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Biz Briefs – Maxar Goes Private, Seraphim Selects Next Accelerator Group
Biz Briefs – Maxar Goes Private, Seraphim Selects Next Accelerator Group

Welcome to Biz Briefs. In this edition, Maxar is going private, a consortium of aerospace heavyweights will bid for Europe’s Starlink rival, Seraphim Space selects nine companies for its next business accelerator, ESA funds a study for a reusable heavy-lift launcher, Lockheed and Raytheon teams win defense contracts, AeroVironment receives a Mars helicopter contract, CesiumAstro to provide Raytheon with antennas, NASA awarded contracts for a weather satellite, and Thales Alenia Space conducted a cybersecurity demonstration with an active satellite.

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  • May 4, 2023
SOLARIS: ESA Prepares for Space-Based Solar Power

PARIS (ESA PR) — To prepare Europe for future decision making on Space-Based Solar Power, ESA has proposed a preparatory programme for Europe, initially named SOLARIS, for the upcoming ESA Council at Ministerial Level in November 2022. Space-based solar power is a potential source of clean, affordable, continuous, abundant and secure energy. This basic concept has been given fresh urgency by the need for new sources of clean and secure […]

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  • August 22, 2022
Dragon Splashes Down With Scientific Cargo for Analysis

NASA MISSION UPDATE SpaceX’s uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down at 2:53 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 20, north of Cape Canaveral off the Florida coast, marking the return of the company’s 25th contracted cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. The spacecraft carried more than 4,000 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth. Some of the scientific investigations returned by Dragon include: Space’s impact on materials: The Materials […]

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  • August 21, 2022
ESA Astronaut Mogensen to Embark on Huginn Mission to ISS
Portrait of ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen is his blue flight suit with the ESA patch and Danish flag. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen of Denmark is set to return to the International Space Station for his first long-duration Station mission. With only one year left before his launch in mid-2023, a name for the mission has been chosen: Huginn.

This name, chosen by Andreas, originates in Norse mythology with Huginn and Muninn – two raven accomplices of the god Odin. Together, the two symbolise the human mind, with Huginn representing thought, and Muninn, memory.

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  • August 20, 2022
Software-defined Satellite Enters Commercial Service
Eutelsat Quantum satellite (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Europe’s first commercial satellite capable of being completely reprogrammed while in space is now in commercial use.

Satellite operator Eutelsat has sold six of its eight beams – used for data and mobile communications – to organisations including governments and other users. It is expected that the entire satellite capacity will be sold in the coming months.

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  • August 16, 2022
Earth Strikes Back: NASA Probe Will Crash into Asteroid in 7 Weeks
Credit: NASA

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The countdown is on for NASA’s first attempt to deflect an asteroid — a test that could prove vital in the future should one pose a major threat to the Earth.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Mission (DART) mission is 48 days away from its collision with asteroid Dimorphos on Sept. 26. Edward Reynolds, DART program manager at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, gave a preview of the mission and the role a Cubesat will play in it during the Small Satellite 2022 conference in Logan, Utah.

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  • August 9, 2022
Launchapalooza: 26 New Boosters Debuting Worldwide
Vega-C lifts off on its maiden flight on July 13, 2022. (Credit: Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

During the first seven months of the year, five new satellite launch vehicles from Europe, China, Russia and South Korea flew successfully for the first time. As impressive as that is, it was a mere opening act to a busy period that could see at least 20 additional launchers debut around the world.

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  • August 6, 2022
The Best Laid Plans: Europe’s Ambitious Launch Year Goes Awry Due to International Tensions, Schedule Delays
The James Webb Space Telescope lifted off on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, at 13:20 CET on 25 December 2021 on its exciting mission to unlock the secrets of the Universe. (Credit: ESA/CNES/Arianespace)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

On Christmas Day 2021, an European Ariane 5 rocket roared off its launch pad in French Guiana with the most expensive payload the booster had ever carried, the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. The launcher performed perfectly, sending the most powerful space telescope on a journey to its final destination 1.5 million km (900 million miles) from Earth. The launch was so accurate that Webb should have sufficient propellant to perform science operations for much longer than its planned 10-year lifetime.

There was a collective sigh of relief among the European, American and Canadian scientists and engineers involved in the long-delayed program. It was a superb Christmas gift to a world suffering through the second year of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • August 1, 2022