Chinese Military Says It’s Figured Out How to Build Laser Weapons That Can Fire Indefinitely

The Chinese military has announced what could be a major breakthrough in energy weapon tech — if it holds up.

As the South China Morning Post reports, representatives from the country’s National University of Defence Technology say they’ve developed a state-of-the-art cooling system that would allow high-energy lasers to remain powered up “infinitely” without getting too hot.

While laser technology has existed for decades, these high-energy beams generate so much excess heat that they often go haywire, hampering previous attempts at similar weapon systems around the world.

Read more at: Futurism

US Space Force Creates 1st Unit Dedicated To Targeting Adversary Satellites

The United States Space Force has activated its first and only unit dedicated to targeting other nations’ satellites and the ground stations that support them.

The 75th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Squadron (ISRS) was activated on Aug. 11 at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado. This unit is part of Space Delta 7, an element of the U.S. Space Force tasked with providing intelligence on adversary space capabilities. It’ll do things like analyze the capabilities of potential targets, locate and track these targets as well as participate in “target engagement,” which presumably refers to destroying or disrupting adversary satellites, the ground stations that support them and transmissions sent between the two.

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Russia’s Luna 25 Spacecraft has Crashed into the Moon

Russian space officials have confirmed the loss of the Luna 25 spacecraft on the Telegram social media network. The failure occurred during a burn of the vehicle’s propulsion system to move the spacecraft into a “pre-landing” orbit on Saturday morning. However, due to an unspecified problem, the propulsion system instead sent the vehicle crashing into the lunar surface.

This is a stunning loss for the Russian space program given that it is the country’s first attempt to return to the Moon since a 1976 robotic mission by the Soviet Union. Roscosmos, the Russian space corporation, said that an “interdepartmental commission” will be formed to study the mishap.

Read more at: Arstechnica


Could Puncturing A Satellite’s Battery Help It Deorbit Faster?

A few years ago, there was a panic about lithium-ion batteries that exploded and could do things like take down a jetliner. On a recent trip, an airline asked passengers to turn in any devices with batteries that had been banned because of safety concerns. These are indicators of a widely understood downside of lithium-ion batteries, ubiquitous in cell phones, laptops, and other electronic hardware – they can easily catch fire very spectacularly. However, a team at the Aerospace Company is working on an idea to turn this potentially catastrophic event into an asset – by using it to deorbit defunct satellites.

Read more at: universe today

Asteroid, As Big As Boeing 777, Is Hurtling Towards Earth; NASA Shares The Details

Asteroids will always be a matter of concern for the Earth. Therefore, their detection and monitoring is necessary. One meteor named the Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals region of Russia on February 15, 2013. It injured 1,500 people with flying glass from broken windows. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), a branch of NASA, monitors the skies and keeps a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). The organization has recently issued a warning against an asteroid designated as Asteroid 2023 PM1. It is just one of the millions of asteroids that have been discovered to date. NASA keeps an eye on the asteroids with the help of advanced ground and space-based telescopes and satellites.

Read more at: Hindustan times

Solar Storm Prediction! X-Class Solar Flares Likely Today, May Spark Blackouts

A new sunspot has entered the Earth-facing side of the Sun, and it appears to be crackling with solar flares. Luckily, so far it has not exploded, but it cannot be said just how long it will stay the same way. And perhaps that’s why today’s solar storm forecast has included a chance of an X-class solar flare eruption as well as the possibility of radio blackouts due to solar winds passing. It remains to be seen whether any eruptions today can release a coronal mass ejection (CME) towards the Earth and cause a further solar storm threat.

Read more at: MSN

A Once-In-Century Solar Storm Could Fry Power Grids And Knock Out Satellites. Here’s Why Scientists Worry It Could Happen Soon.

The sun is always fizzing and popping and this constantly sends solar energy toward the Earth. But sometimes it’s more serious.

On an average day, its vast solar energy is deflected without causing much damage. But every so often, the sun sends a storm so powerful it can tear open the Earth’s magnetic fields.

If such a storm hit tomorrow, it would cause technological chaos that could “cripple economies and endanger the safety and livelihoods of people worldwide,” per NASA.

Read more at: business insider


Telesat’s Lightspeed is Now Fully Funded, MDA to Build Constellation

It is all systems go for Canadian operator Telesat and its Lightspeed LEO satellite constellation. In a surprise announcement on Friday, the company confirmed that the long-awaited constellation is now fully funded and that it has contracted to MDA to build the 198 satellites needed for the system. Lightspeed satellite launches are now scheduled to commence in mid-2026 and polar and global services scheduled to begin in late 2027.

Read more at: satellite today

BlackSky Buys Five Electron Launches

BlackSky, one of Rocket Lab’s biggest launch customers, has bought an additional five Electron launches for its next-generation imaging satellites.

The companies announced Aug. 8 that BlackSky will purchase five Electron launches for missions starting in 2024 carrying its Gen-3 imaging satellites. Those launches will take place from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The companies did not disclose the value of the deal, although Rocket Lab has reported an average Electron launch price of $7.5 million.

Read more at: spacenews

Rocket Lab Sees Virgin Orbit Facility As “Scaling Enabler” For Neutron

Rocket Lab says a Virgin Orbit facility it acquired at a bankruptcy auction in May will allow the company to scale up production of its Neutron rocket in development.

Rocket Lab placed a winning bid of $16.1 million for Virgin Orbit’s main production facility in Long Beach, California, just a few blocks from its own headquarters and factory in the city. The bid included the machinery and equipment in that facility.

In an Aug. 8 earnings call, Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab, described the deal as a cost-effective way to acquire the capability to scale up production of Neutron once that larger vehicle enters operations.

Read more at: spacenews

For The Spaceport Company, the Water is Calling

When Tom Marotta founded The Spaceport Company last year, he knew he was entering a domain usually reserved for governments or large corporations.

“I said I think I want to go build a spaceport,” Marotta told Payload. “Which is a weird thing to say, right? “It’s like saying I want to go build a railroad or I’m gonna go build a bridge. Startups don’t build infrastructure.”

But Marotta’s career has always lived at the intersection of infrastructure, government, and space.

Read more at: payloadspace

Space Mining Company Developing Nuclear Reactor And More For Moon Projects

Our small steps back to the moon today could build a rich new industry.There’s lots of buzz about mining the moon. Satellites have spotted water at the lunar south pole. There could also be minerals lying underneath. Moreover, NASA is leading an international Artemis Accords plan to send excursion missions to the surface in the next decade, both crewed and robotic.Already planning is in store for the next wave of missions in the 2030s or so: Those that attempt to use the resources on site to build permanent settlements. Just-retired NASA astronaut Drew Feustel is part of one of those companies.

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SkyWatch To Offer Integrated Radar-Optical Satellite Imagery

SkyWatch, a satellite data distributor based in Ontario, Canada, announced a new imagery product that combines radar and optical images.

SkyWatch operates a platform called EarthCache that gives its customers access to commercial satellite data. The company said there is now a growing demand for integrated images that combine visually appealing pictures from optical satellites with data from synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites that can see at night and through clouds.

Read more at: spacenews


Russia’s Moon Craft Starts Processing First Data – Space Agency

Russia on Sunday switched on the scientific instruments aboard its lunar lander and scientists began processing its first data as the space craft sped towards the moon in a bid to be first to find ice on the Earth’s only natural satellite.

The Russian Luna-25 mission, the first since 1976, is racing against India, which launched its Chandrayaan-3 lunar lander last month, to complete a soft landing on the moon’s south pole where scientists believe there are pockets of water ice.

Read more at: reuters

Life On Mars Seems Very Likely After Recent Curiosity Rover Discovery

The mystery of life’s origins on Earth has long puzzled scientists, but a recent discovery on Mars might be shedding new light on this profound question, while also inching closer to finding life on Mars.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has uncovered a patchwork of well-preserved ancient mud cracks, forming a distinctive hexagonal pattern, signaling the presence of wet-dry cycles on early Mars. These cycles could be key to the assembly of complex chemical building blocks necessary for microbial life.

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Russia’s Luna-25 Spacecraft Suffers Technical Glitch, Space Agency Says

Russia reported an “abnormal situation” Saturday on its moon-bound Luna-25 spacecraft, which launched earlier this month.

The country’s space agency, Roscosmos, said the spacecraft ran into unspecified trouble while trying to enter a pre-landing orbit, and that its specialists were analyzing the situation.

“During the operation, an abnormal situation occurred on board the automatic station, which did not allow the maneuver to be performed with the specified parameters,” Roscosmos said in a Telegram post.

Read more at: reuters

ESA Chief Sees Ariane 6 Debut Launch Delayed To Next Year

The first launch of Europe’s new Ariane 6 rocket has slipped into 2024 after an incomplete recent ground test, the head of the European Space Agency suggested in remarks to Reuters.

ESA and manufacturer ArianeGroup, owned by Airbus AIR.PA and Safran SAF.PA, have been carrying out ground tests at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana and in Germany for the new launcher, which is needed to fill a gap in space access after the retirement of Ariane 5 and recent failure of the smaller Vega C launcher.

Read more at: reuters

NASA Tests the First Rocket to Launch From the Surface of Another Planet

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been diligently collecting rocky samples from Mars to stow them away on the planet’s dusty surface while engineers work to develop a rocket that can launch off of another world as a crucial step in the process of retrieving the samples. The team behind the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) recently tested its first and second stage solid rocket motors in a vacuum chamber that simulated the cold temperatures on the Red Planet, according to NASA.

Read more at: Gizmodo


India Embraces America’s Vision For Outer Space

Ties between India and the U.S., boosted in recent years by common geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific, have blossomed in outer space.

In June, India became the 27th nation to sign the Artemis Accords, an American-led set of principles for the 21st century aimed at peaceful exploration of and cooperation in space. While India’s accession is certainly cause for celebration, long-term space policy alignment is not guaranteed by signing nonbinding principles. In addition to further expansion, the U.S. should use the accords as an intergovernmental forum and a tool of public diplomacy, moving from signatures to long-term engagement, as we get closer to once again sending humans beyond low-Earth orbit.

Read more at: Hill

NASA Must De-Orbit The Space Station And Say ‘Dasvidaniya’ To Russia

Russia’s Vladimir Putin has demonstrated that he wants to wage a perpetual ideological, economic and physical war against the West. It is time for Congress to step in and sever U.S.-Russian space station cooperation, even if it means sending our beloved orbiting outpost crashing into the Pacific Ocean.

No one likes this option. But no one likes war, either.

We cannot continue to collaborate in space exploration with Putin’s regime. Continued space partnering with Russia is an obvious threat to U.S. national security and the security of our allies.

Read more at: Hill

SpaceX Files its Starship Mishap Report to the FAA

SpaceX has filed a final mishap investigation report to the FAA for its April 20 Starship integrated flight test, the FAA told Payload on Tuesday.

Submitting the report is an important regulatory step toward SpaceX launching Starship on its second orbital test flight, a milestone that will require sign-off from the FAA.

“When a final mishap report is approved, it will identify the corrective actions SpaceX must make. Separately, SpaceX must modify its license to incorporate those actions before receiving authorization to launch again,” the FAA said in a statement.

Read more at: payloadspace

Why Are Major Powers Interested in the Moon?

Russia recently launched its first moon-landing spacecraft in 47 years. The launch comes during a time of competition by major powers including the United States, China and India to discover more about the resources held on the moon.

Russia said that it would launch further moon missions and then explore the possibility of a joint Russian-China crewed mission and even a moon base. NASA has spoken about the possibility of moon mining and a “gold rush” – a situation in which many people go quickly to a place where something valuable has been discovered.

Read more at: voanews

Poland Signs Agreement To Fly Astronaut On Axiom Space ISS Mission

Poland has become the second European Space Agency member state to reach an agreement to fly an astronaut on a private mission to the International Space Station.

Axiom Space said Aug. 9 it signed an agreement with Poland, in cooperation with ESA, to fly an astronaut from that nation on a future mission to the ISS. The announcement did not disclose the identity of the astronaut or when that person would go to the station.

Read more at: spacenews


U.S. Military And Allies Get A Feel For The Value Of Commercial Satellite Imagery

U.S. Space Force imagery specialists during a recent military exercise in South America helped locate illegal fishing boats and track other activities using commercial sensor satellites.

The exercise showed how unclassified data from commercial satellites can be leveraged for maritime security and other military applications, 1st Lt. McKenna Medina, head of the Space Systems Command’s surveillance, reconnaissance and tracking team, said in a news release Aug. 10.

Read more at: spacenews

NRO Seeks Collaboration With Industry And Academia

The National Reconnaissance Office is eager to work with partners who are developing advanced technology for satellites and ground systems.

“We’re eager to collaborate with industry and academia in advancing these capabilities and expanding our future architecture,” U.S. Space Force Col. Matt Allen, NRO Advanced Systems and Technology (AS&T) deputy director, said Aug. 8 at the Small Satellite Conference here.

Read more at: spacenews

The Space Force Is Launching Its Own Swarm of Tiny Satellites

Four years after it was formed, the US Space Force has begun deploying its first satellite network. For the military, it marks a significant shift from relying on a handful of powerful, expensive satellites to a swarm of smaller, cheaper ones. From the Pentagon’s perspective, they’ll be a harder target for rivals to strike; a missile or a laser attack might take out an individual satellite, but would do little to weaken a whole swarm.

“Historically, the Department of Defense has been investing in billion-dollar Battlestar Galacticas that are big juicy targets,” says Derek Tournear, director of the Space Force’s Space Development Agency. “We wanted to go to an architecture that gave us resilience against threats and that we could upgrade rapidly every two years.”

Read more at: Wired

Space Force Pitch To Private Sector: ‘Help Us With Space Protection’

The U.S. Space Force is tasked with keeping a watchful eye on foreign rivals’ activities in outer space, and avoiding surprise attacks. To accomplish these tasks the service can’t rely on existing technologies alone, and is turning to the private sector to fill critical gaps, officials said Aug. 12 during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies podcast.

Companies that can contribute innovations in threat identification, space awareness, on-orbit mobility and other areas related to space protection are urged to participate in the next Hyperspace Challenge scheduled for this fall, said Matt Fetrow, director of strategic communication for the Space Rapid Capabilities Office.

Read more at: spacenews

Space Force Extends Wallaroo’s Contract For On-Orbit AI Applications

Artificial intelligence startup Wallaroo Labs won a $1.5 million contract from the U.S. Space Force to continue the development of machine learning models for edge computers in orbit.

The New York-based company, known as, is partnered with New Mexico State University for the Small Business Technology Transfer Phase 2 contract, announced Aug. 15. The team last year won a Phase 1 award. created a software platform that helps businesses assess the performance of AI applications when deployed on edge computers.

Read more at: spacenews

Hackers Figured Out 3 Separate Ways To Break Into US Air Force Satellites, And Won Up To $50K For Doing It

Hackers managed to break into a US Air Force satellite in orbit, and took home prizes of up to $50,000 for exposing the vulnerabilities. Italian team mHACKeroni were the winners of the US Space Force annual “Hack-A-Sat” competition, which took place at the hacker international conference DEF CON in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday. The event is designed to figure out gaps in US cyber defenses before they can be exploited by rival states like Russia and China.

Read more at: business insider

DARPA To Study Integrated Lunar Infrastructure

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is kicking off a study to develop an “analytical framework” to guide development of integrated lunar infrastructure over the next decade.

DARPA announced the 10-Year Lunar Architecture, or LunA-10, project Aug. 15, seeking ideas from both potential developers or lunar power, communications, navigation and other infrastructure as well as users of such capabilities. The agency plans to select a group that will then work together on “new integrated system-level solutions that span multiple services” and be commercially available by 2035, it said in a release.

Read more at: spacenews


A Fusion Rocket Designed To Travel 500,000 Mph Is Under Construction

A British aerospace startup is working on a fusion rocket it says will slash the amount of time it takes astronauts to travel to Mars and beyond — allowing humans to explore places that are currently far out of reach. The challenge: Long-term exposure to microgravity and cosmic radiation can cause serious health issues for astronauts. That means NASA needs to keep its future Mars missions short enough that astronauts come home healthy — less than four years should work.

Read more at: bigthink

The Space Industry Is Starting A Green Revolution

Rocket launches are nothing short of spectacular. Whether we grew up in the Apollo era, the space shuttle era or the private space era, most of us can easily bring to mind a rocket launch with the roar of its engines, jets of fire and trails of smoke. That image is burned into the consciousness of nearly everyone on planet Earth with access to TV or internet.

But, until recently, few people considered that those spectacular launches might be leaving an awful lot of pollution in its wake. As it turns out, the space travel industry, with its several dozen launches per year, is responsible for the same amount of carbon emissions as the global aviation industry.

Read more at: techcrunch

NASA Working To Get Private Space Stations Up And Running Before ISS Retires In 2030

With the International Space Station (ISS) scheduled to retire in 2030, NASA is placing a huge emphasis on a seamless shift to future private space stations in low-Earth orbit. Many details of that transition are still being worked out, agency officials say.

“The reason this is so important is because we do believe that the impact of a gap will be disruptive,” said ISS director, Robyn Gatens, during a panel discussion at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference earlier this month.

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New Horizons is So Far Away, it Can Measure the True Darkness of the Universe

Just how dark is the night sky?

If you step outside during a moonless night and look up, it probably doesn’t look that dark at all. Streetlights or nearby porch lights fill the air with a background glow, particularly if they happen to be bluish-white LEDs. Light pollution in your neighborhood is likely so bad that you can only see a few bright stars. Even in somewhat rural areas, our skies are so bright that the Milky Way isn’t really visible. In North America and Europe, only about a quarter of children have seen the Milky Way.

Read more at: universe today

Rare Photo Shows Inside Of Blue Origin’s New Glenn Factory

In an Instagram post, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin has granted us a rare glimpse into its Florida factory, showcasing the ongoing endeavors of the company. So, what insights does the photograph offer?

Normally enshrouded in mystery, Blue Origin’s New Glenn factory, situated near the Kennedy Space Center, boasts a comprehensive complex equipped for the production of the New Glenn rocket, with the exceptions of the BE-4 and BE-3U engines. While it’s been established that manufacturing activities have been ongoing for some time, including a test booster, a new photograph has been shared, sharing what Blue Origin is currently working on inside.

Read more at: spaceexplored

Indian Lunar Lander Splits From Propulsion Module In Key Step

India’s latest space mission completed a key step in the country’s second attempt at a lunar landing, with its Moon module separating from its propulsion section on Thursday.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) confirmed that the lander module of the Chandrayaan-3, which means “Mooncraft” in Sanskrit, had “successfully separated” from the propulsion module six days ahead of a planned landing slated for August 23.

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