Summary: 10 Jan 2021 - 14 Jan 2021

LAUNCHES

China claims progress in developing rocket engines
13 Jan 2021 - China is creating a new line of rocket engines for its upcoming space missions, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced. >>>

MethaneSAT picks SpaceX as launch provider
13 Jan 2021 - The non-profit MethaneSAT LLC announced that it has signed a contract with SpaceX to deliver its new satellite into orbit aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. >>>

Skyrora tests new upper stage
11 Jan 2021 - On 23 December 2020, the Skyrora test and flight operations team performed a full mission duration static fire test (450 second burn over three firings) of the upper stage of their orbital-class vehicle, Skyrora XL. The test involved a fully-integrated setup of the engine, feed systems, avionics, and the software. >>>

Momentus announces service agreement for SelfieSat
10 Jan 2021 - Momentus Inc. and Orbit NTNU, a non-profit student organisation stationed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim designing and building cubesats, announced a service agreement for the 2U cubesat SelfieSat. >>>

SATELLITES

New Skynet 6A successfully passes Preliminary Design Review
14 Jan 2021 - Airbus has successfully completed the first key phase of the Skynet 6A project with the achievement of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). The project now has permission to move into the next phase leading to the Critical Design Review (CDR). >>>

New Extension of KiboCUBE co-operation programme
14 Jan 2021 - The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have selected a team from the Central American Integration System (SICA) for the fifth round of KiboCUBE programme, which called for applications from 26 March 2019 to 30 September 2019. It is the first time an international organisation was selected in this programme. >>>

Russian Academy of Sciences suggests reviewing ISS timeframe
13 Jan 2021 - The Russian Academy of Sciences Council on Space considers it necessary to review the timeframe of use of the International Space Station (ISS). >>>

Exotrail says its cubesat Hall effect thruster works
13 Jan 2021 - Exotrail announced the success of the first-ever cubesat mission equipped with Hall-effect electric propulsion technology. Through an In-Orbit Demonstration mission launched to Low Earth Orbit on 7 November 2020 onboard a PSLV rocket, Exotrail nominally ignited its ExoMG Hall-effect electric propulsion system on the first attempt. >>>

Dragon undocks from ISS after weather-induced delay
12 Jan 2021 - SpaceX's Dragon cargo spacecraft undocked the International Space Station (ISS) on 12 January. >>>

Boeing to provide 6 more solar arrays for ISS
12 Jan 2021 - Boeing said it will support the International Space Station's (ISS) research capabilities and commercial opportunities with new solar arrays to increase the orbiting laboratory's power supply. The modification to Boeing's ISS sustainment contract with NASA calls for Boeing to deliver six additional solar arrays to NASA for installation beginning in 2021. >>>

TAS to lead European Robotic Orbital Support Services project
11 Jan 2021 - After leading over the last five years several R&D activities for the Strategic Research Cluster (SRC) on Space Robotics Technologies set up by the European Union within Horizon 2020, Thales Alenia Space and its partners have been awarded by the European Commission a preparation project (phase A/B1) for in-orbit demonstration dedicated to in-orbit servicing space vehicles. An in-orbit demonstration is expected by 2026. >>>

NASA extends exploration for 2 planetary science missions
10 Jan 2021 - NASA has extended the missions of two spacecraft - Juno and InSight - following an external review of their scientific productivity. >>>

NASA selects 4 concepts for small missions
10 Jan 2021 - NASA has chosen four small-scale astrophysics missions for further concept development in a new programme called Pioneers. These selections enable new platforms for exploring cosmic phenomena such as galaxy evolution, exoplanets, high-energy neutrinos, and neutron star mergers. >>>

BUSINESS

EIB supports KONNECT VHTS satellite
13 Jan 2021 - The European Investment Bank (EIB), the long-term lending institution of the European Union, and Eutelsat announced a €200 million financing agreement. This eight-year loan will back investments related to the procurement and launch of the KONNECT VHTS satellite for the provision of advanced broadband services in Europe and neighbouring areas. >>>

FEEDS & LINKS

L3Harris demos antenna technology for U.S. Space Force
12 Jan 2021 - L3Harris Technologies has successfully completed a technology demonstration, under a Defense Innovation Unit prototype contract, for the U.S. Space Force satellite communication system to improve communications with the agency's satellites. >>>

SMC and SES complete test of PTW over O3b MEO constellation
12 Jan 2021 - The U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) successfully tested the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) over SES's O3b Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite communications constellation, during the period of 2 to 6 November 2020. >>>