Orbital Sidekick Characterizes Aurora, Secures Key Partnership to Enhance USG Support

The In-Q-Tel partnership supports technical capability enhancements

SAN FRANCISCO, February 17, 2022 (Orbital Sidekick PR) – Orbital Sidekick (OSK), the leader in commercial space-based hyperspectral monitoring, shares the validation of first light imagery from the company’s recent pathfinder mission and announces a strategic investment with In-Q-Tel (IQT). 

To assess the data quality of its Aurora hyperspectral satellite sensor, which launched on June 30, 2021, OSK performed a comparative study between Aurora and two well-known sensors: Hyperion and PRISMA. The Aurora sensor was designed in the likeness of the Hyperion sensor, a hyperspectral instrument launched as part of Earth Observing-1 in 2000 (decommissioned in 2017). PRISMA, a mission from the Italian Space Agency (launched in 2019) consists of two hyperspectral detectors, which together cover the wavelength ranges of Aurora and Hyperion. 

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ESA Studies Green Satellite Propellants

Candidate ‘green’ satellite propellants within a temperature-controlled incubator, undergoing heating as a way to simulate the speeding up of time. (Credit: European Astrotech Ltd.)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Today hydrazine is the most common propellant employed by thrusters aboard satellites: it is highly energetic in nature but also toxic and corrosive, as well as dangerous to handle and store. ESA initiated a study with European Astrotech Ltd in the UK to look into greener propellants and propulsion systems, to provide comparable performance with reduced toxicity and handling costs.

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Arianespace’s Vega Launches PRISMA Earth Observation Satellite

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace’s third mission of 2019 – which marked the Vega rocket’s 14th consecutive success – orbited the Italian PRISMA Earth observation satellite tonight, bringing the total number of spacecraft lofted by the launch services company to 600. It was the 308th flight overall of an Arianespace launcher.

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PRISMA Promises Revolution in Earth Observation, Environmental Monitoring

PRISMA spacecraft (Credit: Leonardo)

The Italian Space Agency satellite will observe the Earth using a hyperspectral optical sensor, which can open up new scenarios for the control of the environmental processes of our planet

ROME (Leonardo PR) — We are getting closer to the launch of the Italian Space Agency (ASI) mission PRISMA (Hyperspectral Precursor and Application Mission). The satellite will lift off from the European spaceport of Kourou in French Guiana the night between 8 and 9 March, aboard a VEGA rocket.

From its orbit, at about 620 kilometers of altitude, PRISMA will observe the Earth on a global scale with different eyes, being equipped with an innovative electro-optical instrumentation. The Italian satellite will look at the planet with the most powerful operative hyperspectral instrument in the world, able to work in numerous, narrow and contiguous bands arranged from the visible to the near infrared (VNIR, Visible and Near InfraRed) and up to the infrared shortwave ( SWIR, Short Wave InfraRed).

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NASA Team Demonstrates Loading of Swedish ‘Green’ Propellant

A Goddard team, led by engineer Henry Mulkey (middle), prepares a tank containing a Swedish-developed green propellant before its simulated loading at the Wallops Flight Facility late last year. Kyle Bentley (squatting) and Joe Miller (standing to the right of Mulkey) assisted in the demonstration. (Credits: NASA/C. Perry)
A Goddard team, led by engineer Henry Mulkey (middle), prepares a tank containing a Swedish-developed green propellant before its simulated loading at the Wallops Flight Facility late last year. Kyle Bentley (squatting) and Joe Miller (standing to the right of Mulkey) assisted in the demonstration. (Credits: NASA/C. Perry)

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (NASA PR) — A NASA team has successfully demonstrated the handling and loading of a new-fangled, Swedish-developed “green propellant” that smells like glass cleaner, looks like chardonnay, but has proven powerful enough to propel a satellite.

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