Saturday, January 9, 2021

SpaceNews This Week |  Lockheed wins big missile-warning contract • Arianespace appeals for more support • SDA restores contested contracts
January 8, 2021
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THIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES

Lockheed Martin gets $4.9 billion contract to build three missile-warning satellites for U.S. Space Force


Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $4.9 billion contract for the production of three geosynchronous Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared satellites.

Arianespace seeks greater support from European governments

The head of Arianespace asked European governments to provide his company with more support in order to balance what he called government support of American competitors "with no precedent."

Space Development Agency restores L3Harris, SpaceX contracts following protest

Following a series of contract protests, the Space Development Agency again awarded SpaceX a $149 million contract and L3Harris a $193.5 million contract to each build four satellites to detect and track ballistic and hypersonic missiles


LAUNCH 

 
Virgin Orbit, Rocket Lab schedule first launches of 2021

Virgin Orbit has rescheduled its second orbital launch attempt for Jan. 10 as another small launch vehicle company, Rocket Lab, announces plans for its first launch of 2021.

NASA to conduct SLS static-fire test in mid-January

NASA plans to complete the Green Run test campaign for the Space Launch System core stage with a hotfire test scheduled for mid-January.

SpaceX launches Turksat 5A 
A SpaceX Falcon 9 launched a Turkish communications satellite Jan. 7 to start what may be the busiest year yet for the launch company.

Momentus delays first Vigoride launch
In-space transportation provider Momentus is delaying its first operational mission, which was to fly on a SpaceX Falcon 9 later this month, because of delays completing an interagency review.

SpinLaunch expands New Mexico test site
SpinLaunch expects to perform the first suborbital tests of a prototype of its centrifugal system for launching small satellites later this year from New Mexico.

DARPA satellites damaged at processing facility ahead of SpaceX launch
Two satellites from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that were part of a SpaceX rideshare mission were damaged Jan. 4 at the payload processing facility.
 

CIVIL 


China gears up for space station, cargo and crewed mission launches
China is preparing to launch three major missions in the next few months to initiate the construction phase of the Chinese space station project.

India aims for reusable rockets, advanced propulsion in decadal spaceflight plan
India's ISRO has outlined plans to develop reusable and heavy lift launchers, advanced propulsion and foster private space activities across the 2020s.

Thales Alenia Space given €296 million contract to build European Gateway module
The European Space Agency (ESA) signed a nearly €296 million ($362 million) contract with Thales Alenia Space Jan. 7 to build a European module for NASA's lunar Gateway space station.
 


MILITARY 


Space Force needs sensors to distinguish weapons from benign objects
The ability to "characterize threats" is a major challenge for the U.S. Space Force, said Maj. Gen. Leah Lauderback.

Space Force's small launch program looks to pick up pace after a year of delays
The Space Force says it plans to evaluate as many emerging small launch providers as possible.

Head of U.S. Strategic Command blasts GBSD critics: 'Minuteman 3 cannot be life-extended'
The commander of U.S. Strategic Command Adm. Charles Richard said the Pentagon has to procure a new intercontinental ballistic missile and updating Cold War-era systems is not an acceptable option. 
 

COMMERCIAL


Delta Air Lines adds Viasat in-flight connectivity service
Delta Air Lines announced plans Jan. 5 to rely on Viasat to provide in-flight Ka-band connectivity for passengers flying in more than 300 of the carrier's mainline narrow-body aircraft.

AAC Clyde subsidiary Hyperion to fly CubeCAT laser terminal
AAC Clyde Space subsidiary Hyperion Technologies won a 150,000 euro contract to perform an in-orbit verification flight for CubeCAT, the company's small satellite laser communications terminal.
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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