Space 

Telesat to announce manufacturing plans for LEO constellation in coming months

TORONTO — Telesat, with one demonstration satellite for its planned broadband satellite constellation in orbit, expects to announce plans for manufacturing the full system in the coming months as it seeks partners to help fund its development. Speaking at the Canadian SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 15, Erwin Hudson, vice president of Telesat LEO, said the company was currently reviewing proposals for the 117-satellite constellation submitted by a number of major satellite manufacturers. “We’ve spent the last several months digging through” about 5,000 pages of proposal documents, he said. Those reviews…

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Science 

SpaceX launch: Falcon 9 rocket launch DELAYED: Here’s why and when it will happen

Elon Musk was set to follow up today with another launch of a Falcon 9 rocket. On board would have been a Spanish PAZ satellite and two demonstration ones, referred to as Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b. But the internet satellite mission has been postponed for three days so additional inspections can be made. The space agency tweeted yesterday: “Team at Vandenberg is taking additional time to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing. Payload and vehicle remain healthy. Due to mission requirements, now targeting February 21 launch of PAZ.” This is the…

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Technology 

First SpaceX internet satellites now set to launch Wednesday – CNET

SpaceX is ready to launch a test of its planned satellite internet service aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX For the second time in recent days, SpaceX has delayed the launch of a rocket carrying prototype satellites for its planned broadband internet service. The Falcon 9 is now set to blast off Wednesday, just a few weeks after SpaceX launched its huge Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time. More than three years ago we learned Elon Musk and his rocket company were working on developing satellites to provide low-cost internet access around…

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Space 

NASA certifies Falcon 9 for science missions

WASHINGTON — NASA has certified the current version of the SpaceX Falcon 9 to launch some categories of science missions, a milestone needed for the upcoming, but delayed, launch of an astronomy spacecraft. NASA disclosed the certification in its full fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, released Feb. 14, in a section about NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). “In January 2018, SpaceX successfully completed ‘Category 2’ certification of the SpaceX Falcon 9 ‘Full Thrust’ with LSP which supports the launch of the NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission in March…

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Space 

Canadian Space Agency president not surprised by NASA ISS transition plans

TORONTO — The president of the Canadian Space Agency said he is taking a “wait and see” approach to NASA’s plans to end funding of the International Space Station in the mid-2020s, citing the lack of detail. In an interview after a speech at the Canadian SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 13, Sylvain Laporte said he was not particularly surprised by the plans, included in NASA’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal released the day before. Those plans call for stimulating the development of commercial low Earth orbit capabilities, including those that…

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Space 

Pentagon budget funds ‘small launch services’ to gain greater access to space

Defense budget establishes a “small launch” program with a dedicated funding line of $192.5 million over five years WASHINGTON — It’s been widely reported that the U.S. military views its satellites in space as prime targets of enemy aggression. But opinions diverge over how to deter and defeat potential attacks. One school of thought is that satellites could be made less attractive targets if the military were able to launch new ones into orbit at will, within minutes or hours of an attack. This approach appears to be gaining traction…

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Space 

FCC chairman urges approval for SpaceX’s satellite internet constellation

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai wants his agency approve SpaceX’s 15-month-old application to serve the U.S. with its proposed megaconstellation. In a statement released just days before SpaceX launches its first two prototype satellites, Pai urged support of the company’s application within the FCC, saying Hawthorne, California-based SpaceX can help reach rural and isolated parts of the country with high-speed Internet. “To bridge America’s digital divide, we’ll have to use innovative technologies. SpaceX’s application — along with those of other satellite companies seeking licenses or access to the U.S.…

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Science 

SpaceX launch: Where is Tesla Roadster RIGHT NOW? How far is it from Earth?

Elon Musk’s bright red car and its mannequin driver Starman are on an orbit around the Sun after being part of the most powerful rocket launch in history. The unusual payload was placed above the rocket – essentially three of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets joined together – after a powerful take-off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on February 6. Where is Tesla Roadster right now? The Tesla Roadster is approximately 2 million km from Earth, firmly in solar orbit. According to ‘whereisroadster.com’, the sports vehicle was…

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Space 

Air Force to acquire new jam-resistant GPS satellites

Air Force Secretary Wilson: “The GPS 3 that we are moving toward is intended to be able to operate in a contested environment.” WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to spend $2 billion over the next five years on a new constellation of Global Positioning System satellites that will be hardened to withstand electronic interference from hostile nations. In a solicitation for bids posted Feb. 13, the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center announced it will “conduct a full and open competition” for the production of 22 GPS 3 satellites…

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Technology 

SpaceX satellite broadband plans ready to blast off – CNET

SpaceX will be launching a test of its planned satellite internet service aboard a Falcon 9 Saturday. SpaceX A week after successfully launching its huge Falcon Heavy rocket, SpaceX is set to blast off another test of a long-awaited new product.  More than three years ago we learned Elon Musk and his rocket company were working on developing satellites to provide low-cost internet access around the world. The first pair of demonstration satellites for the company’s “Starlink” service will finally be launched into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 on Saturday, according…

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