Josef Aschbacher is new ESA Director General

He began his career in ESA in 1990 as a Young Graduate at ESRIN. From 1994 to 2001, he worked at the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra, ItalyIn 2006 he became Head of the Copernicus Space Office, located at ESRIN near Rome, Italy, In 2016, Josef Aschbacher was appointed as Director of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA’s largest Directorate, and as Head of ESRIN, ESA’s centre for Earth observation.

Satellite News

Delayed Indonesian broadband satellite SATRIA fully funded

Indonesia’s government has secured financing to continue manufacturing the SATRIA broadband satellite, although its intended orbital slot remains up in the air.Pprogram can continue uninterrupted now the project has secured about $545 million in funding, partly backed by France’s Bpifrance export-credit gency.Beaming more than 150 gigabits per second over the entire Indonesian territory, SATRIA aims to narrow the digital divide by connecting around 90,000 schools and 40,000 hospitals and public buildings.

Airbus Wins its 1st Syracuse IV Ground Segment Programme Contract

Within the Syracuse IV programme, Airbus has been awarded a 10-year framework agreement called Copernicus for the construction and upgrading of part of the ground segment for the telecommunications satellites used by the French Armed Forces. 

Exploration News

Perseverance makes its first drive on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover has started moving on the Martian surface as project scientists prepare to send the rover toward the remnants of a river delta in search of signs of past life.

China’s Tianwen-1 probe to land on Mars in May or June

China’s Mars probe Tianwen-1 is traveling at a speed of 4.8 km per second in the Mars orbit, and is expected to land on the red planet in May or June, a senior space expert said on Thursday

Nearly 50 Mars missions have been launched globally, but approximately two-thirds have failed,

NASA hikes prices for commercial ISS users

NASA has sharply increased the prices it charges commercial users of the International Space Station for cargo and other resources, . The cost to transport one kilogram of cargo up to the station, known as “upmass,” went from $3,000 to $20,000. The LEO commercialization policy also enabled private astronaut missions to the ISS, and provided a price list for resources such missions would need. That included $22,500 per person per day for crew supplies and $11,250 per person per day for life support.

Launcher News

SpaceX launches and lands Starship prototype, which later explodes

SpaceX launched a prototype of its Starship next-generation vehicle March 3, landing it safely only to have the vehicle explode eight minutes later. In September 2018, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa said he had purchased a flight of the vehicle, Maezawa updated his plans for dearMoon March 2, announcing a contest open to the general public to fly eight people on that mission, still scheduled for 2023 .Maezawa said a total of 10 to 12 people will fly on the mission.

We’re launching more than ever

Since the beginning of the space age, with the launch of Sputnik in 1958, we have launched thousands of rockets carrying more than ten thousand satellites into space. 

This graph, created in a joint project between ESA and the UN, also shows the number of unregistered objects (red) has increased in recent years.

Space Force sounding rocket launches experiment to study Earth’s ionosphere

A three-stage suborbital sounding rocket on March 3 launched an Air Force experiment from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

China to develop two super-heavy launchers for moon missions

China will work on development of two types of super-heavy launch vehicles for future lunar projects. The super-heavy launcher is known as the Long March 9. esigned to be capable of lifting 140 tons to Low Earth orbit or 50 tons to trans-lunar injection, it will also feature four five-meter-diameter side boosters comparable to a Long March 5 first stage. 

The project requires breakthroughs in larger diameter structures and high-thrust engines, Jiang said. China is developing dual nozzle 500 ton-thrust kerosene-liquid oxygen engines for the first stage, and a 220-ton-thrust liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen staged combustion cycle engine for the second stage. A Long March 9 test flight is expected in 2030.

Rocket Lab settled on a vehicle called Neutron, capable of placing up to 8,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit, which the company revealed at the same time as the SPAC deal

NewSpace  News

D-Orbit Commits To Marubeni Partnership For Global Sales Expansion

According to the agreement, Marubeni will promote and sell the entire catalog of D-Orbit’s solutions in Japan and other strategic markets .D-Orbit’s flagship service iInOrbit NOW, a launch and deployment solution that leverages ION Satellite Carrier, a cargo spacecraft designed, manufactured, and operated by the company. ION can host several satellites during launch, transport them to space, and release them into individual, customized orbital slots

Sateliot’s First Smallsat Is Ready To Fly

Sateliot is relying on The Space Alliance formed by Thales Alenia Space (TAS) and Telespazio for the development of this constellation of smallsats to ensure the company’s IoT connectivity is compatible with the 5G standard.The development of our first nanosatellite brings us closer to our goal of having up to 100 nanosatellites in service by 2025.”Alén Space is a Spanish company specialized in consulting, design, manufacturing and operation of small satellites for all kinds of applications. Alén Space has a highly qualified team of engineers with more than 12 years of experience in the development of nanosatellite missions.

A SPAC For Spire Global

Spire Global, Inc and SPAC company NavSight Holdings Inc. have entered into a definitive merger agreement for a business combination that would result in Spire becoming a publicly listed company. Spire collects space-based data using a proprietary constellation of multi-purpose smallsats called LEMUR (Low Earth Multi-Use Receiver). Spire monetizes this information across a broad and growing number of industries including weather, aviation, maritime, and government, with global coverage and near real-time data that can be easily integrated into customer business operations.

ASTRA Selected By NASA To Provide TROPICS Mission Launch Services

The TROPICS mission consists of a constellation of six cubesats and will increase the scientific community’s understanding of storm processes. Astra Space will launch these smallsats on the company’s Rocket 3 from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands with three separate launches over a 120-day period.

Kleos Space’s Polar Vigilance Mission Smallsats Complete Hardware CDR

The KSF1 Polar Vigilance Mission satellites are scheduled for a mid-2021 launch onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9,under a rideshare contract with Spaceflight Inc. The satellites will be Kleos Space S.A.- 26 and will be launched into a 500 to 600 km SSO, complementing Kleos’ Scouting Mission 37° orbit,

Space Safety News

Falling foam insulation caused Chinese commercial rocket failure

Chinese commercial launch company iSpace stated Monday that an errant piece of foam insulation caused the loss of its Hyperbola-1 rocket in February. According to iSpace a piece of foam insulation, intended to fall off, struck and impeded one of four grid fins at the base of the first stage. The insulation foam later fell free, resulting an a change of angle of the grid fin and then subsequent rapid change of attitude and breakup of the launch vehicle. The loss of the mission coincidentally followed 18 years to the day of the Columbia disaster.

Science & Technology News

“Green Space” on Earth – a New Deal

With increasing alerts of possible space pollution and a rising urgency to deal with space debris, the question of a “Green Space” has become pertinent. The cooperation of ESA and eight countries with ClearSpace, a start-up in Switzerland, is another example. ClearSpace leads an industrial team that develops the world’s first active debris removal mission, ClearSpace-1. The next step towards sustainability is to take this beyond the mere industrial production and in-orbit operations of satellites.

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