Apparent SpaceX Rocket Debris Found on Oregon Coast

Lincoln County Sheriffs reported Friday they found what appears to be charred debris from the Falcon X rocket that created such a startling show in the skies over the west coast in late March. This comes after another piece was found in eastern Washington last week.

The chunk of fuel container-like debris was found in Waldport after washing up in the Alsea Bay, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The debris was removed from the Alsea Bay by a fisherman and was briefly stored near a local business,” the office said.

Read more at: beachconnection

Three-Man Crew Docks At ISS After Flight Honouring Gagarin

A three-man crew docked at the international Space Station Friday after a flight honouring the 60th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first person in space.

A Soyuz capsule carrying Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei docked at 1105 GMT, footage broadcasted by NASA TV showed.

“There is contact!” Russia’s space agency Roscosmos wrote on Twitter.

Read more at: Spacedaily

More Potential Air Leak Locations Found at International Space Station, Source Says

Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) have identified another three possible air leak locations in the Russian Zvezda module, a space industry source told Sputnik.

“This week, the cosmonauts found another three possible air leak locations in the intermediate chamber of the Zvezda module,” the source said, adding that on Friday and Saturday, the Russian crew patched up the spots with several layers of sealant.

The source told Sputnik that the intermediate chamber was going to be checked for airtightness later on, in order to see whether the sealing of the potential air leak locations helped.

Read more at: Sputniknews

Oneweb, SpaceX Satellites Dodged A Potential Collision In Orbit

Two satellites from the fast-growing constellations of OneWeb and SpaceX’s Starlink dodged a dangerously close approach with one another in orbit last weekend, representatives from the US Space Force and OneWeb said. It’s the first known collision avoidance event for the two rival companies as they race to expand their new broadband-beaming networks in space.

On March 30th, five days after OneWeb launched its latest batch of 36 satellites from Russia, the company received several “red alerts” from the US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron warning of a possible collision with a Starlink satellite.

Read more at: Verge

Progress MS-16 Docking In February Failed Due To Nose Cone Issues

A malfunction in the nose cone of the Soyuz launch vehicle led to an incident during the docking of Russia’s Progress MS-16 cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) in February, the general director of the Progress space rocket centre, Dmitry Baranov, said on Saturday.

“The commission will work until 30 April. The problem is in the nose cone”, Baranov told reporters.

Progress MS-16 was supposed to dock at Russia’s Pirs compartment in an automatic mode on 17 February.

Read more at: Spacedaily

NASA Certifies New Launch Control System For Artemis I

When NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft lift off from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the Artemis I mission, the amount of data generated by the rocket, spacecraft, and ground support equipment will be about 100 megabytes per second. The volume and speed of this information demands an equally complex and robust computer system to process and deliver that data to the launch team and corresponding mission systems in real time.

That computer software and hardware – called the spacecraft command and control system (SCCS) – is now certified for use on Artemis I. Shawn Quinn, director of NASA Engineering at Kennedy, and the KSC Engineering Design Certification Review Board signed off on the system at the conclusion of a recent design certification review for SCCS.

Read more at: Spacedaily

SpaceX Identifies Cause Of Starship SN11 Prototype’s Crash

We now know why SpaceX’s latest Starship prototype went up in flames last week.


The stainless-steel vehicle, known as SN11 (“Serial No. 11”), launched on a test flight last Tuesday (March 30) from SpaceX’s South Texas facilities, near the Gulf Coast village of Boca Chica. 

SN11 soared to a maximum altitude of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) as planned, and the 165-foot-tall (50 meters) craft checked a number of boxes on the way down as well. But SN11 didn’t stick its landing, instead exploding in a massive fireball — because of a plumbing problem, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced today (April 5).

Read more at:

Mars Rover Deploys Ingenuity Helicopter For Historic Flight

NASA’s Perseverance rover released the Ingenuity helicopter onto the surface of Mars Saturday, leaving behind the experimental flying drone to survive on its own power until attempting a historic hop in the Red Planet’s thin carbon dioxide atmosphere.

The milestone kicks off a week of checkouts and testing before NASA commits to the $80 million Ingenuity helicopter’s first test flight, currently targeted for April 11.

NASA officials confirmed rover deposited the 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) helicopter on the ground Saturday. Imagery from one of the Perseverance rover’s hazar cameras showed Ingenuity standing upright on the planet’s surface.

Read more at: Spaceflight Now


Rocket Lab To Recover Electron Booster On Next Mission

Rocket Lab reports that on its next mission the company will attempt to bring a rocket back from space, slowing the Electron launch vehicle down from speeds of >Mach 8 as it re-enter’s Earth’s atmosphere before splashing the rocket down in the ocean.

The complex mission is the next major step toward making Electron the first orbital-class reusable small launch vehicle, enabling rapid-turnaround launches for small satellites.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Germany’s Space Agency Selects Lockheed Martin’s Traffic Management Software

Lockheed Martin’s space traffic management software will be used by Germany’s space agency, the company announced April 6.

The German Space Agency at DLR — which operates the German space situational awareness center along with the German Air Force — selected Lockheed Martin’s iSpace, a system that is used by the U.S. military, U.S. intelligence agencies and the government of Australia.

The iSpace system, which Lockheed Martin introduced in 2017, collects data from hundreds of optical, radar, infrared and radio sensors operated by governments, commercial companies and academia to provide space situational awareness.

Read more at: Spacenews

With Air Force Funding, Numerica Deploys Telescopes To Monitor Space In Broad Daylight

Numerica, a company that operates a network of ground-based telescopes to track objects in deep space, is deploying new sensors that can observe orbiting satellites in broad daylight.

The telescopes were funded with $3 million the company won in 2019 at a pitch day event hosted by the U.S. Air Force to attract space industry firms to the military market.

A total of six daytime telescopes that can monitor satellites at altitudes of more than 22,000 miles are being installed in Colorado and outside the United States in Australia and Spain, Todd Brost, director of special projects at Numerica, told SpaceNews.

Read more at: Spacenews

Tiny Astroscale Satellite Will Test Space Junk Cleanup Tech With Magnets

Astroscale just launched the first commercial space junk cleanup mission designed to locate and retrieve used satellites and other debris orbiting Earth. The Japan-based company’s End-of-Life Services by Astroscale-demonstration (ELSA-d) mission lifted off from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 22.

It was among the 38 payloads that were carried into space by a Soyuz rocket as part of the first all-commercial rideshare mission for Russian company GK Launch Services.

Read more at:

More Than 5,000 Tons Of Extraterrestrial Dust Fall To Earth Each Year

Every year, our planet encounters dust from comets1 and asteroid2. These interplanetary dust particles pass through our atmosphere and give rise to shooting stars. Some of them reach the ground in the form of micrometeorites. An international program3 conducted for nearly 20 years by scientists from the CNRS, the Université Paris-Saclay and the National museum of natural history4 with the support of the French polar institute, has determined that 5,200 tons per year of these micrometeorites reach the ground. The study will be available in the journal Earth & Planetary Science Letters from April 15.

Read more at: CNRS


ABL Space Has Never Launched A Rocket, But It Just Landed A Huge Contract

A California company that has yet to even attempt a rocket launch has nonetheless inked a major deal with Lockheed Martin for dozens of missions over the next decade.

Under terms of the block-buy agreement between ABL Space Systems and Lockheed, the aerospace giant will purchase “up to” 26 launches through 2026 and as many as 32 additional launches through 2029. If the terms are fulfilled, this would come to 58 launches over the next eight years for ABL Space. In an industry where even a single launch contract often produces a news release, a contract for five dozen launches is unprecedented for a private company.

Read more at: Arstechnica

SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Communications Satellites

SpaceX launched 60 more of the company’s Starlink Internet communications satellites into orbit from Florida on Wednesday.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the spacecraft lifted off as planned at 12:34 p.m. EDT into a blue April sky with few clouds.

“Falcon 9 has successfully lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station carrying our stack of Starling satellites to orbit,” SpaceX lead manufacturing engineer Jessie Anderson said during a live broadcast.

Read more at: Spacedaily

Ningbo, Wenchang to Construct Chinese Commercial Spaceports

The coastal cities of Ningbo and Wenchang are planning construction of new commercial spaceports to meet growing demand for launch in China.

The eastern port city of Ningbo in eastern Zhejiang province has committed a total investment of 20 billion yuan ($3 billion) to establish a spaceport at Xiangshan, according to reports Wednesday. It is to be capable of launching up to 100 missions per year.

Read more at: Spacenews

The complete coverage of IAASS Weekly Press Clips is only available to IAASS Members. Become an IAASS Member today.