Thales Alenia Space, OHB System Partner, Reaches Key Milestone in Development of Copernicus CO2M satellites

Thales Alenia Space CO2M satellite (Image Credit: Thales Alenia Space)

Cannes (Thales Alenia Space PR) –  Thales Alenia Space, a joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), has signed an amendment to its CO2M contract worth €169 million with project prime contractor OHB System for the development and qualification of the payloads for the first two satellites in the CO2M mission, part of Europe’s Copernicus program. Copernicus is the core satellite Earth-observation program of the European Commission and a cornerstone of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) activities in this field, providing Earth observation data for environmental protection, climate monitoring, natural disaster assessment and other social tasks. 

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ICEYE Announces Agreement with European Space Agency to Support Copernicus Emergency Services with Flood Insights

Leveraging the world’s largest synthetic aperture radar constellation, ICEYE will provide ESA with active flood hazard data before, during and after large-scale flood events

HELSINKI (ICEYE PR) — ICEYE, the global leader in satellite driven persistent monitoring and an expert in natural catastrophe solutions, today announced the start of a pilot activity with the European Space Agency (ESA) to support the Copernicus Emergency Management Services (CEMS) team with flood insights. Through the pilot, ICEYE will deliver critical flood impact information showing the extent and depth of flooding at the structure level to ESA and CEMS throughout 2022. The pilot will allow CEMS to evaluate ICEYE’s flood insights and explore potential applications.

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Key Findings From the European State of the Climate Report

Northwest Greenland is featured in this icy image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-3 mission. (Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Europe experienced its warmest summer on record in 2021, accompanied by severe floods in western Europe and dry conditions in the Mediterranean. These are just some of the key findings from the Copernicus Climate Change Service’s European State of the Climate report released today. The in-depth report provides key insights and a comprehensive analysis of climate conditions in 2021, with a special focus on Europe and the Arctic.

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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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European Union Moves Forward on $6.8 Billion Secure Comsat Constellation and Space Traffic Management Plan

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 15 February 2022 (European Commission PR) — Today, the EU is acting on its space ambitions by tabling two initiatives – a proposal for a Regulation on a space-based secure connectivity and a Joint Communication on an EU approach on Space Traffic Management (STM). Space technology is essential for facilitating our daily lives, contributing to a more digital, green and resilient future for our planet. As a major space power, the EU’s Space Programme already provides valuable data and services for a wide array of daily applications from transport, agriculture, and crisis response to the fight against climate change, to name a few.

However, due to new challenges and increased international competition, the EU’s space policy needs to constantly evolve and adapt if we want to continue enjoying freely the benefits that space brings. Today’s initiatives will help safeguard the efficiency and security of our current assets while developing European cutting-edge space technology to the benefit of our citizens and economy.

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ICEYE Raises USD 136 Million in Series D Funding Round

HELSINKI, Finland, February 3, 2022 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, a world-leading SAR data provider and expert in NatCat solutions, today announced the closing of a $136M Series D funding round, led by long-standing investor Seraphim Space. New strategic investors to ICEYE also include BAE Systems and Kajima Ventures. In addition, Molten Ventures, OTB Ventures, True Ventures, C16 Ventures, Chione Ltd, Services Group of America, the UK’s National Security Strategic Investment Fund (NSSIF), Space Capital and Promus Ventures have also participated in the funding round. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as placement agent for the transaction.

With this latest funding round, ICEYE has raised a total of $304M in financing since 2015. ICEYE owns and operates the world’s largest constellation of SAR satellites and the company has successfully launched 16 satellite missions in total since its first-ever spacecraft was placed into orbit only four years ago.

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EU Commissioner Breton Calls for Europe to Boost Competitiveness & Security in Space

Thierry Breton (Credit: European Parliament from EU – Hearing of Commissioner-designate Thierry Breton, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84550660)

Speech by EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton at the 14th EU Space Conference

“Check against delivery”

Dear Ministers and Member State representatives,
Chère Sophie Wilmès,
Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
Dear friends from the space sector,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to open this European Space Conference. It is good to see you all in this room this morning.

Europe is a space power. It has the necessary expertise, industrial capacity, start-ups and assets to weigh in on the global stage. But there is no time for complacency.

The space sector is undergoing a massive transformation. 

On the one hand, the booming of private operators changes the business model of space, combining both large and small industry, space and digital ecosystems. This is a major opportunity for Europe. We need to unleash this potential.

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EU Space: $1 Billion CASSINI Investment Fund Launched to Spur European Competitiveness

BRUSSELS (European Commission PR) — On the 25th of January 2022 in Brussels, and in the context of the CASSINI Initiative, European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton signed a joint statement, together with Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Kris Peeters and Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund Alain Godard, officialising their joint commitment for the “Cassini Seed and Growth Funding Facility.

The objective of this €1 billion space investment fund is to attract more venture capital funds to become active investors in European small and medium size companies developing space technology and digital services using space data.

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Launch Provider Isar Aerospace Wins European Commission’s 10 Million Euros EIC Horizon Prize

Spectrum rocket (Credit Isar Aerospace)
  • Isar Aerospace wins European Commission’s EIC Horizon Prize “Low-Cost Space Launch” for its launch service solution for independent space access and receives 10 million euros
  • Isar Aerospace solidifies its position as Europe’s leading microlauncher company
  • The prize marks an important moment in Europe’s path to achieving sovereignty in space

Munich, Brussels, 25 January 2022 (Isar Aerospace PR) – Isar Aerospace, the leading European launch service provider focusing on small and medium satellite deployment, announced today that it has won the European Commission’s EIC Horizon Prize “Low-Cost Space Launch”, receiving 10 million euros in prize money. The European Commission’s award was given to Isar Aerospace for its launch service solution using ‘Spectrum’, a two-stage launch vehicle that offers flexible and cost-efficient access to space for small and medium-sized satellites and constellations and drives the quest for European sovereignty in space.

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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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Swedish Space Corporation joins European megaconstellation project UN:IO

SOLNA, Sweden (SSC PR) — Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) joins European space consortium UN:IO targeted at creating an independent European constellation of satellites for commercial and institutional communication channels. As a vital part of the infrastructure, SSC adds its significant heritage from satellite communications services as well as one of the world’s leading ground station networks. The mega constellation is set to be fully operational by 2025, supported by the European Commission who picked UN:IO out of the 10 consortia that applied.

The European Commission will support the UN:IO consortium with 1.4 MEUR for the preparations of critical infrastructure that will ensure secure broadband connectivity for mass communication and large data quantities.

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NanoAvionics and Other UN:IO Consortium Members to Start Work on EU-funded Feasibility Study to Create an Independent European Satellite Network of 400 Satellites

VILNIUS, Lithuania, 10 December 2021 (NanoAvionics PR) – Smallsat mission integrator NanoAvionics, together with other UN:IO consortium members, will start working on a feasibility study, which has been granted 1.4 million EUR (1.6 million USD) by the European Commission, to create a sovereign communications network for Europe by 2025. The consortium comprises 14 companies led by satellite manufacturer Reflex Aerospace, launch provider Isar Aerospace and laser specialist Mynaric. According to the Lithuanian mission integrator the concept will “include breakthrough technologies for small satellites”.

It’s not the first time for NanoAvionics to be involved in such R&D projects. Last year, the company was awarded a 1 million euros grant by ESA (the European Space Agency) to develop new technologies for small satellite propulsion systems, and participated in two additional ESA funded satellite technology R&D projects. And in 2019, NanoAvionics received a €10 million grant by the EU’S Horizon 2020 and ESA to develop and launch the initial stage of a Global Internet of Things (GIoT) nanosatellite constellation. It has also built satellites for several space missions that included cutting edge technology such as NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) and Los Alamos National Laboratory’s first astrophysics payload in 20 years.

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New Symphonie Consortium Wins Concept Study for European Commission to Shape Future Global Connectivity by Satellite

The European consortium led by UNSEENLABS and EUROCONSULT has won a concept study for the European Commission aiming to leverage disruptive ideas for an innovative European broadband constellation.

PARIS WASHINGTON D.C., MONTREAL, YOKOHAMA, SYDNEY, December 9th 2021 (New Symphonie PR) – New Symphonie, the recently established consortium of 22 European companies, has won the European Commission call for tenders entitled “New Space solutions for long-term availability of reliable, secure, cost-effective space-based connectivity”.

Selected for its exceptional innovation and familiarity with leading-edge technologies, the consortium led by UNSEENLABS and EUROCONSULT will be awarded a six month study contract for a total amount of 1.4m euros. Through the study, the consortium members will investigate and recommend to the European Commission the most optimal infrastructure for secure connectivity markets. The study aims at defining the secure connectivity requirements that could be addressed by a European multi-orbit satellite system to be conceptually designed with innovative technologies for an attractive business plan.  

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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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