UK and France Reach New Agreement on Climate Change Mission

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, and Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Director of Sustainable Development of CNES signing the implementation arrangement for MicroCarb at COP26. (Credit: UK Space Agency)

GLASGOW (UK Space Agency PR) — The UK Space Agency has provided new funding for a joint British and French mission, called MicroCarb, dedicated to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

The UK Space Agency has provided new funding for a joint British and French MicroCarb mission dedicated to monitoring atmospheric carbon dioxide – the main greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.

Dr Paul Bate, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, and Laurence Monnoyer-Smith, Director of Sustainable Development of the French space agency, CNES, signed an implementation arrangement for the MicroCarb mission at COP26 – the United Nations climate change conference being hosted by the UK in Glasgow.

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ESA Moves Forward with Destination Earth

GOES-16 full disk GeoColor image from October 16, 2019. GeoColor is an RGB that approximates what the human eye would see from space. (Credit: NOAA/CIRA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Earth observation provides a wealth of information to benefit our daily lives. As the demand for satellite data grows to address the challenges of climate change and a growing population, ESA, under the leadership of the European Commission, along with its key European partners, are developing high precision digital models of Earth to monitor and simulate both natural and human activity, to enable more sustainable development and support European environmental policies.

Today, at the ESA Council, Member States approved a ‘Contribution Agreement’, which paves the way for cooperation with the European Commission on the Destination Earth initiative, in the context of the Digital Agenda of the European Union.

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Rocket Lab Lands Multi-Launch Deal to Deploy Entire IoT Satellite Constellation for Kinéis

Kineis satellite constellation (Credit: CLS)

The multi-launch contract will see Rocket Lab deploy 25 Internet-of-Things (IoT) satellites across five dedicated missions on the Electron launch vehicle

Long Beach, California. September 08, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab USA, Inc (“Rocket Lab” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch provider and space systems company, today announced it has been awarded a contract to deploy an entire satellite constellation across five dedicated Electron missions for Kinéis, a global Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider. 

Scheduled for launch beginning in the second quarter of 2023, the constellation will enable Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) an international space-based solutions provider, to improve its global IoT connectivity. The multi-launch contract with Kinéis, which is subject to standard termination and launch rescheduling provisions, follows a similar bulk buy of launches earlier this year to deploy nine satellites across five dedicated Electron missions as part of a constellation for BlackSky, a provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services.

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EUMETSAT to Buy Meteorological Data from Commercial Supplier for First Time

DARMSTADT, Germany (EUMETSAT PR) — Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, is launching an innovative pilot programme to buy, for the first time, data from a commercial satellite fleet operator for use in weather forecasting.

EUMETSAT’s governing council has approved the acquisition of data from Spire Global Luxembourg S.a.r.l. at a maximum cost of €9 million [US $10.6 million] over three years.

EUMETSAT will receive the data, called radio occultation data, from Spire, process it, and disseminate it for use in weather forecast modelling.

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EUMETSAT to Operate Largest Number of Sentinel Missions Under Copernicus 2.0 Agreement

Copernicus Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) satellite. (Credit: Airbus)

DARMSTADT, Germany (EUMETSAT PR) — Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, will become the largest operator of the Copernicus programme’s Sentinel satellite missions under an agreement signed with the European Commission today. Copernicus is a component of the European Union Space Programme. It looks at our planet and its environment for the benefit of all European citizens. It offers information services that draw from satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data.

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Major Ocean-Observing Satellite Starts Providing Science Data

This map shows sea level measured by the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite from June 5 to15. Red areas are regions where sea level is higher than normal, and blue areas indicate areas where it’s lower than normal. (Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the latest spacecraft to monitor sea surface height, releases its first science measurements to users.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — After six months of check-out and calibration in orbit, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will make its first two data streams available to the public on June 22. It launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Nov. 21, 2020, and is a U.S.-European collaboration to measure sea surface height and other key ocean features, such as ocean surface wind speed and wave height.

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EUMETSAT, Arianespace Confirm Launch of Two Meteosat Third Generation Satellites with Ariane 6

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)
  • Arianespace and EUMETSAT signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites.
  • The sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 will be launched with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.
  • Arianespace will also place into orbit the MTG-I1 satellite with an Ariane 5 launcher by the end of 2022. The launch orderbook includes two more state-of-the-art meteorological polar satellites as well as one additional launch, still in option.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, March 23, 2021 (Arianespace PR) — Today, at the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, EUMETSAT and Arianespace signed an update of their Launch Services Agreement for two Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) satellites. Through this updated agreement, Arianespace is confirmed by EUMETSAT to launch the sounder satellite MTG-S1 and the imager satellite MTG-I2 with Ariane 6, the next generation of Ariane family of launchers.

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Contract Signed to Build Arctic Weather Satellite

The Arctic Weather Satellite is conceived as a constellation of small polar-orbiting satellites, each carrying a single instrument: a 19-channel cross-track microwave radiometer. (Credit: OHB Sweden)

PARIS (ESA PR) — With the need for satellite data to be received more frequently for faster weather forecasting updates in the Arctic, ESA has signed a contract with OHB Sweden to a build prototype satellite for the Arctic Weather Satellite mission.

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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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The Good, the Bad and the Brexit: UK’s Participation in European Space Programs Curtailed by EU Departure

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Although the United Kingdom’s (UK) “Brexit” departure from the European Union (EU) on Jan. 1 will not affect its membership status in the European Space Agency (ESA), the nation’s participation in a number of European space programs is either ending or being curtailed.

On Christmas Eve, the UK and EU announced an agreement in principle that will govern trade, security and political relations after Brexit. Under the agreement, the UK’s participation in the:

  • Galileo satellite navigation and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) program will end;
  • Copernicus Earth observation satellite program will continue, contingent upon a further agreement to be worked out next year; and
  • EU Space Surveillance and Tracking (EUSST) program will end, although the Britain will continue to receive data as a non-EU country.
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NASA Perseveres Through Pandemic to Complete Successful 2020

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2020, NASA made significant progress on America’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy, met mission objectives for the Artemis program, achieved significant scientific advancements to benefit humanity, and returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States, all while agency teams acted quickly to assist the national COVID-19 response.

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NASA, US, European Partner Satellite Returns First Sea Level Measurements

The data in this graphic are the first sea surface height measurements from the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich (S6MF) satellite, which launched Nov. 21, 2020. They show the ocean off the southern tip of Africa, with red colors indicating higher sea level relative to blue areas, which are lower. (Credits: EUMETSAT)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, a joint U.S.-European satellite built to measure global sea surface height, has sent back its first measurements of sea level. The data provide information on sea surface height, wave height, and wind speed off the southern tip of Africa.

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EUMETSAT takes control of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich

Falcon 9 lifts off with Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base. (Copyright 2020 Kenneth Brown)

DARMSTADT, Germany (EUMETSAT PR) — Three days after the launch of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich from California, ESOC, ESA’s space Operations Centre, handed over flight operations of the Copernicus ocean-monitoring satellite to EUMETSAT.

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Airbus Wins ESA’s LSTM Temperature-check Mission for Copernicus Next Generation

Copernicus Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) satellite. (Credit: Airbus)
  • Contract valued at €380 million [$449.75 million]
  • Airbus Spain to lead industrial consortium: first Copernicus prime for Spain

MADRID (Airbus Defence and Space PR) – The European Space Agency (ESA) has selected Airbus Defence and Space as prime contractor for the new Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) mission. LSTM is part of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme for global monitoring. It is one of the six new missions, expanding the capabilities of the current Copernicus space component. The contract is valued at € 380 million which includes the development of one LSTM satellite, with an option for two further satellites.

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U.S.-European Sea Level Satellite Gears Up for Launch

This animation shows the radar pulse from the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite’s altimeter bouncing off the sea surface in order to measure the height of the ocean. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich spacecraft will soon be heading into orbit to monitor the height of the ocean for nearly the entire globe.

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (NASA PR) — Preparations are ramping up for the Nov. 10 launch of the world’s latest sea level satellite. Since arriving in a giant cargo plane at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California last month, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich has been undergoing final checks, including visual inspections, to make sure it’s fit to head into orbit.

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