Satellite News

Thales Launches New Line of Satellite Communications Solution to Ensure Reliable Connectivity Worldwide on Iridium Certus

Today, Thales announces the launch of its new ThalesLINK product line of L-band solutions – MissionLINK 200 and VesseLINK 200. These solutions are the first of their kind for Iridium Certus® 200 services, which operate on a network of 66 satellites, providing reliable, always-on connectivity everywhere in the world. The unique 200 series is uniquely designed for customers looking for increased mobility, with the same reliability and low-latency that Iridium offers.

Thales Alenia Space Will Provide the OISL for Telesat’s Lightspeed  Constellation

As prime contractor for the construction of Telesat’s Lightspeed constellation, Thales Alenia Space, is announcing today that the Optical Inter Satellite Links (OISL) on-board the Lightspeed satellites will be its advanced Optel-C product. Optical Inter Satellite Links will allow Lightspeed to provide global, mesh coverage around the world, including above the oceans and poles,

Exploration News

Chinese astronauts enter Tiangong space station for first time

Three Chinese astronauts floated into the country’s new Tiangong space station Thursday, becoming the first people to board China’s outpost in orbit after a successful launch from a military base in the Gobi Desert to start a three-month mission.

Voyage 2050 Sets Sail: ESA Chooses Future Science Mission Themes

ESA’s large-class science missions for the timeframe 2035-2050 will focus on moons of the giant Solar System planets, temperate exoplanets or the galactic ecosystem, and new physical probes of the early Universe. “The selection of the Voyage 2050 themes is a pivotal moment for ESA’s science programme, and for the future generation of space scientists and engineers,” says Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science.

US and French astronauts make ISS spacewalk

Their mission includes installing six new-generation solar panels, referred to as iROSA.The new panels, which will power both daily operations and the research and science projects carried out on the ISS, are expected to have a 15-year lifespan.

China, Russia reveal roadmap for international moon base

Russia and China unveiled a roadmap for a joint International Lunar Research Station Wednesday to guide collaboration and development of the project.

Launcher News

Turkey invites Russia to take part in construction of country’s spaceport

Earlier this year, media reported that Ankara was planning to build a spaceport in Somalia as part of a $1 billion investment in the nation’s nascent space programme. Turkey launched its first space rocket in 2018, and formally inaugurated its space agency in December of that year. In late 2020, the agency announced the testing of a rocket developed by defence contractor Roketsan. Erdogan hailed that event as a signal that Turkey had entered “the space league.”

Turkey’s nascent space programme has several ambitious objectives, and in addition to the 2023 Moon landing, plans on establishing a company to build satellites, building a spaceport in Turkey in addition to the one abroad, increasing Turkish space competencies in the study of space weather, meteorites, and the tracking of celestial objects, and creating a space technologies development zone. Its goals also include sending a Turkish national to space.

Launcher to develop orbital transfer vehicle

Small launch vehicle company Launcher announced June 15 that it is also working on an orbital transfer vehicle for small satellites that it plans to use on both its own rocket as well as SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

NewSpace  News

Orbital Sidekick announces upcoming launch of its most powerful satellite: Aurora

Orbital Sidekick (OSK) announced the upcoming launch of its newest and most powerful hyperspectral imaging satellite: “Aurora.”

The Orbital Sidekick Aurora Satellite is a 30-kilogram precursor to the six 100-kilogram ESPA class GHOSt satellites scheduled for launch in 2022. Seattle-based launch services provider Spaceflight will be coordinating the launch with a total of 36 payloads onboard the SpaceX Transporter-2 rideshare mission, taking place June 25, 2021 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida.

Aurora will capture more than 450 spectral bands in the visible to shortwave infrared light spectrum (400 to 2500 nm) with a pixel size of approximately 30 meters, making it the highest resolution commercial hyperspectral imagery available to date.

Capella Space wins research contract from U.S. Space Development Agency

Radar satellite imagery startup Capella Space on June 14 received a $3 million research contract in support of the Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture.

Tyvak and Lawrence Livermore National Lab release Earth and space images

Tyvak released the first high-resolution images of objects in orbit and on the ground captured by telescopes the satellite manufacturer developed with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Horizon Technologies orders two surveillance satellites from AAC Clyde Space

British maritime surveillance venture Horizon Technologies has ordered two more cubesats from AAC Clyde Space, which will operate them after securing their launches next year.

SkyWatch raises $17.2 million in Series B funding round

SkyWatch Space Applications raised 20.9 million Canadian dollars ($17.2 ) in a Series B funding round, less than 17 months after welcoming investors to its Series A round.

Space Safety News

Operations Underway to Restore Payload Computer on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

NASA is working to resolve an issue with the payload computer on the Hubble Space Telescope. The computer halted on Sunday, June 13, shortly after 4 p.m. EDT. After analyzing the data, the Hubble operations team is investigating whether a degrading memory module led to the computer halt. The team is preparing to switch to one of several backup modules on Wednesday, June 16. The computer will then be allowed to run for approximately one day to verify 

NASA and Boeing close out recommendations from Starliner review

Boeing has completed all the activities recommended by an independent review of the company’s first uncrewed CST-100 Starliner mission, allowing a second uncrewed mission to proceed for launch in late July.

LeoLabs to expand radar network to Europe

LeoLabs plans to expand its global network of space-tracking radars to the Azores archipelago.

Science & Technology News

A New Technique for “Seeing” Exoplanet Surfaces Based on the Content of their Atmospheres

A new study takes a look at how the presence of a surface can affect an exoplanets atmosphere, giving astrobiologists a way to study exoplanet surfaces without having to “see” them directly.

Satellite makers are getting to grips with component shortages

Component shortages have been challenging manufacturers to bolster supply chains as a lack of semiconductors threatens delays and price hikes.

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