ESA Awards Contract for Hera Planetary Defense Mission

ESA’s Hera mission for planetary defence seen approaching the Dimorphos asteroid moonlet. (Credit: OHB)

PARIS, 15 September 2020 (ESA PR) — Today ESA awarded a €129.4 million contract covering the detailed design, manufacturing and testing of Hera, the Agency’s first mission for planetary defence. This ambitious mission will be Europe’s contribution to an international asteroid deflection effort, set to perform sustained exploration of a double asteroid system.

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Momentus Inc. Announces Service Agreement with LunaSonde’s Gossamer

SANTA CLARA, Calif, September 10th, 2020 (Momentus PR) – Momentus (www.momentus.space), provider of in-space transportation services for satellites, and LunaSonde, a radar satellite remote sensing startup that provides subsurface imaging from space, today announced a launch service agreement to fly a demo Cubesat (Gossamer) to SSO orbit in Q1 2021, with further options to fly a constellation of 3U Cubesats to SSO in the future.

LunaSonde’s vision is to fundamentally change the way we see our planet and it’s resources. The company pioneered a technology that allows small satellites to essentially take an MRI scan of planet Earth. This technology combined with advanced algorithms enables direct imaging to identify valuable underground resources such as water, petroleum, and mineral deposits.

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Arianespace Gives a Lift to the Smallsat Market with Vega’s SSMS Debut

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying CubeSats and microsatellites on a flight to validate Europe’s innovative Small Spacecraft Mission Service. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has realised the first European “rideshare” mission for small satellites, with 53 satellites onboard the Vega launcher for 21 customers.

With this new SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) shared launch concept, Arianespace demonstrates its ability to respond – in an innovative and competitive manner – to institutional and commercial requirements of the growing market for small satellites.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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Space BD to Provide Smallsat Deployment Service From ISS to E+CRAFTMAN & Hokkaido University of Science

HOKKAIDO and TOKYO, Japan (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading space startup in Japan that provides access to space using the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3”, announced that it will provide cubesat deployment service from the ISS for HMU-SAT1.

HMU-SAT1 is a nanosatellite developed by Space Development Research Club at the Hokkaido University of Science with support from E+CRAFTMAN Co. Ltd., a leading Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) company based in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

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Vega, Falcon 9 Rockets Set to Orbit More than 100 Satellites

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

Arianespace’s Vega and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are set to launch a combined 113 satellites this week.

Vega is scheduled for launch on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 9:51:10 p.m. EDT (01:51:10 a.m. UTC on Sept. 2) from Kourou, French Guiana. You can view the launch on Arianespace’s YouTube channel.

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U.S. Department of Education Launches CubeSat Mission Challenge for High School Students

Qarman CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

CTE Mission: CubeSat Challenge seeks to inspire, prepare students for a future in aerospace

WASHINGTON — Building on the Administration-wide commitment to expand student interest in the booming science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, the U.S. Department of Education today launched CTE Mission: CubeSat, a national challenge to inspire students to build technical skills for careers in space and beyond.

High school students from across the country are invited to design and build CubeSat (cube satellite) prototypes, or satellites that aid in space research, bringing space missions out of the clouds and into the classroom.

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Miniature Telescope Demonstration Focuses on Sharpening View of Distant Objects in Space

DARPA’s Deformable Mirror CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station July 13. (Credit: NASA)

ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — A recently deployed DARPA CubeSat seeks to demonstrate technology that could improve imaging of distant objects in space and allow powerful space telescopes to fit into small satellites. DARPA’s Deformable Mirror (DeMi) CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station July 13, beginning the technology demonstration of a miniature space telescope with a small deformable mirror called a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) mirror.

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AAC Clyde Space, Saab & ORBCOMM TO Offer Next-Gen Maritime Communications

UPPSALA, Sweden (AAC Clyde Space PR) — AAC Clyde Space AB, Saab AB and ORBCOMM Inc. have today announced the development of the next generation of space based VDES system, marking the beginning of a new era in maritime communications.

AAC Clyde Space AB will receive 17.0 MSEK in total, of which 12.2 MSEK is in the form of a grant from the Swedish Transport Administration, to finance the building, launch and commissioning of the first satellite in the project. This is intended to be the first satellite of a future constellation to provide a VDES service.

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SDL to Provide SmallSat Constellation for NASA Solar Mission

NORTH LOGAN, Utah, August 21, 2020 — The Space Dynamics Laboratory announced today that it has been awarded a contract by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to build six spacecraft for NASA’s Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment mission, known as SunRISE. The contract value was not disclosed.

SunRISE is led by principal investigator Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and managed by JPL in Pasadena, California. It is scheduled to launch as a hosted rideshare with a commercial satellite in 2023.

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Exolaunch & Glavkosmos Announce Soyuz Launch Campaign for 15 Small Satellites

Rideshare mission (Credit: Exolaunch)

Exolaunch’s small satellite cluster of 15 microsatellites and cubesats ,“Wanderlust, Desire To Travel”, will launch on Soyuz as soon as September 2020.

Berlin, August 17th, 2020 – Exolaunch, a Berlin-based rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, and Glavkosmos, a single operator of foreign commercial activities of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, have initiated a launch campaign for 15 international small satellites onboard a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage. As soon as September 2020, Soyuz-2 will deliver a cluster of small satellites into orbit as rideshare payloads on a Roscosmos mission.

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Exolaunch to Deliver Kepler’s Next-Generation Satellites into Orbit

Kepler 6U XL satellite in orbit. (Credit: Kepler Communications)

Kepler signs a launch agreement with Exolaunch to deliver the first two of its next-generation satellites into orbit on Soyuz in September 2020.

TORONTO, August 18th, 2020 – Kepler, a developer of next-generation satellite communications technologies, and Exolaunch, a rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, signed a launch agreement for two of Kepler’s 6U XL satellites. Under the contract, Exolaunch will provide launch, mission management, integration and deployment services to Kepler’s satellites on a Soyuz rideshare mission, targeted for launch in September, 2020. With Exolaunch providing a quick turnaround for launch and deployment, Kepler now continues its rapid constellation development ahead of its 2020 launch plans.

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Delayed Vega Launch Now Set for September 1

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A new launch date of 1 September 2020 has been announced by Arianespace for Vega flight VV16.

Due to the persistence of exceptionally unfavourable winds at altitude over Europe’s Spaceport, Vega flight VV16, originally scheduled for 18 June 2020, was postponed, despite full availability of the launcher and the 53 satellites on this Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS) mission.

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NASA Perseveres Through Pandemic, Looks Ahead in 2020, 2021

SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — With 2020 more than half way through, NASA is gearing up for a busy rest of the year and 2021.

Following the recent successful launch of a Mars rover and safely bringing home astronauts from low-Earth orbit aboard a new commercial spacecraft, NASA is looking forward to more exploration firsts now through 2021.

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Space Flight Laboratory Announces New Line of Cost-Effective CubeSats to Expand its Current Satellite Offerings

TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, 27 July 2020 – Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of microspace missions for 22 years, has announced a new line of high-performance, low-cost CubeSat buses. The 3U (“THUNDER”), 6U (“SPARTAN”) and 12U/16U (“JAEGER”) CubeSats complement SFL’s legacy suite of space-heritage nano- and microsatellites, fulfilling mission size requirements from 3 kg to 500 kg.

SFL was among the first in the world to launch CubeSats including the CanX-1 CubeSat in 2003 and CanX-2 in 2008, with capabilities that exceeded the state-of-the-art at that time. Since then SFL focused on somewhat larger, more capable satellites for more challenging missions, garnering a reputation for “quality at low cost.” As SFL delivered high-performance, high-quality microsatellites for more than two decades, the CubeSat market matured, and the number of commercial opportunities increased.

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