Hiber Four Satellite in Space With Green CubeSat Propulsion Launched on SpaceX Rocket

Evaluation of a test Hiber nanosatellite took place in ESA’s metal-walled Hybrid European Radio Frequency and Antenna Test Zone (Hertz) at the Agency’s technical centre in the Netherlands, shut off from all external influences for radio testing.  (Credit: ESA–G. Porter)

DELFT, The Netherlands, 25 January 2021 (Dawn Aerospace PR) — IoT solutions provider Hiber has successfully launched their 3U CubeSat, Hiber Four, onboard SpaceX’s dedicated rideshare mission: Transporter-1. The satellite was equipped with a new-to-market green propulsion system from Dawn Aerospace and Hyperion Technologies.

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Laser Tech from the Netherlands Hitchhikes to Space on Norwegian Satellite

AMSTERDAM (Netherlands Space Office PR) — Dutch space technology for laser communication will be tested on the Norwegian satellite NorSat-TD, due for launch in 2022. This partnership was stated in an agreement signed this morning by the directors of both space agencies, NSO from the Netherlands and NOSA from Norway. The signing took place in parallel at the embassies of both countries in The Hague and Oslo in the presence of both ambassadors.

The satellite payload named SmallCAT has been developed by the research institute TNO and the Delft based company Hyperion Technologies. This technology makes use of laser beams rather than radio signals to transmit valuable information from space to earth. There is great interest in this new technology because it enables satellites to transmit larger amounts of information 10 times faster and more securely.

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Iodine Thruster Could Slow Space Junk Accumulation

Iodine thruster (Credit: ThrustMe)

PARIS (ESA PR) — For the first time ever, a telecommunications satellite has used an iodine propellant to change its orbit around Earth.

The small but potentially disruptive innovation could help to clear the skies of space junk, by enabling tiny satellites to self-destruct cheaply and easily at the end of their missions, by steering themselves into the atmosphere where they would burn up.

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Astronauts to Boost European Connectivity

Image taken by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano from outside the International Space Station on the first spacewalk to service the cosmic ray detecting Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02). The image shows the three main laboratory modules, clockwise from top: the US Destiny lab, Japanese Kibo module and the European Columbus lab. (Credit: ESA–L. Parmitano, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are planning a spacewalk to install a high-speed satellite link that will improve their connections with Europe.

The system will enable astronauts to connect at home broadband internet speeds – delivering a whole family’s worth of video streaming for communications and a data pipeline connecting the scientific experiments aboard the Station to researchers in Europe.

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Hyperion’s Laser Communication Terminal to Fly into Space in 2022

Dutch consortium secures technology demonstration within the ESA ScyLight programme

DELFT, The Netherlands, 5 January 2021 (Hyperion Technologies PR) — Ultra-high data rates for small satellites, free of licencing fees and year-long application processes – this will soon be reality. Thanks to the award to carry out an ESA ScyLight technology demonstration project supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Defense and Netherlands Space Office (NSO), a Dutch consortium consisting of TNO and Hyperion Technologies will be launching the jointly developed laser satellite terminal into space. Target launch is set for early 2022 on board the NorSat-TD satellite.

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Supercapacitors Ready to Deliver Maximum Power to Space

Bank of supercapacitors engineering model (Credit: ESA/Airbus Defence and Space)

High-power supercapacitors – already found within terrestrial electric cars, trains, lifts and cranes – are on their way to space.

PARIS (ESA PR) — An ESA-led project with Airbus Defence and Space developed and tested a supercapacitor design able to provide brief bursts of very high power levels to space missions as required. Potential uses might include operation of high-power satellite radar systems, to stabilise overall onboard power during solar eclipses or other such events or launcher thrust vectoring.

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Innovative ESA-Private Partnership to Produce Reconfigurable Satellite

Artistic view of Space Inspire satellite. (Copyright: Thales Alenia Space /Briot)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A fully reconfigurable, software-defined, standardised satellite for the commercial telecommunications market is under development, with contributions from a new Partnership Project between satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space and ESA.

Space Inspire is a new product line for geostationary satellites that will allow customers unprecedented flexibility for video broadcasting and broadband connectivity services by reconfiguring their missions and services instantly in-orbit.

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ThrustMe, Spacety Announce Launch of Satellite with World’s First Iodine Electric Propulsion System

BEIHANGKONGSHI-1 satellite (Credit: Spacety)

Paris, France/Luxembourg/Beijing China (ThrustMe/Spacety PR) – ThrustMe and Spacety announce that the BEIHANGKONGSHI-1 satellite, carrying the world’s first iodine electric propulsion system on board, was successfully launched into space on a CZ-6 Long March 6 rocket from Taiyuan in China on the 6th of November at 04:20 a.m. (Paris time).

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Inmarsat to Develop Innovative Satellite Communications Service Platform for Global Government Customers via New ESA Contract

LONDON, 02 November 2020 (Inmarsat PR) — Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has been awarded a three year contract with the European Space Agency (ESA), which will co-fund the development of a new capability for governments to plan, procure, manage and monitor their satellite communications (satcoms) services from Inmarsat and other operators and service providers.

The new Inmarsat capability, called the International Virtual Satellite Operators Network (INVISON), is a secure, user centric platform. It is being supported by ESA as part of its Space Systems for Safety and Security (4S) Strategic Line, which is a new component of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunication Systems (ARTES), aimed at transforming R&D investment into successful commercial products and services.

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Take-off for UK-built Supercomputer Nanosatellites

  • Two of the satellites have onboard a supercomputer capable of making hyper-accurate predictions for shipping to support maritime trade

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Four shoebox-sized and government-backed satellites, including two supercomputers, have launched this afternoon (Monday 28 September).

The ‘nanosatellites’, which are built in Glasgow and are no larger than a microwave, have joined a fleet of nearly 100 objects in low Earth orbit that monitor shipping movements, helping predict global trade and making business more cost effective and efficient.

Like mobile phones, satellites are also getting smaller and smarter and nanosatellites are roughly the size of a shoe box. Despite their size, they can do almost everything a conventional satellite does.

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UK-built Nanosatellites Ready for Launch

Four shoebox-sized, British-funded satellites will join a global fleet in orbit in the next two months

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Government-backed ‘nanosatellites’ – built in Glasgow – will launch later this month, joining a fleet of more than 100 objects in low Earth orbit that predict global trade movements.

Two of four nanosatellites, made by Spire Global UK and backed by over £6 million of Government investment, will take off on the Russian Soyuz launcher on 24 September. The other two nanosatellites will be aboard an Indian PSLV launcher, due for launch on 1 November.

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New ESA Partnership Project to Boost European Competitiveness

Artist’s impression of OneSat telecommunications satellite. (Credit: Airbus)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A fully reconfigurable, software-defined, standardized satellite for the commercial telecommunications market is under development, as an ESA Partnership Project. 

ESA has signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Airbus to develop and qualify OneSat, which will operate in a geostationary orbit.

The contract was negotiated under teleworking and remote meeting conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The timely conclusion of the negotiations demonstrates the strong commitment of all parties and the agility of the processes used to manage ESA Partnership Projects.

The Novacom 1 Partnership Project to build OneSat will be jointly managed by ESA and the French Space Agency, CNES.

OneSat is part of ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES). Like previous Neosat Partnership Projects, it is expected to generate an exceptional return on investment to European industry and ESA Member States.

Space Station to Forge Ultra-fast Connections

Communications antenna for the Columbus module on the ISS. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Astronauts aboard the International Space Station plan to install a high-speed radio link to enable almost real-time connections with Earth.

The upgrade to the ESA Columbus laboratory will relay data from experiments on the Station back to Earth almost instantaneously.

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Germany Invests 3.3 Billion Euros in European Space Exploration, Becomes ESA’s Largest Contributor

  • Three years after the last ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, government representatives from the 22 Member States met in Seville, Spain, on 27 and 28 November 2019 and committed a total of almost 14.4 billion euro [$15.87 billion] for space programmes over the next few years.
  • Germany is contributing 3.3 billion euro [$3.6 billion] to ESA programmes focusing on Earth observation, telecommunications, technological advancement and commercialisation / NewSpace.
  • At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA’s largest contributor, followed by France (18.5 percent, 2.66 billion euro), Italy (15.9 percent, 2.28 billion euro) and the United Kingdom (11.5 percent, 1.65 billion euro).
  • The ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level is the highest political decision-making body, and it defines the content and financial framework for ESA’s space programmes every two to three years.
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Quantum Satellite Completes Thermal Vacuum Testing

Quantum satellite in thermal vacuum facility. (Credit ESA)

TOULOUSE, France (ESA PR) — The Quantum satellite – Europe’s reprogrammable telecommunications satellite – built through an ESA Partnership Project with its operator Eutelsat successfully completed thermal vacuum testing on 28 September. 

The huge test chamber at Airbus’s Astrolabe facility in Toulouse took the “chameleon satellite” through its paces over the past five weeks.

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