Summary: 24.May.2020 - 28.May.2020


Update: LauncherNone
26.May.2020 - Virgin Orbit said its LauncherOne rocket did ignite during its launch demonstration on 25 May, but this was followed seconds later by an anomaly. >>>

25.May.2020 - The first flight of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne rocket ended in failure shortly after release from its carrier aircraft. The launcher carried a dummy mass. >>>


New ESA, ArianeGroup, DLR test 3D-printed thrust chamber
28.May.2020 - Based on hot-fire tests of an Expander-cycle Integrated Demonstrator (ETID) that proved the technology and methods last year, ESA, ArianeGroup and DLR German Aerospace Center have built and hot-fire tested a fully additively-manufactured thrust chamber. >>>

Delay of the day: Falcon 9/Demo-2
27.May.2020 - Lift-off of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a crewed Dragon capsule was scrubbed today owing to unfavourable weather conditions. >>>

Russia launches 4th early warning satellite
24.May.2020 - Rocket: Soyuz-2.1b/Fregat; Payload: Tundra No.4 (Tundra 14L, EKS No. 4, military designation: Kosmos 2546); Date: 22 May 2020, 0731 UTC; Launch site: Plesetsk, Russia. The early warning satellite was deployed into a 1,655 km x 38,507 km x 63,82 degrees Molniya orbit. >>>

Delay of the day: LauncherOne
24.May.2020 - The first flight of Virgin Orbit's LauncherOne has been postponed out of "an abundance of caution" following a sensor fault. It was originally scheduled for 24 May at 1700 UTC. >>>


New Russia plans satellite to monitor space debris
28.May.2020 - Russia expects to launch its first special-purpose satellite to monitor space junk in the near-Earth space in 2027, according to Roskosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko. >>>

New UK commits new funding to combat space debris
28.May.2020 - The UK Space Agency is providing up to £1 million for organisations to come up with smart solutions to this problem by using cost effective ways to monitor objects in low Earth Orbit, or applying artificial intelligence to make better use of existing orbital data. >>>

Russia's Defence Ministry buys two more Meridian-M satellites
26.May.2020 - ISS-Reshetnev company will produce two more Meridian-M military communications satellites under a newly-signed contract with the Russian Defence Ministry, a space industry source was quoted as saying. >>>

Airbus to construct third ESM for NASA's Orion spacecraft
26.May.2020 - The European Space Agency (ESA) has signed a contract with Airbus for the construction of the third European Service Module (ESM) for Orion, the American crewed spacecraft. The contract is worth around €250 million. Some service module systems will be supplied by subcontractor Thales Alenia Space. >>>

The promise of PROgrammable MIxed Signal Electronics
26.May.2020 - Thales Alenia Space and partners announced the launch of PROMISE (PROgrammable MIxed Signal Electronics), a three-year project conducted through the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme. >>>

Japanese supply ship arrives at Space Station
25.May.2020 - The unpiloted Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft has been installed to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station's Harmony module on 25 May at 1213 UTC, where it will remain for two months. >>>

Russian space firm to team up with Japanese company
25.May.2020 - The Russian private space firm Sputnix has signed a memorandum with the Japanese company Mitsui & Co. Moscow on co-operation in producing and exporting microsatellite components and providing microsatellite-based services, Sputnix announced. >>>

NGG payloads completes preliminary design reviews
24.May.2020 - The U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Geosynchronous Earth Orbiting (GEO) satellite programme, commonly referred to as NGG, completed its preliminary design reviews (PDR) for its two candidate mission payloads, on 21 May. >>>

Blackjack focuses on risk reduction flights and simulations
24.May.2020 - In partnership with the U.S. Space Force and Space Development Agency, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Blackjack programme is targeting flights to low-Earth orbit (LEO) later this year and 2021. >>>

Hongyun test satellite performs well
24.May.2020 - China's first technology experiment satellite for low-orbit broadband communication has completed more than 180 communication tests and generated fruitful results, according to its developer. >>>


Bankrupt OneWeb explodes constellation
27.May.2020 - Bankrupt satellite operator OneWeb submitted a modification request to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to increase the number of satellites in its constellation up to 48,000 satellites. >>>