UK Satnav Signal Generated in New Test to Provide Future Resilient, Precise, Safety-Critical Capabilities

  • Team comprising Inmarsat, Goonhilly, GMVNSL demonstrates platform for future sovereign UK Position, Navigation and Timing capability
  • UK not part of Galileo satnav system, cannot use European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) safety of life (SOL) services since leaving European Union

LONDON (Inmarsat PR) — An Inmarsat-led team of companies in the UK, building on national expertise and prior experience within the group, has begun broadcasting a satellite navigation signal as part of a programme to explore the creation of a sovereign national capability in resilient positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) for the aviation and maritime sectors. The signal, being broadcast in coordination with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Union Space Programme Agency (EUSPA), is now stable and operational, enabling on-going testing and validation by industry, regulators, and users.

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Xona Passes Critical Testing Milestone as Private GNSS Readies for Launch

Xona has completed environmental testing for their upcoming demo mission, a significant step towards realizing the first high-performance commercial navigation system. 

Xona’s first demonstration mission successfully completes testing at Experior Laboratories and prepares for launch on a Falcon 9 in May. This is the first American private company to launch a satellite navigation mission. (Image Credit: Xona Space Systems)

SAN MATEO, Calif., May 10, 2022 (Xona Space Systems PR) — Xona Space Systems, the aerospace startup developing a precision navigation and timing system in low Earth orbit, today announced that their first in-space demonstrator has been delivered to Spaceflight Inc. for final integration after successfully completing testing and is scheduled for launch on SpaceX’s Transporter 5 in May. Xona is building the first ever independent high-performance satellite navigation and timing system designed to meet the needs of intelligent systems.

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Rogozin: Russia Could Deepen Cooperation with China on Satellite Surveillance, Communications

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

TASS reports that Roscosmos could deepen ties with the Chinese space program in the areas of satellite surveillance and communications constellations as the nation’s invasion of Ukraine drives a deeper wedge in its relations with the West.

“Cooperation between Glonass and Beidou [China’s satellite navigational system] can quite spread to communications and surveillance clusters,” Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said during a forum on Tuesday.

Roscosmos has ordered airlines to replace the U.S. Global Positioning System (GPS) with Glonass in Russian airlines. Roscosmos is working with China to make the Glonass and Beidou satellite navigation systems interoperable.

Rogozin previously said that Russia will end cooperation with the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada on the International Space Station over the sanctions imposed on the country after its invasion of Ukraine in February. The Roscosmos leader said that details of Russia’s withdrawal will be announced soon. He has also said Russia is looking to cooperate on China’s Tiangong space station, which was launched last year.

Station operations have been approved until 2024. In December, NASA announced plans to work with station partners to extend operations until 2030. U.S. space officials have said it would be difficult to maintain the station without Russian involvement.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion has accelerated the nation’s drift away from cooperation with its ISS partners. Roscosmos decided not to participate in the U.S.-led Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts at the south pole of the moon later this decade. While the other ISS partners have signed on to the program, Russia has opted to cooperate with China on the establishment of a lunar research base.

Roscosmos Plans Cooperation on Chinese Space Station, Prepares to Dump GPS in Russian Airliners and Ship New ICBMs

Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin meets with Russia’s boss of bosses, President Vladimir Putin. (Credit: Russian President’s Office)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Vowing that cooperation in space with the West will resume on Russia’s terms, Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin said the space corporation is eyeing cooperation on China’s space station and begun efforts to replace the American Global Positioning System (GPS) in airplanes with Russian GLONASS satellite navigation system that is also capable of receiving navigation signals from China’s Beidou satellite constellation.

Rogozin also said Roscosmos plans to begin shipments of silo-based hypersonic Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the fall amid continued tensions with the West over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The rocket was successfully test fired on Wednesday.

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Roscosmos Suspends Soyuz Joint Launch Operations From Kourou, Recalls Personnel From Europe’s Spaceport

Soyuz-2 rocket launches 34 OneWeb broadband satellites from the Guiana Space Center. (Credit: Copyright ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Optique Video du CSG – P Piron)

Russia is suspending cooperation with Arianespace on the launch of Soyuz rockets from Europe’s Guiana Space Center and pulling its personnel from the South American spaceport over European Union (EU) sanctions imposed on the nation for the nation’s invasion of Ukraine. Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin tweeted: (Translated from Russian)

In response to EU sanctions against our enterprises, Roscosmos is suspending cooperation with European partners in organizing space launches from the Kourou cosmodrome and withdrawing its technical personnel, including the consolidated launch crew, from French Guiana.

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European Astronauts’ Manifesto on the Occasion of the European Space Summit 2022

Association of Space Explorers – Europe
16 February 2022

Humans are explorers. Curiosity is in our nature, and the need to expand our reach is intimately connected to our evolution: it has led us to develop technology and capabilities beyond any other species on our planet.

Humanity’s innate desire to explore has a unifying power that is unsurpassed, even in a time of increased polarization and political divide. Space programmes like the International Space Station have provided a unique capability to bridge across ideological and geographical chasms. Throughout recent times challenged by political unrest, economical struggles, and an ongoing pandemic, space programmes have received world-wide support thanks to their peaceful purpose and the universal appreciation of the values they provide: the protection of Earth, the advancement of science and development of technology – simply put, progress. The necessary international cooperation to achieve these global goals is a constant incentive to improved relations, stability, economic growth, innovative approaches and infrastructure enhancements. And yet even more important is the space programmes’ unique ability to inspire: seeing humans working and living in space, achieving things that once were called “impossible”, is one of the most powerful motivators for the younger generations. It shows young Europeans that they can be anything they want, if they just dare to dream ambitiously, to become the scientists, engineers, and explorers of tomorrow.

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Thales Alenia Space Paves the Way to the Future Satellite Navigation Systems

Credit: Thales Alenia Space

CANNES, France, February 7, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the French Space Agency CNES to develop a DFMC (Dual Frequency Multi Constellations) SBAS prototype in the frame of the next generation of SBAS, like EGNOS, the European navigation satellite system.

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Roscosmos and China Signed Agreement to Ensure GLONASS and Beidou Satellite Navigation Systems are Complementary

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — A package of 16 intergovernmental, interdepartmental and commercial documents, including a joint Russian-Chinese statement on international relations, was adopted as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China. Among other things, an Agreement on cooperation in the field of ensuring complementarity between GLONASS and Beidou was signed.

During the Russian-Chinese summit talks, a Joint Statement by the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on international relations entering a new era and global sustainable development was adopted. In it, Moscow and Beijing stressed that they are in favor of forming a new type of relationship between world powers based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation.

On Friday, February 4, 2022, the State Corporation Roscosmos and the Commission on the Chinese satellite navigation system signed an agreement regarding cooperation in the field of ensuring the complementarity of the global navigation satellite systems GLONASS and Beidou in terms of system time scales.

The long-term goal of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the field of ensuring the complementarity of GLONASS and Beidou is to provide navigation services of higher quality by using the signals of both global navigation satellite systems. One of these conditions is the harmonization of the GLONASS and Beidou system time scales with reference to the international UTC scale.

The mode of joint use of GLONASS and Beidou signals will reduce the risks in the navigation support of consumers in the event of malfunctions in the operation of individual global navigation satellite systems, improve the accuracy and reliability of solving navigation problems.

Arianespace to Launch Eight New Galileo Satellites

Artist’s view of the configuration of Ariane 6 using four boosters (A64) (Credit: ESA – D. Ducros)
  • ESA and EUSPA have confirmed that Arianespace will launch eight additional Galileo satellites.
  • Arianespace will launch the first two satellites in 2022, leading to the Full Operational Capability of Galileo open service. Then, three successive launches on Ariane 62 in 2023, 2024 and 2025, will finalize the launch of the first generation of Galileo satellites and will increase the constellation resilience.
  • These will be the 13th to 16th Galileo missions by Arianespace, which has orbited all satellites in the constellation.

Évry-Courcouronnes, France, January 6, 2022 (Arianespace PR) — The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) has chosen Arianespace to launch four new Galileo satellites for Europe’s own satellite navigation system. With this order, EUSPA takes over the role of placing launch services contracts for Galileo from ESA, which acted so far in the name and on behalf of the European Commission and will continue to be the technical authority for these launches.

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Russia Threatens to Destroy U.S. GPS Satellite Constellation

Global Positioning System (Credit: DOT&E)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Well, this was a rather frightening thing to wake up to this morning. GPS World reports:

The Kremlin warned it could blow up 32 GPS satellites with its new anti-satellite technology, ASAT, which it tested Nov. 15 on a retired Soviet Tselina-D satellite, according to numerous news reports.

On the state-run Channel One, host Dmitry Kiselyov warned that Russia’s anti-satellite missiles would leave the United States and NATO blind if the multi-national defense alliance “crosses our red line.”

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ESA Names First Director of Commercialization, Fills Earth Observation & Navigation Posts

Europe and the Mediterranean Basin as seen from the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR) flown on board ERS-2 , the second European Remote-sensing Satellite of ESA. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — As of today, ESA has appointed three new Directors – for Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement, Earth Observation Programmes and Navigation. The new Directors were appointed by ESA Council at its meeting on 21 October; they will support the Director General with responsibility for activities and overall objectives in their respective directorates.

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Vladimir Putin to Roscosmos: Do More with Less

Russian President Vladimir Putin tours Vostochny Cosmodrome in September 2019. (Crredit: Roscosmos)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Russian President Vladimir Putin has Roscosmos taken to task for failing to compete a series of goals even as his government prepares to cut the budget of the Roscosmos state corporation that runs the nation’s space program by more than $500 million.

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Xona Space Systems Fully Funded for First LEO Satellite Navigation Mission

SAN MATEO, Calif., September 22nd, 2021 (Xona Space Systems PR) — Xona Space Systems, the leading innovator in precision LEO satellite navigation services, announced today that it has raised a new funding round co-led by Seraphim Space Investment Trust (LSE:SSIT) and MaC Venture Capital, with participation from Toyota Ventures, Daniel Ammann (co-founder of u-blox), and Ryan Johnson (former CEO of BlackBridge, operator of the Rapideye constellation). Follow-on investors also include 1517 Fund and Stellar Solutions.

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS and Galileo have become the backbone of nearly every aspect of the modern connected world. However, threats to these legacy systems along with consumer demands for enhanced performance are increasing rapidly. 

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ESA Signs Contract for New Generation of Galileo Navigation Satellites

ESA has signed two contracts for an overall amount of €1.47 billion [$1.79 billion], to design and build the first batch of the second generation of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Acting on behalf of the European Commission, ESA has signed two contracts for an overall amount of €1.47 billion, to design and build the first batch of the second generation of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites.

Following an intense process of open competition, these contracts have been awarded to Thales Alenia Space (Italy) and Airbus Defence & Space (Germany) to create two independent families of satellites amounting to 12 Galileo Second Generation satellites in total.

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Audit Concludes Use of European Union Space Services Needs an Extra Boost

Galileo constellation (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

LUXEMBOURG (European Court of Auditors PR) — The European Union has not done enough to harness the full potential of its space programmes, according to a special report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA). While the satellite-based programmes Galileo and Copernicus in particular provide valuable services and data, more efforts are needed to capitalise on the significant investment made (around €18 billion so far) and to optimise the benefits they bring to citizens and the economy. The auditors call for a comprehensive strategy, more targeted actions and better use of the regulatory framework for efficiently supporting the uptake of services.

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