Saturday, December 19, 2020

SpaceNews This Week |  NASA to skip repair of Orion electronics unit • OneWeb resumes launches • China recovers Chang’e-5 moon samples
December 18, 2020
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JUST IN: The Senate unanimously approved a NASA authorization bill Dec. 18, a largely symbolic move intended to set up work on a new version of the legislation next year.


NASA to skip repair of Orion electronics unit

NASA will not repair a faulty electronics unit on the Orion spacecraft recently completed for the Artemis 1 mission after concluding there was sufficient redundancy in the overall system.

OneWeb resumes satellite deployment with Soyuz launch

OneWeb resumed deployment of its broadband satellite constellation with a Dec. 18 launch of 36 satellites, the first since the company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

China recovers Chang'e-5 moon samples after complex 23-day mission

The Chang'e-5 return capsule containing around 2 kilograms of drilled and scooped lunar material landed in the grasslands of Siziwang Banner Dec.16 at 12:59 p.m. Recovery vehicles located the capsule shortly after.


New ESA director general sees EU relations and commercialization as priorities

ESA announced Dec. 17 that the ESA Council selected Josef Aschbacher (right) to be the next director general, effective at the end of June 2021 for a four-year term. Aschbacher has been director of ESA's Earth observation programs and head of ESA's ESRIN research center in Italy since 2016.

Amazon unveils flat-panel customer terminal for Kuiper constellation
Amazon has tested what it describes as a low-cost flat-panel antenna for use with its Project Kuiper constellation, an innovation that could be essential to the long-term success of satellite broadband.

Astra narrowly misses reaching orbit on second launch

Small launch vehicle developer Astra Space fell just short of reaching orbit on its second launch attempt Dec. 15, but the company is "beyond ecstatic" with the performance of the rocket.



Rocket Lab launches Japanese radar imaging satellite

SpaceX launches SiriusXM satellite

India launches CMS-01 communications satellite


Three companies win NASA small launch contracts


Investigation confirms improperly connected cables caused Vega launch failure


Blue Origin's New Glenn added to NASA launch contract


ULA's new rocket Vulcan projected to launch in late 2021




Italy orders second pair of Cosmo-SkyMed radar satellites

NGA evaluates Hawkeye 360 data through pilot program

Capella Space releases high-resolution Spotlight imagery

Satellite sensors could supply data for emissions trading systems


BAE Systems shrinks weather sensors for microsatellites




NASA assigns astronauts for third SpaceX commercial crew mission

Canadian astronaut to fly on first crewed Artemis mission


NASA postpones review of near Earth asteroid detection mission



Space Force official: Russian missile tests expose vulnerability of low-orbiting satellites 


NSTXL selected to manage the Space Enterprise Consortium


U.S. Space Force celebrates first birthday virtually


Space Force trying to change negative perceptions about military procurement



CesiumAstro founder closes in on decades-old dream


AST & Science to go public via special purpose acquisition

Comspoc embraces startup mentality after AGI spinoff



House passes two space bills

White House releases space nuclear power strategy


On Dec. 14, SpaceNews announced this winners of this year's SpaceNews Awards for Excellence & Innovation. Find out who won. 
Written by SpaceNews correspondent Debra Werner, SN Commercial Drive highlights innovation in satellite communications, Earth observation and the space sector overall. Delivered Wednesdays. 

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