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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Telesat Contracts With Thales Alenia Space & Maxar for Satellite Constellation


OTTAWA, Canada, July 30, 2018
(Telesat PR) – Telesat announced today that, following a highly rigorous process involving leading satellite manufacturing companies, it has entered into a contract with the consortium of Thales Alenia Space and Maxar Technologies, the owner of SSL, to further develop system designs for Telesat’s LEO constellation.

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NanoRacks Forms International Business Development Partnership with ALTEC, Thales Alenia Space

NanoRacks Opening European Office in Italy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 18, 2018 (NanoRacks PR) – NanoRacks is pleased to announce that the Company will be pursuing International Space Station opportunities in cooperation with ALTEC and Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales 67% and Leonardo 33%. To pursue these opportunities, NanoRacks will be staffing its first formal European-based office at ALTEC’s facilities in Torino, Italy.

The office will serve as a business development hub for European and Asian customers. International customers will enjoy NanoRacks end-to-end turnkey services and technical advice, now in a more accommodating time zone.

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NanoRacks’ Commercial ISS Airlock Completes CDR, Moves to Fabrication

Commercial airlock on International Space Station. (Credit: NanoRacks)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (NanoRacks PR) – The NanoRacks Space Station Airlock Module “Bishop” met another major milestone with completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) on March 20 and 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  This milestone begins the transition from the engineering design phase to the fabrication phase.  Detailed design drawings such as those for the critical pressure shell will be signed and released to NanoRacks fabrication partner, Thales Alenia Space, in order for them to continue their fabrication efforts.

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First Quarter Commercial Space Investment Reached Nearly $1 Billion

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off with a Dragon resupply ship on April 2, 2018. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

SpaceX received $500 million of the nearly $1 billion in investment raised by commercial space companies during the first quarter of 2018, according to the Space Investment Quarterly report from Space Angels.

“SpaceX shows no signs of slowing down—after the inaugural flight of the Falcon Heavy, the company secured $500 million from Fidelity Investments to drive development of their satellite communications network, Starlink,” the report added.

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Deep Space Industries to Provide Comet Satellite Propulsion for BlackSky, LeoStella

SAN JOSE, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI) announced today that it has signed a contract to provide its Comet water-based satellite propulsion systems for the BlackSky Earth observation constellation of smallsats. DSI will provide an initial block of 20 water thrusters for the BlackSky satellites which are scheduled to start launching later this year.

This announcement comes on the heels of Spaceflight Industries’ recent $150 million funding and the development of LeoStella LLC, a joint venture between Spaceflight Industries and Thales Alenia Space. LeoStella is developing a Seattle-based facility to manufacture the low-cost, high-performance BlackSky satellites and is tasked with building the next 20 spacecraft with the Comet propulsion technology between now and 2020.

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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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Thales Alenia Space, Telespazio & Spaceflight Industries Finalize Alliance to Manufacture Smallsats at Scale

Global-1 satellite (Credit: BlackSky)

Parties will deliver innovative geospatial services using the high revisit rate BlackSky constellation

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2018 (Spaceflight Industries PR)  At the Satellite 2018 conference, The Space Alliance formed by Thales Alenia Space (Thales 67%, Leonardo 33%) and Telespazio (Leonardo 67%, Thales 33%) announced today it has officially taken a minority stake in Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries, having received all government approvals for the transaction.

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