ESA Spurs Investment in Space Entrepreneurs

BERLIN, Germany (ESA PR) — Dozens of people who have set up start-up companies and fledgling businesses are pitching their ideas to investors today, as part of an ESA Investor Forum held in Berlin.

The forum is part of ESA’s efforts to encourage private investment in space – bringing Europe closer to the levels seen in the US – and to promote innovation by fast-moving private companies.

Many of the entrepreneurs have nurtured their businesses in ESA’s various business incubation centres in Austria, Germany and Poland. Others have received business advice and financial support from ESA.

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Smarter Satellites: ESA Discovery Accelerates AI in Space

Demonstrating the potential of AI for Earth observation, ɸ-sat-1 is an artificial intelligence experiment carries on the Federated Satellite Systems (FSSCat) mission. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Could we capitalise on the Earth-based digital revolution to make our satellites smarter?

ESA Discovery is funding 12 projects that will explore the potential of applying the latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced computing paradigms to make satellites more reactive, agile and autonomous. This could generate new practical applications that support life on Earth and our exploration of other planets.

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Mynaric and Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. Sign Contract for Laser Communication Demonstration on ISS Bartolomeo Platform

Bartolomeo platform on the International Space Station. (Credit: Mynaric)

Airbus’s payload hosting platform to demonstrate Mynaric’s laser communication product on the International Space Station 

HOUSTON, May 12, 2022 – Mynaric (NASDAQ: MYNA)(FRA: M0Y) and Airbus U.S. Space & Defense, Inc. have signed a contract to host Mynaric’s CONDOR Mk2 terminal for space-based laser communication on the International Space Station’s (ISS) functional testbed, Bartolomeo. Mynaric plans to operate its industrialized optical communications terminal on the ISS, with the goal of demonstrating the product’s capabilities in low Earth orbit and providing its customers with an extended range of experimental mission scenarios.  

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Arkadia Space Partners with ArianeGroup to Investigate Green Space Vehicle Concepts for ESA

  • Arkadia Space is part of the industrial consortium, led by ArianeGroup to investigate future space transportation solutions to be exploited in the period 2030-2050, with strong emphasis in sustainability.
  • The conclusions of the study will pave the way for the new green technology roadmaps in the field of propulsion and space transportation in Europe.
  • Arkadia Space has a relevant participation in the overall contract with a leading role in the assessment of green in space transportation concepts and their associated propellants.

BENLLOCH, Spain May 12, 2022 (Arkadia Space PR) — Arkadia Space and ArianeGroup have partnered together to study and define new concepts for “Ultra Green Launch & Space Transportation Systems” for the European Space Agency – ESA.

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Global Citizen Science Project Finds Over 1700 Asteroid Trails in Hubble Images

[Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, S. Kruk (ESA/ESTEC), Hubble Asteroid Hunter citizen science team, M. Zamani (ESA/Hubble)]

PARIS (ESA PR) — Combining artificial intelligence with many keen human eyes, astronomers have found 1,701 new asteroid trails in archival data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, consisting of more than 37,000 images that span two decades. The project reflects both Hubble’s value to scientists as an asteroid hunter and how the public can effectively contribute to citizen science initiatives.

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NASA, ESA Astronauts Safely Return to Earth

From left to right, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthais Maurer, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft onboard the SpaceX Shannon recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, Friday, May 6, 2022. Maurer, Marshburn, Chari, and Barron are returning after 177 days in space as part of Expeditions 66 and 67 aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts aboard the Dragon Endurance spacecraft safely splashed down Friday in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, completing the agency’s third long-duration commercial crew mission to the International Space Station. The international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit.

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NASA Invites Comment on Initial Plans for Mars Sample Return Program

Lockheed Martin will lead development of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (pictured), cruise stage for the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander, and the Earth Entry System that will help return the first ever Martian rock samples to Earth. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is requesting public comment on the scope of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the agency’s proposed Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign. Comments will be accepted through the mail and online through Monday, May 16, 2022.

The agency also is hosting two virtual public meetings about the proposed program at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, and 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at:

https://jpl.webex.com/meet/msr

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Minerva Mission Begins as Samantha Cristoforetti Arrives at Space Station

ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti shows off her yellow and white striped socks aboard the space station. The PGTIDE experiment tests a fully degradable detergent specifically for cleaning clothes (including socks) in space. (Credits: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom, carrying ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti and her NASA colleagues Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins, docked to the International Space Station at 01:37 CEST Thursday 28 April.

The docking marks the start of Samantha’s second space mission, known as Minerva.

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Crew-4 Arrives at International Space Station

Crew-4 arrives at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronauts Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, and Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, and Mission Specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency) now are aboard the International Space Station following Crew Dragon’s hatch opening about 9:15 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, April 27.

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Vega-C: Launcher Integration Begins for Inaugural Flight VV21

The Vega-C Interstage 1/2 has now been transferred to and integrated at the Vega Launch Zone (Zone de Lancement Vega) ZLV at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 22 April 2022. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace/Optique video du CSG/P Baudon)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Launcher integration for the inaugural flight of Vega-C began with the P120C solid-fuel first stage being delivered to the Vega Launch Zone (Zone de Lancement Vega, or ZLV) at Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana on 15 April 2022. P120C will also fly on Ariane 6, with two or four units serving as boosters depending on mission requirements.

The interstage segment to join the P120C first stage with the Z40 second stage followed on the 22nd.

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NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts Launch to International Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti onboard, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

NASA Mission Update

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts are in orbit following their launch to the International Space Station at 3:52 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew of astronauts will serve as the fourth commercial crew rotation mission aboard the space station.

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Watch SpaceX Launch Next Crew to Space Station on Wednesday

Official portrait of Crew-4 astronauts Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins and Kjell Lindgren. (Credit: NASA-J.Valcarcel/ R.Markowitz/N.Moran)

SpaceX Mission Update

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — SpaceX and NASA are targeting no earlier than Wednesday, April 27 for Falcon 9’s launch of Crew-4, Dragon’s fourth science expedition mission to the International Space Station, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Launch is targeted for 3:52 a.m. ET (7:52 UTC), with a backup opportunity available on Thursday, April 28.

This will be the first flight of the Dragon spacecraft supporting this mission and the fourth flight for Falcon 9’s first stage booster, which previously launched CRS-22, Crew-3, and Turksat 5B. Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage will land on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

During their time at the orbiting laboratory, the Crew-4 astronauts will conduct over 200 science experiments in areas such as materials science, health technologies, and plant science to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 4 hours before liftoff. 

Coverage Updated for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Briefing, Events, Broadcast

NASA astronauts and Crew-4 crewmembers Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines and Kjell Lindgren stand alongside ESA astronaut and Crew-4 crewmember Samantha Cristoforetti. (Credit: SpaceX)

NASA Mission Update

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission, which will send astronauts to the International Space Station.

The launch is targeted for 3:52 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, dubbed Freedom by the mission’s crew, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 8:15 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27.

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One Giant Leap for Dollkind: Barbie Explores New Frontier in First Trip to Space

In a collaboration with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory titled Mission DreamStar, Mattel sends two Barbie® dolls to space to encourage girls to pursue careers in STEM

One Giant Leap for Dollkind: Barbie Explores New Frontier in First Trip to Space (Photo: Business Wire)
One Giant Leap for Dollkind: Barbie Explores New Frontier in First Trip to Space (Credit: Business Wire)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 14, 2022, (Mattel, Inc. PR) –Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) announced today that Barbie is embarking on her first mission to space in the doll’s 63-year history. In collaboration with the International Space Station (ISS) National Lab on Mission DreamStar, Mattel sent two Barbie dolls up to space to encourage girls to consider a career in aerospace, engineering and STEM.

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Planet Joins ESA Third Party Mission Programme for Open Access to High-Frequency, High-Resolution Imagery

BERLIN (Planet Labs PR) — Planet Labs PBC (NYSE: PL), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced that Planet’s PlanetScope and SkySat data have joined the European Space Agency (ESA) Third Party Missions portfolio, enabling ESA to utilize Planet data for scientific, research, and pre-operational Earth Observation based applications development. Through distribution under the ESA Earthnet Programme, European researchers, scientists, and companies can access Planet’s high-frequency, high-resolution satellite data for non-commercial use.

Initiated in 1976, the ESA Earthnet Programme is a “Network for the Earth,” with the purpose of building an Earth Observation science community to acquire and share knowledge of our planet. Within this program, Planet joins more than 50 other missions owned by commercial or public organizations to add near-daily PlanetScope imagery, 50 cm SkySat imagery, and RapidEye archive data to this global network. In 2019, Planet entered into an agreement with ESA to evaluate making Planet’s data from its high-resolution constellation available as a Third Party Mission.

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