Satellite News

TAS Selected by Telesat to Build its Broadband 298-satellite Constellation Lightspeed

Thales Alenia Space, signed an agreement with leading global satellite operator Telesat to be the prime contractor on the construction of Lightspeed, its advanced LEO network, a three-billion dollar project initially comprised of a fleet of 298 satellites. Telesat will rely on Thales Alenia Space not only to provide the space and mission segments, but also to be responsible for the end-to-end network performance and related specifications of the system.  The constellation is built on a unique combination of advanced on-board satellite equipment – sophisticated active antennas that can dynamically refocus beams a thousand times per second, The optical laser link interconnections between the constellation satellites will provide global, mesh coverage around the world. The first satellites are expected to be ready for launch in two years.

Eutelsat awarded €100m contract for next-gen European navigation overlay service

The EGNOS GEO-4 payload, which improves the performance and accuracy of GPS and Galileo satellite navigation signals, will be hosted aboard a Eutelsat satellite slated to launch in 2022.

Exploration News

Precise braking helps China’s Tianwen 1 probe enter Mars orbit

Precise braking near Mars has helped China’s probe Tianwen 1 successfully enter the orbit around the red planet on Wednesday.With a weight of more than 5 tonnes, Tianwen 1 is among the world’s heaviest planetary probes. The deceleration of Tianwen 1 started with a 3000N engine ignited during 15 minutes.Then the spacecraft, including an orbiter, a lander and a rover, had slowed enough to be captured by Mars’ gravity and entered an elliptical orbit around the red Planet.

AE’s ‘Hope’ probe enters Mars orbit in first for Arab world

The United Arab Emirates’ “Hope” probe on Monday successfully entered Mars’ orbit, making history as the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission The “Hope” probe lifted off from Japan’s Tanegashima Space Center on July 20 last year. The 1,350-kilogramme (2,970-pound) probe — about the size of an SUV — took seven months to travel the 493 million kilometres

Ball Aerospace to integrate and test “sailcraft” for NASA solar propulsion demonstration

The Solar Cruiser will be one of four missions launching with the NASA Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), currently scheduled in 2025. Once in orbit, the spacecraft will deploy an 18,000-square-foot sail – roughly the size of four regulation basketball courts stitched together – to catch solar radiation to propel the vehicle

ESA’s Solar Orbiter Ducks Behind the Sun

What happens when the Solar System’s No. 1 source of violent energy interferes with spacecraft communication? Name? Solar Orbiter, or ‘Solo’ as the mission control team fondly call it, is one of the European Space Agency’s pluckiest missions and is now cruising toward the Sun. Age: One year old!

Report recommends NASA accelerate space nuclear propulsion development

NASA needs to pursue “aggressive” development of space nuclear propulsion technologies if the agency wants to use them for human missions to Mars in the next two decades, a report by a National Academies committee concluded.

Launcher News

ULA Modifies Launch Pad and Facilities in Advance of 1st Vulcan Centaur Launch This Year

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has modified Space Launch Complex-41 and the processing facilities in support of Vulcan Centaur’s inaugural launch later this year. The multi-year project to prepare for the larger and more capable launch vehicle culminated in the new mobile launch platform being rolled to the launch pad for final testing.

LM Selects ABL Space Systems Rocket to Power 1st UK Vertical Satellite Launch

Lockheed Martin has contracted ABL Space Systems, of El Segundo, California, a developer of low-cost launch vehicles and launch systems for the small satellite industry, to supply a rocket and associated launch services for the company’s first UK vertical satellite launchfrom a new spaceport in the Shetland Islands. The project known as UK Pathfinder Launch is planned to be the first ever vertical small satellite launch from UK soil, from Scotland in 2022

NASA Awards Contract to Launch Initial Elements for Lunar Outpost

NASA has selected SpaceX, Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services on Falcon Heavy for the agency’s Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), the foundational elements of the Gateway. As the first long-term orbiting outpost around the Moon, the Gateway is critical to supporting sustainable astronauts missions under the agency’s Artemis program. After integration on Earth, the PPE and HALO are targeted to launch together no

NewSpace  News

One small step towards spaceflight in the UK as government publishes environmental guidance

The first-ever launch into space from British soil is now one step closer, with the government today (10 February 2021) publishing its environmental guidance for the spaceflight regulator.

Investors see multiple avenues for space sector exits

Money will continue flowing into the space industry from government agencies, private equity firms and public markets, according to panelists at the 2021 SmallSat Symposium.

Analytical Space wins $26.4 million to establish optical network

Satellite communications startup Analytical Space Inc. won a $26.4 million contract to develop and launch six cubesats and two hosted payloads to begin establishing Fast Pixel Network for optical communications.

Alpha Insights reveals plans for dual-band SAR satellites

Entrepreneur Scott Larson, who co-founded Urthecast and Helios Wire, is leading Alpha Insights, a Toronto company that acquired the SAR assets of Urthecast, which filed for protection from creditors in 2020 to avoid bankruptcy.

DoD space agency launching experiments in preparation for 2022 satellite deployments

SDA and DARPA small spacecraft equipped with optical crosslinks will fly to orbit in SpaceX’s next rideshare mission Transporter-2.

Satellite imagery is not yet flowing like water from a tap

SAN FRANCISCO – Companies are collecting more Earth imagery from satellites than ever before, but for some customers the data remains too expensive and too difficult to consume.

Space Safety News

Dubai creates ‘space court’ for out-of-this-world disputes

Dubai announced Monday the creation of a “space court” to settle commercial disputes, as the UAE – which is also sending a probe to Mars – builds its presence in the space sector. The tribunal will be based at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, an independent British-inspired arbitration centre based on common law. Space law is governed by international conventions and resolutions, including the UN Outer Space Treaty which entered into force in 1967

Science & Technology News

ExoMars discovers new gas and traces water loss on Mars

Sea salt embedded in the dusty surface of Mars and lofted into the planet’s atmosphere has led to the discovery of hydrogen chloride – the first time the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has detected a new gas. The spacecraft is also providing new information about how Mars is losing its water. A major quest in Mars exploration is hunting for atmospheric gases linked to biological or geological activity, as well as understanding the past and present water inventory of the planet,

Early crewed travel to Mars

There is no doubt that humans are going to Mars. It is simply a question of how and when. In 2009, NASA published a Mars Mission Design Reference Architecture, advocating a 174-day transfer to Mars. However, this option requires a delta-v maneuver of approximately 4 km/s for the trans-Mars injection that is needed for the return leg. It appears that this option may be likely for early crewed travel to Mars.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *