Archive: Space

The sunshield for the James Webb Space Telescope. (Photo courtesy of Northrop Grumman)

Sunshield Integrated On James Webb Space Telescope

Northrop Grumman [NOC], prime contractor for the James Webb Space Telescope, announced Aug. 7 that it has finished installing a tennis-court-sized sunshield on the $8.8-billion spacecraft. Designed by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, Calif., the sunshield will protect the telescope’s infrared sensors from extreme heat. It consists of five layers made of Kapton, […]

Artist's rendering of a GPS III satellite. Image: Lockheed Martin.

Air Force’s OCX, FAB-T Programs Face New Delays

Two troubled U.S. Air Force space-related acquisition efforts — the Global Positioning System (GPS) Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) and the Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminal (FAB-T) – have experienced another round of delays. The Air Force said in a statement late July 31 that it expects OCX Blocks 1 and […]

A launch of an Atlas V rocket. Photo: United Launch Alliance

Astrobotic Taps ULA To Launch Moon Lander

Astrobotic Technology has picked United Launch Alliance (ULA) to launch its first moon lander in 2019, the two companies announced last week. ULA, a joint venture of Boeing [BA] and Lockheed Martin [LMT], will supply an Atlas 5, which John Thornton, Astrobotic’s chief executive officer, called “a proven launch vehicle with a solid track record […]

United States Capitol

FY 2018 Intelligence Bills Clear Senate Panel, Full House

House and Senate lawmakers both advanced their respective versions of the fiscal year 2018 intelligence authorization bill July 28. The full House passed its bill (H.R. 3180) by a 380-35 vote, while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) announced that it approved its version by a 14-1 vote. The latter measure now heads to […]

An artist's rendering of Restore-L. (Photo courtesy of NASA)

Senate Panel Votes To Save NASA’s Satellite Servicing Mission

The Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC) has moved to preserve NASA’s Restore-L satellite-servicing mission, rejecting the agency’s proposal to nix the program. The committee, which approved its fiscal year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill July 27, included $130 million to continue Restore-L. The legislation now heads to the full Senate for its consideration. Acting […]


House Rejects Attempt To Nix Space-Based Missile Defense

The House has defeated by voice vote a proposal to block funding for a new space-based missile defense system. The proposed amendment to the fiscal year 2018 defense appropriations bill would have denied money needed to carry out a provision in the House-passed FY 2018 defense authorization bill that would direct the Missile Defense Agency to begin […]

Gen. John Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

U.S. Strategic Command Consolidating Component Commands

U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is streamlining its component structure by consolidating 18 component commands into four, the head of STRATCOM said July 26. Under the reorganization, one component command will be responsible for all air and missile capabilities, while the others will oversee maritime forces, missile defense and space, said Air Force Gen. John Hyten, who […]

Capitol under clouds

Lawmakers Seek To Block Funding For Space Corps, Space-Based Missile Defense

As the full House gears up to consider its fiscal year 2018 defense appropriations bill this week, lawmakers have submitted more than 140 amendments for potential consideration, including proposals to block funding for creating a space corps and developing space-based missile defenses. An amendment by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) would deny money needed to implement […]

Lockheed Martin is building the first 10 GPS III satellites at a plant near Denver. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Air Force Issues Draft RFP For Next Order Of GPS III Satellites

The Air Force has taken a step toward re-competing production of Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellites by releasing a draft solicitation for up to 22 spacecraft. Industry feedback on the document, along with a recent industry day in El Segundo, Calif., “will inform a final request for proposal,” scheduled for release this fall, the […]

SpaceX's Dragon space capsule awaits its launch as part of an uncrewed pad abort test. Photo: SpaceX.

Developing Falcon Heavy Rocket Is Harder Than Expected, SpaceX’s Musk Says

Developing SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket has proven more challenging than expected, according to SpaceX founder Elon Musk. Musk said at a conference July 19 that he originally thought the project would be straightforward because Falcon Heavy is based on the existing Falcon 9. For instance, Falcon Heavy uses the same Merlin first-stage engine, though it […]