Germany Invests 3.3 Billion Euros in European Space Exploration, Becomes ESA’s Largest Contributor

  • Three years after the last ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, government representatives from the 22 Member States met in Seville, Spain, on 27 and 28 November 2019 and committed a total of almost 14.4 billion euro [$15.87 billion] for space programmes over the next few years.
  • Germany is contributing 3.3 billion euro [$3.6 billion] to ESA programmes focusing on Earth observation, telecommunications, technological advancement and commercialisation / NewSpace.
  • At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA’s largest contributor, followed by France (18.5 percent, 2.66 billion euro), Italy (15.9 percent, 2.28 billion euro) and the United Kingdom (11.5 percent, 1.65 billion euro).
  • The ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level is the highest political decision-making body, and it defines the content and financial framework for ESA’s space programmes every two to three years.
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Loft Orbital Raises $13 Million for “Satellite as a Service” Operation

A Loft Orbital-owned and -operated microsatellite, flying multiple customer payloads onboard as a service. (Credit: Loft Orbital Solutions Inc.)

Loft Orbital has raised a $13 million Series A round led by Foundation Capital.

The San Francisco-based company provides end-to-end service by integrating payloads onto standard microsat buses. Loft Orbital also manages the launch and operations of the satellites.

“Loft’s basic value proposition is twofold. First, for customers who don’t have space-industry expertise but want the benefits of sensing and communications from space, Loft provides white-glove service,” Foundation Capital General Partner Steve Vassallo wrote in a blog post.

“Customers in this category include new commercial players in the space industry and foreign governments that don’t have their own space programs,” he added. “Second, as Loft aggregates the sensors into one satellite and books the launches from all over the world with backup launches, not only is the cost much lower for each customer, speed to orbit is also much faster.”

Vassallo said the company is targeting the fast-growing 75-100 kg (166- 220 lb) microsat market segment. “The market for this microsatellite category is $12 billion at the moment and expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025,” he wrote.

Loft Orbital was founded by three veterans of Spire Global — Antoine De Chassy, Pierre-Damien Vaujour, and Alex Greenberg.

Nobel-winning Lithium-ion Batteries Powering Space

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet put his battery-powered spacesuit to the ultimate test on Earth at NASA’s Johnson Space Center: all the air was pumped out from the Space Station Airlock Test Article to create a vacuum like he would encounter in outer space. (Credit: NASA–Bill Stafford)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s space power experts congratulate the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for their invention of lithium-ion batteries. These energy-dense, long-lasting and rechargeable batteries have revolutionised the modern world, found in everything from smartphones to laptops to cars. They have had the same revolutionary effect in space.

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EOS to create “EOS SAR” Radar Microsat Constellation

MENLO PARK, Calif. (EOS Data Analytics PR) — US-based EOS Data Analytics Inc. (EOS), a space portfolio company of Noosphere Ventures, today unveiled EOS SAR – a project to develop its own synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors intended for deployment in a constellation of microsatellites.

EOS SAR has been in stealth mode for over two years. EOS has more than 5 years of experience in developing data analytics products and cloud services for optical and SAR data from satellites. Over the years the company has developed an in-depth understanding of commercial and government remote sensing markets, which informed the decision to create its own SAR satellite constellation. 

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China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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ICEYE Releases World-First Under 1-Meter Resolution Radar Imagery from SAR Microsatellites

ICEYE radar satellite imagery that has been acquired and processed at 0.5-meter ground sample distance, featuring a port container terminal near Port Harcourt, Nigeria. (Credit: ICEYE)

HELSINKI, August 9, 2019 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology, is the first in the world to achieve better-than 1 meter resolution imagery from under-100kg (220 pounds) SAR satellites.

The new Spotlight imaging capability builds on ICEYE’s legacy of leading the way on small satellite SAR since its history-making first small SAR satellite launch in January 2018. Since then the company has continued to launch more satellites, latest in July 2019 with two new units. With new satellites being launched still during 2019, ICEYE continues to develop and optimize its imaging capabilities further for customers in both commercial and government segments.

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Vector’s GalacticSky GSky-1 Satellite Ready for Launch Later This Year

GalacticSky GSky-1 satellite.(Credit: Vector)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Vector PR) Vector, the space access company, today announced its GalacticSky division, which has been in stealth mode since 2016. Led by veterans from VMWare and Citrix, as well as satellite innovators, GalacticSky has achieved a major milestone on its path to launch its first GalacticSky software-defined satellite, GSky-1.

GSky-1 successfully completed integration at the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and will validate GalacticSky’s mission to enable innovators to easily and effectively deploy space application technology in space.

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LuxSpace Entering Next Phase with Triton-X Microsat

Betzdorf, Luxembourg, January 9, 2019 (OHB PR) — LuxSpace, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, is taking its Triton-X microsatellite platform to the next level. Over the last 12 months it has been designing the architecture for Triton-X, a next generation multi-mission microsatellite designed to enable affordable regional and global LEO constellations. Now work on the hardware is beginning in conjunction with three partner companies.

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Spaceflight Launches 64 Small Satellites on SpaceX’s Falcon 9

Falcon 9 lifts off on Spaceflight SSO-A mission. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.,  Dec. 3, 2018 (Spaceflight PR) – Spaceflight, the leading rideshare and mission management provider, today announced the success of its SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission, the largest single rideshare mission from a U.S.-based launch vehicle to date. The company successfully launched 64 spacecraft to sun-synchronous low Earth orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 that launched today from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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ESA Microlauncher Workshop Looks at New Ways to Access Space

Microlauncher concepts (Credit: ESA)

PARIS, 16 November 2018 (ESA PR) — Access to space was in the spotlight at this week’s Φ event which followed an ESA-hosted workshop on Europe’s emerging microlaunch services held in Paris, France for industry, investors and institutions.

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Landspace Identifies Reaction Control System Leak as Cause of Launch Failure

Landspace has concluded a damaged third stage reaction control system that developed a fuel leak caused the failure of the private Chinese launch company’s ZhuQue-1 rocket during its maiden flight on Oct. 27, GB Times reports.

The anomaly, which occurred 6 minutes 42 seconds after liftoff from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, made the rocket go out of control and sent the Weila-1 (Future-1) micro-satellite plunging into the Indian Ocean.

The conclusion is a preliminary one. The company is conducting additional analysis to confirm the finding.

It was the first orbital launch attempt by a private Chinese space company. A number of Chinese commercial startups are competing for business in the orbital and suborbital markets.

Landspace said the three-stage rocket reached an altitude of 337 km (209.4 miles), which means it entered space without achieving orbit.  The booster reached a top speed of 6.3 km/second (14,093 mph), which is below orbital velocity.











Global Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Size, Revenue, Trends in Future, Application, Types, Scope to 2022

PUNE, India (QYResearch PR) — Nanosatellites and microsatellites (NaM) are mainly used for space research, earth observation and communication purposes. Besides these uses, application of nanosatellites and microsatellites is also seen in defense and military sector and for commercial purposes. Nanosatellites and microsatellites are basically used for research requirements and for scientific objectives on a large scale.

The Global Nanosatellite and Microsatellite Market Estimated to grow at a CAGR of +12% during forecast period.

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Astrocast, D-Orbit Sign Deal to Launch 10 Satellites on Vega

LOGAN, Utah, Aug. 7, 2018 (Astrocast PR) — Astrocast and D-Orbit today announced an InOrbit NOW DPOD agreement for the launch and deployment of ten Astrocast nanosatellites.

Signed today by company officials at the SmallSat Conference in Logan, Utah, the agreement calls for the Astrocast nanosatellites to be launched onboard an Arianspace VEGA or Vega C vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana between late 2019 and early 2020. VEGA C, the last generation of launcher is a European vehicle realized by AVIO SpA in the Colleferro Headquarters, in Italy.

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PLD Space Completes 17 Million Euro Funding Round

ARION1 booster (Credit: PLD Space)

ELCHE, Spain (PLD Space PR) — PLD Space, the European Microlauncher company, has closed a new funding round of 9 million euros [$10.6 million] completing its Series A round of 17 million euros [$20 million]. Among the new investors are the Spanish aeronautical company Aciturri, founded by Ginés Clemente, and the Spanish investment fund JME Venture Capital, led by José Manuel Entrecanales, CEO of Acciona, one of the largest infrastructure and renewable energy companies in Spain.

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