HARWELL, UK (Astroscale PR) – Astroscale Ltd. (“Astroscale”), the market-leader in developing a space debris removal service to secure long-term orbital sustainability, has been awarded a contract under the Sunrise Project, a Public-Private Partnership led by the European Space Agency (ESA) and OneWeb, a global communications company on a mission to connect the unconnected through a global satellite constellation.
A pair of Glasgow-built satellites which could revolutionise how data is downloaded from space were successfully launched on July 5
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — Satellites are essential to modern life due to their application in navigation, finance, telecoms and in monitoring weather, climate change and air pollution. However, the data they collect can be slow to download due to the volume of traffic, with users often having to download very large files they don’t need just to obtain specific elements.
Spire Global operates a network of small satellites, known as nanosatellites, which
collect and transmit a range of valuable data. The two new additions,
supported by the UK Space Agency, will be able to process and
cherry-pick data from other satellites in orbit before transmitting it
to Earth, optimising and freeing up bandwidth for other tasks and users.
PARIS, 11 July 2019 (ESA PR) — Arianespace announced today, 11 July, 2019, the failure of Flight VV15 carrying the FalconEye1 satellite. This was the first Vega failure after 14 successful launches in a row since being introduced at the Guiana Space Center in French Guiana in 2012.
The Vega launch vehicle lifted off as scheduled on July 10, 2019 at 10:53 pm (local time in French Guiana). Approximately two minutes after the Vega launcher’s liftoff, shortly after ignition of the second stage (Zefiro 23), a launcher anomaly occurred – leading to the premature end of the mission.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Arianespace immediately decided to appoint an independent inquiry commission. This commission is tasked with analysing the reasons for the failure and defining the measures needed to ensure the resumption of Vega flights while fulfilling all requisite safety and security conditions. The inquiry commission is co-chaired by the Inspector General of ESA and the Senior Vice President, Technical and Quality of Arianespace.
Preparations for the next Ariane 5 launch are continuing at the Guiana Space Centre, Europe’s Spaceport.
BREMEN, Germany (ESA PR) — The European Service Module-2 (ESM-2) is somewhat like the portal it appears to be in this image. By providing power and propulsion for the Orion spacecraft, it will transport humans back to the Moon, roughly fifty years after humankind first landed on its surface.
In assembly at Airbus in Bremen, ESM-2 is the engine of the Orion spacecraft that will fly its second mission and first with a crew. The mission is called Artemis 2 and is set for launch in 2022.
PTScientists filed for bankruptcy on Friday, July 5, with the district court Berlin Charlottenburg.
In a press release, the former Google Lunar X Prize competitor blamed unplanned delays in the acquisition of incentives and subsidies to support its planned mission to the moon.
“Lawyer Sascha Feies has been appointed as provisional insolvency administrator,” the press release stated. “The business operations and research projects of the scientific enterprise continue to run without any restrictions during the insolvency proceedings.”
PTScientists has been working with ArianeGroup and ESA on a joint study of a future mission to the lunar surface.
“The bankruptcy petition throws us back a little in time, because we first have to secure together with the insolvency administrator, the further financing of the company,” said Robert Boehme, founder and CEO of PTScientists. “However, given our clear progress and achievements that we have demonstrated in recent months, we are well placed to emerge from the insolvency process and implement our lunar mission as planned.”
TOULOUSE, France (ESA PR) — ESA’s Hera mission for planetary defence, being designed to survey the smallest asteroid ever explored, is really three spacecraft in one. The main mothership will carry two briefcase-sized CubeSats, which will touch down on the target body. A French team has been investigating what might happen at that initial instant of alien contact.
“We’ve customised an existing drop tower and rigged it up with a system of pulleys and counterweights in order to simulate a low gravity environment,” explains researcher Naomi Murdoch of the Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE-Supaero), part of the University of Toulouse.
NOORDWIJK, The Netherlands (ESA ) — Astronauts on the Moon found themselves hopping around, rather than simply walking. Switzerland’s SpaceBok planetary exploration robot has followed their example, launching all four legs off the ground during tests at ESA’s technical heart.
SpaceBok is a quadruped robot designed and built by a Swiss student team from ETH Zurich and ZHAW Zurich. It is currently being tested using robotic facilities at ESA’s ESTEC technical centre in the Netherlands.
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (ESA PR) — The next astronauts to join the International Space Station are on their marks for their launch to Earth’s orbit on 20 July, a date that also commemorates the 50thanniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, Roscomos’ Alexander Skvortsov and NASA’s Andrew Morgan arrived last week at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for an intense schedule of pre-launch activities.
VOSTOCHNY COSMODROME, Russia (ESA PR) — The latest ESA Partnership Projects mission has launched two tiny supercomputing nanosatellites aboard a Soyuz rocket from Vostochny in Russia.
The parallel supercomputing scalable devices, aboard the lightweight, shoebox-sized nanosatellites, can be programmed to both receive and process data while in orbit. This enables them to select high-quality data and immediately transfer it to Earth.
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, 02 July 2019 – The next supply mission (CRS-18) to be launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, will transport a special ‘steam engine’ to the International Space Station (ISS). RUBI (Reference mUltiscale Boiling Investigation), a fluid science experiment developed and built by Airbus for the European Space Agency (ESA), addresses the fundamentals of the boiling of fluids.
TURIN, Italy, 28 June 2019 (ESA PR) — The full parachute system that will help deliver the ExoMars rover and a surface science platform to the martian surface has completed a full-scale high-altitude deployment sequence test, although unexpected damage to the main parachutes occurred.
Meanwhile, the main elements of the descent module hardware, including the heat shield that will protect the lander as it enters the atmosphere of Mars, have been delivered to Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, this week.
PARIS (ESA PR) — Portugal is developing the infrastructure for a national spaceport on one of the islands of the Azores archipelago, Santa Maria, a European launch and landing location for small satellites.
As an ESA Member State, Portugal has requested ESA’s tailored expertise and technical assistance in an agreement signed on 21 June by ESA Director General Jan Wörner and Manuel Heitor, Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education. (more…)