Elon Musk sells shares of SpaceX due to the purchase of Twitter, and bureaucracy prevents the launch of the largest rocket in Europe: News Digest

Selection of space news for breakfast: Australian company has introduced a new engine printed on a 3D printer. Chinese space debris fell in India, and the planetarium in Dnipro will begin showing new films.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX selling shares possibly to finance Twitter bid: sources

SpaceX is planning to sell existing shares starting Tuesday to a select group of buyers and there is speculation Elon Musk is a seller. Musk has been trying to raise more money for his $44 billion Twitter bid. The company controlled by Musk last raised $337 million in December at a $100 billion valuation. This time around, the private placement source said, SpaceX is going to seek $70 a share — a 25 percent increase from its last round, after which there was a 10 to 1 stock split — equivalent to around $125 billion valuation.

DIU selects nuclear-powered spacecraft designs for 2027 demonstrations

DIU’s small spacecraft demonstrations will complement the work being done by DARPA and NASA in nuclear propulsion for larger spacecraft. The Defense Innovation Unit announced it selected Ultra Safe Nuclear Corp. and Avalanche Energy to develop small nuclear-powered spacecraft for in-space demonstrations planned for 2027.

Rocket Lab begins installing CAPSTONE on the launch vehicle

The CAPSTONE spacecraft has been delivered to the Rocket Lab launch pad located on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. In the near future, the company’s specialists will begin installing it on the Electron rocket, whose launch is scheduled for May 31. The satellite was developed by Advanced Space and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems by order of NASA. It is built on the basis of the Kubsat platform (12U), its weight is 25 kg. The main task of CAPSTONE is to check an almost rectilinear halo Orbit centered around the L2 Lagrange point of the Earth system — Moon. In the pericenter, the device will approach 3 thousand km to the south pole of the Moon, in the apocenter it will move away from it by 70 thousand km.

Dream Chaser space plane gets FAA approval to land at Alabama airport

The private spacecraft could be flying cargo missions to the space station as soon as 2023. Cargo missions returning from the International Space Station are now authorized to touch down in the Cotton State. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) just issued a license allowing the Huntsville International Airport in Alabama to accept landings from Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser space plane when the vehicle starts flying.

Market News

Rocket Lab carried out only one Electron launch in the first quarter. Source: Rocket Lab

Space systems dominate Rocket Lab revenue

Rocket Lab, the company best known for its Electron small launch vehicle, generated most of its first quarter revenue from other space systems and not launch itself. In quarterly earnings released May 16, Rocket Lab reported $40.7 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2022, a net loss of $26.7 million and an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) loss of $8 million.

Spacecom plots maritime expansion after netting first customer

Israeli satellite operator Spacecom is adjusting its business to serve maritime customers as the market shows signs of recovering from the pandemic. Spacecom said it has redirected a Ku-band beam on its AMOS-17 satellite to the Indian Ocean for future growth opportunities after securing its first maritime customer.

ABL Space Systems completes acceptance testing of RS1 upper stage

ABL Space Systems has completed testing of the second stage of its small launch vehicle, four months after a previous version of the stage was destroyed in a test accident. The company said it completed acceptance testing of the second stage of its RS1 vehicle at its Mojave, California, test site, including a static-fire test of the stage. The company has since shipped the stage to its launch site in Kodiak, Alaska.

Iceland delaying biggest rocket launch from Europe with bureaucracy

U.K. rocket start-up Skyrora claims that Europe’s largest-ever rocket launch is being held up by bureaucratic obstacles in Iceland’s spaceflight licensing process. The rocket firm, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, says that their suborbital launcher Skylark L has been prepared to lift-off from a mobile spaceport the company constructed in Husavik, on the northern coast of Iceland, since September 2021.

Gilmour Space completes full duration test fire of new Phoenix rocket engine

An Australian launch services company known for its orbital-class hybrid rocket technology, Gilmour Space Technologies, has unveiled a new 3D printed liquid rocket engine that will power the third stage of its Eris rocket to orbit. Eris is a three-stage rocket being developed by Gilmour Space for launching small satellites into low earth orbits. Its maiden launch is targeted to be at the end of this year from the Bowen Orbital Spaceport in north Queensland, pending regulatory and other approvals.


Elon Musk. Source: imagazin.si

Musk’s SpaceX Vies for Military Satellite Launches as Defense Giants Reset

Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is expected once again to vie against a joint venture of defense giants Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. for shares of at least 39 U.S. military and intelligence satellite launches in fiscal years 2025 through 2027.

India hit by more suspected space debris

Indian authorities are examining several pieces of suspected space debris that fell into rural western India on May 12. The timing of the incident suggests they could be parts of a Chinese rocket that reentered the atmosphere that day. Local media reported that the objects crashed with “loud thuds that shook the ground” in Gujarat. The crashed objects were all discovered within a 15-kilometer radius, and among them was a black metal ball weighing around five kilograms.

Solar flares: What are they and how do they affect Earth?

Solar activity is currently increasing and with it comes more solar flares. Solar flares are large explosions from the surface of the sun that emit intense bursts of electromagnetic radiation. The intensity of the explosion determines what classification the flare belongs to. The most powerful are X-class flares, followed by M-, C- and B-class; A-class flares are the smallest.

Dnipro Planetarium is preparing to surprise with new programs

From May 20, the Planetarium Noosphere will present premieres of full-dome films. The war has become a challenge not only to Ukrainian entrepreneurs, but also to the Planetarium Noosphere team in Dnipro. However, despite the explosions, danger and losses, the Planetarium continues to work. Since March 14, Planetarium Noosphere has joined volunteering and opened its doors to Ukrainians from other cities who are now in Dnipro to give an opportunity to join the cosmos during free sessions.

Read also: The US and the UK will launch joint commercial flights into space, and the Russian satellite is following the warship: News Digest

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