Astronauts On Spacewalk Deploy First Roll-Out Solar Array To Boost Power For Station

Two astronauts working outside the International Space Station successfully rolled out a new type of solar array, providing the orbiting outpost with its first power boost in decades.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency conducted a six-hour and 28-minute extravehicular activity (EVA) on Sunday (June 20), to finish the installation and deployment of the first International Space Station (ISS) Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA). The two Expedition 65 crewmates resumed work where they had left off on a spacewalk on Wednesday (June 16), by overcoming an interference issue that initially prevented them from unfolding the array fully.

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Sir Richard Branson Gains Licence For Commercial Spaceflights

Sir Richard Branson has received the licence he needs to fly paying customers to the edge of space in his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. The approval was granted on Friday by the US Federal Aviation Administration. It updates an existing licence that had permitted Sir Richard’s company to conduct test flights only. The UK entrepreneur has some 600 people waiting to take a ride to a height of 90km, to experience weightlessness and to see the curvature of the Earth. These are individuals who have all paid deposits. The would-be “astronauts” are largely made up of the super-wealthy, and include a smattering of movie and music stars.

Read more at: BBC

Astronauts Complete Solar Panel Work In 3rd Spacewalk

Astronauts finished unfurling a new pair of solar panels outside the International Space Station on Friday, making their third spacewalk in just over a week.

NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and France’s Thomas Pesquet successfully installed the second in a series of powerful solar wings that should keep the space station running the rest of this decade, as space tourism ramps up with visitors beginning in the fall.

Read more at: ABCnews


New Spacecraft Sustainability Rating Targets Space Junk

Spacecraft operators will be able to apply for sustainability rating beginning next year to prove their satellites don’t present unnecessary risk in the orbital environment and contribute to the problem of space junk.

The rating, designed to encourage sustainable behavior, will look at various aspects of the mission design, including the choice of orbit, measures to prevent collisions and de-orbiting plans. Companies will be able to gain bonus points for installing special features on their spacecraft that would make active removal easier at the end of the satellite’s lifetime, such as magnetic plates of handles.

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Space Balloon Hits 20 Miles During 1st Test Flight From Cape Canaveral

Central Florida space tourism company Space Perspective hit a milestone Friday in its goal to begin carrying passengers in a space balloon with launches from Cape Canaveral.

Its test vehicle Neptune One took off from the Space Coast Spaceport in Brevard County at 5:23 a.m. achieving an altitude of 108,409 feet, or more than 20.5 miles, while crossing the state from east to west and splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico during a 6 hour, 39 minute flight.

Read more at: Orlando sentinel

Small-Rocket Startup Blushift Announces 1st Signed Purchase Order

bluShift Aerospace just hit a major milestone with its first signed purchase order, which means the small company is starting to bring in customer revenues.

The Maine-based startup announced that a Virginia educational company called MaxIQ Space has agreed to purchase as many as 60 student payloads per launch, on a minimum of two suborbital launches per year — although the agreement also includes test launches and eventual orbital missions. Financial details were not disclosed.

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India To Allow Private Players To Build And Operate Rocket Launch Sites

India has decided to allow private companies to establish and operate rocket launch sites within and outside the country, subject to prior authorisation from the government. Similarly, any rocket launch (orbital or sub-orbital) from Indian or overseas territory can be carried out only with authorisation from Indian National Space Promotion & Authorization Center (IN-SPACe), an independent body constituted by the Government of India, under the Department of Space (DOS).

Read more at: Business standard

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