“Another Milestone”: ISRO Rocket Accomplishes Zero Orbital Debris Mission

ISRO on Monday said its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has accomplished zero orbital debris mission, and described it “another milestone”. This was achieved on March 21, when the PSLV Orbital Experimental Module-3 (POEM-3) met its “fiery end” through a re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.”The PSLV-C58/XPoSat mission has practically left zero debris in orbit,” the space agency said. The PSLV-C58 mission was accomplished on January 1. According to ISRO, after completing the primary mission of injecting all satellites into their desired orbits, the terminal stage of PSLV was transformed into a 3-axis stabilised platform, the POEM-3.

Read more at: economic times


China’s Moon Programme: 3 Satellites Enter Lunar Orbit, Fate Of 2 That Fell Short Isn’t Clear

Three Chinese satellites have successfully entered lunar orbit, while the status of two others remains unclear after apparent rescue efforts.

The Queqiao-2 communication relay satellite, launched from Wenchang Satellite Launch Centre in southern China on March 20, arrived at 440km (273 miles) above the moon’s surface early on Monday morning, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

Read more at: SCMP

NASA Optimistic About Resolving Voyager 1 Computer Problem

A NASA official says he is optimistic that a problem with the Voyager 1 spacecraft that has kept it from transmitting intelligible data for months can be resolved.

Speaking at a March 20 meeting of the National Academies’ Committee on Solar and Space Physics, Joseph Westlake, director of NASA’s heliophysics division, said it appeared possible to fix the computer problem on the nearly 50-year-old spacecraft that has disrupted operations since last November.

Read more at: spacenews

Astronaut Tried to Photograph Mt. Fuji, Snapped Picture of Space Junk Instead

Spending time in space can provide both good and bad experiences for the astronauts who live aboard the International Space Station — and it apparently provides some laughs, too.

As reports, the international crew that hitched a ride back to Earth on a SpaceX Crew Dragon said during their first post-flight press conference that Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furakawa was embarrassed by a photography gaffe at one point during their stay.

Read more at: futurism

Connecting The Dots | Making Light Work Of Space Junk Removal

As inter-satellite laser links help fuel the rapid expansion of the largest constellations the world has ever seen, a traditional satellite operator wants to put stronger lasers to work clearing the debris that LEO megaconstellations risk leaving behind.

Sky Perfect JSAT, Japan’s flagship geostationary satellite operator, announced the creation of a startup in January that would use in-orbit lasers to stabilize tumbling space junk and put it on course to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The venture, Orbital Lasers, is developing spacecraft that would fire a laser at a defunct object, ablating material on the surface to generate thrust for changing its orientation and location.

Read more at: spacenews

Geomagnetic Storm From A Solar Flare Could Disrupt Radio Communications And Create A Striking Aurora

Space weather forecasters have issued a geomagnetic storm watch through Monday, saying an ouburst of plasma from a solar flare could interfere with radio transmissions on Earth. It could also make for great aurora viewing.

There’s no reason for the public to be concerned, according to the alert issued Saturday by NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Read more at: apnews


Eutelsat OneWeb To Support Inflight Connectivity From September 2024

Eutelsat OneWeb expects to start supporting inflight connectivity services with its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Ku-band satellite network in September 2024, Dermot Cahalan, aviation market development director, Europe, revealed at the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s APEX TECH conference in Los Angeles. He said the ground infrastructure delay announced by parent Eutelsat Group last month does not affect Eutelsat OneWeb’s LEO IFC launch customers.

“We’re launching our first aviation service in September, I believe, so the announcement that you heard recently doesn’t impact our aviation services. So at the moment we have got all the ground infrastructure in place for those launch customers and we’re building the remaining infrastructure well ahead of any future customers who are in the pipeline who we hope to announce imminently,” said Cahalan.

Read more at: runwaygirlnetwork

Telesat Says Starlink Impacted GEO Business in ’23, Operator Ramps Up for Lightspeed

Telesat is seeing a decline in revenue in its Geostationary Orbit (GEO) business in broadcasting with the increase in cord-cutting, and enterprise competition from SpaceX’s Starlink constellation. Yet Telesat is bullish on its own Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation Lightspeed, and CEO Dan Goldberg told investors on Thursday that the operator is in conversation with the government of Canada for further funding for Lightspeed.

Telesat announced its full year 2023 financial results on Thursday. The company reported consolidated revenue of $704 million Canadian dollars ($520 million), a decline of 9% compared to 2022 when adjusted for changes in foreign exchange rates. 

Read more at: satellitetoday

SpaceX Marine Fleet Kicks Into High Gear

As SpaceX looks to continue its quest to achieve over 140 launches this year, its marine fleet is functioning at an insane pace.

SpaceX currently operates a trio of autonomous spaceport drone ships, two fairing recovering ships, and two Crew/Cargo Dragon recovery ships.

In years past, SpaceX has been able to comfortably launch missions and have plenty of time for a droneship to bring a Falcon 9 back to port before their next mission would be up and have time for crew rest, but with their increased cadence last year and into this year, SpaceX is starting to see record turnarounds between arriving back into port and disembarking for their next landing attempt.

Read more at: Teslarati

Orbital Reef And Commercial Low Earth Orbit Destinations—Upcoming Space Research Opportunities

As the International Space Station comes to the end of a transformative era of in-space research, NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Destinations (CLD) Program aims to catalyze a new generation of platforms with co-investment from the private sector, preventing a potential gap in research performed in LEO, while building a robust LEO economy. In this paper, we provide insight into the CLD Program focusing on Orbital Reef, describing its operational and technical characteristics as well as new opportunities it may enable. Achieving about a third of the pressurized volume of the ISS with the launch of a single pressurized module and growing to support hundreds of Middeck Locker Equivalents (MLE) in passive and active payloads internally and externally, Orbital Reef will enable government, academic, and commercial institutions to continue and expand upon research and development (R&D) efforts currently performed on ISS.

Read more at: Nature

Virgin Galactic Hit with Lawsuit Over Unpaid Invoices, Intellectual Property

Boeing, on behalf of its subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, filed a lawsuit against Virgin Galactic for alleged unpaid bills and misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets.

According to the March 21 filing, as reported by, Mojave, California-based Virgin Galactic contracted with Aurora in July 2022 to design and build two new “mothership” aircraft designed to launch Virgin’s suborbital space vehicles. The first was to be delivered in 2025, designed to replace Virgin Galactic’s VMS Eve launch platform.

Read more at: flyingmag


Still Alive! Japan’s SLIM Moon Lander Survives Its 2nd Lunar Night

SLIM’s not dead yet.

The SLIM spacecraft, Japan’s first-ever successful moon lander, has survived the long, cold lunar night for the second time.

Mission team members announced the news via X on Wednesday (March 27), in a post that also featured a photo newly snapped by the lander’s navigation camera.

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NASA’s Attempt To Bring Home Part Of Mars Is Unprecedented: The Mission’s Problems Are Not

Massive cost overruns. Key deadlines slipping out of reach. Problems of unprecedented complexity, and a generation’s worth of scientific progress contingent upon solving them.

That’s the current state of Mars Sample Return, the ambitious yet imperiled NASA mission whose rapidly ballooning budget has cost jobs at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge and drawn threats of cancellation from lawmakers.

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Single Enormous Object Left 2 Billion Craters On Mars, Scientists Discover

A giant impactor that severely dented Mars’ surface roughly 2.3 million years ago also carved out 2 billion smaller craters on the Red Planet as it shattered the ground, a new study finds.The main impact crater, known as Corinto, measures around 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) in diameter and is located in Elysium Planitia — a broad plain that straddles Mars’ equator. Asteroids capable of leaving such a gigantic mark are estimated to only crash into the Martian surface every 3 million years or so, meaning Corinto may be the youngest crater of its size on the Red Planet, researchers revealed at the 55th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas earlier this month.

Read more at: livescience

NASA’s Artemis IV: Building First Lunar Space Station

NASA and its partners are developing the foundational systems needed for long-term exploration at the Moon for the benefit of all with NASA’s Artemis campaign. Following the Artemis III mission that will land the first people near the Moon’s South Pole, astronauts on Artemis IV will live and work in humanity’s first lunar space station, Gateway, which will enable new opportunities for science and preparation for human missions to Mars. The mission will bring together an intricate choreography of multiple launches and spacecraft dockings in lunar orbit, and will feature the debut of NASA’s larger, more powerful version of its SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and new mobile launcher.

Read more at: NASA

NASA Unveils First Astronaut Moon Kit Since Apollo

The Artemis 3 astronauts will be the first to walk on the surface of the Moon in more than 50 years, unlocking a new era of lunar exploration. NASA has chosen just the right tools for the astronauts to use, designed to test the feasibility of a long-term human presence on the Moon.

NASA has revealed the first science instruments that its Artemis astronauts will pack to the Moon and deploy at the lunar south pole. The three tools were selected for the Artemis 3 mission, which is set to launch in September 2026, specifically because they require humans to install them

Read more at: Gizmodo

 An artist’s concept of an Artemis astronaut deploying an instrument on the surface of the Moon.


Starlink’s FCC Request For More Spectrum Denied

Starlink’s bid for more spectrum allowance in the US isn’t going as it hoped. Yesterday, the FCC shot down its request to use regions of spectrum in the 1.6/2.4 GHz bands and 2GHz bands that include bands exclusive to Globalstar ($GSAT) and Dish. Starlink would have used these bands for its mobile connectivity service. The FCC’s reasoning was that those bands are unequipped to handle a large LEO constellation’s transmissions. The original application for the bands was filed by SpaceX over a year ago.

Read more at: payloadspace

FCC Lets SpaceX Expand Testing of Cellular Starlink for Phones

The FCC has given SpaceX regulatory clearance to start expanding tests of its cellular Starlink system in the US.The FCC today issued an experimental license to SpaceX to test cellular Starlink in 10 more US locations; that comes after it granted licenses for two dozen other locations in December.Originally, the FCC only granted SpaceX permission to test the cellular Starlink system in select cities, such as Mountain View, California; Dallas, Texas; and Pie Town, New Mexico. But now the commission is letting the company test the technology “state-wide” in California, Washington, Texas, and Hawaii.

Read more at: PCmag

Senate Bills Seek To Reform Commercial Space Regulations

Two bills recently introduced into the Senate would reform regulation of commercial space activities, including putting into motion an eventual end of the “learning period” limiting human spaceflight safety rules.

The Commercial Standards Paramount to Accelerating Cosmic Exploration (SPACE) Leadership Act was introduced March 22 by Sens. Krysten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee.

Read more at: spacenews

China Adds New Moon Base Project Partners, But Struggles To Attract National-Level Participation

China continues to add new members to its International Lunar Research Station initiative, but many of these are subnational, suggesting issues attracting partners.

The latest development saw the Asociación de Astronomía de Colombia (ASASAC) sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on the ILRS with China’s Deep Space Exploration Laboratory (DSEL) earlier this month. DSEL announced the agreement March 27.

Read more at: spacenews


SpaceX’s Starshield Contracts Are a Lot Bigger Than Just $70 Million

If SpaceX were a publicly traded company, there would definitely be a debate over whether it’s more of a space stock (because of its many Starlink commercial rocket launches) or a defense stock (for its heavy reliance on national security missions for additional revenue). There’s one thing I think every investor would agree on, though:

SpaceX would definitely be a growth stock.

Read more at: yahoo

On-Orbit Servicing Mission Planned For Military Satellite In 2025

In a mission targeted for 2025, a robot satellite in geostationary orbit around 22,000 miles above Earth will rendezvous with a military satellite and attempt to affix a new imaging sensor payload on the spacecraft.

The servicing vehicle — equipped with a robot arm developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Naval Research Laboratory — will seek to connect the payload to the satellite’s launch adapter ring. This ring, which originally connected the satellite to its rocket during launch, will provide the attach point for an electro-optical imaging sensor payload developed by the startup Katalyst Space Technologies.

Read more at: spacenews

Boeing’s Satellite Business Zeroes In On Military Opportunities

Boeing is setting its sights on two upcoming big-ticket satellite procurements from the U.S. Space Force, leveraging its recent contracts for Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellites and its foothold in commercial spacecraft manufacturing.

The Space Force is expected to seek bids this coming year for highly specialized, jam-resistant satellite systems that the military deems “no fail” assets, meaning that they must deliver secure communications even in the most contested environments.

“The government is looking for mature and low-risk technologies,” said Michelle Parker, vice president for space mission systems at Boeing Defense, Space & Security.

Read more at: spacenews

Space Force, Space Command Seek Over $2 Billion For Unfunded Programs To Counter Anti-Satellite Threats

The U.S. Space Force and U.S. Space Command submitted a combined $2.3 billion in “unfunded requirements” to Congress last week, with the vast majority of the funds requested for classified programs aimed at space control, space superiority, and space domain awareness. These are broad categories of technologies sought by the military to protect U.S. assets in orbit from anti-satellite weapons being developed by China and Russia.

The unfunded priorities list is an annual ritual in which the military services detail important priorities and capabilities left out of the president’s official budget request.

Read more at: spacenews


Boeing, NASA Target May 1 For First Crewed Flight Of Starliner To The Space Station

NASA is five weeks away from putting astronauts aboard a new commercial crew capsule. May 1 is the target launch date for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on the Crew Flight Test-1 (CFT-1) mission the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams on board.

The capsule will launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Liftoff on May 1 would be at 12:55 a.m. ET (1655 UTC) with docking taking place on May 2.

read more at: spaceflightnow

By Harnessing the Unlimited Vacuum Energy In Space, We Could Finally Reach Light Speed

Hendrik Casimir’s idea for an experiment was simple: bring two metallic objects extremely close together and wait. Spontaneously, as if by magic, the objects will be drawn together. No external forces, no pushes or pulls, no action of gravity or tension or magnetism. The objects simply get closer. The reason? An unlimited source of vibration sitting in the very vacuum of spacetime.

Read more at: popular mechanics

Elon Musk’s Mars Colony Plan Is ‘Dangerous Illusion’, Says Astronomer Royal

Elon Musk is harbouring a “dangerous illusion” that a colony can be established on Mars, the Astronomer Royal has warned.

Prof Lord Martin Rees, who is also the co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge, said that it would be easier to solve climate change on Earth than look to escape to another planet.

Speaking on Lord Speaker’s Corner, the podcast for the House of Lords, Lord Rees said that travelling to other planets should be left to private pioneers and not be a goal for national governments.

Read more at: yahoo

Rocket Report: Will Northrop’s Rocket be Reusable? Fourth Starship Gets Fired Twice

The big story this week is the final launch of the Delta IV Heavy rocket, which is one of the biggest spectacles to enjoy lifting away from the planet. Because of a scrub on Thursday, there is still time to clear your calendar for a second attempt on Friday at 1:37 pm ET in Florida.

Orbex patents reusable rocket tech. The British launch company said this week it has patented a “REFLIGHT” technology that enables the recovery of the first stage of its small Prime rocket. Essentially, Orbex designed an interstage that will function somewhat like grid fins on the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage. “After Stage 1 detaches from Stage 2, the interstage on top of Stage 1 reconfigures into four ‘petals’ which fold out and create drag forces that passively reorients and slows the spent rocket stage’s descent to Earth,” the company stated.

Read more at: Arstechnica

The Moon Is Getting Plants In Just A Few Years

Humans first walked on the moon on July 20, 1969. Now, in 2026, NASA is sending a new team out to the moon to attempt something they have not done before: planting moon plants to study how crops are able to fare under the environmental conditions on the moon.

The study of these moon plants is all part of an experiment that NASA has dubbed LEAF (Lunar Effects on Agricultural Flora). This project will actually mark the first time that astronauts will have landed on the moon in over half a century. While there, they will be constructing a mini-greenhouse on the moon’s surface to house the plants and enable NASA to study how well they are able to grow off of the Earth.

Read more at: GFR