Amazon Secures United Launch Alliance’s Proven Atlas V Rocket for Nine Project Kuiper Launches

Northrop Grumman’s GEM 63 rocket motors propel the launch of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V on Nov. 13, 2020. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Atlas V provides important reliability and schedule assurance in launch agreement

Centennial, Colo., April 19, 2021 (ULA PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today that Amazon has secured Atlas V for nine launches supporting deployment of its ambitious Project Kuiper initiative. Project Kuiper is an initiative that will increase global broadband access through a constellation of 3,236 advanced satellites in low earth orbit.  

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COVID-19 Impact on Smallsat Market Mitigated by Funding Availability, Government Support

PARIS, WASHINGTON DC, MONTREAL, YOKOHAMA (Euroconsult PR) — The latest update of “Prospects for the Small Satellite Market” was released this week by Euroconsult, forecasting further growth in the global supply and demand of government, commercial and academic satellites weighing up to 500 kg.

The market intelligence report, now in its 7th edition, builds upon Euroconsult’s previous iteration that accurately predicted more than 1,000 satellites would be launched during 2020, a record year despite COVID-19. The new release further reinforces the sentiment that the 2020s will be the decade of small satellites, anticipating the launch of close to 14,000 smallsats before 2030.

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OneWeb, The AST Group Partner to Broaden Access to Fast, Seamless Connectivity at Sea

LONDON (AST Group PR) — As part of its mission to deliver low latency, ‘fibre-like’ connectivity to the maritime and offshore industries, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) broadband satellite communications company OneWeb, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with The AST Group (AST), a global leader in satellite communications systems.

By working together, AST and OneWeb will offer fixed-land and maritime customers access to OneWeb’s fast, flexible and affordable connectivity solutions seamlessly in even the most remote locations on land and at sea. Customer beta trials will be undertaken with AST before the end of the year and will be focused on delivering fixed services to support remote connectivity in Northern Europe.

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SpaceX Nails 10th Launch of Year, Launches 60 Starlink Satellites

Falcon 9 lifts off with 60 Starlink satellites. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — On Wednesday, April 7 at 12:34 p.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

This was the seventh launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and two Starlink missions.

One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported the AMOS-17 and two Starlink missions, and the other supported one Starlink mission.

Quarterly Launch Report: US in the Lead Thanks to SpaceX

A Falcon 9 lifts off with 60 Starlink satellites on March 11, 2021. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

There were 27 orbital launch attempts with 26 successes and one failure during the first quarter of 2021. The United States accounted for nearly half the total with 13 launches behind nine flights by SpaceX.

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Pressure Vessel From Falcon 9 Recovered in Washington State

Falcon 9 second stage overwrapped pressure vessel recovered on private property in Washington State. (Credit: Grant County Sheriff)

That Falcon 9 second stage that blazed across the sky over Washington and Oregon as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere on March 25 left something behind. The Grant County Sheriff tweeted:

SpaceX recovered a Composite-Overwrapped Pressure Vessel from last week’s Falcon 9 re-entry. It was found on private property in southwest Grant County this week. Media and treasure hunters: we are not disclosing specifics. The property owner simply wants to be left alone.

The 5-foot COPV is part of the second stage propulsion system. Falcon 9’s second stage is usually deorbited after releasing its payload, but the maneuver reportedly failed following the March 4 launch of 60 Starlink broadband satellites.

No injuries nor any additional debris have been reported in the Washington State county or elsewhere in the Northwest.

OneWeb Demonstrates Network Capabilities to U.S. Government

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.

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SpaceX Launches 60 More Starlink Satellites

Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. — On Wednesday, March 24 at 4:28 a.m. EDT, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink broadband satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

It was SpaceX’s ninth launch and the 25th launch worldwide of 2021. Seven Falcon 9 boosters have launched 420 Starlink satellites into orbit this year.

SpaceX has now launched 1,385 Starlink satellites, with 1,321 currently in orbit. Elon Musk’s company has received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to launch nearly 12,000 Starlink satellites to provide broadband services worldwide.

This was the sixth launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously supported launch of GPS-III Space Vehicle 03, Turksat 5A, and three Starlink missions.

One half of Falcon 9’s fairing supported the Sentinel-6A mission and the other supported a previous Starlink mission.

OneWeb Satellites Set to Launch on Thursday

LONDON, March 23, 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) global satellite communications company, is preparing for the launch and deployment of 36 satellites at 02:47 GMT by Arianespace for the second time from the Vostochny Cosmodrome.

This will be the second of five launches that will enable OneWeb to deliver connectivity services north of 50 degrees latitude by the end of the 2021. These initial regional services will begin in United Kingdom, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, the Artic Seas, and Canada with global service becoming available in 2022.

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SpaceX to Launch 60 Starlink Satellites Early Wednesday Morning

A Falcon 9 lifts off with 60 Starlink satellites on March 11, 2021. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, March 24 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 4:28 a.m. EDT, or 8:28 UTC, and a backup opportunity is available on Thursday, March 25 at 4:06 a.m. EDT, or 8:06 UTC.

The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously supported launch of the GPS-III Space Vehicle 03 and Turksat 5A missions in addition to three Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing supported the Sentinel-6A mission and the other supported a previous Starlink mission.

You can watch the launch webcast live starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. To see if Starlink is available in your area, visit starlink.com.

Soyuz to Launch 36 OneWeb Satellites from Vostochny on Thursday

OneWeb satellites being prepared for launch aboard a Soyuz-2.1b booster from the Vostochny Cosmodrome. (Credit: Roscosmos)

VOSTOCHNY, Russia (Arianespace PR) — The next Arianespace mission is planned from Vostochny Cosmodrome with Soyuz on March 25, to deliver 36 satellites into orbit.

By operating this fifth flight on behalf of OneWeb, Arianespace will bring the total fleet to 146 satellites in Low Earth Orbit. Arianespace is proud to share in the fulfilment of its customer’s ultimate ambition: providing internet access for everyone, everywhere.

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SpaceX to Launch 60 Starlink Satellites on Sunday; Falcon 9 First Stage to Launch for Record 9th Time

Credit: SpaceX

First stage to fly for record 9th time

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Sunday, March 14 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 6:01 a.m. EDT, or 10:01 UTC.

This mission represents the first time SpaceX will be reusing a Falcon 9 first stage for the ninth time.  The Falcon 9 first stage supporting this mission previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission, RADARSAT Constellation Mission, SXM-7, and five Starlink missions. Following stage separation, SpaceX will attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean. Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the Transporter-1 mission.

You can watch the launch webcast live starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

This week, the Starlink team launched service in Germany and New Zealand for the first time, and expanded its existing service in the UK. To see if Starlink is available in your area, visit starlink.com.

SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites, Expand Services to UK, Germany and New Zealand

A Falcon 9 lifts off with 60 Starlink satellites on March 11, 2021. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

A Falcon 9 lit up the early morning Florida sky on Thursday, delivering an additional 60 Starlink satellites into orbit as SpaceX continues to build out its global broadband network.

Liftoff took place at 3:13 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The 60 Starlink broadband Internet satellites were successfully deployed into orbit.

SpaceX has launched 1,265 Starlink satellites, with 1,201 still in orbit. That means the company has launched about 10 percent of its global broadband constellation, which will total nearly 12,000 satellites.

It was the sixth launch and landing of the Falcon 9 first stage, which previously supported launch of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station last May. The booster also supported the launches of ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and a Starlink mission.

SpaceX also announced that it was extending its Starlink service to parts of western Germany and New Zealand’s South Island. The company is also expanding coverage beyond southern England to include Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland and parts of northern England.

SpaceX’s next launch is scheduled for Sunday, March 14 at 5:44 a.m. (0944 GMT). A Falcon 9 will lift off with 60 Starlink satellites from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX Applies to Install Starlink Receivers in Vehicles, Boats and Planes; Next Launch is Thursday Morning

Credit: SpaceX

UPI reports that SpaceX has applied to provide Starlink satellite services to mobile vehicles:

SpaceX attorneys filed an application on Friday with the Federal Communications Commission seeking “a blanket license” authorizing customer reception of the signal in vehicles, boats and planes.

Musk said Monday on Twitter, however, that the Starlink terminal is too big for most passenger cars.

“This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs,” Musk wrote.

Starlink home and office terminals are small dishes that rotate to acquire and keep a signal, and they must be installed outside with a clear view of the sky.

“SpaceX Services will ensure installation of … terminals on vehicles and vessels by qualified installers who have an understanding of the antenna’s radiation environment and the measures best suited to maximize protection of the general public and persons operating the vehicle and equipment,” the application says.

Meanwhile, the company plans to launch another 60 Starlink satellites on Thursday at 3:13 a.m. EST from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The launch was scrubbed on Tuesday to allow for more checks on the vehicle.

The Starlink network will be composed of nearly 12,000 satellites designed to provide broadband services around the world. SpaceX has already launched more than 1,000 Starlink satellites into orbit.

SpaceX Starlink Launch Set for Tuesday Night

Credit: SpaceX

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Tuesday, March 9 for launch of 60 Starlink satellites from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The instantaneous window is at 9:58 p.m. EST, or 2:58 UTC on March 10.

The Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster supporting this mission previously supported launch of NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, ANASIS-II, CRS-21, Transporter-1, and a Starlink mission. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously flew on the ANASIS-II and SXM-7 missions, and the other half previously supported launch of Sentinel-6A.

You can watch the launch webcast live starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

This week, the Starlink team is excited to launch service in Germany and New Zealand for the first time, and expand its existing service in the UK.  Learn more about our international coverage on our webcast, or visit starlink.com to see if Starlink is available in your area.