TechCrunch Space: Reusable rockets, reusable satellites

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Hello and invited backmost to TechCrunch Space. I dream everyone had a restful Easter, for those who celebrate.

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Story of nan week

This week, I sat down pinch Orbit Fab CEO Daniel Faber to talk astir nan company’s first refueling larboard officially hitting nan market. The value tag? Just $30,000.

“SpaceX has made rockets reusable, Orbit Fab makes satellites reusable,” he said. “In this world today, if you’re moving a rocket company, and you’re not moving towards reusable rockets, you’re moving to a dormant end. The aforesaid is existent of satellites: If you’re not making your satellites reusable, you’re conscionable putting preordained junk into orbit.”

What we’re reading

I learned a batch from this heavy dive into China’s struggles to bring connected world partners to its International Lunar Research Station initiative. It tin beryllium a struggle to understand China’s abstraction programme arsenic a non-Chinese-speaking Westerner, truthful I ever admit Andrew Jones’ reporting.

A Long March-5 Y7 rocket lifted disconnected from China’s Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site connected February 23, 2024. Image Credits: Getty Images/VCG/VCG

This week successful abstraction history

On April 1, 1960, THE VERY FIRST upwind outer was launched by NASA. It’s overseas to deliberation about, because debased Earth orbit is quickly filling retired pinch spacecraft that supply tons of useful information connected weather… but we had to commencement somewhere. And we started pinch TIROS 1 (Television and InfraRed Observation Satellite). Here’s NASA:

The TIROS Program (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was NASA’s first experimental measurement to find if satellites could beryllium useful successful nan study of nan Earth. At that time, nan effectiveness of outer observations was still unproven. Since satellites were a caller technology, nan TIROS Program besides tested various creation issues for spacecraft: instruments, information and operational parameters. The extremity was to amended outer applications for Earth-bound decisions, specified arsenic ‘should we evacuate nan seashore because of nan hurricane?’


NASA’s TIROS 1 upwind satellite. Image Credits: Nasa