BlueHalo Awarded $11M Air Force Research Laboratory Contract for Optical Laser Communications Flight Terminals and Ground Station

BlueHalo Laser Communications Concept (Image Credit: BlueHalo)

ARLINGTON, Va. (BlueHalo PR) — BlueHalo has been awarded a contract to deliver a pair of optical laser communications proto-flight terminals and a ground station to demonstrate on-orbit processing of satellite positioning and timing for the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base.  Work will be performed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and is expected to be completed by February 2025.  The contract will support the development and demonstration of key technologies: GEO-to-LEO Optical Uplinks and Downlinks, Space-to-Ground Links, Positioning and Timing Accuracies over Optical Communication Links, and interoperability with multiple optical communications standards.

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Space Industrial Base Workshop Finds U.S. Falling Behind China in Key Areas

Credit: State of the Space Industrial Base Workshop

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (SSIB Conference PR) — Industry and government thought leaders gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the fourth annual State of the Space Industrial Base (SSIB) Workshop between May 31-June 3, 2022 to assess the health of, and provide recommendations to sustain, the United States’ leadership and advantage in space. Previous SSIB reports provided in-depth assessments and actionable recommendations for U.S. leadership. This year’s theme was “Prosperity & Sustainability: Winning the New Space Race.”  

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AFRL Sponsorship Recipient Wins NASA Space Manufacturing Contract

United Semiconductors, LLC facility in Los Alamitos, Calif. (Credit: United Semiconductors)

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH. (AFRL PR) — Air Force Research Laboratory research sponsorship recipient, United Semiconductors, LLC (USLLC), is one of eight companies selected to work on a three-year, $21 million NASA contract to manufacture tools in space.

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Hughes Announces Distribution Agreement with OneWeb Technologies

Turnkey managed LEO services available now to DoD for single- and multi-transport SATCOM implementations worldwide

Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes
Pictured, left to right: Rick Lober, Vice President & General Manager, Defense & Intelligence Systems, Hughes; Tim Kopra, President, OneWeb Technologies; Ian Canning, Chief Operating Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Steve Perreault, Chief Financial Officer, OneWeb Technologies; Jeff Lessner, Vice President, Hughes; Leslie Blaker-Glass, Vice President, Hughes (Image Credit: Hughes Network Systems, LLC)

GERMANTOWN, Md. (Hughes Network Systems PR) — Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), an innovator in satellite and multi-transport technologies and networks for 50 years, today announced it signed a distribution agreement with OneWeb Technologies Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of OneWeb, to deliver managed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The agreement follows the launch of the industry’s first managed LEO satellite communications (SATCOM) network for the DoD, an implementation led by Hughes in the Arctic region for the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).

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Terran Orbital Begins Trading On The New York Stock Exchange Under Ticker Symbol “LLAP” And Announces Revenue Backlog Now Exceeds $200 Million

BOCA RATON, Fla., March 28, 2022 – Terran Orbital Corporation (NYSE: LLAP) (“Terran Orbital” or the “Company”), a leading small satellite manufacturer primarily serving the United States aerospace and defense industry, announced that its common stock and warrants will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, March 28, 2022, under the ticker symbols “LLAP” and “LLAP WS”, respectively. 

Terran Orbital has made significant progress over recent months as it prepared to emerge as a public company. Some of the Company’s recent accomplishments include:

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AFRL/AFOSR Conducts Successful Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonic Research

AFRL/AFOSR BOLT II Rocket launching from NASA/Wallops Flight Facility on March 21, 2022. (Credit: NASA/Wallops/Brian Bonsteel)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL PR) – The BOLT II “In memory of Mike Holden” flight experiment, managed by the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFRL/AFOSR), launched on the evening of March 21 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Dr. Michael Holden, who, up until his passing in 2019, had been a leader in the hypersonics field since the 1960s. The flight experiment successfully flew the planned flight path and acquired tremendous scientific data to further our understanding of boundary layer transition, turbulent heating, and drag at hypersonic conditions.

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AFRL’s Cislunar Highway Patrol System Seeks Industry Collaboration

Artist’s conception of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System. (Credit: U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory)

KIRTLAND AFB, New Mexico (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate is seeking partners to design and inform the capabilities of the Cislunar Highway Patrol System (CHPS) satellite, to provide space domain awareness beyond Geosynchronous orbit, in the region of the moon that is experiencing increasing activity.

A draft Request for Proposals was posted last week, on the NSTXL.org website, and companies who are part of the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) are encouraged to submit ideas by the deadline of 11 a.m. MST on April 1, 2022.

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D-Orbit Announces April Launch of SPACELUST, its Fifth ION Satellite Carrier Mission

D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier is a flexible in-orbit transportation system for CubeSats and microsatellites. (Credit: D-Orbit UK)

FINO MORNASCO, Italy, March 21 (D-Orbit PR) — D-Orbit, the space logistics and orbital transportation company, announced today the upcoming launch of SPACELUST, the fifth mission using the Company’s proprietary ION Satellite Carrier (ION), a flexible and cost-effective orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) spacecraft designed both to precisely deploy satellites and perform technology demonstrations of third-party payloads in orbit.

ION will lift off from the Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS), Florida, aboard the SpaceX Falcon 9 Transporter-4 mission. The launch is scheduled for April 2022.

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AFRL/AFOSR to Conduct Sound Rocket Launch at NASA Wallops for Hypersonics Research

Sounding rocket lifts off from Wallops Flight Facility. (Credit: NASA/Allison Stancil-Ervin)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFRL) – A launch of a two-stage suborbital sounding rocket for the Air Force Research Laboratory/Air Force Office of Scientific Research’s BOLT II flight experiment is set to take place the evening of March 21 at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Live coverage of the launch will be provided on NASA Wallops YouTube channel. Officials at NASA Wallops project the launch to be visible anywhere from 10 to 120 seconds from parts of seven states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia as well as Washington, D.C.

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‘New Space Ecosystem’ Should Be Leveraged to Provide Transformative Science Advancements, Says New Report

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) — Commercial advances in launch capability and the ability to build spacecraft more rapidly and affordably has led to a paradigm shift in the space industry that U.S. government agencies should leverage to support a wide range of science missions, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 

In the last decade, the emergence of small satellites weighing less than 600 kilograms — known as SmallSats — has helped bring about a “New Space ecosystem,” according to the report. This ecosystem is marked by lower barriers of entry along with agile commercial organizations with higher risk tolerance and a focus on increased, rapid, and affordable access to space. Forty percent of all SmallSats launched in the past 10 years were launched in 2020, dominated by SpaceX, Starlink and OneWeb satellites.

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Phase Four Awarded Novel Thruster Prototype Development Contract by DARPA

A recent successful firing of the Phase Four RF Thruster using sublimated iodine as propellant. (Credit: Phase Four)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Feb. 16, 2022 (Phase Four PR) — Phase Four, the creator of the radio-frequency thruster (RF Thruster) for satellite propulsion, announced today that it finalized a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to adapt the RF Thruster to operate on novel, low cost propellants. The effort includes the development of a prototype engine and vacuum chamber testing. The results of the prototyping effort will demonstrate the proof of concept of a novel plasma propulsion system for various mission applications.

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Advanced Space, U.S. Air Force Sign Cooperative Agreement to Collaborate on Cislunar Activities

Illustration of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE). (Credit: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems)

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 11, 2022 (Advanced Space PR) — Advanced Space LLC., a leading space solutions company, has entered into a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Space Vehicles Directorate, and the Spacecraft Technology Division to share data collected from cislunar space through the CAPSTONE mission.

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Stratolaunch Announces Research Contract with U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory

Stratolaunch Roc approaches runway 12-30 at the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit; Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE, Calif., January 25, 2022 (Stratolaunch PR) – Stratolaunch, LLC is pleased to announce a research contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

Stratolaunch, under partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, is on contract with AFRL to examine and assess the feasibility of hypersonic flight tests of a wide range of Air Force experiments and payloads on a frequent and routine basis.

Stratolaunch supports national security objectives for hypersonic offensive and defensive weapons development through the design, manufacture, and operation of a fleet of reusable hypersonic aerospace vehicles air-launched from its globally deployable carrier aircraft, Roc. The company plans to augment existing Department of Defense flight test resources through affordable, commercially contracted, rapid turnaround hypersonic flight testing for the Department of Defense and its prime contractor partners.

“Our goal is to provide affordable and routine access to the hypersonic flight environment,” said Dr. Daniel Millman, Chief Technology Officer for Stratolaunch. “We look forward to sharing lessons learned from this collaboration with AFRL, yielding powerful and practical research results benefiting the nation.”

About Stratolaunch

Stratolaunch’s mission is to advance high-speed technology through innovative design, manufacturing, and operation of world-class aerospace vehicles. For the latest news and information, visit www.stratolaunch.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, Selected for NRO Geospatial Intelligence Contract

BOCA RATON, Fla. (PredaSAR PR) — PredaSAR, a Terran Orbital Corporation, has been selected for contract award under the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) Systems Acquisition Directorate’s Closed Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) for Strategic Collection Enhancements (SCE) in the Commercial Radar focus area.

PredaSAR is fielding one of the most technologically advanced commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) systems available in the satellite imaging industry. The PredaSAR constellation will offer robust capabilities to commercial and national security customers, including a flexible and responsive remote sensing platform, low latency, frequent revisit times, and the ability to host secondary payloads.

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SpaceX Receives $102 Million Contract for Military Rocket Cargo Delivery

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has awarded SpaceX a $102 million contract to provide more concrete data on how the company’s reusable Super Heavy/Starship vehicles could be used to rapidly deliver cargo to remote locations on Earth. C4ISRNET reports:

The U.S. Air Force in its fiscal 2022 budget request designated the program one of AFRL’s Vanguard efforts, boosting its profile as a potentially transformational technology. [Program manager Greg] Spanjers told C4ISRNET in an email this week the program represents “a big-bet [science and technology] investment,” noting its designation as a Vanguard effort is a recognition it could offer a “game-changing capability.”

To date, AFRL has awarded several Rocket Cargo contracts for analytics, landing material research, wind tunnel sensors and command-and-control systems development, but this week’s award to SpaceX is the first deal with a launch vehicle provider. According to Spanjers, the lab is engaged with other launch providers and will consider awarding additional contracts later in the program.

Spanjers said the SpaceX work is focused in four areas: collecting data from commercial orbital launches and landings; exploring cargo bay designs compatible with U.S. Transportation Command containers and support rapid loading and unloading; researching landing systems that can operate on a variety of terrain; and demonstrating the heavy cargo launch and landing process.