Paragon and Northrop Grumman Finalize HALO Life Support Contract Valued in Excess of $100 Million

Artist illustration of Northrop Grumman’s HALO module and the Power Propulsion Element which form the first critical component of NASA’s Gateway. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 17, 2022 (Paragon SDC PR) — Paragon Space Development Corporation (Paragon) is proud to announce that Northrop Grumman has finalized its contract with Paragon valued in excess of $100 million for the life support system of the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) program. HALO will be deployed in lunar orbit as the first crew module of NASA’s Lunar Gateway. HALO will serve as both a crew habitat and docking station for spacecraft that will routinely travel between the Earth and the moon.

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New Chairman Takes Charge as India Space Agency Struggles to Launch Satellites and Begin Human Spaceflight

New ISRO Chairman Shri. S. Somanath (left) takes over from K. Sivan. (Credit: ISRO)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new chairman has taken over the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) at a crucial time as the space agency continues to struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the challenge of becoming only the fourth nation capable of launching astronauts into orbit.

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NASA Sets Coverage for Russian Spacewalk Outside Space Station

Pictured from left are the Soyuz MS-19 crew spacecraft and the Nauka Multipurpose Laboratory Module with the Prichal docking module attached as the International Space Station orbited 266 miles above the Indian Ocean off the western coast of Australia. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Two Russian cosmonauts will venture outside the International Space Station at about 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 19, to conduct a spacewalk to ready the new Prichal module for future Russian visiting spacecraft.

Live coverage of the spacewalk will begin at 6 a.m. on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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Rep. Randy Weber Introduces U.S. Leadership in Space Act

Randy Weber

WASHINGTON D.C. (Randy Weber PR) – On Thursday,  January 13, 2022, Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX-14), introduced H.R. 6391, the U.S. Leadership in Space Act of 2021.

“We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. It is important that Congress does the job it was intended to do: authorize, and then subsequently fund, critical government programs. Especially those that strengthen national security and scientific discovery.

“Space is an important domain for several reasons. As any military leader will tell you, whoever occupies the high ground has the strategic advantage. Continued inaction by Congress to adequately address the growing threats posed by an expanding uncontrolled debris field in earth’s orbit; the irresponsible and reckless anti-satellite missile tests by Russia that recently endangered the lives of astronauts (and cosmonauts) aboard the International Space Station (ISS); and the years of intellectual property theft, critical supply chain control, and other nefarious practices by China, require that Congress and this Administration come together to pass meaningful legislation that will ensure continued American preeminence in space.

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Qualification Testing of Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan Programme

Credit: ISRO

MAHENDRAGIRI, India (ISRO PR) — Today, January 12, 2022, ISRO successfully conducted the qualification test of Cryogenic Engine for Gaganyaan programme for a duration of 720 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

The performance of the engine met the test objectives and the engine parameters were closely matching with the predictions during the entire duration of the test.

This successful long-duration test is a major milestone for the Human Space Programme – Gaganyaan. It ensures the reliability and robustness of the cryogenic engine for induction into the human-rated launch vehicle for Gaganyaan.

Further, this engine will undergo four more tests for a cumulative duration of 1810 seconds. Subsequently, one more engine will undergo two short-duration tests & one long-duration test to complete the cryogenic engine qualification for Gaganyaan Programme.

Space Tourism Money Pit: Virgin Galactic Stock Plunges Again as Company Plans to Issue Up to $500 Million in Debt

Credit: Google Finance

Parabolic Arc Context Backgrounder

  • $425 million in senior notes due in 2027; initial purchasers have option to buy up to $75 million in notes
  • First issuing of debt; company previously raised money by issuing hundreds of millions in additional stock after going public on Oct. 28, 2019
  • Announcement came as sister company, Virgin Orbit, prepared for a satellite launch later today
  • Stock price well below its NYSE debut price of $12.79 and peak of $62.80
  • Company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since going public as schedule delays lengthened
  • Space tourism revenue flights not expected until third quarter 2022
  • Plan before going public was to begin tourism flights in June 2020
  • Founder Richard Branson has extracted about $1.4 billion from initial deal to go public and subsequent sales of stock
  • Branson has reduced ownership stake from more than 50 percent in October 2019 to 11.9 percent today

Virgin Galactic’s press release announcing the plan to issue debt follows.

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Axiom Space to Train Italian Air Force’s Col. Walter Villadei as Professional Astronaut for Future Space Mission

Walter Villadei (Credit: Italian Air Force)

HOUSTON, January 11, 2022 (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space, Inc., the leader in human spaceflight and human-rated space infrastructure, announced Tuesday it has welcomed Col. Walter Villadei of the Italian Air Force (ItAF) to its headquarters in Houston to begin astronaut training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) as part of Axiom’s professional astronaut services.

Through a partnership with KBR and NASA, Axiom, which trains and flies professional and private astronauts, is able to provide potential astronaut candidates access to facilities, instructors, and training at NASA. Candidates for flight complete Axiom’s training curriculum over many months in preparation to live and conduct meaningful work in space.

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What We Learned from the Space Station this Past Year

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — As the International Space Station enters its third decade of continuous human presence, the impact of microgravity research conducted there keeps growing. The months between Nov. 2020 and Nov. 2021 saw publication of more than 400 scientific papers based on studies aboard the orbiting lab.

Here are some highlights of recent results from groundbreaking space station science:

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NASA’s 2021 Achievements Included Mars Landing, First Flight, Artemis, More

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2021, NASA completed its busiest year of development yet in low-Earth orbit, made history on Mars, continued to make progress on its Artemis plans for the Moon, tested new technologies for a supersonic aircraft, finalized launch preparations for the next-generation space telescope, and much more – all while safely operating during a pandemic and welcoming new leadership under the Biden-Harris Administration.

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Roscosmos Looks Back at Successful Launch Year

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — For the third year in a row, Roscosmos ensured trouble-free launches of spacecraft from the Baikonur, Plesetsk and Vostochny cosmodromes. Russia has achieved the best indicators of accident-free launches in 5 years (about 97 percent) among the leading space powers (Russia, USA, China).

As of the end of 2021, 25 launches of space rockets were carried out, including 14 launches from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 5 launches from Vostochny, 5 from Plesetsk and 1 from the Guiana Space Center.

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NASA Announces Extension of International Space Station to 2030

This image shows the planned configuration of six iROSA solar arrays intended to augment power on the International Space Station. The roll-up arrays arrive on the SpaceX-22 resupply mission. (Credits: NASA/Johnson Space Center/Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced today the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to extend International Space Station (ISS) operations through 2030, and to work with our international partners in Europe (ESA, European Space Agency)Japan (JAXA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), Canada (CSA, Canadian Space Agency), and Russia (State Space Corporation Roscosmos) to enable continuation of the groundbreaking research being conducted in this unique orbiting laboratory through the rest of this decade.

“The International Space Station is a beacon of peaceful international scientific collaboration and for more than 20 years has returned enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit humanity. I’m pleased that the Biden-Harris Administration has committed to continuing station operations through 2030,” Nelson said. “The United States’ continued participation on the ISS will enhance innovation and competitiveness, as well as advance the research and technology necessary to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program and pave the way for sending the first humans to Mars. As more and more nations are active in space, it’s more important than ever that the United States continues to lead the world in growing international alliances and modeling rules and norms for the peaceful and responsible use of space.”

Over the past two decades, the United States has maintained a continuous human presence in orbit around the Earth to test technologies, conduct scientific research, and develop skills needed to explore farther than ever before. The unique microgravity laboratory has hosted more than 3,000 research investigations from over 4,200 researchers across the world and is returning enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit people on Earth. Nearly 110 countries and areas have participated in activities aboard the station, including more than 1,500,000 students per year in STEM activities.

Instruments aboard the ISS, used in concert with free-flying instruments in other orbits, help us measure the stresses of drought and the health of forests to enable improved understanding of the interaction of carbon and climate at different time scales. Operating these and other climate-related instruments through the end of the decade will greatly increase our understanding of the climate cycle.

Extending operations through 2030 will continue another productive decade of research advancement and enable a seamless transition of capabilities in low-Earth orbit to one or more commercially owned and operated destinations in the late 2020s. The decision to extend operations and NASA’s recent awards to develop commercial space stations together ensure uninterrupted, continuous human presence and capabilities; both are critical facets of NASA’s International Space Station transition plan.

Read Complaint About How China’s Space Station Had to Avoid Collisions with SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

United Nations General Assembly
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

A/AC.105/1262
Distr.: General
6 December 2021
English
Original: Chinese

Information furnished in conformity with the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Note verbale dated 3 December 2021 from the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations (Vienna) addressed to the Secretary-General

The Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations (Vienna) presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honour to refer to article V of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1 (the Outer Space Treaty), which provides that “States Parties to the Treaty shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the Treaty or the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any phenomena they discover in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, which could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts”. In accordance with the above-mentioned article, China hereby informs the Secretary-General of the following phenomena which constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station.

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Research on Ageing Launched to International Space Station

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — A government-backed experiment which could help people live longer, healthier lives launched to the International Space Station on Tuesday 21 December.

Scientists at the University of Liverpool, funded by the UK Space Agency, are using space to understand what happens to human muscles as we age, and why. 

When astronauts spend time in space, without the effects of gravity, their muscles get weaker, just as they do in older age, before recovering when they return to Earth. By studying what happens to muscle tissue in space, the team can compare the findings to what happens on Earth.

This will help the solve the puzzle of why muscles get weaker as we age and look at ways to prevent it.

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Interview with Oleg Novitsky After His Spaceflight

Oleg Novitsky (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Two months ago, Oleg Novitsky returned from his third space flight to the ISS. The commander of the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft shared with the readers of the State Corporation Roscosmos magazine – Russian Space – his impressions of the expedition. It cannot be called boring in any way: three spacewalks, the meeting and integration of the new Science module and, of course, an amazing week and a half spent side by side with the world’s first film crew.

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Work Continues on Russian “Challenge” ISS Movie Project

Credit: Roscosmos

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The working meeting on the implementation of the scientific and educational project “Challenge” was held today, December 24, 2021, at the CPC under the leadership of Maxim Ovchinnikov, First Deputy General Director of the State Corporation “Roscosmos”.

The issues of further work on the project were discussed, which includes documentary, scientific and educational, information programs, as well as the feature film “Challenge”. Representatives of the leadership of Roscosmos, CTC and Channel One discussed a number of organizational issues.

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