Spacesuit Gloves Contaminated During Historic All-Woman Spacewalk

The spacesuit gloves of a NASA astronaut were contaminated during the historic all-woman spacewalk on Friday (Oct. 18), but it’s probably just space grease.

This past Friday, NASA astronauts Christine Koch and Jessica Meir embarked on a spacewalk to replace one of the International Space Station’s battery charge-discharge units (BCDU) after it failed following a previous spacewalk on Oct. 11. The spacewalk was successful as the unit was replaced, with the astronauts also completing some “get ahead” or extra tasks. However, when the astronauts re-entered the station, there was a contaminant on one of Koch’s gloves. 

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Solar Array Issue Jeopardizes New Eutelsat Satellite

A Eutelsat Communications satellite launched two weeks ago is experiencing an issue with one of its two solar arrays, Eutelsat said Oct. 24. 

Eutelsat said it is still working to understand what impact the power problem may have on the Eutelsat 5 West B satellite, a Northrop Grumman-built spacecraft meant to replace the 17-year-old Eutelsat-5 West A satellite over Europe and Northern Africa. 

Eutelsat 5 West A, one of Eutelsat’s fleet of around 40 geostationary satellites, generated roughly 30 million euros ($33.3 million) in revenue last year, Eutelsat said. Its replacement, Eutelsat 5 West B is “fully insured against the eventuality of loss,” Eutelsat said. 

Read more at: Spacenews

45th Space Wing/Air Force Discuss Polar Launch Corridor From Florida

When it was quietly announced in December 2017 that U.S. Space Command and the 45th Space Wing of the Air Force at Cape Canaveral had certified a polar launch corridor from Florida’s east coast, the news was met with quiet regard.

While the newly reestablished polar launch corridor would open up options for launch providers from Florida, many wondered if anyone would actually opt to launch a polar mission from Florida and compete with a growing launch cadence and demand from the Florida spaceport instead of utilizing the optimally-placed and designed Vandenberg Air Force Base for polar launches.

Read more at: NASA spaceflight

The Air Force’s Secretive Spy Spaceplane Is Back On Earth After A Record Two-Year Stay In Space

The Air Force’s mysterious spy spaceplane, the X-37B, is back on Earth after spending more than two years in orbit. It’s still unknown exactly what the vehicle is for, but the Air Force admits that the spacecraft did carry a number of small satellites into space during this mission.

The X-37B landed at 3:51AM ET on Sunday, October 27th, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The touchdown brought an end to the spaceplane’s fifth journey into space and the longest flight yet for the vehicle.

Read more at: Verge

Upgraded Antares Rocket Rolled Out For Launch On Space Station Resupply Mission

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket rolled out to its launch pad on Virginia’s Eastern Shore early Tuesday, setting the stage for liftoff Saturday on a resupply flight to the International Space Station that will debut an upgraded launcher and Cygnus cargo vehicle capable of hauling heavier payloads into orbit.

Northrop Grumman’s next cargo delivery flight to the space station, designated NG-12, is the first in the company’s follow-on Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA. It follows 11 resupply launches under a previous CRS contract.

Read more at: Spaceflightnow

China Drawing Up Plan For Manned Lunar Exploration

China is carrying out in-depth demonstration and long-term planning for its manned lunar exploration, and has formed an overall consensus and a preliminary plan, according to a senior space engineer.

At the 1st China Space Science Assembly held in Xiamen, east China’s Fujian Province, from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28, Chen Shanguang, deputy chief designer of China’s manned space program, said the future trend of manned space cause is to explore the moon, and establish a lunar base to carry out scientific research, and accumulate technology and experience for going deeper into space. “The long-term goal is to send people to Mars.”

Read more at: Xinhuanet

SpaceX Fires Up a Crew Dragon Abort Engine Ahead of Critical Tests (Video)

SpaceX just fired up a launch escape system engine on its new Crew Dragon spacecraft, setting the stage for a critical ground and flight tests of an emergency system to keep astronauts safe during flight. 

The escape engine test, which SpaceX revealed in this 13-second video on Thursday (Oct. 24), shows a pair of SuperDraco engines in action during an uncrewed ground test. It is expected be followed by a full-up ground static-fire test and an in-flight abort test in the upcoming weeks. 

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Arianespace And ESA Announce Earthcare Launch Contract

EarthCARE (Cloud, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer) satellite – the sixth mission in ESA’s Earth Explorer program – will advance our understanding of the role clouds and aerosols play in reflecting incident solar radiation back into space and trapping infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface.

EarthCARE is a joint collaborative satellite mission conducted between ESA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) that delivers the Cloud Profiling Radar (CPR) instrument.

Read more at: Arianespace

Exos Aerospace Suborbital Launch Fails

A reusable suborbital sounding rocket launched by Exos Aerospace malfunctioned shortly after liftoff Oct. 26, causing the vehicle to crash back to Earth minutes later.

The Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE, or SARGE, sounding rocket lifted off from Spaceport America in New Mexico at approximately 1:40 p.m. Eastern. The rocket cleared its launch pad smoothly, but seconds later appeared to suffer a loss of attitude control and wobble.

The rocket is designed to deploy parachutes to guide it back to a landing near the launch site. Instead, several pieces of debris were visible falling back to the ground, and the rocket body crashed near the launch pad nearly three and a half minutes after liftoff.

Read more at: Spacenews

ISRO All Set To Test Gaganyaan’s Crew Abort System

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is developing a new liquid-propellant rocket to test the crew abort system of India’s human space flight programme, the Gaganyaan mission, director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, S Somanath, stated.

A crew abort system is important in a manned space mission because it allows the capsule with the crew members to quickly separate from the rocket in case of an emergency. Prior to the actual manned mission, four crew abort tests have been planned with the new rocket, Somanath said during a media interaction at the International Astronautical Congress now being held in Washington DC.

Read more at: TimesofIndia

European Network Of Operations Centres Takes Shape

The European ‘Network of Operations Centres’ will enable opportunities for joint action, knowledge sharing and technical interchange, and allow engineers and other professionals to benefit from crossed exchanges and mobility.

It will generate savings for European taxpayers through avoidance of duplication, and through optimisation of existing capabilities and capacity on a wider European scale.

Read more at: ESA

Fireball That Flew Over Japan in 2017 Was Tiny Piece of Giant Asteroid that Might One Day Threaten Earth

In the early morning of April 28, 2017, a small fireball crept across the sky over Kyoto, Japan. And now, thanks to data collected by the SonotaCo meteor survey, researchers have determined that the fiery space rock was a shard of a much larger asteroid that might (far down the road) threaten Earth.

The meteor that burned over Japan was tiny. Studying the SonotaCo data, the researchers determined that the object entered the atmosphere with a mass of about 1 ounce (29 grams) and was just 1 inch (2.7 centimeters) across. It didn’t threaten anyone.

Read more at: Space,com

Automating Collision Avoidance

ESA is preparing to use machine learning to protect satellites from the very real and growing danger of space debris.

The Agency is developing a collision avoidance system that will automatically assess the risk and likelihood of in-space collisions, improve the decision making process on whether or not a manoeuvre is needed, and may even send the orders to at-risk satellites to get out of the way.

Read more at: ESA

Space Collisions A Growing Concern As Earth Orbit Gets More Crowded

A tweet from Elon Musk christened the burgeoning Starlink satellite constellation this week, which he plans to grow to 12,000 satellites.

It’s an ambitious plan to boost Internet service around the world. It will also contribute to growing congestion in Earth’s orbit, where tens of thousands of satellites and debris are in danger of colliding.

Read more at: upi

Rules Guarding Other Planets From Contamination May Be Too Strict

Some policies for protecting the moon, Mars and other places in the solar system from contamination by visiting missions may be too strict.

That’s the conclusion of a 12-expert panel commissioned by NASA to review voluntary international guidelines for keeping space missions from polluting other worlds with earthly life, and vice versa. These guidelines are recommendations from the international scientific organization COSPAR, which for decades has set and revised policies for spacefaring nations

Read more at: Sciencenews

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Signs Declaration of Intent with French Space Agency

Today, on the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross signed a Declaration of Intent with Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) President Jean-Yves Le Gall. The Declaration charts a path forward for expanded cooperation between the Department and the French space agency on space situational awareness (SSA), space traffic management (STM), and other important efforts driving the commercial development of space.

Read more at: Commerce

Where Do Satellites Go to Die? Dr Space Junk Explains It All in New Book

One person’s space trash is another’s space treasure — and that’s definitely true for Alice Gorman, an archaeologist specializing in the detritus of spaceflight.

Gorman was always interested in physics but ended up an archaeologist instead, specializing in Australian indigenous heritage preservation. In her new book, “Dr. Space Junk vs. the Universe: Archaeology and the Future” (MIT Press, 2019), she shares the story of how she came to combine the two fields, studying spaceflight as an archaeologist.

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Virgin Orbit To Add Extra Rocket Stage To Launcherone For Interplanetary Missions

Virgin Orbit, while preparing for the first flight of its LauncherOne smallsat rocket, is in the process of choosing an engine for a three-stage variant that would be capable of sending payloads to other planets. 

John Fuller, Virgin Orbit advanced concepts director, said the company is deciding between three “highly energetic third stage” options for LauncherOne that would enable the rocket to launch up to 50 kilograms to Mars or 70 kilograms to Venus. The “Exploration 3-Stage Variant” of LauncherOne would also have the ability to launch around 100 kilograms to the moon or toward Lagrange points, he said. 

Read more at: Spacenews

NASA Sets Launch Date For Starliner Mission To Space Station

On Thursday, NASA invited media to the launch of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The news release included a launch date for the mission: December 17.

This uncrewed test flight will validate the in-flight capabilities of the Starliner vehicle and the Atlas V rocket that will launch it into orbit. This mission is a precursor to human flights on Starliner, which NASA has paid Boeing to develop for astronaut transport to the International Space Station.

Read more at: Arstechnica

Bridenstine Says NASA Not Holding Up Commercial Crew Schedule

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said this week the space agency is not unduly delaying the debut of new SpaceX and Boeing commercial crew capsules as engineers gear up for a challenging rapid-fire sequence of test flights in the next few months, all against the backdrop of in-depth safety reviews before clearing the privately-owned ships to carry astronauts.

In an interview Thursday with Spaceflight Now, Bridenstine said SpaceX and Boeing are “decently set up for success” as the companies head into the high-profile test campaign. He said he expects at least one of the companies to launch astronauts “in the first quarter, (or) maybe the first half of next year.”

Read more at: Spaceflightnow

Morgan Stanley: Don’t Underestimate The Economic Importance Of Launching People Into Space

Investors shouldn’t underestimate the importance of launching people into space, Morgan Stanley said in a research report released Tuesday.

The Wall Street investment bank expects communication satellites, Earth observation technology and transportation to be the economic drivers of a space economy, but investors should not underestimate human space exploration as a “critical enabler of public will.”

Read more at: Houston chronicle

Virgin Galactic Made its Public Debut but is Space Tourism Just A Fad?

The tourism company looking to launch travelers to the edge of space has landed on Wall Street. Virgin Galactic made its public debut on the NYSE yesterday. We spoke to Chad Anderson, CEO of Space Angels about whether this idea of space tourism is a fad.

Read more at: cheddar

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Is a Huge Financial Risk

Instead of reaching for the stars, much of the technology industry seems preoccupied nowadays with finding new ways to serve up advertising or to keep eyeballs glued on cellphone screens.

It’s refreshing then that from Monday you’ll be able to buy shares in a company, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., whose core business is suborbital space travel. Richard Branson’s pet project will doubtless provide a thrilling service, but as an investment it’s not for the fainthearted. Virgin Galactic expects to be valued at $2.3 billion. Deduct its cash and that’s three times the revenue it might generate in 2023 and 7 times expected Ebitda (a measure of cash earnings). That’s a sky-high price for a business with so much to prove.

Read more at: Bloomberg

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Goes Public With Extravagant Promises to Keep

After 15 years of making extravagant but unkept promises to fly more than 600 “future astronauts” to space, Richard Branson must now please an entirely new group of people who are usually much shorter on patience: shareholders.

Following the completion last week of a merger with Social Capital Hedosophia (SCH), the British billionaire’s Virgin Galactic suborbital “space line” will begin trading under its own name on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Monday.

Read more at: Parabolicarc

UNOOSA And Airbus Announce Opportunity For Utilizing Airbus Bartolomeo Platform

At the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington D.C., the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Airbus issued an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) for utilizing the Airbus Bartolomeo external platform on the International Space Station (ISS) for missions in the space environment.

The Bartolomeo mission is one of several research and orbital opportunities offered through UNOOSA’s “Access to Space for All” initiative, which aims to enable all countries, especially emerging space nations, to access and leverage the benefits of space.

Read more at: Airbus

Spaceflight Symposium: ‘Go Use it, We’ll get you there’

The International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS), held at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Oct. 9-10, brought together experts to discuss logistics in the industry.

Attendees learned about the regulation process, the “Ups and Downs” of flying commercial spaceflight and socioeconomic development fueled by commercial space exploration. They also heard updates about companies Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company, Spaceport America, Vector Launch Inc., NASA and Made in Space Inc.

Read more at: lascrucesbulletin

Russia Customising Soyuz Spaceship for Tourist Trips – Roscosmos

A soyuz spaceship will be customised for a tourist trip to the International Space Station (ISS) so that one person may pilot it rather than a three-person crew, Sergei Krikalev, executive director for human spaceflight at Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, said.

The Roscosmos executive added that no contracts with someone to fly the spaceship had been signed, but it would have to be an experienced cosmonaut/astronaut. The spaceship might even be modified to fly without docking with the ISS.

Read more at: Sputniknews

Germany Mulls Domestic Spaceport

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier has signaled that the government will consider building a space launch center after German industries demanded more to investment in space research and development.

“Space travel excites many people and creates thousands of jobs. We are leaders in satellite technology. Therefore, I will examine the suggestion of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) for a spaceport,” he told the mass-circulation Bild.

Read more at: DW

Air-Breathing Engine Precooler Achieves Record-Breaking Mach 5 Performance

UK company Reaction Engines has tested its innovative precooler at airflow temperature conditions equivalent to Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. This achievement marks a significant milestone in its ESA-supported development of the air-breathing SABRE engine, paving the way for a revolution in space access and hypersonic flight.

The precooler heat exchanger is an essential SABRE element that cools the hot airstream generated by air entering the engine intake at hypersonic speed.

Read more at: ESA

Aerojet Rocketdyne, Firefly To Collaborate On Propulsion

Firefly Aerospace and Aerojet Rocketdyne have announced a strategic partnership to collaborate on rocket propulsion, an agreement that could lead to Firefly’s use of Aerojet’s AR1 engine in a new medium-lift launcher.

The companies announced the cooperate agreement Oct. 18, and revealed new details about the partnership Oct. 22 in a press conference at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington.

Read more at: Spaceflightnow

Scientists Take Baby Steps Toward Extraterrestrial Babies

In February, the Spanish pilot Daniel González climbed into a small aerobatic plane at the Sabadell Airport outside Barcelona and fired up its single prop engine. Once he was in the air, González began a steep climb for about six seconds before entering a nosedive. The plane’s rapid descent created a microgravity environment in the cockpit and for a few seconds, González felt what it was like to be an astronaut. Then he pulled on the yoke to bring the plane out of its dive and did it all over again.

Read more at: Wired

Army Astronaut To Military Medical Students: You Will Solve The Health Issues Of Extended Space Flight

Army Col. Drew Morgan’s list of accomplishments is extensive: graduate of West Point and member of the school’s title-winning parachute team; ER doctor; battalion surgeon for 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), where he maintained his flight, dive and airborne qualifications; deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa; husband; father … and NASA astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station.

Yet Morgan, who was hurtling through space at 17,150 miles per hour Wednesday and completed a harrowing 7-hour space walk earlier this month, choked up at the beginning of a live link with students from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is an alumnus.

Read more at: Armytimes

First Russian Reusable Carrier Rocket Similar To That Of Spacex To Be Launched In 2020

The launch of the first reusable flyback carrier rocket similar to that of Elon Musk’s SpaceX is planned for 2020, owner of the design bureau, privately owned Laros Oleg Larionov told TASS.

Laros is developing a range of reusable small-lift carrier rockets (PH) that will use the mixture of hydrogen peroxide (90%) and aviation kerosene. Laros PH-1, the first modification of the rocket, is a single-stage suborbital rocket with engine with traction of 500 kg.

Read more at: TASS

Solid Rocket Motor Test-Fired For Atlas 5 Debut Next Year

A new solid rocket motor built by Northrop Grumman has aced its final test-firing before a scheduled debut on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket flight next year.

Northrop Grumman’s GEM 63 solid rocket motor will replace the Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60A solid-fueled booster that has flown on Atlas 5 rockets since 2003.

Billed as a “direct replacement” for the AJ-60A, Northrop Grumman’s GEM 63 booster produces roughly the same thrust and has approximately the same dimensions as the Atlas 5’s incumbent solid-fueled boosters.

Read more at: SpaceflightNow

Congress Shouldn’t Rush To Tax And Regulate Space Exploration

Next week, thousands of space professionals from around the globe will converge on Washington, D.C., for the 70th International Astronautical Conference. These professionals and students will present and discuss an array of solutions, concepts and ideas for all things space. But when it comes to formulating new governance structures, rules and regulations, we must remember the vast gap between aspiration and execution in space.

The human ability to imagine, consider and discuss future solutions and problems is nowhere more evident than in space. But that very strength also means the space community dedicates immense time and effort to addressing a universe of problems they would be fortunate to have.

Read more at: Hill

China Is Not Going To Be America’s Space Partner Anytime Soon

At a recent panel discussion presented by the International Academy of Astronautics, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin gave some sage advice about how NASA’s Artemis program to return to the moon might be improved. Among other things, he suggested that China be invited as a partner to the undertaking, as part of what he called the “Space Exploration Alliance.”

The very next day, in a speech before this year’s International Astronautical Conference, Vice President Mike Pence seemed to disagree. According to, Pence presented a vision of an international space exploration effort that was wide of the one Aldrin proposed.

Read more at: HIll

President Zelensky Signs Law Regulating Space Activities

President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed the law amending the Law of Ukraine “On amendments to certain laws of Ukraine on the state regulation of space activities,” which was approved by the Verkhovna Rada on October 2, 2019, according to the parliament’s press service.

“The law creates conditions for developing the domestic space industry, enhancing its investment attractiveness, creating a competitive environment for space entities of different forms of ownership. The document stipulates that enterprises, institutions and organizations of any form of ownership and legal organizational form can be subjects of space activities,” reads the report.

Read more at: ukrinform

Israeli Appointed As Vice President Of International Astronautical Federation

For the first time, an Israeli citizen has been appointed as a vice president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), a leading Paris-based space advocacy organization.

The appointment of Dr. Deganit Paikowsky, an expert on international relations and space policy, as one of the body’s 12 vice presidents was announced at the 70th International Astronautical Congress in Washington. Paikowsky will serve a three-year term.

Read more at: Jpost

NASA’s Artemis Moon Program Attracts More Nations as Potential Partners, Agency Says

There are so many nations eager to join NASA’s push to the moon that the coalition of 15 International Space Station countries may have even more company for the nascent Artemis lunar project, according to the agency. 

In a press conference Thursday (Oct. 24), NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that at least 26 nations had already met with him here at the International Astronautical Congress to discuss the Artemis lunar program and possibilities for contributing. How everybody may chip in still needs to be discussed. But NASA will likely work through agreements quickly, as the agency is tasked with landing humans on the moon in 2024.

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Heads of Space Agencies Panel Highlights Benefits of International Cooperation but Political Tensions Persist

One theme was clear at the Heads of Agencies panel discussion at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Washington, international cooperation is important as humanity expands further into space. However, one could not but sense the undercurrent that national ambitions and political tensions could cloud some future cooperative efforts.

For the first time at the annual International Astronautical Congress there are two Heads of Agencies panels. The first panel, held on Monday, included leaders from the leading space agencies; Host, Jim Bridenstine of NASA, Canada’s Sylvain Laporte, Sergey Krikalev from Russia, S. Somanath from the Indian Space Research Organisation, Johann-Dietrich Woerner from the European Space Agency space and Hiroshi Yamakawa from Japan.

Read more at: SpaceQ

Iran to Discuss Possibility of Sending Its Astronaut to ISS with Russia – Space Agency

Tehran plans to discuss the possibility of sending an Iranian astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) with Russia, the head of the Iranian Space Agency, Morteza Barari, said in an interview with Mehr news agency.

Iranian Minister of Information and Communications Technology Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi has said that Iran intends to send an astronaut to space, noting that foreign assistance will be needed.

Read more at: Sputniknews

DoD Working On Space Force Rollout Plan Pending Congressional Approval

With defense committees on Capitol Hill consumed by Ukraine and Syria crises while spending bills slow to a crawl and the House moves forward with an impeachment inquiry, it is uncertain if or when Congress will pass the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. Much less clear is whether the NDAA will give DoD the green light to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces.

Establishing a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces is a priority of President Trump and Vice President Pence and the White House wants to be prepared to roll out the new service as soon as Congress authorizes it, according to sources familiar with discussions at an Oct. 15 meeting at the White House.

Read more at: Spacenews

Formal Recognition Of JTF-SD Expands US Space Command’s Protect, Defend Mission

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, U.S. Space Command commander, recognized the establishment of the Joint Task Force-Space Defense along with the JTF-SD’s new commander, Army Brig. Gen. Thomas L. James, during a ceremony Oct. 21.

JTF-SD is one of two subordinate commands to the newly formed USSPACECOM, with a mission to conduct unified action with mission partners, space superiority operations to deter aggression, defend capability and defeat adversaries throughout the continuum of conflict. James, the task force’s commander, is an Army officer who has served in space-related assignments for the past 19 years.

Read more at: AF

Space May Soon Become A War Zone – Here’s How That Would Work

At an upcoming summit in early December, NATO is expected to declare space as a “warfighting domain”, partly in response to new developments in technology.

If it does declare space a war zone, NATO could start using space weapons that can destroy satellites or incoming enemy missiles. But what is this technology and how could it enable a war?

In a recent first for space technology, Russia has launched a commercial satellite specifically designed to rendezvous with other satellites. The purpose of this vehicle is peaceful: it will perform maintenance tasks on other satellites in orbit.

Read more at: Conversation

China’s Anti-Satellite Weaponry ‘Disturbing’ Threat: US Official

China’s development of weapons designed to shoot down satellites presents a “disturbing” national security threat, a senior U.S. defense official told Nikkei.

“That’s a very disturbing threat to see someone develop that kind of a capability,” John Hill, principal director for space policy at the U.S. Department of Defense, said Saturday.

Hill was in Japan to take part in Sunday’s Mt. Fuji Dialogue, a policy roundtable hosted by the Japan Institute of International Affairs and the Japan Center for Economic Research.

Read more at: Asia nikkei

Next-Gen SMC Launch Study Targets Satellite Maneuver

On-orbit maneuver capabilities are for the first time being explicitly considered in Air Force planning for future launch services, as part of a wide-ranging new study to develop a post-2025 National Security Launch Architecture (NSLA).

Under an Oct. 25 Request for Information (RFI), the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) is seeking commercial industry for ideas on emerging capabilities for launch, maneuver and transport (LM&T) to improve resiliency in the contested space environment of the future.

Read more at: Breakingdefense

Military Enthusiastic About Commercial LEO Satcom But Wants Proof That Vendors Can Deliver

One of the headlines from the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference held in Washington in mid-October was the interest senior officials expressed in low-Earth orbit satellite constellations.

The Army is not ready to sign contracts with anyone quite yet, but it’s scoping the market. Program managers and buyers have heard the buzz about the LEO megaconstellations and want more information. A central question: How real is the promise of ultrafast broadband at a lower cost, and lower latency, than the current connectivity from geosynchronous satellites?

Read more at: Spacenews

Air Force To Begin Sweeping Study Of Space Launch Industry Capabilities And Future Markets

The Air Force has officially kicked off a new study of the U.S. launch industry in preparation for the next major procurement of national security launch services projected for 2025.

In a request for information (RFI) posted Oct. 25, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced the start of a National Security Launch Architecture study to be led by Col. Russell Teehan, SMC’s portfolio architect.

Read more at: Spacenews

Pentagon Space Reforms Leading To Better Relations With Industry

While U.S. Space Command was officially launched in August, the process of firmly establishing the Pentagon’s newest combatant command will take years to complete. But according to a key industry official, the command’s creation is already impacting how the Defense Department communicates with industrial partners.

Tory Bruno, the head of United Launch Alliance, said that while routine launch operations have been unaffected by the creation of SPACECOM, he has seen a positive change in relations between his company and the Pentagon since the command stood up.

Read more at: Defensenews

Tense Debates Before Challenger Shuttle Disaster Revealed in PBS ‘Retro Report’ (Exclusive Video)

An exclusive clip from PBS shows the difficult conversations that took place before the fatal Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986, which killed seven astronauts during launch.

The segment appears in an upcoming episode of “Retro Report,” a 1-hour magazine-format series that premiered Oct. 7. The series aims to give viewers a different perspective on current headlines by providing information about related, past events. This episode will air today (Oct. 28) at 9 p.m. EDT; check local listings for other time zones.

Read more at:

DC-X: The NASA Rocket That Inspired SpaceX and Blue Origin

The rocket looked like it was out of a science fiction movie. A gleaming white pyramid resting on four spindly legs, the experimental craft was NASA’s ticket into a new era of space exploration.

With a series of built-in rockets on its underside, the ship could rise from the ground and touch back down again vertically — the first of its kind.

Read more at: Discover magazine

Boeing Employees Raised Concerns About 737 Max Before Crashes, Documents Show

A Boeing engineer was concerned that the troubled 737 Max, years before it came to market, had a flight-control system that lacked sufficient safeguards, according to a document released Wednesday during a tense hearing in the House where lawmakers hammered the manufacturer’s CEO over two fatal crashes of the jetliners, and repeatedly asked why he hasn’t resigned or given up his pay.

Other documents released during the hearing included a Boeing manager’s concerns about the high pace of production at a Boeing 737 production facility months before the crashes, while another document highlighted assumptions about how quickly pilots could respond to a malfunction on board.

Read more at: CNBC


11th IAASS conference