ClimaCell to Launch Constellation of Radar-Equipped Satellites into Space to Bring Critical Weather Radar Coverage to the Entire Globe

Credit: ClimaCell

BOSTON, Feb 24 2021 (ClimaCell PR) – ​Today ClimaCell, the world’s leading weather intelligence platform is excited to announce Operation Tomorrow Space. To improve global forecasting technology and capabilities, ClimaCell has designed proprietary radar-equipped satellites and will begin launching dozens into space over the coming years. Known for pioneering a number of weather technology advancements in recent years, ClimaCell’s radar-equipped small-satellite constellation represents a first in the history of the weather industry.

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ESA Plans Mission to Explore Lunar Caves

Three images of the Marius Hills pit imaged by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. This pit is about 34 metres deep and 65 by 90 metres wide. Marius Hills and other pits may be ‘skylights’ into extensive lava tubes. (Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University)

PARIS (ESA PR) — In a first step towards uncovering the Moon’s subterranean secrets, in 2019 we asked for your ideas to detect, map and explore lunar caves. Five ideas were selected to be studied in more detail, each addressing different phases of a potential mission.

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Orbit Fab and Benchmark Space Systems Team to Establish In-Space High-Test Peroxide-based Refueling, Servicing Infrastructure

SAN FRANCISCO  and  BURLINGTON, VT, February 23, 2021 (Orbit Fab PR) – Orbit Fab, the Gas Stations in Space™ company, and Benchmark Space Systems (BSS), a leading provider of in-space mobility solutions, today announced a green, hydrogen-peroxide-based refueling and servicing infrastructure partnership to extend satellite missions and provide the essential fuel for the evolving ecosystem in space.

As part of the teaming, Orbit Fab will bundle its RAFTI fluid transfer interface with Benchmark’s Halcyon thruster system to offer an integrated refillable, non-toxic propulsion package. The innovative refueling solution is set for a technical demonstration at the SpaceX launch pad and in space aboard Orbit Fab’s first operational fuel depot to be lifted into orbit on a Falcon 9 later this year.

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L3Harris Awarded $137 Million Contract for Four Additional Payload Mission Data Units for GPS III Follow-on

MELBOURNE, Fla. — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has received contracts totaling $137 million for four navigation payload Mission Data Units (MDU) for future GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites.

Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for GPS III/IIIF, selected L3Harris in 2018 to design and build the first two fully-digital MDUs, the heart of the satellite’s navigation payload. The MDU generates more powerful GPS signals and assures clock operations for GPS users.

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MBRSC and OQ Technology Partnership

WASSERBILLIG, Luxembourg (OQ Technology PR) –OQ Technology, a Dubai/Luxembourg-based satellite 5G IoT start-up, has signed a partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), home to the UAE National Space Programme.

OQ Technology aims to revolutionise the satellite telecommunication industry using 5G innovative solutions to enhance connectivity, scalability, and accessibility.

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OQ Technology Signs 2 Million Euro Contract with ESA Under Luxembourg National Space Programme for Satellite IoT Mission

WASSERBILLIG, Luxembourg (OQ Technology PR) –OQ Technology, a front-runner in the satellite 5G Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity business, has signed a 2 million Euro contract with the European Space Agency as part of the Luxembourg National Space program (“LuxIMPULSE”) for the in-orbit pathfinder mission (MACSAT). The contract aims to foster Luxembourg and European space partnerships and involves the development of a 6U Nanosatellite, an advanced flight payload and user terminals, and their software stack.

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In Lieu of Spaceflight, Virgin Galactic Presents….

SpaceShipTwo fires its engine. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Monday marked the second anniversary of Virgin Galactic’s most recent flight above 50 miles, the altitude the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) judges to be the boundary of space.

In the days leading up to the anniversary, I kept thinking Virgin Galactic will announce something on Monday. Some bit of news to distract people from 24 months without a spaceflight. Something to show forward progress ahead of what is likely to be yet another quarterly earnings call on Thursday soaked in red ink.

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Russia’s Luna-25 Moon Lander Undergoes Acoustic Tests

Luna 25 undergoes acoustics tests. (Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos)

KOROLYOV, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — In the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia named after S.P. Korolev (part of the State Corporation “Roscosmos”), acoustic tests of the lander of the automatic interplanetary station “Luna-25”, created within the framework of the “Luna-Glob” project, were carried out for the study and practical use of the natural satellite of the Earth and the lunar space. The tests were carried out by order of the S.A. Lavochkin (part of Roscosmos), the developer of this spacecraft.

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Space Crystals: Developing Laser Optics Products in Space

KDP seed crystals alongside the ICF Flight mission patch. (Credit: Redwire)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Redwire PR) — The Industrial Crystallization Facility (ICF) is a commercial in-space manufacturing device designed to provide proof-of-principle for diffusion-based crystallization methods to produce high-quality optical crystals in microgravity relevant for terrestrial use. ICF was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Northrop Grumman’s CRS-15 on February 20. 

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Redwire Acquires Deployable Space Systems (DSS), a Leading Supplier of Space Mission-Enabling Deployable Solar Arrays, Structures and Mechanisms

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. February 23, 2021 (Redwire PR) – Redwire, a new leader in mission critical space solutions and high reliability components for the next generation space economy, announced today that it has acquired Deployable Space Systems, Inc. (DSS), a leading supplier of mission-enabling deployable solar arrays, structures and mechanisms for space applications. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“DSS has an unmatched reputation for innovative deployable space technologies and infrastructure, and that is a perfect fit for Redwire’s technology portfolio,” said Peter Cannito, Chairman and CEO of Redwire. “These new capabilities will expand our set of space infrastructure solutions and deliver even greater value to our customers.”

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NASA to Host Briefings, Interviews for Next Crew Rotation Mission with SpaceX

Members of the SpaceX Crew-2 mission to the International Space Station participated in training in Hawthorne, California, on Jan. 11, 2021. Pictured from left are ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Akihiko Hoshide. (Credit: SpaceX)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will highlight the second crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft with astronauts to the International Space Station with a pair of news conferences beginning 12:30 p.m. EST Monday, March 1. The briefings, which will take place at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. The full astronaut crew flying on the mission also will be available for interviews.

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How Were the Trojan Asteroids Discovered and Named?

This is a view of the inner solar system in a Jupiter-rotating reference frame. The camera begins at viewpoint oblique to the ecliptic plane, then moves up to a top-down view. Clusters of Trojan asteroids appear behind and ahead of Jupiter in its orbit. (Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

By David Dezell Turner
Southwest Research Institute

BOULDER, Colo. — On Feb. 22, 1906, German astrophotographer Max Wolf helped reshape our understanding of the solar system. Again.

Born in 1863, Wolf had a habit of dramatically altering the astronomy landscape. Something of a prodigy, he discovered his first comet at only 21 years old. Then in 1890, he boldly declared that he planned to use wide-field photography in his quest to discover new asteroids, which would make him the first to do so. Two years later, Wolf had found 18 new asteroids. He later became the first person to use the “stereo comparator,” a View-Master-like device that showed two photographs of the sky at once so that moving asteroids appeared to pop out from the starry background.

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What will Ancient Sedimentary Rock Tell us About the History of Life on Mars?

Panorama of Perseverance Rover’s landing site on Mars. (Credit: NASA)

Two Stony Brook professors involved in the Perseverance nission weigh In

STONY BROOK, NY, February 22, 2021 (Stony Brook University PR) — The new era of space exploration features two Stony Brook University faculty members as part of the development of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover that recently landed. Distinguished Professor Scott McLennan and Associate Professor Joel Hurowitz both worked on the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry) that is attached to the arm of the rover.

The PIXL is a micro-focus X-ray fluorescence instrument that rapidly measures elemental chemistry by focusing an X-ray beam to a tiny spot on the target rock or soil, analyzing the induced X-ray fluorescence. Both professors have been working on Mars missions with NASA since 2004.

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Space BD to Provide the Smallsat Deployment From ISS for ArkEdgeSpace

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading Japanese space startup providing access to space, announced that it would provide satellite deployment service from the International Space Station to ArkEdge Space for their satellite “NSPO-01.” NSPO-01 is an earth observation satellite developed by ArkEdge Space, the National Space Organization (NSPO) of Taiwan, and the University of Tokyo. It is the first mission for Space BD to work with NSPO.

ArkEdge Space (former company name: Space Edge Lab) is founded in 2018 as a spinout of Nakasuka-Funase Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, the Department of Aerospace Engineering. This time, ArkEdge Space awarded the contract by NSPO as co-researcher with Nakasuka laboratory to develop, launch, insert in orbit, and lead the initial operations of a 6U smallsatellite (100.0×226.3×366.0mm).

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Roscosmos Approves Space Instrumentation Industry Transformation Program

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos Supervisory Board approved the program of strategic transformations of space instrument-making enterprises and decided to form space instrument-making holding based on the Russian Space Systems company (RSS, part of Roscosmos). Being at the national economy level these decisions determine the future image of one of the most important components the Russian rocket and space industry and are aimed at maintaining and progressive development of the scientific, technological, production and innovative potential of space instrument-making enterprises.

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