First Ariane 5 Launch of 2022 Orbits Satellites for MEASAT and NSIL

Ariane 5 launches on June 22, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)

– The Ariane 5, operated by Arianespace, has successfully placed two telecommunications satellites into geostationary orbit: MEASAT-3d for the Malaysian operator MEASAT, and GSAT-24 built by the Indian Space Agency ISRO on behalf of NSIL.
– Carrying out its first mission of the year, and the 113th overall, Ariane 5 once again demonstrates its exceptional reliability.
– Mission VA257 will improve broadband coverage in the Asia-Pacific region and represents another commercial success for Ariane 5 in the Asia-Pacific market.

KOUROU, French Guiana, June 22, 2022 (Arianespace PR) — On Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 06:50 pm local time, an Ariane 5 launcher lifted off from the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana (South America), successfully orbiting two geostationary telecommunication satellites, MEASAT-3d and GSAT-24.

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BRICS Nations Form Joint Committee on Space Cooperation

BEIJING (China Ministry of Foreign Affairs PR) — On May 25, the 1st meeting of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation was successfully held virtually, marking the official establishment of the BRICS Joint Committee on Space Cooperation and opening the new chapter for joint observation and data sharing cooperation of BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation (RSSC).

Mr. ZHANG Kejian, Administrator of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), served as the chairman of the Joint Committee this year. Mr. Carlos Augusto Teixeira de Moura, President of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), Mr. Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the State Space Corporation “Roscosmos”(ROSCOSMOS), Mr. Somanath S. , Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, and Mr. Hendrik Burger, Representative of the South African National Space Agency, attended the meeting.

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ISRO Successfully Tests Large Human-rated Solid Rocket Booster for the Gaganyaan Programme

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — ISRO successfully completed the static test of a human-rated solid rocket booster (HS200) for the Gaganyaan Programme at Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh on May 13, 2022, at 7:20 AM local time. HS200 rocket booster is the human-rated version of the well-proven S200 rocket booster of GSLV Mk III satellite launch vehicle, popularly known as LVM3. The successful completion of this test marks a major milestone for the prestigious human space flight mission of ISRO, the Gaganyaan, as the first stage of the launch vehicle is tested for its performance for the full duration.

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Hindustan Aeronautics, L&T Consortium to Build PSLV Boosters for ISRO

PSLV rocket launches the EOS-4 Earth observation satellite. (Credit: ISRO)

Indian media are reporting that a partnership of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and L&T consortium submitted the winning bid to manufacture five Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) privatizes key elements of the nation’s space program. BusinessToday.In reports:

“The company is the lead partner with L&T sharing the work. Other vendors too will be involved with the consortium in the manufacturing of the launch vehicles (LVs). However, the contract is yet to be formalised/ awarded,” HAL said in a statement.

This will be the first time that the industry will build a LV and will pave the way for commercialisation of other LVs, including the small satellite launch vehicle.

“ISRO’s commercial arm, NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) had floated a request for proposal for the said work in December, 2020,” HAL added.

The first rocket is expected to be realised sometime during the second half of 2024 and the balance four rockets will be delivered during 2025 and 2026 at two rockets per year.

India has taken a number of legal steps to privatize the nation’s government-run space program. Legal and regulatory changes have been undertaken, and private Indian space companies have signed agreements giving them access to ISRO facilities for testing purposes.

Australia’s First National Space Mission Central to Budget 2022-23

CANBERRA (Australian Government PR) — The Morrison Government is establishing Australia’s first ever national space mission as part of our plan for a stronger future. This is an historic investment that will strengthen our sovereign capability as well as grow the sector and create hundreds of new jobs.

The 2022-23 Budget includes $1.16 billion [USD $871.6 million] to 2038-39 and $38.5 million [USD $28.9 million] per annum ongoing for the first phase of a National Space Mission for Earth Observation, which will see Australia design, build, and operate four new satellites.

Led by the Australian Space Agency, this Mission will make Australia more self sufficient when it comes to critical Earth Observation data, while also growing capability and job opportunities that will set the industry up for future success.

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Space Situational Assessment 2021: The Growing Menace of Space Debris

Credit: ISRO

BENGALULU, India (ISRO PR) — Growing collision threats of space objects including orbital debris with the operational space assets have become a perennial problem for the safe and sustainable use of outer space.  These threats restrict the unhindered access to space and prompt all space actors to take appropriate measures to mitigate them.

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Failure Analysis Committee Identifies Propellant Leak as Cause of GSLV Failure

GSLV EOS-3 booster on its way to the launch pad. (Credit: ISRO)

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — The GSLV-F10/EOS-03 Mission lifted-off normally from Sriharikota on August 12,2021 at 0543 hrs after a smooth countdown of 26 hours. In the flight, the performance of the first stage (GS1), the strap-on stages (L40) and the second stage (GS2) were satisfactory and in accordance with the pre-flight predictions. However, the onboard computer aborted the mission at 307 seconds into the flight leading to mission failure.

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ISRO Looks to Transfer Mini Satellite Bus to Private Sector

IMS-1 bus (Credit: ISRO)

As part of its effort to commercialize the nation’s space program, the Indian Space Research Organisation is looking to transfer a small satellite bus to the private sector. The notice for transferring the Indian Mini Satellite-1 bus is below.

Interest Exploratory Note

UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed small satellite platform which would enable low cost access to space by providing dedicated platform for payloads for earth imaging, ocean and atmospheric studies, microwave remote sensing and space science missions with a quick turnaround time.

Department of Space has authorised NSIL for Technology Transfer of IMS-1 Satellite Platform to suitable entrepreneurs/industry in India. Interested Parties may please fill the enclosed form and send by email to contact-nsil@isro.gov.in on or before 25 March 2022.

Indian Mini Satellite-1 (IMS-1) Bus Specifications

Stability3-axes stabilised small satellite (Bus + P/L) of 100 kg Class
StructureSize 600 (Y) x 552 (R) x 600 (P) mm3
Pointing Accuracy±0.1° (3σ) about all axes
Drift Rate±7.5 x 10-04°/s (3σ) about all axes
Nominal Mission Life2 years
Payload Mass30 Kg
BDH32 Mbps
InterfacesLVDS, 1553, Standard TM/TC Interface
Solar PanelSolar Array consists of two wings, each having one panel of size 0.915 x 0.83 m2
Power330 W (EOL with one string failure)
BatteryLithium ion battery of 27.2 Ah capacity
Attitude SensorsMagnetometer -1 No., 4 PI Sensors, micro Star Sensors, micro-IRU
Reaction Control System
Magnetic Torquers (2nos. of 20 A-m2)
Reaction Wheels (4 Nos. of 1 Nm-s @ 8000 RPM & 0.02 Nm)
Thruster of 1N-1No.
Tank- 7.5 litre Volume
SSR32 Gb
ThermalThermistors – 48,
FTS- 16,
PRTs – 10,
Thermocouples – 2,
On-board heaters-28



ISRO Tests Solid Booster Stage for New Small Satellite Launch Vehicle

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle stage static fire. (Credit: ISRO)

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — The ground testing of the newly developed solid booster stage (SS1) for the new launch vehicle of ISRO i.e. Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) was carried out today, March 14 2022 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre Sriharikota at 1205 hrs.

All the propulsion parameters during the test are found satisfactory and closely matching with the predictions.

Small Satellite Launch Vehicle stage static fire. (Credit: ISRO)

SS1 motor is a three segmented solid propulsion stage incorporating many new technologies and innovative processes which includes bond-free joint between the segments, high power electro mechanical actuator with digital control electronics, optimized ignitor and simultaneous propellant casting of all segments, which have been successfully validated in the ground test.

The successful test of solid booster stage has given sufficient confidence to proceed with the first developmental flight of SSLV (SSLV-D1) which is scheduled in May 2022. The remaining stages of SSLV i.e. SS2 & SS3 stages have successfully undergone necessary ground tests and are ready for integration.

OneWeb Suspends Satellite Launches From Baikonur

Soyuz rocket launches 36 OneWeb satellites from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 27, 2021. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The Friday launch of 36 OneWeb broadband satellites aboard a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome is officially canceled as the London-based company refused demands from the Russian government amid growing international tensions over the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The Board of OneWeb has voted to suspend all launches from Baikonur,” the company said in a one-sentence statement.

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Russia Holds OneWeb Satellites Hostage; No Launch Unless Company & British Government Meet Demands

Vladimir Putin receives a briefing from Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: Office of the Russian President)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In what is likely the first hostage drama involving communication satellites, the head of the Russian space program has demanded that the British government divest its shares in OneWeb and that the broadband satellite operator not provide services to foreign militaries in order to launch a new batch of spacecraft. The move comes amid growing tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed on the country by western nations.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin tweeted that unless these demands are met, Russia will refuse to launch 36 OneWeb satellites that sit atop a Soyuz-2.1b rocket currently on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The launch is scheduled for Saturday morning Moscow time.

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ISRO Launches Earth Observation Satellite, Two Secondary Payloads

PSLV rocket launches the EOS-4 Earth observation satellite. (Credit: ISRO)

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C52 injected Earth Observation Satellite EOS-04, into an intended sun synchronous polar orbit of 529 km altitude at 06:17 hours IST on February 14, 2022 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, SHAR, Sriharikota.

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Department of Space Demonstrates Entanglement Based Quantum Communication Over 300m Free Space Along with Real Time Cryptographic Applications

Quantum communications demonstration (Credit: ISRO)

AHMEDABAD, India (ISRO PR) — On 27 January 2022, scientists from the two premier laboratories of Department of Space (DOS), viz. Space Applications Centre (SAC) and Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), both from the city of Ahmedabad, have jointly demonstrated quantum entanglement based real time Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) over 300m atmospheric channel along with quantum-secure text, image transmission and quantum-assisted two-way video calling.

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Indian Private Launch Provider Skyroot Aerospace Raises $4.5 Million

Vikram boosters (Credit: Skyroot Aerospace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

HYDERABAD, India — Small satellite launch company Skyroot Aerospace reports that it has raised $4.5 million in bridge funding as part of its Series B fund-raising round.

Early Google investor Ram Shriram led the bridge round through his venture capital firm Sherpalo Ventures. Wami Capital co-led the funding round with former Google executive Amit Singhal and existing investor and former WhatsApp chief business officer Neeraj Arora, Indian media report.

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Qualification Testing of Vikas Engine for Gaganyaan Human Spaceflight Program

Vikas engine test on Jan. 20, 2022 (Credit: ISRO)

MAHENDRAGIRI, India (ISRO PR) — Today, January 20, 2022, High Thrust VIKAS Engine for Gaganyaan programme has successfully undergone qualification test for a duration of 25 seconds at ISRO Propulsion Complex (IPRC), Mahendragiri, Tamil Nadu.

With regard to the Vikas engine qualification for the Gaganyaan Programme, two engines have already undergone tests under nominal operating conditions for a total duration of 480 seconds.

Vikas engine test on Jan. 20, 2022. (Credit: ISRO)

The test carried out today is to verify the robustness of the engine by operating beyond its nominal operating conditions (fuel-oxidiser ratio and chamber pressure). The performance of the engine met the test objectives and the engine parameters were closely matching with the predictions during the entire duration of the test.

Further, three more tests are planned for a cumulative duration of 75 seconds under varying operating conditions. Subsequently, another high thrust Vikas engine will undergo a long-duration test for 240 seconds to complete the Vikas engine qualification for Gaganyaan Programme.