or at other optimal locations identified for each individual mission.

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Cygnus Cargo Craft Fires Engine for Limited Station Reboost

The Cygnus space freighter from Northrop Grumman, with its prominent cymbal-shaped solar arrays, is pictured attached to the space station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

On Saturday, June 25, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus completed its first limited reboost of the International Space Station. Cygnus’ gimbaled delta velocity engine was used to adjust the space station’s orbit through a reboost of the altitude of the space station. The maneuver lasted 5 minutes, 1 second and raised the station’s altitude 1/10 of a mile at apogee and 5/10 of a mile at perigee. This Cygnus mission is the first to feature this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA, following a test of the maneuver which was performed in 2018 during Cygnus’s ninth resupply mission. Cygnus arrived to the orbital outpost in February and is slated to depart from space station Tuesday, June 28, where it will burn up harmlessly in the Earth’s atmosphere. NASA TV coverage for the unberthing will begin at 5:45 am EDT on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog@space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Get weekly video highlights at: http://jscfeatures.jsc.nasa.gov/videoupdate/

LEO Network Brings High-Speed, Low Latency Connectivity to Remote Thule Air Base

At the snowy outpost, 2 Intellian terminals dot the landscape connecting with the OneWeb satellites that orbit overhead. (Credit: Hughes)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes PR) — It was just one year ago that Hughes announced its selection by the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to design and deploy a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) network at Thule Air Base, Greenland.

Thule is the northernmost U.S. military installation, situated a little less than 1,000 miles from the North Pole. Built in the 1950s, the strategic base is used today for force projection, space superiority, and scientific research. The remote outpost at 76.32’ North latitude is situated well outside the footprint of a typical geostationary satellite, which orbits the earth above the Equator. Coupled with limited terrestrial connectivity, it was a veritable desert when it comes to connectivity…until now.

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Rocket Lab’s CAPSTONE Launch to Moon Slips a Day to NET Tuesday

A project funded by NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer program could help improve the efficiency of solar cells for space missions and use on Earth. Here, a team member installs solar panels onto the CAPSTONE spacecraft – short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – before its launch to the Moon. (Image Credit: NASA/Dominic Hart)

Rocket Lab tweeted:

To allow time for final systems checks, we’re now targeting no earlier than June 28 for the launch of CAPSTONE for @NASA & @AdvancedSpace. The trajectory design means the spacecraft will arrive at its lunar orbit on Nov. 13 regardless of launch date between now and July 27.

Airbus Delivers Third Radar for Copernicus´ Sentinel-1 Mission with a World Premiere

Sentinel-1 satellite (Credit: Airbus)
  • New separation mechanism will help to avoid space debris
  • Sentinel-1 radars scan our planet and its environment for Europe’s citizens

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (Airbus PR) – Airbus has finished the third instrument for the Sentinel-1 satellite series. It features a world premiere of a new separation mechanism which will help avoid space debris. The C-band radar for the Copernicus Sentinel-1C satellite, is now on its way to “meet” its spacecraft at Thales Alenia Space facilities in Rome, Italy, where it will undergo integration and testing. The satellite is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2023.

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Isar Aerospace and D-Orbit Announce Launch Services Agreement

Spectrum rocket (Credit Isar Aerospace)
  • Isar Aerospace signs firm launch services agreement with space infrastructure pioneer D-Orbit
  • Launch vehicle Spectrum to launch D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier as a primary customer to SSO
  • Companies complement services and join forces in driving the European NewSpace industry

MUNICH (Isar Aerospace PR) – Isar Aerospace announced today that it has entered into a firm launch services agreement with space infrastructure pioneer D-Orbit. The company’s launch vehicle Spectrum, which is developed for small and medium satellites and satellite constellations, will launch D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier as a primary customer to a Sun-synchronous orbit from its launch site in Andøya, Norway with a launch term starting in 2023.

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216 SPCS Enables CFSCC Mission, Assures Access to Space Through Spectrum Warfare

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Esmeralda Sanchez Avila, 216th Space Control Squadron (SPCS) radio frequency transmission specialist, looks over an the large multi-band antenna (LMA) June 22, 2022, at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif. Sanchez Avila has been with the 216 SPCS since 2018 and maintains the weapons systems through preventative maintenance inspections, antenna mobility checks, system cleanliness, and all the pieces of the LMA are working properly. (Credit: U.S. Space Force/Tech. Sgt. Luke Kitterman)

By Tech. Sgt. Luke Kitterman
Combined Force Space Component Command

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. – One element of warfare that is not always in the limelight but easily touches all warfighting domains is the electromagnetic spectrum. At Vandenberg Space Force Base, there resides an Air National Guard squadron that works regularly with the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) in its mission to deliver combat relevant space capabilities to combatant commanders.

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Locate and Identify Satellites with Laser Reflectors

The innovative laser reflectors for satellites have additional optics to polarize laser beams. (Credit: DLR/Eppler)
  • The DLR Institute of Technical Physics has developed a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites.
  • Satellites equipped with the reflectors should be able to be located with centimeter precision using lasers and at the same time be clearly identified.
  • The reflectors have additional optics for polarizing the laser light for the satellite laser ranging process.
  • Focus: space travel, security

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is testing a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites. Satellites equipped with it should be able to be located from Earth with lasers and identified at the same time. The special thing about the new reflectors is the adjustable polarization optics for each satellite. These individually change the properties of a reflected laser beam, which allows the satellites to be distinguished.

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Delta 18 Activation and National Space Intelligence Center Establishment

U.S. Space Force Colonel Marqus Randall (right), Space Delta 18 commander, takes Space Delta 18’s guidon for the first time at the activation ceremony for Space Operations Command’s newest Delta, Space Delta 18, and established the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC) at the Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio, June 24, 2022. Space Delta 18 is named in honor of the U.S. Space Force’s role as the 18th member of the intelligence community. Delta 18 will deliver critical intelligence on threat systems, foreign intentions, and activities in the space domain to support national leaders, allies, partners and joint war fighters. (Credit: U.S. Space Force/SrA Jack Gardner)

By 1Lt Rachel Brinegar
Space Operations Command

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, June 24, 2022 — Today, the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio is the stage for the activation of Delta 18 and the establishment of the National Space Intelligence Center.

Colonel Marqus Randall assumed command of the new Delta, which consists of Space Delta 18 headquarters staff and two squadrons, the 1st Space Analysis Squadron and the 2nd Space Analysis Squadron, which transitioned from under the National Air and Space Intelligence Center to the National Space Intelligence Center under the U.S. Space Force. 

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The Small Businesses Behind CAPSTONE Are Paving Our Path to the Moon

CAPSTONE in orbit around the moon. (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — The upcoming Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) mission will be the first spacecraft to fly a unique orbit around the Moon that will be used for Gateway, NASA’s future Moon-orbiting outpost. Gateway is an international collaboration working with commercial partners to establish a long-term human presence in deep space. Similarly, CAPSTONE – a mission owned and operated by Advanced Space, LLC in Westminster, Colorado – is made possible by collaborations with small businesses across the country, showing how NASA works with innovators in its future exploration endeavors.

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European Investment Fund & CNES Sign Agreement to Support Small & Medium Enterprises in Space Sector

KOUROU, French Guiana (CNES PR) — On Wednesday June 22, 2022, Jean-Marc Astorg, Director of Strategy at CNES, and Alain Godard, Managing Director of the European Investment Fund (EIF) signed a partnership agreement at the Guiana Space Center to support SMEs and companies intermediate sizes in the space sector. This in the presence of Kris Peeters, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB), responsible for the space and defense sector for the institution, and Marie-Anne Clair Director of the Guiana Space Center.

At the beginning of the year, the EIF and the ESA formalized a similar agreement. The agreement comes five months after the launch by Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market, of the CASSINI system supported by the European Union and whose implementation has been entrusted to the EIF. The CASSINI initiative, which aims to mobilize more than one billion euros, is intended to support the development and growth of start-ups in the space sector in order to stimulate private investment in this growing economic sector.

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Astronauts and Experts to Celebrate Asteroid Day LIVE on Thursday, June 30

This mosaic of Bennu was created using observations made by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft that was in close proximity to the asteroid for over two years. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

LUXEMBOURG, 21 June 2021 (Asteroid Foundation PR) – The Asteroid Foundation’s annual Asteroid Day LIVE programme returns in person Thursday 30 June 2022 at 11:00 CET [5 a.m. EDT/09:00 UTC]. After two years as a digital event, astronauts, experts and science communicators from across the world will again converge on Luxembourg to discuss the importance of asteroid research, missions, and advances in space-based technologies. The four-hour-long programme will vividly bring the solar system’s smallest worlds to life for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Asteroid Day LIVE 2022 will be built around seven panel discussions that will tell the full story of asteroids; from the formation of the Solar System, 4.6 billion years ago, to the scientific work taking place today, and our future prospects as we begin to imagine ways to utilise the resources asteroids contain.

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NASA Marshall Team Delivers Tiny, Powerful ‘Lunar Flashlight’ Propulsion System

Lunar Flashlight is a low-cost, innovative CubeSat set to investigate the shadowy surface of the Moon’s South Pole. The Lunar Flashlight mission was developed and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. (Credits: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have built some of the largest rocket engines ever to light up the icy reaches of space. Now Marshall and its commercial partners have delivered one of the smallest propulsion systems in its history, designed to help propel an upcoming NASA mission to shed new light on the Moon’s South Pole – in search of a much more useful type of ice.

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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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