Satellite News

Thales Alenia Space to build state-of-the-art Intelsat 41 and Intelsat 44

Thales Alenia Space announced that it has signed a contract1  with Intelsat to deliver two Space Inspire software defined satellites, Intelsat 41 (IS-41) and Intelsat 44 (IS-44). The contract enables the progression of Intelsat’s global software-defined satellite-based network, adding high speed dynamically-allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and

Airbus to Develop the Power Management and Distribution System for Lunar Gateway Module

Airbus Crisa, an affiliate company of Airbus, has signed a contract for the development of the Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) system for the Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO) with Northrop Grumman. Airbus Crisa is a Spanish company founded in 1985 to design and manufacture electronic equipment and software for space applications, and engineering projects for ground stations.

Exploration News

NASA Selects New Astronaut Recruits to Train for Future Missions

The candidates- six men and four women — who someday may walk on the moon or Mars- were “sworn in this morning, kicking off their two-year training,” NASA said on Twitter, noting it was the 23rd astronaut candidate class since 1959.

Launcher News

Testing underway for Astra’s first launch from Cape Canaveral

Tests are beginning this week at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for the first flight of Astra’s small satellite launcher from the Florida spaceport, following the company’s successful November demonstration mission from Alaska.

Virgin Orbit celebrates third successful launch in a row

Virgin Orbit delivered seven small CubeSats for NASA, the U.S. military, Spire, and the Polish company SatRevolution into orbit Thursday with its air-launched

NewSpace  News

Pixxel signs partnership with Rio Tinto for hyperspectral imagery

Indian hyperspectral imaging startup Pixxel has announced a partnership with mining company Rio Tinto, giving that company early access to data from satellites scheduled to launch early this year.

Loft Orbital Signs Airbus To Build 15 Arrow Satellite Platforms

Airbus has been contracted to supply space start-up Loft Orbital with more than 15 satellite platforms derived from the Airbus Arrow platform, the foundational satellite platform of the OneWeb constellation. There are 394 Airbus Arrow platforms on-orbit for the OneWeb constellation and a further 254 are being produced to complete the 648 spacecraft required .

The Fifth Ocean Monitoring Smallsat For Unseenlabs Is Successfully Launched

An Unseenlab‘s smallsat launch, their fifth ocean monitoring spacecraft, occurred on January 13th and is part of Unseenlabs’ plan to have 20 to 25 satellites in orbit by 2025. After launching with Arianespace in August of 2021, Unseenlabs this time entrusted the launch of BRO-5 to SpaceX, diversifying the company’s means of access to space .

A second successful launch for SpaceCloud into space

SpaceCloud once again headed into orbit as a part of D-Orbit’s ION Satellite Carrier onboard SpaceX’s Transporter-3 mission that was launched January 13th from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission aims to verify 17 apps, uploading of new ones, and support the on-orbit testing of a hyperspectral camera.

ICEYE SAR Smallsats Soar To Orbit To Join The Company’s On-Orbit Constellation

ICEYE has successfully launched two new SAR satellites into orbit — the launch included the first satellite built, licensed and operated by ICEYE US. Artistic rendition of an ICEYE SAR smallsat on-orbit, courtesy of the company. Both satellites were launched on the SpaceX Transporter-3 smallsat rideshare mission with Exolaunch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Atomos Space secures funding to develop space tug business Denver-based startup Atomos Space announced Jan. 12 it has raised the $5 million it had first sought in 2020 to develop its space-tug business, following an investment from early-stage investor Cantos Ventures. China’s megaconstellation project establishes satellite cluster in Chongqing A group leading China’s national low Earth orbit communications megaconstellation has founded two new firms to help develop the project, but overall plans remain vague. Multi-orbit constellation startup Mangata Networks raises $33 million U.S.-based startup Mangata Networks has raised $33 million from an international mix of investors for its multi-orbit connectivity constellation plans.

Space Safety News

OMEGA joins ClearSpace to clean up space

The goal of the ClearSpace-1 mission is to rendezvous with a 112-kg Vega payload adapter, called ‘Vespa’, about the size of a small car, capture it and then conduct a controlled deorbiting manoeuvre. The mission will employ a four-armed pincer mechanism to grab the uncontrolled target, which is spinning, and, once captured, the spacecraft-plus-Vespa will safely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere where it will be burned up like a large ‘shooting star’.

Breakup of China’s Yunhai-1 (02) satellite linked to space debris collision

U.S. space tracking has linked the breakup of Chinese satellite Yunhai-1 (02) to a collision with a small piece of debris from a Russian satellite launch, according to NASA.

Space Force chief technologist hints at future plans to build a digital infrastructure

Lisa Costa, chief technology and innovation officer of the U.S. Space Force, said the service is eyeing investments in edge computing, data centers in space and other technologies needed to build a digital infrastructure.  

Space Norway plots recovery mission for failed subsea cable

Space Norway said Jan. 13 it expects to start repairing next month one of two undersea fiber-optic cables it operates between its Svalbard satellite station and mainland Norway, after a failure left the Arctic region without a backup connection.

DoD space policy nominee highlights complex security challenges facing U.S.

John Plumb, president Biden’s nominee to be assistant secretary of defense for space policy, told lawmakers that the United States has to prepare for the possibility of “conflict extending to, or originating in space.”

Space Force on track to absorb Space Development Agency this fall

The Space Development Agency, created in 2019 as a separate entity under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, will be transferred to the U.S. Space Force in October, the agency’s director confirmed Jan. 12.

Science & Technology News

Using High Temperature Composites For Sustainable Space Travel

Founded in 2019, Hypersonix Launch Systems aims to provide sustainable satellite launch services from Australia using hypersonic scramjet technology. Scramjet engines are a type of jet engine, and rely on the combustion of fuel and oxygen from the air to produce thrust. We’ve developed our green hydrogen powered SPARTAN scramjet engine using Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) to withstand the high temperatures experienced by space vehicles during the journey. . Carbon fibre reinforced Silicon Carbide(C/ SiC) can be used up to 1500C.

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