European Commission Awards €1.47 Billion in Contracts for 2nd Generation of Galileo Satellites

BRUSSELS (European Commission PR) — Today the Commission awarded two contracts for 12 Satellites (6 satellites each) for a total of €1.47 billion, to Thales Alenia Space (Italy) and Airbus Defence & Space (Germany) following an open competition.

With this, the Commission is initiating the launch of the 2nd Generation of Galileo, the European satellite positioning system. The aim is to keep Galileo ahead of the technological curve compared to global competition and maintaining it as one of the best performing satellite positioning infrastructures in the world while strengthening it as a key asset for Europe’s strategic autonomy.


Astrobotic Unveils New Lunar Lander, Partners with Airbus & DHL

Peregrine lunar lander (Credit: Astrobotic)
Peregrine lunar lander (Credit: Astrobotic)

  • DHL to manage logistics along the entire supply chain
  • Airbus Defence and Space to contribute engineering support for lander design
  • Astrobotic unveils new peregrine lunar lander

BERLIN (DHL PR) — Astrobotic, which is building a service to make the Moon accessible to the world, today announces that DHL and Airbus Defence and Space are supporting Astrobotic to develop its lunar payload delivery service.


Airbus Eyes Small Satellite Launcher

Airbus_Defence_and_Space_logoIt looks like Airbus may enter the already crowded field of small satellite launchers.

The Toulouse, France-based company is working on a project to build a commercial launcher for satellites ranging from less than one kilo to a few dozen kilos — the so-called CubeSats and nano satellites — used for earth exploration, defense and security, weather forecasts and Internet connections, the people said, asking not to be named because the project is not public.

The plan comes as NASA unveiled in October contracts worth $17 million with three companies, including billionaire’s Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, to help develop launchers for small satellites. Airbus’s project would give a European company a piece of the emerging mass market, the people said. Airbus officials declined to comment on any mini-satellite launcher plans.

“The market for CubeSats is going to expand, and France and Europe must be part of it, including with launchers,” Genevieve Fioraso, the French government’s point person for space matters, said in an interview. “A wise company must keep all options open and CubeSat launchers are an option.”

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University of Strathclyde Partners With Airbus in Spacecraft Removal Project

University_of_Strathclyde_LogoGLASGOW, Scotland (University of Strathclyde PR) — Technology for the removal of satellites from space is to be developed in a €2.8 million project involving the University of Strathclyde.

The (TeSeR – Technology for Self-Removal of Spacecraft) programme, led by Airbus Defence & Space, with funding from the European Commission, will carry out initial research for the development of a prototype of a cost-efficient but highly-reliable removal module.


RSS, RSC Energia Expand Space Cooperation With Airbus

Energia_logoMOSCOW (RSC Energia PR) — On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, JSC RSC Energia, JSC Russian Space Systems (RSS), included into State Corporation ROSCOSMOS, and Airbus DS, the largest European aerospace corporation, agreed on expanding their cooperation in development of state-of-the-art commercial satellites, as well as in manufacturing and delivery of reliable space equipment in the interests of Russian civilian space programs.


ESA Signs Agreement With Venture Capital Fund

ESA logoPARIS (ESA PR) — ESA will give the most promising European space applications, services and technologies the chance to access a substantial new source of venture capital finance.

ESA has signed an agreement with the £83 million (€116 million) Seraphim Space & Special Situations Fund to work alongside ESA’s Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) Applications programme. The Fund will also back other space-related investment opportunities beyond ESA.


New Facilities Open at UK Space Gateway

UK_space_agencyOXFORDSHIRE, England (UKSA) — Another boost for the UK’s £11.3 billion space industry as 2 new space facilities are opened at the UK Space Gateway in Oxfordshire.

  • Inauguration of European Space Agency’s ECSAT facility in the UK
  • STFC’s RALSpace opens £27.7 million state of art test facility
  • UK arm of Airbus Defence and Space awarded contract for Quantum satellite with Eutelsat and European Space Agency (ESA)

The inauguration day for the multimillion pound space facilities was also the backdrop for the first contract signed from the new European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) – a €180m contract between ESA and Eutelsat for the first of an innovative class of geostationary communications satellite to be primed and manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) in the UK using flexible payload technology and a new platform from Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL).


ESA Fires First 3D Printed Platinum Combustion Chamber and Nozzle

Hot firing of world's first 3D-printed platinum thruster chamber. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)
Hot firing of world’s first 3D-printed platinum thruster chamber. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The world’s first spacecraft thruster with a platinum combustion chamber and nozzle made by 3D printing has passed its baptism of fire with a series of firings lasting more than an hour and 618 ignitions.

“This is a world first,” explains Steffen Beyer of Airbus Defence & Space, managing the project. “The firings included a single burn of 32 minutes, during which a maximum throat temperature of 1253°C was attained.

“It demonstrates that performance comparable to a conventional thruster can be obtained through 3D printing.”


OneWeb Awards Airbus Defence & Space Order for 900 Satellites

OneWeb constellation. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)
OneWeb constellation. (Credit: Airbus Defence & Space)

PARIS (Airbus PR) — Airbus Defence and Space, the world’s second largest space company, announced that it has been selected by OneWeb Ltd. as its industrial partner for the design and manufacturing of its fleet of microsatellites. This initial production of 900 satellites, each weighing less than 150 kilogrammes, is planned for launch into low Earth orbit beginning in 2018 to deliver affordable Internet access globally.