For companies planning to deploy microsatellites, the emergence of dedicated launch services will have two key benefits over currently available “piggyback” options. Small rockets will provide more desirable satellite placement, as well as facilitate an accelerated launch schedule.
When launching as a secondary payload, the first issue that microsatellite operators face is an inability to dictate the vehicle’s final destination. When small satellites “hitch a ride” to orbit with a much larger—much more expensive--payload, the small satellites are delivered wherever the primary payload needs to go. In some cases, these primary payloads are massive communications satellites headed to orbit above the Earth’s equator—and equatorial orbits are not (Click here for full article)
The nascent off-Earth manufacturing industry is getting set to take its next big steps. Made In Space, the California-based company that owns and operates the commercial 3-D printer aboard the International Space Station (ISS), is developing new technology, called Archinaut, that's designed to enable the assembly of large structures in the final frontier (click here for full article).
Cube Satellites are the fastest growing segment of the satellite industry. Universities often use the shoebox-sized satellite to launch small experiments inside bigger missions. The CubeSats, however, could soon launch on historic space exploration missions.
The satellites’ compact size significantly reduces the cost of space travel, but it also presents challenges. CubeSats can’t generate enough thrust to travel into deep space. Their small size also means there’s not enough surface area for solar cells, which are needed to generate power (Click here for full article).
Is “Fast Space” Fast Enough?
A recent Air University report recommends that the Air Force partner with industry to develop new, low-cost reusable launch vehicles. Jeff Foust reports on how effective such partnerships could be given the progress industry alone is making. Click here.
President Donald Trump’s first budget request drives a stake through the heart of his predecessor’s signature space project, but the robotic technology left behind by the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) is finding its way rapidly into existing and developing spaceflight industries (Source: Aviation Week).
The Founder Institute plans to attract would-be space entrepreneurs to its worldwide network of incubators with generous financial incentives and mentorship from industry veterans. “This is an international call for anyone working in space or passionate about space to launch a company,” said Adeo Ressi, co-founder and chief executive of the Founder Institute, a business incubator based in Palo Alto, California. “Our goal, which admittedly might be a bit of a stretch goal, is to have 500 new space and space-exploration companies launched by 2025.”
Since it was founded in 2009, Founder Institute has established operations in 180 cities and become one of the world’s largest incubators for technology startups, helping to establish nearly 3,000 companies. How many have been space-related? “Zero,” Ressi told SpaceNews. “There is definitely a pipeline problem in space entrepreneurship today. We want to fix it with these incentives.” (Click here for full article)
Psyche, NASA's Discovery Mission to a unique metal asteroid, has been moved up one year with launch in the summer of 2022, and with a planned arrival at the main belt asteroid in 2026 -- four years earlier than the original timeline.
"We challenged the mission design team to explore if an earlier launch date could provide a more efficient trajectory to the asteroid Psyche, and they came through in a big way," said Jim Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This will enable us to fulfill our science objectives sooner and at a reduced cost." (Click here for full article)