NASA Axes its X-57 Maxwell Electric Aircraft

NASA is pulling the plug on its experimental all-electric X-57 Maxwell aircraft before it ever hit the air, the agency announced on Friday. Officials cited safety concerns as the reason for the cancellation, but the decision comes at a time of overall belt-tightening at NASA, with budget pressures coming down the pike.   Electric plane: The […]


NATO Casts a Wider Net with New Partners for Accelerator 

NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) has teamed up with Starburst Aerospace, Mission Innovation X at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT MIx), and MassChallenge for its next program, which will send alliance resources to innovators in a several fields, including hypersonics, energy and propulsion, and space. Why the partners? Starburst, MIT MIx, […]


Ursa Major Receives AFRL Contract for Draper and Arroway Engines

Ursa Major received a contract from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on Tuesday to test a prototype of its new Draper engine for hypersonics and to continue developing its Arroway engines.  AFRL awarded these funds aiming to decrease US dependence on foreign propulsion systems for space launch, a key goal of its rocket propulsion […]


Stratolaunch Completes Preliminary Hypersonic Vehicle Test

Stratolaunch successfully completed a key step on the way to flying its hypersonic vehicle on Saturday with the separation and landing of its Talon-A test vehicle from the Roc carrier aircraft. Stratolaunch 101 The Mojave, CA-based company was founded in 2011 by late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen with ambitions to build hypersonic test vehicles. Its […]


Israeli Startup WeSpace Technologies Plans a Lunar Hopper

Israeli startup WeSpace Technologies is angling to provide Israel’s official contribution to the Artemis program with its lunar hopper.  The company plans to launch its first craft in less than three years to begin providing “flying services on the Moon,” CEO Yifat Feffer told Payload. Lunar hopping WeSpace’s offering to the growing lunar economy is […]


Relativity Developing New 3D Printing Tech for Terran-R

Relativity is adding two new 3D printing technologies to its repertoire to build the larger, heavy-lift Terran-R, CEO Tim Ellis told Payload. “Aeon R is a pretty giant engine. Not just thrust, but I think the size of it,” Ellis said. “So the two new printing technologies are necessary to start doing some hybrid additive […]


ispace HAKUTO-R Lander Likely Hard-Lands on the Moon

The Moon will have to wait a little longer for its first non-governmental visitor. ispace’s attempt to soft-land the first commercially-funded spacecraft on the lunar surface most likely ended in failure yesterday. After a five-month journey that sent the HAKUTO-R lander on a swooping, gravity-assisted trajectory around the Moon, the Japanese company revealed that it […]


Low-cost Star Sensor Could Help Cubesats Find Their Way

Cubesats may soon be able to find their way in space at a lower cost thanks to a new star sensor developed by Indian researchers, which launched to space on Saturday. Starberry-Sense hopes to help small satellites determine their orientation in space in relation to surrounding stars for just 10 percent of the cost of […]


Secure World Foundation Releases 2023 Update to Counterspace Report

Russia has used space assets in its assault on Ukraine, including using electronic warfare capabilities against targets in orbit and interfering with European Sentinel-1 SAR satellites over the country, according to a new report evaluating the counterspace capabilities of 11 countries. The Secure World Foundation on Friday released the 2023 version of its annual Counterspace […]


Agile Qualifies a Thruster for Lunar Landings

Agile Space Industries, a Colorado-based in-space propulsion company, announced Wednesday that it has qualified its A110 bipropellant thruster for lunar landers.  Back in the game: The A110 is the first US-built thruster qualified for lunar landers since the Apollo program more than six decades ago, according to the company. “These are challenges the US space […]


Rosotics Unveils A New Kind of 3D Printer

Rosotics is on a mission to revolutionize additive manufacturing. This morning in Mesa, AZ, the 3D-printing startup will debut the first completed prototype of its Mantis printer—a huge, unfolding contraption capable of printing 45 kg of material per hour on the power from a standard 240V outlet. The first printers are marked for delivery in […]


UKSA Funds Rolls-Royce’s Lunar Nuclear Reactor 

The UK Space Agency has awarded Rolls-Royce £2.9M ($3.5M) to continue development of a lunar nuclear reactor. Under the contract, UKSA and Rolls-Royce are aiming to get a demo model on the Moon’s surface by 2029. The agency previously funded a £249,000 (~$305,000) study last year.  The micro-reactor program A bet on nuclear energy is […]