Industry teams to develop propulsion design, spacecraft concepts for demonstrating on-orbit Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA has awarded contracts for the first phase of the Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations (DRACO) program. The goal of the DRACO program is to demonstrate a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system above low Earth orbit in 2025. The three prime contractors are General Atomics, Blue Origin, and Lockheed Martin.
NASA has selected Astrobotic Technology for two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to develop technology to help spacecraft improve proximity operations in orbit and avoid hazards when landing on other worlds.
Politicoreports that the Biden Administration will retain the National Space Council. The council was revived by the Trump Administration in 2017 to coordinate national space activities after a 24-year gap in operation.
McLean, Va., March 26, 2021— OneWeb, the global communications network powered from Space, is announcing a Memorandum of Understanding with US DoD satellite communications application specialist, TrustComm Inc.
The agreement, signed on 16 March, envisions OneWeb and TrustComm working together to deliver OneWeb’s high speed, low latency, beyond line-of-sight communications services – with initial focus on the northern latitudes.
The partnership between OneWeb and TrustComm will enable Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – delivered connectivity to government customers, bringing unprecedented opportunity to end users.
MELBOURNE, Fla. (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications company, powered from Space successfully demonstrated its turnkey satellite-based communications system to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on March 2nd.
The event, which was conducted in front of service representatives from the US Space Command at OneWeb’s demonstration facility in Melbourne, Florida, represents the first time the solution has been demonstrated to the U.S. Government.
Work will significantly increase the scope of the Unified Data Library
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Bluestaq PR) – Bluestaq LLC today announced a two-year, $280M extension to its current Advanced Command and Control Enterprise Systems and Software (ACCESS) contract by the General Services Administration (GSA). This contract modification will allow Bluestaq to continue the development and data integration of the Unified Data Library (UDL) for the US Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center Data Program Management Office.
This award follows Bluestaq’s 2019 $37 million GSA Phase III SBIR contract award to integrate data supporting Space and Air and Multi-domain operations. In support of Space Force operations, Bluestaq will continue to build a secure, modern data management platform from a wide range of sources spanning commercial, Department of Defense (DoD), and the United States Intelligence Community (IC).
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX have signed a joint agreement to formalize both parties’ strong interest in the sharing of information to maintain and improve space safety. This agreement enables a deeper level of coordination, cooperation, and data sharing, and defines the arrangement, responsibilities, and procedures for flight safety coordination.
RUAG Space has been awarded a contract from Ball Aerospace to provide a navigation receiver for a next-generation United States Department of Defense environmental satellite system
ZURICH, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — RUAG Space, a leading space supplier, has been awarded a contract from Ball Aerospace to provide a navigation receiver for Weather System Follow-on—Microwave (WSF-M), a next-generation Department of Defense (DoD) operational environmental satellite system. Ball is the prime contractor for WSF-M, which will address critical space-based environmental monitoring (SBEM) requirements.
The Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General has announced an investigation into the U.S. Air Force’s controversial decision to locate U.S. Space Command’s headquarters at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Ala.
In a letter to the U.S. Air Force secretary, the office said it would investigate whether the decision process:
“complied with DoD and Air Force policies during the location selection process;
used objective and relevant scoring factors to rank the six candidate locations; and
calculated the cost and other scoring factors accurately and consistently among the six candidate locations.”
NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate requested the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene an ad hoc committee to identify primary technical and programmatic challenges, merits, and risks for developing and demonstrating space nuclear propulsion technologies of interest to future exploration missions. The particular systems of interest were specified as nuclear thermal propulsion and nuclear electric propulsion systems. The committee was also tasked with determining the key milestones, a top-level development and demonstration roadmap, and other missions that could be enabled by successful development of these systems.
NASA needs to shift its strategy from preventing future space debris to leading a global effort to actively cleaning up the debris that is already in Earth orbit, according to a new report from the space agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
LONG BEACH, Calif., January 25, 2021 (Virgin Orbit PR) — Virgin Orbit, the California-based satellite launch company, announced today that it has been selected by the Dutch space engineering company Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS) to launch the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s (RNLAF) first ever satellite, a 6U CubeSat called BRIK-II.
Designed and integrated by ISIS, BRIK-II will serve as a testbed for various communications experiments and demonstrate how nanosatellites can provide a meaningful contribution to military operations. The mission represents a significant step forward for the Dutch Ministry of Defense’s efforts to develop their first space capabilities, with a particular emphasis on responsive launch.
In its waning days, the Trump Administration released the National Orbital Debris Research and Development Plan, which is designed to guide federal R&D efforts aimed at limiting, tracking, characterizing and remediating debris in Earth orbit.
WASHINGTON, January 12, 2021 (White House PR) — Today, President Trump is issuing an Executive Order on Promoting Small Modular Reactors for National Defense and Space Exploration, which will further revitalize the United States nuclear energy sector, reinvigorate America’s space exploration program, and produce diverse energy options for national defense needs.
The Pentagon has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract worth $4.9 billion to build three Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites to warn of incoming missiles.
The contract also covers “delivery of ground mission unique software and ground sensor processing software. Additionally, this modification includes engineering support for launch vehicle integration and launch and early on-orbit checkout for all three” spacecraft for the U.S. Space Force.
“Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, California, and is expected to be completed May 31, 2028. Fiscal 2021 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $99,000,000 are being obligated at the time of award,” the Pentagon said in its announcement.