European Software-defined Satellite Starts Service

Quantum satellite in thermal vacuum facility. (Credit ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A telecommunications satellite that can be reprogrammed in-orbit, offering unprecedented mission reconfiguration capacity, has successfully passed its in-orbit acceptance review.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum is pioneering a new wave of flexible satellites developed with the European space industry.

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Reprogrammable Satellite Launched

Ariane 5 VA254 lifts off on July 30, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — A sophisticated telecommunications satellite that can be completely repurposed while in space has launched.

Developed under an ESA Partnership Project with satellite operator Eutelsat and prime manufacturer Airbus, Eutelsat Quantum has pioneered a new generation of satellites with the European space industry.

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European System Speeds Data Flow with 50,000 Links

EDRS-A in geostationary orbit (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Valuable data is flowing rapidly from Earth observing satellites back to the planet, thanks to the most sophisticated laser communication network ever built.

Day-and-night radar images and multispectral high-resolution images of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas – as well as information for emergency services – are arriving back at Earth in almost real time.

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Consortium of European Digital Players to Design the Future EU Quantum Internet

BRUSSELS (Airbus PR) – The European Commission has selected a consortium of companies and research institutes to study the design of the future European quantum communication network, EuroQCI (quantum communication infrastructure). It will enable ultra-secure communication between critical infrastructures and government institutions across the European Union.

The European consortium led by Airbus is composed of Leonardo, Orange, PwC France and Maghreb, Telespazio (a Leonardo and Thales 67/33 joint venture), the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and the Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica (INRiM).

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ESA Advances its Plan for Satellites Around the Moon

PARIS (ESA PR) — A bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of lunar satellites has taken a step closer.

Two consortia of companies will be supported by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.

Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.

ESA is going to the Moon together with its international partners including NASA.

Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are sending missions to the Moon that envisage a permanent lunar presence. These will become regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions

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Northrop Grumman Solar Arrays to Power Airbus OneSat Spacecraft

OneSat spacecraft (Credit: Airbus)

SAN DIEGO, May 3, 2021 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) was awarded a contract by Airbus Defence and Space for the design, development and production of 24 ship sets of solar arrays to support the OneSat satellite product line. The solar arrays will power the OneSat communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

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SKY Perfect JSAT Signs Contract with Airbus to Build Superbird-9 Telecommunications Satellite

Superbird-9 will deliver broadcast and broadband missions in Ku band, primarily over Japan and Eastern Asia. (Credit: Airbus)
  • First Airbus satellite for the leading operator SKY Perfect JSAT in Japan
  • Seventh Airbus OneSat fully reconfigurable flexible satellite under contract

TOKYO/TOULOUSE, France, 25 March 2021 (Airbus PR) – SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, the main satellite operator in Japan and the world leading Fixed Satellite Service provider, has selected Airbus to build Superbird-9, a fully digital in-orbit reconfigurable telecommunications satellite.

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Eutelsat selects Airbus for Key Orbital Slot with EUTELSAT 36D Satellite

EUTELSAT 36D will be the eighth satellite based on the-state-of-the-art Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, a significant evolution of the highly reliable and successful Eurostar series with an entire range of major innovations. (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS, 22 March 2021 (Airbus PR)  — Airbus has been selected by Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellites operators, to build EUTELSAT 36D, a new generation multi-mission geostationary telecommunications satellite.

The EUTELSAT 36D spacecraft will replace and enhance capacity at 36°East, a key orbital slot for Eutelsat for TV broadcasting (DTH) and government services over Africa, Russia, and Europe.

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Airbus Pioneers First Satellite Factory in Space

The “orbital factory” envisioned by PERIOD will pioneer construction of major components such as antenna reflectors, assembly of spacecraft components and satellite payload replacements, directly in space. (Credit: Airbus)
  • PERIOD consortium to prepare concept for in-orbit demonstrator
  • In-space antenna and satellite assembly: first steps towards space manufacturing

BREMEN, Germany, 11 March 2021 (Airbus PR) – Airbus has been selected by the European Commission to study spacecraft manufacturing in space through the Horizon 2020 Programme. The PERIOD (PERASPERA In-Orbit Demonstration) project focuses on satellite assembly and manufacturing in orbit. This A/B1 phase study contract, worth €3 million [$3.6 million], will last two years, with the objective to continue with a demonstrator in orbit.

The “orbital factory” envisioned by PERIOD will pioneer construction of major components such as antenna reflectors, assembly of spacecraft components and satellite payload replacements, directly in space.

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Was There Life on Mars? UK Scientists Play Key Part in NASA Mission to Red Planet

Panorama of Perseverance Rover’s landing site on Mars. (Credit: NASA)

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — After a seven-month journey, NASA’s car-sized Mars Perseverance rover will make its final descent to the Red Planet to begin its search for traces of life.

The rover’s mission – backed by the UK government – is to explore and collect samples for future return to Earth from diverse ancient environments on Mars. Supported by over £400,000 in funds from the UK Space Agency, researchers at Imperial College London and the Natural History Museum will help to decide which samples are sent to Earth in a search for evidence of ancient microbial life on Mars.

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Thales and Airbus Selected by DGA to Upgrade France’s Joint Electronic Warfare Capabilities

TOULOUSE/PARIS, France, 11 February 2021 (Airbus PR) – The French defence procurement agency (DGA) has awarded Thales and Airbus a contract for the new joint tactical signals intelligence (SIGINT) system to upgrade the French forces’ critical signals monitoring, direction finding and spectrum analysis capabilities.

The 10-year contract will equip the three armed forces with a common information system and set of sensors and is designated a high-impact programme (PEM), alongside CONTACT and SCORPION, under France’s defence spending plan. This joint tactical SIGINT system will provide French armed forces command with an expanded tactical electronic support measures (ESM) capability.

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Sentinel-6 Passes In-orbit Tests with Flying Colors

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich 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)

PARIS (ESA PR) — In November 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite was launched into orbit from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, US. Now, months later, the satellite has successfully passed what is known as the ‘in-orbit verification phase’, where its equipment is switched on and the instruments’ performance is checked.

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Three More Service Modules for Artemis to be Built in Europe

Artist’s impression of Orion over Earth. (Credit: NASA/ESA/ATG Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA signed a further contract with Airbus for the construction of three more European Service Modules for Orion, NASA’s spacecraft that will fly astronauts to the Moon and lunar Gateway as part of the Artemis programme.

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Airbus Studies “Moon Cruiser” Concept for ESA’s Cis-lunar Transfer Vehicle

CLTV concept from Airbus Moon Cruiser at the lunar Gateway. (Credit: Airbus)

Versatile, autonomous logistics vehicle to support future lunar missions based on heritage from Orion ESM and ATV

Toulouse, 28 January 2021 – Airbus has been awarded a CLTV (Cis-Lunar Transfer Vehicle) study for a “Moon Cruiser” by the European Space Agency (ESA). According to the study concept (two parallel Phase A/B1), the CLTV is a versatile, autonomous logistics vehicle that could, for example, provide timely and efficient support to NASA and ESA in the implementation of the future Artemis Moon missions. The spacecraft will be based on existing and proven technologies and will complement the multipurpose European Large Logistic Lander (EL3).

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ESA Books Two Payload Missions on Airbus Bartolomeo Platform

Bartolomeo external experiment platform (Credit: NASA)
  • Exobiology and material exposure experiments on new ISS payload hosting facility
  • Framework agreement facilitates future slot bookings by ESA

BREMEN / NOORDWIJK, 21 January 2021 (Airbus PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus have agreed on service orders for two independent payload missions to be launched to the Bartolomeo payload hosting facility on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022 and 2024, respectively.

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