The INNOspace Masters 2019/20 Awards Clever Ideas for Tomorrow’s Space Travel

The overall winner of the INNOspace Masters 2020. (Credit: DLR)
  • On October 14, 2020, the winners of the INNOspace Masters competition were honored in an online conference.
  • More than 300 companies, start-ups, universities and research institutions in 15 European countries answered the call.
  • The new 2020/21 competition will start under the motto “Innovations for sustainable infrastructures – in space and on earth”.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — Under the motto “New Ideas between Space and Earth”, the space management of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) searched the fifth INNOspace Masters competition for new ideas and concepts that address current challenges in space travel and other industries and offer innovative solutions. Five competition categories – called “Challenges” – from different development and innovation phases in the value chain were available for the participants to choose from. 

The “DLR Space Management Challenge” focused on the research and development phase, while the industrial partners Airbus and OHB were looking for proposals for solutions that were already ready for the market. DB Netz AG, since this year an additional industrial partner of the competition, focused on innovations from the space industry for the monitoring, inspection and maintenance of the rail infrastructure. The “ESA BIC Start-up Challenge”, which was aimed at the start-up

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Airbus Selected for ESA’s Moon Lander Study

Airbus will develop the concept of a large multi-role logistic lander able to transport up to 1.7 tons of cargo to any location on the lunar surface. (Credit: Airbus)
  • A new decade of European exploration – to the Moon and Mars
  • Airbus to design the European Large Logistic Lander (EL3)
  • EL3 to deliver scientific or logistic payloads to lunar surface
  • European service offering to NASA

BREMEN, Germany, 14 October 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as one of the two primes for the definition phase of the European Large Logistic Lander (EL3). In this study (phase A/B1), Airbus will develop the concept of a large multi-role logistic lander able to transport up to 1.7 tons of cargo to any location on the lunar surface. EL3 flights are set to begin in the late 2020s, with a cadence of missions over the following decade and more.

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Airbus to Bring First Mars Samples to Earth: ESA Contract Award

ERO will reach Mars orbit, capture orbiting samples launched from the Red Planet and bring them back to Earth. (Credit: Airbus)
  • A new decade of European exploration – to the Moon and Mars
  • Airbus to design and build the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) for Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign
  • ERO will reach Mars orbit, capture orbiting samples launched from the Red Planet and bring them back to Earth

TOULOUSE, 14 October 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) as prime contractor for the Mars Sample Return’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) – the first ever spacecraft to bring samples back to Earth from Mars. Mars Sample Return (MSR) is a joint ESA-NASA campaign and the next step in the exploration of Mars. ERO and the Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) are the two main European elements of MSR, both are set to be designed and built by Airbus.

A manipulating arm, referred to as the Sample Transfer Arm (STA), that will transfer the samples from the SFR to the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), is the third European contribution to the MSR program. The value of the ERO contract is €491 million [$574.8 million].

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Ariane 6 Engines Complete Qualification Tests

Hot firing of P120C solid rocket motor for Vega-C. (Credit: ESA/CNES)
  • The three engines for Europe’s new Ariane 6 launcher have now completed their qualification tests, following the successful qualification testing of the P120C solid propulsion engine on October 7 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana
  • The qualification test campaigns for the Vinci and Vulcain 2.1 liquid propulsion engines were held in 2018 and 2019, respectively
  • The Vulcain 2.1 and Vinci engines, which will be powering the first Ariane 6, are ready to be mounted on the core stage in Les Mureaux and on the upper stage in Bremen

PARIS (ArianeGroup PR) — The future European launcher’s three types of engines use two different propulsion technologies:

  • liquid hydrogen-oxygen propulsion for the Vulcain 2.1 core stage engine and the re-ignitable Vinci engine on the upper stage;
  • solid propulsion for the P120C engine fitted to the boosters which help propel Ariane 6 beyond the gravitational pull of earth’s atmosphere.
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Yahsat Signs Contract with Airbus to Build Thuraya’s Next Generation System

Thuraya 4-NGS satellite (Credit: Airbus)

ABU DHABI, UAE/TOULOUSE, France, Aug 27, 2020 (Airbus PR) –  Airbus has been selected by Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), the UAE’s leading global satellite operator, to build Thuraya 4-NGS, the next generation mobile telecommunications system that will drive the continued advancement of Thuraya’s L-band business.

Thuraya 4-NGS will deliver higher capabilities and flexibility while increasing capacity and coverage across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East, enabling next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defense, government and enterprise.

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Airbus to Build BADR-8 Satellite for Arabsat, with Optical Communications Payload TELEO

The BADR-8 satellite will be based on the-state-of-the-art Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit raising platform giving access to a wide range of launchers. (Credit: Airbus)
  • New multi-mission satellite to deliver broadcast, broadband and telecommunications services over Europe, Middle East, Africa and central Asia
  • TELEO payload for new generation optical communications
  • Eighth Eurostar satellite for Arabsat and first Eurostar Neo

RIYADH, 18 August 2020 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been contracted by Arabsat, one of the world’s top satellite operators, to build BADR-8, their new generation telecommunications satellite. BADR-8 will replace and increase Arabsat’s capacity and augment its core business at the BADR hotspot 26°E.

The BADR-8 satellite will be based on the-state-of-the-art Airbus Eurostar Neo electric orbit raising platform giving access to a wide range of launchers.

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UK Scientists to Help NASA Answer the Question, ‘Was There Life on Mars?’

In February 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover and NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter (shown in an artist’s concept) will be the agency’s two newest explorers on Mars. Both were named by students as part of an essay contest. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Scientists from the UK are playing a vital role in a NASA mission to Mars launched on Thursday, 30 July.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Backed by the UK Space Agency, researchers at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum will help the NASA Perseverance rover select Martian rock and soil samples to be brought back from the red planet as it searches for evidence of ancient microbial life.

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Data Relay Satellite Beams at Light Speed

EDRS antennas undergoing tests. (Credit: DLR)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed has gained its second satellite.

The European Data Relay System (EDRS) was built to accelerate the flow of information from Earth-observation satellites to people on the ground.

The second satellite in the network, EDRS-C, has now passed its user commissioning review and entered into full service.

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Six New Missions for the European Copernicus Earth Observation Program

Sentinel-6/Jason-CS will map up to 95% of Earth’s ice-free ocean every 10 days in order to monitor sea level variability. (Credit: ESA/ATG medialab)
  • On 1 July 2020, the European Space Agency awarded contracts for the development and construction of six further Copernicus satellites.
  • Contracts with a value of more than 800 million euro are being awarded to space companies in Germany, a high percentage of which are SMEs.
  • The new satellites are intended to help find answers to the global challenges posed by climate change, population growth and environmental problems.

BONN, Germany (DLR PR) — Sentinel satellites are at the heart of Copernicus, Europe’s largest Earth observation programme. Sentinels are already reliably and continuously providing large amounts of data on the state of the climate, vegetation and oceans. Now, six more ‘Earth Guardians’, the High Priority Candidate Missions (HPCM), are being added.

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Ground Control to Faraday-1: DSTL to Operate First Space Mission

Faraday-1 satellite (Credit: DSTL)

LONDON (DSTL PR) — The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s (DSTL) new satellite control ground station will support its first space mission following the launch of the Faraday-1 satellite. This mission will contribute towards international research collaborations to facilitate satellite operations between nations in support of wider defence science and technology goals in the space domain.

Manufactured by In-Space, Faraday-1 (also known as Prometheus-1 in the MOD community) will be launched from the Rocket Lab’s complex in Mahia, New Zealand, on 3 July, and orbit the Earth for a nominal period of three years to collect commercial data for industry partners.

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UK to Join Bidding for Bankrupt OneWeb

Huh.

The Financial Times reports that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to invest about £500 million ($621 million) as part of a wider consortium bid in bankrupt satellite provider OneWeb.

The company, which planned to offer satellite broadband services, launched 74 spacecraft in Earth orbit before it ran out of money in March. OneWeb has a manufacturing facility in Florida that is a joint venture with Airbus.

The British government is looking to develop its own satellite navigation system because UK companies were barred from being involved in the European Union’s (EU) Galileo system after Britain left the trade bloc.

However, developing and launching a separate system could cost more than £5 billion ($6.2 billion). U.S. defense officials were also opposed to the creating of a rival to the Global Positioning System (GPS).

The Financial Times reports that the Satellite Applications Catapult has proposed installing navigation technology on future OneWeb satellites. Spacecraft manufacturing would be moved from Florida to Britain.

The navigation system based on low orbiting OneWeb satellites would serve as a supplement, not a rival, to the GPS satellites.

Bids for OneWeb are due on Friday. There is reported interest from groups in France and China.

Foam, of Coarse

Foam Coarsening experiment on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

BRUSSELS (ESA PR) — The Foam-Coarsening experiment ran a new batch of cartridges in the Fluid Sciences Laboratory of the European Columbus module.

The experiment began in April to study foams in depth under the more stable conditions afforded by microgravity on the International Space Station.

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ESA Data-relay Satellite Ready for Service

Artist’s impression of EDRS system in space. (Credit: DLR)

PARIS (ESA) — The second node in the most sophisticated laser communication network ever designed is ready to go into service.

Dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway”, the European Data Relay System (EDRS) helps Earth-observing satellites to transmit large quantities of potentially life-saving data to Europe in near-real time.

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New ESA Partnership Project to Boost European Competitiveness

Artist’s impression of OneSat telecommunications satellite. (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A fully reconfigurable, software-defined, standardized satellite for the commercial telecommunications market is under development, as an ESA Partnership Project. 

ESA has signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Airbus to develop and qualify OneSat, which will operate in a geostationary orbit.

The contract was negotiated under teleworking and remote meeting conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timely conclusion of the negotiations demonstrates the strong commitment of all parties and the agility of the processes used to manage ESA Partnership Projects.

The Novacom 1 Partnership Project to build OneSat will be jointly managed by ESA and the French Space Agency, CNES.

OneSat is part of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). Like previous Neosat Partnership Projects, it is expected to generate an exceptional return on investment to European industry and ESA Member States.

Airbus, Xenesis Sign Payload Contract for New ISS Bartolomeo Platform

Bartolomeo with laser (Credit: Airbus)

Xenesis to space-test optical communication terminal aboard Airbus facility on ISS

HOUSTON, 05 May 2020 (Airbus/Xenesis PR) – Airbus and Xenesis have signed a contract for a payload slot on the International Space Station (ISS) Bartolomeo platform for the demonstration of their Xen-Hub optical communication space terminal.

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