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.

Nobel-winning Lithium-ion Batteries Powering Space

ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet put his battery-powered spacesuit to the ultimate test on Earth at NASA’s Johnson Space Center: all the air was pumped out from the Space Station Airlock Test Article to create a vacuum like he would encounter in outer space. (Credit: NASA–Bill Stafford)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s space power experts congratulate the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry, for their invention of lithium-ion batteries. These energy-dense, long-lasting and rechargeable batteries have revolutionised the modern world, found in everything from smartphones to laptops to cars. They have had the same revolutionary effect in space.

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EOS to create “EOS SAR” Radar Microsat Constellation

MENLO PARK, Calif. (EOS Data Analytics PR) — US-based EOS Data Analytics Inc. (EOS), a space portfolio company of Noosphere Ventures, today unveiled EOS SAR – a project to develop its own synthetic aperture radar (SAR) sensors intended for deployment in a constellation of microsatellites.

EOS SAR has been in stealth mode for over two years. EOS has more than 5 years of experience in developing data analytics products and cloud services for optical and SAR data from satellites. Over the years the company has developed an in-depth understanding of commercial and government remote sensing markets, which informed the decision to create its own SAR satellite constellation. 

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China Launch Surge Left U.S., Russia Behind in 2018

Long March 2F rocket in flight carrying Shenzhou-11. (Credit: CCTV)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The year 2018 was the busiest one for launches in decades. There were a total of 111 completely successful launches out of 114 attempts. It was the highest total since 1990, when 124 launches were conducted.

China set a new record for launches in 2018. The nation launched 39 times with 38 successes in a year that saw a private Chinese company fail in the country’s first ever orbital launch attempt.

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ICEYE Releases World-First Under 1-Meter Resolution Radar Imagery from SAR Microsatellites

ICEYE radar satellite imagery that has been acquired and processed at 0.5-meter ground sample distance, featuring a port container terminal near Port Harcourt, Nigeria. (Credit: ICEYE)

HELSINKI, August 9, 2019 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology, is the first in the world to achieve better-than 1 meter resolution imagery from under-100kg (220 pounds) SAR satellites.

The new Spotlight imaging capability builds on ICEYE’s legacy of leading the way on small satellite SAR since its history-making first small SAR satellite launch in January 2018. Since then the company has continued to launch more satellites, latest in July 2019 with two new units. With new satellites being launched still during 2019, ICEYE continues to develop and optimize its imaging capabilities further for customers in both commercial and government segments.

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Vector’s GalacticSky GSky-1 Satellite Ready for Launch Later This Year

GalacticSky GSky-1 satellite.(Credit: Vector)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (Vector PR) Vector, the space access company, today announced its GalacticSky division, which has been in stealth mode since 2016. Led by veterans from VMWare and Citrix, as well as satellite innovators, GalacticSky has achieved a major milestone on its path to launch its first GalacticSky software-defined satellite, GSky-1.

GSky-1 successfully completed integration at the University of Southern California’s Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and will validate GalacticSky’s mission to enable innovators to easily and effectively deploy space application technology in space.

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LuxSpace Entering Next Phase with Triton-X Microsat

Betzdorf, Luxembourg, January 9, 2019 (OHB PR) — LuxSpace, a subsidiary of the space and technology group OHB SE, is taking its Triton-X microsatellite platform to the next level. Over the last 12 months it has been designing the architecture for Triton-X, a next generation multi-mission microsatellite designed to enable affordable regional and global LEO constellations. Now work on the hardware is beginning in conjunction with three partner companies.

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