Archive: Space

SpaceX, ULA Get Air Force Contracts To Launch Up To Five Spacecraft

SpaceX and United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch up to five spacecraft for the U.S. Air Force under contract awards announced late March 14. SpaceX received a contract valued at up to $290.6 million to launch up to three Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellites, the Pentagon said. ULA’s $354.8 million contract calls for placing Air Force […]

Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator (Photo by NASA)

Acting NASA Head Lightfoot To Retire

Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator for the past 14 months, announced March 12 that he will retire April 30. “I will work with the White House on a smooth transition to the new administrator,” Lightfoot wrote in a note to NASA employees.  It is unclear who the new administrator will be. President Donald Trump has […]

Artist's rendering of an MRV carrying MEPs (right) approaching a client satellite (left). (Orbital ATK image)

Orbital ATK Unveils Satellite-Refueling Spacecraft

Orbital ATK [OA] announced March 13 that it is developing a robotic spacecraft that will carry up to 12 pods to refuel satellites on orbit. The Mission Robotic Vehicle (MRV) will approach a satellite that is healthy but low on fuel. It will then deploy a Mission Extension Pod (MEP), which will attach to the satellite […]

Maj. Gen. Joseph T. Guastella, Jr., director of integrated air, space, cyberspace and ISR operations for Air Force Space Command.

Air Force Space Command Shifting To Warfighting Operational Mindset

Air Force officials are looking to shift to a warfighting operational mindset in the space domain with the opening of a new coalition center to test capabilities and aggressively pursue simulation opportunities for mission training. Leadership for Air Force Space Command want to move away from viewing space solely as a support unit to better […]

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.). (Photo courtesy of congressman's office)

DoD Nears Hiring Outside Firm To Study Possible Space Department

The Pentagon is close to picking an outside firm to write a roadmap for the possible creation of a military space department, a key lawmaker said Feb. 28. The fiscal year 2018 defense authorization act, which Congress passed late last year, calls for the deputy defense secretary to hire a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC) to craft the […]

U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen (Department of Transportation photo)

FAA To Revamp Licensing For Commercial Space Launches

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to take a series of steps to simplify and speed up its “somewhat rusty” licensing process for commercial space launches, Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen said Feb. 21. Among the changes will be the adoption of a “21st-century file-and-fly” licensing system, including “specific new regulatory deadlines and approaches,” Rosen said in […]

Robert Lightfoot, NASA's acting administrator (Photo by NASA)

NASA Aims To Send Humans To Moon By Late 2020s

NASA, which recently was told by the Trump administration to return humans to the Moon’s surface, expects to achieve that goal by the “latter part” of the 2020s, acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said Feb. 20. NASA intends to provide an update on its Moon exploration efforts at the second meeting of the National Space Council, […]

Falcon Heavy (SpaceX photo)

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy For First Time

SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy launch vehicle lifted off for the first time Feb. 6 during a flight test from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The three-booster, 230-foot-tall rocket smoothly cleared the launch pad and soared into space at about 3:45 p.m. Eastern time. Minutes later, the two side boosters returned safely to Earth, landing  simultaneously […]