SSTL Lunar to Lead Consortium for ESA Moonlight

GUILDFORD, UK (Surrey Satellite PR) — Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) has been selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) to lead a Phase A/B1 Study under ESA’s Moonlight initiative that will shape the service provision and infrastructure to provide sustainable commercial Lunar data-relay services for communication and navigation around the Moon.

The Moonlight Phase A/B1 Study will define the service infrastructure and clearly lay out the development path for a constellation of Lunar communication and navigation satellites. The Study will characterise the complete end to end system, including the Lunar Space Segment, the Moon Surface Segment, the Lunar User Segment and the Earth Ground Segment.

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ESA Advances its Plan for Satellites Around the Moon

PARIS (ESA PR) — A bold proposal to create a commercially viable constellation of lunar satellites has taken a step closer.

Two consortia of companies will be supported by ESA to devise detailed definitions of how to provide telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon, under the agency’s Moonlight initiative.

Such a lasting lunar link will enable sustainable space exploration.

ESA is going to the Moon together with its international partners including NASA.

Dozens of international, institutional and commercial teams are sending missions to the Moon that envisage a permanent lunar presence. These will become regular trips to Earth’s natural satellite rather than one-off expeditions

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ESA to Host New Climate Modeling Hub in the UK

European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A new international project office that will support climate modelling activities and help to boost global understanding of the changing environment is to be hosted by ESA.

Due to open this autumn, the office will be based at the agency’s European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in the UK, which already hosts ESA’s Climate Office.

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OneWeb Launches 2021 Innovation Challenge to Identify New Ideas and Collaboration for Innovation in Space

  • Invites industrial and engineering partners, academia, and research professionals across sectors to present proposals to innovate a new generation of satellites.
  • The successful entrants will receive the opportunity to work on OneWeb’s satellite programme and drive the future of space communications.

LONDON, 23 April 2021 (OneWeb PR) — OneWeb, the global communications network powered from space, today announced the launch of its first Innovation Challengean invitation to find innovative technologies, products and solutions, that will advance the world of satellite connectivity and spaced-based communications.

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UK Government-backed 5G Facility to be Built in Oxfordshire

UK businesses will be able to tap into the potential of 5G and satellite technology as a new testing facility is being created.

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The engineering hub, set to be built by the IT and business consultancy CGI in ESA-ECSAT at the Harwell Campus in Oxfordshire, is being backed by over £3 million of government investment and due for completion in 2021.

Providing a base for UK researchers and businesses to experiment, the new 5G hub – eventually planned to extend across the entire Harwell campus – will provide a testing facility that can show the benefits of hybrid 5G and satellite communications networks. The hope is that once the technology is demonstrated the techniques can be rolled out to other businesses across the UK.

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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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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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Machine-learning Nanosats to Inform Global Trade

Spire’s machine-learning capable nanosat (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — The latest batch of tiny satellites to monitor trade on Earth from space have launched.

The Glaswegian-built nanosatellites join a fleet of about 100 objects in low Earth orbit that help to predict the movement of the world’s resources, so that businesses and governments can make informed decisions.

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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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ESA Council Approves Lunar Gateway, Mars Sample Return MOUs with NASA

PARIS (ESA PR) — The ESA Council met today in its 290th session and took some important decisions regarding the Executive’s senior management.

Several other decisions were taken in the meeting, in particular:

  • An adaptation of ESA’s decision-making to ensure efficient deliberation and ultimately, business continuity amid the current pandemic, particularly allowing remote participation and voting by Council members
  • The approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with NASA concerning Cooperation on the Civil Lunar Gateway, taking a step towards sending the first European to the Moon 
  • The approval of a Memorandum of Understanding with NASA concerning the Flight elements of the Mars Sample Return Campaign, consolidating the ambitious schedule towards the first-ever ‘round trip’ to Mars with return of pristine martian soil samples
  • In order to prepare the ESA/EU Council at ministerial Level (Space Council) to be held in November 2020, the ESA Council adopted a resolution to set-up a Council Working Group.
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