ISS Crew Seals Off First Air Leak in Russia’s Zvezda Module

The crew of the International Space Station (ISS) has sealed off the first of the two cracks, which caused an air leak in the Russian Zvezda module with a patch, Energia corporation, a subsidiary of the Russian state space agency Roscosmos, said on Saturday.

“Today, as part of the work to eliminate leaks in the Zvezda module, the Russian crew of the ISS … will open the hatch of the intermediate chamber [in the Zvezda module compartment] and will apply a layer of sealant from the end face of the previously attached patch,” Energia spokesperson said.

Read more at: Sputniknews

Chinese Private Rocket Firm ispace Completes Launch Failure Investigation

Chinese private rocket firm iSpace said late Monday that it has completed investigation of its previous unsuccessful rocket launch, vowing that the firm will ramp up efforts on management and technology improvement.

Its launch of the second SQX-1 commercial carrier rocket failed on February 1. Abnormal performance was identified during the flight of the rocket, which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.

Read more at: Globatimes

Component Fatigue Caused Early Shutdown Of Merlin Engine On Last SpaceX Launch

SpaceX has concluded fatigue on an engine cover caused one of the nine Merlin 1D first stage engines on the company’s most recent launch to shut down early during ascent, leading to the loss of the booster during an offshore landing attempt in the Atlantic Ocean, an official said Monday.

A hole developed in one of the covers on the Feb. 15 launch, allowing hot gas into one of the engines, according to Benji Reed, senior director of human spaceflight programs at SpaceX. Reed disclosed the findings in a press conference Monday previewing SpaceX’s next crew launch for NASA, currently scheduled to fly to the International Space Station in late April.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

SpaceX Starship Makes Upright Landing, But Rocket Explodes Minutes Later

Elon Musk’s SpaceX notched the first upright landing of the company’s deep-space Starship rocket after a test flight early Wednesday evening in Boca Chica, Texas – but the rocket exploded minutes later.

A live feed showed the stainless steel rocket soaring above the South Texas shoreline, flipping over and decelerating to a gentle touchdown at a slight angle on the landing pad. But a fire broke out at the base of the rocket, which minutes later collapsed in a fireball, with no immediate explanation from the company.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Spacewalking Astronauts Tackle Stubborn Struts To Prime Space Station For New Solar Arrays

Two astronauts finally wrapped up tricky solar array strut installations outside the International Space Station Friday (March 5) that stymied a previous set of spacewalkers just a few days before.

Expedition 64 astronauts Kate Rubins of NASA (wearing a red-striped spacesuit) and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) spent 6 hours and 56 minutes working in the vacuum of space, most of that time dangling unusually far away from the core of the International Space Station (ISS).

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NASA Prepares Dragon Capsule For First Reuse With Astronauts

NASA is preparing for the first time to reuse a SpaceX Dragon capsule, the Endeavor, on a crewed mission in April.

The capsule previously took astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station in May. The upcoming Crew 2 mission is planned for launch no earlier than April 20 from Kennedy Space Center.

NASA gave a detailed update this week about the capsule’s refurbishment for a second crewed flight. The launch in April also will be the first time a crewed mission uses a previously flown Falcon 9 booster.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Next SpaceX Liftoff, Carrying Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide, Eyed For April 22

NASA said Friday it is targeting another launch of a SpaceX spacecraft, due to carry Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide and three other astronauts to the International Space Station, for as early as April 22.

It will be the third manned flight to the ISS by a Crew Dragon capsule, developed by U.S. company Space Exploration Technologies Corp. The previous flight, known as the Crew-1 mission, took place in November, carrying three NASA astronauts and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi.

Read more at: Japantimes

China Selects Astronauts For Space Station Program

The crewmembers who will participate in the construction of China’s space station have been selected and are being trained for their missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The construction of the space station has entered a crucial stage, said the CMSA, noting that this year will see several space missions including the launch of the station’s core module, cargo replenishment, and a manned flight, which will be carried out one after another.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Space Launch From British Soil One Step Closer

In a giant leap in British spaceflight history, government publishes response to commercial spaceflight consultation.

A giant leap in British spaceflight history is being made 5 March 2021 as the government publishes its commercial spaceflight consultation response, paving the way for space launches from UK soil.

Over the past few months, the government has been inviting industry, stakeholders and the public to have their say on the rules that will govern our spaceflight programme – and the consultation has captured the imagination of people across the UK, including schoolchildren.

Read more at: Spacedaily

NASA and Boeing Evaluating Launch Date for Orbital Flight Test-2

NASA and Boeing are evaluating a new target launch date for the CST-100 Starliner’s Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the International Space Station after winter storms in Houston, and the recent replacement of avionics boxes, set the program back about two weeks. NASA also is weighing the volume of verification and validation analysis required prior to the test flight and the visiting vehicle schedule at the International Space Station.

Previously, the launch was targeted for no earlier than April 2.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Chinese Astronauts Training For Space Station Crewed Flights

China said Thursday a cohort of astronauts is training for four crewed missions this year as the country works to complete its first permanent orbiting space station.

The station’s core module, christened Tianhe, could be launched as soon as next month, according to the China National Space Administration and foreign observers. The massive Long March-5B Y2 rocket and its payload were moved into place last month at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in tropical Hainan province for assembly and testing.

Read more at: ABCnews


USSPACECOM To Sign MOA with NASA Including Cooperation on Planetary Defense

U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) is getting ready to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with NASA. NASA signed one with U.S. Space Force last fall, but this one will be operationally focused as befitting USSPACECOM’s mission. One area of cooperation among all three will be planetary defense — protecting Earth from asteroids and comets. Separately, NASA announced a slight delay in the launch of its DART planetary defense mission.

Lt. Gen. John Shaw, Deputy Commander of USSPACECOM, told the Washington Space Business Roundtable yesterday that he anticipates the MOA will be signed “within the next few months.”

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

Studying Near-Earth Asteroids with Radar

Some observatories – like the recently collapsed Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico – examine nearby objects by bouncing radio light off of them. A new study has now improved how we analyze these observations to learn about near-Earth asteroids.

There’s plenty we can learn about the universe from passive radio astronomy, in which we observe the radio signals emitted by distant sources.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Source Of Hazardous High-Energy Particles Located In The Sun

These particles are highly charged and, if they reach Earth’s atmosphere, can potentially disrupt satellites and electronic infrastructure, as well as pose a radiation risk to astronauts and people in airplanes. In 1859, during what’s known as the Carrington Event, a large solar storm caused telegraphic systems across Europe and America to fail. With the modern world so reliant on electronic infrastructure, the potential for harm is much greater.

Read more at: UCL

Planetary Defense Experts Use Infamous Asteroid Apophis To Practice Spotting Dangerous Space Rocks

Earth’s most recent brush with asteroid danger was eight years ago, when a space rock the size of a six-story building came seemingly out of nowhere, injuring 1,200 people when it exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia.


Now, scientists are using this month’s flyby of the infamous asteroid Apophis to test their responses to potentially hazardous space rocks, honing the fine art of planetary defense. Planetary defense focuses on identifying asteroids and comets that hang out around Earth, mapping their precise paths and seeing how their orbits compare with Earth’s.

Read more at:

UK Meteor: ‘Huge Flash’ As Fireball Lights Up Skies

A large meteor blazed across UK skies on Sunday night, delighting those lucky enough to spot it.

The meteor was spotted shortly before 10pm and was visible for around seven seconds. It was captured on doorbell and security cameras in Manchester, Cardiff, Honiton, Bath, Midsomer Norton and Milton Keynes.

Read more at: Guardian

The Galaxy’s First Space Hotel Will Open in 2027, and Other News

Voyager Class, our solar system’s first-ever space hotel, will make its debut in 2027.

Bringing a whole new meaning to “room with a view,” the California-based startup Orbital Assembly Corporation has announced plans to build the first space hotel, set to open in 2027. Composed of two concentric rings—one for docking, one serving as the backbone of the structure—Voyager Class will house a restaurant, bar, gym, cinema, spa, and rooms for around 400 people. The rotating space station will also have the capacity to produce varying levels of artificial gravity by increasing or decreasing the rate of rotation.

Read more at: Surfacemag


Rocket Lab Unveils Plans For New Rocket To Launch From NASA Wallops, New Factory

Big changes are in the works for Rocket Lab.

The California-based company just announced its plans for a new “Neutron” rocket — an 8-ton payload launch vehicle “tailored for mega-constellation deployment, interplanetary missions and human spaceflight.”

And all Neutron launches will take place from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport located at the NASA Wallops Flight Facility, according to the press release.

Read more at: delmarvanow

FAA Announces Delay In Spaceport Decisions

The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that decisions on Camden County’s spaceport launch site operator’s license and the final environmental impact statement (EIS) will not be released this month as anticipated.

“As previously announced, the FAA had planned to release the Final EIS and Record of Decision (ROD) in March 2021,” said Stacey Zee of the FAA in an email Friday to stakeholders. “However, due to ongoing consultation efforts with the Georgia (State Historic Preservation Office) and the (Advisory Council on Historic Preservation), the FAA now intends to release the Final EIS by April 20th and the (record of decision) separately by June 18th.”

Read more at: Tribune georgian

NASA Updates ISS Pricing to “Full Value” for Commercial Activities

NASA is laying the foundation for America to maintain a human presence in low-Earth orbit in which one day NASA will become one of many customers in a robust commercial marketplace. To realize that goal, NASA has opened the International Space Station (ISS) for business to enable commercial and marketing opportunities on the microgravity laboratory.

Since making these opportunities available, there has been a growing demand for commercial and marketing activities from both traditional aerospace companies and from novel industries, demonstrating the benefits of the space station to help catalyze and expand space exploration markets and the low-Earth orbit economy.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Rocket Lab Plans New Neutron Rocket, Intends To Go Public

California-based Rocket Lab, which has sent rockets into space 17 times using its small Electron vehicle, plans to launch a much bigger rocket called Neutron by 2024.

As part of Rocket Lab’s effort to raise funds for Neutron, it plans a public listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange by the end of June. Rocket Lab is confident it will succeed, but humble enough to adapt and offer new products, founder and CEO Peter Beck said in an interview.

Read more at: Spacedaily

First Private Trip To The Moon Could Be A Tremendous Boost Or Bust For Space Tourism

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa’s latest plan for a lunar orbital flight is an open-to-the-public contest for berths for eight people in 2023 aboard a new SpaceX rocket. If successful, the pioneering flight could push private spaceflight forward by decades. A failure could keep private citizens firmly on the ground.

Maezawa announced the contest this week on his dearMoon website. According to the announcement, anyone can apply to become a member of what could be the first commercial flight around the moon and first return to the moon by humans since the last Apollo mission in 1972.

Read more at: CBC


Rotating Rocket Science

As Australia’s space industry gears up, a team of Australian researchers has successfully tested a new type of engine that could be used in rocket launches.

Typical rocket engines burn fuel at a constant pressure in a chamber called a combustor. This engine has a ring-shaped combustor, and it detonates propellant rapidly around the ring.

Once started, there is a self-sustaining cycle of detonation waves travelling around the combustor at very high speeds, exceeding 2.5 kilometres per second.

Read more at: Cosmos magazine

Lockheed Martin and NEC Put AI to Work on Programs like NASA’s Artemis Mission

Lockheed Martin and NEC Corporation have signed a joint collaboration agreement to extend their partnership utilizing NEC’s System Invariant Analysis Technology (SIAT). The companies are also finalizing a licensing agreement with a multi-year option.

“The power of AI is leveraged across our entire enterprise, and with a trusted partner like NEC, we gain the resources to expand its abilities at scale across our internal operations,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space.

Read more at: Lockheed Martin

China Makes New Breakthrough In Heavy-Lift Carrier Rocket Engine

China on Friday successfully conducted a trial run on a 500-tonne-thrust liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene rocket engine, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

It marks a new breakthrough in the country’s rocket-engine technologies, and will lay a solid foundation for its follow-up development of the heavy-lift carrier rocket, said the developer.

The new engine, with its design and management fully digitalized, provides three times the thrust of a 120-tonne-thrust LOX kerosene high-pressure staged combustion engine, the CASC said, adding that its comprehensive performance indicators are equal to the best in the world. Enditem

Read more at: Xinhuanet

China’s 1st Reusable Rocket On Way, Says Expert

Designers at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology have started developing the first reusable model in the nation’s Long March carrier rocket family, said a senior rocket scientist.

Jiang Jie, an expert at the academy and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said on Wednesday that research and development of the reusable variant of the Long March 8 rocket was proceeding well and designers plan to conduct the first test to verify key vertical landing technologies before the end of this year.

Read more at: China daily

Testing Proves Its Worth With Successful Mars Parachute Deployment

The giant canopy that helped land Perseverance on Mars was tested here on Earth at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Test. Test again. Test again.

Testing spacecraft components prior to flight is vital for a successful mission.

Rarely do you get a do-over with a spacecraft after it launches, especially those bound for another planet. You need to do everything possible to get it right the first time.

Read more at: Marsdaily

Russian Scientists Create Meteor Communications System For Arctic

Scientists of the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University created a communications system, where signals are reflected from tails (streaks of light) of the meteors, flying in the Earth’s atmosphere. The invention makes a cost-effective solution allowing transmission of signals to big distances (up to 1,500 km) in the Arctic, where satellite or cellular communications are not available, the project’s participant, Deputy Director of the University’s Higher School for Applied Physics and Space Technology Sergei Zavyalov told TASS.

Read more at: TASS

Vega C, A New Generation Launcher

Vega C is the next generation of the European small lift launcher developed by Avio under a programme of and funded by the European Space Agency and is now ready for the maiden flight. The rocket will also launch the Space Rider in the near future and a new smaller and versatile version is under development.

Since the beginning of ESA’s Vega program, improved versions of the European small lift launcher were envisioned by the developer and main contractor: Avio. The first of these versions is Vega C (Vega Consolidated). The new rocket is more powerful than its predecessor, being capable of lifting up to 2,300 kilograms in Low Earth Orbit, about 60% more than the previous version.

Read more at: Spacenews


Biden’s First Strategic Guidance Sets Broad National Security Priorities

President Joe Biden issued a national security blueprint that lays out broad goals and priorities for his administration and identifies China as the United States’ primary competitor.

With regard to space, the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance released March 3 says the United States will “explore and use” outer space but also ensure space remains safe and stable.

The guidance is to help agencies plan budgets and strategies while the administration continues to work on a more detailed National Security Strategy. One of the key themes is that the United States has to engage with the world. “Diplomacy is back. Alliances are back,” Biden says in the document.

Read more at: Spacenews

White House — No News on NASA Administrator

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tamped down, but did not reject, rumors that former Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) will be the next NASA Administrator. The rumor started circulating on Twitter yesterday. Asked about it today, she said the White House has nothing to report about who will be asked to serve or when an announcement will be made.

The Biden Administration has been in office for four weeks and the space community is eager to find out what Biden’s space priorities are and who will serve in key positions such as NASA Administrator.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

Rogozin, Jurczyk Talk, But No Announcement from NASA – UPDATED

The heads of NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, spoke via telecon today. NASA is trying to get Russia to agree to launch U.S. astronauts on its Soyuz spacecraft, beginning in just a few weeks, to the International Space Station (ISS) on a no-cost basis. Instead, NASA would trade launching Russian cosmonauts on the new U.S. commercial crew systems with the goal of ensuring that least one American and one Russian are always aboard ISS. No announcement was made as to whether Russia has now agreed to that plan.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

The Costa Rica Space Agency: A small step to the first world

Last Thursday, February 18, the law for the creation of the Costa Rican Space Agency was approved in the second debate. This historical fact raises the country as a promoter of education, technology, and diversification of the economy. Said law aims to benefit the province of Guanacaste, which urgently requires the development that said agency will bring.

The impact on science, technology, social and economic development that the creation of a space agency brings, is undeniable, but at a time of economic uncertainty the analysis of the usefulness of a space agency is considerable.

Read more at: Costarica news

Bill Posey, Charlie Crist Try Again To Launch American Space Commerce Act

Republican Rep. Bill Posey and Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist are trying again to get Congress to make significant new investments in the commercial space industry rising in Florida.Posey of Rockledge announced Thursday that he is reintroducing House Resolution 1369, the American Space Commerce Act, with Crist, of St. Petersburg, as the principal co-sponsor. In the last Congress, the pair’s measure drew widespread bipartisan support from Florida and other space industry states, including Senate sponsorship from Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.

Read more at: Florida politics

More Good Vibes for NASA from Biden & Harris

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris continued to shower NASA with good vibes this week. Biden used the Mars program as an example of America’s can-do spirit while Harris chatted with NASA astronaut Victor Glover aboard the International Space Station and praised the renaming of NASA’s Headquarters after Mary Jackson, the first African American woman engineer at NASA.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

After Enhancing Ties With Brazil, ISRO Eyes Opportunities With Italy

Close on the heels of the launch of a Brazilian satellite by ISRO, India and Italy have decided to explore opportunities in the field of earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) held a bilateral meeting with Italian Space Agency (ASI) on virtual mode on Wednesday, as part of its strategy to strengthen international partnerships.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space (DoS) K Sivan and ASI President Giorgio Saccoccia led their respective delegations.

Read more at: NDTV

Dish Tries To Disrupt SpaceX’s Starlink Plans As Companies Fight At FCC

SpaceX and Dish Network are fighting at the Federal Communications Commission over Dish’s attempt to block a key designation that SpaceX’s Starlink division needs in order to get FCC broadband funding.

A SpaceX filing submitted yesterday said that Dish’s “baseless attempt” to block funding “would serve only to delay what matters most—connecting unserved Americans.” While Dish says it has valid concerns about interference in the 12 GHz band, SpaceX described Dish’s complaint to the FCC as a “facially spurious filing” that “is only the latest example of Dish’s abuse of Commission resources in its misguided effort to expropriate the 12 GHz band.”

Read more at: Arstechnica

Launch Companies, Range Teams Reassessing Cape Canaveral Weather Rules

Launch companies and U.S. Space Force range officials at Cape Canaveral are reassessing long-standing weather rules, looking at beefing up rocket defenses against lightning, and considering strategies to prepare for two different launch windows on a given day to guard against weather delays, something SpaceX may demonstrate with a Falcon 9 launch early Thursday.

The moves could open up more launch opportunities on the Eastern Range, which manages support infrastructure and oversees range safety at the Florida spaceport.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now


Restraint, Not Superiority, in Space

In 1977, U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the existence of Soviet anti-satellite weapons was “no adequate reason” for the United States to develop its own space weapons. Does his logic apply today?

The establishment of the U.S. Space Force has placed a spotlight on both the necessity and vulnerability of space systems. Yet, the lack of an effective strategy that promotes stability in space is only undermining U.S. national security.

Read more at: warontherocks

China Preparing To Build Tiangong Station In 2021, Complete By 2022

China is gearing up for its next big leap in space exploration: the construction of its modular crewed space station, the Tiangong.

Starting in 2021, the construction of the Tiangong orbital space station is expected to be complete in 2022 after eleven missions, including three launches of different modules, four launches of cargo vehicles and four crewed launches.

This step comes after a phased approach to human spaceflight development, beginning with the uncrewed test flights of a crewed space vehicle (Shenzhou-1 to Shenzhou-4).

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

Space Force Integration Critical To CJADC2 Success

Headquarters U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa hosted a joint, multi-national Combined Joint All Domain Command and Control demonstration in February.

The USAFE-AFAFRICA-led demonstration, which took place in the Baltic Sea region, incorporated the assistance of the 16th Space Control Squadron located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo.

Read more at: Spacewar

Another Trio Of Chinese Military Satellites Successfully Deployed

Weeks after the launch of an earlier trio of Chinese military satellites, another spacecraft triplet successfully took off Feb. 24 aboard a Long March 4C rocket on a clandestine mission that analysts believe may involve spying on foreign naval forces.

The Yaogan 31 triplet launched at 0222 GMT on Feb. 24 (9:22 p.m. EST on Feb. 23) from the Jiuquan space base on the Gobi Desert of northwestern China. Liftoff occurred at 10:22 a.m. Beijing time.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now

L3Harris Technologies Awarded Second Year of Space Object-Tracking Modernization Contract

L3Harris Technologies (has been awarded $89 million for option-year two of a U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command contract to continue maintaining and modernizing infrastructure to track objects in space.

The Maintenance Of Space Situational Awareness Integrated Capabilities (MOSSAIC) program has an estimated contract value of $1.2 billion over 10 years.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Space Force Chief Says He’s Working On A Declassification Strategy, But Offers Scant Details

The head of the U.S. Space Force said the nascent service is developing a declassification strategy for space, but he could not share many details on what a new classification would look like or when it would be implemented broadly.

Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond acknowledged in a speech Wednesday that the classification regime impedes parts of the Space Force’s mission.

Read more at: c4isrnet

Space Force Chief: Space Is A National Security Issue

The U.S. Space Force chief said on Wednesday that White House backing of the new service branch demonstrates that space is a national security issue.

Gen. John Raymond told a virtual conference of the National Press Club that a statement in February by White House press secretary Jen Psaki, indicating support of the branch from the administration of President Joe Biden, makes it “really clear that this is not a political issue, it’s an issue of national security.”

Read more at: Spacewar


Scott A. McLaughlin Picked to Head New Mexico’s Spaceport America

Scott A. McLaughlin, a New Mexico native and a long- time business and engineering professional, has been selected by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority Board of Directors as the new executive director of Spaceport America, Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.

McLaughlin graduated from New Mexico State University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and has worked at several government agencies, including the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as in the private sector with tech and engineering companies.

Read more at: Spaceport America

Japanese Billionaire Invites 8 People To Join Spacex Mission Around The Moon

Japanese fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa, who first announced his intention in 2018 to take a group of artists with him on a six-day trip around the Moon, said Tuesday that he’s inviting the public to apply to fill eight open seats on the mission now slated to take off in 2023.

Maezawa also said that he’s decided to expand his definition of an “artist,” which he initially defined as singers, dancers, painters and other traditional creative fields.

Read more at: CNN

SpaceX Denounces Justice Department’s Subpoena In Hiring Practices Investigation As ‘Government Overreach’

Elon Musk’s SpaceX denounced a subpoena from the Department of Justice for its corporate hiring records, saying in a court filing that the investigation by the federal agency’s Immigrant and Employee Rights unit “is the very definition of government overreach.”

“SpaceX draws the line at IER’s overreaching attempt to bootstrap that lone, frivolous charge into the wide-ranging (and expanding) pattern-or-practice investigations the agency is now pursuing,” the company, represented by lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, wrote in the response.

Read more at: CNBC

Whitesides Steps Down From Virgin Galactic

The longtime chief executive of Virgin Galactic, who moved into a new position at the company last year, has left the company but will continue to be an adviser to it.

Whitesides is leaving the position of Virgin Galactic’s chief space officer to pursue unspecified opportunities in public service, the company announced. The publicly traded company did not make a formal announcement because Whitesides was not considered an officer of the company.

Read more at: Spacenews

Introducing: UC Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration

Imagine living on Mars. The air is mostly carbon dioxide with no breathable oxygen. There’s zero liquid surface water and no protection from the Sun’s radiation. It’s freezing—but the extremely low atmospheric pressure would boil your blood. Hurricane-force dust storms batter the landscape.Yet, a small colony of people will live there in coming decades, says Professor Charles Doarn, inaugural director of the University of Cincinnati Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration, one facet of Research2030, UC’s new 10-year strategic plan for research.

Within 50 years, Doarn expects hundreds of people to live on Mars—a whole society. And that will present a whole lot of challenges.

Read more at: UC research

‘Liftoff’: Eric Berger’s Tale Of The Wild Years Of SpaceX’s Youth

Long before SpaceX’s self-landing rockets, Tesla-riding space mannequin or Starship prototype tests for future Mars missions, the California company was already doing daring things in space exploration.


Veteran Houston-based space reporter Eric Berger, now of Ars Technica and formerly of The Houston Chronicle, tackles the early years of SpaceX in his new book “Liftoff: Elon Musk and the Desperate Early Days That Launched SpaceX” (William Morrow, 2021).

Read more at:

Virgin Galactic Stock Tanks As Chairman Cashes Out $200 Million Personal Stake

Shares of Virgin Galactic, the suborbital space tourism venture founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, plummeted Friday after the company’s chairman dumped his personal stake in the company.

In a statement, Chamath Palihapitiya said he sold off a personal investment worth about $200 million for “a large investment I am making towards fighting climate change.” He added that the details “will be made public in the next few months.”

Read more at: CNN