NOAA’s Next-Gen Weather Satellite, Built By Lockheed Martin, Moves Closer To Launch

GOES-T is seen here in its Lockheed Martin clean room in Colorado, following a solar array deployment test. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., Nov. 10, 2021 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Today, the next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-T successfully arrived at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, to begin launch preparations. It is the third of four satellites in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s GOES-R weather satellite series built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] in Littleton, Colorado.

GOES-T will help NOAA provide forecasters in the U.S. and western hemisphere with sharper, more defined images of severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires and other weather hazards.

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NASA’s Juno: Science Results Offer First 3D View of Jupiter Atmosphere

Jupiter’s banded appearance is created by the cloud-forming “weather layer.” This composite image shows views of Jupiter in (left to right) infrared and visible light taken by the Gemini North telescope and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, respectively. [Credits: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/NASA/ESA, M.H. Wong and I. de Pater (UC Berkeley) et al.]

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — New findings from NASA’s Juno probe orbiting Jupiter provide a fuller picture of how the planet’s distinctive and colorful atmospheric features offer clues about the unseen processes below its clouds. The results highlight the inner workings of the belts and zones of clouds encircling Jupiter, as well as its polar cyclones and even the Great Red Spot.

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Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp. Signs Definitive Agreement to Take Terran Orbital Public Using a SPAC; Valuation of $1.58 Billion

  • $345 million cash-in-trust from Tailwind Two
  • $50 million PIPE with participation from AE Industrial Partners, Beach Point Capital, Daniel Staton and Lockheed Martin
  • $75 million of additional financial commitments from Francisco Partners and Beach Point Capital
  • Transaction expected to close in first quarter of 2022

New York, NY. and BOCA RATON, FL. (October 28, 2021) Tailwind Two Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:TWNT) (“Tailwind Two”), a special purpose acquisition company, and Terran Orbital Corporation, the global leader and pioneer in the development, innovation and operation of small satellites and earth observation solutions, jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive business combination agreement.  Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company (the “Company”) will operate as Terran Orbital Corporation, with plans to list on the NYSE under the symbol LLAP. The pro forma total enterprise value of the combined companies is approximately $1.58 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

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NASA Mission Helps Solve a Mystery: Why Are Some Asteroid Surfaces Rocky?

Closeup of the rocky surface of the Bennu asteroid. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

by Mikayla Mace Kelley
The University of Arizona

Scientists thought Bennu’s surface was like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. Past telescope observations from Earth had suggested the presence of large swaths of fine-grained material smaller than a few centimeters called fine regolith.  But when NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission arrived at Bennu in late 2018, the mission saw a surface covered in boulders. The mysterious lack of fine regolith became even more surprising when mission scientists observed evidence of processes potentially capable of grinding boulders into fine regolith.

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Nanoracks, Voyager Space, and Lockheed Martin Teaming to Develop Commercial Space Station

Starlab, a commercial low-Earth orbit space station is being planned for use by 2027. (Credit: Nanoracks)

DENVER, Oct. 21, 2021 (Nanoracks PR) – Nanoracks, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], has formed a team to develop the first-ever free flying commercial space station. The space station, known as Starlab, will be a continuously crewed commercial platform, dedicated to conducting critical research, fostering industrial activity, and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth orbit. Starlab is expected to achieve initial operational capability by 2027.

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Lockheed Martin Space’s Executive Vice President Rick Ambrose To Retire

Rick Ambrose (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

BETHESDA, Md., Oct. 7, 2021 (Lockheed Martin PR) —  Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) today announced that Space Executive Vice President Richard F. Ambrose has decided to retire on March 1, 2022, after more than 20 years of service to the company. He will remain in his current role until a successor is announced.

Ambrose joined Lockheed Martin in 2000 and served as the president of the Information Systems & Global Solutions-National business; vice president and general manager of the Surveillance and Navigation Systems line of business within Space; and vice president and general manager of Mission Systems and Sensors’ Tactical Systems.

“We are grateful to Rick for all his contributions to our company and for his strategic leadership of our $11 billion Space portfolio that provides advanced technology and mission-driven solutions for national security, civil and commercial customers,” said Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO James Taiclet. “I join the Lockheed Martin team in thanking him for his service and wishing him all the best in his upcoming retirement.”

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Highly Porous Rocks Responsible for Bennu’s Surprisingly Craggy Surface

During fall 2019, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image, which shows one of asteroid Bennu’s boulders with a bright vein that appears to be made of carbonate. The image within the circle (lower right) shows a focused view of the vein. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

TUCSON, Ariz. (University of Arizona PR) — Scientists thought asteroid Bennu’s surface would be like a sandy beach, abundant in fine sand and pebbles, which would have been perfect for collecting samples. Past telescope observations from Earth’s orbit had suggested the presence of ­­large swaths of fine-grain material called fine regolith that’s smaller than a few centimeters.

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NOAA’s GOES-T Launch Date Shifts to Feb. 16, 2022

GOES-T is lowered into the thermal vacuum chamber. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — NOAA and NASA are now targeting Feb. 16, 2022, for the launch of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite T (GOES-T) mission. The launch was previously planned for Jan. 8, 2022. Changes to launch dates in missions scheduled ahead of GOES-T prompted NASA, NOAA, and United Launch Alliance (ULA) to coordinate the new target date to optimize launch schedules for missions flying from Space Launch Complex-41.

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NASA’s Lucy Mission Prepares for Launch to Trojan Asteroids

An artist’s concept of the Lucy Mission. (Credit: SwRI)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has tested the functions of Lucy, the agency’s first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, filled it with fuel, and is preparing to pack it into a capsule for launch Saturday, Oct. 16.

Named after characters in Greek mythology, these asteroids circle the Sun in two swarms, with one group leading ahead of Jupiter in its path, the other trailing behind it. Lucy will be the first spacecraft to visit these asteroids. By studying these asteroids up close, scientists hope to hone their theories on how our solar system’s planets formed 4.5 billion years ago and why they ended up in their current configuration.

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Aerojet Rocketdyne Awarded NASA Contract for Orion Spacecraft Main Engine

Artist’s impression of Orion over Earth. (Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab)

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 21, 2021 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) — NASA has selected Aerojet Rocketdyne to build the Orion Main Engine (OME), the primary propulsion element for NASA’s Orion spacecraft that will be used to explore deep space. Under the contract, which runs through 2032, Aerojet Rocketdyne will deliver up to 20 new OME engines for use on future Artemis missions beginning with Artemis VII, or to support other NASA-sponsored, deep space exploration missions.

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NASA Selects Five U.S. Companies to Mature Artemis Lander Concepts

Artist concept of the Blue Origin National Team crewed lander on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: Blue Origin)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected five U.S. companies to help the agency enable a steady pace of crewed trips to the lunar surface under the agency’s Artemis program. These companies will make advancements toward sustainable human landing system concepts, conduct risk-reduction activities, and provide feedback on NASA’s requirements to cultivate industry capabilities for crewed lunar landing missions.

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Next Generation of Orion Spacecraft in Production for Future Artemis Missions

Now complete, the crew module pressure vessel for Artemis III will be shipped to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the team will start integrating the spacecraft’s systems and subsystems. Photo taken August 27, 2021. (Credits: NASA/Eric Bordelon)

NEW ORLEANS (NASA PR) — Over the next decade, NASA’s Orion spacecraft will carry astronauts during Artemis missions to the Moon to help prepare for human missions to Mars. Work on the spacecraft for Artemis I is nearly complete, Artemis II is well underway, and NASA is making progress on vehicles for the missions beyond.

The agency recently completed welding on the Artemis III Orion pressure vessel, the underlying frame of the air-tight capsule for astronauts called the crew module. This structure is the first major piece of hardware in Orion’s production phase with lead contractor Lockheed Martin.

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Space to Become ‘Most Vital Domain’ For National Security, Say Defense Leaders in New KPMG/Space Foundation Report

  • Content based on interviews with nearly two dozen industry and defense leaders
  • Report determines that space domain partnerships are central to national security
  • Countries are realigning defense organizations to recognize the importance of space

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 17, 2021 (Space Foundation PR) — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983 for the global space ecosystem, in partnership with KPMG International, today released a new report exploring how space will define the future of national security. The report “Navigating Space: A Vision for Space in Defense,” finds that space will likely define the future of national security and as the pace of innovation quickens, defense organizations see space domain partnerships as central to their national security.

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NASA Spacecraft Provides Insight into Asteroid Bennu’s Future Orbit

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on Dec. 2, 2018, by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km). (Credits: NASA/University of Arizona)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In a study released Wednesday, NASA researchers used precision-tracking data from the agency’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to better understand movements of the potentially hazardous asteroid Bennu through the year 2300, significantly reducing uncertainties related to its future orbit, and improving scientists’ ability to determine the total impact probability and predict orbits of other asteroids.

The study, titled “Ephemeris and hazard assessment for near-Earth asteroid (101955) Bennu based on OSIRIS-REx data,” was published in the journal Icarus.

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