Space-enabled Big Data Reveals the Bigger Picture

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Morbihan – a French department in the south of Brittany. Zoom in to see this image at its full 10 m resolution or click on the circles to learn more about the features in it. (Credit: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO)

PARIS (ESA PR) — How the world is responding to life under the coronavirus pandemic is being illuminated by real-time economic indicators informed by data from space.

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ESA Helps Greece to Boost its Space Investments

PARIS (ESA PR) — Ambitious plans to expand the nascent space industry in Greece – enabling the digital transformation of society while creating jobs and generating prosperity – have received a fillip from ESA.

On 26 November, the Ministry of Digital Governance in Greece announced the implementation path to materialise its Greek National Satellite Space Project, with the technical support of ESA.

The project is part of the nation’s Recovery and Resilience Facility plans, which aim to enhance Greece’s capabilities in satellite technologies and applications, and to empower the country to exchange satellite data.

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Hydrosat Raises $10 Million Seed Round to Assess Climate Change From Space

Funding led by OTB Ventures for thermal infrared satellite constellation

WASHINGTON (Hydrosat PR) — Hydrosat, the geospatial data and analytics company, announces a new Seed Round raising $10M to create its thermal infrared satellite constellation. Today’s funding brings Hydrosat’s total capital raised to over $15M. The oversubscribed venture round was led by OTB Ventures, a leading European venture firm with a dedicated space investment vehicle, OTB Space Program I. Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, and Expon Capital also participated in the round.

Hydrosat began as a satellite company monitoring the water cycle to rapidly detect environmental stress brought about by climate change. Recent climate disasters, ranging from drought on the West Coast to flash floods on the East Coast of the United States, illustrates the growing importance of this technology as the world’s major governments meet this month for the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference.

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NASA Taps BlackSky for Rapid Revisit Satellite Imaging Data

BlackSky to bring smallsat imagery for NASA-funded Earth and applied science research

HERNDON, Va., November 12, 2021 (BlackSky PR) — BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) secured a five-year, sole-source blanket purchase agreement by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide high revisit satellite imaging data in support of the agency’s existing Earth observation research to advance predictive capabilities.

“This award reflects yet another valuable point of alignment between government demand and BlackSky’s commercially available real-time, global intelligence products,” said Brian E. O’Toole, CEO of BlackSky. “Helping NASA-backed researchers broaden their understanding around critical changes in the Earth’s ecosystems, oceanography, geographic and polar sciences is vitally important.”

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BlackSky Reports Net Loss of $46.9 Million

3rd Quarter Revenue Up Over 49% YoY
On a Year to Date Basis, Total Revenue up over 53%

HERNDON, Va., November 12, 2021 (BlackSky PR) — BlackSky Technology Inc. (“BlackSky” or the “Company”) (NYSE: BKSY), a leading technology platform providing real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring, today announced its results for the third quarter of 2021.

Key points from the third quarter include:

  • Revenue of $7.9 million, up 49% from 3Q 2020
  • Net loss of $46.9 million or a loss of $0.67 per diluted share
  • Adjusted EBITDA loss of $16.2 million
  • Cash balance at the end of 3Q 2021 was $198 million
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UK Government Backs Space Technology to Tackle Climate Change

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — Trailblazing technology that will help tackle climate change and predict global disasters using satellites is receiving new funding from the UK Space Agency.

Eleven UK organisations have been awarded a share of just under £7 million of government funding to put into action the latest advances in space innovation. The majority of the projects focus on climate change or environmental management, with others designed to secure our telecommunication systems and protect digital infrastructure against cyber-attacks.

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Planet To Acquire VanderSat To Deliver Advanced Agriculture Data Products To Customers

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet Labs PR) — We are excited to announce that Planet has entered into an agreement to acquire VanderSat, a leading provider of advanced earth data and analytics. Vandersat’s innovative products help customers better measure and understand water management and crop health in major markets. Planet intends to leverage VanderSat’s technologies and products in further pursuit of bringing to market next-generation solutions that combine the best of commercial and public satellite data to provide clear and actionable information to help industries, non-profits, and governments around the world.

VanderSat has world-class expertise in providing insights to customers by drawing from NASA, ESA and JAXA satellite data, and has built a suite of novel products that report on key conditions on the Earth’s surface, like soil moisture, land surface temperature, vegetation optical depth, and biomass. VanderSat’s unique algorithms deliver daily, global data products with great accuracy, unhindered by changing cloud-cover and atmospheric conditions. 

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Satellogic Partners with GeoTerraImage to Provide High-Resolution Satellite Imagery to African Space Industry

CHARLOTTE, N.C., August 12, 2021 (Satellogic PR)–Satellogic, the leader in sub-meter resolution satellite imagery collection, today announced a new partnership with GeoTerraImage, the premier geospatial solutions provider in southern Africa. GeoTerraImage will leverage Satellogic’s high-resolution multispectral satellite data and low-latency hyperspectral data for large-scale agriculture management to help the continent develop new food systems and food-security solutions.

GeoTerraImage is a trusted solutions provider for customers across Africa and globally. By leveraging Satellogic’s high-resolution, high-frequency geospatial data and combining it with their proprietary software and algorithms, GeoTerraImage will bring differentiated and value-added products and services to their end customers. Imagery from Satellogic’s growing constellation will fuel new agricultural analysis and dashboards to be utilized by organizations across the continent and beyond.

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Long March 6 Launches 9 Satellites into Orbit

Long March 6 lifts off from Taiyuan on April 27, 2021. (Credit: CASC)

A Chinese Long March 6 booster launched nine satellites from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on Tuesday at 11:20 a.m. local time in the inaugural flight of a new commercial rideshare program.

Long March 6 placed the following satellites into sun synchronous orbit:

  • Origin Space NEO-1 — asteroid mining technology demonstration
  • Qilu-1 — synthetic aperture radar
  • Qilu-4 — optical remote sensing
  • Foshan-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Apocalypse Constellation Zero Nine Star — Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 01 — visible light remote sensing
  • Golden Bauhinia-1 02 — visible light remote sensing
  • Zhongan Guotong-1 — optical remote sensing
  • Tianqi-9 — optical remote sensing
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ISRO Chairman K Sivan Lays Out 10 Year Plan for Indian Space Program

Dr. K Sivan (Credit: ISRO)

BENGALURU, India (ISRO PR) — In the future, when we look back upon the year 2020, we will be reminded of the trials and tribulations caused in our official as well as personal lives, owing to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Notwithstanding this situation, huge quantity of work progressed in virtual mode in design and development of systems.

Gaganyaan & Chandrayaan-3 major technical issues were addressed. The concept of virtual LCC and SCC got evolved and implemented. In fact, this mode of work appears to be more efficient and can be the new normal. Even where field work was involved, the activities were completed with minimum travel and social distancing.

And thanks to the dedicated and hardworking personnel, who carried on the torch of progress and made sure that we complete two hugely successful launches by the end of the year. These achievements, even during hard times, in the face of financial & human resource constraints, is truly commendable and speaks volumes about the resourcefulness of team ISRO.

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China Completes Record Launch Year With Successful Flight

Long March 4C lifts off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 27, 2020.

China completed a busy year that saw the nation tie its own record for launch attempts with the successful orbiting of a remote sensing satellite and a secondary nanosat on Sunday.

A Long March 4C rocket lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center at 11:44 p.m.. local time carrying the Yaogan Weixing-33 (R) spacecraft. The spacecraft will be “mainly used for scientific experiment research, marine and land resource surveys and other tasks,” the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said.

Yaogan Weixing-33 (R) is the replacement for a similarly named remote sensing satellite that was lost due to the failure of a Long March 4C booster in May 2019.

A scientific research satellite named Weina Jishu Shiyan was also placed into orbit on Sunday as a secondary payload.

The successful flight was the last of 39 launch attempts for 2020 and the final one in the nation’s 13th Five-Year Plan, CNSA said. China finished the year with 35 successes and four failures.

The 39 launch attempts tied the national record China set in 2018. The nation finished that year with a record of 38 successes and one failure.

China finished second in launch attempts behind the United States in 2020, which completed the year with 40 successes and four failures.

Sunday’s mission was the 69th launch of the Long March 4C booster and the 357th launch of the Long March family of rockets.

China’s Long March 8 Rocket Makes Successful Debut in Step Toward Reusability

Long March 8 launches for the first time on Dec. 22, 2020. (Credit: CNSA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

China’s newest booster, Long March 8, successfully placed five satellites into sun-synchronous orbit on Tuesday from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in a step toward partial reusability.

The medium-lift booster blasted off at 12:37 p.m. local time from Hainan island carrying the classified XJY-7 remote sensing technology test satellite and four smaller payloads.

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Government Funds UK Companies at the Forefront of Space Innovation

21 UK organisations have been awarded a share of over £7 million of funding to put the UK at the forefront of the latest advances in space innovation

SWINDON, UK (UK Space Agency PR) — The cash injection is going to high-risk, high-reward projects that support companies and universities with radical ideas for how we tackle climate change through Earth Observation or address satellite communications challenges, from providing greater connectivity to remote places to increasing the efficiency of our homes.

Projects set for the cash boost include The Open University who will use the money to create the UK’s first Precision Forestry tool, TreeView, which will support efforts to tackle the climate emergency through detailed measurement of tree-planting initiatives aimed at increasing carbon dioxide removal.

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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.