Chinese Long March 6 Launches 13 Satellites

A Chinese Long March 6 booster launched 10 commercial Earth observation satellites for Satellogic of Argentina and three second payloads for Chinese customers on Friday.

The booster lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center at 11:19 a.m. Beijing Standard Time on Nov. 6. It was the fourth Long March 6 launch and the 351st flight of the Long March family of boosters.

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China, Russia Launch Communications & Environmental Satellites

China and Russia conducted launches on Sunday and Monday, placing five primary payloads and a group of rideshare satellites into orbit.

A Chinese Long March 4B booster lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center early Sunday morning. The three-stage rocket carried the Huanjing 2A and 2B environmental monitoring satellites into orbit.

Chinese media said the satellites will collect data for environmental protection, water conservancy, natural resources monitoring, agriculture and forestry. They will replace the Huanjing 1A and 1B environmental satellites launched in 2008.

On Monday, a Russian Soyuz rocket launched three Gonets M military communications satellites from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. The rocket also included a group of international rideshare payloads.

UrtheCast Granted Protection Order From Creditors as it Seeks to Restructure

VANCOUVER, BC, Sept. 4, 2020 (UrtheCast PR) – UrtheCast Corp. (TSX: UR) (“UrtheCast” or the “Company”) was granted an initial order (the “Initial Order”) today pursuant to the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”) by the Supreme Court of British Columbia on application by the Company seeking court protection from its creditors to allow it to pursue a restructuring of its business and property as a going concern.

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Momentus Inc. Announces Service Agreement with LunaSonde’s Gossamer

SANTA CLARA, Calif, September 10th, 2020 (Momentus PR) – Momentus (www.momentus.space), provider of in-space transportation services for satellites, and LunaSonde, a radar satellite remote sensing startup that provides subsurface imaging from space, today announced a launch service agreement to fly a demo Cubesat (Gossamer) to SSO orbit in Q1 2021, with further options to fly a constellation of 3U Cubesats to SSO in the future.

LunaSonde’s vision is to fundamentally change the way we see our planet and it’s resources. The company pioneered a technology that allows small satellites to essentially take an MRI scan of planet Earth. This technology combined with advanced algorithms enables direct imaging to identify valuable underground resources such as water, petroleum, and mineral deposits.

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China Launches Remote Sensing Satellite

TAIYUAN SATELLITE LAUNCH CENTER, China (CNSA PR) — At 13:57 on September 7, the Long March 4B carrier rocket ignited and lifted off at the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, successfully sending the Gaofen 11 02 satellite into the scheduled orbit, and the launch was a complete success.

Gaofen 11 02 is an optical remote sensing satellite with a ground pixel resolution of up to sub-meter level. It is mainly used for land surveys, urban planning, land right confirmation, road network design, crop yield estimation, disaster prevention and mitigation, etc.

At the same time, it can also provide information guarantee for the implementation of major national strategies such as the “Belt and Road” initiative and the modernization of national defense.

This mission is the 345th launch of the Long March series of carrier rockets.

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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Unlucky 13: Rocket Lab Electron Launch Fails

Electron’s second stage fires. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rocket Lab’s 13th launch of its Electron booster was unlucky today, with a failure of the second stage sending seven small satellites to burn up in the atmosphere instead of entering orbit after launch from Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

“An issue was experienced today during Rocket Lab’s launch that caused the loss of the vehicle. We are deeply sorry to the customers on board Electron. The issue occurred late in the flight during the 2nd stage burn. More information will be provided as it becomes available,” the company tweeted.

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New Funding Call for UK Earth Observation Sector

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — More than £800,000 [$983,000] is available to the UK space sector as part of European Space Agency (ESA) support for innovative commercial projects related to Earth Observation.

The programme, InCubed, aims to support industry-led initiatives that will open new market opportunities. The call will bring innovative systems and products to market faster and help Earth Observation businesses compete in the global marketplace.

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Kleos Space to Launch Development Technology in Early July

Kleos Scouting Mission (Credit: Kleos Space)

LUXEMBOURG, 26 June 2020 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX : KSS, Francfort : KS1), the Luxembourg RF Earth Observation Company, is launching new data collecting technology (software defined radio payload) integrated in an In-Space Missions (In-Space) Faraday-1 spacecraft to be launched into a sun-synchronous orbit from New Zealand by Rocket Lab in a weeks’ time as part of the Company’s R&D programme.

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Australia Provides $11 Million in Space Grants to Boost Businesses and Local Jobs

CANBERRA (Karen Andrews PR) — The Morrison Government is backing a series of projects designed to grow Australia’s space sector and create local jobs, including improving GPS technology and the design of innovative spacesuits that will make spacewalking easier.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the 10 projects sharing in $11 million [USD $7.6 million] would boost jobs and skills in the space sector, and contribute to the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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LeoStella Delivers First BlackSky Satellites from its New Production Line

TUKWILA, Wa., June 22, 2020 – LeoStella, a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturer, announced today the delivery of the first two satellites fully manufactured from its state-of-the-art production line. The satellites are the fifth and sixth of an ongoing Earth observation constellation program for the global monitoring company, BlackSky.

LeoStella’s intelligent manufacturing facility is the first of its kind and opened in 2019. The satellites were delivered to the launch facility on June 1, 2020 and have been prepared for an upcoming SpaceX launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

LeoStella’s ability to minimize costs and reduce development and manufacturing time helps meet the increasing demand for satellite constellations in a time sensitive ecosystem. 

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NASA, Partner Space Agencies to Release Global View of COVID-19 Impacts

A unique collection of data from Earth-observing spacecraft managed by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will unveil a dashboard of satellite data showing impacts on the environment and socioeconomic activity caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 25.

The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard is a tri-agency collaboration that brings together current and historical satellite observations with analytical tools to create a user-friendly information resource for the public and researchers. The dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.

The teleconference participants are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
  • Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA Earth observation programmes, Frascati, Italy
  • Koji Terada, vice president and director general for the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Shin-ichi Sobue, project manager for JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Ken Jucks, upper atmosphere research program manager at NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington
  • Marie-Helene Rio, ocean applications scientist at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation, Frascati, Italy

Members of the media and the public can also submit questions before and during the briefing via social media with the hashtag #AskNASA.

Audio of the teleconference with supporting graphics will stream live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/live

A link to the COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard along with supporting graphics for the briefing will become available at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, June 25 at:

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13647

For more information about NASA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/coronavirus

For more information on NASA’s Earth Science programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/earth

Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator Announces Class of 2020

LOS ANGELES (Techstars PR) — Today Techstars announce the 10 companies joining the second class of the Techstars Starburst Space Accelerator, typically located in Los Angeles but running virtually this summer due to COVID-19.

Over the next three months these companies will rapidly accelerate their businesses by working closely with Techstars, Starburst, our network of expert mentors, and our formal sponsors from industry and government: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lockheed Martin, Maxar Technologies, SAIC, Israel Aerospace Industries North America, and the U.S. Air Force, with support from The Aerospace Corporation. Our Demo Day is on September 9, 2020.

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Over Budget Restore-L Mission 3.5 Years From Launch

Artist’s conception of Restore-L servicing satellite with Landsat 7. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA’s $1 billion Restore-L mission to refuel the aging Landsat 7 satellite is running about $300 million over budget and almost three years behind schedule, according to a new assessment by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The project’s woes have included a shortage of both funding and skilled personnel as well as the addition of a new instrument with immature technology to the satellite servicing spacecraft.

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China Launches 4 Satellites on 2 Boosters

While the United States was focused last week on its first domestic flight of astronauts to orbit in 9 years, China was busy with a pair of launches that placed four satellites into space.

A Long March 11 booster launched the Xinjishu Shiyan-G and Xinjishu Shiyan-H technology test satellites from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Friday, May 29.

The Xinjishu Shiyan-G satellite was developed by the Shanghai Institute of Microsatellite Innovation, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The National University of Defence Technology developed the Xinjishu Shiyan-H satellite.

The satellites will test new Earth observation technology and inter-satellite communications.

On Sunday, a Long March 2D rocket launched the Gaofen-9 (02) remote sensing satellite from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia.

The microwave spacecraft is the latest in a series of high-definition Earth observation satellites. Gaofen-9 (02) will be used for a variety of civilian purposes ranging from land use and urban planning to crop estimation and disaster prevention.

The Long March 2D booster carried the HEAD-4 technology and communications satellite as a secondary payload. The spacecraft is owned by HEAD Aerospace Tech Co. Ltd. of Beijing.