Recent Posts by Maciej Heyman

The Next Discovery Mission May Rely on Nuclear Power Systems

For the first time, NASA is set to allow nuclear power sources in upcoming missions. This is a reversal from their earlier policy, which prohibited any type of radioisotope power for use with any space vehicle. While smaller heater units could be powered by radioisotope, the agency had previously disallowed additional use of those sources,…
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China’s Long March 5 to Be Launched a Third Time

Long March 5 is China’s most powerful rocket, capable of carrying about 14 metric tons of weight in geostationary orbit. It was successfully launched first in November of 2016, though it did develop an issue with its first stage engines that became apparent during its second flight in July of 2017. After an investigation determined…
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Astro Digital Receives Insurance Payout for Lost CubeSats

In July of 2017, Astro Digital lost two Landmapper CubeSats. The CubeSats were launched on a Soyuz rocket, as part of a 72-satellite payload. While most were launched without any issues, at least nine of the CubeSats in the upper stage of the Fregat failed to respond to commands. The Astro Digital satellites were not…
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Proposed Georgia Spaceport One Step Closer to Reality as Draft Environmental Assessment is Released

With the Federal Aviation Administration’s release of a draft environmental assessment, Georgia’s spaceport is now approaching the approval phase. The report was authored by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation. It was released late last week. It, like all environmental assessments, examined the potential impact constructing the spaceport and launching spacecraft is likely to…
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NASA Reports Growing International Interest in Lunar Exploration 

NASA’s new plans for exploring the moon’s surface have been met with a lot of international interest. Agency officials warn that there is so much interest from other space exploration agencies and private companies alike, it is crucial that the United States does not take its position as a leader for granted. During talks at…
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Globalstar Hopes Offering Broadband Services Can Fulfill Debt Obligations

Globalstar Hopes Offering Broadband Services Can Fulfill Debt Obligations Globalstar, a satellite fleet operator focusing on low Earth orbit spacecraft, has met with regulators from over 30 countries to discuss plans to offer mobile broadband services. They hope to gain authorizations from each of those countries, approving the use of their terrestrial communication system, using…
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Continued BE-4 Testing Leaves Fate of Vulcan Rocket Engine Up in the Air

United Launch Alliance is in the process of considering several engines for its Vulcan rocket. Representatives from ULA have previously stated that the BE-4 engine developed by Blue Origin was their top contender, but they have not made any formal decision. This lack of an announcement has led many to speculate that the Vulcan rocket…
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‘Space Junk’ Could Damage Future Wave of Spacecraft 

At any given time, there are over half a million pieces of marble-sized debris floating in orbit around Earth. There are also upwards of 20,000 larger pieces of debris, ranging from an astronaut’s glove to a disused rocket stage. Bits of debris left behind from human-led expeditions or crafts launched into space are often called…
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Stratolaunch’s New Giant Aircraft Successfully Passes Taxi Tests

Picture Kindly provided by Stratolaunch. Stratolaunch is a private company that exists largely in part thanks to the funding of billionaire Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft. In 2011, the company announced plans to develop an air-launch platform. Part of this involves the development of a giant aircraft, originally designed to carry a modified…
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