Reprogrammable Satellite Takes Shape

The communications module of Quantum is slowly lowered onto the service module.(Credit: Airbus)

Toulouse, France, 15 May 2019 (ESA PR) — The payload and platform of the first European satellite that can be completely reprogrammed after launch have been successfully joined together.

The assembly of Eutelsat Quantum took place in the Airbus facility in Toulouse, France, on 10 May.

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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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What’s for Dinner? For Future Astronauts, Algae

Photobioreactor provides oxygen and a source of nutrition for astronauts. (Credit: Airbus)

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, Germany (Airbus PR) – Airbus is bringing another experimental system to the International Space Station (ISS) in the form of the photobioreactor (PBR). The PBR, developed by the University of Stuttgart and built by Airbus on behalf of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), is designed to convert part of the CO2 extracted by the ‘LSR’ Life Support Rack on board the ISS into oxygen and biomass, which could help to save valuable resources during future long-term missions into space.

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First Satellite in Europe’s SpaceDataHighway Forges 20,000 Successful Laser Links

EDRS-A (Credit: ESA)

PARIS, 2 April 2019 (ESA PR) — The European Data Relay System (EDRS)—dubbed the “SpaceDataHighway” by its private operator, Airbus—has passed another milestone.

EDRS-A, the first satellite in what will eventually be a global constellation, has made its 20,000th successful optical link to its customer satellites since its launch in January 2016, marking a world first in laser communication in space.

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UAE Eyeing Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Flights

A view from SpacehipTwo. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to host flights of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, The National reports.

Mohammad Al Ahbabi, director of the UAE Space Agency, said the organisation is working with Virgin Galactic on a bid to operate tourist space flights from Al Ain International Airport in the coming years….

“The reason why the company opted for Al Ain airport is that it is less crowded than other UAE airports, which are scheduled with thousands of flights.”

Airbus has used Al Ain airport to stress test its new aircraft in high summer temperatures, including the wide-body A350.

It was chosen for its hot, dry conditions and relatively quiet runways.

Abu Dhabi is part-owner of Virgin Galactic having invested $390 million in the company through its sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Investment Company (formerly known as aabar Investments).

Astrobotic Team Selected by ESA to Study Delivery of Lunar Resources Mission

Peregrine lander on the moon. (Credit: Astrobotic)

A team including Astrobotic and Airbus competitively selected in partnership to study the delivery of a European Space Agency mission to the Moon onboard the Peregrine lunar lander

Astrobotic now the only lunar delivery service to be selected by NASA and ESA

Pittsburgh, PA (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic announced today that a team led by Airbus has been competitively selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to study the delivery of a payload package onboard the Peregrine lunar lander around 2025. The study will analyze Europe’s first mission to demonstrate in-situ resource utilization on the Moon.

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There She Floats! RemoveDEBRIS Satellite Successfully Test Harpoon in Orbit

SURREY, UK (University of Surrey PR) — The RemoveDEBRIS satellite, one of the world’s first attempts to address the build-up of dangerous space debris, has successfully used its on-board harpoon-capture system in orbit.

The Airbus Stevenage designed harpoon featured a 1.5 metre boom deployed from the main RemoveDEBRIS spacecraft with a piece of satellite panel on the end. The harpoon was fired at 20 metres/sec to penetrate the target and demonstrate the ability of a harpoon to capture debris.

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Chameleon Satellite Leaving Native British Shores

The SSTL-built Eutelsat Quantum platform is pictured in SSTL’s cleanroom in Guildford, UK. (Credit: SSTL)

GUILDFORD, UK, 9 January 2019 (ESA PR) — The last component of British-built chameleon satellite, Eutelsat Quantum, is getting ready to leave home for good.

The final piece of equipment is part of the new SSTL platform; the chassis that provides a payload with structure, power and the ability to propel itself through space.

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New Multi-million Pound Satellite Investment Deal for the UK

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — A new multi-million-pound deal by European businesses Eutelsat and Airbus will see satellite components and major parts assembled in the UK.

  • Eutelsat and Airbus invest millions in new satellite components and assembly in the UK
  • Deal will support hundreds of high quality jobs in Portsmouth and Stevenage and thousands of jobs in the supply chain
  • A year since the launch of the modern Industrial Strategy, this deal represents a further vote of confidence in the UK’s future economy and growing space industry

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Airbus Launches New Moon Race

Video Caption: The Moon Race competition is a global initiative founded by Airbus and international partners, aiming to boost the movement around Moon exploration and enable the demonstration of key technologies required for its sustainable exploration.

Website: https://www.themoonrace.org/

Airbus Wins Two ESA Studies for Mars Sample Return Mission

Mars in opposition. [(Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), J. Bell (ASU), and M. Wolff (Space Science Institute) ]

Sample Fetch Rover to retrieve cached samples on Mars
Earth Return Orbiter to capture the samples and return them to Earth

STEVENAGE/TOULOUSE (Airbus PR) – Airbus has won two studies from the European Space Agency (ESA) to design a Sample Fetch Rover and an Earth Return Orbiter. These two elements will be critical parts of a mission to return samples of the planet Mars to Earth before the end of the next decade. NASA and ESA signed a letter of intent in April 2018 to pursue a Mars Sample Return mission.

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Airbus Celebrates International Asteroid Day with Vigilance

TOULOUSE, France (Airbus PR) — As the world observes International Asteroid Day – established by the United for global awareness about asteroids – Airbus continues its leadership in a multinational European programme that could help humanity to protect itself from future impact hazards posed by these space objects.

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Planet & Airbus Partner to Deliver New Geospatial Solutions

Two of the 28 Planet Labs Dove satellites that make up the Flock 1 constellation are seen launching into orbit from the International Space Station on Feb. 11. (Credit: NASA)

TOULOUSE, France (Planet PR) — Planet is expanding its engagement in Europe in a big way. Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Airbus, a leader in remote sensing, to enable access to each other’s data and joint cooperation on the development of new geospatial solutions.

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EarthNow to Deliver Real-Time Video Via Large Satellite Constellation

Greg Wyler of OneWeb

BELLEVUE, Wash. (EarthNow PR) — EarthNow LLC announces intent to deploy a large constellation of advanced imaging satellites that will deliver real-time, continuous video of almost anywhere on Earth. The latest company to spin-out from Intellectual Ventures, EarthNow recently closed a first round of financing with investments from Airbus, the SoftBank Group, Bill Gates, and Greg Wyler. The initial funding focuses primarily on maturing the overall system design to deliver innovative and unique real-time Earth observation services.

According to EarthNow’s founder and CEO, Russell Hannigan, “EarthNow is ambitious and unprecedented, but our objective is simple; we want to connect you visually with Earth in real-time. We believe the ability to see and understand the Earth live and unfiltered will help all of us better appreciate and ultimately care for our one and only home.”

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NanoRacks Sends Groundbreaking Satellite, Biological Research to ISS

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (NanoRacks PR) –  NanoRacks, the leading provider for commercial access to low-Earth orbit, has brought yet another unique payload mission to the International Space Station. Carrying a professional protein crystal experiment, college-level biological research, and a debris capturing microsatellite (MicroSat), this mission continues to push the boundaries of commercial opportunities on the International Space Station.

The SpaceX CRS-14 Dragon was successfully installed on the Harmony Module of the International Space Station at 9:00 EDT on Wednesday.
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