Northrop Grumman Awarded US Space Force Contract for Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability

Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Ground-based radar system designed to continuously detect, track and maintain custody of deep space objects

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Feb. 23, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has been awarded a $341 million contract by the U.S. Space Force (USSF) Space Systems Command (SSC) to develop, test and deliver a Deep-Space Advanced Radar Capability (DARC) in support of its Space Domain Awareness mission.

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U.S. Denies Allegations That Starlink Satellites Had Close Encounters with Chinese Space Station

Shenzhou 13 launches to Tiangong space station.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The U.S. had denied claims that a pair of SpaceX Starlink satellites came close to hitting the Chinese space station last year.

“Because the activities did not meet the threshold of established emergency collision criteria, emergency notifications were not warranted in either case,” the U.S. said is a note verbale sent to the United Nations. “If there had been a significant probability of collision involving the China Space Station, the United States would have provided a close approach notification directly to the designated Chinese point of contact.

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Space Force Faces Protests on $678 Million Contract for Remote Sensing Support

Two companies have protested the U.S. Space Force’s award of a $678 million contract for space services. Washington Technology reports:

Space Force decided to move away from the incumbent on a $678 million contract for remote sensing support when it picked newcomer Booz Allen Hamilton for the work.

Now Space Force must give more explanation on why it did so after two protests were filed by Science Applications International Corp. and ManTech International.

The Systems Engineering and Integration Service Support contract was held by SAIC and being recompeted under the OASIS professional services vehicle. ManTech pursued the award as a takeaway like Booz Allen did.

The Government Accountability Office will now review the award. Due dates for decisions are May 18 for SAIC and May 19 for ManTech. These dates were set according to when the companies filed their protests.

EO Vista Passes Sensor Final Design Review For U.S. Space Force Weather Program

ACTON, Mass. (EO Vista PR) — EO Vista (EOVista.com) has completed the Sensor Final Design Review for the U.S. Space Force Electro-Optical Infrared Weather System (EWS) Program.  EO Vista, a member of the General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) EWS Program team, is developing and building EOV-1, a modernized, electro-optical infrared (EO/IR) weather sensor, to deliver cloud characterization and theater weather imagery to meet the DoD’s critical need for up to the minute high quality weather products.  The EWS program will provide enhanced weather imaging capabilities beyond those performed by the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), which is nearing its end of life. 

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L3Harris Selected to Integrate, Accelerate U.S. Space Force’s Atlas Space Domain Awareness Project

  •  Strengthens Space Force’s ability to track and respond to anti-satellite near-peer threats
  • Upgrades Space Defense Operations Center to a new system
  • Accelerates advanced tracking and analysis of space objects and their behaviors

MELBOURNE, Fla. (L3Harris PR) — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) has been selected by the U.S. Space Force to continue efforts to upgrade and modernize its space domain awareness, which is used to help combat anti-satellite threats.

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Space Micro Receives USAF Contract To Develop Air-To-Space Lasercom

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Space Micro PR) — Space Micro, powered by Voyager Space, has been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) AFWERX program for an award to develop an air-to-space laser communications system.

Under this contract, Space Micro, a leader in space-based laser communications, addresses some of the most challenging air-to-space laser communications problems, which are primarily caused by the regular instability of Earth’s atmosphere. Space Micro’s laser communications products have been developed for commercial and government customers and are now evolving into a key solution for highly directional, long-distance, high-bandwidth telecommunications for air-to-space connective applications.

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Northrop Grumman-Built Space Sensor Satellites Launch in Support of US Space Force-8 Mission

Northrop Grumman-built GSSAP satellites collect space situational awareness data allowing for more accurate tracking and characterization of man-made orbiting objects. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

DULLES, Va., Jan. 21, 2022 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Two Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites were successfully launched into orbit on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket today from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station as part of the U.S. Space Force (USSF)-8 mission. The two satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, will enhance space situational awareness, a top priority for the U.S. Space Force. In addition to manufacturing and delivering both GSSAP payloads, Northrop Grumman also provided the sole strap-on solid rocket booster adding propulsion to the rocket launch, as well as essential aeronautical components in support of the USSF-8 launch.  

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United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Critical Space Surveillance Mission for U.S. Space Force

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 2:00 p.m. EST on Jan. 21. (Credit: United Launch Alliance)

Atlas V launched Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites, GSSAP-5 and GSSAP-6, to a near-geosynchronous orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., January 21, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command lifted off on Jan. 21 at 2:00 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. To date ULA has launched 148 times with 100 percent mission success.

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AFRL Leader Tapped for Space Force Key Acquisition Position

Col. Eric Felt

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL PE) — The Air Force Research Laboratory recently announced the assignment of its Space Vehicles Directorate director, Col. Eric J. Felt, to a position with the U.S. Space Force as Deputy Executive Director for the Space Architecture, Science and Technology Directorate at the Pentagon, with an effective date in July.

Felt has led the AFRL Space Vehicles Directorate, located at Kirtland AFB, since July 2018, and serves in a dual-hatted role as commander of the Phillips Research Site, which encompasses military command authority for AFRL’s Space Vehicles and Directed Energy Directorates.

As director, Felt leads a team of more than 1,080 military, civilian and on-site contractors who comprise the nation’s center of excellence for military space science and technology. The directorate focuses on enduring Space Force space missions: communications; position navigation and timing; missile warning; space domain awareness; and space control.

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ULA Atlas V to Launch USSF-8 Mission in Support of National Security on Friday

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launches on the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program 3 (STP-3) mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. The mission’s Space Test Program Satellite-6 (STPSat-6) spacecraft hosts NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) and the NASA-U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph (UVSC) Pathfinder. (Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, Fla., Jan. 19, 2022 (ULA PR) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket is in final preparations to launch the USSF-8 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command. The launch is on track for Jan. 21, 2022 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Launch is planned for 2:00 p.m. EST. The live launch broadcast begins at 1:40 p.m. EST at www.ulalaunch.com.

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AFRL Announces Winners of Space University Research Initiative Funding Opportunity

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO (AFRL PR) – The Air Force Research Laboratoryvia its basic research office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, announced December 17, the winners of the newly established Space University Research Initiative (SURI) program – a first step in improving the transition of critical concepts from academia into revolutionary new military technologies for the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force (USSF).

“Our way of warfare depends on space superiority and AFRL has a long history of research and development in support of this domain. With the recent standup of the USSF, along with the emergence of U.S. Space Command and new energy in the commercial space sector, we have exciting opportunities to modernize the way we lead and manage S&T,” wrote AFRL Commander, Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle in her 2021 Commander’s Intent.

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Rocket Lab Announces Third Quarter 2021 Financial Results, Issues Guidance for Fourth Quarter

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Q3 2021 Financial Results Highlights

  • Revenue above high end of prior guidance range at $5.3 million
  • Backlog increased from $141 million at June 30, 2021 to $183 million as of September 30, 2021, and currently stands at $237 million as of November 15, 2021
  • Space Systems revenue in the third quarter 2021 grew 360% over the same quarterly period in 2020 to represent 27% of total revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2021
  • Successfully completed the merger with Vector Acquisition Corporation resulting in ending cash balance at September 30, 2021 of $792.7 million

Q4 2021 Guidance

  • Revenue to range between $23 million to $25 million
  • GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins of 13 percent and 27 percent, respectively
  • GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses between $24 million to $26 million, and $19 million to $21 million, respectively
  • GAAP Net Loss between $24 million and $26 million, and Adjusted EBITDA loss of $9 million to $11 million, which reflects adjustments for stock-based compensation, 3rd party fees associated with M&A activity, depreciation and amortization, FX gains and losses, interest expense, taxes and other recurring and non-recurring items
  • All of the above exclude any warrant expense impacts from the public and private warrants assumed from the Vector Acquisition Corporation merger that closed on August 25, 2021, and also excludes any impacts from the Advance Solutions Inc. acquisition and related purchase price accounting, and excludes any financial contributions and accounting impacts from the pending Planetary Systems Corporation acquisition announced today

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 third quarter ended September 30, 2021.

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iRocket And Turion Space Ink Agreement For 10 Launches To Low Earth Orbit

iRocket Shockwave rocket illustration. (Credit: iRocket)

NEW YORK (iRocket PR) — On November 4, 2021, iRocket announced that the company signed an agreement with Turion Space Corp in Irvine, CA. Said iRocket CEO Asad Malik, “We are excited about this new partnership with Turion Space to provide rapid access to space and cost competitive launch costs for their 20 Droid satellites and the low-cost final orbit delivery option their Droid satellites will bring to some of our own customers.”

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Six Companies Selected for First-of-Its-Kind Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Q Station PR) – Q Station, a collaborative workspace supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory and U.S. Space Force has chosen six companies for its inaugural Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort. The year-long program will give companies an opportunity to work in the growing New Mexico space ecosystem and to learn more about the U.S.’ space technology needs and how they may be able to work with the federal government to meet those needs. 

The inaugural Soft Landing Space Tech Cohort companies and their headquarters are:

  • Blue Eye Soft – South Carolina — creates AI models that predict satellite anomalies due to space weather events.
  • Equatorial Space Systems – Singapore — developing proprietary hybrid propulsion technology.
  • Leaf Space – Italy — provides ground segment systems for microsats.
  • Neutron Star Systems- Germany — produces electric propulsion system for spacecraft.
  • Rogue Space Systems – New Hampshire — designs satellite vehicles and subsystems to provide on-orbit services to satellite operators.
  • SPiN Tech – Germany — produces a universal adapter to transform incompatible off-the-shelf components to plug-and-play for satellites. 
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NASA Sets Coverage for SpaceX Crew-3 Briefings, Events, Broadcasts

SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts (from left) Matthias Maurer, Thomas Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron pose for a portrait during preflight training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission with astronauts to the International Space Station. This is the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

The launch is targeted for 2:21 a.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 31, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon Endurance is scheduled to dock to the space station at 12:10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1. Prelaunch activities, launch, and docking will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

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