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OrbitFab secures National Science Foundation funding to propel its satellite refueling tech to space

On-orbit satellite refueling technology is closer than ever to a practical reality, which could help immensely with the cost and sustainability of orbital businesses. Startup OrbitFab, a 2019 TechCrunch Battlefield finalist, is one of the companies working to make orbital refueling a reality, and it just secured a new contract from the National Science Foundation’s early stage deep tech R&D initiative America’s Seed Fund to further its goals. The contract is specifically for development of a sol...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, America, Tech, International Space Station, Satellite, Robotics, Spaceflight, Aerospace, TechCrunch, Battlefield, National Science Foundation, Outer Space, International Space Station ISS, NSF


SpaceX’s first operational crew mission adds additional NASA and JAXA astronauts

SpaceX is readying for its first flight with astronauts on board – Demo-2, which is technically the last demonstration mission that is required before the Crew Dragon capsule is officially certified to start flying regular missions. Demo-2’s mission scope has been adjusted somewhat so that astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley will be actually doing some shift work on the International Space Station, but Crew-1 is the official first operational mission of the SpaceX human-rated spacecraft, a...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Tech, Nasa, International Space Station, Dragon, Iss, Demo, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Mike Hopkins, Outer Space, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA, JAXA


Stratolaunch reveals updated fleet, including two hypersonic aircraft and a space plane

High-altitude launch startup Stratolaunch has gone through some changes, but on Monday it revealed design details of two hypersonic aircraft, along with a space plane, all designed to take-off from its flying carrier plane launch platform. If all goes to plan, test flights of the first of these new vehicles will begin in 2022, and the company says it’s fully funded to be able to get to that point. Stratolaunch was originally founded in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen unfortunat...
Tags: TC, Space, Science, Microsoft, Tech, Virgin Galactic, Paul Allen, Aircraft, Aviation, Simulation, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Steve Feinberg, Spaceplane, Co-founder, Stratolaunch


Germany’s space agency shifts its 3D printing resources to producing protective medical equipment

DLR, German’s space agency and NASA equivalent, is doing what it can to support the global shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by frontline healthcare workers in their efforts to treat those affected by COVID-19. DLR announced that it has successfully tested converting its on-site 3D printers, typically used for producing aerospace-grade parts, to creating medical equipment including protective face masks and ventilators. There’s a need for various kinds of components and eq...
Tags: Health, TC, Space, Science, Germany, Articles, Tech, Nasa, 3d Printing, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Aerospace, Dlr, Occupational Safety and Health, Contents, Coronavirus


Gamma-ray space telescope study may have spotted dark matter

Analyzing data from the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers find hints of dark matter.The scientists looked to spot a correlation between gravitational lensing and gamma rays. Future release of data can pinpoint whether the dark matter is really responsible for observed effects. By comparing data derived from gravitational lensing and gamma ray observations by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, a study showed that certain regions of the sky emit more gamma rays. While the main cause...
Tags: Astronomy, Space, Technology, California, France, Nasa, Earth, Physics, Chile, Italy, Innovation, Universe, Einstein, Dark Matter, Telescope, Stanford University


Rocket startup Skyrora shifts production to hand sanitizer and face masks for coronavirus response

One of the newer companies attempting to join the rarified group of private space launch startups actually flying payloads to orbit has redirected its entire UK-based manufacturing capacity towards COVID-19 response. Skyrora, which is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is answering the call of the UK government and the NHS to manufacturers to do what they can to provide much-needed healthcare equipment for frontline responders amid the coronavirus crisis. Skyrorary says that the entirety of its UK...
Tags: Health, Startups, TC, Space, UK, Scotland, Tech, Chemistry, NHS, United Kingdom, World Health Organization, Rocket, Edinburgh, Hygiene, Aerospace, Ethanol


SpaceX to deliver cargo to NASA’s lunar Gateway station using a new ‘Dragon XL ‘ spacecraft

NASA has tapped SpaceX as the first provider of space-based logistics to deliver experiment materials, cargo and supplies to its lunar Gateway, the agency announced on Friday. This means SpaceX will be among the companies that NASA can turn to when it needs things shuttled via spaceship between Earth and this forthcoming platform, which will orbit the Moon and provide a staging ground for future crewed Moon missions. The contract means that SpaceX will play a key role in not only NASA’s...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Tech, Nasa, Earth, Space Tourism, International Space Station, Mars, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Artemis, Falcon Heavy, Carr, Outer Space, Lunar Gateway


OneWeb to file for bankruptcy as effort to secure funding, including from investor SoftBank, falls through

Broadband constellation satellite operator OneWeb will file for bankruptcy protection in the U.S., likely some time Friday, after attempts to secure new funding, including from existing investor SoftBank, fell through, TechCrunch has learned. The Financial Times also reported on the failure of its funding attempt on Friday, based on its own separate sources. The company will be laying off most of its staff, with a team remaining in place to continue to operate its existing satellites in sp...
Tags: TC, Space, Softbank, Tech, Bloomberg, Broadband, United States, Telecommunications, Satellites, WeWork, Aerospace, Financial Times, SoftBank Group, OneWeb, The Financial Times


Smart telescope startups vie to fix astronomy’s satellite challenge

Josh Nadeau Contributor Josh Nadeau is a Canadian journalist based in St. Petersburg who covers the intersection of Russia, technology and culture. He has written for The Economist, Atlas Obscura and The Outline. Starlink, the satellite branch of Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, has come under fire in recent months from astronomers over concerns about the negative impact that its planned satellite clusters have reportedly had — and may continue to have — on nighttim...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Startups, Facebook, Column, Europe, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Russia, Tech, St Petersburg, Musk, International Astronomical Union IAU, StarLink, Unistellar


ULA successfully launches first US Space Force payload

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has completed its 134th successful launch, continuing its perfect track record with a mission today for the U.S. Space Force. This is the first-ever dedicated mission for the Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. armed forces dedicated to the defense and protection of America’s strategic assets in space. The payload today was the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite that has been deployed for U.S. defense customers, though the original five...
Tags: TC, Space, Cdc, America, Tech, Earth, United States, Telecommunications, Spaceflight, Ula, Aerospace, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Tory Bruno, United Launch Alliance ULA, Space Force


ULA successfully launches first U.S. Space Force payload

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has completed its 134th successful launch, continuing its perfect track record with a mission today for the U.S. Space Force. This is the first ever dedicated mission for the Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. armed forces dedicated to the defense and protection of America’s strategic assets in space. The payload today was the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite that has been deployed for U.S. defense customers, though the original five...
Tags: TC, Space, Cdc, America, Tech, Ceo, Earth, United States, Telecommunications, Spaceflight, Ula, Aerospace, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Countdown, Tory Bruno


Watch ULA’s first dedicated rocket launch for the U.S. Space Force live

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has a mission today, launching a specialized secure communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force. That’s the new space-focused arm of the U.S. military that was officially formed last year, in response to what the administration has characterized as a growing need to ensure America’s assets in space are properly defended. The launch today is set to take off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, with a lift-off time set for 2:57 PM EDT (11:57 AM PDT). The roc...
Tags: TC, Space, Florida, America, Tech, Atlas, United States, Telecommunications, Lockheed Martin, Spaceflight, Ula, Aerospace, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, Cape Canaveral, U.S. Air Force


Prototype thrusters designed for use on the Moon undergo key hot-fire testing

NASA’s renewed efforts to return to the Moon may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but work still proceeds on a number of projects related to the effort, including a series of hot-fire test of thrusters designed by NASA and partner Frontier Aerospace. These tests, more than 60 in total performed over the course of just 10 days, were performed under conditions designed to simulate what it would be like to use them in space, and provided key information that could lead to the verification of t...
Tags: TC, Space, Hardware, Tech, Nasa, Flight, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Artemis, Spacecraft, Moon Landing, Outer Space, Peregrine, Astrobotic Technology, Astrobotic, Lunar Lander


Rocket Lab postpones next mission due to coronavirus pandemic

Rocket Lab is the latest new space company to feel the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic: The small satellite launcher announced on Tuesday that it would be suspending its next launch, a mission called ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ that was set to take-off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia peninsula on March 30. The launch is a rideshare mission that includes satellites from a range of customers, including NASA, as well as the US. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), an...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Los Angeles, Tech, Nasa, United States, New Zealand, Satellite, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Don, Outer Space, Mahia, Rocket Lab, StarLink


Astra encounters anomaly during pre-launch testing, will evaluate options for next attempt

Rocket launch startup Astra, which had been attempting to claim DARPA’s prize for successful demonstration of flexible space launch capabilities until earlier this month, will not be moving forward with an attempted flight of its launch vehicle this week as planned. The company’s “One of Three” rocket ran into an “anomaly” during pre-launch testing in preparation for its flight this week, and the schedule for a make-up launch are currently is currently up in the air. “Astra’s launch vehicle “...
Tags: Startups, TC, Space, Tech, Ceo, Alaska, Darpa, Rocket, Aerospace, TechCrunch, Kodiak, Alaska Aerospace, Astra, Chris Kemp, Pacific Spaceport Complex, Coronavirus


NASA confirms Commercial Crew still a priority, but James Webb Telescope testing and other activities paused

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has been sharing regular updates about how his agency is approaching the rapidly changing global coronavirus pandemic situation. This week, NASA escalated its response multiple times due to changing circumstances, including changing the state of working conditions at all of its facilities across the country, and on Friday the agency summarized the current status of each of its facilities and major projects in a comprehensive update. Work continues on a few m...
Tags: Food, TC, Space, Spacex, Science, California, Tech, Nasa, United States, International Space Station, Orion, Lockheed Martin, Astronaut, Iss, Spaceflight, Boeing


OneWeb confirms layoffs and potential launch schedule delays amid reported bankruptcy considerations

Satellite operator OneWeb has confirmed that its workforce has been reduced via layoffs, after TechCrunch learned that it reduced its workforce by as much as 10 percent this week. The company did not confirm the total size of the layoff, but provided a statement to TechCrunch regarding the current state of its operations, and citing cost that it deemed necessary in light of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic turmoil. A OneWeb spokesperson provided this statement...
Tags: Amazon, TC, Space, Spacex, Softbank, Tech, Spokesperson, Bloomberg, Satellites, Satellite, WeWork, Kazakhstan, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, OneWeb


NASA suspends work on its Moon and Mars spacecraft due to coronavirus pandemic

NASA has temporarily paused work on the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule that will be used for its forthcoming Artemis missions, which will ultimately return the next American man and the first American woman to the surface of the Moon. The rocket and spacecraft were undergoing production and testing activities ahead of the first Artemis mission, which had been planned for no earlier than April 2021. This move comes as a result of NASA moving its Michoud Assembly Facility in New Or...
Tags: TC, Space, Mississippi, Tech, Nasa, New Orleans, Orion, Mars, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Artemis, Spacecraft, Michoud Assembly Facility, Space Launch System, Telecommuting, Jim Bridenstine


NASA, SpaceX Still Aiming to Launch Manned Crew Dragon Demo-2 Test as Early as May

NASA and SpaceX are still planning on conducting the first manned commercial crew program launch to space as early as May, indicating that the timetable for the mission has not shifted despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Read more...
Tags: Space, Spacex, Science, Technology, Nasa, International Space Station, Iss, Spaceflight, Spacecraft, Crew Dragon, Demo 2


NASA and SpaceX targeting mid-to-late May for first astronaut launch, despite coronavirus pandemic

NASA and SpaceX issued a media accreditation invitation on Wednesday for their Demonstration Mission 2 (aka Demo-2) commercial crew launch – the first in the commercial crew program that will carry actual astronauts to space. The invite includes the current proposed timeframe for the mission, listed as no “no earlier than mid-to-late May.” Reports from earlier in the year had pegged the launch window for May, with the possibility that SpaceX and NASA could move that to as early as April, o...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, California, Russia, Tech, Nasa, United States, International Space Station, Dragon, Astronaut, Demo, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Roscosmos, Hurley


SpaceX’s latest Starlink launch included an unforeseen engine issue

While successful in its primary mission, the latest SpaceX launch wasn’t without unexpected issues: The secondary mission of recovering the Falcon 9 booster with a controlled landing failed, for the second launch in a row, and SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk also confirmed that one of the rocket’s engines shut down early during the ascent phase of the launch vehicle. This didn’t affect the actual orbital deployment of the 60 Starlink satellites which were on board the Falcon 9, which went...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Tech, Ceo, Merlin, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Musk, Falcon Heavy, Falcon, Outer Space, StarLink


SpaceX breaks a Falcon 9 rocket re-use record with successful Starlink launch

SpaceX has successfully launched and deployed its sixth batch of 60 Starlink satellites, further growing its constellation for the internet broadband system it plans to launch for customers starting later this year in the U.S. and Canada. This brings SpaceX’s total Starlink constellation size to 360 spacecraft, extending the company’s lead as the world’s largest private satellite operator. The launch this morning used a Falcon 9 first stage booster that flew for its fifth time, marking a reco...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Texas, Science, Tech, Earth, Canada, United States, North America, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Falcon Heavy, Falcon


Watch SpaceX launch 60 more Starlink satellites and attempt a Falcon 9 re-use record

SpaceX is launching its latest Starlink mission today, with a takeoff time of 8:16 AM EDT (5:16 AM PDT) currently scheduled to take place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will carry 60 more Starlink broadband internet satellites to their low Earth orbit destination, using a Falcon 9 rocket with a booster that flew four times previously, including twice in 2018 and twice last year, most recently in November for another Starlink mission. This is the second launch attempt for th...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Florida, Tech, Nasa, Earth, Broadband, North America, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Falcon, Outer Space, Kennedy Space Center


Rocket Lab gets NASA certification for official smallsat launches

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has received Category 1 certification from NASA, meaning it is authorized for use on more important missions, opening up a whole new revenue stream for the growing launch provider. The certification was largely based on the success of “This One’s for Pickering” in late 2018, the company’s fourth commercial launch, which took a batch of NASA cubesats into orbit as part of the ELaNa-19 mission. This experimental mission was undertaken as part of NASA’s Ventu...
Tags: Space, Government, Tech, Nasa, New Zealand, National Reconnaissance Office, University of New South Wales, Pickering, Electron, Rocket Lab, Peter Beck, Launch Services, Darren Bedell


Rocket Lab to acquire satellite hardware maker Sinclair Interplanetary

Rocket Lab is acquiring Sinclair Interplanetary, a manufacturer of spacecraft hardware based in Toronto that has provided hardware for more than 90 satellites sent to orbit to date, including AstroDigital, BlackSky, ALE and Rocket Lab itself. Sinclair also worked on The Planetary Society’s LightSail 2, which is an experimental spacecraft developed by a non-profit organization to demonstrate in-space propulsion using only the energy generated by the light of the Sun. The acquisition will he...
Tags: Energy, TC, Space, Toronto, Tech, Satellite, M&a, Rocket, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Spacecraft, Sinclair, Outer Space, LightSail, Planetary Society, Rocket Lab


Launches from Europe’s spaceport are suspended in light of COVID-19

Despite indications just a few days ago that launches as soon as later this month were on track as planned, Arianespace announced on Monday that they made the tough call to suspend operations at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport located in French Guiana. This includes suspending any launch campaigns currently on the calendar in the immediate future, like the Vega rocket mission carrying multiple satellites set for March 24 and the Soyuz rocket Falcon Eye mission set for April 14. Arian...
Tags: TC, Europe, Space, Spacex, Tech, Aerospace, Arianespace, Space Force, Guiana Space Center Europe


Lockheed Martin CEO Marilyn Hewson to be succeeded by board member James Taiclet

Lockheed Martin has announced a major shift in its corporate leadership: CEO Marilyn Hewson, who has been in the role since 2013, will be replaced by board member and American Tower President and CEO James Taiclet. Hewson will become executive chairman of the board, and both shifts will be effective as of June 15. Hewson’s time as chief executive of the U.S. sense company has been punctuated by some key highlights, including development and delivery of the Lockheed-built Orion spacecraft, whi...
Tags: TC, Business, Space, Tech, Ceo, Nasa, Companies, United States, President, Orion, Lockheed Martin, Aerospace, Lockheed, Artemis, Coo, Honeywell


Watch SpaceX launch more Starlink satellites and go for a Falcon 9 re-use record

SpaceX is launching its latest Starlink mission today, with a takeoff time of 9:22 AM EDT (6:22 AM PDT) currently scheduled to take place at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will carry 60 more Starlink broadband internet satellites to their low Earth orbit destination, using a Falcon 9 rocket with a booster that flew four times previously, including twice in 2018 and twice last year, most recently in November for another Starlink mission. This launch will include a landing at...
Tags: TC, Space, Spacex, Elon Musk, Florida, Tech, Earth, Broadband, North America, Falcon 9, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Hyperloop, Spacecraft, Falcon, Outer Space


NASA’s Orion spacecraft completes testing ahead of Artemis 1 Moon mission

NASA has completed the testing process meant to simulate performance in in-space conditions for its Orion crew spacecraft, developed by Lockheed Martin and designed to carry crew on the agency’s Artemis missions, which aim to return the next American man and deliver the first American woman to the surface of the Moon. It reportedly “aced” the tests according to NASA, which include thermal vacuum and electromagnetic interference performance checks. Obviously, it’s not business as usual at N...
Tags: TC, Space, Florida, Science, California, Tech, Nasa, International Space Station, Aircraft, Long Beach, Orion, Ohio, Lockheed Martin, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Boeing


NASA boosts existing astronaut health protection measures in light of coronavirus

NASA is supplementing its standard protocols and processes for ensuring the health of the astronauts meant to take part in the initial commercial crew spaceflight program with added measures designed to protect them against the possibility of contracting COVID-19, Business Insider reports. It’s standard practice for the U.S. space agency to institute practices designed to reduce the chances any crew flying to space will contract any illnesses on the ground prior to their trip, but extra steps ar...
Tags: TC, Transportation, Space, Spacex, Cdc, Tech, Nasa, United States, International Space Station, Dragon, Spaceflight, Aerospace, Outer Space, Bob Behnken, Doug Hurley, Commercial Crew



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