UrtheCast Signs $100 Million CAD Contract for SAR Satellite

VANCOUVER, Aug. 14, 2017 (UrtheCast PR) — UrtheCast Corp. (TSX:UR) (the “Company”) announced today that it has entered into a contract with a confidential customer for the development and delivery of a dual-frequency stand-alone Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) operational-class satellite as an “accelerator” for the OptiSARTM Constellation.

The exact amount of the contract is not being disclosed at this time for confidentiality and competitive reasons, but the Company can confirm that it is a substantial contract worth in excess of one hundred million Canadian dollars.

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Orbital ATK Conducts PDR on Landsat 9

DULLES, Va., 8 August 2017 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, is making excellent progress on the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Landsat 9 spacecraft less than a year after winning the contract award in October 2016. Landsat 9, an advanced land surface mapping satellite, will collect space-based images and data that serve as valuable resources for researchers in areas that include agriculture, land use mapping, emergency response and disaster relief. Orbital ATK is designing and manufacturing the satellite, integrating two government-furnished instruments, and supporting launch, early orbit operations and on-orbit check-out of the observatory.

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Russia & China to Increase Space Cooperation

Tass reports that Russia and China plan to sign a cooperative agreement in the fall outlining increased cooperation across a range of space areas. Russia and China are also working to deepen cooperation with the BRICS nations, which include Brazil, India and South Africa.

As Glavkosmos explained, cooperation with Chinese partners envisages the following areas: the exploration of the Moon and outer space, space vehicles and ground infrastructure, hardware components and materials, the Earth’s remote sensing data.

Glavkosmos is also working with Chinese commercial partners on the issue of holding experiments aboard the International Space Station and providing the data of the Earth’s remote sensing from Russian satellites, the company said….

Specifically, Glavkosmos is holding preparations in Brazil for a tender for the delivery of space images to that country.

It was reported earlier that China was interested in buying the world’s most powerful Russian-made RD rocket engines produced by Energomash while Russian Space Systems showed interest in Chinese electronic components.

Russia and China are also working on making their GLONASS and BeiDou navigation satellite systems mutually complement each other and on installing adjusting ground-based stations on the territory of each other.

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Vega Orbits OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs Satellites

Veta lifts off with OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs aboard. (Credit: Arianespace)

KOUROU, French Guiana (Arianespace PR) — For the second time this year – and the 10th overall since entering service in 2012 – Vega has successfully launched a payload from the Spaceport, with this lightweight vehicle’s latest mission delivering the OPTSAT-3000 and Venµs Earth observation satellites to Sun-synchronous orbits.

Lifting off from the Spaceport’s SLV launch complex at precisely 10:58:33 p.m. French Guiana time on August 1, Vega lofted its multi-passenger payload during a flight sequence lasting 1 hour, 37 minutes.
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DigitalGlobe Shareholders Approve Merger with MDA

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (DigitalGlobe PR) — DigitalGlobe, Inc. (“DigitalGlobe”) (NYSE: DGI), the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet, today announced its preliminary results that its shareowners overwhelmingly voted to approve the Company’s proposed merger with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA”) (TSX: MDA) at a special meeting of DigitalGlobe shareowners held today.

Approximately 93 percent of the shares represented and voting at the meeting voted in favor of the merger. More than 53 million, 81 percent, of DigitalGlobe’s outstanding shares were voted at the meeting. Final results of the vote will be reported in a Form 8-K as required by applicable SEC rules.

“We are pleased with the strong support we received from shareowners for the merger of DigitalGlobe and MDA,” said Jeffrey R. Tarr, DigitalGlobe CEO. “This marks an important milestone in bringing together our two companies. Upon completion, this combination will expand our capabilities, increase our scale and diversify our revenue, creating powerful solutions for customers, greater value for shareowners and new opportunities for team members.”

MDA separately announced today that its shareowners also overwhelmingly voted to approve the issuance of MDA common shares to the holders of DigitalGlobe stock and certain equity awards in connection with the merger at a special meeting of MDA shareholders.

As previously announced, the transaction is expected to close in or shortly after the third quarter of 2017, subject to approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) and other customary approvals and closing conditions.

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NGA Awards Contract to Planet for Imagery

SPRINGFIELD, Va.(NGA PR) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency announced today a $14 million, one-year subscription to Planet, a commercial imagery provider.

The purchase takes advantage of the new NGA and General Services Administration (GSA) partnership for Earth Observation Solutions that can be acquired via GSA schedules. The subscription, made through Planet’s GSA Information Technology Schedule Contract (GS-35F-309GA), enables the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community to access Planet’s imagery of over 25 select regions of interest, ranging from portions of the Middle-East, Asia, and Africa to Central and South America.

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Space Systems Loral to Provide Satellite Constellation for DigitalGlobe

PALO ALTO, Calif. (SSL PR) MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (“MDA” or the “Company”) (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that its subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL) was selected to provide a next-generation satellite constellation for high-resolution Earth imaging to DigitalGlobe, the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet. Called WorldView Legion, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will more than double DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution capacity in important regions. The contract is valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars..

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Smith Introduces American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017

Lamar Smith

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017.

The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 simplifies and strengthens the outdated space-based remote sensing regulatory system. At the same time, this bill enhances U.S. compliance with international obligations, improves national security and removes regulatory barriers facing new and innovative space companies.

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EagleView Imagery Company Acquires OmniEarth

BOTHELL, WA (EagleView PR) – EagleView®, the leading provider of aerial imagery and data analytics for government and commercial industries, is proud to announce the acquisition of OmniEarth, developer of machine learning technologies and decision-making tools for the water resource management, energy and insurance markets. With this acquisition, EagleView gains OmniEarth’s machine learning capabilities, resulting in higher accuracy and precision of existing automated datasets.

OmniEarth’s ability to extract data from geospatial imagery will enhance EagleView’s property reports and Pictometry® imagery classification of land areas such as impervious surfaces or irrigated farmland. It will also better identify roof shape and condition, tree overhang, decks, pools and other notable property features.

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NIAC Projects Target Mars, Venus & Pluto

Pluto Hop, Skip, and Jump mission. (Credit: Benjamin Goldman)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

An airship for Mars, two spacecraft capable of exploring the hellish environment of Venus, and a fusion-powered orbiter and lander for Pluto are three of the planetary-related research projects recently funded by theNASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program.

In all, NIAC funded eight advanced projects focused on Mars, Venus and Pluto in its latest annual funding round. The space agency also funded two proposals aimed at identifying and extracting resources on planets, moons and asteroids.
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Report: Apple Hires Google Satellite Execs, Eyes Boeing Broadband Constellation

Credit: The Boeing Company

Bloomberg has an intriguing report about Apple, Boeing and te emerging battle to provide global broadband services via constellations of satellites.

The iPhone maker has recruited a pair of top Google satellite executives for a new hardware team, according to people familiar with the matter. John Fenwick, who led Google’s spacecraft operations, and Michael Trela, head of satellite engineering, left Alphabet Inc.’s Google for Apple in recent weeks, the people said. They report to Greg Duffy, co-founder of camera maker Dropcam, who joined Apple earlier this year, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about Apple’s private plans. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment, as did Google. Fenwick, Trela and Duffy didn’t respond to requests for comment….

In a regulatory filing last year, Boeing Co. detailed a plan to provide broadband access through more than 1,000 satellites in low-earth orbit. The aerospace company has talked with Apple about the technology company being an investor-partner in the project, a person familiar with the situation said. It’s unclear if those talks will result in a deal….

Still, TMF’s Farrar said there’s no guarantee Apple will get involved in the Boeing project. The satellite industry is littered with bankruptcies and other failures. Satellite telephone company Iridium LLC filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999, and Teledesic abandoned its “internet from the sky” plan more than a decade ago.

Indeed, Apple may have hired the Google executives for something other than satellite work. It’s already trying to use drones to capture and update map information faster than its existing fleet of camera-and-sensor ladened minivans. And in 2015, it acquired Aether Industries LLC, which develops near-space technology such as high bandwidth radio transceivers and high-altitude balloons.

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Spaceflight Industries Reveals BlackSky Spectra

Image from BlackSky Spectra, displaying visible, SAR, and IR data over Panama City and the Miraflores Locks. (Images from Airbus Pléiades, Airbus TerraSAR-X, and USGS Landsat; some of the bans are IR, some are visible), respectively. (Credit: Spaceflight Industries)

Airbus’s Pléiades, SPOT6/7, KazEOSat-1, and TerraSAR-X Join Growing Satellite Imagery Service

SEATTLE, April 5, 2017 (Spaceflight Industries PR) – Spaceflight Industries today revealed BlackSky Spectra, its on-demand satellite imagery service which enables customers to discover archive images and task new images from 13 high-resolution imaging spacecraft, all from one convenient web platform. BlackSky Spectra enables customers to easily look at the planet across every spectrum, from visual imagery to multi-spectral data including synthetic aperture radar (SAR), hyperspectral data, and radio frequency detection, which provides a more comprehensive view of the changing world.

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Bird.i Partners with DigitalGlobe on High-Resolution Satellite Images

Credit: Bird.i

GLASGOW, UK (Bird.i PR) — Bird.i, the premiere global platform for accessing the world’s best satellite, airborne and drone imagery, has today announced that it has signed a partnership agreement with leading high-resolution satellite imagery leader DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI).

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EOS Launches Land Viewer

MENLO PARK, Calif. (EOS PR) — Data scientists, GIS engineers and software developers from California-based company EOS have recently launched a cutting-edge cloud-based tool that allows users, journalists, researchers and students to easily search and analyze huge amounts of the most up-to-date earth observation data.

Land Viewer is an on-the-fly, real-time imagery processing and analytics service, which provides:

  • instant access to petabytes of new and archive data;
  • the ability to find geospatial images on any scale in 2 clicks by selecting the required territory on the map or by location name;
  • on-the-fly imagery analytics, with the option to download any images required for business purposes.

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Canadian Government Invests US$13 Million in UrtheCast

VANCOUVER, BC, March 14, 2017 (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada PR) — A Vancouver-based company will develop new technologies that will provide its clients with highly detailed images of the planet as a result of a $17.6-million (US$13.06 million) investment by the Government of Canada.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced this investment in UrtheCast Corp., a leading developer of space and ground-based satellite technology.

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