In Science and Space: Spaceflight Inc. based in Seattle and Augsburg Rocket Factory, a German launch startup, announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding calling for Spaceflight’s Sherpa Orbiter Vehicle to be mounted on an RFA One rocket.
Spaceflight Inc. manage pre-launch logistics and arrange payloads to be put into orbit on other companies’ launch vehicles. Augsburg Rocket Factory, or RFA, joins a list of space launch service providers, including SpaceX, Rocket Lab, Northrop Grumman and European consortium Arianespace.
In an announcement today at the International Astronautical Congress in Paris, the companies said they are targeting mid-2024 for the first launch.
RFA plans to launch its three-stage, 100-foot rocket from facilities in French Guiana, UK and other locations, starting in 2023. Ultimately, RFA plans to conduct weekly launches. .
RFA plans to launch its 100-foot-tall three-stage rocket from facilities in French Guiana, UK and other locations, starting in 2023. Ultimately, the RFA intends to conduct weekly launches.
Curt Blake, CEO of Spaceflight, said: “Having different launch options at different price points, orbital destinations and mounting locations are all important to developer customers. our savvy spacecraft”. Spaceflight Sherpa OTVs, also known as space tugs, are self-propelled spacecraft that can be deployed from their primary launch vehicles and then send payloads to a variety of orbits. This month, SpaceX sent a Sherpa tug into orbit to test telecom technologies from Boeing’s Varuna program.
Other announcements from the IAC Paris meeting and elsewhere: Astrobotic announced that it will deploy and demonstrate LunaGrid, a commercial power generation system designed for use on the surface of the moon, as early as 2026. With support from NASA, the company has Pittsburgh-based is targeting 2028 with the first operational LunaGrid at the moon’s south pole. The energy generated by the solar panels will be transferred to tethered rovers that can wirelessly charge other devices on the lunar surface. Seattle-based WiBotic has partnered with Astrobotic to work on a wireless charging system.
Hilton has signed a contract to design spaceflight facilities for a commercial space station developed by Voyager Space Holdings and Lockheed Martin, CNBC reported. In addition to designing hotel and dormitory suites, Hilton will work with Voyager to consider marketing opportunities for the Starlab space station and astronaut experience. Starlab is one of three commercial space station projects that won support from NASA last year. Two other projects are led by Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin and Sierra Space; and by Northrop Grumman and Dynetics. Additionally, Axiom Space is working on a commercial space module under a separate agreement with NASA. Lynk Global has received authorization from the Federal Communications Commission for a direct satellite-to-phone data service. The FCC gives the green light to Lynk’s plan to accelerate its wireless carrier business. The Virginia-based company is one of many building hybrid cell-satellite networks; Other companies include Apple and Globalstar as well as T-Mobile and SpaceX.