Airbus to Develop CO3D Earth Observation Program for CNES

CO3D satellite (Credit: Airbus)
  • The next generation in optical satellite constellations
  • Production of 3D high-resolution data for global digital elevation model
  • Strategic move to support export contracts for French industry

PARIS (Airbus PR) – The French Space Agency (CNES) has awarded the CO3D (Constellation Optique 3D) contract to Airbus. Under this agreement, Airbus will deliver a global high-resolution Digital Surface Model (DSM).

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DLR Creates 7 New Institutes to Further Technology Development

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR) — Digitalisation, climate change and technological disruption are shaping the future. This is where interdisciplinary research at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) proves valuable.

On 27 June 2019, the DLR Senate approved the founding of seven new institutes and facilities. The background to this was a resolution passed in the German Federal Parliament on 23 November 2018. By taking this step, DLR is strengthening Germany as a location for technological research and creating highly-skilled jobs.

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Rocket Lab Successfully Launches Rideshare Mission for Spaceflight

Rocket Lab’s launch site on New Zealand Mahia Peninsula as seen from the Electron booster. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rocket Lab’s Electron booster successfully launched the “Make it Rain” rideshare mission for Seattle-based Spaceflight from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula on Saturday.

The mission lofted seven satellites, including: BlackSky’s Global-3 imaging microsat; two U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Prometheus reconnaissance CubeSats; two Swarm SpaceBEE satellites; Melbourne Space Program’s ACRUX-1 CubeSat; and one spacecraft from an undisclosed customer. The payloads weighed 80 kg (176.4 lb).

The BlackSky Global-3 imaging satellite was developed, designed and manufactured by BlackSky of the United States. The company is a provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging and global monitoring services.

It was the sixth successful Electron launch in a row out of seven attempts and the third flight of 2019.  Rocket Lab has now orbited 35 satellites on its six successful missions.

The mission’s name was drawn from the high volume of rainfall in Seattle where Spaceflight is headquartered and at the Mahia Peninsula where Electron from which Electron is launched.











Advisory Committee Recommends Keeping Landsat Data Free

Landsat 8 (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Citing a combination of negligible revenues and negative economic impacts on the economy, an Interior Department advisory committee has recommended that the government not implement fees for the use of data from the Landsat 8 and 9 satellites.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 to Launch Canada’s RADARSAT Constellation Mission


RADARSAT Constellation Mission

Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Launch Time:7:17 a.m. PDT (10:17 a.m. EDT; 1417 GMT)
Launch Site: Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

Courtesy of Natural Resources Canada

The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is Canada’s newest generation of radar Earth Observation (EO) satellites that will contribute to a better understanding of Canada’s land and natural resources.

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Maxar Earth Intelligence Solutions Expands Support for U.S. National Security Community

WESTMINSTER, Colorado (Maxar Technologies PR) — Maxar Technologies (NYSE:MAXR) (TSX:MAXR) today announced that it was awarded multiple contracts in the first quarter of 2019 to provide innovative Earth intelligence solutions to U.S. government agencies, with a total value of more than $95 million.

As announced in January, Maxar is now fully domesticated in the U.S. and has a combined team of over 1,550 cleared professionals. U.S. domestication has made it easier for Maxar to bring its integrated capabilities to bear for national security customers seeking to apply commercial innovation to support classified mission requirements. Recent contract wins include:

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Made in Space Selected for Two NASA SBIR Phase II Awards

Made in Space will continue to pursue the development of advanced glass alloys and 3-D manufactured structures for space interferometry missions under a pair of contract awards from NASA.

The space agency selected the additive-manufacturing company for awards under phase II of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The contracts are worth a maximum of $750,000 apiece for up to two years.

“The next step in the industrialization of LEO is the formulation of base materials, such as specialty glasses, that can be refined into higher value products in microgravity,” the company said in a summary of its proposal. “The Glass Alloy Manufacturing Machine (GAMMA) is an experimental system designed to investigate how these materials form without the effects of gravity-induced flows and inform process improvements for commercial product development.”

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Airbus and Orbital Insight Launch Earth Monitor to Provide Geopolitical and Economic Insights

TOULOUSE, France (Airbus Defence and Space PR) – Airbus Defence and Space and Orbital Insight have expanded upon their partnership agreement to create Earth Monitor, a powerful change analysis and insights service which provides situation awareness over archived or newly tasked areas of interest.

Earth Monitor, available through Airbus’ OneAtlas Platform, leverages Orbital Insight’s machine learning and computer vision expertise through powerful algorithms that detect changes in infrastructure and land use in near real-time, as well as identify and count cars, trucks and soon, aircraft. This advanced service fuses Airbus’ reactive tasking capabilities and premium archive imagery from the Living Library to offer access to advanced statistical analyses, trends and detection maps.

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Former NASA Deputy Administrator Garver Joins Earthrise Alliance

Lori Garver (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (Earthrise Alliance PR) — Lori Garver, former NASA Deputy Administrator, has teamed with leading environmental and space scientists to form Earthrise Alliance, a philanthropic initiative established to fully utilize Earth science data to combat climate change. Earthrise funds fellowships and awards grants to partner organizations that engage and activate educators, journalists, voters and decision makers. In addition, Earthrise provides partners with meaningful content, tools and applications derived from satellite data to inform the actions of these target communities.

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National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Extends Contract With Planet

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet PR) — We’re pleased to announce that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has exercised their option to extend our 2018 contract and renew for an additional six months and $5.9 million.

Through this contract, Planet will continue to bring unique value to NGA by providing subscription access to daily imagery over select areas to support mission objectives at the agency.

This is Planet’s third contract with NGA since 2016 and is an important milestone as we bridge the leadership transition from Director Cardillo to Navy Vice Admiral Sharp, demonstrating our ongoing relationship with NGA. We’re excited to continue this collaborative partnership as Vice Admiral Sharp outlines his agency’s priorities for the coming years.

Additionally, Planet is pursuing NRO’s 2020 commercial imagery contract, and continued engagement with NGA helps us further align around the needs of USG.











Plexscape Partners with Bird.i to Offer Up-to-date Satellite Imagery Integration within CAD Platform

LONDON (Bird.i PR) — Plexscape, developers of Plex.Earth®, one of the most popular tools for AutoCAD for the acceleration of architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) projects, and Bird.i, a start-up that combines the latest satellite imagery and artificial intelligence technology to provide valuable business insights, are on a mission to change the way engineering projects are being designed by opening up access to high-quality geospatial data to the global AEC market.

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PSLV Launches Imaging Satellite into Orbit

PSLV-C37 booster (Credit: ISRO)

SRIHARIKOTA, India (ISRO PR) — PSLV-C44 successfully launched Microsat-R on January 24, 2019 at 23:37 hrs (IST) from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR, Sriharikota. Microsat-R, an imaging satellite was injected into sun synchronous polar orbit.

The flight included the use of the booster’s spent stage as a platform for carrying out technology demonstrations. The student-built Kalamsat is using the stage for the demonstration.

PSLV-C44 is the 46th flight of India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the first flight of PSLV-DL (with 2 strap-ons) variant.











European Union Provides $109 Million in Additional Funding for ESA’s Copernicus Program

BRUSSELS, 22 January 2019 (ESA PR) — An amendment to the current Copernicus Agreement has been signed by the EU and ESA, adding €96 million [$109.1 million] to ESA’s space component budget for the world’s largest environmental monitoring programme: Copernicus.

The 3rd Amendment of the EU–ESA Copernicus Agreement was signed at the 11th European Policy Conference in Brussels, Belgium.

This additional contribution of €96 million is related to ESA being entrusted with additional tasks such as the development of the Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission and the new European Copernicus Data Access and Information Services.

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Kleos Space Satellites Move into Integration Phase After Critical Design Review with Gomspace

LUXEMBOURG, 21 January 2019 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1), the space technology provider of activity-based intelligence data for defence, asset protection and rescue, confirmed that their first cluster of satellites has entered the Integration Phase after successfully undergoing Critical Design Review (CDR) with Gomspace A/S. The CDR ensured the satellites could proceed towards assembly, validation, integration and testing and confirms they meet stated performance cost, schedule, and risk requirements.

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