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The barren landscape of the moon always seems to remind people of the end. No plants, no life–just
- Isar Aerospace’s new funding
- Boeing’s Starliner crewed flight test delayed again
- News from Virgin Orbit and more
Isar Aerospace raises $165 million to bring more sovereign launch to Europe
The new funding brings Isar Aerospace’s total investment to date to $250 million. The startup plans to use the money to finalize development of its Spectrum small rocket and launch it into orbit in late 2018.
The mobile space industry is booming, with startups and established companies alike looking to tap into the potential of this burgeoning market. European startup Embryo has come up with the solution: a reusable spacecraft that can lift heavy payloads into orbit. Their launch vehicle, Embryo One, is just entering the market, and they’re looking to fill a major gap in the launch market on Europe’s continent.
In the past, governments have been hesitant to invest in space capabilities because they typically exhibit high costs and lower returns. However, recent geopolitical events have prompted many European governments to reconsider this stance. For example, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has made it clear that he is not afraid to use space capabilities in order to influence neighboring countries. In addition, China has become a major economic player and international power, yet many government officials remain uneducated about its space program. As a result, sovereign launch capabilities are starting to gain traction as an important tool for European countries seeking greater economic
The European Union is a wealthy region with a strong focus on the automotive industry. The space industry could be an incredibly profitable pillar for the region, and Germany is leading the charge in this area.
The Isar Aerospace company plans to launch the world’s first reusable suborbital spaceplane later this year. The aircraft will fly up to 25 times before it is retired, making it an affordable and accessible option for commercial and religious purposes
NASA pushes back Boeing Starliner’s crewed flight test to July
Boeing’s Starliner crew vehicle is facing yet another delay, with NASA officials saying Wednesday that it is now targeting no earlier than July 21 for launch. The capsule was initially scheduled to launch in mid-2018, but recent delays have pushed the date back. It remains to be seen whether the vehicle can meet the revised schedule – and whether it can solve some of the reliability problems that have plagued past attempts at human spaceflight.
The unexpected delay of Boeing’s Starliner capsules on their inaugural journey to the International Space Station has raised some concerns among space agency officials. The certification issues with the capsule’s parachute system are thought to be responsible for the delay, but other missions currently scheduled for 2018 and 2019 may also be impacted by the new timeline.
Program Manager for the Commercial Crew program Steve Stich said that NASA and Boeing need to continue their ground tests, as well as their test flights with crews, in order to certify the spacecraft for a safe launch. With only a few final ground tests remaining before certification is achieved, SpaceX may soon be able to share some of its leftover modifications with NASA.
With the Starliner spacecraft in good shape, preparations are underway to send astronauts to the Moon and Mars. The spacecraft is large enough that six astronauts could ride it at a time, making it one of the most versatile vehicles available for space exploration.
Given the record-breaking capacity of Egypt’s new president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, it is not surprising that he has vowed to crush domestic terrorism and restore Egypt’s “strength and glory.” In a statement following his inauguration on June 30th,
More news from TG+ and beyond
- Astra said it had 278 firm orders for its Astra Spacecraft Engine and confirmed it was on track to commence test flights of Rocket 4 later this year. The company ended the last year with $103 million cash on hand. (Astra)
- China is preparing to deploy its own 13,000-satellite broadband mega constellation later this year. (SpaceNews)
- Dawn Aerospace received certification from New Zealand regulators to begin the flight campaign of its Mk-II Aurora spaceplane. (Dawn Aerospace)
- Impact Observatory closed a $5.9 million seed round to scale its data and intelligence products, which use a highly accurate, real-time map of the world and AI to generate insights. (Impact Observatory)
- Lockheed Martin established a new wholly owned subsidiary it’s calling Crescent Space Services, which will be focused on providing lunar infrastructure as a service. (TechGround)
- NASA’s Kathy Lueders is retiring from her position as head of human spaceflight, and will be replaced by the current deputy administrator of space operations (and former astronaut) Ken Bowersox. (Kathy Lueders)
- Planet acquired satellite data analysis company Sinergise for an undisclosed amount. (Planet)
- SpaceX had an unusual scrub and subsequent delay for the launch of a batch of Tranche 0 satellites for the Space Development Agency. (SDA)
- Starfish Space, an on-orbit servicing startup, scored a $3 million contract from National Security Innovation Capital, part of the Defense Innovation Unit. (Payload)
- United Launch Alliance encountered some hardware anomalies during load testing of the Vulcan Centaur rocket, with ULA CEO Tory Bruno saying on Twitter that an investigation is underway. (Tory Bruno)
- Virgin Orbit is laying off 85% of its workforce after failing to secure more funding, a sudden (and rather sad) end to the two-week “operational pause” the company enacted earlier this month. (TechGround)
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There are rumors circulating that the Starliners, a new space vehicle invented by Aria Alamalhodaei and her team at the Argos Lab, may not be aligned properly. Some believe that this could result in their engines not working as they should, possibly leading to the Starliners crashing down to Earth. The Argos Lab is currently investigating these reports