SpaceX’s Starship could get its launch license within two weeks, no seriously this time, stop laughing

According to two sources, SpaceX could be getting its FAA launch license for its Starship launch vehicle. If true, this could lead to Elon Musk’s state of launching in late April actually being accurate (I SAID STOP LAUGHING).

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NASA delayed Boeing Crewed Flight Test all the way back to July

It looked like Boeing would have a fantastic April with the launch of its first crewed flight of the Starliner spacecraft. However, now it seems like we’re going to have to wait until July before we see this milestone launch from the company to the International Space Station.

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How many rockets has SpaceX launched so far in 2023?

SpaceX is aiming to launch 100 rockets this year, another big increase from what the company did in 2022. That will mean they will have to launch on average every three to four days. Will SpaceX be able to pull it off? Keep track below of all of SpaceX’s 2023 launches.

Is this Europe’s ‘We choose to go to the Moon’ moment?

The European Space Agency’s High-Level Advisory Group (HLAG) released a report on the current state of Europe’s human exploration program. It calls for the continent to go all in on space, or risk being left in the dust.

Europe has become a key partner in many of NASA’s programs, including the Artemis Program. However, the continent’s space agency seems to have much more ambitious plans, rather than just helping NASA with its goals. The ESA’s HLAG report makes it clear that its objective should be to bolster its commercial market with its own human exploration program, including low Earth orbit and the Moon.

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Beyond borders: Human spaceflight poses unique challenges for physician licensing

With more people living and working in low Earth orbit, and eventually in deep space at the Moon or beyond, the need for a licensing framework for practicing medicine in space is becoming paramount.

The global space economy is forecast to be a trillion dollar industry by 2040, according to experts. As more people work or travel in space, the likelihood of accidents or other medical situations will increase.

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Stoke Space reusable rocket design acquires funding from Bill Gates’ venture fund

Small rocket startup Stoke Space recently received funding from Breakthrough Energy, an investment firm founded by Bill Gates.

Stoke Space was founded by Andy Lapsa and Tom Feldman in 2019 to develop a clean-fueled, fully-reusable two-stage rocket. Lapsa was formerly responsible for the development and operation of Blue Origin’s BE-3 and BE-4 engines.

The engines that are being developed for Stoke Space’s rocket utilize liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas, which burns cleaner than kerosene — one of the more common rocket propellant fuels, today.

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When is the next Rocket Lab launch?

The leader in smallsat launches, Rocket Lab, is hoping to have its biggest year yet. Last year Rocket Lab launched nine rockets out of New Zealand, and this year we expect them to finally get into double digits. Rocket Lab has yet to confirm a launch date for its next Electron launch.

Relativity gets Terran 1 3D-printed rocket into space on first launch, falling short of orbit

Over screams of excitement, Relativity’s livestream hosts continued to update us on Terran 1’s maiden launch and the making of history. While the rocket didn’t end up making it into orbit, it just barely crossed over the boundary of space and far exceeded the mission’s milestones, still bringing joy to the host’s voices, even while announcing the failure.

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OneWeb constellation nearly complete despite 36 satellites still stuck in Baikonur

OneWeb is nearing the completion of its broadband internet constellation, a project that’s overcome a number of setbacks over the years, including a global pandemic and Europe’s largest conflict since World War II.

The company’s most recent batch launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on March 9, 2023. A final dedicated launch from India is expected within the next week. However, the original plan was to fly all of the constellation’s satellites atop Russia’s Soyuz rocket.

That was before Russia’s war in Ukraine, which resulted in the suspension of all Soyuz launches for Western customers. That included OneWeb, which now has 36 spacecraft worth an estimated $50 million dollars stuck at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome launch site with no clear resolution for getting the satellites back.

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Small number of Virgin Orbit employees will return tomorrow to work on next mission

Last week we saw the first major collapse of a recent commercial space company, with Virgin Orbit furloughing its entire staff except for a handful of employees. However, there are some signs of hope, as tomorrow more employees will return for work with more coming later.

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Virgin Orbit seeks cash infusion to reboost the company

It’s been a turbulent week for Virgin Orbit, headquartered out of Long Beach California. The company suspended all operations and furloughed most of its workforce for a week as it sought relief by raising funds to rescue its rocket-flying business, according to sources close to the matter on March 15.

During a 5 p.m. EDT meeting that day, company higher-ups explained that employees could cash in their paid time off as the furlough would be unpaid with a small team remaining in place continuing to work.

LauncherOne is a two-stage rocket — powered by liquid oxygen and rocket grade kerosene — that can send small payloads into low Earth orbit after being air-launched by a modified 747 aircraft. Credit: Virgin Orbit

During the third quarter of 2022, Virgin Orbit reported a loss of $42.9 million as cash demands continued, with fourth quarter funding coming from an investment arm of its founder Richard Branson’s parent company, Virgin Group.

Notes in the amounts of $25 million, an unsecured convertible note secured in November of 2022, along with another $30 million in senior secured notes in December 2022 and January 2023 gives “first priority” access to assets by Branson’s parent company.

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SpaceX CRS-27 Dragon resupply mission launches toward the International Space Station

Hot on the heels of the splashdown of the Crew-5 mission, SpaceX launched the uncrewed CRS-27 Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station.

Liftoff atop a Falcon 9 rocket came at 8:30 p.m. EDT March 14, 2023, from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The autonomous spacecraft is set to dock to the ISS about a day later to deliver some 6,000 pounds (2,700 kilograms) of supplies to the seven-person Expedition 68 crew living aboard the orbiting laboratory.


The Falcon 9 first stage that flew in support of this mission, B1073, successfully landed on the SpaceX drone ship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” less than 10 minutes after launch, which was positioned downrange in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the seventh recovery for this booster.

Overall, this was SpaceX’s 17th launch of 2023 — the 16th for a Falcon 9 rocket. The company plans to fly as many as 100 missions this year.

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CRS-27 Dragon sending fresh science, hardware to Space Station

SpaceX is set to deliver thousands of pounds of hardware and science experiments to the International Space Station as part of the uncrewed CRS-27 Dragon resupply mission.

Liftoff atop a Falcon 9 rocket is slated for 8:25 p.m. EDT March 14 (12:25 UTC March 15), 2023, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This will be the 27th resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory under the company’s Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA.

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Look at Ceres with Celestron’s app-enabled StarSense Explorer Telescope at $339 low

Amazon is now offering the Celestron StarSense Explorer DX 102AZ 102mm Refractor Telescope for $338.84 shipped. Normally going for $399, as it does over at B&H, this 15% discount, or solid $60 price drop marks a new all-time Amazon low price we’ve seen for this telescope model. This is also only the third price cut to date. The StarSense lineup of telescopes from Celestron aims to simplify the experience of observing the night sky with your phone being used to guide you to targets using the StarSense Explorer app and you don’t even need to have service for this to work as it is self-contained. For those who like more specific details, this telescope uses a 102mm refractor optical tube for observing deep-sky objects with the manual alt-azimuth mount supporting the telescope, plus you get a 25mm eyepiece which is best for DSOs, planets, and the moon, and a 10mm eyepiece which is best for detailed views of the Lunar surface and planetary details. The dwarf planet Ceres reaches opposition at the end of March so then will be the best time to try and catch a glimpse of it through this scope. Head below for more.

Four new companies gain access to Florida launch pads, who are they?

The premier spaceport in the world, Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station has everything companies need to start launching its rockets to space. Four new companies will join those already operating there with new launch pad allocations by the Space Force.

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Moon o’clock?: Europe pushing for lunar ‘time zone’

With humanity on the cusp of returning astronauts to deep space, one organization is attempting to garner support to give the Moon a time zone.

Spearheading this is the European Space Agency, which says space organizations agree “a common lunar reference time” for timekeeping is important for all lunar systems to reference, be they robotic missions or human surface stays.

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Chinese astronauts perform secretive spacewalk at Tiangong space station

I really hope this isn’t your first time learning about the three Chinese astronauts (taikonauts) currently on orbit Earth at their nation’s space station. However, earlier this week, two taikonauts performed a spacewalk outside the Tiangong space station but to no fan fair from its space agency.

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Kerbal Space Program 2 is now in early access, but should you get it?

The highly anticipated sequel to one of the most popular space simulation games, Kerbal Space Program 2, is now available in early access after experiencing a few years of delays. While you can pick up this game for $50, the biggest question people have had so far is “should I?” There are a lot of factors that will play into this decision, and we will discuss some of them below. Ultimately, we can’t make the decision for you and it will require work on your end to make the final call.

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