SpaceX Rockets U.S. Launches to New Heights in 2022

Falcon 9 launches 53 Starlink satellites on June 17, 2022. (Credit: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Powered by 33 flights of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster, the United States leads all nations with 48 launch attempts through the first seven months of the year. The total is three short of the number of U.S. launches attempted last year, and far ahead of the 27 launches conducted by second place China through the end of July. The U.S. has conducted more launches than the 43 flights conducted by the rest of the world combined.

A number of notable flights were conducted. SpaceX launched two Crew Dragons to the International Space Station (ISS), including the first fully privately funded mission to the orbiting laboratory. United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched Boeing’s CST-100 Starship crew vehicle on an automated flight test to ISS, a crucial step before astronauts to fly on the spacecraft. Small satellite launch provider Rocket Lab conducted its first deep-space mission by sending a spacecraft the size of a microwave to the moon.

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Globalstar Introduces Advanced Edge Platform for Satellite Asset Tracking and Telematics Data

Realm application enablement platform empowers AI development at the edge — slashing development time and transmission costs.

  • The low code, edge compute application enablement platform simplifies new applications and solutions development at a fraction of typical time and cost
  • Integrity 150 is the first solar-powered satellite asset tracking device that utilizes data processing at the edge
  • The ST150M module allows for quick integration and fast application development

COVINGTON, La., June 22, 2022 (Globalstar PR) — Globalstar, Inc. (NYSE American: GSAT), a leading mobile satellite services and connectivity provider, today introduced Realm Enablement Suite, an innovative portfolio of satellite asset tracking hardware and software solutions featuring a powerful application enablement platform for processing smart data at the edge. With Realm, partners can accelerate new solutions to market with AI-enabled applications that generate an advanced level of telematics data. By defining smart data at the edge, users send only the data they need over the highly reliable Globalstar LEO satellite network to the customer endpoint – significantly reducing transmission costs.

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MDA Reports First Quarter Profit

  • Strong business activity with backlog growing to $1.52 billion, up 122% YoY
  • Steady revenue growth with revenues of $128.4 million, up 4% YoY
  • Solid profitability with EBITDA of $35.6 million (27.7% margin) and adjusted EBITDA excluding non-recurring items of $27.7 million (21.6% margin)
  • Key awards include Globalstar’s LEO constellation and Phase B of Canadarm3
  • Subsequent to quarter-end, MDA announced the redemption of its $150 million second lien notes and refinancing of its revolving credit facility

BRAMPTON, ON (MDA PR) – MDA Ltd. (TSX: MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022 demonstrating strong order bookings, growing backlog and solid profitability.  

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Rocket Lab Reports Increased Revenue From Space Systems, $26.7 Million First Quarter Net Loss

Electron launches on May 3, 2022. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rocket Lab reported a $26.7 million first quarter loss on revenues of $40.7 million, with space systems such as satellites producing the majority of revenues rather than the launches for which the company is best known. Adjusted EBITDA loss for the quarter was $7.98 million.

Rocket Lab earned $34.1 million in revenues from space systems. That amount represented 84% of first quarter revenues, an increase of 1,873 percent from the first quarter of 2021.

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Astra Space Scrubs Launch, Reschedules for Tuesday

Astra Rocket LV0008 after liftoff. (Credit: Brady Kenniston/Astra)

Astra Space scrubbed the ninth launch of its Rocket 3.3 booster from the Pacific Spaceport Complex –Alaska on Monday due to bad weather. The company is now targeting Tuesday, March 15 at 9:22 AM PDT (12:22 p.m. EDT) for the Astra-1 mission for Spaceflight Inc. Live stream will begin at T-45 minutes at astra.com/livestream.

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Rocket Lab Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Financial Results, Issues Guidance for the First Quarter 2022

  • $2.8 million net income for fourth quarter
  • $117.75 million net loss for the year
  • $27.5 million in revenues for fourth quarter
  • $62.2 million in revenues for the year

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021.

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Rocket Lab Selected by MDA to Design and Build Spacecraft for Globalstar

Photon system (Credit: Rocket Lab)

The $143 million contract is the largest spacecraft bus order placed with Rocket Lab to date, encompassing the design and manufacture of 17 state-of-the-art spacecraft for Globalstar’s newest satellites

LONG BEACH, Calif., February 24, 2022 (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced that it has been awarded a subcontract by MDA Ltd (TSX: MDA), a leading provider of advanced technology and services to the rapidly expanding global space industry, to lead the design and manufacture of 17 spacecraft buses for Globalstar’s new Low Earth Orbit satellites. Globalstar, Inc. (NYSE American: GSAT) is a leading provider of Mobile Satellite Services including customizable satellite IoT solutions for individuals and businesses globally.

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Spaceflight Inc. Unveils Propulsive Orbital Transfer Vehicles to Launch Smallsats to Custom Orbital Destinations

Sherpa variants (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

New OTVs, slated to launch in 2021, will minimize the impact of extended development timelines and schedule delays while providing increased launch flexibility 

SEATTLE, November 12, 2020 (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, announced today that it is developing two additional next-generation orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) that will debut in 2021. Its first, Sherpa-FX, will fly on a fully dedicated rideshare mission with SpaceX, dubbed SXRS-3 by Spaceflight, no earlier than December 2020. The next two ESPA-class space vehicles in the company’s portfolio are designed to provide more orbital diversification, including flexible manifest changes, deployment to multiple altitudes and orbital planes, and rapid launch solutions. 

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Amazon Constellation Sends Number of Planned Communications Satellites Soaring Above 20,000

F6 satellite (Credit: OneWeb)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Jeff Bezos’ Amazon has jumped into a crowded field of companies seeking to provide high-speed broadband, data and other communications services to the entire globe.

Amazon’s Kuiper constellation of 3,236 satellites brings the total number of spacecraft in the 16 announced systems to 20,241 spacecraft. The competition includes SpaceX, Boeing, Telesat, SES and government-backed companies in China and Russia.

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NASA Announces Ninth Round of Candidates for CubeSat Space Missions

Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 11 small research satellites from seven states and Puerto Rico to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The selections are part of the ninth round of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative. CubeSats are a type of spacecraft called nanosatellites, often measuring about four inches on each side and weighing less than three pounds, with a volume of about one quart. CubeSats are built using these standard dimensions as Units or “U”, and are classified as 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in total size.

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A Closer Look at Which Space Companies U.S. VC’s are Investing in

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA’s new publication, “Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit,” consists of a series of papers that examines a number of important policy questions that will be of rising importance as NASA transitions human spaceflight in LEO to the private sector.

One of the papers, “Venture Capital Activity in the Low-Earth Orbit Sector,”
has detailed information on what U.S. venture capitalists have invested in. Key excerpts from the paper follow.
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