Space Agencies Sign Agreements to Advance Artemis Lunar Program, Commercial Space Activities

Updated Nov. 4, 2019 at 12:45 PST to include agreement between U.S. Department of Commerce and CNES.

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The world’s space agencies were busy signing agreements last month to advance lunar exploration and commercial space activities during the International Astronautical Conference in Washington, DC.

NASA signed agreements with the European Space Agency (ESA) and three national agencies in Europe focused on advancing America’s Artemis program, which aims to land astronauts on the moon in 2024.

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DLR, Swedish Space Corp to Cooperate on Rocket Engine Tests

WASHINGTON (DLR PR) — A new test stand for the next generation of sounding rockets, microlaunchers and reusable launchers will be constructed at the Swedish Esrange Space Center.

The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) and the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop this test stand at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) on 22 October 2019.

Further topics of the cooperation will be the exchange of expertise and intensified collaboration in the field of engine and launcher stage testing. Among other things, the collaboration will increase the availability of engine test stands and thus make these available to more space companies.

“In SSC, we have found the right partner for the joint planning and implementation of a test stand for hybrid and liquid-fuel engines at Esrange Space Center (ESC),” says Stefan Schlechtriem, Director of the DLR Institute of Space Propulsion. “DLR Lampoldshausen is contributing its unique expertise as a European testing and development location for all liquid chemical space engines to the development of the next generation of engines,” emphasises Schlechtriem, adding: “This collaboration will enable us to bring together the expertise of our institutions.”

With the intensified cooperation between SSC and DLR, the two partners will provide the infrastructure in Europe for the entire range of engine tests, including tests at an early stage of development, thus increasing the portfolio of testing opportunities in Europe.

“There has been a shortage of suitable test sites for early stage and short preparatory tests for the next generation of sounding rockets, microlaunchers and reusable rockets. By combining our testing capabilities with DLR, we can provide Europe with more testing capacity, thus strengthening the development of European space programmes,” says Stefan Gardefjord, President and CEO of SSC.

ExoMars Parachute Fails in Test

ExoMars 2020 parachute deployment sequence (Credit: ESA)

KIRUNA, Sweden, 12 August 2019 (ESA PR) — As the second ExoMars mission, comprising a rover and surface science platform, progresses towards launch next year, teams continue to troubleshoot the parachute design following an unsuccessful high-altitude drop test last week.

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Loft Orbital Announces inSpace Mission Partner Program to Standardize Access to Space

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

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 6, 2018 (Loft Orbital Solutions PR) — Loft Orbital Solutions, a provider of Space Infrastructure as a Service, announced this week that it has signed agreements with over 20 companies to join its inSpace Mission Partner Program as inaugural members.

inSpace partners are companies across the space value chain with whom Loft Orbital will collaborate for its end-to-end space mission offering. These partners span Satellite Bus, Launch Services, Ground Segment Services, Payload and Data Analytics. Each partner’s product has been validated for compatibility with Loft Orbital’s technology.

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ESA Tests Largest Mars Parachute

KIRUNA, Sweden (ESA PR) — The largest parachute ever to fly on a Mars mission has been deployed in the first of a series of tests to prepare for the upcoming ExoMars mission that will deliver a rover and a surface science platform to the Red Planet.

The spacecraft that will carry them is due for launch in July 2020, with arrival at Mars in March 2021. The rover will be the first of its kind to drill below the surface and determine if evidence of life is buried underground, protected from the destructive radiation that impinges the surface today.

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Swedish Space Corporation Sells NanoSpace

Swedish Space CorporationSOLNA, Sweden (SSC PR) — Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has sold 100% of the shares of NanoSpace AB, a wholly owned subsidiary of SSC, to GS Sweden AB (publ), the parent company of GomSpace ApS.

NanoSpace, a provider of novel MEMS based technologies and propulsion systems for nanosatellites, started its operation in 2005 and has been a fully owned subsidiary of SSC since 2006. In the wake of SSC revised strategy to become a leading global provider of advanced space services, NanoSpace needed to become part of a leading technology development group with global reach. Current exciting industry trends with a propelling interest in small satellites as well as the success of NanoSpace development made Gome Space a good new home for NanoSpace.

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Review Suggests Upgrading Esrange for Smallsat Launches

Swedish Space CorporationSOLNA, Sweden (Swedish Space Corporation PR) — On Monday, 17 October, the results of a Swedish Governmental Offices analysis regarding development of the potential capacity at Esrange towards launching of small satellites was briefed to the Space Minister of Sweden.

Mr Jan Nygren, who is responsible for the analysis, recommended the Government to further work on realization of the opportunities. He commented the report by saying that Esrange current capability provide good basic prerequisites that could be further developed in a cost effective way to establish a facility for launching small satellites.

Mr Jan Nygren is a former Minister of Coordination and secretary of state within the Swedish Government and former Vice President of SAAB AB. The coming weekend, Mr Nygren and the Space Minister of Sweden Helen-Hellmark Knutsson will participate at Executive Roundtable held in Kiruna within the celebration of the Esrange 50 year anniversary.

– At SSC we are happy that the Swedish government are working on the opportunities for Esrange and that the results so far seem to be positive, says Stefan Gustafsson, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Sustainable Business.











SSC Looks to Sell NanoSpace Shares to GomSpace

ssc_logoSOLNA, Sweden, August 19, 2016 (SSC PR) — Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) has entered into a non-binding letter of intent with GomSpace, parent company of GomSpace ApS, regarding the potential sale of 100% of SSC’s shares in its Swedish subsidiary NanoSpace AB.

The LOI contains broad terms of a potential transaction with the right for GomSpace to conduct a due diligence investigation and the acquisition is conditional upon both parties entering into a definite agreement containing specific signing and closing terms and conditions yet to be negotiated.

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SSC and Millennium Space Systems Team on Upcoming ALTAIR Launch

Swedish Space CorporationSOLNA, Sweden, Aug. 08, 2016 (SSC PR) – Officials with SSC, the Swedish Space Corporation, and Millennium Space Systems of El Segundo, Calif., today announced they are teaming together on the first-ever ALTAIR launch to provide customization and rapid constellation production for Millennium’s customers.

The ALTAIR spacecraft, a high performance space system for LEO, GEO and deep space missions, will launch on a SpaceX Dragon as part of an International Space Station (ISS) Commercial Resupply mission in the next 90 days. Once onboard the ISS, the 6U-ALTAIR spacecraft will be launched via the NanoRacks deployment system.

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SSC Unveils SSC Infinity for Small Satellites and Constellations

SSC_InfinityCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (SSC PR) — SSC, a global provider of advanced space services, today unveiled SSC Infinity, a new ground operations service that offers customers full flexibility for small satellites and constellations. The new endeavor aims to lower costs while providing reliability to the SmallSat and CubeSat market. SSC has begun installing new small aperture antennas as part of its Universal Space Network expansion. The service’s launch was the highlight of SSC’s presence at the 32nd Space Symposium.

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NASA to Test and Evaluate ECAPS Green Propulsion Technology

ssc_logoSOLNA, Sweden (ECAPS PR) — The Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have signed a bilateral cooperative agreement for NASA to test and evaluate the 5-Newton and 22-Newton High Performance Green Propulsion (HPGP) thrusters developed by ECAPS, an SSC Group company. A unique satellite propulsion technology, HPGP is based on an environmentally-friendly propellant that is a much safer alternative to the highly toxic and carcinogenic substance hydrazine, which is presently the most common liquid monopropellant used on satellites.

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ESA Developing “Green” Thruster Fuel

Engineers dressed in Self-Contained Atmospheric Protective Ensemble, or SCAPE suits, prepare to fuel Planck with liquid hydrazine on 15 April 2009. Credits: ESA-CNES-Arianespace/Optique Vidéo du CSG - P. Baudon

“Unfortunately hydrazine is also highly corrosive and extremely toxic. When leaked into the environment, it degrades in a few days but has the potential to harm plants and marine life, while exposure is considered harmful to people at just 50 parts per million.

Seeking an alternative, ESA has been working with a company called ECAPS, part of the Swedish Space Corporation Group, to build and test a thruster that runs on a safer, more environmentally friendly fuel.”

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Swedish Space Corp. Acquires Universal Space Network

Swedish Space Corporation

SSC PRESS RELEASE

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), a global provider of mission critical systems and services to the space and aerospace markets, has received all necessary approvals from the U.S. Government and has completed the acquisition of U.S.-based Universal Space Network (USN), a leader in space operations for telemetry, tracking and command (TT&C) services. USN will operate as a U.S Corporation and subsidiary of SSC with no change to its operation or organization.

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Swedish Space Corporation Buys U.S.-Based Universal Space Network

SSC PRESS RELEASE

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and Universal Space Network (USN) have reached an agreement in which SSC will acquire all the shares of US-based USN. The two companies have been working in close cooperation for the last ten years, providing satellite owners with access to a cohesive network of ground stations that provide near-global coverage of any spacecraft orbit. PrioraNet, the trademarked name of this worldwide satellite tracking service, has successfully supported civil space, commercial and public missions since 1999.

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