The first spacecraft that can service satellites to extend their life launched today

Up until now, commercial satellites have essentially been disposable. Even the massive, multi-ton ones that can have service lives spanning a decade or more eventually just become so much space trash once they’re out of fuel, or they experience some kind fo terminal mechanical failure. A new spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman and launched aboard […]

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Virgin Orbit plans to launch first commercial small satellites to Mars

Richard Bransons-backed small satellite launch operation Virgin Orbit wants to be the first to dedicate a mission to bringing commercial cube sats to the red planet, the company announced today. Working with Polish satellite company SatRevolution, Virgin Orbit has established a consortium along with a group of Polish academic institutions to jointly work on at […]

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Orbit Fab raises $3M to make orbital refueling easier, cheaper and more accessible

Orbit Fab, one of the companies competing in this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield in San Francisco this week, has closed a seed round of $3 million. The funding comes from Type 1 Ventures, TechStars and others, and will help Orbit Fab continue to build on the great momentum it has already bootstrapped with its space-based […]

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Relativity, a new star in the space race, raises $160 million for its 3-D printed rockets

With $160 million in new financing, Relativity Space is now one step closer to fulfilling its founders’ vision of making the first rockets on Mars. Tagging along for the ride are a motley assortment of millionaires and billionaires, movie stars and media moguls that are providing the money the rocket launch services provider and manufacturer […]

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Why Maxar CTO Walter Scott thinks now is the time to address the orbital traffic boom

The number of objects in orbit around Earth has been growing, and growing fast. Before 1957, of course, there were a total of zero human-made objects in the orbital region of outer space just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. There were 4,987 satellites orbiting the globe at the start of this year, according to the U.N. Office […]

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Orbion raises $9.2M to mass-produce plasma thrusters for small satellites

Michigan-based startup Orbion has secured $9.2 million in Series A funding, which it will use as it undertakes the mass-produced manufacturing of its plasma thrusters for use in small satellites. Orbion’s thrusters are Hall-effect thrusters, which use an electric field to accelerate their propellant and create thrust. Hall-effect thrusters are nothing new, but Orbion’s approach, […]

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Satellite internet startup Astranis books first commercial launch on SpaceX Falcon 9

Y Combinator-backed startup Astranis is now set to launch its first commercial telecommunication satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, with a launch timeframe currently set for sometime starting in the fourth quarter of next year. Astranis aims to address the market of people who don’t currently have broadband internet access, which is still a huge […]

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Rocket Lab successfully launches rideshare rocket with two experimental USAF satellites on board

Rocket Lab has successfully launched its eight mission, an Electron rocket rideshare flight carrying four satellites to orbit for various clients. The Electron launched from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, at 12:12 AM NZST (8:12 AM ET). This was its second attempt, after a scrub last week due to adverse weather conditions […]

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Virgin Orbit signs agreement to launch small satellites for the UK’s Royal Air Force

Virgin Orbit, the small satellite launch company backed by billionaire Richard Branson, has signed an initial agreement to develop small satellite launch capabilities for the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF). The deal, which is part of the RAF’s Artemis project, will see Virgin Orbit aim to launch hardware provided by Guildford, UK-based Surrey Satellites in […]

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In-space shuttle service, Momentus, raises $25.5 million as investments climb for “new space” tech

With commercial launch services expected to reach $7 billion by 2024, there’s increasing demand for an array of new technologies that can offer advantages to companies looking to get communications infrastructure in orbit. That’s one of the reasons behind the new $25.5 million financing for Momentus, which sells in-space shuttle services to move satellites between […]

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