Germany Invests 3.3 Billion Euros in European Space Exploration, Becomes ESA’s Largest Contributor

  • Three years after the last ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, government representatives from the 22 Member States met in Seville, Spain, on 27 and 28 November 2019 and committed a total of almost 14.4 billion euro [$15.87 billion] for space programmes over the next few years.
  • Germany is contributing 3.3 billion euro [$3.6 billion] to ESA programmes focusing on Earth observation, telecommunications, technological advancement and commercialisation / NewSpace.
  • At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA’s largest contributor, followed by France (18.5 percent, 2.66 billion euro), Italy (15.9 percent, 2.28 billion euro) and the United Kingdom (11.5 percent, 1.65 billion euro).
  • The ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level is the highest political decision-making body, and it defines the content and financial framework for ESA’s space programmes every two to three years.
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ESA Ministers Commit to Biggest Ever Budget of $15.84 Billion

Credit: ESA

Ministers approved funding lunar Gateway, space station operations until 2030, Mars Sample Return and Hera asteroid missions

SEVILLE, Spain (ESA PR) — ESA’s Council at Ministerial Level, Space19+, has concluded in Seville, Spain, with the endorsement of the most ambitious plan to date for the future of ESA and the whole European space sector. The meeting brought together ministers with responsibility for space activities in Europe, along with Canada and observers from the EU.

The Member States were asked to approve a comprehensive set of programmes to secure Europe’s independent access to and use of space in the 2020s, boost Europe’s growing space economy, and make breakthrough discoveries about Earth, our Solar System and the Universe beyond, all the while making the responsible choice to strengthen the efforts we are making to secure and protect our planet.

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Alaska Selects Lockheed Martin for Medium-Lift Launch Deal

Athena rocket
Athena rocket

Alaska Aerospace Corporation has selected Lockheed Martin to launch medium-lift rockets from the Kodiak Launch Complex:

Lockheed Martin beat out three other bidders to reconfigure launch pad one at the Kodiak site, officials with the Alaska Aerospace Corp. said during a news conference in Anchorage.

“It’s is a great day,” said Craig Campbell, the corporation’s CEO and president. “It’s what we’ve been trying to achieve for a number of years. And we’re at the point now, we’re at the cusp of being able to really expand our operation and do the stuff that Alaskans have always wanted.”

The Kodiak facility is capable of launching small rockets, but the more lucrative market is with medium-sized rockets, which have larger payloads and go into higher orbits.

Lockheed Martin’s proposal calls for modifications to the launch pad so its Athena IIS rocket and other medium-lift rockets can be launched from the site. The goal is to have three launches by 2020.

The Athena IIS is an all-solid fuel launch vehicle capable of launching up to 3,000 kg into sun-synchronous orbit. It is an upgraded version of the Athena rocket that was launched seven times with five successes before being mothballed.

Lockheed Martin is working with ATK to bring back the Athena booster for small and medium payloads.











Lockheed Martin Selects CubeSat Integrators for Athena Launches

Athena rocket
Athena rocket

DENVER, Aug. 14, 2013 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has chosen three world-class companies to provide CubeSat integration for Athena launch services. Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems LLC of Irvine, Calif., TriSept Corporation of Chantilly, Va., and Spaceflight, Inc. of Tukwila, Wash. will provide turnkey CubeSat integration services for multi-payload and RideShare missions using Athena launch services beginning in 2015.

“We are very pleased to offer this significant enhancement for CubeSat customers using Athena launch services that leverage the proven expertise of these three companies to provide comprehensive, affordable, one-stop integration and launch services to customers worldwide,” said Robert R. Cleave, president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. “Working together, we are providing customers with efficient and affordable payload integration bundled with the launch service for the expanding range of CubeSat missions.”

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America’s Rocket Renaissance

rutan_talkBy Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

During recent public talks, Scaled Composites Founder Burt Rutan has bemoaned the lack of recent rocket development in the United States. After the initial burst of creativity in the 1950’s and 1960’s, decades went by with very few new rockets being developed. He has also pointed to Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipTwo, SpaceX’s Dragon and Stratolaunch Systems air-launch project (which he worked on for 20 years) as the only serious developments in the field at present.

My first thought was: Burt’s wrong. There’s a lot more going on than just that. Including developments just down the flight line in Mojave that he somehow fails to mention. And my second thought was: well, just how wrong is Burt, exactly?

A lot, it turns out.

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SpaceX Wins Two New U.S. Government Launch Contracts


The U.S. Air Force has awarded SpaceX the first two contracts under a new $900 million program aimed at increasing competition in the launch market:

SpaceX will use its Falcon 9 v1.1 to boost NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) in November 2014 and the Falcon 9 Heavy for launch of a Space Test Program satellite in September 2015, says Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, program executive officer for Air Force space programs.

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Pentagon Opens Up Launch Market to Competition

Launch of Atlas V NRO satellite on June 20, 2012. (Credit: ULA)

The Pentagon has opened up its launch contracts for both large and small satellites to competition, but in a way that will likely disappoint upstart launch provider SpaceX.

For large payloads, the U.S. Air Force will go forward with a scaled back bulk buy of up to 36 Atlas V and Delta IV rocket cores over the next five years from its current sole-source supplier, United Launch Alliance. It will open up an additional 14 cores to competitive bidding, giving SpaceX the opportunity to bid with its Falcon rockets.

For smaller payloads, incumbent provider Orbital Sciences Corporation will face competition from SpaceX and Lockheed Martin Corporation for launch contracts worth up to $900 million.

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Lockheed Martin Names New President of Commercial Launch Services

DENVER (LMT PR) — Lockheed Martin Corporation [NYSE: LMT] announces that Robert Cleave has been named president of Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) effective May 1, 2012.  Cleave succeeds Jack Zivic who is retiring at the end of April following 28 years of service with the company.  In his new role, Cleave will lead and expand the company’s launch services business encompassing sales, marketing, contracting and mission management for the commercial Atlas and Athena family of launch vehicles.  He will report directly to John Karas, vice president and general manager of Human Space Flight at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

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Lockheed Martin Selects Kodiak for Athena, Eyes Medium-Lift Market

DENVER, March 2, 2012 (LM PR) – Lockheed Martin Corporation announced today that it has chosen Alaska’s Kodiak Launch Complex (KLC) as its dedicated West Coast launch facility for Athena rocket launches.  The company’s decision will enable Alaska Aerospace Corporation to move ahead with plans to expand its space launch capabilities.  Lockheed Martin has been working with the state of Alaska and Alaska Aerospace Corporation on expansion plans for the new medium–lift launch pad to support potential Athena III launches.

“Our nation needs affordable lift to meet current and projected demands at a time of declining budgets and economic pressures,” said John Karas, vice president and general manager, Human Space Flight, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.  “The leadership demonstrated by Governor Sean Parnell by investing in space launch infrastructure is a model for our nation and provides tremendous incentive to partner with the state and expand the aerospace industry in Alaska.”

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Athena Rocket on List to Launch NASA Satellites

ATK PRESS RELEASE

NASA announced yesterday that the Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) and Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK) Athena Launch Vehicle Family has been selected to become part of the agency’s Launch Services II contract.

Vehicles selected fulfill NASA’s requirements for domestic launch services with a minimum performance capability of placing a 250-kilogram (550 pound) spacecraft in a 200-kilometer low Earth orbit (LEO) at an inclination of 28.5 degrees. Athena can carry payloads up to 1800 kilograms (3968 pounds) to LEO. Utilizing a large volume 92-inch diameter payload fairing, the vehicle accommodates a wide range of satellites and missions as well as lunar missions.

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ATK, Lockheed Martin to Offer Modernized Athena Rockets


LOCKHEED MARTIN PRESS RELEASE

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) and Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK), have entered into a strategic teaming agreement to offer launch services utilizing upgraded and modernized Athena rockets. These vehicles, based on the flight-proven Athena I and II, are designed to provide reliable access to space for small payloads to a wide range of orbits. Lockheed Martin will provide mission management, payload integration, and launch operations, and ATK will provide integrated vehicle propulsion, launch vehicle structures, booster integration and launch site operations.

The two-stage Athena Ic and three-stage Athena IIc launch vehicles incorporate the new CASTOR® 30 upper stage motor and upgrades to electronic systems. Athena is available for launches beginning in 2012, with a payload lift capability that supports a variety of customer mission requirements including NASA, the Department of Defense and other space markets.

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