“Orbit Domination: TechCrunch Space Teams Up with True Anomaly and Rocket Lab for Revolutionary Advances”

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. You also can send a note to the whole TechCrunch crew at For more secure communications, click here to contact us, which includes SecureDrop instructions and links to encrypted messaging apps. The Space Force has contracted out its next “responsive space” mission, and this one is a doozy. The two awardees, Rocket Lab and startup True Anomaly, will each build and launch spacecraft that will conduct rendezvous and proximity operations on orbit.

New “responsive space” mission launched by Space Force in partnership with Rocket Lab and True Anomaly.

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Rocket Lab and True Anomaly will attempt to deliver and operate space hardware for the military under intentionally tight timeframes, as part of the Space Force’s push to solicit “tactically responsive” space capabilities from commercial companies. As part of Rocket Lab’s $32 million contract, it will also launch the satellite with its Electron rocket. True Anomaly will partner with an unnamed “trusted commercial launch provider” for its ride under its own $30 million contract, according to a statement. Once in orbit, Rocket Lab and True Anomaly must rapidly commission and ready their spacecraft for operations — with each other. If all goes to plan, Rocket Lab’s Pioneer satellite will conduct the so-called rendezvous and proximity operations with True Anomaly’s Jackal spacecraft.

“Explosive Astra Rocket Mishap: Rare 2020 Footage of Failed Prelaunch Testing”

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Footage obtained by TechCrunch shows the catastrophic ending that Astra’s Rocket 3.0 suffered during prelaunch testing in March 2020. “I can confirm we had an anomaly on the launch pad,” Alaska Aerospace CEO Mark Lester told local reporters at the time. At the time, Astra was taking such failures in stride. The deal is expected to close sometime this quarter, at which time Astra will cease trading on the Nasdaq. Astra did not return a request for comment on the 2020 launch failure.

Evari’s quest for scientific breakthrough: Rocket science as a solution for heat pump issues

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Today, large swaths of the globe haven’t adopted air-source heat pumps because they don’t work as well when the mercury drops. What’s more, the refrigerants most heat pumps use are either potent greenhouse gases or can break down into forever chemicals, researchers have found. Heat pumps are used not just to heat and cool homes and vehicles, but also to generate heat for industrial processes, dehumidify buildings, keep food cold in grocery stores, and more. The Biden administration announced in February that it was devoting $63 million from the Defense Production Act to boost heat pump manufacturing specifically. Now it just has to get its super-fast compressors into production in time to catch the wave of heat pump adoption.

“TechCrunch Explores the Moon Once Again: Revelations in Space Exploration”

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. As a preliminary step, the company used that second pad to launch an uncrewed Dragon capsule to the International Space Station. This is the fifth and final mission Rocket Lab has performed for NRO under a contract the company was awarded back in 2020. This week in space historyOn March 30, 1982, the space shuttle Columbia touched down at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The shuttle was carrying astronauts Jack R. Lousma and C. Gordon Fullerton, who were returning home after a successful eight-day mission.

Spacelytics: The Explosive Success of $paceX

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. You also can send a note to the whole TechCrunch crew at I was finally able to catch up on this February 2024 space stock review from Case Taylor, an investor at Thomas Tull’s U.S. He provides a lot of sharp commentary on the public space companies, and as someone without a finance background, I feel like I learn a lot. This week in space historyOn March 21, 2007, a small but mighty company called SpaceX launched its Falcon 1 rocket for the second time.

“Third Time’s the Charm: SpaceX Plans Massive Starship Launch for Thursday”

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SpaceX will attempt to send the massive Starship rocket to orbit for the third time early Thursday morning after U.S. regulators gave the green light for launch. The first took place last April, and ended with both the upper stage (which is also called Starship) and the Super Heavy booster exploding mid-air. Anytime an anomaly occurs during a rocket launch, the Federal Aviation Administration steps in to oversee a company-run investigation. The investigation into the second Starship launch closed last month, so the only thing left was for the regulator to issue a launch license for the test flight. Due to the in-space engine burn, the company is also targeting a new flight trajectory, with the upper stage splashing down in the Indian Ocean.

iPad Universe: Farewell, Odysseus

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Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. This mission will include satellites from Apex Space, Unseen Labs, Care Weather, True Anomaly and others. You also can send a note to the whole TechCrunch crew at An internal congressional memo viewed by TechCrunch casts strong doubt on Rocket Lab’s claim that its Neutron rocket will be ready for launch in time to meet a crucial contract deadline from the Space Force. This week in space historyOn March 6, 2009, the Kepler space telescope lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

Congressional Memo: Neutron Launch Readiness ‘Misrepresented’ by Rocket Lab

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An internal congressional memo viewed by TechCrunch casts strong doubt on Rocket Lab’s claim that its Neutron rocket will be ready for launch in time to meet a crucial contract deadline from the Space Force. In response to industry feedback, Space Systems Command changed its procurement strategy for the next batch of national security launch contracts to accommodate newer launch providers. Neutron is Rocket Lab’s medium-lift vehicle and is being added as a complement to its successful small Electron rocket. Uncertainties around Archimedes’ hot fire tests are “the biggest issue” in Rocket Lab’s claims, the memo argues. It also highlights proprietary timelines shared by other launch providers that suggest there is much work left to be included in RFPs by the VCSFA.

“Blue Origin Unveils New Glenn on Launch Pad Prior to Test Flight”

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The test version of the rocket is all Blue Origin hardware, but not all of it will necessarily end up going to space. Tests are anticipated to take at least a week, Blue Origin CEO David Limp said on LinkedIn. (The BE-4 engines gained flight heritage earlier this year, when they powered United Launch Alliance’s first Vulcan Centaur rocket launch.) The 320-foot-tall launch vehicle is Blue Origin’s first heavy-lift rocket, designed to launch more than 45 tons of payload to low Earth orbit. Blue Origin has also scored launches for telecom providers Telecast and Eutelsat for later this decade.