Updates: Astra Launches NASA Mission from Florida, But Fails to Reach Orbit

Astra launched its Rocket 3.3 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 1:43 p.m. ET Sunday, but the mission to take two NASA payloads failed to reach orbit. The upper stage’s engine cut out just over seven minutes into flight, causing a tumble and the science spacecraft were lost.

Read more at: Florida today

France Joins Artemis Accords

France is now the 20th signatory to the Artemis Accords that set out non-binding governance principles for operations on the Moon. The United States requires countries that want to participate in the U.S.-led Artemis program to agree to the Accords. An initial group of eight signed in October 2020 and 12 more have joined since from Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

NASA and the State Department rolled out the Accords in May 2020 reflecting NASA’s goal that the Artemis program prominently include international partners like the International Space Station does today.

Read more at: Spacepolicy online

‘Building Blocks Of Life’ Found In Asteroid Dust By Japanese Space Probe

Multiple amino acids – known as ‘the building blocks of life – have been detected in dust brought back from an asteroid by Japan’s Hayabusa2 space probe.

Japanese researchers say the finding could even mean that there is life beyond Earth.

Amino acids are not evidence of life, but are essential for living things to make proteins.

The Hayabusa2 space probe delivered 5.4 grams of surface material from the Ryugu asteroid to Earth, according to Kyodo News. The 186-million-mile journey took the probe six years.

Read more at: Yahoo news

SpaceX Ignored Rocket Debris That Landed In Brazil

According to newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, U.S. space manufacturer SpaceX admitted responsibility for a large piece of rocket debris that landed in southern Brazil in March. Elon Musk’s company has been notified by the Brazilian Space Agency, after it found that the debris likely belonged to SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.

The large chunk of metal landed in the town of São Mateus do Sul, some 150 kilometers away from Paraná state capital Curitiba. The debris hit the ground just 100 meters from a farmhouse.

Read more at: newshub

Russian Space Rocket Debris Falls Over Johannesburg

Damn, it wasn’t a meteor or UFO!

Carmel Ives, the vice-chairperson of the Astronomical Society of SA (Assa), confirmed that the debris was from a Russian SL-4 rocket’s upper stage.

According to Ives, she could tell it was space junk because of the speed at which it moved.

“It is space junk rather than a meteor as it is moving slowly, at 20,000 to 30,000km/h, and breaks up into several pieces. Meteors travel at 70,000 to 80,000km/h and appear as a single streak.”

Read more at: JacarandaFM

Russia Will Work Aboard International Space Station Till 2024: Roscosmos Chief Rogozin

Russia will continue to cooperate aboard the International Space Station (ISS) till 2024, confirmed the country’s space agency Roscosmos’ chief Dmitry Rogozin. This statement comes a month after Rogozin had announced that Russia will no longer cooperate with international partners in managing the ISS in retaliation to the Western sanctions over its Ukraine invasion.

In an interview with Rossiya 24 television, Rogozin said that the space station will work “exactly as long as” Russia wants it to although he underscored that the orbital outpost is operating far beyond its lifespan. “We have a government decision that we are working until 2024”, the Roscosmos Director-General had said. 

Read more at: Republic world

A Micrometeoroid Hit NASA’s Giant Webb Telescope, But It Took It Like A Champ

When you’re a new parent, every little bump and bruise concerning your child is distressing, headline-worthy news. To that end, it is my duty to inform you that the James Webb Space Telescope had a tiny scrape, but I promise it’s absolutely fine.

On Wednesday, NASA revealed that the five-month-old telescope got a small boo-boo between May 23 and 25, after a micrometeoroid — a common piece of tiny space debris, most weighing less than a gram — impacted one of its primary mirror segments. The James Webb Telescope’s primary mirror is composed of 18 gold-plated hexagonal panels, which together measure over 21 feet in diameter.

Read more at: AOL


Coronal Dimmings Shine Light on Stellar CMEs

You could be forgiven for missing what comes after a coronal mass ejection (CME). Colossal outbursts of plasma hurtling into space at hundreds to thousands of kilometers per second, CMEs are a spectacle. Scientists have observed many CMEs from our Sun since the 1970s.

But researchers are now turning their gaze away from a CME’s jettison to what’s been lost. After a CME, extreme ultraviolet light in the corona dims noticeably at the ejection site. Finding darkened spots could hold a key to observing elusive stellar CMEs.

Read more at: EOS

Solar Storm Four Times the Size of Earth Detected by Amateur Photographer

A solar storm emerging away from the Sun where “four entire Earths” could fit in was recorded by an amateur photographer and American educational YouTuber named Chuck Ayoub, who posted about the strange space event of such magnitude on social media recently.

Solar storms consist of a variety of solar activities like solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

Read more at: Natureworld news

Planetary Defense Exercise Uses Apophis as Hazardous Asteroid Stand-In

We know that asteroids have struck the Earth in the past with devastating consequences, such as the asteroid 66 million years ago that wiped out the dinosaur. In fact, new research found that early Earth may have had 10 times as many huge impactors as previously thought. Recently, the asteroid Apophis quickly gained notoriety as an asteroid that could pose a serious threat to Earth in 2029. Fortunately, new data ruled out an impact at that time, and further data has shown that Earth is safe from Apophis for at least the next 100 years.

Read more at: scitechdaily

CIRCE Space Weather Suite Announced For First UK Satellite Launch

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (Dstl) miniaturised space weather instrumentation suite will be one of the payloads aboard Virgin Orbit which is targeting the first UK satellite launch this summer from Spaceport Cornwall in Newquay. Virgin Orbit’s Launcher One rocket takes off horizontally, carried aloft by a modified Boeing 747 jet, named Cosmic Girl.

The Coordinated Ionospheric Reconstruction Cubesat Experiment (CIRCE) satellite mission comprises two 6U cube-satellites that will be launched into a near-polar low Earth orbit in a string-of-pearls configuration (targeting 555 kilometres altitude). Each 6U satellite bus measures 10cm by 20cm by 30cm (the size of a cereal box), and will fly almost identical instrument capability on both satellites. Dstl is partnering with the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on the joint mission.

Read more at: Gov UK

Asteroid The Size Of 3 Blue Whales Zooms Past Earth Safely

An asteroid the size of three blue whales just zoomed past Earth, but don’t worry, Earthlings were not at risk from this space rock.

The asteroid missed the planet by more than 2.2 million miles (3.5 million kilometers), about 10 times the moon-Earth distance, at its closest approach, which occurred Monday morning (June 6). The asteroid, known as 2021 GT2, is between 121 and 272 feet (37 to 83 meters) wide, which means it could wipe out a city, if it were to hit Earth. Fortunately, space is big, and the absolute majority of these rocks miss us. 

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NASA Is Assembling A Team To Gather Data On Unidentifiable Events In The Sky

NASA is putting a team together to study unidentified aerial phenomena, popularly known as UFOs, the US space agency said Thursday. The team will gather data on “events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena — from a scientific perspective,” the agency said. NASA said it was interested in UAPs from a security and safety perspective. There was no evidence UAPs are extraterrestrial in origin, NASA added. The study will begin this fall and is expected to take nine months.

Read more at: CNN


Autonomous In-orbital Services Crucial for Space Sustainability

Space debris constitutes a danger to satellites, launchers, space stations and humans on board. The collisions caused by it can destroy orbiting satellites, causing huge losses to satellite operators. Maneuvering to avoid these collisions is also expensive as it consumes fuel and may disrupt services. Due to the Kessler effect, the growth in the number of debris in orbit is exponential, unless action is taken.

This is the problem that NeuraSpace, a Portuguese startup based in the university city of Coimbra wants to solve.

Read more at: geospatial world

Cargo Dragon Mission Postponed To Investigate Potential Propellant Leak

NASA and SpaceX have postponed the launch of a cargo Dragon mission to the International Space Station after discovering a potential propellant leak in the spacecraft’s thrusters.

In a statement late June 6, NASA said the launch of the CRS-25 mission, which had been scheduled for June 10, would be postponed after detecting “elevated vapor readings” of monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) in a portion of the spacecraft’s Draco thruster system. The cause of the elevated reading is under investigation.

Read more at: Spacenews

In-Space Carbon Fiber 3D Printing Tech on the Horizon for Anisoprint and Nanoracks

A new deal between carbon fiber 3D printing startup Anisoprint and Nanoracks––the company behind the world’s first free-flying commercial space station set to open in 2027––could help draft the first roadmap for deploying 3D printing in space. According to the memorandum of understanding (MoU), Anisoprint, together with Nanoracks’ Space Outpost Europe program, will aim to develop a zero-gravity composite manufacturing system.

Read more at: 3dprint

The Privately Funded Killer-Asteroid Spotter Is Here

Gigantic asteroids have smashed into the Earth before—RIP dinosaurs—and if we’re not watching out for all those errant space rocks, they could crash into our world again, with devastating consequences. That’s why Ed Lu and Danica Remy of the Asteroid Institute started a new project to track as many of them as possible.

Lu, a former NASA astronaut and executive director of the institute, led a team that developed a novel algorithm called THOR, which harnesses massive computing power to compare points of light seen in different images of the night sky, then matches them to piece together an individual asteroid’s path through the solar system. They’ve already discovered 104 asteroids with the system, according to an announcement they released on Tuesday.

Read more at: Arstechnica

SCOUT and LEOcloud Collaborate to Deliver the Next Generation of Space Domain Awareness Services

SCOUT Inc., a company developing next-generation space safety of flight and autonomous proximity operations services, and LEOcloud Inc., a company offering a scalable space-based, multi-cloud Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) announced today they have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to work jointly to enhance space operations safety.

The collaboration is focused on integrating SCOUT’s Space Domain Awareness (SDA) product with LEOcloud’s Space Edge IaaS offering. The agreement involves an early demonstration of SCOUT’s solutions operating on LEOcloud’s IaaS.

Read more at: Parabolic arc

Airbus Sending 3D Printer To Space Station Next Year To Pave Way For Off-Earth Factories

European aerospace company Airbus will send a metal-crafting 3D printer to the International Space Station next year as a first step in its plans to set up an orbital satellite factory. The printer, called Metal3D, can work with metals that melt at temperatures of up to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,200 degrees Celsius). It will be the first metal 3D printer on the space station, Airbus said in a statement (opens in new tab), and will enable astronauts to print parts such as radiation shields and various tools. (American company Made In Space, now a subsidiary of Redwire, has sent several 3D printers to the space station, but none of them can print metal.)

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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Makes 5th Space Tourism Flight

The fifth human commercial flight of Jeff Bezos’ space tourism company, Blue Origin, made a successful launch on Saturday in the West Texas desert.

The action started at 9:25 a.m. EDT (1325 GMT), when Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle lifted off from Launch Site One, the company’s facility in West Texas, according to

The New Shepard spacecraft, named after the eldest daughter of pioneering astronaut Alan Shepard, blasted off from Blue Origin’s US headquarters located near Van Horn.

Blue Origin sent six people, including engineer Katya Echazarreta, who at 26 became the youngest American woman in space and she also became the first Mexican-born woman to go into space.

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Starbase Orbital Duo Preps For Static Fire Campaign – KSC Starship Progress

SpaceX’s Starbase is heading into its latest phase of milestones for Starship, with the high likelihood the FAA is close to approving a critical checkpoint for its rapidly reusable launch vehicle, paving the way for the orbital launch attempt of Booster 7 with Ship 24.

Both the Booster and the Ship are progressing towards Static Fire attempts this month, with Ship 24 passing cryogenic proof testing before heading back to the Production Site for its Raptors, and Booster 7 set to return to the launch site with all 33 of its Raptor 2s.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

Astronauts Face Mental And Emotional Challenges For Deep Space Travel. Scientists Are Working On Solutions

Astronauts have been venturing into space for 61 years to unlock the human potential for exploration.

But the floating freedom offered by a lack of gravity also presents a number of limits when it comes to the human body and mind.

Short trips to space from the early Mercury and Apollo missions have turned into stays of six months or longer aboard the International Space Station. The floating laboratory has served as an ideal backdrop for scientists trying to understand what truly happens to every aspect of the human body in the space environment — radiation, lack of gravity and all.

Read more at: ABC17 news

Mars Helicopter Needs Patch To Fly Again After Sensor Failure

The Mars Ingenuity helicopter is in need of a patch to work around a failed sensor before another flight can be attempted.

The helicopter’s inclinometer failed during a recommissioning effort ahead of the 29th flight. The sensor is critical as it will reposition the craft nearer to the Perseverance rover for communication purposes.

Although not required during flight, the inclinometer (which consists of two accelerometers) is used to measure gravity prior to spin-up and takeoff. “The direction of the sensed gravity is used to determine how Ingenuity is oriented relative to the downward direction,” said Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief pilot.

Read more at: Register

ESA Unveils New Mission ‘Comet Interceptor’ To Scrutinise Inner Solar System’s Space Rocks

The European Space Agency (ESA), on June 8, unveiled its new mission named ‘Comet Interceptor,’ which would scrutinise a comet that once lingered in inner solar system or is new to it. This mission was proposed in July 2018 and has now been adopted after the completion of its study phase. ESA revealed that it will soon begin the development of the mission after selecting a prime contractor for a spacecraft.

Read more at: Republic world

British $2.5 Billion Research Push Targets Space Sensors, Hypersonic Tech

Britain’s Ministry of Defence has identified a series of key future technologies in which it plans to invest $2.5 billion over the next four years, officials announced on June 7.

The program, called the Science & Technology Portfolio, will aim to underpin development of essential future military capabilities beyond the next generation, the MoD said in a statement. Efforts include the development of a hypersonic weapon demonstrator, new space capabilities, expanded research into artificial intelligence, advanced materials and nuclear submarine systems.

Read more at: Defense news

NASA Successfully Demonstrates rHEALTH’s Powerful Biomedical Analyzer Onboard Space Station in a First for Space Medicine

rHEALTH today announced that, in partnership with NASA, that its rHEALTH ONE universal biomedical analyzer was successfully demonstrated on-orbit at the International Space Station. Samantha Cristoforetti, the ESA astronaut part of the SpaceX Crew-4 astronaut team, demonstrated first in space operation of the sophisticated biomedical analyzer. She performed experiments across two sessions involving microliter drops of NASA-prepared control samples on May 13, 2022 between 09:00 and 17:00 GMT and again on May 16, 2022 between 10:45 and 18:30 GMT.

Read more at: PRweb

Long March 5B Falls Into Indian Ocean After World Follows Rocket Reentry

Debris from a large Chinese rocket stage fell into the Indian Ocean late May 8 Eastern as people around the world watched for signs of the fiery reentry event in the skies.

Remnants from the roughly 30-meter-long, five-meter-wide empty core stage of the Long March 5B fell into the Indian Ocean  at 10:24 p.m. Eastern close to longitude 72.47 degrees east and latitude 2.65 degrees north, China’s human spaceflight agency, CMSEO, announced.

Data from the U.S. Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron space tracking later confirmed reentry occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. Eastern over the Arabian Peninsula, adding that “It is unknown if the debris impacted land or water.

Read more at: Spacenews


US Joins the Space for Climate Observatory 

The United States joined the Space for Climate Observatory (SCO), this week an initiative for international coordination on climate change monitoring. Dr. Richard Spinrad, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) administrator, signed the charter as the lead agency for the United States.

The Space for Climate Observatory began in 2019 under the leadership of French space agency CNES to combine satellite data with scientific research to model and track climate change and its impacts at global-to-local scales. It has 38 members and is preparing to release its new international charter at the end of the month.

Read more at: Satellite today

Russia Says It Will Operate A German Telescope Against Germany’s Wishes

The Russian-German Spektrum-Röntgen-Gamma space observatory was put into safe mode following Germany’s decision to halt collaboration with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

Now, Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, says it will turn the telescope back on against Germany’s wishes, a report from Deutsche Welle (DW) reveals.

Read more at: interesting engineering

French Regulator Arcep Approves SpaceX Starlink For A Second Time

SpaceX is once again allowed to offer its Starlink satellite internet service in France after a court revoked the company’s license in April. On June 2 France’s radio frequency regulator Arcep awarded a 10-year license to SpaceX following a month-long consultation period ordered by the country’s administrative court. Along with the 10-year license, SpaceX was also granted approval for a new ground station in the country, following two unsuccessful attempts due to concerns from local communities, according to Telecompaper.

Read more at: driveteslacanada

House Lawmakers Urge Spy Satellite Agency To Beef Up Commercial SAR Acquisition

The House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee is calling on the National Reconnaissance Office to both expand and accelerate its current pilot program to acquire imagery from commercial operators of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sats.

The provision in the subcommittee’s markup of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, released today, comes in the wake of the heavy use of commercial SAR data by the NRO in the Ukraine war — both to publicize Russia’s military actions on the ground and to allow sharing of imagery for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) purposes with allies, including Kiev.

Read more at: Breaking defense


Space Force Urged To Use Single Company For Managing National Security Launch Integration

As the U.S. Space Force plans for a growing number of national security launches in coming years, House lawmakers want the service to choose a single company to manage launch integration.

In its version of the fiscal 2023 defense policy bill, the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee commended the Space Force for increasing competition within the national security space launch enterprise. Still, it wants the service to consider selecting a company to serve as a common launch integrator that manages the missions.

Read more at: c4isrnet

Beijing-Backed Baddies Target Unpatched Networking Kit To Attack Telcos

State-sponsored Chinese attackers are actively exploiting old vulnerabilities to “establish a broad network of compromised infrastructure” then using it to attack telcos and network services providers.

So say the United States National Security Agency (NSA), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which took the unusual step of issuing a joint advisory that warns allied governments, critical infrastructure operators, and private industry organizations to hurry up and fix their IT estates.

Read more at: Register

Study: Combine Missile Warning, Tracking Constellations Into One Multi-Orbit System

Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has made missile warning and tracking a priority of his tenure, and agencies across the Pentagon are working on a number of efforts to handle that mission from space. But instead of relying on a less coordinated approach, one that forces programs to compete for funds, the Defense Department—and particularly the Space Force—would be better served by integrating their efforts into one multi-orbit system, a new study from AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies recommends.

Read more at: Airforcemag

Inmarsat Satellite Tests Signal For Replacing Lost UK Navigation Capability

Inmarsat said June 8 it has started beaming a test navigation signal from an aging satellite to help the United Kingdom replace space-based capabilities it lost following Brexit.

The British satellite operator is leading a group of local companies that are developing an alternative to the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which Europe uses to augment and improve GPS services in the region.

The U.K. lost access to EGNOS satellites and ground stations last summer as a result of the country’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

Read more at: Spacenews

Commercial Providers Of Satellite Services Face A Trust Gap With Military Buyers

Despite growing enthusiasm for new space internet services, some military buyers remain distrustful of commercial solutions as a replacement for government-developed systems, a senior procurement official said June 2.

“We see the LEO mania, and the new capability available … but customers have a bit of a trust issue,” Clare Grason, chief of the Space Force’s Commercial Satellite Communications Office, said during an online event hosted by the Aerospace Corp. 

Services provided by commercial satellites from low Earth orbit are one item on a growing menu of options offered by LEO, medium orbit and geostationary Earth orbit satellite operators to fill military communications needs.

Read more at: Spacenews


Satellite Communications In Reducing Emissions In Aviation And Maritime

Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri addressed delegates at the Royal Aeronautical Engineering Conference: Towards a Space Enabled Net Zero Earth, on the role of satellite communications in reducing green house emissions and why the rise of mega low earth orbit constellations have the potential to threaten long-term sustainability, both environmental and economic, for the world.

Read more at: Inmarsat

Three Taikonauts Head For China’s Tiangong Space Station

Two veteran Chinese taikonauts and a rookie blasted off atop a Long March 2F rocket Saturday evening U.S. time, streaking into orbit and setting off after China’s Tiangong “Palace in the Sky” space station for a planned six-month stay.

The launching marked the third piloted flight to the Chinese outpost and the first in a series of crew rotations intended to establish a permanent Chinese presence in low-Earth orbit.

Read more at: Yahoo news

Russian Cosmonaut Who Set Space Endurance Record Dies

Veteran Russian cosmonaut Valery Ryumin, who set space endurance records on Soviet missions, then returned to orbit after a long absence to fly on a U.S. space shuttle, has died at the age of 82.

Ryumin went into space four times, including to the space stations Salyut-7 and Mir after becoming a cosmonaut in 1973. He logged a total of 371 days in space in two short missions and two record-setting long-duration flights.

Read more at: ABCnews

SpaceX Starlink IPO Won’t Happen Until At Least 2025: Elon Musk

If you are waiting for the SpaceX Starlink IPO (initial public offering), you are going to have to wait at least another three or four years.

That was the timeline provided by CEO Elon Musk to employees at an all-hands meeting last week. However, it could be even longer as Musk prefaced the estimate by saying he wasn’t sure exactly when it would take place and that three to four years was just a guess.

Read more at: driveteslacanada

NASA Rolls SLS Moon Rocket Back Out To Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad

NASA’s Space Launch System moon rocket reached the launching pad at Kenndy Space Center in Florida Monday morning after its slow-rolling 4.2-mile hike.

The trip to the historic 39B launch pad, which finished up around 8:20 a.m. EDT, will allow the rocket to be loaded with super-cold propellants as it prepares for launch around the moon later this summer.

The crew will conduct what is called a “wet dress rehearsal,” where the launch team will go through operations to load propellant into the rocket’s tanks, conduct a full launch countdown, demonstrate the ability to recycle the countdown clock and also drain the tanks to give them an opportunity to practice the timelines and procedures they will use for launch, according to NASA.

Read more at: Spacedaily

NASA To Launch Three Rockets From Private Spaceport In Australia

NASA has taken a trip down under. The space agency announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with the privately owned spaceport Equatorial Launch Australia to launch three suborbital sounding rockets in June and July from the company’s spaceport in the Outback. NASA will use these rockets to conduct astrophysics experiments from a different perspective.

Read more at: Washington examiner