ExoMars: Progress and Challenges

ExoMars 2020 parachute deployment sequence (Credit: ESA)

TURIN, Italy, 28 June 2019  (ESA PR) — The full parachute system that will help deliver the ExoMars rover and a surface science platform to the martian surface has completed a full-scale high-altitude deployment sequence test, although unexpected damage to the main parachutes occurred.

Meanwhile, the main elements of the descent module hardware, including the heat shield that will protect the lander as it enters the atmosphere of Mars, have been delivered to Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, this week.

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Kinéis Announces IoT Strategic Partnerships, Industrial Program

RAMONVILLE SAINT AGNE, France (Kineis PR) — Kinéis, a CLS Group spinoff, a subsidiary of CNES, is proud to announce the signing of two strategic partnerships, one with Objenious, a public IoT operator part of Bouygues Telecom, and another with the Wize Alliance (SUEZ, GRDF, Sagemcom,etc.). These alliances reinforce Kinéis’ position as a strategic player in the Internet of Things.

At the same time, Kinéis, supported by CNES, is reinforcing its technological strategy as supervising manager for the industrial space project to manufacture 25 nanosatellites and place them in orbit. Kinéis relies on Thales Alenia Space to define the system architecture, build ground stations and payloads, and on Hemeria (ex-Nexeya) to build platforms and integrate satellites. Technical specifications have been finalised and satellite production will start on 21 June.

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Airbus Announces Three New Communications Contract Awards

Airbus has been awarded contracts for three new communications satellites. The company will build one of the satellites itself and the other two as part of a consortium with Thales Alenia Space.

Airbus will build the MEASAT-3d multi-mission satellite for MEASAT Global Berhad (“MEASAT”), of Malaysia, Positioned at 91.5°E collocated with MEASAT-3b, also built by Airbus, MEASAT-3d will deliver improved performances to progressively replace MEASAT-3 and MEASAT-3a, supporting Asia’s premium DTH (direct to home) video distribution.

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Manufacturing Teams Complete System Definition and Risk Management Phase for Telesat Constellation

Credit: Telesat

OTTAWA, Ont. and WASHINGTON, DC, May 6, 2019 (Telesat PR) – Telesat announced today that the two teams it contracted with to develop system designs for Telesat’s global low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation have successfully completed the System Definition and Risk Management Phase of the program. One of the teams is Airbus Defence and Space. The other is a consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA.

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NanoRacks Announces European Company, Hires Veronica La Regina as Director

May 2, 2019 – Torino, Italy – NanoRacks is pleased to announce Veronica La Regina as the Director of Global Engagement (Europe) and will be directing NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l, an Italian company, co-located at ALTEC in Torino. She will be moving to Torino along with NanoRacks Head of European Operations, Peter Bak. NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l. officially opened its doors for business on April 1, 2019.

NanoRacks Space Outpost S.r.l, along with NanoRacks, DreamUp, and soon to be announced companies, are all under the parent company XO Markets, the Holding Company of Space.
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LeoStella Names Aerospace Veteran as CEO

Mike Hettich

Mike Hettich brings three decades of aerospace leadership to the emerging small-satellite manufacturer

TUKWILA, Wash., March 7, 2019 (LeoStella PR) – LeoStella, a joint venture created by Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries to meet the growing demand for efficient and cost-effective small-satellite production, today announced Mike Hettich has been named as the company’s CEO and has transitioned into the leadership position previously held by Chris Chautard.

Hettich brings more than 30 years of aerospace system design, development and production experience to LeoStella. He will lead the company as it enters the next phase of growth, designing and manufacturing small satellites at scale at its state-of-the-art production facility. The company’s first major undertaking is constructing 20 satellites for BlackSky’s Earth-observation constellation.

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LeoStella Inaugurates State-of-the-Art Smallsat Production Facility

Satellite production facility (Credit: LeoStella)

Thales Alenia Space and Spaceflight Industries joint venture plans to disrupt the smallsat industry by producing cost-effective satellites at scale

TUKWILA, Wash., Feb. 15, 2019 (LeoStella PR) – LeoStella, a smallsat design and manufacturing company, today announced the official inauguration of its production facilities in Tukwila, Wash. The company is a joint venture between Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %), and Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries. Formed in March 2018, LeoStella has been developing a state-of-the-art production facility to construct smallsats cost-effectively and at scale.

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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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UK Space Sector Created 3,400 New Jobs

LONDON (UK Government PR) — The UK’s space sector has seen significant growth in income, exports and employment with total income now standing at £14.8 billion [$19.4 billion], Science Minister Chris Skidmore announced today.

The main findings from the independent ‘UK Space Industry: Size and Health Report’ show that, compared to the 2016 survey:

  • income up from £13.7 billion to £14.8 billion [$18 billion to $19.4 billion]
  • employment up from 38,522 to 41,900
  • exports up from £5 billion to £5.5 billion [$6.6 billion to $7.2 billion]

The report also shows that an average of 39 new companies have been added to the UK space sector every year since 2012.

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Thales Alenia Space, Maxar Consortium Achieve Major Milestone in Design Phase of Telesat’s LEO Satellite Constellation

CANNES, France and WESTMINSTER, CO, Jan. 24, 2019 Thales Alenia Space/Maxar PR) – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), and SSL, a Maxar Technologies company (NYSE: MAXR; TSX: MAXR), have completed an important milestone for the Telesat LEO constellation. The success of the consortium’s System Requirements Review (SRR) demonstrates increasing momentum for Telesat’s global communications system design and was highlighted by three satellite industry leaders agreeing on key innovations that will enable Telesat LEO to deliver breakthrough performance and affordability.

As previously announced, Telesat selected the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL and MDA, as one of two contractors for its LEO system design phase. The consortium, led by Thales Alenia Space, is designing an end-to-end communications system, including satellites, landing stations, user terminals, operations centers, and ground network.

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Thales Alenia Space to Build Four High-Res Radar Sats for Korea

Radar satellite (Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

Seoul, Daejeon, December 5th, 2018 (Thales Alenia Space PR)  – Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), today announced that it has signed two contracts with Korea, one with Aerospace Industries, LTD. (KAI) and one with Hanwha Systems Corporation (HSC) to develop a constellation of high-resolution observation radar satellites for the Agency for Defence Development  (ADD), known as Korea “425 Project”,  so serve South Korea.

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NorthStar Earth and Space Raises $39.5 Million for Global Environment Information Platform

Earth as seen from the DSCOVR spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

MONTREAL (NorthStar Earth and Space PR) — Human beings have left a legacy to Earth which threatens the sustainability of our planet and the livelihoods of future generations.  The cause: a lack of tools to manage and monitor our impact on the environment. NorthStar Earth & Space Inc. (NorthStar E&S) is pleased to announce C$52 million [US$39.5 million] in additional financing from strategic partners for the development of NorthStar, a global environment information platform which will transform humanity’s ability to manage our impact on Earth and its natural resources.

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Space is Hard: Tough Testing for 3D Printed Parts

Laser-based 3D printing (Credit: AMAZE – Fraunhofer ILT/Airbus)

HARWELL, UK (ESA PR) — 3D-printed metal parts produced through a Europe-wide collaboration of high-performance industrial sectors have undergone extensive testing for space use – tested to destruction in many cases – by ESA’s specialist advanced manufacturing lab in the UK.

ESA’s Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory based in Harwell, UK, took delivery of the sample parts, produced as an output of the four-year AMAZE programme, harnessing metal 3D printing to produce lighter, cheaper, better products.

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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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