T4i Won Contract from ESA for REGULUS Propulsion System Evolution

REGULOUS propulsion (Credit: T-4i)

PADUA, Italy (T4i PR) — T4i, a company providing customized and off-the-shelf propulsion systems, is entering the microsatellite market with its first propulsion system product, REGULUS. It all begun in 2006 with the initial thruster development at the University of Padua.

Passing through the years the first thruster version was miniaturized and then surrounded by all the other subsystems to get a complete propulsion unit. Today REGULUS is almost ready to be integrated in UNISAT-7 for its first launch in space in October.

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Astranis Announces Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin as Key Advisor, Clears Critical Design Review for Alaska Satellite

Dan Goldin

SAN FRANCISCO (Astranis PR)–Microsatellite developer Astranis announced today that former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin will be joining as a senior advisor to the company and chairing its new Technical Advisory Board.

In addition, the company is announcing the completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) for their first commercial program, a satellite for Pacific Dataport Inc. in Alaska. The CDR was completed under the supervision of Goldin with the participation of some of the space industry’s most experienced technical minds.

Administrator Goldin was the longest-serving NASA Administrator in NASA’s storied history, serving under Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. During his tenure he oversaw the Mars Pathfinder and the use of a “contact lens” to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. He personally developed the conceptual design of the James Webb Space Telescope, and oversaw the design, development, and initial deployment of the International Space Station. “I am joining Astranis because this is a transformational approach to satellite telecommunications,” said Goldin.

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Arianespace Gives a Lift to the Smallsat Market with Vega’s SSMS Debut

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying CubeSats and microsatellites on a flight to validate Europe’s innovative Small Spacecraft Mission Service. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — Arianespace has realised the first European “rideshare” mission for small satellites, with 53 satellites onboard the Vega launcher for 21 customers.

With this new SSMS (Small Spacecraft Mission Service) shared launch concept, Arianespace demonstrates its ability to respond – in an innovative and competitive manner – to institutional and commercial requirements of the growing market for small satellites.

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What’s On Board Vega Booster

The European Vega rocket that launched this evening was carrying 53 satellites on its first rideshare mission as part of the Small Spacecraft Mission Service Proof of Concept Flight.

The payloads included 14 Flock 4V Earth imaging satellites from Planet, 12 SpaceBEE Internet of Things spacecraft from Swarm Technologies, and 8 maritime monitoring satellites from Spire.

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Vega, Falcon 9 Rockets Set to Orbit More than 100 Satellites

Vega begins its ascent from the Spaceport in French Guiana, carrying Italy’s PRISMA Earth observation satellite on the third Arianespace mission of 2019. (Credit: Arianespace)

Arianespace’s Vega and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets are set to launch a combined 113 satellites this week.

Vega is scheduled for launch on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 9:51:10 p.m. EDT (01:51:10 a.m. UTC on Sept. 2) from Kourou, French Guiana. You can view the launch on Arianespace’s YouTube channel.

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Exolaunch & Glavkosmos Announce Soyuz Launch Campaign for 15 Small Satellites

Rideshare mission (Credit: Exolaunch)

Exolaunch’s small satellite cluster of 15 microsatellites and cubesats ,“Wanderlust, Desire To Travel”, will launch on Soyuz as soon as September 2020.

Berlin, August 17th, 2020 – Exolaunch, a Berlin-based rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, and Glavkosmos, a single operator of foreign commercial activities of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos, have initiated a launch campaign for 15 international small satellites onboard a Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage. As soon as September 2020, Soyuz-2 will deliver a cluster of small satellites into orbit as rideshare payloads on a Roscosmos mission.

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Video: LuxSpace CEO Discusses ESAIL Microsat Mission

Video Caption: LuxSpace CEO, Jochen Harms, on putting the ESAIL microsatellite into orbit. ESAIL is part of ESA’s Partnership Projects and has been developed to enhance the next generation of space‐based services for the maritime sector. The spacecraft will track ship movements over the entire globe as it orbits the planet.

Space BD to Provide Small Satellite Deployment Service from ISS for Myanmar’s Sirst Micro-satellite

TOKYO (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading  space startup in Japan that provides access to  space  using the International Space Station Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3,” announced that it has been selected by Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, and the Myanmar Aerospace and Engineering University as the satellite deployment service provider for the Micro-satellite development project of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

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53 Smallsats Integrated for Vega’s First Rideshare Mission

Shown during the SSMS payload integration process for Arianespace’s Flight VV16 is the ION CubeSat carrier – a platform that will deploy 12 CubeSats after being placed in orbit by the Vega launcher. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — The 53 satellite passengers for Arianespace’s rideshare flight with its Vega light-lift launcher have been integrated at the Spaceport in French Guiana, marking a key milestone in preparation for the June 18 Proof of Concept mission with Europe’s Small Spacecraft Mission Service (SSMS).

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ESAIL Maritime Satellite Ready for Launch

The ESAIL satellite prior to encapsulation. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (ESA PR) — The ESAIL microsatellite for tracking ships worldwide – developed under an ESA Partnership Project – has completed its accommodation on Vega’s new dispenser for small satellites and is ready for launch. 

The Vega launch campaign at Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, resumed three weeks ago, following an interruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Space BD Completes Installation of SATLANTIS’ iSIM on ISS Kibo External Platform

Tokyo (Space BD PR) — Space BD Inc., the leading space startup in Japan that provides access to space using the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” and rideshares on Japan’s flagship launch vehicle “H3”, announces that it successfully completed the installation process of SATLANTIS MICROSAT S.L.’s Integrated Standard Imager for Microsatellites (iSIM) on IVA-Replaceable Small Exposed Experiment Platform (i-SEEP), the external platform attached outside of Kibo.

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Loft Orbital Awards Contract to Exolaunch to Launch YAM-3 Microsat on Falcon 9

BERLIN, June 10th, 2020 (Exolaunch PR) – Exolaunch, the leading rideshare launch and deployment solutions provider, has announced a Launch Services Agreement with Loft Orbital, a San Francisco-based company, to deliver Loft Orbital’s YAM microsatellite into sun-synchronous orbit on Falcon 9.

Under the contract, Exolaunch will deliver mission management, deployment and integration services to Loft Orbital, who operates microsatellites and flies customers’ payloads as a service. The launch is targeted for December 2020 and is part of SpaceX’s SmallSat Rideshare Program.

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JAXA Selects 15 Innovative Micro Satellite Demonstration Projects

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has established a basic mission that uses micro satellites as part of the “environmental maintenance for stable supply of core parts of space systems” shown in the Basic Space Plan.

We are advancing the “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Program” with the aim of conducting on-orbit verification of parts and new elemental technology in a timely and inexpensive manner.

We would like to inform you that we are soliciting demonstration themes for “Innovative Satellite Technology Demonstration Unit 3” and selected the demonstration themes (15 in total) from the 23 themes that we applied for, as shown below.

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Germany Invests 3.3 Billion Euros in European Space Exploration, Becomes ESA’s Largest Contributor

  • Three years after the last ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level, held in Lucerne, Switzerland, government representatives from the 22 Member States met in Seville, Spain, on 27 and 28 November 2019 and committed a total of almost 14.4 billion euro [$15.87 billion] for space programmes over the next few years.
  • Germany is contributing 3.3 billion euro [$3.6 billion] to ESA programmes focusing on Earth observation, telecommunications, technological advancement and commercialisation / NewSpace.
  • At 22.9 percent, Germany is now ESA’s largest contributor, followed by France (18.5 percent, 2.66 billion euro), Italy (15.9 percent, 2.28 billion euro) and the United Kingdom (11.5 percent, 1.65 billion euro).
  • The ESA Council Meeting at Ministerial Level is the highest political decision-making body, and it defines the content and financial framework for ESA’s space programmes every two to three years.
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Loft Orbital Raises $13 Million for “Satellite as a Service” Operation

A Loft Orbital-owned and -operated microsatellite, flying multiple customer payloads onboard as a service. (Credit: Loft Orbital Solutions Inc.)

Loft Orbital has raised a $13 million Series A round led by Foundation Capital.

The San Francisco-based company provides end-to-end service by integrating payloads onto standard microsat buses. Loft Orbital also manages the launch and operations of the satellites.

“Loft’s basic value proposition is twofold. First, for customers who don’t have space-industry expertise but want the benefits of sensing and communications from space, Loft provides white-glove service,” Foundation Capital General Partner Steve Vassallo wrote in a blog post.

“Customers in this category include new commercial players in the space industry and foreign governments that don’t have their own space programs,” he added. “Second, as Loft aggregates the sensors into one satellite and books the launches from all over the world with backup launches, not only is the cost much lower for each customer, speed to orbit is also much faster.”

Vassallo said the company is targeting the fast-growing 75-100 kg (166- 220 lb) microsat market segment. “The market for this microsatellite category is $12 billion at the moment and expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025,” he wrote.

Loft Orbital was founded by three veterans of Spire Global — Antoine De Chassy, Pierre-Damien Vaujour, and Alex Greenberg.