SpaceX and Arianespace recently announced plans to launch rideshare missions to sun-synchronous and geostationary orbit, dedicating big rocket capacity for small satellites as the U.S.-based launch broker Spaceflight committed to using a new Indian microsatellite launcher set to debut later this year.
ICEYE, a Finnish company that builds and operates a growing fleet of commercial Earth-observing spacecraft, has released the first radar image from a microsatellite with a resolution of less than 1 meter, showcasing advances in tech miniaturization that could aid environmental monitoring, military surveillance, and the exploration of other planets.
A full-scale model of Virgin Orbit’s air-dropped small satellite launcher, filled with water and antifreeze instead of rocket fuel, dropped from the wing of a modified Boeing 747 carrier jet Wednesday over a test range at Edwards Air Force Base in California, paving the way for the company’s first space mission later this year.
Singed and blackened from three fiery trips to the edge of space and back, a Falcon 9 rocket returned to Cape Canaveral on Sunday after a mission last that week carried the Israeli Beresheet moon lander into orbit, ready for inspections before attempting a fourth — and likely final — launch this spring.
An Israeli-built moon lander aiming to become the first privately-funded mission reach another planetary body rocketed away from Cape Canaveral on Thursday night aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, riding piggyback with an Indonesian communications spacecraft and an experimental U.S. Air Force space surveillance microsatellite.