TechCrunch Space: Reusable Rockets, Reusable Satellites | Tech Crunch

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Hello and welcome back to the TechCrunch space. I hope everyone has a peaceful Easter for those who celebrate.

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This week, I spoke with Orbit Fab CEO Daniel Faber about the company's first refueling port to officially hit the market. The price tag? Just $30,000.

“SpaceX made rockets reusable, Orbit Fab makes satellites reusable,” he said. “In this world today, if you run a rocket company and you're not working on reusable rockets, you're working to the end. The same is true of satellites: if you don't recycle your satellites, you're putting a predetermined amount of waste into orbit.

Image Credits: Orbit Fab (Opens in a new window)

I learned a lot from this deep dive into China's struggles to bring international partners to the International Lunar Research Station initiative. As a Chinese-speaking Westerner it can be difficult to understand China's space program, so I always appreciate Andrew Jones' reporting.

A Long March-5 Y7 rocket lifts off from China's Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on February 23, 2024. Image Credits: Getty Images/VCG/VCG

On April 1, 1960, NASA launched the first weather satellite. It's strange to think about, because low Earth orbit is rapidly filling up with spacecraft that provide tons of useful data on the atmosphere… but we've got to start somewhere. And we started with TIROS 1 (Television and Infrared Observation Satellite). Here's NASA:

The TIROS program (Television Infrared Observation Satellite) was NASA's first experimental phase to determine whether satellites could be useful in studying the Earth. At that time, the effectiveness of satellite observations was still unproven. Because satellites are a new technology, the TIROS program also tested various design issues for the spacecraft: instruments, data, and operational parameters. 'Should we evacuate the coast because of the storm?' The goal is to improve satellite applications for ground-based decisions such as


NASA's TIROS 1 weather satellite. Image Credits: NASA

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