Orbion partners with U.S. Department of Defence on small satellite propulsion tech

Orbion partners with U.S. Department of Defence on small satellite propulsion tech

Michigan-based in-space propulsion startup Orbion is working with a major new partner: The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). Orbion has secured a research contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate, specifically aimed at helping the DOD “enhance resiliency of U.S. systems in space.” Basically, it sounds like Read more…

Max Q: SpaceX starts building out its production Starlink constellation

Max Q: SpaceX starts building out its production Starlink constellation

There’s literally a lot more stuff in space than there was last week – or at least, the number of active human-made satellites in Earth’s orbit has gone up quite a bit, thanks to the launch of SpaceX’s first 60 production Starlink satellites. This week also saw movement in other Read more…

Watch live as SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites with a thrice-flown Falcon 9 rocket

Watch live as SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites with a thrice-flown Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX has a big launch coming up this morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida – a Falcon 9 will carry a payload of 60 of its Starlink orbital communications satellites to space at 9:56 AM ET (6:56 AM PT). The Starlink satellites are the first non-test group of SpaceX’s new Read more…

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell

SpaceX intends to offer Starlink satellite broadband service starting in 2020

SpaceX will look to launch its Starlink service for consumers sometime next year, SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell confirmed at a media roundtable meeting at the company’s offices in Washington during the International Astronautical Congress this week (via SpaceNews). Shotwell, who also appeared on stage at the event to Read more…

Elon Musk tweets using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet

Elon Musk tweets using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk used an internet connection provided by his company’s Starlink constellation of broadband satellites early on Tuesday AM. Musk used the network in place with the Starlink satellites already in orbit to send a simple tweet, declaring that he’d done just that. Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious project Read more…

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Max-Q: This week in space

Space is becoming a major area of startup and commercial investment, and so I’ve decided to start providing a weekly round-up of the biggest news in aerospace, space science and space-related technologies. Let me know if you appreciate this or have suggestions, and I’ll make sure it evolves as needed Read more…

SpaceX files paperwork to launch up to 30,000 more Starlink global internet satellites

SpaceX files paperwork to launch up to 30,000 more Starlink global internet satellites

SpaceX has filed documents with the International Telecommunication Union, which governs international use of global bandwidth, to launch up to 30,000 more satellites for its Starlink global broadband constellation, SpaceNews reports. That’s on top of the 12,000 it already has permission to launch. Why so many? SpaceX says that it’s Read more…

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

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, Read more…

Near miss between science craft and Starlink satellite shows need to improve orbital coordination

Near miss between science craft and Starlink satellite shows need to improve orbital coordination

A European satellite that measures the Earth’s winds using lasers had a close encounter with one of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation yesterday in a situation that illustrates the growing inadequacy of existing systems for global coordination of orbital issues. It’s getting crowded up there, and email and phone calls between HQs Read more…

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

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, Read more…