International Satellite to Track Impacts of Small Ocean Currents

SWOT’s solar panels unfold as part of a test in January at a Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes, France, where the satellite is being assembled. SWOT will measure elevations of Earth’s ocean and surface water, giving researchers information with an unprecedented level of detail. (Credits: CNES/Thales Alenia Space)

The Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will explore how the ocean absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon, moderating global temperatures and climate change.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Though climate change is driving sea level rise over time, researchers also believe that differences in surface height from place to place in the ocean can affect Earth’s climate. These highs and lows are associated with currents and eddies, swirling rivers in the ocean, that influence how it absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon.

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French Startup Gama Raises $2.2 Million to Develop Solar Sails

PARIS (Gama PR) — Gama, a French aerospace company, has raised 2 million euros [USD $2.2 million] with the French Public Investment Bank (BPI), the French Space Agency (CNES) and leading international angel investors to deploy a solar sail in space and revolutionize space transportation.

A solar sail allows a spacecraft to be powered solely by sunlight. This new propulsion technology enables speeds never reached before to explore our Solar System and beyond.

This first round of funding will finance a demonstration mission: the deployment of a solar sail from a satellite launched by SpaceX. Other missions will follow.

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International Sea Level Satellite Takes Over From Predecessor

Meltwater from Greenland glaciers like the one pictured can contribute significantly to sea level rise. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich monitors the height of Earth’s oceans so that researchers can better understand the amount and rate of sea level rise. (Credits: NASA Earth Observatory using Landsat data from USGS)

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest addition to a long line of ocean-monitoring satellites, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — On March 22, the newest U.S.-European sea level satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, became the official reference satellite for global sea level measurements. This means that sea surface height data collected by other satellites will be compared to the information produced by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich to ensure their accuracy.

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CNES Selects Exotrail to Optimize Mega Constellation Operations

Illustration of large constellation operations through ExoOPS™ – Operations, Exotrail, cloud-based mission control center software. (Credit: Exotrail)

TOULOUSE, France (Exotrail PR) — In February 2022, following a competitive tender process, CNES selected Exotrail to complete a research and technology study to optimise the operations of mega constellations. The study will focus on mid and low earth orbit where thousands of satellites are soon expected to be operational and propelled by electric propulsion. It will determine the best operational procedures to implement in mega constellation’s flight dynamic system including station keeping and collision avoidance – two critical operations.

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AsterX 2022: The Space Threat Under the Eye of the Space Command and CNES

AsterX 2022 (Credits: CNES/Quignaux Frédéric 2022)

TOULOUSE, France (CNES PR) — The AsterX 2022 exercise took up residence at the Cité de l’Espace in Toulouse from 24/02 to 4/03/2022. This space threat simulation exercise, entirely piloted by the Space Command, is the second to be organized in close collaboration with CNES.

The objective of this exercise, the first edition of which took place in March 2021 at CNES: to define and test certain operational processes in the field of Space Situational Awareness and to test our reaction capacities in emergency situations. A unique operation in Europe.

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ESA Astronaut Selection Proceeds with Psychological Exams

Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, a health subsidiary of CNES. (Credits: MEDES)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The recruitment of the next ESA astronauts continues. Phase 2 began with the psychotechnical tests and will continue until the end of May with the psychological assessments. 404 French men and women are still in the race.

22,523 Europeans had applied last year to become a member of the European Astronaut Corps. A 1st selection on file selected 1,361, including 250 French and 154 French women, who therefore began phase 2 at the start of the year. And that’s where the serious stuff begins. 

“Phase 2 is divided into 2 stages ,” explains Arnaud Beck, director of clinical research at MEDES, the health subsidiary of CNES, and in charge of organizing part of the tests. The 1st (called phase 2.1) takes place in Hamburg, it involves psycho technical and cognitive tests : memorization, mental calculation… There is also an exercise which takes place in front of a control screen: the candidates must manage several parameters simultaneously, using different joysticks and controllers. They are also assessed on their level of English. This stage, which ends in early March, should see around 400 candidates access phase 2.2, which began on 01/31 in Cologne, at the European Astronaut Center (EAC).

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SpaceFounders Launches Recruitment of its Second Cohort of Startups

Credit: SpaceFounders

PARIS (CNES PR) — SpaceFounders, the European NewSpace start-up accelerator, launched in 2021 at the initiative of CNES and the Bundeswehr University of Munich, is recruiting its new cohort of start-ups with a call for applications open until March 25. If the year 2021 turned out to be extremely rich, the year 2022 promises to be ultra-ambitious.

Online applications: https://www.spacefounders.eu/apply-now

In 2021, SpaceFounders demonstrated its ability to select and support an ultra-promising cohort of European spacetech entrepreneurs. Seed and Series A fundraising for a cumulative amount of more than €70 million is underway for the 10 winning start-ups, in order to innovate across the entire space value chain: space tourism, space surveillance, but also reusable launchers and innovative downstream services, including components for nanosatellites and in-orbit services.

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SpaceFounders, the Factory of Future Space Champions

Emmanuelle Méric (Credits: CNES)

PARIS (CNES PR) — Created by CNES in 2021, SpaceFounders offers ultra-intensive and very high-level support to help startups think big. The explanations of the president of SpaceFounders France, Emmanuelle Méric.

What is SpaceFounders?

Emmanuelle Méric: SpaceFounders is an accelerator for European space startups. This is a public program, created at the initiative of CNES, which brings together a large community of public and private players, foremost among which are ESA and DLR, the German space agency , to bring out new world-class European champions in the space sector. Concretely, SpaceFounders is an entrepreneurship support program intended for managers of Space Tech startups. The ultra-intensive program lasts 3 months, virtually and face-to-face in the heart of European space capitals, and includes meetings, master classes, targeted networking and workshops.

“The great strength of SpaceFounders is the mentoring and connection with leading personalities from the space and digital world and investors.

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GMV Joins Net Zero Space Initiative to Eliminate Space Debris

  • The use of outer space and the more than $1 trillion in benefits estimated for 2030 is threatened by rising orbital pollution
  • There is an urgent need for all stakeholders in the space market to reach a consensus on its safe and sustainable use
  • GMV is a world reference in the study, monitoring and prevention of space debris proliferation, with more than 20 years of experience in this market

MADRID, Spain (GMV PR) — The space environment is becoming increasingly polluted due to the proliferation of objects orbiting in an uncontrolled manner around the earth, particularly in low and geostationary orbits (the most interesting for use and exploitation). Estimates suggest that there are more than one million objects larger than 1 cm capable of causing potential damage of various kinds, and the number is increasing at a dangerous rate. To ensure a sustainable use of space, various key players in the space industry (*), including GMV, have launched the international initiative called Net Zero Space.

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France Opens Public Consultation to Devise NewSpace Strategies & Goals

Translated from French by Google Translate

PARIS (CNES PR) — The advent of NewSpace has profoundly upset the space industry and prompted traditional players to review their strategies in the face of multiple initiatives from new private players over the past twenty years. This sector, now more accessible, opens up a considerable number of opportunities and French space players must face up to rapidly changing challenges in order to remain in the international race.

A collective of space players, fully convinced of the need to accelerate the transformation of the ecosystem – 3i3s Europa, Alliance NewSpace France, ASTech Paris Region, CNES, ESA, Eutelsat, Geodesic, GIFAS, ISAE SUPAERO, NewSpace Club, Paris-Saclay Hardware Accelerator, SAFE, Toulouse Capitole University (Sirius Chair) – has therefore decided to organize the first NewSpace Meetings, on July 7 and 8, 2022 at Station F, Paris. It is in this context that a major public consultation has been launched for all interested natural or legal persons.

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Thales Alenia Space Paves the Way to the Future Satellite Navigation Systems

Credit: Thales Alenia Space

CANNES, France, February 7, 2022 (Thales Alenia Space PR) – Thales Alenia Space, joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the French Space Agency CNES to develop a DFMC (Dual Frequency Multi Constellations) SBAS prototype in the frame of the next generation of SBAS, like EGNOS, the European navigation satellite system.

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CNES Mobilizes for Micro- and Mini-launchers

Illustration of a micro-launcher pad. (Credits: CNES)

PARIS (CNES PR) — Several calls for projects and calls for applications have just been launched in the field of micro and mini-launchers to promote the emergence of French and European projects in this innovative segment, complementary to current launchers.

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CNES/AFD Partnership: Satellite Technologies at the Service of Development Projects

PARIS (CNES PR) — Rémy Rioux, Managing Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) and Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO of CNES, today renewed a partnership agreement to promote AFD’s adoption of satellite technologies for its work. research and development projects.

Sizing energy production infrastructures and access networks, reducing the digital divide, quickly collecting epidemiological data in the field, anticipating the risks of coastal flooding, these are all examples of the challenges that technologies satellites make it possible to take readings in areas that are difficult to access and lack infrastructure and means of in situ observation.

The renewal of this partnership agreement will allow AFD to benefit from the expertise and support of CNES to raise awareness and train its teams in space, collect and analyze needs in order to support the integration of satellite technologies in its projects, one objective pursued by AFD being to eventually have a tool for monitoring and evaluating projects in developing countries.  

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Arianespace to Launch Microcarb on Vega C

Vega rocket in flight (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Microcarb is a science satellite that will trace CO2 sinks and sources on a global scale.
  • The requested performance for this launch planned in 2023 is 190kg on a sun-synchronous orbit at 650km.

EVRY-COURCOURONNES, France, January 18, 2022 (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has been awarded a launch contract by ESA, on behalf of the European Commission, to launch Microcarb in 2023 on Vega C. Microcarb is a 190kg satellite developed by CNES that will be delivered into a sun-synchronous orbit, 650km above the Earth.

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