2020-11-02

Satellite News

Telesat to announce satellite, launch contracts by year’s end

Canadian satellite fleet operator Telesat is in advanced discussions with vendors seeking to build and launch satellites for its multibillion dollar Telesat LEO constellation. Telesat also is supporting Lockheed Martin’s campaign to build 10 satellites for the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency using small buses from Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems. Telesat is providing technical advice on the satellites’ optical links.

NASA-ESA agreement a milestone in efforts to develop Artemis international partnerships

While NASA and the European Space Agency hailed an agreement this week to work together on the lunar Gateway, both agencies have work ahead to establish international cooperation on the overall Artemis program of human lunar exploration.

Launcher News

ESA lays out roadmap to Ariane 6 and Vega-C flights

Vega-C and Ariane 6 are being developed by ESA to assure Europe’s independent access to space. The maiden flight for Vega-C is planned to take place in June 2021, that for Ariane 6 for the second quarter of 2022. Solid progress is being made on both Vega-C and Ariane 6 development programmes. Since March, some technical events and the COVID-19 pandemic have both impacted the progress of activities. Uncertainty from COVID-19 still persists globally to date.

Exploration News

Asteroid Ryugu shaken by Hayabusa2’s impactor

Professor ARAKAWA Masahiko (Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, Japan) and members of the Hayabusa2 mission discovered more than 200 boulders ranging from 30cm to 6m in size, which either n

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx stows sample of Asteroid Bennu for return trip

NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has successfully stowed the spacecraft’s Sample Return Capsule (SRC) and its abunda

Virgin Galactic Flight Test Program Update – SpaceShipTwo Prepares For 1st Spaceflight From New Mexico

We are currently preparing for the first spaceflight from our operational base at Spaceport America in New Mexico, which will occur later this fall.  The flight will be crewed by two of our pilots and will carry several research payloads in the cabin of VSS Unity. In these final preparations we are working through a number of rigorous steps to prepare the vehicles, pilots, teams and facilities, ensuring that we remain focused on safety as our top priority

NewSpace  News

D-Orbit announces successful ORIGIN mission / D-Orbit secures 15M euro financing from EIB

D-Orbit, the in-orbit transportation company, announced the successful completion of the deployment phase of ORIGIN mission, the first of ION Satellite Carrier. ION, D-Orbit’s satellite platform, ION’s deployment strategy delivers a full and fast phasing of the hosted satellites, allowing them to be equally spaced along the orbital plane in up to 85% less time with respect to standard practices, faster signal acquisition, and a stable collision-free formation, which ultimately translates to a shorter time to revenues; this, together with longer operational lifetime for spacecraft, can lead to up to 40% overall savings in launching and operating a constellation. D-Orbit is debriefing the mission in preparation for the launch of ION SCV LAURENTIUS, the second flight of ION Satellite Carrier upgraded version, slated for December 2020.

Start of the production of the Skylark Constellation
Thales Alenia Space, LeoStella and NorthStar Join Forces to Monitor and Track Space Debris

Thales Alenia Space, signed the first phase of a contract with NorthStar Earth and Space Inc., the Canadian space-based information servi to start the development and production of the first three smallsat satellites that are part of the world’s first and most advanced commercial space-based environmental and near-space monitoring system. Today, the industrial journey begins for the Skylark constellation, with Thales Alenia Space being responsible for the space system activities by providing the payloads alongside with LeoStella (a joint venture between BlackSky and Thales Alenia Space) providing the satellite platform and the assembly, integration and test facilities based in Tukwila for final assembly and delivery.

Virgin Orbit to take stake in Sky and Space Global

Virgin Orbit plans to invest in Sky and Space Global (SAS), the financially troubled satellite constellation company, and partner with it on launch and satellite services.

Space Safety News

Trouble in Orbit – 2021

We are all aware of the growing amount of junk floating around Earth in low orbits. Ultimately, the mass and distribution of junk and active satellites will exceed the capacity of space to safely contain the debris generated by the addition of more than 40,000 new satellites planned for deployment in the next few years. When we have reached this limit our ability to travel in space will be greatly diminished. When will this happen? No one knows the answer, but It could be soon. As the space capaci … read mor

Science & Technology News

ESA Seeking Dust-proof Materials for Lunar Return

When humans return to the Moon they’ll have formidable challenge lying in wait: lunar dust. The talcum-like lunar regolith is considered the biggest operational problem facing Moon colonists. Within a few days of dust exposure, Apollo spacesuits suffered obscured visors, clogged mechanisms and eroded suit layers. So an ESA team is looking into novel material options to serve as the basis of future spacesuits or protect rovers or fixed infrastructure. “The idea came up that as ESA’s going

Aerospace Corp. calls for collaboration in space solar power

The concept of space solar power “evolved over a very long time and is probably a couple of generations away from being hooked into the terrestrial power grid

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