Queensland rocket maker Gilmour Space Technologies and South Australian nanosatellite manufacturer Fleet Space Technologies have joined forces to launch half a dozen of small satellites to orbit in 2023. Under the signed contract, six Fleet Space Centauri nanosatellites will be launched using Gilmore Space's Eris rockets. "This launch is going to involve an Australian-built payload in an Australian-built satellite, on an Australian-built rocket," Fleet Space CEO Flavia Tata Nardini said. "Today's announcement is the beginning of an ongoing launch service relationship as we work towards our planned constellation of 140 satellites," she added. "We are building a strong portfolio of launch service partners, and we are very excited to have Gilmour Space as one of them."
Being an astronaut is great so long as you don't mind sucking your dinner out of a pouch and munching on freeze dried ice cream given that fresh foodstuffs have traditionally lacked the necessary multi-year shelf stability. Thankfully, the days of rehydrated snacks will soon be over thanks to an ingenious refrigeration system from the University of Colorado, Boulder, dubbed Freezer Refrigerator Incubator Device for Galley and Experimentation (aka the FRIDGE). The units were designed by BioServe Space Technologies at UCB and are only about the size of a standard microwave. "There are no rotating parts, no fans, which is really big for reliability," Robby Aaron, an aerospace master's student working on the project, said in an April press statement. "A normal fridge on Earth is also hot in the back. We can't have that in space. Warm air doesn't rise in microgravity; it stays stationary and can cause things to overheat, so you must get rid of heat some other way. ISS has a water-cooling system we'll be tapped into to directly dump the waste heat and keep the system cool."
China sent its first woman into outer space, prompting a surge of national pride as the rising power takes its latest step towards putting a space station in orbit within the decade. At a cost of more than 150 billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive object ever built. This price tag is more than double the combined costs of China's Three Gorges Dam, Boston's Big Dig and the Chunnel. But as noted by CNN, funding for the International Space Station may run out in the early 2020s. That happens to be around the same time that the Chinese are expected to complete their own space station, potentially leaving the Asian power with the sole operating lab in the heavens.