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Satellite 2017: Connectivity to the “Internet of Things” is seen as key driver for future satellite traffic

While many have concerns over the Orwellian prospect of being spied on by our own appliances, the “Internet of Things” was viewed as a positive development by the leaders of satellite operators at the Satellite 2017 conference held in Washington …

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Satellite 2017: Jeff Bezos shows off straked New Glenn rocket and announces Eutelsat as first commercial client…then OneWeb joins club

At a presentation at the Satellite 2017 conference in Washington DC in March, Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos showed off the latest rocket design to emerge from his Blue Origin rocket company. While significantly similar to past artist’s impressions of the …

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Coleman Aerospace is acquired by Aerojet Rocketdyne from L3

The Orlando, Florida-based ballistic missile target rocket builder, Coleman Aerospace, has been acquired by the rocket engine maker Aerojet Rocketdyne. The deal with Coleman Aerospace owner L3 was for US$15 million cash. The move puts the engine maker in the …

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UAE throws hat into ring for Mars colonial race

The ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is not just interested in the sport of kings (horse racing), he is also apparently interested in entering the race to build new civilisations on other planets.  This …

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North Korea’s new ballistic missile test flight…as new US Standard Missile interceptor also works in test

At 2255 GMT on 11 February, the test flight of a new “quick launch” solid fuel North Korean ballistic missile “Bukgeukseong-2″ took place. It flew 500 km into the Sea of Japan before falling into it as planned. The test …

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DARPA picks SSL for its servicing satellite contract – and it can be used to demolish satellites as well

In spite of a legal bid by Orbital ATK to stop the deal, the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has announced that it has awarded SSL (formerly Space Systems/Loral) a US$15 million contract to provide the bus with …

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F-35 fighter deal means that Lockheed is buying a satellite for South Korea from Airbus DS

While the world looks more likely to go to war, this potentially hazardous situation has led to good business for the aerospace and defence sectors. Fourth generation jet fighters are very high performing and very manoeuvrable, but they lack “radar …

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UK Space Agency provides £10 million seed funding for new small launcher

Grants worth GBP£10 million will be made available by the UK government via the UK Space Agency (UKSA) to help develop commercial launch capability for spaceflight. Science Minister Jo Johnson announced that along with the funding new legislation which will …

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Cracks in their turbopump blades: SpaceX plans a redesign but will fly them as is for now

According to the Wall Street Journal, the US GAO (Government Accounting Office) has disclosed that SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets are suffering from a serious cracking issue to its LOx (liquid oxygen)/kerosene burning Merlin engine turbopump turbine blades. This has …

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Boeing and Nanoracks team up to build commercial cubesat deploying airlock for ISS

Having got permission via Space Act Agreement with NASA in May 2016, cubesat deployment firm, NanoRacks, has joined up with Boeing to build and install the first commercial airlock module on the International Space Station. The airlock is expected to …

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Syncom designer Harold Rosen passes away

While Arthur C. Clarke came up with the theory of using satellites for communications in a geosynchronous/geostationary position in 1945, actually it was spacecraft designer Harold Rosen who made it a practical reality. As such it is sad to report …

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China’s Long March 934 may beat SLS Block 2 to orbit and beats its minimum payload as well

While USA has decided to only proceed with the SLS block 1B for the time being, capable of lofting circa 100 metric tons to low Earth orbit (LEO), there is, of ocurse, the promise, of a Block 2 version to …

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Japan’s dedicated SS-520-4 cubesat launch vehicle fails on first launch attempt (Corrected)

The first flight of Japan’s dedicated SS-520-4 cubesat launch vehicle has failed on its maiden flight. The launch took place at 2333 GMT on 24 January 2016 from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima, Japan. After a successful lift-off from …

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SpaceX moves back to slower loading of LOx after Falcon 9 on pad failure investigation

While various theories involving sniper rifles and mystery flying objects abounded, the on-pad pre-launch test failure on 1 September 2016 which destroyed a Falcon 9v1.2 FT-R rocket and the Amos-6 satellite, has been confirmed as likely to have been caused …

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S3 air-launch programme is finally declared bankrupt

The S3 air-launch project, which was announced in April 2013 by Swiss Space Systems (S3) Holding SA, has been ended after S3 was formally declared bankrupt by a court in the Swiss canton of Vaud.

The proposed launch system of …

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SSL gets NASA construction contract for Restore-L servicing spacecraft

NASA has awarded the Restore-L Spacecraft Bus and Support Services contract to the US-based, Canadian-owned spacecraft manufacturer Space Systems/Loral (SSL). Restore-L is a robotic spacecraft equipped with the tools, technologies and techniques needed to service satellites currently in orbit. Restore-L …

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On a lighter note: Xbox play is threatened by Globalstar just in time for Christmas…but at least Apollo 12’s lunar notes will raise a festive smile

Forget wars in the Middle East, nuclear confrontations in the Far East and post-Brexit/post-Trump economic armageddon in Europe and the USA, there could be a much more serious problem for the world to face. For while Santa (Father Christmas) may …

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Analysis: Chancellor’s Autumn Statement hints at more funding for UK space innovation…if housing crisis, government debts, Brexit will let him

While known to be hard workers – at least in terms of length of time spent on the job –  the British workforce fails to achieve the productivity of its competitors, in terms of revenue (well actually GDP) per worker. …

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China launches Yunhai satellite for “atmospheric and scientific experiments”

Another satellite that China apparently describes as purely peaceful in purpose has been launched from the Jiuquan launch site by a Long March 2D/2 at 2314 GMT on 11 November 2016. The spacecraft, which is thought to be sized in …

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WSRF 2016 Dubai: Insurers worry about low premiums, new launch vehicles and hackers

 

Held every two years, albeit now with an additional “half time” conference in London in between the intervening years, the World Space Risk Forum (WSRF) conference in Dubai has become the premier event for space insurers and their clients …

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