Locate and Identify Satellites with Laser Reflectors

The innovative laser reflectors for satellites have additional optics to polarize laser beams. (Credit: DLR/Eppler)
  • The DLR Institute of Technical Physics has developed a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites.
  • Satellites equipped with the reflectors should be able to be located with centimeter precision using lasers and at the same time be clearly identified.
  • The reflectors have additional optics for polarizing the laser light for the satellite laser ranging process.
  • Focus: space travel, security

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR PR) — The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is testing a new generation of laser reflectors for satellites. Satellites equipped with it should be able to be located from Earth with lasers and identified at the same time. The special thing about the new reflectors is the adjustable polarization optics for each satellite. These individually change the properties of a reflected laser beam, which allows the satellites to be distinguished.

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UK Government Announces Package of New Measures to Drive Space Sustainability

The scales of the space debris problem (Credit: ESA)

The new measures will demonstrate the UK’s commitment, ambition and drive to improve the UK’s sustainable use of space.

  • Science Minister George Freeman announces new Plan for Space Sustainability to demonstrate UK leadership in sustainable space, in line with ambitions set out in the National Space Strategy
  • UK industry will work in partnership with government to develop a new Space Sustainability Standard, which will incentivise companies to adopt best practice
  • government will also review the regulatory framework, including exploring ways of lowering insurance costs for sustainable missions

LONDON (UK Government PR) — Science Minister George Freeman has today (Thursday 23 June) launched a new Plan for Space Sustainability, a raft of measures which will demonstrate the UK’s commitment, ambition and drive to improve the UK’s sustainable use of space.

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Inmarsat Issues Far-reaching Report to Enhance Sustainability, Reduce Satellite Debris and Strengthen Regulation in Space

Programme of action includes measures to minimise orbital collisions, reduce anti-satellite missile tests, adopt new technical standards, introduce kitemarks and to assess mega-constellations for economic benefits and sustainability commitments

LONDON (Inmarsat PR) — Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has today issued a far-reaching report on sustainability in space calling on industry operators, national governments and regulators to take coordinated action to reduce space debris, enhance safety and better manage the expansion of mega constellations in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

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Luxembourg Company Looks to Autonomy & AI to Solve Orbital Debris Problem, Create In-space Economy

Orbital debris (Credit: Luxembourg Space Agency

LMO is a young and dynamic company tackling the challenges posed by the growing space industry and in-space economy. With operations in Luxembourg and UK LMO provides Innovative Solutions for Small Satellite & In-Orbit Servicing Missions.  LMO’s core focus lies in the fields of Space Situational Awareness & Propulsion.

LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — In the last 2 years, LMO and the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) through its Computer Vision, Imaging and Machine Intelligence Research Group (CVI2), have been working together to bring computer vision-based autonomous technologies from ground up to space.

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Experts Say Urgent Action Required on Space Safety as Number of Satellites Soars and Orbital Debris Proliferates

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LONG BEACH, Calif. – Urgent action is needed to ensure that Earth orbit continues to be a safe place in which to operate. And industry must take the lead because governments are moving far too slowly to address an increasingly serious problem.

That was the consensus of the panel of experts that debated the issue during last week’s Space Tech Expo. They expressed concerns about the growing number of large satellite constellations and the enormous amount of dangerous debris already in orbit.

Josef Koller, co-founder of the Space Safety Institute, said space is now a fully international arena no longer dominated by a handful of international nations. The figures laid out by Koller and his fellow panelists demonstrated how much more crowded Earth orbit has become:

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Spire Global Reports $18 Million First Quarter Loss

  • Revenue increased to $18.1 million resulting in 86% year over year (YoY) growth
  • ARR of $81.6 million reflected $10.9 million of sequential and 134% YoY growth
  • Improved full year guidance – increased ARR low end range; lowered operating loss1
  • Reaffirmed remaining guidance

VIENNA, Va. (Spire Global PR) — Spire Global, Inc. (NYSE: SPIR) (“Spire” or “the Company”) a leading provider of space-based data, analytics and space services, today announced results for its quarter ended March 31, 2022.

“The first quarter was defined by strong execution, delivering results that exceeded our expectations on the top and bottom line. As market volatility, inflationary pressures, and supply chain constraints continue to make headlines, Spire is bringing insights to help our customers drive stability and operational efficiencies during these dynamic times,” said Peter Platzer, Spire’s CEO. “Customers recognize the value of Spire data, and we have seen them expand across our data products and up the data value chain. We look for continued growth and further customer diversity as more use cases for Spire’s data become apparent.”

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OneWeb, Astroscale, and the UK and European Space Agencies Partner to Launch Space Junk Servicer ELSA-M with €14.8 million Investment

The ELSA-M servicer will launch towards the end of 2024. The partnership is taking an important step to create a more sustainable space environment. 

United Kingdom (Astroscale PR) – OneWeb together with Astroscale Ltd.* will seek to safeguard the satellite economy with ground-breaking new spacecraft technology, thanks in part to a new investment of €14.8 million. The mission to demonstrate Astroscale’s ELSA-M servicer will launch towards the end of 2024, with ambitious plans to deliver a debris removal service to satellite operators thereafter.

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Seraphim Space Camp Launches Mission 9 for 7 Startups

LONDON (Serpahim PR) — Seraphim Space Camp is excited to announce the startups taking part in Mission 9.

Seraphim Space Camp Accelerator is the world leading VC led accelerator with a focus on SpaceTech, bringing in-depth industry expertise to get Seed and Pre-Series A SpaceTech companies “investment ready” while facilitating relationships with some of the world’s leading Space Corporates and Agencies. We are proud to report that 93% of the alumni from previous cohorts have successfully raised over $150m in total funding. Our accelerator is uniquely positioned to meet the demands of specialist startups operating in the space sector; bringing key stakeholders from the SpaceTech ecosystem together to genuinely accelerate startups.

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LeoLabs Wins Contract Award to Support Japan Air Self Defense Force with Commercial Space Domain Awareness

Agreement Delivers Industry-Leading Data and Services to Japan, including Satellite and Orbital Debris Tracking and Collision Avoidance, Powered by LeoLabs Global Network of Space Radars 

LeoLabs visualization of 19,000+ objects in LEO (Image Credit: LeoLabs, Inc.)

MENLO PARK, Calif. (LeoLabs, Inc. PR) — LeoLabs, Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of low Earth orbit (LEO) mapping and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services, today announced a multimillion-dollar award to provide data and services for the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF). The agreement offers Japan access to the largest set of actionable insights in existence for tracking satellites and orbital debris in low Earth orbit (LEO), all generated from LeoLabs’ global network of phased array radars. LeoLabs will deliver its LEO data and services platform and a full set of training to empower JASDF operators to utilize a range of data and tools, including tracking and monitoring, collision avoidance, and other services.

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NASA Funded R&D Projects Aim to Recycle Defunct Satellites, Upper Stages

Location of the 24,000 debris larger than 10 cm in low orbit in 2020. (Credits: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has decided to continue funding two research and development projects aimed at recycling the enormous amount of waste humanity has deposited in Earth orbit, including spent rocket upper stages, defunct satellites and random pieces of floating debris.

NASA is providing grants worth up to $750,000 each to CisLunar Industries USA, Inc., of Denver, Colo., and Yolo Robotics of Sacramento, Calif. to continue development work on recycling technologies. The grants are being provided under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

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Inmarsat CEO Issues Warning Over Risks to Sustainability and Innovation Posed by ‘Unmanaged Expansion’ in Space Industry

Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri

“For space to support sustainability on Earth, there needs to be sustainability in space.  And, to be blunt, we are moving in the wrong direction here.” — Rajeev Suri, CEO Inmarsat

LONDON (Inmarsat PR) — Rajeev Suri, Chief Executive Officer of Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, issued a stark warning today that unmanaged space sector expansion could exacerbate environmental damage, stifle innovation and undermine the long-term capability of satellites to help combat climate change.

Addressing the Royal Aeronautical Society’s conference ‘Towards a Space Enabled Net Zero Earth’, Mr Suri focused attention on major factors threatening long-term environmental and economic sustainability.

The Inmarsat CEO told the conference: “Space is increasingly important for the creation of a sustainable world. While the role of new players – with new investment and innovations – is to be welcomed, space is too important an asset to be driven by short-term thinking. To protect our shared future, there must be a common approach and common rules that protect the space environment too.

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NASA Administrator Statement on White House ASAT Announcement

Bill Nelson

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released this statement Tuesday following Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement the U.S. will not conduct destructive anti-satellite missile testing (ASAT):

“Fifteen years ago, China’s military littered outer space with thousands of pieces of debris from a reckless ASAT missile test. Just a few months ago, another destructive ASAT test by the Russian military threatened U.S. and European astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and Chinese taikonauts in space, as well as scientific and commercial on-orbit assets.

“There is no doubt that human spaceflight and the future of the space environment are incompatible with destructive direct-ascent ASAT missile tests. Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration’s leadership to address these threats and reduce risk is an important step forward to foster a safe, sustainable space environment – now and into the future. I encourage the world to join us in making this important commitment.”

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

U.S. Commits to Not Conduct Direct-ascent Anti-satellite Tests

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers opening remarks at the first meeting of the National Space Council, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. Chaired by Vice President Harris, the council’s role is to advise the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and ensuring the United States capitalizes on the opportunities presented by the country’s space activities. (Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

New U.S. Commitment on Destructive Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite Missile Testing

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (White House PR) — Today at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States commits not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing, and that the United States seeks to establish this as a new international norm for responsible behavior in space. The Vice President also called on other nations to make similar commitments and to work together in establishing this as a norm, making the case that such efforts benefit all nations. 

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Astroscale Struggling with Non-functional Thrusters on Orbital Debris Capture Mission

The ELSA-d satellite servicer and client launched March 2021, the team prepares to demonstrate the servicer’s technology and capability to remove the Client debris from this summer. Credit: Astroscale)

TOKYO (Astroscale PR) — Our team has made excellent progress addressing the anomalies experienced starting in January during the ELSA-d Autonomous Capture demonstration, with most issues either resolved or mitigated. However, there remains one issue that we have not been able to resolve: four of the servicer’s eight thrusters have experienced technical difficulties and are now non-functional. This has impacted our ability to perform a capture of the client as planned for in this demonstration.

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