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Rocket Lab will resume missions in August following launch failure


In its announcement, Rocket Lab said that it was able to gather the data it needs, because the vehicle was unharmed and was able to continue sending information to its ground team. It also explained that it wasn’t able to detect the issue before the flight, because the electrical connection remained secure throughout testing. However, its now knows that the issue can be avoided through additional tests. Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said in a statement:

“The issue occurred under incredibly specific and unique circumstances, causing the connection to fail in a way that we wouldn’t detect with standard testing. Our team has now reliably replicated the issue in test and identified that it can be mitigated through additional testing and procedures.” Read More

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NASA upgrades Australia’s Deep Space Station for future missions to Mars


NASA is in the midst of upgrading Deep Space Station 43 — one of its Deep Space Network’s largest antennas located in Canberra, Australia — to prepare for future missions. The agency’s Deep Space Network is a collection of dishes that make communication with robotic spacecraft possible, and DSS 43 is the only one capable of sending commands to Voyager 2. It’s the network’s sole 70-meter antenna in the Southern Hemisphere, so it’s the only one powerful enough to reach a probe that’s traveling southward in interstellar space. If you’ll recall, Voyager 2 left the region of space called the “heliosphere” where solar wind is still present back in 2018. Read More

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NASA will fund six more Artemis missions as it plans return to the moon


NASA has started preparing for the possibility of launching six more Artemis missions on top of the three it has already confirmed. The space agency has revealed that it has agreed to “provide initial funding and authorization to Northrop Grumman to order long-lead items” for the construction of twin boosters for the next six Space Launch System (SLS) flights. The SLS is slated to become become NASA’s most powerful rocket yet, designed to enable human exploration beyond the Lower Earth Orbit. Read More

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SpaceX plans seaborne spaceports for Mars missions and hypersonic flights


Don’t think SpaceX is toning down its spaceflight ambitions in light of the pandemic — if anything, the company is ramping things up. Elon Musk has confirmed a SpaceXFleet scoop (via TechCrunch) that SpaceX is hiring staff to help build “floating, superheavy-class spaceports” for Mars and Moon missions, not to mention hypersonic flights for Earth. The private spaceflight outfit had teased the possibility of seaborne ports in concept renders before, but the plans are only really solidifying now. Read More