Towards a New Launch Complex for Micro-launchers

Illustration of a micro-launcher pad. (Credits: CNES)

PARIS (CNES PR) — The announced development of micro-launchers is speeding up thinking on new, more flexible and agile launch pad concepts. In Guyana, CNES is working on adapting the historic Diamant site, which has already been redeveloped for Callisto and Themis.

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Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:

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Glavkosmos, Orbital Express to Cooperate in Promoting Services to the Global Space Market

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Glavkosmos (part of Roscosmos) and the Russian private company Orbital Express have signed an agreement on cooperation in promoting services to the global space market with the help of the Russian rocket and space technology. The document was signed on Thursday at the Glavkosmos headquarters in Moscow. 

“Glavkosmos welcomes the initiative of Russian private NewSpace companies to enter the foreign space market,” says Dmitry Loskutov, Director General of Glavkosmos. “We hope that the interaction between Glavkosmos and Orbital Express will be successful. We believe that it will have a positive impact on the development of Russian rocket and space technologies.”

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NanoAvionics US Inc. Adds Accion Systems As Preferred Propulsion Provider for Appropriate Customer Missions

NanoAvionics US Inc. will include Accion’s TILE Ion Electrospray Propulsion System as a preferred option for all appropriate customer missions that require electric in-space propulsion.

BOSTON, Mass., March 12, 2021 ( PR) –  Accion Systems, a leading in-space propulsion manufacturer, has signed a new partnership agreement with NanoAvionics US Inc., a US division of the multinational nanosatellite bus manufacturer and mission integrator. The TILE in-space propulsion system will be listed as a preferred option for all appropriate missions that require electric in-space propulsion and Accion Systems will provide preferred pricing to NanoAvionics US Inc.

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Spire Global Goes SPAC: Space-based Data & Analytics Company to Go Public Through a Merger with NavSight Holdings

  • Spire collects spaced-based data through their proprietary constellation of over 100 satellites
  • Spire has a technology stack that is proven, at scale, and fully operational
  • Spire delivers subscription-based data, insights, and predictive analytics to global customers across a range of industries, including maritime, aviation, weather, and climate
  • Transaction funds growth strategy across key verticals and geographies, accelerates sales, marketing, and product development, and further strengthens competitive advantage
  • Transaction values the combined company at a $1.6 billion post-money equity value and is expected to provide approximately $475 million in gross proceeds, assuming no redemptions
  • Includes an upsized, and fully committed $245 million common stock PIPE, anchored by Tiger Global Management, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Hedosophia, JAWS – the family office of Barry Sternlicht, and Bloom Tree Partners
  • Spire stockholders, NavSight stockholders, and PIPE investors will hold shares in the combined company to be listed on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “SPIR”
  • Business combination expected to be completed in summer 2021
  • Investor webcast and call is scheduled for March 1st, at 8:30 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO & RESTON, Va., March 1, 2021 (Spire Global/NavSight Holdings PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (“Spire” or the “Company”)a leading global provider of space-based data and analytics, and NavSight Holdings Inc. (“NavSight”) (NYSE: NSH), a special purpose acquisition company, today announced they have entered into a definitive merger agreement for a business combination that would result in Spire becoming a publicly listed company.

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OQ Technology Signs 2 Million Euro Contract with ESA Under Luxembourg National Space Programme for Satellite IoT Mission

WASSERBILLIG, Luxembourg (OQ Technology PR) –OQ Technology, a front-runner in the satellite 5G Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity business, has signed a 2 million Euro contract with the European Space Agency as part of the Luxembourg National Space program (“LuxIMPULSE”) for the in-orbit pathfinder mission (MACSAT). The contract aims to foster Luxembourg and European space partnerships and involves the development of a 6U Nanosatellite, an advanced flight payload and user terminals, and their software stack.

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Space Flight Laboratory Announces Successful Launch of 12 Satellites on SpaceX Ride-Sharing Mission

HawkEye 360 RF geolocating microsatellite constellation. (Credit: SFL)

TORONTO, 25 January 2021 (SFL PR) – Space Flight Laboratory (SFL), a developer of complete microspace missions, today announced the launch and successful deployment of 12 satellites on January 24, 2021. The SpaceX Falcon 9 ride-sharing mission carried three different SFL-designed microspace platforms into orbit for three separate commercial constellations.

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Iodine Thruster Could Slow Space Junk Accumulation

Iodine thruster (Credit: ThrustMe)

PARIS (ESA PR) — For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.

The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up.

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GomSpace Signs Development and Supply Contracts for Colombia, North America

UPPSALA, Sweden (GomSpace PR) — GomSpace has signed the second FACSAT-2 contract to support advanced science and technology activities to enhance the satellite capabilities of the Colombian Airforce. The contract and collaboration consist of a three-party agreement between CODALTEC / Colombian Air Force (“FAC”) and GomSpace to continue the FACSAT-2 satellite mission and associated intensive virtual technology transfer program. The contract is worth 3.91 MSEK [US $472,800] and will be delivered during the second half of 2021.

The FACSAT-2 project comprises design, manufacture, test, and operation of an advanced 6U remote sensing spacecraft. The program will build on the successful collaboration established and local capability built during the FACSAT-1 program under which a Colombian 3U satellite was launched in 2018 and is today in continued operation by FAC.

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China’s Long March 8 Rocket Makes Successful Debut in Step Toward Reusability

Long March 8 launches for the first time on Dec. 22, 2020. (Credit: CNSA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China’s newest booster, Long March 8, successfully placed five satellites into sun-synchronous orbit on Tuesday from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in a step toward partial reusability.

The medium-lift booster blasted off at 12:37 p.m. local time from Hainan island carrying the classified XJY-7 remote sensing technology test satellite and four smaller payloads.

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Exolaunch Integrates 30 Small Satellites for SpaceX First Dedicated Rideshare Launch

A rendering of rideshare smallsat deployments from Falcon 9 into space. (Credit: Exolaunch)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Exolaunch PR)–Exolaunch, the leading rideshare launch and deployment services provider for the NewSpace industry, begins its launch campaign to integrate 30 small satellites from the U.S. and Europe aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rideshare mission scheduled for no earlier than January 2021. This is the first dedicated rideshare mission of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program and the first of several rideshares Exolaunch is manifesting on Falcon 9 as part of a multi-launch agreement the company signed with SpaceX earlier this year.

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Government Funds UK Companies at the Forefront of Space Innovation

21 UK organisations have been awarded a share of over £7 million of funding to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space innovation

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The cash injection is going to high-risk, high-reward projects that support companies and universities with radical ideas for how we tackle climate change through Earth Observation or address satellite communications challenges, from providing greater connectivity to remote places to increasing the efficiency of our homes.

Projects set for the cash boost include The Open University who will use the money to create the UK’s first Precision Forestry tool, TreeView, which will support efforts to tackle the climate emergency through detailed measurement of tree-planting initiatives aimed at increasing carbon dioxide removal.

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Spire Global, European Investment Bank Announce Venture Debt Financing Agreement

LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — On 3 December at Web Summit 2020, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Spire Global announced a venture debt financing agreement of up to €20 million.

According to the European Investment Bank, the financing supports Spire Global’s nanosatellite development and launches, space infrastructure, data analytics, and high-skilled job creation in Luxembourg and the EU. It also represents the first-ever direct EIB financing for the emerging European “New Space” industry.

The financing will back capital expenditure and research and development (R&D) activities to further develop Spire’s constellation of small satellites and high-quality maritime, aviation and weather space data and analytics. It will also back the development of new software applications for customers and create high-skilled jobs in Luxembourg.

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NanoAvionics Invests and Expands in the UK

BASKINSTOKE, UK, October 28, 2020 (NanoAvionics PR) — NanoAvionics, a leading nanosatellite bus manufacturer and mission integrator, is expanding its space sector business in the United Kingdom by moving to a new, larger facility for satellite assembly, integration and testing (AIT) as well as sales, technical support and R&D activities in Basingstoke (50 miles/80 km outside Central London) this month.

Having already developed a hub in Lithuania and two in the USA, the move, entirely financed by NanoAvionics, is a first step for its UK growth plans by creating jobs in the space sector and a local technology cluster with a dedicated supply chain of companies in Britain.

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Space BD Selected as Sole Official Service Provider for Nanosatellite Deployment on First HTV-X Mission

HTV-X cargo ship. (Credit; JAXA)

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading space startup in Japan that provides access to space using the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3”, announced that they were selected by Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as an exclusive service provider for nanosatellite deployment from the first HTV-X, which is Japanese next-generation ISS resupply vehicle.

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