Sex in space: Could technology meet astronauts intimate needs?

Sex in space: Could technology meet astronauts’ intimate needs?


PhD candidate, Psychology, Concordia University

Chercheur affilié à l’Observatoire international sur les impacts sociétaux de l’intelligence artificielle et du numérique (OBVIA), Université Laval

Disclosure statement

Simon Dubé receives funding from Fond de Recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

Dave Anctil does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


Universitié Concordia provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA-FR.

Concordia University provides funding as a founding partner of The Conversation CA.

AUF (Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie) provides funding as a member of The Conversation FR.

The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations


The 2018 movie A.I. Rising explores how machines could fulfill desires and support humans during space travel. Lo and behold, it might contain the solution to problems related to space exploration.

Astronauts, despite their rigorous training, remain humans with needs. For space exploration and colonization to succeed, we need to overcome taboos, consider human needs and desires and provide concrete, realistic solutions based on science rather than conventional morality.

Can humans thrive for prolonged periods of time in small groups and in closed, isolated environments? Can humans contend with limited possibilities of relationships, intimacy and sexuality?

Sex tech might have the answer.

The Serbian movie ‘A.I. Rising’ is premised on the relationship between an astronaut and an android.

As researchers exploring human-machine erotic interactions, we are interested in their implications and potential applications for human well-being — even beyond our home planet.

Sex in space

Space exploration and colonization is one of humanity’s greatest endeavours, but it comes with challenges. One of them is to make the space journey human compatible, that is, physically and psychologically viable. Given that intimacy and sexuality are basic needs, they become central issues for human-space compatibility.

How will humans have sex in space? Can we propagate the species beyond Earth? What will intimate relationships look like aboard spaceships and settlements?

As of now, NASA and other space agencies have denied that any sexual activity has ever occurred during a space mission. Either sex in space hasn’t happened, or no one is talking about it. Nonetheless, imminent prolonged human missions to the moon and Mars raise concerns regarding the future of intimacy and sexuality in space.

One important concern is that space exploration and colonization will limit people’s opportunities for relationships, intimacy and sexuality for long periods of time. In the very near future, human missions will only include small crews and settlements. Fewer people mean fewer opportunities for intimacy — making it difficult to find partners to connect with and potentially increasing tension between crew members.

For instance, it might be difficult to find partners that fit our personality, preferences and sexual orientation. And when a relationship ends, people are stuck on a ship with an ex-partner — possibly impairing a crew’s mood and the teamwork necessary to survive in dangerous environments.

Human needs

While some people might be able to withstand a policy of total abstinence, it might be detrimental to the physical and mental health of others — especially as larger groups venture into space. Yet NASA seems afraid of tackling issues of intimacy and sexuality in space. In 2008, Bill Jeffs, spokesperson for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said: “We don’t study sexuality in space, and we don’t have any studies ongoing with that. If that’s your specific topic, there’s nothing to discuss.”

Given what we know about human sexuality, this position seems irresponsible. It prevents research from examining basic questions about sexual health and well-being in space. For instance, how do we deal with hygiene and the messiness of human sex in zero-gravity? How will we maintain a crew’s psychological well-being if people must endure long periods lacking in erotic stimulation and affection? Is imposed abstinence a reasonable solution, based on empirical evidence?

Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov holds the record for the longest spaceflight. Polyakov spent 438 days in space, returning to Earth on March 22, 1995. (NASA)

Sex tech and ‘erobots’

One solution could be to make erotic technologies available to crews and settlers in space.

This could include sex toys — any object used for sexual enhancement or stimulation — which could be used for sexual pleasure and gratification. But sex toys do not address the social dimensions of human erotic needs. This is where erobots come in.

The term erobots characterizes all virtual, embodied and augmented artificial erotic agents and the technologies that produce them. Examples include sex robots, erotic chatbots and virtual or augmented partners. Erobotics is the emerging transdisciplinary research studying human-erobots interactions and related phenomena.

Unlike previous technologies, erobots offer the opportunity of intimate relations with artificial agents tailored to the needs of their users. Erobotic technologies polarize public and academic discourses: some denounce them as promoting harmful norms, while others defend their potential benefits and health, education and research applications.

Erobots represent a practical solution to tackle the inhuman conditions of space exploration and colonization. Moreover, erobotics could enable us to approach questions of intimacy and sexuality in space from scientific, relational and technological perspectives.

Erobots could provide companionship and sexual pleasure to crew members and settlers. Beyond the capabilities of sex toys, erobots can incorporate social dimensions into erotic experiences. They could help with loneliness and the inevitable anxieties borne out of solitude. They could act as surrogate romantic partners, provide sexual outlets and reduce risks associated with human sex.

Erobots could also provide intimacy and emotional support. And finally, erobots’ sensors and interactive capabilities could help monitor astronauts’ physiological and psychological health — acting as a complement to daily medical exams.

Erobots can take many forms and be made of light material. They can manifest through virtual or augmented reality and be combined with sex toys to provide interactive and immersive erotic experiences. The same technology could also be employed to enact erotic experiences with loved ones back on Earth.

Addressing human desire, intimacy and reproduction will increase in importance as we move towards space colonization. (Shutterstock)

Moving into space

To harness erotic technology’s potential for human space missions, we must build collaborations between academia, governmental space programs and the private sector.

Erobotics can contribute to space research programs. As a field grounded in sexuality and technology positive frameworks, it recognizes the importance of intimacy and sexuality in human life and promotes the development of technology geared towards health and well-being.

And ultimately, we must shed our taboos regarding technology and sexuality as we journey to the final frontier.

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Astronaut Christina Koch setting record for longest mission by a woman, collectSPACE

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NASA astronaut setting record for longest mission by a woman

— A NASA astronaut is set to break a record for time spent in space, and she still has six weeks to go before she returns to Earth.

Christina Koch will surpass the record for the single longest space mission by a woman as previously established by NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in 2017. The 40-year-old Expedition 61 flight engineer will exceed Whitson’s 289 days, 5 hours and 1 minute on Saturday (Dec. 28) at 6:16 p.m. CST (0016 GMT on Dec. 29).

“Having the opportunity to be up here for so long is truly an honor,” said Koch during a series of press interviews on Thursday. “Peggy is a heroine of mine and has also been kind enough to mentor me through the years, so it is a reminder to give back and to mentor when I get back.”

Koch launched to the space station on March 14 on what was expected to be a typical six-month mission. Then her stay was extended by NASA, in part to collect more data about the effects of long-duration spaceflight. She is now slated to land on Feb. 6, 2020.

“It is a wonderful thing for science. We see another aspect of how the human body is affected by microgravity for the long term. That is really important for our future spaceflight plans, going forward to the moon and Mars,” said Koch.

If her return to Earth remains as scheduled, Koch will have logged 328 days in space — just 12 days shy of the longest single spaceflight by a NASA astronaut, 340 days, set by Scott Kelly during his “year-long” mission from 2015 to 2016.

“I like to think of the record as not so much about how many days you’re up here, but what you bring to each day, so [it is] another great reminder to just bring your best,” Koch said.

In addition to servicing NASA’s science goals, Koch said she feels that milestones like hers helps increase outreach and inspires.

“Outreach, because it gets the conversation going about the state of the art, where we are in human exploration. And inspiring, because I think as a milestone it can motivate people,” she said. “It also motivates me, because on those rough days I remind myself that, ‘You know, this hasn’t been done before, it makes sense that it is hard.’ It makes sense that I have to dig deep sometimes.”

This is the second record that Koch has set during what is her first spaceflight. In October, Koch and NASA astronaut Jessica Meir became the first two women to perform a spacewalk together.

“I think that highlighting it was the first all-female EVA, [or] spacewalk, is important because seeing those milestones be broken tells people where we are at and where we think the importance lies,” said Koch. “I think it is inspiring because future space explorers do need to see people who remind them of themselves.”

“That was certainly true for me and my background,” Koch continued, “so to have that opportunity to do it for future space explorers is a real honor.”

Although Koch will take the record the longest single spaceflight by a woman, Whitson retains the records for the most cumulative time in space by an American astronaut and by a woman worldwide at 665 days logged over three missions.

The world record for the single longest mission by any space explorer, man or woman, is held by cosmonaut Valery Polyakov, who spent 438 consecutive days on board Russia’s former space station Mir from January 1994 to March 1995. Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka holds the world record for the most cumulative time in space at 878 days over the course of five missions.

“My biggest hope for [this] record is that it is exceeded as soon as possible again, because that means we are continuing to push those boundaries,” said Koch.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Christina Koch handles science hardware stowed inside a cargo transfer bag on board the International Space Station in December 2019. Koch is setting a new record for the longest mission by a woman. (NASA)

Christina Koch (right) with her heroine and mentor, Peggy Whitson, at a White House bill signing in December 2017. (White House)

Ripples in space-time could explain the mystery of why the universe exists, Live Science

Ripples in space-time could explain the mystery of why the universe exists

A new study may help answer one of the universe’s biggest mysteries.

A new study may help answer one of the universe’s biggest mysteries: Why is there more matter than antimatter? That answer, in turn, could explain why everything from atoms to black holes exists.

Billions of years ago, soon after the Big Bang, cosmic inflation stretched the tiny seed of our universe and transformed energy into matter. Physicists think inflation initially created the same amount of matter and antimatter, which annihilate each other on contact. But then something happened that tipped the scales in favor of matter, allowing everything we can see and touch to come into existence — and a new study suggests that the explanation is hidden in very slight ripples in space-time.

“If you just start off with an equal component of matter and antimatter, you would just end up with having nothing,” because antimatter and matter have equal but opposite charge, said lead study author Jeff Dror, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and physics researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “Everything would just annihilate.”

Obviously, everything did not annihilate, but researchers are unsure why. The answer might involve very strange elementary particles known as neutrinos, which don’t have electrical charge and can thus act as either matter or antimatter.

One idea is that about a million years after the Big Bang, the universe cooled and underwent a phase transition, an event similar to how boiling water turns liquid into gas. This phase change prompted decaying neutrinos to create more matter than antimatter by some “small, small amount,” Dror said. But “there are no very simple ways — or almost any ways — to probe [this theory] and understand if it actually occurred in the early universe.”

But Dror and his team, through theoretical models and calculations, figured out a way we might be able to see this phase transition. They proposed that the change would have created extremely long and extremely thin threads of energy called “cosmic strings” that still pervade the universe.

Dror and his team realized that these cosmic strings would most likely create very slight ripples in space-time called gravitational waves. Detect these gravitational waves, and we can discover whether this theory is true.

The strongest gravitational waves in our universe occur when a supernova, or star explosion, happens; when two large stars orbit each other; or when two black holes merge, according to NASA. But the proposed gravitational waves caused by cosmic strings would be much tinier than the ones our instruments have detected before.

However, when the team modeled this hypothetical phase transition under various temperature conditions that could have occurred during this phase transition, they made an encouraging discovery: In all cases, cosmic strings would create gravitational waves that would be detectable by future observatories, such as the European Space Agency’s Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) and proposed Big Bang Observer and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Deci-hertz Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (DECIGO).

“If these strings are produced at sufficiently high energy scales, they will indeed produce gravitational waves that can be detected by planned observatories,” Tanmay Vachaspati, a theoretical physicist at Arizona State University who wasn’t part of the study, told Live Science.

The findings were published Jan. 28 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to correct the organizations in charge of LISA. It is run by the European Space Agency, not NASA, which is a collaborator on the project.

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Forward Space expands operations to service the Milwaukee area

Today, Forward Space was approved to expand its operations to become the authorized Steelcase dealer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Over the years, we’ve worked hard to build a strong team of talented individuals who are dedicated to supporting the vision and goals of our clients. As such, we’re committed to bringing that same level of talent and energy with us as we eagerly join the Milwaukee business community.

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Who We Are

Forward Space exists to help you propel your organization forward and bring to life the space and environments that are precisely designed for your purpose. We help our customers to create innovative work environments that inspire people to excel wherever and however they work.

When you propel your organization forward with us, you’ll always find a distinct point of view, depth of resources and inventive solutions. Armed with intelligent design and research from Steelcase, our Forward Space teams are equipped with the expertise and perspective to help you realize a dynamic environment where people and ideas flow without restraint. Following this approach, we’ve helped leading corporations break down old walls, and vibrant entrepreneurs build new spaces to fuel their future.

We understand there’s only one direction that matters and that’s Forward. We’re here to guide you there.

What We Do

At Forward Space, we not only focus on the physical workspace, we explore how it relates to employee productivity, creativity, collaboration, and wellbeing. Our solutions are scalable to help you adapt to changes in technology, business processes and today’s work force. Through the integration of the workplace’s four basic elements—furniture, architecture, technology, and flooring—we’ll create an environment that’s tailored to the way you do business.

While we are proud to be an authorized Steelcase dealer, we also offer access to hundreds of other product lines and manufacturers that cover a broad range of applications, price points, and finish selections. In fact, we’re experts in specifying and installing these products. We’ll get you what you need, and get it installed correctly – down to the last nut and bolt. We’ll start by helping you define your needs and cutting the options down to size.

Architectural Products

Architectural products integrate architecture, furniture and technology for a more effective workplace. They include moveable walls, access floors, modular power and cabling, and acoustic solutions. They provide more options to define environments, increased flexibility and additional design elements. They can be a superior alternative to traditional construction that’s simpler to build, easier to change, more environmentally responsible, and much more cost-effective.

Technology Integration

Our customized solutions can increase productivity and collaboration for corporations, educational institutions, healthcare organizations and government agencies. From meeting rooms and teaming spaces to training centers and classrooms, we work closely with you to create solutions that support your business needs. Our professional staff will ensure a fully functional, high-performance environment through our ability to seamlessly meld technology with furniture and architectural systems.

Floor Covering

Floor covering is generally one of the components signaling the finalization of a new construction or renovation project, and it requires expertise in a variety of disciplines and materials. We bring direct knowledge, technical capabilities, and effective management to every project – local or national. Our flooring experts will recommend the appropriate material and performance specifications for every situation. In addition, we can often provide dramatic cost savings in renovation projects where systems furniture can be left in place and intact during the process of replacing your carpet.

SpaceX s Elon Musk wants the Space Force to become Star Fleet, TheHill

SpaceX’s Elon Musk wants the Space Force to become Star Fleet

Last December, around the time that Congress passed and President Trump Donald John TrumpFeehery: Mulvaney fit for Northern Ireland post Press: Bernie Sanders has already won The Hill’s Morning Report – Can Trump, Congress agree on coronavirus package? MORE signed into law the legislation that created the United States Space Force, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Starfleet begins.”

Musk’s tweet was put down to an excess of exuberance. For the foreseeable future, the closest that Space Force personnel will get to war fighting in space will be sitting at consoles controlling satellites and space-based weapons systems. No one is going to stride the bridge of the Starship Enterprise for a very long time.

But it seems that Musk was in earnest. Recently, according to, he was engaged in a “fireside chat” at a meeting of the Air Force Association’s Air War Symposium taking place in Orlando, Florida. He spoke at length on the need for rapid innovation so that the United States can stay ahead of its nearest rival, China, in dominating the high frontier of space.

In order to really foster the kind of innovation that is needed, Musk stated, “We gotta make Star Fleet happen.” He went on to suggest that while warp drive and transporters are still a long way away, there could be “–big spaceships that can go far places? Definitely. That can be done.”

What sort of “big spaceships” one might ask? It happens that Musk is working on one at a growing facility at Boca Chica, Texas, near Brownsville. In keeping with the Star Trek theme, the vehicle is called the Starship. It will be a reusable space vehicle, launched into space by a first stage called the Super Heavy. With refueling, the Starship is designed to deliver 100 tons of people and material to the moon or Mars as needed.

Eric Berger at Ars Technica paid a visit to Boca Chica recently. In his account, he describes an operation that is so fast paced that it makes the Apollo race to the moon seem like a leisurely stroll by comparison. Musk is determined to build a fleet of a thousand Starship rockets at a pace of one a week to help fulfill his dream of founding a city on Mars. So far, he is doing that on his own dime, though he would never turn down a contract from NASA or the Space Force, for that matter.

The Starship will be able to do a few other things as well, from providing point-to-point transportation anywhere on Earth to supporting NASA’s Project Artemis to establish a base on the moon. Elon Musk Elon Reeve MuskHillicon Valley: Biden overtakes Sanders in Facebook ad spending for first time | New HHS rules would give patients access to health data | Twitter flags edited Biden video retweeted by Trump SpaceX’s Elon Musk wants the Space Force to become Star Fleet Elon Musk: Panic over the coronavirus is ‘dumb’ MORE suggests that the reusable rocket ship could form the basis of a real-life “Star Fleet.”

What would the Space Force do with its own fleet of rocket ships? It might use them to, in the near term, learn to operate in space with a view to executing its mission of defending America’s space assets and, if necessary, striking at those of an enemy such as China or Russia.

NASA and other space agencies use spacecraft for one-off exploration missions. It was true during Apollo, and it will be true, at least initially, when Project Artemis becomes reality. The Space Force could develop rocket ships in the same way as every navy has ocean-going ships. The SpaceX Starship could be the very first ship of space to be used over and over again, a sort of space-faring version of the ocean-going galleon that Francis Drake sailed to explore the Americas and to fight the Spanish.

As the role of the United States and her allies in space evolves and grows, so would the Space Force’s mission. Moon bases, asteroid mining facilities, space-based manufacturing and Musk’s dreamed of Mars settlement will need defending.

The Space Force will be not only a war-fighting service, but also a rescue organization, a peace-keeping force and even a space debris collection group. It may eventually take over space exploration duties from NASA or have the entire space agency folded into it.

To use a slightly altered version of a well-known line:

“Space, the final frontier, our continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, and to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Not to mention make Elon Musk richer than he already is and make the United States the undisputed superpower on and beyond the Earth for the foreseeable future. A marvelous win-win situation, that.

Mark R. Whittington, who writes frequently about space and politics, has published a political study of space exploration entitled “Why is It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?” as well as “The Moon, Mars and Beyond.” He blogs at Curmudgeons Corner.

Spaceflight Named to Fast Company – s Annual List of the World – s Most Innovative Companies for 2020, Business Wire

Spaceflight Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020


Spaceflight Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020 (Graphic: Business Wire)

Spaceflight Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020 (Graphic: Business Wire)

SEATTLE–( BUSINESS WIRE )–Spaceflight, Inc. has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2020. The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world. This year’s MIC list features 434 businesses from 39 countries.

Spaceflight was recognized by Fast Company for its comprehensive launch services offering, winning praise for its record-breaking dedicated rideshare mission, SSO-A.

“Being named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies acknowledges Spaceflight’s ability to develop and execute creative and inventive approaches to making space more accessible,” said Curt Blake, CEO and president of Spaceflight. “Our first dedicated rideshare mission, SSO-A, was incredibly complex and required our team to seek novel solutions to successfully launch 64 satellites from one vehicle. It was an important milestone for the industry and for Spaceflight, demonstrating the viability of rideshare missions. We remain committed to making space more accessible, executing more missions in 2019 than any other year. We’re poised for another year of growth, working with new launch vehicles and expanding our service offering to make launch more affordable, reliable and flexible.”

SSO-A was Spaceflight’s first-ever dedicated rideshare mission, a launch that sent the largest number of satellites from a U.S.-based launch vehicle to space. SSO-A was an important milestone for Spaceflight, as it gave a significant number of customers access to space in a cost-effective way. Without the option of rideshare, many of these organizations would not have had the funds to purchase a ticket to orbit.

The mission launched 64 satellites from 34 organizations from 17 different countries. This diverse manifest included satellites from Earth observation companies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and even a middle school. To effectively launch the payloads, Spaceflight engineered and constructed a payload stack that safely carried the satellites to space. Additionally, to avoid potential collisions on orbit, Spaceflight developed a sequence that deployed the satellites over the course of five hours.

Spaceflight’s success continued through 2019. The company executed nine missions, the most rideshare launches it had performed in one year, launching more than 50 satellites. One of those 50 satellites was the first privately funded lunar lander, which was launched on the first-ever rideshare mission to Geostationary transfer orbit. In total, Spaceflight has launched nearly 300 satellites across 29 different launches. In 2020, Spaceflight plans to execute more than 10 missions, across five different launch vehicles, including two new launch vehicles.

Spaceflight’s parent company, Spaceflight Industries, recently announced it has signed an agreement to sell Spaceflight’s rideshare business to Japan’s Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Yamasa Co., Ltd. Upon regulatory approval, Spaceflight will continue to operate as an independent U.S.-based company, with a 50/50 joint venture ownership stake by Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa.

Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet and across myriad industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process. The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.

“At a time of increasing global volatility, this year’s list showcases the resilience and optimism of businesses across the world. These companies are applying creativity to solve challenges within their industries and far beyond,” said Fast Company senior editor Amy Farley, who oversaw the issue with deputy editor David Lidsky.

Spaceflight Readies 28 Payloads for Inaugural Rideshare Launch on Arianespace’s Vega – Parabolic Arc

Spaceflight Readies 28 Payloads for Inaugural Rideshare Launch on Arianespace’s Vega

First dedicated rideshare mission on Vega to launch spacecraft for Spaceflight customers, including Satellogic, Planet, and Swarm Technologies.

SEATTLE, March 9, 2020 (Spaceflight PR) –Spaceflight today announced it is providing mission management and rideshare integration services for four organizations on Arianespace’s first dedicated rideshare mission on its Vega launch vehicle. The proof of concept rideshare mission, VV16, will launch 53 microsatellites, nanosatellites and cubesats, including 28 payloads from Spaceflight customers Satellogic, Planet, Swarm Technologies, and an undisclosed organization.

Targeted for late March from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, this launch represents Spaceflight’s first mission aboard the Vega.

“This is an important launch for all involved,” said Curt Blake, president and CEO, Spaceflight, Inc. “Not only is this our first launch on the Vega, it’s Arianespace’s first fully dedicated rideshare mission, which is a direct response to the industry’s demand for more rideshare options. Our customers are a combination of long-standing, repeat constellation developers as well as microsat organizations opting to work with us for the first time. Our comprehensive rideshare services range from capacity brokering to full integration and logistics services to help everyone achieve their mission goals on time and budget. We’re equally excited to partner with Arianespace and play an integral role in their first, of hopefully many, rideshare missions.”

This historic rideshare mission to Sun Synchronous low-Earth Orbit of 500km aboard the Vega will transport Spaceflight customer spacecraft including:

  • NewSat-6, a low Earth orbit remote sensing satellite designed and manufactured in South America by Satellogic, a vertically integrated geospatial analytics company that is building the first Earth observation platform with the ability to remap the entire planet at both high-frequency and high-resolution. This is Satellogic’s 11th spacecraft in orbit, equipped with multispectral and hyperspectral imaging capabilities and it will be added to the company’s growing satellite constellation.
  • Planet’s 14 next-generation SuperDove satellites (Flock 4v), which will join its constellation of 150 Earth-imaging spacecraft.
  • Swarm Technologies’ 12 (.25U) satellites which provide affordable global connectivity.
  • An undisclosed microsat.

“We are thankful to Spaceflight for coordinating this launch for us,” said Emiliano Kargieman, CEO and founder of Satellogic. “As we continue to increase our in-orbit capacity, the Vega launch will demonstrate our capability to adapt our satellites to different rockets and deployment systems. This mission will also allow us to test new imaging technology capable of capturing sub-meter resolution. Through the refinement of sub-meter imaging, we plan to further drive down the cost of high-frequency geospatial analytics.”

Arianespace CEO, Stéphane Israël, commented, “We are excited to deliver 28 satellites ranging from 0.33 to 140 kg for Spaceflight and its customers. This inaugural SSMS mission onboard Vega shows how our light vehicle is adapted to tackle the booming smallsat market through our rideshare solution. Today with Vega, tomorrow with Vega C and Ariane 6, Arianespace will offer the best solutions to its customers to deploy their ambitious projects.”

Since its founding, Spaceflight has launched more than 270 satellites via 29 rocket launches, establishing itself as the leading rideshare service provider. Spaceflight plans to execute more than 10 missions in 2020 across many different launch vehicles, including the Falcon 9, Antares, Electron, Vega, SSLV, PSLV, and LauncherOne.

Spaceflight’s parent company, Spaceflight Industries recently announced it has signed an agreement to sell Spaceflight’s rideshare business to Japan’s Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Yamasa Co., Ltd. Upon regulatory approval, Spaceflight will continue to operate as an independent U.S.-based company, with a 50/50 joint venture ownership stake by Mitsui & Co. and Yamasa.

About Spaceflight

Spaceflight is revolutionizing the business of spaceflight by delivering a new model for accessing space. A comprehensive launch services and mission management provider, the company provides a straightforward and cost-effective suite of products and services, including state-of-the-art satellite infrastructure and rideshare launch offerings that enable commercial and government entities to achieve their mission goals on time and on budget. Based in Seattle, Wash., Spaceflight provides its services through a global network of partners and launch vehicle providers. For more information, visit

About Arianespace

Arianespace uses space to make life better on Earth by providing launch services for all types of satellites into all orbits. It has orbited more than 600 satellites since 1980, using its family of three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz and Vega, from launch sites in French Guiana (South America) and Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Arianespace is headquartered in Evry, near Paris, and has a technical facility at the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, plus local offices in Washington, D.C., Tokyo and Singapore. Arianespace is a subsidiary of ArianeGroup, which holds 74% of its share capital, with the balance held by 15 other shareholders from the European launcher industry.

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Watch live @ 3 pm ET: NASA, SpaceX preview next cargo launch to space station, Space

Watch live tonight! SpaceX Dragon launching NASA science to space station

Liftoff is at 11:50 p.m. EST (0450 GMT).

A SpaceX Dragon cargo ship will launch a fresh haul of NASA science to the International Space Station tonight (March 6) and you can watch it all live here. Liftoff is set for 11:50 p.m. EST (0450 GMT March 7), with NASA’s webcast beginning at 11:30 p.m. EST (0430 GMT).

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the Dragon’s CRS-20 mission to the space station. Both vehicles have flown before and are making return trips to the station. Dragon CRS-20 is hauling more than 4,300 lbs. (1,950 kilograms) of supplies to the space station.

To read more about the science experiments and other payloads, you can find NASA’s descriptions here.

From NASA:

SpaceX is now targeting March 6 at 11:50 p.m. EST for launch of its 20th commercial resupply services mission (CRS-20) to the International Space Station. During standard preflight inspections, SpaceX identified a valve motor on the second stage engine behaving not as expected and determined the safest and most expedient path to launch is to utilize the next second stage in line that was already at the Cape and ready for flight. The new second stage has already completed the same preflight inspections with all hardware behaving as expected. The updated target launch date provides the time required to complete preflight integration and final checkouts.

The cargo Dragon will lift off atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying more than 5,600 pounds of science investigations and cargo to the station, including research on particle foam manufacturing, water droplet formation, the human intestine and other cutting-edge investigations.

From NASA:

NASA will unveil the name of the agency’s next Mars rover, currently known as Mars 2020, during a live event on NASA Television at 1:30 p.m. EST Thursday, March 5, followed by a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. about the mission and the naming.

The Mars 2020 rover was the subject of a nationwide naming contest in 2019 that drew more than 28,000 essays by K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory. Nearly 4,700 volunteer judges – educators, professionals, and space enthusiasts from around the country – helped narrow the pool down to 155 semifinalists. A second round of judging selected the nine finalist essays that were open to an online public poll before Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, made the final selection.

To participate in the post-event media teleconference, media must send their name and affiliation to Vizza by noon PST Thursday. Media and the public can submit questions on social media by using #AskNASA. Participants may also follow the telecon live on YouTube and Ustream and listen to the event at:

‘ISS Live!’ Tune in to the International Space Station

Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the “ISS Live” broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.

“Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During ‘loss of signal’ periods, viewers will see a blue screen.

“Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.”