Round-up of recommended space stories in February

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News

We’re keeping an eye on space news, so you don’t have to. Here’s our round-up of the most important, and interesting, space news stories of February from across the web:

Money money money: Acquisitions dominated with the likes of Lockheed Martin looking to take over Terran Orbital for a cool US$600m, BAE Systems’s whopping US$5.5 billion acquisition of Ball Aerospace was approved and the details of Lynk Global’s merger with a SPAC were finalised.

Shanghai Spacecom Satellite Technology raised US$943 million for its G60 low Earth orbit megaconstellation. French maritime surveillance provider Unseenlabs hopes to double its constellation with a fresh round of funding to the tune of US$92 million. Boeing secured a WGS-12 contract for US$439 million

SpaceX has brought the cost of satellite capacity right down, according to a Euroconsult analysis. In a move to cut costs French fleet operator Eutelsat will delay its OneWeb Gen 2 upgrade plans. British satellite operator Avanti Communications wants to integrate Telesat’s Lightspeed LEO services into its GEO network

Things are not looking great for Momentus, which blamed its limited funds on the cancellation of its Vigoride 7 mission. Roscosmos was forced to sell over US$124 million in assets as the Russia Space Agency has felt the pinch of Western sanctions. Airbus disclosed that it had taken US$650 million in charges in 2023, because of satellite programme problems

 

When things go wrong: Barry-1 satellite went missing in deep space, while Firefly Aerospace worked out what went wrong for its Alpha rocket, when a software glitch ultimately led to a Lockheed Martin payload being stuck in a low orbit. SpaceX itemised what went wrong during the last Starship launch

 

but it’s not all bad news: JAXA’s SLIM unexpectedly survived the lunar night, while Viasat is making the best of its struggling ViaSat-3 satellite by starting aircraft Wi-Fi services by the end of June

 

Re-entries: ERS-2 came in safely as did Varda’s capsule

 

Military Space: UK plans ground segment for Istari reconnaissance constellation and French maritime surveillance provider Unseenlabs booked SpaceX flight to continue growing its constellation

 

 

Human Spaceflight: An air leak on the ISS worsened, even as Crew-8 reached the station. India plans to conduct an uncrewed test of Gaganyaan in July, before sending astronauts on it in 2025

In the world of private missions the Ax-3 astronaut mission splashed down and space station developer Vast looks to bid on two future NASA missions sending private astronauts to the ISS. Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flights are set to continue without delays, after the company said a further investigation into a pin falling from VSS Unity was unlikely

 

Tech developments to watch: Japan builds a wooden satellite, while the UK designs a self-consuming rocket

 

Taylor Swift Vs 1969 Moon landing: It turns out that the US Super Bowl 2024, where Taylor Swift’s attendance was closely monitored, was watched by more people than when humans landed on the Moon for the first time. The Super Bowl’s popularity extended beyond Earth, as a video of astronauts on the ISS playing football in space made headlines

 

Our sources include BBC, CNBC, msn.com, NASA, Orbitaltoday, Payload, phys.org, Politico, scmp.com, SpaceNews and The Register with links provided to each story.

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