Round-up of recommended space stories in March 2024

by | Apr 2, 2024 | Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News

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

Money money money:

NASA gets significantly less than what it wanted with space and planetary science especially suffering as Congress passes final fiscal year 2024 spending bill for NASA, NOAA and FAA

Russia’s own space agency/conglomerate Roscosmos finds itself forced into a fire sale to raise cash Roscosmos To Sell Over $124m In Assets Due To Sanctions

On a much smaller scale, in its March budget, the UK Government granted £10 Million to SaxaVord Spaceport

GEO satellites still have a future say makers at Satellite 2024 but probably noting other orbits have good prospects Lockheed Martin makes its play to acquire small spacecraft maker Terran orbital

Astra gives up on stock market and goes private

In its first acquisition Iridium Announces Plan To Acquire Satelles as GPS backup provider

Japan’s ispace company has raised US$53 million for its next lunar landers including APEX 1.0 and Reslience and two lunar communications relay satellites

Military Space: 

Raytheon’s seven missile warning satellites for SDA’s Tracking Layer are no longer in Tranche 1 plan

 

Human Spaceflight:

Starliner crewed test flight is delayed until May 2024 by ISS schedule

Blue Origin is making genuine progress with its robotic/remotely controlled lunar lander (one that will be modified for its later human carrying version).

But it might not just be lander delays which hold up Artemis programme as NASA is studies issues with Orion hatch design

Move over Apollo’s Hasselblad, Nikon is the Artemis camera of choice as NASA Picks Nikon To Document Humanity’s Return To The Moon

Notable Launches & Future Launches:

SpaceX flew its 53 satellite Transporter mission on a Falcon 9. Notable spacecraft aboard such as MethaneSat are noted here: SpaceX launches tenth Transporter rideshare mission as Iceye launched three SAR sats on same flight and announces new service to monitor high seas

While NASA/ESA have their Mars Sample Return Mission (MSRM) delayed even further as China targets 2030 for Mars sample return mission

While not strictly a spaceflight, Stratolaunch carries the launch of the Talon hypersonic vehicle airdropped from the Stratolaunch aircraft.

EU does deal with USA to have its security guards at launch sites when its Galileo satellites are launched by SpaceX

Space Technology and Exploration: 

Imitation is the best form of flattery for SpaceX as China plans to debut large reusable rockets in 2025 and 2026

Sino-Russian lunar base effort goes nuclear as Russia says it is working With China for lunar nuclear power plant

China’s lunar relay satellite Queqiao-2 enters lunar orbit

Space conjunctions and anomalies:

NASA’s TIMED satellite nearly collides with old Soviet satellite Cosmos 2221

NASA’s SWIFT mission has gyro issue but a software work around should work

Space Agencies:

The UK Space Agency has decided to move its HQ from Swindon to Harwell

On a sadder note:

NASA notes the death of Gemini and Apollo astronaut Tom Stafford

On a lighter note

There’s lies, damned lies…and PR statements: Astra Rocket 3.0 testing “anomaly” was a little more totally destructive than was portrayed

Slingshot Aerospace News:

Slingshot Aerospace is aiming not just at US government users, it is also aiming at the world with its satellite identification and tracking services via new UK base.

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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