UK Government Backs Space Technology to Tackle Climate Change

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Trailblazing technology that will help tackle climate change and predict global disasters using satellites is receiving new funding from the UK Space Agency.

Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of just under £7 million of government funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation. The majority of the projects focus on climate change or environmental management, with others designed to secure our telecommunication systems and protect digital infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

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Capella Space To Become First Commercial SAR Company to Demonstrate Compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency’s National Defense Space Architecture

Capella satellites will use laser communications from Mynaric to  rapidly send and receive data

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2021 (Capella Space PR) — Capella Space today announced the company will become the first commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) supplier to demonstrate Optical Inter-Satellite Link (OISL) compatibility with the U.S. Space Development Agency (SDA)’s new NDSA. SAR data is a highly valuable asset for the SDA and the U.S. Department of Defense. The next generation of Capella’s persistent SAR monitoring capabilities will leverage new technology that enables high delivery speeds and direct access to its 24/7 all-weather data for U.S. Government customers.

Capella Space will install optical communications terminals (OCTs) on its commercial SAR satellites, starting in late 2022. This will enable the company to utilize highly efficient laser communications technology to send and receive data to and from its satellites in low Earth orbit, relaying data to compatibly equipped government satellites and military operations on the ground. The integration of OCTs onto Capella’s SAR constellation will drastically reduce latency from image collect to download and ensure spaceborne data is quickly available to inform critical decision-making for terrestrial missions.

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ESA Helps Start-ups Reach for the Stars

PARIS (ESA PR) — Four entrepreneurial small companies have won the chance to learn from senior figures at ESA and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, following an ESA-backed competition.

ESA is boosting the commercialisation of space by helping entrepreneurs to gain access to large manufacturers and to share expertise.

Representatives from nine start-up companies pitched their space-based ideas to the manufacturer during a recent event. They received one-to-one expert feedback on becoming a partner, supplier or client to Thales Alenia Space.

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Mynaric Selected by Northrop Grumman as Strategic Supplier for Laser Communication

LOS ANGELES, 1 November 2021 (Mynaric PR) – Mynaric has signed a multi-year, strategic agreement with Northrop Grumman that identifies the company as a strategic supplier for laser communications in the space domain.

“The U.S. government is the driving force to deploy laser communication capabilities in space,” said Bulent Altan, CEO of Mynaric. “We are happy to have been selected as a strategic supplier by Northrop Grumman to pursue ongoing and upcoming programs in this important market segment and look forward to jointly providing secure and broadband communication to serve the U.S. government’s needs for distributed communication architectures.”

Earlier this year Mynaric submitted bids with a combined value in the mid-double digit million USD range to Northrop Grumman in the framework of multiple government space programs that are still pending contract awards by the U.S. government. Separately, Northrop Grumman will issue a purchase order for a set of CONDOR Mk3 terminals to kick-start the new relationship.

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Mynaric Adds Space Industry Leader Hans Koenigsmann to Supervisory Board

Longtime SpaceX Vice President nominated by supervisory board to replace resigning supervisory board member

LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 6, 2021 – Mynaric today announced that space industry leader Hans Koenigsmann was nominated to join its supervisory board. Koenigsmann was nominated by the supervisory board to replace resigning supervisory board member Gerd Gruppe, a former Executive board member of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), contingent on court approval. Mynaric wins Koenigsmann for his first advisory role outside of SpaceX where he acted in various high-profile leadership roles during a 20-year tenure

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SpaceX Launches 51 Laser-equipped Starlink Satellites From Vandenberg

Falcon 9 with 51 Starlink satellites aboard streaks across the sky over the Pacific Ocean. (Credit: SpaceX webcast)

SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with 51 Starlink advanced broadband satellites from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday night. The booster launched at 8:55 p.m. PDT, streaking southward across the nighttime sky.

The Starlink satellites are the first to be equipped with laser links to speed communications for SpaceX’s broadband service.

The booster’s first stage, which flew for the 10th time, landed on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship in the Pacific Ocean. The stage had previously flown on the Telstar 18 VANTAGE, Iridium-8, and seven Starlink missions.

One half of Falcon 9’s fairing halves previously supported NROL-108 and the other previously flew on GPS III-3 and Turksat-5A.

Mynaric Signs Multi-Million Dollar Deal with SpaceLink

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 12, 2021 (Mynaric PR) — Mynaric and SpaceLink today announced the signature of a definitive agreement on the sale of optical inter-satellite link (OISL) terminals for satellites in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) with a total order volume of up to $28 million depending on exercised options and SpaceLink’s satellite prime selection. Mynaric expects to ship SpaceLink’s first units during the first quarter of 2023. The deal includes mutually agreed upon milestone payments leading up to initial delivery.

“The final details of this agreement are just the beginning of a strategic partnership designed to bring fast, highly secure and continuous communications between spacecraft and the ground. Our industrialized approach to production will allow us to meet the expanded needs as SpaceLink’s constellation grows,” said Tina Ghataore, President, Mynaric USA and Chief Commercial Officer, Mynaric.

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D-Orbit and Stellar Project Sign Hosted Payload Agreement

D-Orbit hosted Stellar Project’s LaserCube payload onboard ION Satellite Carrier’s third orbital transportation mission.

FINO MORNASCO, Italy (D-Orbit PR) — Space logistics company D-Orbit signed a launch service contract with Stellar Project, Italian satellite component developer and manufacturer, for the launch and operations of Stellar Project’s LaserCube payload on D-Orbit’s upcoming ION Satellite Carrier’s mission.

Stellar Project’s LaserCube is a patented miniature low power high performance laser communication terminal specifically designed for small satellites including CubeSats. With its independent pointing capability which allows throughput performance more than 10 times higher than traditional radio devices, it will enable innovative business opportunities in fields like Earth imagery, weather forecasting, global telecommunications, and internet services.

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Space Development Agency Successfully Launches First Missions

WASHINGTON (SDA PR) — The Space Development Agency today announced the successful launch of its first two satellite missions, Mandrake II and Laser Interconnect Networking Communications System (LINCS) and the Prototype On-orbit Experimental Testbed (POET) payload, on June 30 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.

The launch, supported by SpaceX’s Transporter 2, an all-rideshare Falcon 9 mission, carried aboard SDA’s first two sets of experimental satellites, designed and built with government and industry partners, to gather data on optical communication terminal (OCT) performance in low-Earth orbit (LEO), along with the POET payload to demonstrate on-orbit data fusion, proving out core capabilities required for SDA’s future development efforts.

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European System Speeds Data Flow with 50,000 Links

EDRS-A in geostationary orbit (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Valuable data is flowing rapidly from Earth observing satellites back to the planet, thanks to the most sophisticated laser communication network ever built.

Day-and-night radar images and multispectral high-resolution images of vegetation, soil and water cover, inland waterways and coastal areas – as well as information for emergency services – are arriving back at Earth in almost real time.

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With a Bit of NASA Help, Industry Looks to Laser Communications

The infrared light used for laser communications differs from radio waves because the infrared light packs the data into significantly tighter waves, meaning ground stations can receive more data at once. While laser communications aren’t necessarily faster, more data can be transmitted in one downlink. (Credits: NASA)

By Andrew Wagner
NASA’s Spinoff Publication

Visible light has been used to communicate for centuries: lanterns on ships and Morse code flashes allowed information to be conveyed at a distance. But now there’s a better way to use light to communicate over even further distances and with far more accuracy – lasers.

Launching in 2021, NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD) is going to geostationary orbit, where it’ll communicate with the ground at gigabit speeds. It’s the agency’s latest step to get more data from space per downlink.

NASA has also partnered with companies to improve the technology needed to make laser communications work, and one of these companies is building off that partnership to help customers get the data they need.

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General Atomics Partners with Space Development Agency to Conduct Space-to-Air Optical Communication Experiment

Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System (LINCS) CubeSats. (Credit: General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

SAN DIEGO, 02 JUNE 2021 (GA-EMS PR) – General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it was awarded a contract by the Space Development Agency to demonstrate space-to-air optical communication using GA-EMS’ Laser Interconnect and Networking Communication System (LINCS) and a General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) MQ-9 Reaper®. This contract is in conjunction with an upcoming experiment where GA-EMS and SDA are partnering to launch the LINCS system and conduct a series of experiments demonstrating space-based optical communication starting later this summer.

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NASA Space Operations Budget Request Fact Sheet

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle begins its separation from the station after undocking from the Harmony module’s international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA FACT SHEET
FY 2022 Budget Request
Space Operations
($ Millions)

The FY 2022 Budget for the Space Operations account consists of four areas: International Space Station (ISS), Space Transportation, Space and Flight Support (SFS), and Commercial LEO Development.

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Partnership Accelerates the Deployment of Optical Inter-Satellite Link Terminals in MEO

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 12, 2021 (Mynaric PR) – Mynaric and SpaceLink today agreed on the framework of a partnership to expand Mynaric’s laser communication product portfolio for use in SpaceLink’s data relay network. The strategic relationship will help drive forward the SpaceLink satellite relay service, which provides secure, continuous, high-capacity communications between low Earth orbit (LEO) spacecraft and the ground.

The companies will work together to expand Mynaric’s product portfolio with an optical inter-satellite link (OISL) terminal for satellites in medium Earth orbit (MEO), where the SpaceLink constellation will operate. The new terminal will also be compatible with the Space Development Agency (SDA) Transport Layer.

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