2020-12-14

Satellite News

ESA Signs Contracts for Reusable Space Rider Up to Maiden Flight

Launched on a Vega-C rocket, this spacecraft will serve as an uncrewed robotic laboratory in low Earth orbit, returning to Earth with its payloads and being reused on future missions. Space Rider offers routine access to and return from space for a wide range of European space and non-space applications, including in-orbit research and technology demonstrations. The Space Rider programme achieved major success at Space19+ attracting ten participating States and exceeding funding.

Thales Alenia Space and Avio Sign With ESA the Space Rider Development Contract

The development of the automated reusable Space Rider transportation system is total worth of the contract is 167M€. It is designed for deployment by the new Vega C light launcher into low Earth orbit (LEO)

Thales Alenia Space Signs Contract from ESA to Build Copernicus ROSE-L Satellite

Thales Alenia Space announced today that it has signed a 482 M Euro contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to build the Copernicus Radar Observation System for Europe in L-band (ROSE-L) environmental monitoring satellite, as part of Europe’s Copernicus program

Airbus to Deliver Radar Instrument for New Copernicus ROSE-L Mission

Airbus has been selected by Thales Alenia Space to build the advanced radar instrument for the ‘Radar Observatory System for Europe in L-band’ (ROSE-L) mission. Airbus Defence and Space in Friedrichshafen (Germany) will head an industrial consortium for the radar instrument involving companies from nine countries to deliver the project. The contract, awarded to Airbus by the mission’s Prime contractor Thales Alenia Space, is worth about € 190 million. With launch planned in July 2027

Thales Alenia Space Chosen by NGC to Provide the Pressurized Module for HALO

Thales Alenia Space, the joint company between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed a contract with Northrop Grumman to develop the pressurized module for HALO (Habitation And Logistics Outpost) that will be one of the first two elements to form the lunar Gateway which will be launched in late 2023. HALO is planned to be launched together with the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and will be the initial habitat for astronauts visiting the Gateway. Its primary purpose is to provide

Exploration News

Chang’e 5 makes 1st moon-Earth transfer injection maneuver to return home

The orbiter-reentry capsule combination of China’s Chang’e 5 robotic probe carried out its first moon-Earth transfer injection maneuver on Saturday morning, placing itself in an elliptical lunar orbit, according to China National Space Administration. The combination had been traveling in a near-circular lunar orbit for nearly six days before conducting the maneuver, which is intended to enable the spacecraft to shift toward a moon-Earth transfer trajectory,

Launcher News

Starship prototype makes first high-altitude flight, explodes upon landing

SpaceX performed the first high-altitude test flight of a prototype of its Starship launch vehicle Dec. 9, with the vehicle successfully lifting off the pad but exploding when attempting a landing several minutes later.

Virgin Galactic spacecraft forced to abort test flight

Virgin Galactic’s passenger aircraft SpaceShipTwo was forced to abort a test flight on Saturday after a technical malfunction

Three companies win NASA small launch contracts

Astra Space, Firefly Aerospace and Relativity Space won the16.7M$  contracts through NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services (VCLS) 2 program, the agency announced Dec. 11. The companies will launch cubesats provided by NASA on those missions, with launches required by the end of June 2022.

NewSpace  News

Hydrosat to fly thermal infrared mission with Loft Orbital

Hydrosat, a company planning to create a thermal infrared map of Earth, announced an agreement Dec. 9 with Loft Orbital to launch its first satellite mission in early 2022.

SAR-Based Flood Damage Assessment Solution Service Debuts From Synspective

Synspective Inc., a Japanese company providing satellite data and derived solutions using small-sized SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) satellites, launches its SAR-based “Flood Damage Assessment Solution” service, which provides damage information when a flood occurs, using the highly reliable SAR-attributable data capabilities of all-weather, any time, high-frequency observation.

Spire raises funding from European Investment Bank

Spire Global has raised 20 million euros ($24 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB), part of a growing effort by European agencies to support space startups.

Millennium Space experiment to demonstrate technology to rapidly deorbit satellites

Millennium Space Systems says an experiment launched to space on Nov. 19 will show that a small satellite with a deployable tether can safely deorbit in about 45 days. 

TriSept selects Relativity Space for full launch mission aboard Terran 1

Supporting a rideshare manifest with a mix of small and large satellites, TriSept Corporation has selected Relativity Space for a full mission aboard Relativity’s Terran 1, 

Isar Aerospace, Orbex raise funding for small launch vehicles

Two European companies have raised a combined $115 million to continue work on small launch vehicles scheduled to make their first flights in 2022.

Dawn Aerospace wins license for suborbital flights

Dawn Aerospace announced Dec. 9 that it received approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to begin flying the Mk-II Aurora, a 4.8-meter-long test vehicle the company developed as part of a long-term campaign to develop a reusable spaceplane.

Space Safety News

Aerospace Corp. raises questions about pollutants produced during satellite and rocket reentry

As the combined mass of satellites in orbit climbs, research is needed to better understand the environmental impact of the portions of satellites and their launch vehicles that eventually reenter Earth’s atmosphere.

Millennium Space experiment to demonstrate technology to rapidly deorbit satellites

Millennium Space Systems says an experiment launched to space on Nov. 19 will show that a small satellite with a deployable tether can safely deorbit in about 45 days. 

Science & Technology News

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