Russian Cosmonauts Congratulate Earth On 63rd Anniversary Of Space Era

Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who are staying aboard the International Space Station (ISS), congratulated people of the Earth on the 63rd anniversary of Soviet Union’s Sputnik-1 launch, which marked the beginning of the humanity’s space era.

“Dear colleagues, friends and all people of planet Earth. Today, on the 63rd anniversary of the first artificial satellite’s launch, Russian crew members of the ISS Expedition 63 send their greetings to you,” Ivanishin said in a video address published on the official website of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

Read more at: TASS

It’s Time To Reckon With Space Junk

We’re well into our seventh decade of treating outer space like a dumpster. Sixty-three years ago, on Oct. 4, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite. Its rocket body was the first piece of orbital debris. Little did we know what had begun. Since then, the amount of space junk has increased astronomically, especially in low-Earth orbit (altitudes less than 1,000 km from Earth), due to its ease of access for satellite placement.

Read more at: Hill


New International Partnership Launches Western Into Space

As a child, Jayshri Sabarinathan looked to the heavens most nights from her family’s apartment terrace using her prized possession – a telescope – desperate to catch a glimpse of the infamous Halley’s comet zooming though the sky.

Fast forward 34 years and a new landmark partnership announced Wednesday by Institute for Earth and Space Exploration (Western Space) presents Sabarinathan with a chance of a lifetime – a rocket launch for her own out-of-this-world project.

During a virtual Zoom announcement, Western signed a game-changing memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the MILO Institute, a non-profit research collaboration led by Arizona State University supported by Lockheed Martin and its subsidiary GEOshare.

Read more at: UWO

A SPAC For Space Tugs Will Go Public In 2021

To make getting into space as cheap as possible, rocket builders try to pack in as many satellites as possible. But what if they’e not all going to the same orbit? Just like you might need to ride a bike from the metro station to get to your final destination, satellites sometimes need a “last mile” solution too.

The next venture-backed space start-up that does just that is going public through a special acquisition company, or SPAC—a publicly traded company that raises money to buy a private firm, often one perceived as too risky to go public through a traditional IPO or a direct listing.

Read more at: QZ

Space Tourism Is Getting Interesting (…And Weird)

For less than a century, humans have been sending objects, both organic or inorganic, into space. We have not yet managed to travel beyond our galaxy, but our descendants will possibly find a way to travel to distant galaxies in the future.

Though human exploration of space is in its infancy, how we nurture the infancy of space exploration will determine its maturity for future generations. We must consider the opportunities space exploration presents to us now and how we can use those opportunities to prepare for a better life for future generations.

Read more at: Forbes

Will Space Tourism Ever Be A Viable Business?

Ten years ago, I wrote a story about the space tourism “industry”, centered around Mojave, California, a bit more than an hour’s drive north of Los Angeles. Mojave and the area around it, particularly Edwards Air Force Base, have been a cradle of rocket-powered flight since Chuck Yeager and the X-1.

My space tourism story followed a very early morning in 2004. That day, I let my son play hooky from middle school. Instead, we drove to Mojave to see the launch of the first private manned space flight, SpaceShipOne.

Read more at: Forbes


The 2016 movie, Hidden Figures, highlighted IBM technologists who played a crucial role in NASA’s mission to put a man on the moon. Fifty years later, IBM is still actively working to open possibilities for the new space age. The IBM Blue Tech Innovation, Space Tech Hub team, led by Naeem Altaf, IBM’s Distinguished Engineer and CTO Space Tech, designs and builds framework and technical prototypes for cubesats and space situational awareness, at times with varying degrees of collaborations from space agencies, universities, and space technology companies.

Read more at: IBM

Satellite Industry Association Releases Space Traffic Management Recommendations & White Paper

The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) today announced the release of a number of recommendations addressing the issue of space traffic management, with the goal of supporting a long-term sustainable and safe space environment for commercial satellites and spacecraft. The recommendations were included in a SIA White Paper titled “The Future of Space and Space Traffic Coordination and Management (STCM)”. The White Paper shares SIA and its members’ views and recommendations regarding the creation of a modern STCM regime, capable of supporting long term space sustainability and continued innovation and U.S. space leadership.

Read more at: SIA

NASA, Space Industry Seek New Ways To Cope With Space Debris

NASA’s official watchdog panel has renewed calls for the agency to move faster on a plan to better track and mitigate dangers posed by orbiting debris in space.

Members of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel said during a regular meeting last week that the agency has made some progress, but it needs to focus on space debris as a top priority.

Read more at: upi

Startup Seeks To Automate Process Of Avoiding Satellite Collisions

A startup is using an initial round of funding to build up tools it believes will provide more accurate notifications of potential collisions for satellite operators.

Kayhan Space, based in Boulder, Colorado, announced Oct. 6 it closed a $600,000 “pre-seed” round, led by an Atlanta-based venture capital firm, Overline. Other participants in the round included Techstars and Dylan Taylor.

Read more at: Spacenews

Distant Space Debris a Threat to Satellites

The problem of space debris is complex and sobering. Since the launch of Sputnik 1 in early October 1957, the population of objects actively tracked and cataloged in Earth orbit has increased to more than 20,700 satellites and fragments, from debris in low-Earth orbit (LEO) to satellites in geosynchronous and geostationary (GEO) orbits 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) from the Earth.

But that’s only a small fraction of the estimated 1 million fragments out there that are larger than 1 centimeter in size. A new study out of the University of Warwick confirms that the GEO population in particular isn’t well understood — most of the objects identified in the study failed to match up with bodies in known space debris catalogs.

Read more at: Sky & Telescope

The Elusive Peril of Space Junk

For decades, the International Space Station has been hovering over Earth, in an orbit somewhere between two hundred and three hundred miles above sea level. Its massive rectilinear structure, resembling an Eisenhower-era TV antenna, contains hundreds of thousands of solar cells and a series of pressurized modules that can support life and equipment, all of it weighing close to a million pounds. Since 2000, people have been living on the station, in an area comparable to a six-bedroom house: humanity’s most expensive real estate.

Read more at: Newyorker

Mesmerizing Graph Shows Uncomfortably Close Encounters Between Space Junk

As the number of satellites and space junk in orbit continues to increase, so do the chances of these human-made objects colliding with one another, potentially creating more debris that could threaten other healthy spacecraft. Now, a new tool shows just how crowded Earth orbit is by tracking space objects through their close calls every couple of seconds.

Called the “Conjunction Streaming Service Demo,” the graph tool illustrates in real time the sheer number of space objects — out of an assortment of 1,500 items in low Earth orbit — that get uncomfortably close to one another in a period of 20 minutes.

Read more at: Verge

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