NASA Tests 3D-Printed Parts for Future Spacecraft

Hot-Fire Test

NASA has demonstrated the hot-fire performance of 3D-printed rocket engine parts designed for future lunar landers. The space agency said Tuesday it tested a copper alloy combustion chamber and a hydrogen-resistant alloy-made nozzle that were produced via additive manufacturing. The LLAMA project is part of the larger Game Changing Development program that aims to explore new approaches to space technology and operations.

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Space Operations Command Assumes Control Authority Over Lockheed-Made AEHF-6 Satellite

Lockheed-Built AEHF-6

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center handed control authority of the sixth Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite to Space Operations Command in late October. Space Vehicle 6 completes the AEHF satellite constellation designed to provide military leaders and warfighters jam-resistant communications and command and control capabilities during a nuclear war.

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Space Development Agency Envisions New Continuous Market for Satellite Procurement; Derek Tournear Quoted

Derek Tournear

The Space Development Agency (SDA) seeks to establish a stable, continuous satellite technology market that would remain ongoing regardless of its specific programs. SDA needs industry's help to establish the National Defense Space Architecture, an architecture of satellites that would collect and transmit targeting and location data for military operations. 

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SpaceWERX Program Launched to Foster Space Force Innovation; Barbara Barrett Quoted

Barbara Barrett

The U.S. Space Force now has its own innovation program that would engage in new space technology development, similarly to the U.S. Air Force's AFWERX. The SpaceWERX program will operate as a space-focused arm of AFWERX, now part of Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). AFWERX announced SpaceWERX's creation at the Accelerate event that commenced on the same day.

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Space Force Marks 1-Year Operational Milestone for ‘Space Cockpit’ Satellite Visualization Platform

Satellite Visualization

The U.S. Space Force has achieved a one-year milestone for its space situational awareness tool that works to visualize satellite activities in real-time. The “Space Cockpit” platform became initially operational on Nov. 11, 2019, and was developed as part of the Space Force’s Space Commercially Augmented Mission Platform (CAMP) program. 

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Space Force’s Gabriel Mounce: Gov’t Needs New Practices to Meet Industry’s Innovation Pace

Gabriel Mounce

Gabriel Mounce, director of the U.S. Space Force’s accelerator program, has said that the government must modernize its research and development practices to keep up with industry’s efforts to innovate in space programs. Mounce also serves as head of technology commercialization and economic development at the Air Force Research Laboratory.

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NASA Announces Priorities for Artemis Moon Landing; Thomas Zurbuchen Quoted

Artemis Moon Landing

NASA has identified its science priorities for the Artemis III mission, which have been included in a recent NASA report. “This report helps outline a path forward toward the compelling science we can now contemplate doing on the lunar surface in conjunction with human explorers,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

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NASA to Launch Smallsat Missions Totaling $140M for Solar Probe Initiative

Solar Probe Initiative

NASA is slated to launch two small-satellite missions valued at $140 million combined as part of the agency’s Heliophysics Solar Terrestrial Probes initiative in 2025. NASA also allocated funding for the Spectral Imaging of Heliospheric Lyman Alpha (SIHLA) mission of opportunity which will involve mapping the sky to study the boundary between the heliosphere and heliopause.

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Core Stages for Crewed NASA Artemis Missions Now Under Production

Michoud Assembly Facility

NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility has commenced the production of the rocket core stages for both the second and third Artemis missions. These stages bring propellant tanks, RS-25 engines and avionics wiring to the Space Launch System (SLS)that serves as the launch vehicle for both of the upcoming missions. 

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Gen. John Raymond: Space Force Sees More Tech Opportunities in Commercial Market

Gen. John Raymond

Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, said the space industry has made big, new technology investments that the U.S. Space Force may consider valuable. Gen. Raymond said the Space Force now knows about the existence of space tracking data, on-orbit satellite services and other new offerings in the commercial market.

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