Innovation by the Dozen: ESA Funds 12 OPS-SAT Experiments

As a flying laboratory, ESA’s OPS-SAT will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s OPS-SAT is a Swiss army knife in orbit. The 30-cm CubeSat packs a powerful onboard computer and an array of instruments that make it the ideal laboratory for testing innovative new technologies in space.

Thanks to the ESA Discovery programme, 12 new experiments will be doing just that, as they develop software, concepts and protocols that push the robust CubeSat to its limits and that could one day be essential parts of future spacecraft missions.

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Trading Space: ESA Bolsters European Business

A successful first stock trade in space, celebrated by ESA’s Rolf Densing and CEO of flatexDEGIRO, Frank Niehage. (Credit: Martin Joppen

DARMSTADT, Germany (ESA PR) — Yesterday, ESA’s orbiting laboratory, OPS-SAT, hosted the first-ever stock trade in space. The successful experiment required developers at Europe’s leading online broker flatexDEGIRO to think far outside of the box and adapt their software to the technical demands and constrained bandwidth found on an orbiting platform at 500 km altitude.

The experiment provided a unique opportunity to test how to improve the reliability, storage efficiency, communication and security of financial transactions, some of the fundamental requirements for any trading business aiming to compete on a global stage.

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Mojave Spaceport Names Todd Lindner as new CEO

Todd Lindner

MOJAVE, Calif. (MASP PR) — A new Chief Executive Officer will take the controls of the Mojave Air and Spaceport (MASP) in April.

Todd Lindner, former Director of the Jacksonville, Florida, Aviation Authority’s Cecil Spaceport , was selected by members of the Mojave Air and Spaceport board of directors from more than 100 applications.

A veteran pilot, Lindner will be the first person with airport management experience to manage the Mojave Air and Spaceport.

“With 30 years of aviation management experience, Todd Lindner understands the unique financial and operating requirements of an air and spaceport,” said Jim Balentine, president of the MASP board of directors. 

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Mojave Air and Space Port Selects New CEO

Mojave Air and Space Port (Credit: Douglas Messier)

MOJAVE, Calif. — A new Chief Executive Officer will take the controls of the Mojave Air and Space Port (MASP) in April.

Todd Lindner, former Director of the Jacksonville, Florida, Aviation Authority’s Cecil Spaceport, was selected by members of the Mojave Air and Spaceport board of directors from more than 100 applications.

A veteran pilot, Lindner will be the first person with airport management experience to manage the Mojave Air and Space Port.

“With 30 years of aviation management experience, Todd Lindner understands the unique financial and operating requirements of an air and spaceport,” said Jim Balentine, president of the MASP board of directors.

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Interplanetary Internet & Cameras in Space: ESA’s OPS-SAT First Results

As a flying laboratory, ESA’s OPS-SAT will test and validate new techniques in mission control and on-board systems. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — OPS-SAT is the world’s first open, in-orbit testbed for new spacecraft software and applications. By conducting low-cost, low-risk experiments with OPS-SAT, teams from across Europe are ushering in a new era for European spaceflight innovation and commercial opportunity.

  • OPS-SAT’s commissioning phase ended in September and the first experiments are now being carried out in orbit
  • Innovative new technologies are being tested on OPS-SAT in areas such as artificial intelligence, data compression, and space-based web services
  • Initial experimental results have exceeded expectations
  • Results from many more experiments expected soon
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2014 in Review: Mojave’s Difficult Year

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)
Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

“2014 will be a fun ride. We welcome you to get onboard, strap in and hold on!”

Stu Witt

CEO & General Manager
Mojave Air and Space Port
Jan. 9, 2014

Stu Witt had a lot of reasons to be optimistic as 2014 began. The Mojave spaceport was on a roll. On Jan. 10, Scaled Composites conducted the third powered flight of SpaceShipTwo in less than 9 months. XCOR was making steady progress on the Lynx and a new hydrogen engine for ULA, Stratolaunch was busy building the world’s largest aircraft, and other tenants such as Masten and Firestar had successes over the past year.

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Stu Witt to Remain Head of Mojave Spaceport for Extra 6 Months

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)
Mojave Air and Space Port CEO Stu Witt (Credit: Bill Deaver)

Mojave Air and Space Port CEO/General Manager Stu Witt is postponing his retirement by six months.

Witt had planned to step down no later than July 1, 2015. However, last week the Mojave Spaceport Board of Directors approved a six month extension until January 2016.

The extension is apparently related to the board’s meandering effort to replace Witt, who announced his intention to step down last year. Board President JoAnn Painter told the Antelope Valley Press the board is still working on a “template for managing the succession” that would be put into place six months before Witt departs.

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