Two New Satellites Mark Further Enlargement of Galileo

Soyuz rocket lifts off with the Galileo 27 and 28 satellites. (Credit: Arianespace webcast)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Europe’s largest satellite constellation has grown even bigger, following the launch of two more Galileo navigation satellites by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 5 December. Galileo satellites 27-28 add to an existing 26-satellite constellation in orbit, providing the world’s most precise satnav positioning to more than 2.3 billion users around the globe.

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Sentinel-6 Returning Most Precise Data Ever on Sea Level

Copernicus Sentinel-6 mission spacecraft (Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Sea-level rise is one of the most immediate consequences of climate change, as highlighted recently through urgent pleas from leaders of island nations at the COP26 summit. Global measures of sea-level rise are imperative to underpinning global policy and for strategies to protect coastlines and low-lying lands. Measuring tiny differences in the height of the sea surface from space is no easy task – but that’s exactly what the Copernicus Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite is doing. And, after a year of exhaustive testing, this new mission is now delivering the world’s most accurate data on sea-level rise. 

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ESA Helps Greece to Boost its Space Investments

PARIS (ESA PR) — Ambitious plans to expand the nascent space industry in Greece – enabling the digital transformation of society while creating jobs and generating prosperity – have received a fillip from ESA.

On 26 November, the Ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialise its Greek National Satellite Space Project, with the technical support of ESA.

The project is part of the nation’s Recovery and Resilience Facility plans, which aim to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country to exchange satellite data.

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Galileo Navigation Satellites in Place for Dec. 2 Launch From French Guiana

Galileo satellites 27 – 28 being lowered onto their Fregat upper stage ahead of their launch on 2 December 2021. (Credit: ESA-CNES-Arianespace Optique Video du CSG – P Baudon)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — Europe’s next two Galileo satellites have been attached to the dispenser on which they will ride to orbit, and the launcher fairing that will protect them during the first part of the ascent to orbit has been closed around the pair.

Galileo satellites 27 – 28 are scheduled to be launched by Soyuz launcher from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana on 2 December at 01:31 CET (1 December at 21:31:27 local Kourou time).

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European Union Commissioner, Secure World Foundation Condemn Russian ASAT Test

Thierry Breton
European Union Commissioner for Internal Market

As the European Union Commissioner in charge of EU Space policy and in particular of Galileo & Copernicus, I join the strongest condemnations expressed against the test conducted by Russia on Monday 15 Nov., which led to the destruction of a satellite in low orbit (COSMOS 1408).

This anti-satellite weapon test has caused the generation of a significant amount of debris of a size that could endanger the European Union’s space activities as well as those of our Member States.

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Géraldine Naja Takes Over as ESA’s Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement

Geraldine Naja (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Géraldine Naja took up duty as Director of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement (D/CIP), based at ESA Headquarters in Paris, on 1 November 2021.

From France, Ms Naja has 30-year experience in the European space sector in managerial and strategy development positions.

She graduated from the French École Polytechnique with a degree in engineering and then from École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées (ENSTA) with a Masters degree in propulsion and chemistry. She also has a Masters degree in political sciences from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po).

She joined ESA in 1987 as a Payload Operations Engineer in the Space Station Directorate. She then served in various corporate and programmatic functions across the Agency between 1993 and 2015, including Head of Long-term Space Policy Office, Head of Strategic and Institutional Matters in the ESA Director General’s Cabinet, Head of EU Relations Office, and Senior Advisor to the Director of Launchers. She was also seconded from ESA for one year (2003-4) as Advisor for the Cabinet of the French Minister of Research and Higher Education.

Before her latest appointment, Ms Naja was Head of the ESA’s Industrial Policy and Audit Department since 2015. She served as acting Director when the new Directorate of Commercialisation, Industry and Procurement was created in May 2021, in response to the Director General’s Agenda 2025 for the future development of ESA, with commercialisation as one of its strategic priorities. 

She is responsible for elaborating and implementing ESA’s industrial policy, the Agency’s procurement rules and policies, and conducting negotiations and managing procurement for all activities and programmes, as well as enabling and boosting European space commercialisation ambitions through innovative tools.

ESA Moves Forward with Destination Earth

GOES-16 full disk GeoColor image from October 16, 2019. GeoColor is an RGB that approximates what the human eye would see from space. (Credit: NOAA/CIRA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Earth observation provides a wealth of information to benefit our daily lives. As the demand for satellite data grows to address the challenges of climate change and a growing population, ESA, under the leadership of the European Commission, along with its key European partners, are developing high precision digital models of Earth to monitor and simulate both natural and human activity, to enable more sustainable development and support European environmental policies.

Today, at the ESA Council, Member States approved a ‘Contribution Agreement’, which paves the way for cooperation with the European Commission on the Destination Earth initiative, in the context of the Digital Agenda of the European Union.

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Putting Earth Observation into ‘the Market Perspective’

GOES-16 full disk GeoColor image from October 16, 2019. GeoColor is an RGB that approximates what the human eye would see from space. (Credit: NOAA/CIRA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — With a boom in the global market for Earth observation information and data products, participants at this year’s Φ-week conference have been digging deep into the ‘market perspective’. This important topic includes how to gain a better understanding of what governments, industry, the public and other users of Earth observation products and services need and expect to create value for society and the economy.

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ESA, European Defence Agency Team Up to Improve Space Cyber Security

PARIS (ESA PR) — The European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Defence Agency (EDA) today agreed to further deepen their already close cooperation around cyber-resilience, aiming to strengthen Europe’s capacity to protect systems and networks critical for space.

Why it matters: Cyber-attacks can target individuals, companies and public institutions and civil services such as energy grids, water treatment and distribution, financial markets, autonomous vehicles and supply chains for food and medical goods like vaccines. And these all increasingly reply on satellites and space-based services.

ESA is committed to protecting its space assets and those of its partners and Member States. To that end, cyber-resilience is an on-going project, and includes activities such as ESA’s Cyber Centre of Excellence and Cyber Security Operations Centre. 

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ICEYE Named as a Contributing Mission to Europe’s Copernicus Satellite Imaging Programme

HELSINKI, Finland, October 12, 2021 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in persistent monitoring of the Earth with radar satellite imaging, today announced the signature of an agreement to become a Contributing Mission to the Copernicus Programme, the largest satellite Earth observation programme in the world. Copernicus services will now receive access to ICEYE’s synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) imagery that can be used to enhance public safety, border control, security and maritime domain awareness.

The Copernicus Contributing Mission Activity, as part of the Copernicus Programme, is managed by the European Space Agency (ESA) on-behalf of the European Commission. The activity aims to provide very high resolution optical and SAR commercial satellite imagery from mission partners for use by the six Copernicus services and mainly by the Land, Emergency, Security and Marine services. These services are the primary users while other users, such as public authorities in Europe, can also benefit from the data. The new partnership with ICEYE will be funded by the European Commission and operated by ESA.

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New Symphonie Takes Collaborative Approach to European Commission Call for Connectivity

A newly formed consortium led by Unseenlabs and Euroconsult has responded to a European Commission call for tenders aiming to collect disruptive ideas for an innovative European broadband constellation.

PARIS, RENNES, WASHINGTON, MONTREAL, YOKOHAMA, SYDNEY (Unseenlabs/Euroconsult PR) – A recently established collaboration between more than twenty European space sector companies has been assembled in response to a European Commission call for tenders entitled “New Space solutions for long-term availability of reliable, secure, cost-effective space based connectivity”. The consortium, known as New Symphonie, is being led by Unseenlabs and Euroconsult and was set up specifically for the call, which has been launched by the European Commission with assistance by from its Directorate General Defence Industry and Space (DG DEFIS).

The New Symphonie boasts an extensive European footprint with 22 members from no less than 8 different countries, bringing a multi-national approach to its European core. The grouping has “new space” at its heart, with the majority of members representing agile, responsive and commercially minded small and medium sized businesses. Coordinated by Unseenlabs the European leader in satellite-based radio-frequency detection services, currently operating a constellation of four satellites in orbit (twenty-five projected for 2025) processing and delivering geolocation and monitoring data as-a-service to clients worldwide, in partnership with Euroconsult, the leading global strategy consulting and market intelligence firm, specializing in the space sector and satellite enabled verticals.

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Commercialisation of the Space Sector: What Can ESA Do in Europe?

Josef Aschbacher (Credit: ESA–Philippe Sebirot, 2016)

by Josef Aschbacher
Director General
European Space Agency

There is no need to point out the importance of commercialisation in the space sector. It has been implemented and visibly demonstrated in all corners of the world. The commercialisation of space has entered a new dimension with the digital sector massively investing in the space sector, giving it the attention, credibility, funding and even celebrity the American space industry needed to grow colossally and at a very quick pace. Its success set off a ripple effect overseas, encouraging similar investments in space industries in Japan, China, India, UAE, to name a few. Around the globe, countries have been further encouraged to heavily invest in space after being woken up to the great economic, societal and strategic benefit potential the sector promises.

Certainly, the US has led the way more than a decade ago, but today basically every country puts a huge emphasis on putting the commercial sector into the driving seat for “NewSpace” projects, however you may wish to define NewSpace.

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EUMETSAT to Operate Largest Number of Sentinel Missions Under Copernicus 2.0 Agreement

Copernicus Land Surface Temperature Monitoring (LSTM) satellite. (Credit: Airbus)

DARMSTADT, Germany (EUMETSAT PR) — Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT, will become the largest operator of the Copernicus programme’s Sentinel satellite missions under an agreement signed with the European Commission today. Copernicus is a component of the European Union Space Programme. It looks at our planet and its environment for the benefit of all European citizens. It offers information services that draw from satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data.

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Major Ocean-Observing Satellite Starts Providing Science Data

This map shows sea level measured by the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite from June 5 to15. Red areas are regions where sea level is higher than normal, and blue areas indicate areas where it’s lower than normal. (Credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the latest spacecraft to monitor sea surface height, releases its first science measurements to users.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — After six months of check-out and calibration in orbit, the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite will make its first two data streams available to the public on June 22. It launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Nov. 21, 2020, and is a U.S.-European collaboration to measure sea surface height and other key ocean features, such as ocean surface wind speed and wave height.

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ESA Signs Contract for New Generation of Galileo Navigation Satellites

ESA has signed two contracts for an overall amount of €1.47 billion [$1.79 billion], to design and build the first batch of the second generation of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Acting on behalf of the European Commission, ESA has signed two contracts for an overall amount of €1.47 billion, to design and build the first batch of the second generation of Europe’s Galileo navigation satellites.

Following an intense process of open competition, these contracts have been awarded to Thales Alenia Space (Italy) and Airbus Defence & Space (Germany) to create two independent families of satellites amounting to 12 Galileo Second Generation satellites in total.

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