Archive: Space

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

Air Force To Launch Communications Relay Satellite

The U.S. Air Force announced April 6 that it plans to launch a new communications-relay satellite as part of a multi-payload mission later this month. The Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM (CBAS) satellite, which is intended for geosynchronous orbit, will continuously relay data from existing military communications satellites to support senior leaders and combatant commanders, Air […]

Illustration of NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. Photo: NASA.

NASA Delays Webb Telescope Launch Again To 2020

NASA announced another delay Tuesday for its $8.8 billion James Webb Telescope Project (JWST), pushing back the potential launch date to May 2020 following continued integration and testing issues. Problems with the massive telescope’s propulsion system and sunshield capabilities have forced NASA program officials to increase oversight of prime contractor Northrop Grumman [NOC]  integration & […]


House Panel OKs Bills To Aid Space Industry

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has approved two bills aimed at supporting the rocket propulsion and space support industries. One bill, proposed by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), would designate NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama as the agency’s lead center for rocket propulsion, including the development of new technology.  Such a designation […]

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.). (Photo courtesy of office of Rep. Bridenstine.)

House Lawmakers Urge Senate Vote On NASA Administrator Nominee

More than 60 House members have signed a letter to Senate leaders urging them to schedule a vote on the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be NASA administrator. The letter, led by Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science Committee’s space panel, says that confirmation of a new NASA head is […]

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

DoD Laying Groundwork For Faster Action In Space, General Says

The Department of Defense is trying to speed up the fielding of new space capabilities, but it is too early to say whether that effort will bear fruit, the head of U.S. Strategic Command said March 20. DoD and the Air Force have both assembled teams of leaders who believe in moving more quickly in […]

U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan (Army photo)

DoD Taking Fresh Look At Proposed Space Corps

The Department of Defense, which opposed a congressional proposal last year to create a space corps within the Air Force Department, is taking another look at the idea, according to a DoD official. The examination is part of a broader, congressionally mandated review of options that Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is leading to ensure […]

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 […]