Recently in the Commercial Space Category


Virgin Orbit, Sir Richard Branson's small satellite launch company, announced today that it has successfully completed a key drop test of its LauncherOne vehicle, the last major step in the development program of the company's novel launch service.

A Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle successfully lifted off from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula at 04:30 UTC, Saturday 29 June 2019 (16:30 NZST). The Make It Rain mission launched seven satellites to orbit for rideshare and mission management provider, Spaceflight.

Airbus has signed a contract with Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, to design, manufacture and build the first in their next generation of geostationary Ka-band satellites, Inmarsat GX7, 8 & 9.

CST-100 Starliner Rescue Practice

NASA astronauts Suni Williams and Barry "Butch" Wilmore rehearse the steps they would take to exit Boeing's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft without assistance in the unlikely event of an emergency resulting in a splashdown.

Rescue team members are using a Boeing CST-100 Starliner training capsule, known as Boiler Plate 3, to practice uprighting procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency resulting in a splashdown.

SpaceX accomplished its primary mission of launching the Arabsat-6A telecommunication satellite late this afternoon from famed Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The European Data Relay System (EDRS)--dubbed the "SpaceDataHighway" by its private operator, Airbus--has passed another milestone.

SpaceX Crew Dragon Returns To Earth

NASA passed a major milestone Friday in its goal to restore America's human spaceflight capability when SpaceX's Crew Dragon returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked to the International Space Station.

International Space Station's Harmony module forward port via "soft capture" at 5:51 a.m. EST while the station was traveling more than 250 miles over the Pacific Ocean, just north of New Zealand.

SpaceX exceeded everyone's expectations tonight by announcing that Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa bought not just one but all of the seats in a BFR mission to fly by the Moon.

"SpaceX has signed the world's first private passenger to fly around the Moon aboard our BFR launch vehicle--an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of traveling to space. Find out who's flying and why on Monday, September 17."

NASA introduced to the world on Friday the first U.S. astronauts who will fly on American-made, commercial spacecraft to and from the International Space Station.

New Shepard flew again for the eighth time on April 29, 2018, from Blue Origin's West Texas Launch Site.

Rocket Parts Are Big

The Centaur upper stage that will help launch NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S, or GOES-S, arrives at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Another Successful Blue Origin Flight

New Shepard flew again for the seventh time on Dec. 12, 2017, from Blue Origin's West Texas Launch Site.

Sentinel-5P was launched on a Rockot from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) on 13 October 2017.

SpaceX successfully launched the third mission for Iridium Communications Inc. with the deployment of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites.

Elon Musk provided an update on the SpaceX Interplanetary launch system designed in part to colonize Mars at the International Space Congress in Adelaide, Australia today. During the presentation he explained without too much detail how the system could be achieved economically.

Elon Musk @elonmusk Falcon 9 boost stage on droneship Just Read the Instructions

It was a case of the third time being the charm as SpaceX conducted its 10th launch this year. The Intelsat 35e has separated from the Falcon 9 second stage as expected and is in a good orbit.

SpaceX has upped the ante when it comes to reusable launch systems. Within 49 hours the company launched and recovered two Falcon 9 first stages while putting it's customer's payloads safely into orbit.

SpaceX made history today with the successful reuse of the the Falcon 9 first stage and then successfully landed that same first stage for future reuse, again.

S.S. John Glenn Prepared For Flight

Members of the news media had the opportunity to view the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft before it was enclosed in its payload fairing inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Jeff Bezos has a customer for his New Glenn launch vehicle, Eutelsat, which he announced at Satellite 2017 this morning in Washington, DC. While still years away from operations, Blue Origin has been making steady progress in a step-by-step fashion. It is this stead process "in the right sequence" that Jeff Bezos views as being most important to his company's success.

At Satellite 2017 this morning Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin, unveiled a new video introducing the New Glenn rocket which follows in SpaceX's footsteps in returning the first stage for future reuse.

Another Perfect Launch/Landing For SpaceX

SpaceX launched the CRS-10 mission on time this morning at 9:39 am ET from historic LC39A. The Dragon is in orbit and heading toward the ISS while the Falcon 9's first stage made yet another pinpoint anding back at its landing site in Florida.

The first Electron rocket, "It's a Test", has arrived at Rocket Lab's Launch Mahia Peninsula Launch Complex 1 on the North Island of New Zealand in preparation for it's maiden test flight.

Just five months into its two-year demonstration mission on the International Space Station, the first human-rated expandable habitat in low-Earth orbit is already returning valuable information about expandable technology performance and operations in space.

NASA successfully launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the first in a series of highly advanced geostationary weather satellites Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the WorldView-4 spacecraft lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex-3 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

Looking Up As Antares Launches

The Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launches from Pad-0A, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Blue Origin just completed an apparently flawless in-flight aboard of its New Shepard launch vehicle. The capsule separated and made a perfect landing. The booster continued, undaunted, to space and then made a textbook landing.

In a presentation today at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk outlined his ambitious plan to colonize Mars. His personal motivation is to make humanity a multi-planetary species. The reason is to avoid an extinct level event on Earth that would wipe out humanity.

Our mascot is the tortoise. We paint one on our vehicles after each successful flight. Our motto is "Gradatim Ferociter" - step by step, ferociously.

For its seventh launch of the year, and seventh Vega mission since the light launcher began operations at the Guiana Space Center French Guiana, in 2012, Arianespace will orbit the PerúSAT-1 satellite as part of a turnkey contract with Airbus Defence and Space for the Peruvian space agency CONIDA, and the SkySats-4 to 7 satellites for the American operator Terra Bella, a Google company.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blew up today at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station during preparations for a routine static engine firing. The rocket and its Amos-6 payload were destroyed. The exact cause of the explosion is unknown at the present time.

SpaceX successfully launched the CRS9 Dragon ISS Resupply mission at 12:45 am EDT. They also recovered the Falcon 9's first stage at their landing pad in Florida.

SpaceX Successfully launched the Thaicom-8 satellite - and recovered the first stage of the Falcon 9 that launched it today.

Video: Blue Origin Landing

Video from New Shepard flight on April 2, 2016 showing flight of the booster from just ahead of reentry through descent and landing.

NASA's commercial crew astronauts Suni Williams and Eric Boe tried out a new generation of training simulators at the Boeing facility in St. Louis Tuesday that will prepare them for launch, flight and returns aboard the company's CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 this afternoon. The rocket's first stage returned from space and landed on an automated drone ship offshore a few minutes later. Meanwhile, the second stage successfully placed a Dragon spacecraft into orbit.

The last time Ron Garan saw the curvature of the Earth and the blackness of space was from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station.

The very same New Shepard booster that flew above the Karman line and then landed vertically at its launch site last November has now flown and landed again, demonstrating reuse.

The Jason-3 Satellite was successfully place in orbit today by a Falcon 9. However while that rocket's first stage landed within 1.3 meters of its target on the barge leg #3 did not lock properly.

SpaceX Lands Falcon 9 First Stage on Earth

SpaceX made space exploration history tonight when it brought a Falcon 9 first stage back to a safe landing on Earth.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport Pad 0A is seen after the Orbital ATK Antares rocket, with Cygnus spacecraft onboard, suffered a catastrophic anomaly moments after launch on Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

SpaceX successfully conducted a pad abort test of its Crew Dragon, a spacecraft under final development and certification through NASA's Commercial Crew Program this morning at 9 am EDT.

In their last press briefing from Mojave, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released no new clues to the cause of the breakup of SpaceShipTwo. The NTSB did provide new timeline details and an update of what they've been doing. Further press briefings will take place from Washington as needed.

Acting Chairman Christopher Hart's of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released new clues at the third media briefing Sunday evening.

On it's fourth powered test flight Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was lost. The flight had a pilot and co-pilot. One did not survive, while the other was seriously injured. The drama unfolded in real time through social media.

The Orbital Sciences ORB-3 Antares launch vehicle exploded shortly after launch today.

Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched today carrying the six telecommunication satellites for commercial provider ORBCOMM.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon spacecraft launched today on its 3rd Commercial Resupply Mission (CRS-3) to the International Space Station for NASA.

Remarkable images from on-board cameras provide a detailed "ride-along" view of Arianespace's Flight VS07, which orbited Europe's Sentinel-1A from the Spaceport in French Guiana.

ESA's Large Space Simulator

This is the engineer's entrance to ESA's Large Space Simulator, Europe's largest vacuum chamber. Entire satellites requiring testing in simulated space conditions are lowered down into the 15 m-high and 10 m-diameter chamber through a hatch on top.

Readying ESA's 'Garbage Truck'

Robin Biesbroek runs system-level activities for Clean Space, meaning that he takes care of studies focused on the design of a mission for space remediation - part of Clean Space Branch 4: Technologies for Space Debris Remediation.

SpaceX successfully launched its upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket today on its maiden flight from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in what appeared to be a picture perfect launch.

In what can only be described as a bizarre news conference today, PayPal President David Marcus introduced PayPal Galactic. What is PayPal Galactic? According to Marcus, it's a visionary program being spearheaded by PayPal to bring together the leaders in the space industry to work on the "big questions" related to the commercialization of space.

"SpaceGAMBIT is pleased to announce the first round of funding activity with an Open Call For Projects. We are looking for community-space built, open-source projects in line with our mission to receive $5000-$20,000USD for a 3-4 month development. Our overall mission is to promote humanity's long term survivability and expansion into space. Themes for this round of projects are Education, Habitats and Near-Space Economy. Submissions will be accepted from the date of announcment (2013/02/06) through April 19, 2013." More

"Do you know of a small company developing a medical product that could be adapted to solve a health or human performance challenge in space? Have you developed a biomedical product for the space program that could also improve health on Earth? The National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Industry Forum is soliciting applications for the Space Medicine and Related Technologies Commercialization Assistance Program (SMARTCAP) award that provides support in moving a selected product toward commercialization. The 2013 SMARTCAP award will be for a maximum of $250,000 for a one-year period. The deadline for submitting Stage-1 applications for this competitive two-stage proposal process is Nov. 5, 2012." More

"Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) today announced a worldwide innovation contest with cash awards totaling $50,000. The "Innovate the Future" contest creates a global forum for interested participants to share their ideas on how innovation can enable a more secure future for the planet. Participants are invited to submit their thoughts on a range of topics facing the world community, including the need for sustainable energy, cyber security, and healthcare. "Lockheed Martin has 100-year legacy of discovery, innovation, and breakthroughs that have made lasting impacts on society, from human's first attempts at flight, to systems for controlling the world's air traffic, to our earliest exploration of space," said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Lockheed Martin. "An important lesson from this legacy is that good ideas can come from anywhere. Through this contest, we are creating an online environment that helps people with diverse backgrounds and experiences share their ideas," continued Johnson." More

"The competition judges have awarded Space Ground Amalgam, LLC first place in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition and the $100,000 prize was presented by competition Project Manager, Tom Olson. Digital Solid State Propulsion, LLC earned second place in the competition, along with a $10,000 prize. In a last minute addition, Honorable Mention is given to Terapio Corporation for providing an unusually commendable technology that will address one of the inherent risks of space settlement. The hosting organization, the Space Frontier Foundation, and judges congratulate the winners and thank all the finalists for their participation. The awards were presented on July 28th at the NewSpace Awards Gala, the culminating event of the NewSpace 2012 Conference." More

The Arctic's 24/7 banking ship, We Make Money Not Art

"The event takes place in the early 2040s, when an ex-Soviet Arktika class, one of the nuclear powered icebreakers traditionally used for clearing shipping lanes north of Siberia as well as for scientific and recreational expeditions to the Arctic, is recommissioned to host a barely legal experiment in global finance. The icebreaker would be entirely refitted to welcome highly qualified traders on board and would circle at 88.7 degrees latitude - the heart of the arctic sea. By circumnavigating the world in twenty-four hours, the ship would thus stay in constant contact with trading zones throughout the world."

Stories From The First Transnational Traders, Tobias Revell

Keith's note:To be certain this has a couple of big questions such as does it make any sense? Why not just pay people to stay up all night and stay home. But stop and ponder for a moment: what happens when commerce, finance, industry, and consumption all actually begin to move off of Earth into space to locations that may not necessarily have a national designation - or have many, simultaneously. What is the time zone for outer space? Day and night happen multiple times a day in LEO. On the Moon takes 2 weeks. In deep space there really is no day/night cycle.

ESA Investment Forum

Fund space spin-off at ESA Investment Forum

"Investors will meet with start-up companies using space tech in terrestrial systems to discuss business prospects and partnerships at the seventh ESA Investment Forum on 16 October in Toulouse, France. The Forum is an exceptional platform for exploring investment opportunities and business potential. The selected companies have all built a significant portion of their growth and competitive advantage on the utilisation of technologies and expertise originating from Europe's space programmes. They will discuss their business ideas and products with the investors."

Ohio Workshop Seeks Ideas For Manufacturing Innovation Network

"NASA and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) are sponsoring the second in a series of regional public workshops to gather ideas and suggestions on the design of the proposed National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The workshop will be held July 9 at the Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. "Designing for Impact II: Workshop on Building the NNMI" is a partnership between the interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office in Gaithersburg, Md., and local Cleveland organizations that include NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cuyahoga Community College and Case Western Reserve University. Confirmed workshop speakers are NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, NIST Director Patrick Gallagher and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown. Invited speakers include congressional, state and local leaders."

Dragon Lands On Earth

This morning, at approximately 8:42 AM Pacific/11:42 AM Eastern, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) completed its historic mission when the Dragon spacecraft splashed down safely in the Pacific. The vehicle will now be recovered by boats and start the trip back to land.

Contrary to what has been reported by various news outlets NASA is not doing anti-wrinkle research. Nor is the University of Utah.

XCOR Aerospace Hits Route 66 With Experimental Motorcycle

"XCOR's innovative piston pump technology took a ride from Roswell, NM to Mojave, CA in April 2012. "We debated how best to put many hours of wear time on the critical bearing components of our rocket propellant piston pump, that are subject to significant wear and tear," said Dan DeLong, XCOR Chief Engineer. "This particular motorcycle, the Triumph Street Triple, develops about the same horsepower and has the same cylinder arrangement as the liquid oxygen and kerosene fuel pumps for the Lynx suborbital spacecraft. That makes it ideal for a long-life pump test platform. The bike is much less expensive to operate than the full up rocket pump test stand. We're adding hours of run time each ride, not just minutes."

DARPA's Plans To Reuse Satellites

DARPA Opens International Dialog on Satellite Servicing

"Current satellites are not designed to be serviced in space. When a communication satellite in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) fails 36,000 kilometers above the earth, typically, it is moved into a "graveyard" orbit where it remains indefinitely. Many of the satellites which are obsolete or have failed still have usable antennas, solar arrays and other components which are expected to last much longer than the life of the satellite, but currently there is no way to re-use them."

Asteroid Retrieval Feasibility Study

This report describes the results of a study sponsored by the Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) to investigate the feasibility of identifying, robotically capturing, and returning an entire Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) to the vicinity of the Earth by the middle of the next decade.

Last year an internal NASA study that cited the advantages of fuel depots instead of using the Space Launch System emerged from inside NASA. Congress seized on the study - and NASA's Administrator said that internal studies showed that there were no technical or cost advantages. Well, another study completed late last year has emerged from NASA that contradicts that statement.

Planetary Resources, Inc. will overlay two critical sectors - space exploration and natural resources - to add trillions of dollars to the global GDP. This innovative start-up will create a new industry and a new definition of 'natural resources'.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. will provide an additional year of support for the STPSat-2 spacecraft, following completion of the initial experimental mission requirements that ended successfully on Jan. 31, 2012.

Boeing announced today that the U.S. Air Force accepted control of the fourth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) military communications satellite on April 11, after the spacecraft passed several weeks of rigorous on-orbit tests.