ESA Helps Greece to Boost its Space Investments

PARIS (ESA PR) — Ambitious plans to expand the nascent space industry in Greece – enabling the digital transformation of society while creating jobs and generating prosperity – have received a fillip from ESA.

On 26 November, the Ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialise its Greek National Satellite Space Project, with the technical support of ESA.

The project is part of the nation’s Recovery and Resilience Facility plans, which aim to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country to exchange satellite data.

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Galileo Navigation Satellites in Place for Dec. 2 Launch From French Guiana

Galileo satellites 27 – 28 being lowered onto their Fregat upper stage ahead of their launch on 2 December 2021. (Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace Optique Video du CSG – P Baudon)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Europe’s next two Galileo satellites have been attached to the dispenser on which they will ride to orbit, and the launcher fairing that will protect them during the first part of the ascent to orbit has been closed around the pair.

Galileo satellites 27 – 28 are scheduled to be launched by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 2 December at 01:31 CET (1 December at 21:31:27 local Kourou time).

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When Debris Disaster Strikes in Earth Orbit

Credit: ESA

In brief

PARIS (ESA PR) — In 2021 so far, some 2467 new objects large enough to be tracked have been added to world catalogues of orbital objects, out of which 1493 are new satellites and the rest are debris. While new objects are added, others are dragged down to Earth by the atmosphere where they safely burn up, resulting in a net increase of at least 1387 trackable objects between 2020 and 2021.

In addition, an estimated 1500 new objects – an increase of about 5% with respect to the total population – were added just this week, meaning the risk to missions must be reassessed.

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Testing Confirms Webb Telescope on Track for Targeted Dec. 22 Launch

Upon its arrival at the launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, engineers quickly set about unpacking, cleaning, and preparing the James Webb Space Telescope in its remaining days on Earth. (Credits: NASA/Chris Gunn)

KOUROU, French Guiana (NASA PR) — Engineering teams have completed additional testing confirming NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is ready for flight, and launch preparations are resuming toward Webb’s target launch date of Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 7:20 a.m. EST.

Additional testing was conducted this week to ensure the observatory’s health following an incident that occurred when the release of a clamp band caused a vibration throughout the observatory.

On Wednesday, Nov. 24, engineering teams completed these tests, and a NASA-led anomaly review board concluded no observatory components were damaged in the incident. A “consent to fuel” review was held, and NASA gave approval to begin fueling the observatory. Fueling operations will begin Thursday, Nov. 25, and will take about 10 days.

The Webb Space Telescope is an international partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies. It will explore every phase of cosmic history – from within our solar system to the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe, and everything in between. Webb will reveal new and unexpected discoveries, and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.

OHB Luxspace Inks Contract with Exotrail for ExoMG™ Electric Propulsion System Onboard Triton-X Heavy Platform

ExoMG Cluster2 (Credit: ExoTrail)

MASSY, France (Exotrail PR) — Exotrail signed a contract with Luxembourg-based satellite manufacturer OHB Luxspace for a co-engineering phase aiming the further integration of ExoMG™ – cluster², a configuration of Exotrail’s high thrust and flexible electric propulsion product family, into the Triton-X Heavy platform.

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Planetary Defenders: After NASA’s DART Comes ESA’s Hera Mission

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirect Test, DART, mission is intended to collide with the smaller of two bodies of the Didymos binary asteroid system in autumn 2022. ESA’s Hera mission will then perform follow-up post-impact observations. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The world will be watching the milestone launch of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test, DART, spacecraft on Wednesday, 24 November, intended to alter one small part of the Solar System forever.

DART will collide with the small moon of an asteroid in order to shift its orbit around its parent body – to test the concept of diverting threatening objects away from Earth.

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NASA, SpaceX Launch DART: First Test Mission to Defend Planet Earth

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft onboard, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, Pacific time (Nov. 24 Eastern time) from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. DART is the world’s first full-scale planetary defense test, demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection technology. The mission was built and is managed by Johns Hopkins APL for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the world’s first full-scale mission to test technology for defending Earth against potential asteroid or comet hazards, launched Wednesday at 1:21 a.m. EST on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4 East at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Just one part of NASA’s larger planetary defense strategy, DART – built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland – will impact a known asteroid that is not a threat to Earth. Its goal is to slightly change the asteroid’s motion in a way that can be accurately measured using ground-based telescopes.

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Rocky Roads Through Lanzarote: Astronauts Explore a Lava Tube

ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen, ESA engineer Robin Eccleston and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins with others at the entrance to a lava tube. (Credit: ESA–A. Romeo)

LANZAROTE, Spain (ESA PR) — Take away the clouds, bulk up the humans with suits and add an orange-red filter and this could be an image from a future mission to Mars.

The actual site, the Corona lava tube in Lanzarote, Spain, is closer than one might think to the Red Planet.

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ESA Boost! Contract Signed for Flight Demonstration of Spectrum Launch Vehicle

Spectrum rocket (Credit Isar Aerospace)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Small and medium satellites can expect new launch opportunities on the Spectrum launch vehicle thanks to an ESA Boost! co-funding contract worth €11 million [US $12.39 million] with Isar Aerospace Technologies in Germany.

The flight demonstrations of Spectrum will pave the way for an extended availability of European launch service solutions for small satellites, delivering dedicated launch opportunities.

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ESA and CNES Collaborate on Creation of New European Space Transport Hub

PARIS (CNES PR) — In order to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in its space access policy, CNES and ESA are working together to create a new European space transport hub. Last August, the two agencies formalized their wish to continue the co-location of their launch teams while giving the possibility to any public or private entity in the European space transport sector to join. This hub would thus become an emblematic space and launch vehicle center, it would serve as a pole of attractiveness and influence for the sector.

This grouping of the main players in the field would promote synergies and innovation by sharing means, resources and skills in order to ensure the successful operation of the Ariane and Vega launchers, while actively preparing future generations of systems. launch.

This hub project is of strategic interest to the actors concerned. A call for expressions of interest is launched from November 16 to December 31, 2021 by ESA and CNES in order to identify the actors interested in this project and to size it. The scope of this project is Paris and the inner suburbs. Final approval of the project will be taken at the end of 2022.

ESA Issues Call for Companies to Develop Agency’s Patents

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA develops a vast array of innovative technologies and applications to make Europe’s space endeavours happen. Many of these inventions are protected by patents, resulting in a portfolio of around 580 patents or patent applications. ESA is now offering you the opportunity to find and mature real-world applications of these inventions.

Innovation is at ESA’s core. Through devising new inventions, the Agency becomes more than a mere procurement body: it delivers real technical added value to improve Europe’s competitive edge. The innovation process often starts with new ideas in the heads of ESA technical experts, which go on to be implemented by European industry.

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ESA Ministers Agree to Accelerate Use of Space in Europe

MATOSINHOS, Portugal (ESA PR) — Government ministers in charge of space activities in ESA’s Member States today met at an Intermediate Ministerial Meeting held in Matosinhos, Portugal.

The Council of Ministers unanimously adopted a Resolution to accelerate the use of space in Europe (the “Matosinhos manifesto”) to tackle the urgent and unprecedented societal, economic and security challenges faced by Europe and its citizens.

The Resolution defined three “accelerators” to bring Europe’s space ambitions to the next level, mandating the ESA Director General to develop their governance and funding concepts, in concert with the Member States.

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Matosinhos Manifesto to Accelerate the Use of Space in Europe

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY
COUNCIL OF MINISTERS RESOLUTION ON
Accelerating the Use of Space in Europe

(“The Matosinhos Manifesto”)
(adopted on 19 November 2021 in Matosinhos, Portugal)

The Council, meeting at ministerial level,

CONVINCED that in times of unprecedented challenges facing Europe and the world at large, it is the moment to contribute with bold, shared ambitions to solutions enabled by space, a sector that is ever more indispensable for our common future,

HAVING REGARD to the ESA Director General’s ‘Agenda 2025’ (ESA/C(2021)51) as a vision for Europe to maintain and expand its excellence in space, for the benefit of everyone on Earth and in Europe in particular,

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NASA to Air Northrop Grumman Cygnus Departure from Space Station

The S.S. Katherine Johnson begins the second phase of its mission after leaving the International Space Station (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Northrop Grumman’s uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to depart the International Space Station on Saturday, Nov. 20, more than three months after delivering nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, scientific investigations, commercial products, hardware, and other cargo to the orbiting laboratory.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s departure will begin at 10:45 a.m. EST on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

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Isotropic Systems Joins UK Government and ESA Consortium Led by CGI to Develop Hybrid Satellite Communications for Trains

LONDON, UK, 17 November 2021 (Isotropic Systems PR) — Isotropic Systems, a leading developer of transformational broadband terminal technologies, has joined the consortium led by CGI (NYSE: GIB) (TSX: GIB.A), which has been selected by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the UK Space Agency, and the European Space Agency (ESA), to develop a demonstration of a hybrid satellite communications and terrestrial network for use on trains.

The project is part of a joint initiative in the UK to demonstrate the integrated use of 5G in the area of transport and logistics. The Satellites for Digitalisation of Railways (SODOR) project will deliver pilot demonstrations of improved network connectivity for train monitoring and passenger broadband in 2022.

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