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 January from across the web:
Orders: Major space orders from SDA as US$2.5 billion order for Tracking Later satellites are awarded by SDA which also gives Rocket Lab a US$515 million order for 18 Transport Layer sats. Meanwhile, India books Falcon 9 launch for launch of GSAT-20 comsat
Human Space (Orders): UAE to build lunar Gateway space station airlock as Northrop Grumman gets its sums wrong on Gateway module. Meanwhile, as NASA looks for replacement of ISS, Starlab LEO space station gets go-ahead and books flight on Starship as NASA ups funding for prospective new LEO space stations, and Blue Origin and SpaceX start work for NASA on cargo versions of crewed lunar landers
Money: SpaceX is estimated to have made US$8 billion revenues in 2023 …more than ESA’s 2024 budget which rises 10 percent to €7.8 billion but other companies are running out of cash but smaller launch providers will benefit from ESA and EU collaboration on European Flight Ticket initiative
Science & Exploration: ESA gives development go-ahead for Envision Venus mission and LISA science mission while India’s Aditya-L1 solar observatory lives up to its name and goes into a halo orbit around Sun-Earth L1 Lagrangian point
Technology: Cell/mobile phones/sat constellations merging trend continues as SpaceX trials direct-to-smart-phone comms and as Google and AT&T join US$155 million AST SpaceMobile investment. Meanwhile Lockheed Martin and Boeing win design contracts for new military narrowband comsats as Impulse develops large kick/transfer stage to GEO
Slingshot Aerospace: Slingshot adds key ground based visual tracking element to official US tracking system for spacecraft
Our sources include BBC, CNBC, NASA, Orbitaltoday, Payload, Politico, scmp.com and SpaceNews with links provided to each story.